The 2021 hurricane season is just around the corner. Preparing early for high winds and heavy waters ensures safety for both your store and your employees. Preparation can range from planning evacuation routes to bracing for storm impact. Having a full plan before the storm hits provides business owners and their employees peace of mind heading into the season.
Overall season: June 1st to November 30th
Peak season: mid-August to early October
Hurricanes are more than capable of striking at any time, but throughout history, the periods above are typically when you will see them. September is considered the most dangerous month, so by that point in the year, business owners should be completely prepared.
What to Expect in 2021:
Experts from the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State predict:
- a 69% chance of a category 3, 4 or 5 hurricane along the entire U.S. coastline (average year is 52%).
- a 45% chance of a category 3, 4 or 5 hurricane along the East Coast (average year is 31%).
- a 44% chance of a category 3, 4 or 5 hurricane along the Gulf Coast (average year is 30%).
- Full report.
What to Do:
- Monitor Weather Forecasts
Business owners living in traditionally hurricane-prone cities should plan ahead before the season even starts, but if you haven’t done that, regularly monitoring the weather is the best way to stay prepared. This will protect you from any surprise storms along the way.
- Protect Your Employees
Employees look to management in case of an emergency. Business owners should have a full contact list for all of their employees that allows for mass communication of safety instructions.
- Create an Evacuation Plan
Have an efficient evacuation plan that allows employees to exit the building in the safest and quickest way possible before the storm arrives.
- Protect Important Documents
Water can permanently damage documents. Although many documents are now electronic, business owners are sure to have at least a few relevant paper documents in the back offices. This could include contracts, employee records, checks, etc. These papers should be moved to a safe location.
- Back Up Your Data
Your computer systems could be damaged during a hurricane, so backing up your data is a necessity. Backing up all your computer documents and data to a cloud system is the best way to go to make sure none of this important information is lost.
- Fortify Your Store
Board up your doors and windows to protect them from high winds and water damage. Also, remove any stray items indoors or outdoors and place them in a secure spot. Bolt up signage and check for anything in your store that could be considered unstable.
- Shut Down Your Equipment
The majority of store equipment requires high levels of electricity that will not be needed when your store is evacuated. To reduce the risk of fire, turn off all equipment that does not need to be on when the store is empty.
- Have a Hurricane Insurance Plan
Review or implement your insurance plan well in advance of the storm. Even with all the proper preparation, storms can still be devastating. Having a great insurance plan will provide peace of mind.
What can DMG do?
- Offseason Preparation
Our district managers are trained to install protective equipment to spare your store from serious damage. We have crews all along the coast, and we work with customers prior to the storm to ensure properties are appropriately serviced.
- After the Storm
Once DMG receives clearance from state officials to act as an emergency vendor, our district managers begin inspecting properties. We provide our crews with equipment that will completely restore your property to its pre-storm condition.