We are in the middle of hurricane season, which lasts from June 1 to November 30 each year, and we want to make sure that everyone has a chance to practice hurricane safety for their homes and businesses.
As you know, last year’s hurricane season was a very rough one and there are areas of the world, especially in the Caribbean that are still struggling to recover.
Being prepared and having a plan for your family and employees safety during hurricane season is highly important but it is really only half of the battle.
In this article, we will cover some of the things you need to be thinking about as we head into the last half of hurricane season.
Ultimate Hurricane Season Insurance Guide
Since we help cover both families and businesses with our insurance products, we are going to do our best to go over as many details about what you need to prepare for during this hurricane season for both.
This should help you whether you are a first time home buyer who wants to make sure you are fully covered in a emergency disaster situation or if you are the CEO of a fortune 100 company working in the top floor of the tallest building in the city when a hurricane hits.
First, we’ll cover businesses, then we’ll talk about protecting your home, then finally we’ll go into some supplies and action plan items that will help you and those around you stay safe.
Let’s get started!
Hurricane Preparedness Tips For Businesses
If you own a business, then you know that you are in a position of huge responsibility for the business, the property of the business and, more importantly, the well-being of the people you employ.
For business owners, hurricane preparedness isn’t just about covering potential loss but also communicating and training your staff to react properly in the event of an emergency.
Hurricane Preparedness: Checklist for Business
There are a vast number of risks that are presented when a hurricane touches land. Flooding, wind and debris and more…
It can get really hectic, but we have to ensure that you and your employees have a plan of action that is simple and easy to remember so that they can follow through during even a time where they may feel rushed to get to safety.
That’s why we suggest you use these 3 keys to create your hurricane preparedness checklist
For a more in depth checklist and a hurricane prep plan by one of our insurance carriers, click here.
Hurricane Preparedness: High Rise Buildings
If you work (or live) in a high rise building and you happen to be there during a hurricane, it’s important that you know a few things that will help you stay safe if you must shelter in place.
First, before we talk about how to prep your area of the building, it’s important to know that many high rise buildings will immediately ask you to evacuate, whether they are under a mandatory evacuation order or not.
That being said, if you happen to be a high rise building that has not been evacuated during a hurricane here’s a few things you will need to do to stay reasonably safe.
Balconies and Windows
If you are near a balcony, make sure that everything is put away. You don’t want furniture, plants or even windchimes out on the balcony. These things ordinary objects create considerable danger if the wind should pick them up and hurl them in any direction.
Also, you want to steer clear of any rooms with lots of windows. High velocity winds can break windows, sending shards of glass throughout and presenting danger to those in the vecentity.
If you are above the 3rd story of a high rise, there is typically less danger of broken glass because of the strength of the glass higher up. However, it’s of great importance that all of the windows remain closed, no matter how hot it gets.
Speaking of how hot it gets, cooling towers will usually be shut off at the breakers for safety. That means that you will be hot and uncomfortable during a hurricane in a high rise.
Elevators and Stairwells
If you are on a high floor, be prepared to stay their for a while unless you are ready for some serious cardio.
During a hurricane elevators will not be operational after the power goes out. Which means if you are trying to leave the building you will be walking all the way down the stairs.
The stairwell is the strongest and safest place during the hurricane because they are solid reinforced concrete walls from top to bottom.
The only problem is that it will take a long time for anyone to get to you in the aftermath in case of an emergency.
Travel Insurance During Hurricane Season
What if you are on business while traveling and you are in an area that is prone to hurricanes and tropical storms? How can you protect yourself during the time you are in these areas?
Delayed or Cancelled Flights
Delayed or Cancelled flights are covered if you have bought a travel insurance policy. You can be reimbursed for unexpected and added expenses because of it.
If you experience a trip interruption because of uninhabitable accommodations during a business trip or vacation, your travel insurance can cover having to go home early.
There’s one important thing to know, however. If the storm is named, your travel insurance will not cover your travel issues. So make sure that you are smart about taking trips during hurricane season to the Atlantic region (East coast or Caribbean)
Hurricane Preparedness For Your Home
If you are at home there is a laundry list of things you need to do in order to prepare for a hurricane listed here
A few of the things you need to cover for hurricane safety are:
If you live close on the water, you should evacuate. Don’t wait until you are told to leave. It’s better to be safe and away from your home than to stay with your “stuff” and face danger.
Whether you chose to evacuate or not, be sure to let friends and family know your plans. Where you will be and where you will go if you must leave. It’s also a good idea to have a hard copy of emergency contact information for those you might need to reach.
Hurricane Preparedness Supplies
Generally, you should always plan to have enough supplies to last a minimum of 3 days in a hurricane.
Still, there is potential that you can be without power for weeks if the storm is severe enough. I say that to impress upon you that your supplies could save you in an emergency situation so don’t skimp on what you need.
Hurricane Preparedness Supply Checklist
At Ready.gov, they provide a list of hurricane preparedness supplies that you need to have, as well as some additional supplies you should consider having as well.
You can download a copy of the supplies list so that you can take it to the store with you.
General List Of Hurricane Supplies
These are just a few of the things you will need and if you want to know everything you should get for your hurricane supply list go download it from Ready.gov
Hurricane Preparedness Training For Employees and Family
Now that we have covered how to prepare your business and home for a hurricane from the property standpoint, let’s talk about covering and protecting the people as well.
First, let’s talk about the family...
Hurricane Safety For Families
Knowing how to react to the potential dangers of a hurricane is something that highly important to protect you and your family.
In an emergency situation, having a plan in place that has been rehearsed will allow your family to act swiftly should the need to evacuate arise.
It is good to delegate jobs to each family member and practice going through the plan for a short period of time so that everyone is comfortable with their roles.
The goal is to make sure that your family knows what will happen in as many situations that could come up as possible.
Hurricane Preparedness: Email to Employees
It’s a smart decision to have an email template that can be quickly sent to your employees. At fema.gov has an email template that can be used to send to your employees at a moments notice.
If you plan to create your own template, make sure that it gives them a general idea of what they will need to stay safe during a hurricane.
Tell them about evacuation zones, family communication plans and to check their insurance coverage to make sure they are properly covered.
We hope this has helped you protect your business, home and family and given you some ideas on how you can improve your hurricane safety plan during 2018 hurricane season.