Safeguard Your Employees and Business Against Hurricanes

Hurricanes pose significant dangers, bringing torrential rain, flooding, high winds, and even tornadoes. They can cause extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure, uproot trees, and down power lines, leading to loss of life and costing U.S. businesses $9 billion annually according to the Congressional Budget Office. Implement these hurricane safety measures to protect your property and operations before a hurricane is forecasted in your area.

Property Maintenance

Maintaining your property is crucial in hurricane preparedness. Ensure gutters are clear of debris to prevent water buildup on roofs. Promptly fix any roof damage or leaks, and consult a roofing professional if needed. Install backflow valves in your building’s sewer lines to prevent floodwater backup. In hurricane-prone areas, stockpile plywood and sandbags, and install storm shutters on windows to minimize glass breakage.

When a Storm is Forecast

Meteorologists provide several days’ notice before a hurricane’s landfall, allowing you time to prepare:

  • Move lightweight objects indoors.
  • Activate storm shutters or attach plywood to window frames.
  • Check and replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Ensure company vehicles are in good condition, fueled, and equipped with emergency gear.
  • Store unused vehicles in garages or under cover.

Communications and Emergency Notifications

Hurricanes can change direction and intensity multiple times. If under a hurricane watch, monitor weather reports closely. Set up wireless emergency alerts on cell phones and have weather radios for power or service outages. Stay updated with community alert systems and social media for weather and safety conditions.

If operations must continue during the storm, use two-way radios for communication if other systems fail. Ensure chargers or extra batteries are available. Consider relocating operations to a facility outside the storm’s path, maintaining contact with essential personnel.

Evacuation Considerations

Prepare for mandatory evacuation orders, which indicate that first responders will be unavailable until the storm passes. Even if your business is outside an evacuation zone, employees’ homes might not be. Assist employees in finding safe evacuation shelters through FEMA or local officials, and maintain regular check-ins until the storm passes.

Post-Storm Navigation

After authorities give an “all clear,” emergency responders may still be occupied, so avoid floodwaters, which can be deceptively dangerous. Debris, damaged infrastructure, toxic chemicals, and downed power lines pose significant hazards. Downed power lines may still be energized and pose a lethal risk.

Storm Cleanup

Cleaning and repairing storm damage requires caution:

  • Inspect water, gas, and electrical lines, reporting any damage to utility companies.
  • Use flashlights instead of open flames to check for damage.
  • Wear protective clothing, including long sleeves, gloves, boots, head protection, goggles, and N95 respirators when dealing with mold or water damage.
  • Once floodwaters recede, ventilate the building and remove items with mold or water damage. Consider professional remediation.
  • Avoid using tap water until confirmed safe.
  • Wash hands regularly to prevent contamination.


Hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage, but taking proactive hurricane safety measures will help you safeguard personnel and property, ensuring quicker recovery post-storm.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, and other agencies participate in the Ready campaign to help prepare for disasters, including hurricanes. SafetyNow offers a training course to educate employees on hurricane preparedness and safety during and after the storm.