Preparing for Hurricane and Tornado Season
Author: Brett Knox
June 16, 2023 - 5 MIN. READ
As the hurricane and tornado season approaches, individuals and businesses must prepare themselves for any potential disruptions caused by severe weather conditions. This means having the supplies on hand to prepare for hurricanes and severe storms, and to make riding out a storm easier.
Preparing your Businesses Supplies during the Hurricane or Tornado Season
Regardless of your industry, having the required supplies readily available when preparing for a hurricane or a tornado is essential. When bad weather occurs, supply chain issues are common, which many do not consider until it is too late. By thinking ahead, you will be prepared to position your business for greater success, especially compared to those who don’t plan ahead
Here are some essential supplies you should consider stocking up on for the upcoming hurricane and tornado season.
For HVAC contractors, one of the most critical supplies to have on hand is tubing and pipes. These supplies are crucial for HVAC systems to function, and their failure can cause significant disruptions. In case of a hurricane or tornado, damage to these supplies can occur, causing outages that may take time to repair. Therefore, it is important to have enough spare tubing and pipes in stock to ensure a quick and smooth replacement if the need arises.
Aside from tubing and pipes, there are other essential supplies that HVAC contractors and building engineers should have on hand during hurricane and tornado season. These include:
- Filters: Having extra air filters is important as they can get clogged up more quickly during heavy wind and rain, which can cause your HVAC system to stop working correctly.
- Refrigerant: Refrigerant is essential for cooling systems to function correctly. Having extra refrigerant on hand will ensure you can quickly recharge a system that has lost refrigerant due to damage.
- Electrical components: Electrical components such as capacitors, relays and contactors can also be damaged during a storm. Having extra parts on hand can help you make quick repairs and avoid extended downtime.
- Generators: Hurricanes and tornadoes can cause power outages, which can harm your business. Having a generator on hand will allow you to keep your business running smoothly during an outage.
By preparing these supplies ahead of time, HVAC contractors and building engineers can ensure that they are ready to respond to any damage caused by a hurricane or tornado quickly and efficiently. This can be an excellent opportunity to assist your community in recovery, generate goodwill, and expand your client base.
Hurricanes and tornadoes can cause extensive damage to electrical systems, leading to prolonged power outages. Hurricanes and heavy rains can cause damage to electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, and breaker panels. For electrical contractors, having an inventory of these are vital to have on hand because distributors and big box retailers run out of stock very quickly after major storms. The same is true for THHN and Romex. Along the coasts, salt water from the ocean can damage electrical wire.
Having a reasonable inventory of wiring, outlets, switches, breakers, and panels can be very beneficial and lucrative in these situations. Electrical contractors can quickly assess the damage and replace the damaged components, reducing downtime and restoring the power more quickly. Quick power restoration can help businesses and households avoid significant losses and disruptions.
The longer a business or household is without power, the greater the risk of damage and losses. With extra wiring and electrical components on hand, electrical contractors can work quickly and efficiently to get things up and running again. This can also help reduce the potential for safety hazards, as people may try to use alternative power sources that can be dangerous if not used correctly.
Multifamily Property Considerations
Securing outdoor fixtures, shutters, and storage for multifamily dwellings is essential for outdoor furniture. Hurricanes and tornadoes can cause significant damage to outdoor items, leading to costly replacements. Having proper covers for outdoor fixtures and shutters to protect windows can help minimize damage. Additionally, storing outdoor furniture or securing them can prevent them from becoming dangerous projectiles during high winds.
One of the simplest ways to minimize damage is to have proper covers for outdoor fixtures. This includes air conditioning units, outdoor lighting fixtures, and other equipment mounted outside. Covers can help protect these items from damage caused by windblown debris, heavy rain, and flooding.
Another critical area to focus on is windows. Properly installed shutters can help protect windows from shattering during high winds. This can minimize damage caused by broken glass, which can be dangerous and costly to replace.
Outdoor furniture can also be a hazard during hurricanes and tornadoes. Strong winds can easily turn outdoor furniture into dangerous projectiles that can damage property and injure people. Properly securing outdoor furniture or storing it indoors can help prevent this.
In addition to these supplies, there are a few other items that businesses should consider when preparing during hurricane and tornado season. These include:
- Generator / Backup Power
Living in an electrified society it is essential to have a backup generator or alternate power source in case of power outages. Having power ensures your business can keep operating and avoid damage that could result from a lack of power.
- Communication Devices
Having reliable communication devices during a natural disaster can be lifesaving. Ensure that your business has communication devices and policies set up so contact can be made and maintained during and after a weather event. Additionally, have a portable radio or a satellite phone to stay informed about the latest updates and weather conditions could be useful in the event of larger disruptions to communication systems
- Essential Documents
It is crucial to have important documents, such as insurance policies, identification cards, and bank account information, in a secure, waterproof container during a natural disaster. This ensures you can access these documents even if your office or business is damaged.
- Evacuation Plan
It is essential to have a well-defined evacuation plan in place in case of a severe storm or tornado. The plan should outline the route to take, the nearest shelters, how to communicate with coworkers, and rally points to reassemble if necessary. Everyone in your workplace should know and practice the evacuation plan regularly.
- Insurance Coverage
Having adequate insurance coverage is essential during a natural disaster. Ensure that your insurance policies cover damage caused by hurricanes and tornadoes. Review your insurance policy to ensure you have sufficient coverage for property damage, loss of business income, and any other relevant areas.
- Secure Your Property
Preparing your property before a hurricane or tornado hits can help minimize damage. Trim any tree branches close to your property and secure outdoor objects that can become dangerous during high winds. Additionally, reinforce windows, doors, and roofs to prevent damage from wind and debris.
Don't wait until it's too late to prepare for hurricane and tornado season. Take action now and ensure you have all the necessary supplies and plans to keep your business and loved ones safe during a natural disaster.
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