Before, During, & After: Hurricane Prep for the Workplace
WHEN A HURRICANE WATCH IS ISSUED
A “Hurricane Watch” is issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24 to 36 hours. The situation should be monitored and preparations made to take prompt “precautionary” action if a hurricane warning is issued.
Suggested Precautionary Activities:
Monitor radio and television newscasts for further information.
Check and verify adequacy of essential emergency equipment and supplies.
Begin to secure or store exterior equipment.
Assemble materials and equipment to protect windows and doors.
Obtain fuel for the emergency generator.
Begin storing water in containers for emergency use if bottled water supply insufficient.
Review and update list of business records that may need to be removed or protected, including computer data that will need to be backed up.
WHEN A HURRICANE WARNING IS ISSUED
A “Hurricane Warning” is issued when hurricane conditions are expected in 24 hours or less and protective actions should begin immediately.
Suggested Protective Actions If Evacuation Is Recommended:
Close the office.
Relocate vital business records to a safe location out of the evacuation area. Back up electronic records and protect the backup copy.
Remove or relocate and cover expensive equipment. Move furnishings away from exterior windows and doors and get as many items as possible off the floor.
Close storm shutters, if available. Close, lock, and board up windows and glass doors. Lower blinds and close curtains too to help hold back flying debris.
Brace inward-opening exterior doors and roll-up doors. Wedge sliding glass doors to prevent lift from their tracks.
Turn off electricity, gas, water, and other utility services.
Ensure all personnel have departed the premises before evacuation routes become impassable due to flooding or high winds.
Suggested Protective Actions If Evacuation Is Not Recommended:
Take appropriate protective measures to reduce vulnerability to damage from wind and heavy rain.
Have building maintenance personnel on standby and materials for expedient repairs readily available.
Prepare for a possible loss of utilities for up to 72 hours.
DURING THE HURRICANE (only if evacuation is not recommended)
Shelter staff present during the passage of the storm.
If safe, periodically conduct a check of buildings for roof damage, window breakage, broken pipes, and structural damage.
Continue to monitor radios or televisions for updates and emergency information.
AFTER THE HURRICANE
Listen to radio or television for instructions before attempting to return to the premises as roads may be damaged, blocked or flooded, and access may initially be limited to search & rescue personnel, law enforcement, firefighters, utility crews, and road clearing teams.
Check for and report downed electrical power lines and broken water or sewer pipes, and use emergency water supply until local officials confirm local water supply is not contaminated.
Check buildings for obvious structural damage and avoid entry if damage is suspected.
Make sure electrical panels, outlets and appliances are dry before restoring power, and consult an electrician to make sure there are no short circuits if needed.
Secure the premises if needed to prevent looting.
Report damage to the insurance company, as required. If buildings are uninhabitable, paint insurer’s name and point of contact information (name, temporary address, and the phone number to be used) on a wall or large board to assist the adjuster.
Document damage to building and contents with photographs or video. Make expedient repairs to prevent additional weather damage or looting but do not make extensive repairs until a claims adjuster inspects the damage.
If possible, be present when the insurance adjuster visits the premises.
Contact local building inspection officials to determine permit requirements and rebuilding guidelines.
When hiring contractors, make certain repair agreements include the contractor’s license number, specify a starting and ending date, and provide an exact description of the work to be performed. Certificates of Insurance naming the owner as an Additional Insured should be obtained from all contractors used. Records of all repairs should be maintained and receipts for repair work saved.
Make repairs to automatic sprinkler systems a priority in order to get fire protection equipment back in service.
This Bulletin is provided as a service to CIBA Members and their Agents. Make sure you consult qualified experts for complete information and assistance