Businesses can suffer an incredible amount of damage from windstorms and hurricanes. Before hurricane season hits, business owners can reduce their exposure to these losses by checking on their roof, windows, entry doors and vehicles.
Inspect your Building
- Inspect your roof - ensure roof shingles are snugly nailed down and fit tightly together. Shingles should meet or exceed the local building code, rated high for wind and impact resistance. Roof sheathing should be securely nailed down. Have the inspector check the connection between the roof and walls – a tight connection will help keep updrafts from lifting off the roof
- Ensure HVAC units, skylights and pipes are tightly affixed and won’t blow off
- All entry doors should be triple-hinged and secured with a deadbolt lock for maximum windstorm protection. Overhead doors should be braced sufficiently, able to withstand high winds
- A well-sealed building prevents wind from getting in cracks and crevices and causing interior damage
- Check for loose siding and windows – repair or tighten where necessary to prevent them from blowing off the building
Clear and Secure Outdoor Areas
Your commercial property insurance covers damage to your building or other business property caused by a windstorm. To make sure the grounds around your property are protected, check the following:
- Keep large shrubs and trees pruned to reduce damage from heavy or long branches and unhealthy trees
- Anchor storage sheds and outbuildings
- Secure dumpsters, signage, outdoor lighting fixtures and fencing - try to ensure these items are designed to withstand the weather in your region (Check with your insurer to see if your sign is included in your property insurance, or if you need an endorsement to cover it.)
- Equipment, inventory and supplies stored outside should be anchored or moved inside as a storm approaches
- If possible, to make sure company vehicles are protected from wind damage, store vehicles inside a garage or storage building. If you must park vehicles outdoors, be aware of things that could cause damage such as branches, lampposts and power lines. Do not park vehicles under a tree during an approaching storm.
To prevent excess damage, plan for a storm by keeping your insurance policies up to date, and make sure you have a disaster plan prepared at your organization. Call us to discuss business continuity planning for your organization.