Hurricane season began on June 1st and runs through November 30th. On August 9, 2018, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) revised its predictions for this year’s season, forecasting a below-average hurricane season with 9–13 named storms, 4–7 hurricanes, and 0–2 major hurricanes for the remainder of 2018. Regardless of this less dire prediction, it is still important to prepare for the possibility of a severe storm, keeping your roof in mind. Buildings located in coastal states are potentially more vulnerable in these storms, therefore it’s wise to be proactive and schedule an inspection to get your roof ready for any future storm(s).
Why Schedule an Inspection? While your roof is designed to withstand the elements, no roof is 100% immune to the damages of microbursts, heavy winds or hurricanes. Even roofs that are properly designed and installed can become damaged in a severe storm due to flying debris, pressure and wind uplift. Preventative maintenance is the best way to prepare your roof and can potentially save you thousands of dollars in future repairs.
Hurricane Preparations include:
- Clean drains and make sure they are free of debris
- Check for loose metal flashings such as metal drip edge, copings and wall flashings
- Remove any loose items such as air conditioning parts, construction debris, pallets, cables, fasteners and unused equipment (like satellite dishes) from roof
- Inspect the roof membrane for possible areas of water infiltration, loose or open seams and blisters
- Check for failing wall flashings where wind or rain can infiltrate
Know your evacuation plan
Before a storm approaches and possible evacuations and States of Emergency are issued, It is important to understand which evacuation zone you are in and the correct evacuation route. Often times these are overlooked details that could help ease the stress once an evacuation order is issued.
Here are some additional tips to help with your evacuation plans
- Know where you are going
- Fill your gas tank and leave early
- Staying in a hotel? Be sure to make reservations! Also make sure pets can stay with you or someplace safe
- Have a communication plan to keep family and friends informed
Communication with employees
- Be sure to communicate with your employees what the company policies are for returning to work, how they will be notified, and how you can support them from a corporate level after the storm.
- Know your employees evacuation plans and have accurate contact information
- Discuss the possibility of setting up an emergency hotline or another way that your employees can get information on how they can utilize any services or support you may be able to provide to them.
Have supplies ready!
Put together a go-bag: disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information. Also make sure you have water and non-perishable food.
Don’t forget your important documents and paperwork
Having your homeowners, corporate insurance and car insurance paperwork or electronic copies of these policies can be critical after the storm has passed. Creating a detailed list of your home and business contents along with pictures. These documents may help expedite the insurance process if you have to file a claim for damages caused by the storm. It is also worth noting that you may need your license and homeowner's paperwork to re-enter your business or residence after the storm.
Preparing your home for a storm
- Use plywood or storm shutters to reinforce windows, doors and garage doors
- Secure and clear of obstruction from gutters and downspouts
- Trim or remove any tree branches near your home
- Move items to a second story or stack belongings on counter tops
- Bring in all loose items that could blow around during the storm
- Shut off the power to your house.
Preparing your business for a storm
Flying debris and uplift pressure can cause damage to your roof during a severe storm.
- Inspect and clean the drains and scuppers to allow proper water flow
- Remove or tie down loose items that can blow off your roof
- Check and secure HVAC units and mechanical equipment
- Use plywood to cover and secure skylights all roof access points
- Inspect all metal drip edges, copings, and wall flashing to prevent wind uplift
- Take photos of the current roof condition in case it becomes damaged during the storm
We hope these tips will be beneficial as you prepare for the storm. Please stay safe!