How to Prepare Your Business for a Hurricane

May 3, 2023

Hurricane season can cause devastation for businesses and homeowners each year. Hurricane Ian, which made landfall in Florida and Cuba in September 2022, left more than 520,000 businesses and homes without power and caused over $100 billion in total economic damage, according to Forbes.

The beginning of May marks National Hurricane Preparedness Week. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provides tips for each day of Preparedness Week. While the emphasis is often on homeowners, companies that aren’t prepared for weather events could be at risk of catastrophic loss and damages.

In preparation for hurricane season, business owners in affected areas across industries should review their safety procedures, business continuity plans, and catastrophe resources. If you live or work in a hurricane-prone area, take a moment to familiarize yourself with preparation instructions on ready.gov/hurricanes. This is the place to find a variety of preparation tips if a hurricane is expected to make landfall as well as instructions for surviving during a hurricane and for being safe after a hurricane. Our website offers a library of resources about hurricane preparedness and response. You can also download our Hurricane Preparedness Emergency Kit!

Review your company’s crisis management program, including business continuity, disaster recovery and emergency response. Safety plans for your business during hurricane season should include:

  • Designated hurricane operations team and up-to-date emergency contact list
  • Offsite data backup for important files and records
  • Employee communications plan – automated alert system or phone tree
  • Emergency necessities: bottled water and canned goods (three-day supply) paper cups, utensils, garbage bags, soap, disinfectant, detergent, battery-operated radio, batteries, flashlights
  • Emergency equipment: heavy plastic sheeting, plywood, masking tape, sandbags, generator, hand tools, wooden boards
  • First aid kits available and stored in airtight bags or containers

Businesses also must have the right property insurance in place. In some cases, business owners may not understand the details of their policies and make assumptions before a hurricane strikes. To avoid complications, it is best to review the plan ahead of time each year with your insurance agent.

Should you find yourself and your community facing a hurricane, check out our Checklist for 72 Hours Prior to, During, and After a Hurricane. Even if you think you’ve done everything to prepare at the eleventh hour, go through this list and be sure. We provide event and jobsite preparation checklists as well as emergency response tips and suggested post-storm recovery efforts.

Learn More: 7 Essential Hurricane Prep Steps | Hurricane Season Is Coming

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