Prepare your company for a Storm
Hurricanes, typhoons, and other types of storms can strike suddenly and without warning. If you're a business owner or manager who lives in an area prone to severe weather events, it's important to be prepared for any potential damage that could occur during these storms. Having proper insurance coverage is one way to protect your company's assets, but there are other things you should do before a storm hits as well.
Determine your risk.
The first step to preparing your company for a storm is determining your risk. There are many factors that go into determining how much exposure you have, and it's important to understand them all before deciding how much money should be put aside for disaster relief.
- What is the nature of your business? If you run an e-commerce site, for example, then the risk of losing internet access during a storm may not be as great as if you own an auto repair shop in New York City (which would obviously suffer more damage).
- How likely is it that a particular type of weather event could occur? For example: Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 each year, however there are other types of storms that can happen at other times during the year.
Prepare for the worst.
The first step is to prepare for the worst. This means having a plan in place for when you're without power, water, food and medical care for days at a time.
If you run an office or business with employees or customers who rely on your facility in order to do their jobs--or if they simply need it as a meeting place--you need to make sure that everyone knows what they should do if there's an evacuation order issued by local authorities. Have your company documents in proper order. Make sure you have copies of all important documents, keep in a secure location, and make sure they are up to date, including insurance documentation.
Perform a property inventory and inspection.
If your company was affected by a storm, it's important to document the damage and make sure you have proof of what happened. Take photos of any damage to your building, including trees that may have fallen onto or near it. Also take photos of any storm-related problems with utilities (gas, water and electricity). If there is evidence of structural damage from wind or flooding in surrounding areas such as broken windows or downed power lines on neighboring properties, take pictures of those too.
Inspect the Roofing and Building
If it's safe to do so, inspect the roof of your building and surrounding areas, including trees near the building or on nearby properties. Look for damage to the roof and any signs of leaks. Check for loose tiles or other debris that could be blown away in the wind. Also look for any trees that may have fallen on your building or nearby properties, as well as wires that may have been damaged during winds or lightning strikes.
Protect Doors and Windows
If you have glass doors and windows, put up temporary protection for them that can be removed after the storm. You can use plywood, plastic sheeting or tarps to cover the window frames. Secure these covers with rope or bungee cords so they don't blow away in high winds. Avoid using nails or screws because they may become loose during a hurricane and damage someone's property when they come loose during a storm surge (a rise in sea level caused by strong winds). Tape will also lose its adhesion after being exposed to humidity for an extended period of time
Stay away from floodwaters
Stay away from floodwaters. Don't ever drink floodwater, even if it looks clear. Don't use floodwater for cleaning purposes, it may contain chemicals such as oil, gasoline and sewage. Do not swim in any standing water; swimming pools are usually safe because they have been chlorinated, but ponds, lakes and rivers may not be so clean.
Following these tips after a storm can help reduce flood damage and ensure your business is back up and running quickly. SERVPRO has the experience and expertise to return your property back to pre storm conditions.