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Hurricane preparedness checklist for businesses: Protecting your assets and operations

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Hurricanes can devastate your business. Here is a step-by-step checklist and guide to help businesses prepare effectively for hurricanes and how AccuWeather's Hurricane Service can play a crucial role in helping your business best prepare.

Key Highlights

Hurricanes can bring strong winds, heavy rainfall, potential flooding, storm surge, and power outages, disrupting operations, damaging property, and threatening employees' safety.

It is crucial to have a comprehensive hurricane preparedness plan in place to protect your business from the impact of hurricanes. 

AccuWeather's Hurricane Service can play an important role in enhancing your business preparedness efforts.

Hurricanes can devastate your business. They bring strong winds, heavy rainfall, and potential flooding, disrupting operations, damaging property, and threatening employees' safety. It's essential to have a comprehensive hurricane preparedness plan in place to protect your business from the impact of hurricanes. 

Learn more about AccuWeather's Hurricane Warning Service

Here is a step-by-step checklist and guide to help businesses prepare effectively for hurricanes and how AccuWeather's Hurricane Service can play a crucial role in enhancing your preparedness efforts.

1. Develop an Emergency Plan: The first step in hurricane preparedness is to create a detailed emergency plan. This plan should include:

  • Evacuation Procedures: Identify evacuation routes and assembly points for employees.
  • Communication Plan: Establish a communication chain to keep employees, customers, and stakeholders informed.
  • Emergency Contacts: Compile a list of emergency contact numbers for local authorities, utilities, and critical team members.
  • Shelter Locations: Identify safe shelter locations for employees and essential equipment.

2. Review Insurance Policies: Ensure your business has the appropriate insurance coverage, including property and business interruption insurance. Review these policies to make sure they adequately cover potential hurricane-related damages.

3. Secure Your Assets: Protecting your assets is crucial. Take these steps to protect your property and equipment:

  • Board Up Windows and Doors: Install hurricane shutters or board up vulnerable openings.
  • Secure Outdoor Equipment: Anchor down or move outdoor equipment indoors.
  • Elevate Sensitive Equipment: Raise critical electrical and IT systems above potential flood levels.
  • Backup Data: Regularly back up important data and store it offsite.

4. Stock Up on Supplies: Create a hurricane supply kit for your business, including:

  • First Aid Supplies: Stock up on basic medical supplies.
  • Emergency Lighting: Have flashlights, lanterns, and batteries readily available.
  • Food and Water: Store non-perishable food and bottled water for employees.
  • Sanitation Supplies: Include hygiene products and waste disposal options.

5. Communication Strategies: Effective communication is vital during a hurricane. Consider the following strategies:

  • Emergency Alert System: Sign up for emergency alert systems to receive timely updates.
  • Employee Contact Information: Maintain an up-to-date list of employee contact information.
  • External Communication: Communicate with customers and suppliers regarding business continuity plans.

6. Backup Power and Utilities: Invest in backup power systems like generators to ensure essential functions can continue during power outages. Know how to shut off gas and water to prevent accidents and damage.

7. Employee Safety: Prioritize the safety of your employees:

  • Employee Training: Conduct regular training sessions on hurricane safety and response.
  • Personal Preparedness: Encourage employees to have their own hurricane preparedness plans.
  • Emergency Kits: Encourage employees to keep personal emergency kits at work.

8. Financial Preparedness: Maintain adequate financial reserves to cover immediate expenses after a hurricane, including payroll, rent, and other critical operational costs.

9. Document Important Information: Keep essential documents in a secure, waterproof container:

  • Business Records: Copies of licenses, insurance policies, and important contracts.
  • Employee Records: Personnel files and contact information.
  • Financial Records: Tax returns, financial statements, and banking information.

10. Post-Hurricane Assessment: After the hurricane, conduct a thorough assessment to determine the extent of damage and plan for recovery:

  • Safety Check: Ensure the building is safe for occupancy.
  • Assess Damage: Document and assess property damage.
  • Notify Insurance: Contact your insurance provider to initiate the claims process.

Download the checklist

Here's where AccuWeather For Business comes in

AccuWeather's Hurricane Warning Service is a comprehensive solution tailored to help businesses prepare and protect with actionable insights to help them make the best decisions whenever hurricanes threaten. Leveraging cutting-edge technology and unmatched weather data, this service goes beyond what traditional and public weather providers offer.

Here's a list of the key features:

  • Early Alerts and Warnings: One of the standout features of this service is its ability to deliver the most accurate early alerts and warnings. Timely notifications about the potential impact of a hurricane allow businesses to initiate proactive measures, such as securing facilities, arranging employee safety protocols and initiating contingency plans.
  • Customized Risk Assessments: AccuWeather understands that every business is unique, and its vulnerability to hurricanes may vary. That is why you’ll get tailored risk assessments, considering the geographical location of your business, the nature of your operations, and other pertinent factors. This personalized approach ensures that you receive the most relevant and actionable information.
  • Real-time Tracking: AccuWeather provides the most accurate real-time tracking of hurricanes, enabling businesses to monitor a storm's trajectory, intensity and potential impact on their area. This data empowers decision-makers to adapt strategies as the situation evolves, making adjusting work schedules, managing supply chains and ensuring personnel safety easier.

When companies and communities are better prepared for hurricane season, they can increase safety, protect assets and minimize property and revenue losses. AccuWeather’s Hurricane Warning Service can help you do just that.

Want to learn more about how AccuWeather’s Hurricane Warning Service can help your business or community better prepare for tropical threats? Contact one of our experts today.

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The AccuWeather Advantage

AccuWeather's hurricane tracking is 3% more accurate than the National Hurricane Center and 13% more accurate on the intensity of the hurricane winds along the path. For example, AccuWeather was the only source to forecast a 16- to 20-foot storm surge ahead of the disaster in Fort Myers from Hurricane Ian that killed over 100 people. Our competitors predicted 12-16 feet, leaving many businesses in the path of that dangerous storm surge. Also, the forecasts from AccuWeather Hurricane Experts are often initiated well before the National Hurricane Center and any other source, updated more frequently and have 14 unique layers describing impacts such as rainfall, wind gusts and the risk to lives and property that are exclusively made available by AccuWeather.

Serving more than half of the Fortune 500 companies and thousands of businesses globally, AccuWeather is recognized as the most accurate source of weather forecasts, advanced warnings and data in the world.


Be best prepared for a major hurricane.

Contact us about AccuWeather's Hurricane Warning Service today.