Disclaimer: There is no such thing as “stormproof windows,” “hurricane proof windows,” “hurricane proof buildings,” or “hurricane proof window film.” If you find yourself in the path of a hurricane, please evacuate the area and stay away from windows. Learn more about what window film can and can’t do for hurricanes in our upcoming blog: “Hurricane Proof Buildings and Windows – Fact vs. Fiction.”
Hurricane season extends from June 1 to November 30, and leading weather forecasting service, AccuWeather, has predicted a near- to slightly-above-normal hurricane season for 2019. Hurricane Dorian was only one of the 12-14 storms weather experts are calling for; according to AccuWeather’s estimation, we could be in for another 3 major hurricanes before the season is through.
It’s a stormy year ahead of us and that means it’s up to you to protect your commercial buildings from hurricanes and natural disasters – starting now.
Not sure where to begin? With this brief checklist, you’ll be well on your way to mitigating storm impacts on your building. However, this storm preparedness checklist for offices should be only the first step in your preparation process. Once you’ve read this article, check out more in-depth emergency planning recommendations from trusted online sources like FEMA.
Start Your Checklist with These 5 Storm and Hurricane Preparedness Activities
As a commercial building owner or manager, your top focus will be to ensure your tenants’ safety and continued business operations. Stay on top of your responsibilities when you start with these 5 top tasks:
Secure your building’s windows
Flying debris is one of the biggest dangers during a hurricane, which is why you have a supply of hurricane shutters in the basement. But hurricane shutters are a hassle because they have to be installed just barely before the storm hits. Shatterproof windows such as Riot Glass are a better solution for hurricane window protection because they keep your tenants and building emergency-ready at all times. They also have the added benefit of keeping out thieves, burglars, and post-storm looters.
3M shatter-resistant film is another option for storm protection that you may want to consider. Though it’s important to understand that no window film can be classified as “hurricane proof,” shatter-resistant films use a powerful adhesive, strengthened plastic films, and window anchoring systems to keep your windows from shattering in dangerous situations.
Plan for pre-storm emergency service
Windows aren’t the only things that break during a hurricane. To prepare for dangerous high winds, make sure you shut off pipes for gas and flammable liquids to protect your building and tenants’ assets if the pipes break. In addition, it’s a good idea to check for weak areas on the roof and ensure your fire safety equipment is up to date and properly functioning. While you’re at it, check your sump pump too.
Call in the professionals
Hurricanes and natural disasters are destructive, so it’s unlikely your commercial building will escape a major storm scot-free. You may need to take care of flooding damage or fire damage, and you’ll usually have to handle some wind damage too, so it’s a smart idea to create your preferred list of maintenance and repair people in advance. That way you can be ready to mobilize your repairs instantly, so your tenants can get back on their feet fast.
Educate your tenants
You may assume everyone in your building understands what to do to mitigate storm damage, but you know what they say about assumptions…
It’s a good idea to remind tenants to turn off electric devices, backup their data, and stay home. While you’re at it, make sure your tenants understand your building’s emergency escape routes. (A good way to reinforce this information is to use reflective, waterproof wayfinding signage throughout your building, which tells tenants and their customers where building safe zones are located.)
Check over your records
Not 100% sure what your responsibilities are before, during, and after a natural disaster? Double-check all your paperwork to make sure you’re meeting your obligations. Look over insurance policies and contracts – and while you’re at it, take care of some common-sense emergency precautions, such as cutting down trees that are too close to your building; setting up sandbags; and moving portable outdoor features, like planters and benches, inside.
Start Here for Better Natural Disaster and Hurricane Protection
While there’s no such thing as “hurricane proof buildings” or “stormproof buildings,” you can certainly make your commercial building as hurricane resistant as possible. As you saw in the checklist above, most items focused on getting your building and tenants back to work as fast as possible after a storm hits.
Only one item on the list helped you actually prevent damage from occurring in the first place: securing your building’s windows.
Few commercial building managers realize the wide range of benefits that effective glass film installation can provide, including everything from storm mitigation with anti-theft capabilities to increased energy efficiency to happier tenants with more lucrative contracts for you.
But to get all these benefits, you’ll need to work with an experienced, nationally recognized window film installer with a focus on security window film and storm-mitigation solutions.
NGS has got you covered.
As a national leader in security window film and shatterproof windows, NGS, the #1 Commercial Window Film Company in the U.S., can help you choose the best storm safety solutions for your needs and budget. We can also take care of all the details and install your solutions in record time, with no interruption to your tenants.
Access the guide, so you can learn more about protecting your commercial building and your tenants.