Franklin Street, a full-service commercial real estate firm, has produced a “2017 Hurricane Preparedness Guide” for commercial property landlords and tenants. Developed by Franklin Street’s property management and insurance experts exclusively for our clients, the guide offers proactive steps to ensure the safety of your tenants and the value of each property.
The 2017 Hurricane Season officially began on June 1st and ends on November 30, 2017. Franklin Street’s guide includes resources for employers and employees such as an emergency preparation and supply checklist, instructions for what to do if a Hurricane Watch or Hurricane Warning has been issued, and contact information to local and federal emergency management offices.
“Now is the ideal time for all employers and employees to prepare and recognize the risks and potential dangers of hurricanes and what to do before, during and after a storm,” said Patrick McGucken, Vice President of Retail Management Services at Franklin Street.
“Property owners need to take the time to review their insurance policies now,” said Lonnie Kitchen, Senior Director for Franklin Street Insurance Services. “Checking to see if you are properly protected after a storm hits is too late.”
Here are four steps you can take to protect your commercial property from disaster.
1. Review property insurance with the company’s insurance agent concerning the hazards of a hurricane.
Even as rebuilding is in progress, building and business owners have learned that insurance policies are works in progress and should be reviewed and clarified regularly, well in advance of any disaster.
2. Preparation for a hurricane should begin as soon as a Hurricane Watch is posted.
When a Hurricane Watch is issued, preparations should be made for a possible facility shutdown and evacuation. Do not wait until a Hurricane Warning is issued, as there may not be enough time to complete all the necessary actions. Any action that can be performed without interrupting ongoing business operations, such as storage of site furniture, should be done immediately.
3. Stockpile the emergency supplies needed in preparation for the hurricane season.
Supplies are essential to sustain you and your employees in the event you are temporarily stranded in the workplace during a storm. Please review the following list of items that will be useful in case this happens:
• Food – stock your office with non-perishable foods such as food bars and dehydrated foods.
• Water – ensure you have a three-day supply of purified water available. It is highly recommended that at least two quarts of water is stocked per day, per employee.
• Emergency Lighting – light sticks, flashlights, flares.
• Batteries – ensure you have a supply of batteries on-hand.
• Medical – ensure you have a First Aid kit on hand that is well-stocked with fresh supplies. It is recommended that the kits are designated to treat earthquake-related injuries such as heavy bleeding and broken bones.
• Blankets – lightweight fire and shock retardant emergency blankets.
• Radios – two-way radios as well as portable transistor radios with an extra supply of batteries.
• Medications – persons on medication should keep a 72-hour supply of such medications in their desk.
4. Keep a list of important phone numbers handy to help you through the emergency.
Make certain your tenants update their emergency contact information with your property management office. Also, make sure your emergency contact list includes these numbers:
Federal Disaster Assistance: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362); www.fema.gov
American Red Cross (Evacuation Resources): 1-800-975-7585
Hurricane Helpline: 1-800-227-8676
Finding Loved Ones: 1-877-LOVED-1S
For more information on how to prepare your commercial property for severe weather, visit Franklin Street Management Services. For information on how to protect your business with commercial property insurance, visit Franklin Street Insurance Services.
To learn about specific risks in your area, contact your local emergency management agency.