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Preparing your facility for hurricane season

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Although hurricanes are lesser known to hit Canadian cities as hard as the United States, they can still have a significant impact on Canadian communities. Canada’s hurricane season spans June to November, with activity peak in September.

As with any emergency, being prepared is the best way to lower the risk of property damage.

“Damage can range from some minor water infiltration around doors and windows to major flooding,  due to storm surge or from swollen rivers and lakes,” said senior project manager, large loss North America for FirstOnSite Restoration, Jim Mandeville.

Whether you’re a property owner or manager when preparing for storms, businesses are reminded to take the following steps to minimize a hurricane’s impact on their facility:

Backup plans
Mandeville advises facility managers to have backup plans for access to their facility.

“If the road you would normally use to get there is cut off by flooding is there another way you can get in and out of the business?”

Maintenance and renovations
Mandeville also suggests keeping up on the maintenance of your facility. For example, making sure that drains and catch basins in parking lots are clear.

Furthermore, if you have scheduled renovations coming up Mandeville says you should consider alternative building materials and styles in order to mitigate the damage to your property during storms.

“There’s definitely some newer roofing products that are more resilient to wind,” he said.

Facility managers can also look into advanced plumbing solutions and resistant glass for impact-resistance windows.

The “human side” of preparation.
Beyond having emergency supplies ready, Mandeville suggests managers talk to staff about how prepared they are for the extreme weather conditions.

“That human side of [preparing for a hurricane] is something often neglected by businesses. We’re always focused on our facilities and equipment, we forget that ‘hey, we need those people that make that equipment work too’”

Other ways to prepare your property for a hurricane:

  • Board up your windows
  • Protect your property against flooding
  • Secure loose outdoor objects
  • Check your roof
  • Trim your trees
  • Install surge protectors
  • Back up electronic devices
  • Create an inventory of your property
  • Ensure you have adequate insurance coverage
  • Stay informed

Following the storm, Mandeville urges facilities to get someone qualified — such as a FirstOnsite restoration expert — to have a look at the facility to determine what needs to be done to get the business back up and running again.

Visit FirstOnSite Restoration to see more on the ten ways to protect your property from hurricane damage.

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