The Storm Preparation Guide For Businesses
June 1st marks the beginning of summer vacations and storm season. Preparation can be the difference between a quick recovery or your business being closed for weeks after a storm. Here’s your guide to preparing your company for any storms that may come your way.
How to Prep Your Place of Business for a Storm
The best time to be prepared for a storm is before it ever becomes a threat. These are 3 things to keep in mind when putting together your storm plan.
Have a Storm Preparedness Plan for Your Staff
Getting your staff on board with storm preparedness should be part of your storm prep. If you haven’t done so already, put together a communication plan that encourages employees to check in and to be notified of any business closures. This could be as simple as designating a contact person for each department or setting up a voicemail system that updates with important information both during, and after a storm. Once your plan is in place, make sure your employees know how to use this communication system. It’s also a great time to update everyone’s contact information. Don’t forget to create a plan of how to reach out to customers and vendors you work with to let them know when you’re back in business after the storm passes.
Check your Insurance Plan
It may have been some time since you purchased an insurance policy for your business. When storm season approaches, it would be a good time check that your property is adequately covered in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane. It’s much easier to make any necessary changes to coverages before a disaster hits than after. It’s also a good idea to take photos and/or video of your office and property. If a storm hits and your office sustains damage, you’ll have the images your insurance company may request to complete your claim.
Secure your place of business
As with your home, it’s important to know how you’ll secure your office location when a major storm is imminent. Instead of waiting until a storm is only a few days away, stock up on important supplies such as tarps, bags, tape, batteries, shutters, hand tools, and a generator. You’ll be less likely to get these things the closer a storm gets to your area. You should also be periodically backing up important files and be prepared to store records off-site if needed. Determine if your location is in an evacuation or flood zone so you can make plans accordingly.
When a storm is coming your way, gather up your team and shutter up windows, cover and unplug electronics, move files, secure doors, and get your communication plan in place. Make sure the generator is working and fueled, shelter any company vehicles, and clean up any loose debris, branches, etc. outside of your business. Also, be sure to close your office at a time that gives everyone a chance to personally prepare for the weather event.
How to Prep Your Construction Site for a Storm
Aside from the normal precautions we spoke of earlier, getting a construction site prepped for a storm requires some special considerations. When getting a construction site ready to brace a tropical storm or hurricane, here are 2 major things you need to keep in mind:
Flying materials and toppled over cranes can not only cause damage to a site but to the property and people around it. So it’s important to make sure any and everything that can fly around and cause damage in a storm is tied down and braced properly. That includes doing tasks like:
- Bracing and inspecting masonry walls
- Anchoring roof panels
- Storing loose materials
- Securing cranes and other equipment
- Locking down portable toilets
- Tying down plywood, lumber, and metal sheets
- Properly storing or removing hazardous materials
- Clearing trash and debris on the site
When drainage systems aren’t complete or windows aren’t installed, potential flooding is a big concern for construction sites. Minimize the effects of heavy rains during a storm by doing things like:
- Installing temporary drainage systems
- Not installing products like drywall, flooring, etc. unless windows and doors are installed
- Placing pumps onsite so you can start water removal immediately after a storm
A Few Tips About Tornado Prep
Unlike tropical storms and hurricanes that can be tracked sometimes weeks before it makes landfall, tornadoes can form anywhere at any time. If your business is located in an area prone to tornadoes, these are the preparations you need to make aside from the normal storm prep.
Designate a Safe Place
The number one thing you can do to keep you and your employees safe in the event of a tornado is to have a designated place on premises where you can go in case of a tornado. Basements or an enclosed windowless room in the center of your building are ideal places to take shelter from an approaching tornado. What’s just as important as designating a safe space is implementing a plan for how everyone will get there quickly especially if many of your employees do their work outdoors.
Be Vigilant During Severe Weather
As soon as The National Weather Service issues a severe weather alert, it’s time to be vigilant. Listen to watches and warnings, understanding the difference between the two. In a watch, a tornado is possible. You should watch the sky and look for any of these signs of a tornado:
- Dark, greenish sky
- Large Hail
- Dark clouds
- Roars that sound like a freight train
When a tornado warning is an issue, that means a tornado has already been sighted. You and your employees need to get to the designated safe space as quickly as possible.
What to Do After the Storm
While we hope that our businesses survive a storm with minimal damage, your storm prep must include a plan of action just in case that doesn’t happen. Some things you should plan to do after a storm include:
- Taking photos of all damage as soon as it’s safe to do so
- Informing employees when its safe to return to work
- Utilizing on-site generators
- Taking inventory of office supplies and equipment
- Reaching out to your staffing partner for temporary help
How Can Labor Finders Help You?
From putting up shutters to helping your project get back on track after a storm, our 200+ offices are always ready and willing to get you the people you need this storm season. Click here to learn more.