Hurricanes and severe weather phenomena are threats to every property owner, especially if you live in a hurricane-prone area like Florida. Commercial facilities face the challenge of safety and survival when facing natural disasters, as property damage means costly repairs, losses in revenue, and even business closure.
ServiceMaster Remediation Services has compiled these tips to secure your business and minimize damages during this hurricane season and other natural disasters to come.
No. 1: Communicate With Employees
- Review your existing business emergency plan with your employees. Create a disaster communication plan with your staff to keep communication lines open before, during, and after a disaster even if phones are unusable.
- If there is enough time, you can discuss the role of each individual in your organization in preparing the business and property to survive hurricane damage. In emergency situations, however, everyone’s safety is of top priority.
No. 2: Protect Your Property and Possessions
- Stocking up on emergency supplies that meet your business needs
- Securing openings such as windows and doors by boarding them up with plywood to keep the elements out
- Putting sandbags around the building’s perimeter to prevent or slow down water penetration
- Securing large furniture pieces and storage shelves by bolting them to wall studs
- Unplugging all electronic devices and shutting off all utilities
- Moving expensive equipment to a higher floor or higher ground
- Keeping records of your business possessions such as office equipment
- Taking pre-disaster photos or videos for insurance purposes
- Backing up electronic documents and data to offsite storage (cloud storage, etc.)
- Placing important paper documents in waterproof containers and storing them in a high, secure place or moving them offsite if time allows
No. 3: Monitor Updates
- Stay tuned to local, state, and national radio stations to know about the most recent storm updates.
- In case there is a need for evacuation, prepare an exit strategy and discuss it with your employees and staff. Don’t postpone leaving to tend to your property.
- Maintain communication with your employees for everyone to be updated about road closures and the latest storm information.
- Once the storm or disaster passes and the signal to return to your property has been given, immediately assess damages and take the first steps towards recovery.