With each passing season, property including buildings under construction face weather-related hazards from the products of storms including hurricanes, hail, flooding, tornadoes, etc. As the seasons begin to change, and now that hurricane season is here, insureds should take this opportunity to look at procedures that could help protect people, property and equipment before a storm potentially causes damage. Our partners at HSB, as well as Ready.gov, suggest taking measures before a known storm approaches, that could lead to damaging winds, hail and potential flood waters.
When a storm approaches
- The National Weather Service tracks most severe storms, especially for hurricanes, tornadoes, and damaging hail, so be on the look-out for any alerts and warnings that are broadcasted.
- Tornados may appear with little to no warning, so learning the signs of a tornado (hail, calm before the storm, an approaching cloud of debris) can help accelerate making decisions if a storm arises.
- Cover and secure any property, equipment, and machinery that could potentially sustain damage.
- Park any vehicles, trucks, loaders, etc. under a sheltered area, if available.
- Follow emergency plans and remember that personal safety is most important.
- Notify employees of the situation and work with them to prepare and secure the property for pending fallout.
If heavy rain, overflows, storm surges or coastal storms are predicted, flooding can occur. Damage to buildings and equipment can happen, as well as electrical outages, transportation disruptions and the possibility of landslides.
- If your facility is located within a flood zone, develop a plan in place to protect your buildings and equipment.
- Ensure special emergency supplies are available including items for responding to flooding. For example, sandbags can help prevent water entry, and gasoline powered pumps can remove water that gets past the sandbags.
- If water starts to approach your building, make small dams with the soil around your window wells and door openings to prevent damage to the property.
- Turn off the electrical supply at the main power panel.
Check out HSB’s Flood Action Plan for Equipment to learn more.
After a storm
- Do not enter a building that was affected by a storm, as structural, electrical and other damage may not be apparent.
- Be cautious of any electrical equipment that may be damaged or wet and avoid restoring power until all electrically charged components have been checked.
- Inspect the foundation and interior for structural damage, and determine whether the walls, ceiling and roof are in place. If equipment, machinery, or electrical systems are exposed to flood waters, take the following precautions to avoid loss:
- Before starting or turning equipment on, operating or testing, make sure to assess and clean. There may be water, silt or other contaminants present.
- Make sure insulation has been tested, including enclosures, bus ducts, conduit and cables.
- If power is turned on while circuits are still wet, serious damage can occur and lead to need for replacement.
Now that hurricane season is here, download our Hurricane Tips for Loss Prevention and Control guide for steps to take if a hurricane strikes.