Weathering Hurricane Season
There are few things more integral to the development of our society than the ocean. The United States’ marine economy makes up hundreds of billions of dollars-worth of the national GDP, and is only growing in importance as the country expands its import/export interests, and ecommerce makes spending money in the international B2C marketplace all the easier.
With seventy-one percent of the Earth covered in water, the annual hurricane season is a habitual part of life for over one third of the population of our planet, all of whom live only a few miles from a coastline.
Prioritizing Hurricane Preparation
As September begins, those who work on the East Coast are forced to turn their attention to the impending deluge, squarely placing hurricane preparation on the top of their task list. Tropical storms not only affect our property’s trees and outside décor, but can have serious implications for the stability of our structures and even the preservation of our general topography.
In an article published by the American Geological Union, meteorologists discuss the science behind predicting and preparing for coastal topography changes in the wake of a hurricane. They take as their example the Gulf of Mexico, whose coastline, in just four years, shifted nearly 100 meters and lost significant elevation in the wake of six successive tropical storms. Protecting our own property from such drastic results will take careful planning and plenty of effort.
Shelter from the Tropical Storm
As you seek to protect your business during hurricane season, consider the following actions in your preparation:
- Remove all loose items from the property. Flying debris such as signs, stands, and furniture can be hazardous to any building or person nearby.
- Set up a sandbag perimeter. If possible, make multiple layers and place them on top of one another like a brick wall.
- Shudder all windows and doors. In some cases, traditional shudders and screens may not be enough; consider if you need to nail plywood to the frames as well.
- Prepare alternative power. You may need to turn off your power if flooding or downed power lines become a problem. Make sure you have access to sources of light and heat, such as flashlights and blankets.
As you assess your building’s readiness, be mindful of the state of your roof, fascia, and storm drains as buckling shingles, clogged drains, and warped eaves can lead to severe structural damage and flooding.
A Watertight Plan for Hurricane Season
Each member of your staff should understand your business’s emergency plan during hurricane season. A good plan will include information on the following:
- Emergency Contacts. In a disaster situation, having the phone number of relief agencies like a nearby church or your city’s Local Emergency Preparation Committee (LEPC) could be essential to saving lives.
- Easily Accessible Supplies. If you’re preparing your business for a tropical storm, make sure that each of your colleagues has a 72-hour kit in their office, including access to their medication. If you have access to a company car, it should also have a few reliable supplies on standby, like drinking water, food, and resources to keep the vehicle running.
- Essential Documents. You may keep your company’s most important papers in a safe or a fireproof pouch. Make sure that you take those with you in case you need to evacuate.
A Quiet Start but a Loud End
While meteorologists have noted that no major tropical storms have formed from July 3 – August 22 (breaking four decades of predictable behavior), this doesn’t mean that hurricane season as we have come to know it has passed us by. With locations servicing states all along the Eastern seaboard, EnviroServe is prepared for whatever natural event the future has in store and is on standby to assist you and your business with preparation, emergency response, and remediation needs.
Statistically, the greater instances of coastal storms occur in the month of September, which means now is the time to complete hurricane preparations. By solidifying your emergency plans and taking wise steps to batten down the hatches, you can ensure that your business and community can better withstand the coming storms.