Severe Weather Disaster Plans Benefit Commercial Property Owners Before the Storm

It pays to be ready for any disaster or weather-related emergency.

Weather predictions are often accurate, but no one can accurately predict the exact moment that a storm will hit a commercial property. Storm waters often rise above the level of general entry to a commercial space, and high winds from a severe weather or hurricane disaster will allow water to gain access to the building in those occasions. When weather warnings are issued, it is the time to put into place a pre-arranged severe weather plan. But first the business or organization needs to have created a plan that will be available and ready in place before bad weather strikes the facility.

1.    Any business severe weather plan needs to make a definition of the process to securing and protecting the facility of the business. This plan needs to be discussed with the organization’s upper management and distributed to all employees who are involved with the securing of the facility in the event of a strong storm or severe weather alert.

2.    In general, there needs to be one person who is designated as the lead individual in charge of taking the lead control if there were to be an actual weather-related emergency affecting the facility. Everyone involved in the plan needs to be committed to securing the facility and seeing through the process of each stage of the plan to prevent damage to the facility during a storm event.

3.    There needs to be a formal written plan that includes a checklist of what to do in the case of a severe weather event. The facility needs to be “locked down,” and if needed boarded up to prevent loss of windows or other vulnerable areas of the structure save from possible high winds, etc.

4.    It will be important to bring in all materials into the site for the preservation of the safety of the facility during a storm. The list of materials should include:
•    Walkie talkies
•    Batteries
•    First aid kit
•    Bottled water
•    Emergency food supplies
•    Plywood
•    Plastic sheeting
•    Nails
•    Tie downs and anchors
•    Pumps and hoses
•    Generators

5.    The overall checkoff list of all probable weather types of water, flood, storm or sewage damage situations will be helpful in order to manage each situation quickly of it were to occur at the facility. It is possible to check the history of the region and go back several decades to determine when the last time severe weather affected the area. This will help to plan for severe weather events going forward. For example, if there are any special instructions necessary to include for a specific water damage related scenario, this list will highlight those necessary instructions to help the included team members responsible for performing those actions.

6.    As the last step, the managers and organizational owners need to formulate and approve a Commercial Business Interruption Plan that will determine how the employees, workers and managers will continue to conduct business in the event of a severe weather event. This plan may include a list of actions in the event of other emergencies that could affect the business (such as a global pandemic), and may include a review of the commercial insurance policies to adjust them accordingly based on the likelihood of the business incurring this type (or any) losses in the future.