Getting Ready For Hurricane Season
The official hurricane season begins June 1, but even then, some storms begin earlier. Lately, forecasters seem to predict above-normal seasons with five to seven potential hurricanes. Even more reason to get your facility ready with your pre-storm safety plan, including cleaning tips, storage recommendations and emergency resources.
Assess for Risk:
Before establishing a holistic hurricane plan, first identify your potential vulnerabilities during a storm. Inspect your facility’s exterior and interior for potential danger, from cracked windows to overgrown trees. Also check whether you’re located in a flooding zone on maps available for Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Areas near the coast are particularly susceptible. If so, establish elevated storage for sensitive materials such as electronics, hazardous materials and perishable items. For a full breakdown on potential risks, review FEMA’s Hurricane toolkit for businesses for a thorough checklist.
Regular building maintenance can dramatically shorten your facility’s recovery after a storm. This includes establishing a regular cleaning schedule for areas sensitive to blockage, such as drains, gutters, downspouts, air ducts and HVAC system units. Stock up on emergency protective equipment and supplies, which could include emergency generators, storm shutters, sand bags and plywood. Your cleaning provider will also need to provide a well-stocked inventory for post-storm cleaning.
Cleaning crews are your valuable partners for preparing your facility, so collaborate on pre-storm emergency procedures. This should include scheduling trash pick-ups to remove any remaining waste, moving exterior receptacles indoors, and storing any hazardous materials in elevated locations. Any pre-storm cleaning should focus on high-priority zones such as restrooms and kitchens. Include key vendors in discussions on their potential assistance in reinforcing building protections, from loading sandbags to boarding up doors and windows.