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Is Your Business Ready for the 2012 Hurricane Season?

by Anita Byer, President - The Human Equation on 6/4/2012
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For those living or working in areas at risk of experiencing a tropical storm or hurricane, June 1st rarely passes unnoticed. At Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk, we understand that preparing for Hurricane Season is rarely easy and often stressful. We also understand that a lack of awareness and preparation can lead to disaster, and that the best way to limit the risks posed by hurricanes is to take preventative steps now.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that there is a 70 percent probability that the 2012 Hurricane Season will bring:

  • 9-15 Named Storms
  • 4-8 Hurricanes
  • 1-3 Major Hurricanes

According to NOAA, this outlook predicts a less active season compared to recent years. However, scientists at Florida State University recently predicted a more active Hurricane Season, with 10 to 16 named storms and five to nine hurricanes. Additionally, researchers at Colorado State University recently raised their forecast to 13 named storms, with five hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

These conflicting predictions, not to mention the two tropical storms—Alberto and Beryl—that formed before Hurricane Season even began, serve to increase the uncertainty of the upcoming season. While some use uncertainty to justify a lackadaisical approach to storm preparations, we know that uncertainty demands more preparation, not less, and now is the time to act.

Though different situations call for different measures, the following tips can assist you in developing your own plan for dealing with the 2012 Hurricane Season.

Before the Storm

  • Monitor the news to allow time to prepare the facility.
  • Identify all tools and equipment that will be needed to secure the facility in advance of a storm and limit the damage of the storm’s aftermath (flashlights, batteries, caulking, tarpaulins, sandbags, cutting and fastening equipment, etc.).
  • Communicate Hurricane Preparedness/Recovery activities to tenants and employees.
  • Clear drains and downspouts to minimize the risk of flooding.
  • Move items inside.
  • Remove all property that obstructs Access Points to the facility.
  • Unplug electrical equipment and move property away from windows.
  • Check and secure all records, including the facility’s accounting records, miscellaneous reports, rental agreements, payment records, access code lists, and real and personal property valuations.
  • Update photos of the premises, making certain to photograph the exterior from all angles as well as within the interior, and update photos of personal property.
  • Gather insurance policies and agent/insurer contact information.
  • Verify most recent contact information for all employees, and prepare them for post-storm recovery activities and expectations.
  • Prior to closing the facility, walk the property to confirm that all occupants have vacated.

After the Storm

  • Only after it has been declared safe to do so, visit the premises to look for any damage and take reasonably necessary steps to protect against any further damage.
  • Report fallen power lines to power company immediately—stay away from them!
  • Check exterior walls and roof for damage from wind, rain, flying objects and rising waters (flood insurance).
  • Check all interior perimeter walls, floors, and roof for leaks and water damage.
  • Document all damage with photographs and video.
  • Prepare detailed damage reports.
  • Call your insurer or agent as soon as possible to report damage.

While preparing for Hurricane Season is never easy, our team of experienced and responsive professionals can work with you to make sure that your business is insured and its future secure. With over 30 years of experience dealing with tropical storms and hurricanes, Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk has a long history of helping our clients prepare before the storm and, more importantly, being there through the process of rebuilding after the storm.

If you would like more information about how Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk can help you prepare for the 2012 Hurricane Season, contact us.

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