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.”
You’ve been watching the forecasts, reading the news, and checking all the updates. You know what the path of the next hurricane is… and you know that it’s coming your way. It’s time to take action immediately, so you can protect your business.
But then panic sets in: What do you protect first? What’s the most important thing to take care of? What’s the best way to prepare for the worst?
Typically, experts suggest that when you’re preparing for storms, floods, hurricanes, and other dangerous weather events, that you focus on the safety of the three most critical parts of your business: your people, your assets, and your location.
Protect the most important parts of your company using this hurricane preparedness list, and please continue your research into hurricane and storm safety by tapping into other free resources, such as FEMA.
Protect Your People
If your employees are caught inside your location during a storm, hurricane, or other weather emergency, it’s up to you to keep them safe. Flying debris is one of the biggest direct causes of injury and death during a wind-related weather event, so your first safety priority should be to limit the risk that flying debris will impact your location.
To help protect your people:
- Use hurricane shutters or impact-resistant polycarbonate, such as Riot Glass, to shatterproof windows and prevent flying debris from breaking your glass storefronts. Add more protection with 3M shatter-resistant film for windows, which uses powerful adhesive to prevent glass from shattering, even if it does get hit by debris.
(As an added bonus, shatter-resistant security window film such as 3M Ultra and solutions such as Riot Glass can also stop thieves, burglars, and post-storm looters in their tracks.)
- Get on the phone with your contact lists. Explicitly inform employees, vendors, scheduled maintenance professionals, and clients expecting meetings that no one should come to your location until the storm danger is cleared. If you have online customers, let them know that their shipments may be delayed.
- Stock your store with an emergency supply kit that contains food and water, first aid equipment, and other survival essentials, so that you and your employees can wait out the storm if need be.
Safeguard Your Assets
Every weather event, from hurricanes to flooding and from fires to blizzards, is likely to severely damage your business assets. In a hurricane, inventory is subject to water and mud damage, fixtures can wash away in a sea of sewage sludge, and electrical hazards can cause smoke or fire damage.
Protect your assets by preparing in advance:
- Look carefully through your insurance records, as well as through the paperwork for your assets. Check to see how your assets are insured, get the facts on what you’re leasing versus what you own, and figure out what your responsibilities are regarding assets that you’re leasing.
- Document all your inventory and assets with photos and videos and make sure you have a secure duplicate backup of your inventory records, including asset valuations.
- Ensure you have a backup generator (and that you know how to use it), and keep it topped off with fuel, so you can rely on it when you need it.
Secure Your Location
Of course, natural disasters are extremely unpredictable, so nothing is ever 100% hurricane proof – but when you use the right window security solutions, you can trust that you’ll have done your best to mitigate the worst of the storm.
Here are other ways you can secure your location:
- Turn off and unplug all electrical devices at your store. Severe storms have a tendency to break gas lines, and it just takes one small spark from an electric device turning on to ignite a location filled with natural gas.
- Anchor large furniture and fixtures to wall studs. This helps prevent additional damage caused by flooding and can help reassure you that your location is more secure when you’re able to return to it.
Keep Your Business Hurricane Savvy
These tips will get you started securing your people, assets, and location from storm-related disaster, but there’s a lot more you can do to protect your retail location. There are many resources online that can help you create a hurricane storm preparedness list for businesses and stay storm-ready in other ways, but one of the best ways to protect your location is to prepare in advance.
Become a “hurricane savvy” leader, starting today, by taking a few minutes every day to focus on storm and emergency safety procedures. Look around your location to identify large fixtures you need to secure or electric devices you’ll want to turn off. Pick up an emergency supply kit next time you’re driving back from a meeting. Ensure your contact lists are up to date.
And, of course, start investigating window and glass safety options by looking into your options for 3M shatter-resistant film and shatterproof windows. While none of these options are stormproof or hurricane-proof, they will help you mitigate the damage that severe weather events can cause.
For that last one, NGS has got you covered.
As the nation’s #1 Commercial Window Film Company and the team behind some of today’s top window security innovations including TRI-SHIELD and Invisicade, NGS has the expertise to help you determine the best window and storm security solutions for your store.
Check out additional tips for securing your business from a wide variety of modern dangers.