It is important for building owners in Florida to know what to do to prepare their facilities for a potentially devastating storm. Why? Florida has been hit by more hurricanes than any other state. In fact, Florida has been hit by more than twice as many hurricanes as the next closest hurricane-prone state, Texas. Wow! In addition to that, more than 41% of hurricanes that hit the United States make some kind of landfall in Florida.
This means that building owners need to make significant efforts to protect their property for hurricane season. When it comes to natural disasters, taking preventative measures is key for protecting your commercial property.
Let’s discuss some methods building owners can employ to protect their property during hurricane season in Florida.
Know The Risks
Hurricanes can cause severe damage to property. These storms are characterized by strong, high-speed winds, tornadoes, torrential rains, and storm surges. Further, hurricanes in Florida are more likely to be severe; experts classified almost a third of hurricanes to hit Florida as Category 3, with winds from 111 to 128 mph. Because of this, owners with buildings in Florida should prepare their facilities to withstand these elements at their strongest intensities.
Create a Plan
Based on the above factors, create an action plan for your commercial property. Ensure all employees understand this preventative plan thoroughly.
Some factors to consider for a hurricane plan include but are not limited to:
- A shelter plan
- Company-wide communication
- Evacuation route
- Emergency warnings and alerts.
Get Other Resources Ready
Additionally, building owners should consider:
- Reminding your staff about guidelines and/or policies that should be implemented or followed in the event of a hurricane. All employees should be aware of their specific responsibilities in an emergency.
- Reviewing your insurance policy to ensure that your business facility is protected from the losses resulting from hurricanes or other natural disasters.
- Checking that their emergency kit includes essential items such as generators and hand tools
- Backing up and securing all important data.
Prepare Your Property
A small act of preparation might save your building. When walking through your commercial property, there are a few key steps to take:
- Clear all gutters and drains
- Install check valves in plumbing
- Trim and remove trees close to your building
- Add sandbags as necessary (water pumps can be covered by water insurance in some cases but is not guaranteed)
- Financial Preparation
- As a business owner, it is crucial to understand your insurance policies and exactly what is covered. For example, most property insurance policies have a surface water exclusion. Have a safety fund available in case of the worst-case scenario.
What to Do After the Hurricane
An emergency response team should assess the building before people are allowed back to the premises. The purpose of this assessment is to identify any structural damage or hazard that needs to be fixed before the building can be occupied again.
Building owners and staff should only access the building after authorities give clearance.
Marine Fire Safety
Some of the key points to remember with marine safety are properly managing your:
- Certifications and Documents
- Fire Safety Equipment
- Hurricane Preparedness Equipment
- Engine Room Maintenance
- Deck Maintenance and Crew Readiness
- Emergency Equipment
Unfortunately, there is a long list of natural disasters to prepare for, like fires. And news flash, fire suppression, and fire sprinklers are not the same thing!
Need a Little Help? Consider LSM
LifeSafety Management has been providing fire protection and life safety services in South Florida for over 20 years—we are your resident life safety experts. LifeSafety is your single-source provider for any of your fire protection needs: fire alarms, sprinklers, fire suppression systems, security systems, and beyond. We can start from the very beginning to design and install your systems, then maintain and repair your systems as needed.
Learn more about us and our solutions here.