How to Protect Your People, Facility, and Cargo This Hurricane Season

Hurricane Season_header

2020 saw a record-breaking number of named storms in the North Atlantic. According to NOAA, the region saw 30 named storms, which is the most in any single year on record. Of these named storms, 13 intensified to hurricane strength, 12 of which made landfall. This seasonal weather activity serves as an annual reminder of the risk of catastrophic weather events to those with operations on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. 

While storms cannot be prevented, there are a number of measures that businesses and individuals can take to prepare for them. These measures can help ensure the safety of both people and property, while also minimizing the impact on business operations. Here are some things you should consider to protect yourself and your property.

Before the storm:

Prior to a storm, be sure to address anything that is not time-sensitive. Waiting until the storm is on its way is too late.
  • Create an emergency plan and communicate it to employees.
  • Ensure that all emergency equipment is accessible and in working order.
  • Inspect building roofs and make repairs as needed.
  • Clear gutters and clean run-off areas for drains.
  • Clear objects outside of the facility that are not grounded and could potentially fly away or cause damage.
  • Fill reserve fuel tanks for generators.
  • Review your cargo and property insurance policies to make sure you have catastrophic (CAT) coverage on your property exposure
  • Ensure you know who to contact in the event of a claim – time is critical.
  • Confirm you have an adequate supply of plywood, shutters, or other materials that provide protection to your facility – these materials may be hard to get once the storm approaches.

Questions regarding your current coverage? Talk to an expert at ECIB today.

Supplies to have on hand:

  • Plywood, lumber, nails, duct tape, and screws
  • Power and manual tools
  • Tarps or other waterproof coverings
  • Sandbags, shovels, ax
  • Flashlights and additional batteries
  • Two-way radios with additional, charged batteries
  • Bottled drinking water, non-perishable food
  • Additional fuel for generators and other equipment
  • Emergency lighting

When the storm is approaching:

As the storm approaches, it is time to spring into action, follow your emergency plan and make sure your people, your product, and your facility are protected. Here are some things to do as the storm approaches:

  • Ensure all stock, materials, and equipment are at least six inches off the floor.
  • Relocate equipment, materials, or information that is critical to running your business, if possible.
  • Secure any portable buildings or structures to the ground.
  • Bring outdoor equipment indoors or secure outside.
  • Install plywood, shutters, or other materials over windows and doors.
  • Properly shut down equipment prior to any loss of power.
  • Shut down electrical or gas services that are not absolutely necessary.
  • Cover equipment, stock, or materials with waterproof materials or tarps.
  • Stop or divert inbound shipments to your facility.

While no one can know what the hurricane season may bring this year, taking some of these steps can help make sure you are as prepared as possible.

If you have questions about your current insurance coverage or would like more information on how to ensure you are protected, contact the experts at ECIB.

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