Every year Florida’s storms and hurricanes cause billions of dollars in damages. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts an above-normal 2022 storm season, so be prepared because:
- High winds can cause roof shingles to fly off, windows to break, and signage to fall.
- Flooding can damage equipment, inventory, and building interiors and exteriors.
- Infrastructure damage can cause power outages, transportation disruptions, and water shortages.
If you’re unprepared, the damage your Florida business suffers could be significant, including having to close your doors for days or weeks as repairs are made.
Developing a business survival plan safeguards your people, property, and other assets from damages caused by severe weather conditions. Here’s what you should do to plan:
Secure Your Property’s Exterior
Have you taken all the necessary steps to prepare the exterior of your commercial property for the possibility of a severe storm?
Fortunately, there are many tasks you can complete well in advance of storm season to minimize potential damages. You should:
- Schedule a roof inspection to ensure your older roof can withstand a powerful storm
- Inspect gutters for damage and clear clogs to ensure drains and downspouts provide adequate drainage during the storm
- Clean up debris and tree branches that can become airborne and damage your property
- Remove and store outdoor displays and signs
- Install shutters or insert plywood to protect doors and windows
If you rent your business location, be sure to talk with your landlord or building manager about what plans they have in place to protect your facility.
Secure the Interior of Your Property
Securing what’s inside your business is just as vital as protecting its exterior. To prevent wind and water from entering your building and wreaking havoc:
- Place sandbags at doorways to keep flooding to a minimum. This is particularly important if your business is located in a flood zone
- Back up computers and other physical data storage systems to the cloud or a remote location
- Create a list of contacts that are critical to your business, including employees, accountants, vendors, and attorneys
Review Your Insurance Coverage
Now’s a good time to review your business’s commercial insurance policy to confirm what is and isn’t covered in the event of a storm or hurricane.
Many standard policies do not cover hurricane damage, so you might need to purchase a separate policy.
Prepare To Evacuate if Needed
You should develop and practice an evacuation plan long before a storm or hurricane strikes.
If you do need to evacuate, be sure to:
- Only bring with you what is essential to continuing to operate your business. Prepare a list of items so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute, and be sure to discuss it with employees.
- Consider setting up a temporary business site, especially if you’re located in a flood zone.
What To Do After the Storm
Once a storm subsides, it’s time to:
- Check for structural damage to roofs, gutters, windows, and doors.
- Document any damage to the property or other business assets.
- Contact your insurance company to file a claim.
If you discover you need storm damage restoration for your business, Allstate Construction Roofing Inc. is here to help. As one of Southwest Florida’s leading roofing contractors, we specialize in emergency roof repair and roof replacement and repair for storm damage.