When a hurricane watch is in effect, do you know what steps you should take to protect your business?  The actions you take throughout every stage of the hurricane are crucial for reducing risks of damage to your company.

72 hours prior to a hurricane:
Event preparations

  • Assemble supplies for emergency crews and emergency repairs CLICK HERE for sample list.
  • Protect vital records and secure backups
  • Bring all key restaurant files, small office equipment and tools into the main office or temporarily relocate them to a safe location.
  • Inspect fire prevention equipment
  • Move all vehicles to higher ground

Restaurant preparations

  • Check roof, drains and piping; clear debris
  • Check floor drains and sumps; clear debris
  • Check storm water basins/gates; clear debris
  • Ensure integrity of roof flashing, windows and window latches
  • Remove unsecured items from roof and secure all A/C and fan access panels.
  • Use plywood to protect openings from flying objects
  • Test backup power; top off fuel in generators and secure extra fuel for vehicles and generators
  • Postpone delivery of food and materials that cannot be adequately protected if there is a power outage.
  • Tape freezer doors to keep cold air in and prevent it from being opened while the power is out. Also consider emptying the ice machine into bins and storing them in the freezer.
  • Band all loose materials, secure to floors, etc.
  • Clean the site of loose debris, and materials
  • Empty and secure all trash containers and remove trash from the site
  • Alert all subcontractors and suppliers that the project site will be closed and off limits
  • Photograph the entire lot and restaurant and keep these photographs in a safe location

After the hurricane:
Emergency recovery

  • Conduct roll call of all personnel
  • Check for safety hazards (downed trees, branches, power lines, leaking gas)
  • Assess damage and make temporary repairs. It’s critical that you prevent further water intrusion, something as simple as plastic sheeting and duct tape could prevent thousands of dollars of additional damage in the days following the storm.
  • Begin salvage operations

Assessment of Claims

  • Review policy coverages, specifically Named Storm Wind deductible(s) per location
  • Assessment of All damages
    • Physical Damages – begin taking account of all physical damage by taking photos, videos, and starting a spreadsheet of specific damages per location.  Keep all estimates or invoices, especially if repairs made or paid in cash
    • Business Interruption (BI) – begin taking account of the time the store closes and re-opens due to covered cause of loss.  Goal is trying to identify if store closure will exceed time deductible
  • Once you’ve determined the loss damages (combine physical damage and BI) will exceed the deductible per location, call your agent to discuss next steps in filing a claim

Claims Management

  • Photograph and document damage and send to your assigned insurance adjuster
  • Complete a Damage Assessment for each Location (for those with more severe damage, complete a Online Damage Assessment)
  • Check for safety hazards (downed trees, branches, power lines, leaking gas, blocked drains)
  • Review and follow the guidelines in the Hurricane Claims Life-Cycle Document