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Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Businesses

Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Businesses

It’s important for both homeowners and business owners to prepare for hurricanes. But hurricane preparedness is often overlooked in the workplace. Whether you’re an employee or an employer, there are significant benefits to your business in preparing for a hurricane. By planning in advance, as part of bigger business continuity plan, you can be fully prepared and help ensure your business can continue to thrive after the storm.

Here are some tips to help your business with hurricane preparedness:

Protect your property

  • Install shutters or plywood on windows and doors to protect from windborne hazards, such as outdoor furniture or aluminum from sheds.

  • Evaluate your roof to ensure it can withstand a storm.

  • Remove or prune any branches or trees adjacent to your building or company vehicles.

  • Protect flood-prone areas of your structure with sandbags.

  • Anchor large furniture to wall studs.

  • Relocate any valuable or vulnerable possessions.

  • Secure utilities including water heaters, gas tanks, and heaters; and, if necessary, move them to higher locations to avoid water damage.

  • Turn off all the utilities.

Protect important documents and information

  • Know where to find the contact information for those important to business continuity, such as employees, vendors, etc.

  • Back up and seal documents that are not easily reproduced, such as insurance documents, legal contracts, tax returns, etc.

  • Store all your important contacts and documents in an accessible off-site location.

Keep a hurricane preparedness kit

The following emergency kit items should be stored in one location at your place of business. These will help sustain and protect your employees should disaster strike during regular working hours and without ample notice.

  • Water: one gallon per person, per day

  • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items

  • Flashlights

  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible), and extra batteries

  • First aid kit

  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items

  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book

  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person

  • Fire Extinguisher

  • Matches in a waterproof container

  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils, paper towels

  • Battery operated television

  • Coolers and containers for water and washing

  • Camera and film for documenting damage

  • Whistle/signal flare to signal for help

  • Tarps, plastic bags, duct tape

  • Cleaning supplies, including mops, towels, and garbage cans

  • Smoke alarms

  • Electric generator

  • Gas for vehicles, generators, and other equipment

  • Cash, ATM cards, credit cards

Another major consideration for your business is to make sure you have the right insurance, including property insurance. In some states, you can also purchase hurricane insurance.

REMEMBER: Damage to your business as the result of flooding (including flooding from hurricanes) is not covered under most business property policies. A separate flood policy is needed in most cases to cover this kind of damage, which you can purchase through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The bottom line

Make sure to protect the things that matter most with the right knowledge, preparation, and risk management. Making sure you have the insurance coverage you need can help you get up and running again after the storm. Learn more about NJM’s business insurance products or connect with an agent to get a quote.