Home » What Can Businesses Do to Prepare for Hurricane Season?

What Can Businesses Do to Prepare for Hurricane Season?

Posted by Tammy Miller on Jul 13, 2023

Even if your business isn’t impacted by hurricane season, you’ll want to read this. Hurricane season costs billions of dollars. The average cost of hurricanes and tropical cyclones is $31 billion. Unfortunately, the number surpassed that in 2022 as the cost soared to $116 billion according to NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Only two years had it worse than 2022, which were 2005 and 2017.

It’s true that weather and climate disasters have grown more severe in recent years. The year 2022 alone cost $175 billion in damage, which ranks it as the third highest amount since 1980. During this timeframe, there were 18 events, which is the fourth highest. Additionally, there were 474 deaths ranking it as the eighth highest.

Your business may not experience hurricane season, but it could still encounter other billion-dollar weather and- climate-related disasters. Already, 2023 has experienced seven disasters. The worst has yet to come. The NOAA chart shows the most expensive natural disasters occur between July and December.

Hurricane season and natural disasters can’t be prevented. However, businesses can take action to minimize the damage.

Hurricane Season and Natural Disasters Affect Every Business

Every business needs to have a plan for hurricane season and natural disasters. These businesses include dealerships, office buildings, manufacturing, multifamily residential, construction, and more. Just because a business isn’t in a coastal city doesn’t mean it’s safe from hurricanes and tropical storms. Some storms have been so big that they affected cities far away from the coast.

Besides, you may be affected by other natural disasters including ones that you think won’t happen. A good example of that is the state of Texas. Most don’t think of Texas ever experiencing a blizzard or ice storm like in Michigan or New York.

Yet, the winter storm of February 2021 just about shut down the entire state of Texas. Long-haul trucks couldn’t travel as the roads became dangerous. Many businesses closed as it wasn’t safe for employees and customers to commute to these businesses.

The Texas snowstorm wasn’t the only major natural disaster in 2021. Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 hurricane, turned out to be the second most damaging hurricane. It also had the distinction of being the strongest hurricane recorded in the history of Louisiana per a CW39 story. Yes, Ida was worse than Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It took years for Louisiana to recover from the wrath of Katrina and Ida.

Once the storms cleared, people could not check on their business property to determine the level of the damage. Areas remained flooded and trees blocked many roadways. This is concerning as criminals take advantage of the empty buildings to loot or vandalize.

Besides, it’s not just hurricanes and natural disasters businesses need to think about. They also need to be prepared for smaller events like power outages and water main breaks. These can be devastating for businesses.

The smartest businesses prepare themselves for hurricane season and natural disasters. They never assume it won’t happen. They plan for it as if it will happen by creating and maintaining disaster recovery plans.

What Can Business Do to Prepare for Hurricane Season?

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security maintains the Ready website with a page of resources devoted to businesses. The DHS offers a Hurricane Toolkit [PDF]. The document shows the impact of hurricanes on a business. DHS has other toolkits for inland flooding, power outages, severe wind and tornado, and earthquakes.

The Hurricane Toolkit shows 40% of small businesses won’t reopen with 25% more small businesses shut down within a year. It also states that 75% of businesses without a continuity plan fold within three years. Therefore, having a business continuity plan is vital to a company’s survival.

The Ready Business Program process helps businesses identify their risks, develop a plan, take action, be recognized and inspire others. The Hurricane Toolkit is easy to follow as it’s written in plain language and provides checklists.

Another helpful resource is the National Hurricane Survival Initiative website. It has a three-step checklist for businesses to prepare for hurricane season. These steps will help you protect property, important documents and information, and create a preparedness kit to keep in one location so you will be prepared for the unexpected.

This One Solution Helps During Hurricane Season and Natural Disasters

When a natural disaster hits, owners and managers worry about their businesses and assets. This is a lot when their own homes and families may be dealing with the aftermath. An effective solution that can help you during an emergency is video surveillance with remote monitoring.

One unique aspect of this technology is video monitoring. Trained monitoring operators are not located on the property of the business. They’re in a remote location, which is most likely not affected by the emergency.

You may wonder if security cameras can even withstand hurricanes and natural disasters. Yes, it’s possible to have video cameras that can continue operating through an emergency and a power outage. That’s why it’s essential to conduct regular system health checks to ensure the cameras and network continue to function or to fix them.

It may not be possible to check on the business when you’re dealing with your own emergencies. This is not an issue for businesses with remote video surveillance. They trust someone else to monitor their business in real-time and focus on their personal lives.

This helps ensure someone has eyes on the property. Remember the Texas snowstorm and Hurricane Ida when people could not go check on their businesses? The storms cleared out, but the aftermath made it impossible for people to commute to their businesses. Remote video surveillance can help overcome that.

You won’t wonder what’s happening on your property. The monitoring operators can provide status reports. If there’s flooding or a power outage, they can notify you. This allows you to act faster. Video cameras make it possible to watch the property at all times.

The other side effect of natural disasters is that buildings are empty, making them attractive targets for theft and vandalism. Moreover, video surveillance with monitoring comes with other benefits. For one, it can add multiple layers to your security and safety. Few technologies have the ability to do this.

Additionally, live video surveillance is proactive while traditional alarm systems are reactive. It’s possible for security cameras with monitoring to catch a problem early before anything happens. Traditional alarm systems won’t react until something happens like someone breaking into the building.

To get the biggest bang for your investment, look into security cameras with human monitoring and video analytics. This pairing is less likely to miss something than if humans work alone. If you only have video analytics, you put your business at risk when an emergency happens. Video analytics cannot call 911.

Monitoring operators follow proper protocol for the situation. If there is a medical emergency, they can call local authorities. If there are trespassers, the operator can issue an audio warning over an onsite speaker. If the suspects don’t leave, then they can call police

Monitoring videos for hours is a dull task for humans. That’s where video analytics has an advantage. The system has many programmed scenarios and monitors for a match. As soon as it finds one, it can notify the operator who takes action.

How Stealth Has Supported Businesses During Hurricane Season

Stealth Monitoring has worked with companies during natural disasters. One client had a business located in an area affected by a hurricane. A team set up a war room to actively monitor the hurricane and support the clients during and after the hurricane.

The war room had giant TV monitors constantly watching what was happening on the clients’ properties. The team monitored for signs of property damage, looting, and other unusual activities.

Stealth assigned a point person to manage all phone and email communications from locations affected by natural disasters. This ensured Stealth could respond quickly and keep the client updated.

One of the biggest challenges during any kind of emergency is communication. Sometimes the infrastructure is overloaded leading to a technical outage. The high volume of calls can also make it harder for people to reach others.

Stealth’s monitoring team was able to communicate with the clients through mobile phones. Unfortunately, things got worse for the city affected by the hurricane. The city decided to open the reservoir in fear there was too much pressure on the dams from the rising water. The city thought a controlled release would stave off flooding. Instead, the opposite happened as it caused a flood that affected thousands of homes and businesses.

Hurricanes, natural disasters, and emergencies can happen anytime. You never know what will happen. No one expected the world to shut down during the pandemic. With remote video surveillance having two kinds of eyes on your property, you can focus on what’s in front of you. You won’t have to wonder about your business or anyone trying to check it out when it’s too dangerous.

Stealth clients often get an ROI within months. To learn more about remote video surveillance, check out this free guide on Remote Video Surveillance: More Than Just Catching Criminals.

Texas Private Security License Number: B14187