Some may say that the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active and first costliest Atlantic hurricane season on record. According to the NOAA, the 2020 season produced 30 named storms (top winds of 39 mph or greater), of which 13 became hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or greater), including six major hurricanes (top winds of 111 mph or greater). This is the most storms on record, surpassing the 28 from 2005, and the second-highest number of hurricanes on record.
We know that mother nature is fierce – the only way to truly get back to business quickly and efficiently is with a thorough hurricane preparedness plan that helps protect lives and property.
So how does one map out a plan that fits your location’s needs and budget?
Power of People
Having a dedicated team that understand the ins and outs to Disaster Relief strategies is key. You need a partner that will be there every step of the way starting at the pre-storm preparations through the post-event cleanup and build back stages. Your plan must go beyond gathering boardups and sandbags… you must have a mapped out a strategy for identifying and blocking off emergency situations. Have assessed the overall safety and security of your facility? Do you have a triage plan for mold remediation or restoration for water damaged floors? This is where bringing in an outside partner that specializes in Facility Maintenance can help pinpoint key areas of focus and guide you to map a hurricane preparedness plan that fits your needs.
Power of Process
Turn-key services are critical when it comes to hurricane prep. You and your facility maintenance partner must schedule regular on-site surveys to ensure each area is covered and accounted for from the external parking lot structures… to the internal signage directing your employees and customers to safety. After you have mapped out a plan for your location, what items are on your list that you may have pre-cut and stored materials for boardups, pre-ordering sandbags and even planning for temporary power outages with generators on stand-by. Any pre-planning that can be completed prior to the hurricane season, allows peace of mind from a budgetary standpoint to lock-in on cost. We all know that material cost can certainty increase during times of crisis when materials may run short.
Power of Technology
Communication is the next important “check box” to add to your hurricane prep list. As we mentioned above, in times of power outages, do you have a plan for backup generators? How do you currently monitor or track the storm – so know when you need to get the backup powers ready to roll? That is where your FM partner must shine. When determining a partner, you need to ask them:
How do you streamline communications?
How do you track the storms and guide our facility with the “next steps”?
What type of project management system do you use?
What is your team’s availability?
Knowing storms can shift in a matter of hours, you and your facility maintenance partner need to have a communication strategy fully laid out within your hurricane prep plan.
Just remember, when it comes to pre-planning, or if you are in the midst of a natural disaster – having a high sense of urgency, constant communication and experienced resources will be critical to getting you back to business quickly and safely!
*NOAA - Record-breaking Atlantic Hurricane Season Draws To An End, November 24, 2020.