With hurricane Harvey and Irma hitting the US and causing widespread destruction, it’s a good reminder for all commercial property owners to evaluate their plans should severe weather strike our area. Even if not hit directly, rain, wind, power outages and flooding can occur hundreds of miles inland as a result of a hurricane.
Here are four tips to protecting your building and occupants:
- Research – Guidelines are available to provide an overview of what type of weather to expect in your geographic area. Following trusted resources such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service will not only provide information about threatening weather but also resources for emergency situations.
- Evaluate the Property – Take extra time to assess the property and identify any maintenance that can be performed to further reduce the risk of damage in the case of a storm. This includes items such as:
- ensuring trees are trimmed away from the building
- weather proofing windows and doors
- ensuring sandbags are available if the property is in an area prone to flooding
- verifying emergency signage and lightening is clearly displayed and in good working order.
- Test Generators – Backup generators are an effective alternative power source in the case of an outage – especially medical facilities where lifesaving machines and medications needing refrigeration are prominent. Make sure all are in working order with appropriate run time to support the facility’s needs.
- Plan and Communicate – Work with tenants to develop a plan for severe weather and ensure all employees and occupants are aware of how to respond in the case of an emergency. Prepare supply kits to be kept in central locations throughout the building. Train and practice the plan regularly to reduce the risk of being caught off guard in an emergency.
Severe weather is a serious threat and one that can often happen with little warning. It’s important to be thorough and proactive to ensure your business is protected. McWhirter Realty Partners has a skilled property management team with experience preparing and recovering from weather related events.