Summer Emergency Preparedness for Businesses

Topics: Loss Control

Summary: Summer storm season is upon us, and small business owners need to take steps that ensure the safety of their commercial property. This article discusses the summer emergency preparedness measures businesses should take during the severe weather season.

Keeping Your Commercial Property Safe from Summer Storms

Mother Nature can wreak havoc on your commercial property. Heavy rain and high winds can severely damage or destroy your roof, gutters, roof-mounted equipment, exterior signage and other items kept outside, like display racks or trash cans. Being proactive with a business emergency plan this summer is a key to helping to avoid, or at the very least, reduce the amount of loss your small business and your commercial property could suffer during severe weather.

Summer Storm Preparedness: Severe Weather Season is Here

summer storm emergency preparedness is essential for businesses
The severe weather season typically begins in June and ends in late November, depending upon your location. Now is the time to keep a watchful eye on the upcoming weather forecast. If a severe storm is approaching, stay informed with the updates provided by local media and your area’s public officials on the progress and the potential severity of any storms. Other resources to consider are several reputable smartphone applications that can come in handy to alert you of thunderstorm cell activity and lightning strikes in your area.

Business Emergency Preparedness: Tips to Secure Your Commercial Property

If a severe storm is inevitably going to hit the area, business owners should take the following measures to reduce potential damage to their property:

Prepare the Area Outside

Relocate any materials or equipment that could move during the storm, such as signs or displays, to a secure area. Move any vehicles your business may have to a safe location, such as a covered garage.

Check for any loose or missing roofing materials – these areas are vulnerable to high winds and allow for water penetration. Make sure to have these fixed by a professional as soon as possible. Also, check for any gaps around flashing or locations where objects are secured to the roof, such as antennas. These issues should be addressed immediately.

Remember to check your drainage system, such as your gutters. Clear them of any dirt, debris or leaves that could cause them to clog up, leading to excess pooling of water and potential roof failure and water damage. Also, check the gutters themselves by making sure they are anchored tightly so they can resist the effects of high winds.

If your small business property has exterior glass frontage, be sure to move items away from the windows and clear out that section as much as possible.

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Prepare the Inside of the Property

Unplug equipment, lamps, appliances and other electrical devices, and cover up important equipment with plastic bags. Move any boxes, equipment, file cabinets, etc., that are normally kept on the floor to an elevated area. If there is any flooding, items left on the floor could be damaged.

Make sure all communication devices, as well as laptops and other essential electronics, are fully charged before taking them with you. Create multiple back-ups or copies of electronic files, and store records off-premises as much as possible.

Other Summer Emergency Preparedness Tips

Installing a generator is a great way to prepare for the possibility of power loss and to help reduce business disruption. It enables your small business to continue operating some or all of your electronic equipment and lights. It can help avoid or reduce commercial property damage from high heat and humidity and freezing temperatures. Additionally, it can help minimize or eliminate the threat of food spoilage.

Remember to regularly check and service your generator so it will be ready at a moment’s notice. As part of storm preparation, it is recommended that you ensure immediate access to fuel for powering the generator.

Lastly, but most notably – take measures to protect your most important asset: your workforce. Close your office at a time that allows your employees ample opportunity to safely travel home to secure their homes and prepare for the storm.

Loss Control Services and Commercial Property Protection from AmTrust Financial

AmTrust offers robust loss control services and commercial property protection resources to help small businesses safeguard themselves against common hazards, including summer storms. Additionally, our Resource Center offers helpful information in the Emergency Preparedness: Storms, Hurricanes and Tornadoes to help agents and policyholders prepare their business operations for severe weather conditions.

To learn more about our loss control services, please contact us today.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors. Coverages may vary by location. Contact your local RSM for more information.

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