For most businesses, there is enough warning of an incoming hurricane to batten down the hatches. With a few days’ notice of knowing when the storm will hit your location, there is a lot you can do to prevent damage. Small businesses can even take charge of the clean up after the hurricane.
Preparing for the Hurricane
Locations with large storefronts need to put up plywood boards to act as shutters outside the glass. This keeps small debris from breaking a window and allowing water to come in. Inspecting the windows, doors, and roof before the storm hits is another good idea. Make sure there is plenty of caulking around windows, and that doors are sturdy. Loose roof tiles should be replaced. Hurricane-proofing the roof involves applying roof cement to the edges of shingles and adding a bead of construction adhesive along the sides of rafters where they connect to the roof. Bring any outside displays and furniture into the building before the storm too. Otherwise, it will turn into dangerous flying debris.
Pumps are helpful in preventing water from backing up into your business. Make sure they are in working operation. If your pump uses battery power for back up, put fresh fully-charged batteries in. Businesses that intend to stay open during the storm or open up right after may want to rent a backup generator in case the power goes out.
Cleaning Up the Aftermath
After the storm, most businesses will be responsible for their own clean up. The best and safest way would be to hire a reputable, licensed contractor to help; however there could be a long wait and higher prices due to supply and demand. In the meantime, if your business has a competent operator, you can do a lot of work yourself by cleaning up debris with backhoes, wheel loaders, and a dump truck to haul it away. Also an excavator with thumb or grapple can tackle large trees and other material.
Beware of Scams
Unfortunately, emergencies sometimes also bring out scam artists too. Be wary of any contractors who approaches your business and pushes for you to make a rush decision, especially if the repairs do not need to be completed immediately. If the damage is not major, businesses have some time to find the right contractor. Ask to see the primary contractor’s driver’s license and write down the license number and the license plate number of their vehicle. Request proof of liability and workers comp insurance and never allow a contractor to discourage you from contacting your insurance company. Also, FEMA does not endorse any individual contractors, so do not believe anyone who claims to be backed by the government.
For more information on hurricane preparation or to rent equipment for the preparation or aftermath of a hurricane, contact Neff Rental at www.neffrental.com or 888-709-6333. We are ready to assist you with your equipment needs.