It’s the start of hurricane season, and Franklin Street is here to offer guidance with useful tools and information that will help reduce the impact hurricane and tropical storms could have on your commercial properties.
We strongly believe it’s never too early to begin preparing for Hurricane Season. In case you missed it, our experts outlined early steps to take in the first part of this blog series, “Weathering the Storm Part 1: Is Your Commercial Property Prepared for Hurricane Season?”
Now that Hurricane Season is here — and is expected to see up to 20 named storms, according to NOAA — it’s important to have a plan in place for when a storm is imminent.
Commercial property owners must act quickly to prepare property managers to ensure the safety of their tenants and staff. Below, we’ve outlined 10 steps to take when your property is in the path of a hurricane. To make this stressful situation easier, we encourage all property owners to implement these steps into their hurricane action plans now, so property managers and staff will already know what to do when a storm is approaching.
10 Steps To Prepare Your Property (72 Hours Prior to a Storm):
- Outline the situation, proceed with your hurricane action plan, and actively watch the weather channel to stay informed on the incoming storm.
- Assign office duties for those who will be available during the storm (tasks for preparation and printing a list of employee phone numbers with emergency contacts).
- Create backup records of important business documents and store off-site. Gather and secure all monies off-site.
- Move furniture and office equipment from window areas. If possible, move it to an area where there are no windows. Pull any keys from lock boxes and secure.
- Have maintenance staff prepare by checking emergency supplies and stocking up on any necessary items. Charge golf cart batteries and put gas in any vehicles you may need. Begin boarding up windows, trim trees (to reduce potential of falling and windblown damages from branches) and ensure property is clear of debris.
- Remove all pool furniture from the pool area and secure indoors (if possible) or sink to the bottom of the pool (there is a chance this may scratch your pool surface). Umbrellas should be taken indoors.
- Communicate with tenants via phone call, text or email with a simple message saying to stay safe and let you know if they need anything. This is a great way to promote an open-door line of communication that your tenants will appreciate.
- Remind tenants and staff to follow all law enforcement guidelines, evacuate when mandatory evacuation is issued, and have their personal emergency essentials on hand. Encourage neighbors to connect in the case of an emergency.
- Instruct tenants to remove all belongings from patios and common areas, hallways, and breezeways (grills, patio furniture, potted plants, benches, etc.)
- Supply information to tenants such as phone numbers outside of the hurricane zone to answer questions should phone lines be out of order, as well as emergency numbers.
From Insurance Services to Property Management, Franklin Street teams are available around the clock to help our clients through Hurricane Season. For access to more risk management materials, contact us at [email protected].