Hurricane season is upon us and it is essential you and your commercial real estate property are prepared. Hurricane season lasts from June 1 through November 30. This year is expected to be an especially active hurricane season. Likewise, the Southeast region of North Carolina is most vulnerable. We want to ensure our clients are safe, so we’ve gathered everything you need to know to secure your property this season.
Most buildings in the Southeast region are built with hurricanes in mind. They often come equipped to withstand hurricanes. However, it’s crucial you are aware of any weakness your property holds. It is worth the cost to hire a professional to help assess how your building will hold up in the face of a hurricane. Likewise, the FEMA Flood Map Service Center is a great asset to determine how at-risk your property is to flood and storm surge damage. Educating yourself on your property’s construction is the first step to prepping yourself for the hurricane season.
Plan of Action
Next, you’ll want to take a few extra steps to ensure you’re ready for whatever this season brings. Review your insurance policy. Make sure all aspects of hurricane damage are covered under your policy. Also, take photos of each area of the property in case you need to file a claim. Another way to stay ahead of the storm is to hold a company-wide meeting that states everyone’s responsibilities in the case of a hurricane. It’s best to be overprepared than underprepared, so keep emergency supplies stocked. Things such as hand tools, generators, and sandbags will come in handy if there is flooding or a power outage.
When the Time Comes
When officials have announced a hurricane is imminent, take to the property to finish up the final steps of hurricane preparation. First, board up windows and store any outdoor signs that could become airborne due to high winds. Next, inside the property, take down all loosely hung items and store desktop items in a secure location. Any furniture and equipment that is located near windows will need to be moved to the center of the room. Once all these tasks are accomplished, unplug all electrical devices and turn off electricity at the power supply box. Now that your property is as ready as it could be, stay safe and hope for little to no damage.
After waiting until authorities indicate it is safe to return to buildings, send a designated emergency response team to the property. This team will identify any hazards or damages that need to be fixed before the property can be occupied. Listen to the team, and follow any next steps they advise.
Commercial real estate properties are not invincible but taking these steps will lessen the damage and difficulty after facing a hurricane. Protect your property and stay safe this hurricane season.