Businesses that lose power in a hurricane face more than a few hours in the dark. Learn how much is at stake and what you can do to prevent it.
- There’s no natural disaster more powerful than a hurricane
- Florida businesses face their damage more than those in any other state
- Power lines above and below ground are vulnerable
- Key safety practices preserve people, property, and profits
- A commercial generator is a must for next-level protection
Being first-class in your field can be a great thing. Other times, coming last can be just what you want. Hurricanes are the leaders in causing trouble because they top the list of “Worst possible natural disaster coming to a business near you.” Florida also occupies the high spot as the number 1 holiday destination for hurricanes.
Panic about people, property, and profits is a natural reaction when your business loses power during a hurricane. Staying calm and being proactive helps you take the right steps to minimize the impact on everyone and everything in your company. This guide will cover those steps and offer advice on how to minimize your hurricane risk before the next one hits.
What hurricanes do to power lines (and why they pick on Florida)
Florida has it all stacked against us when it comes to the big winds. Everything from our geographical location, our typical temperature, and our status as a peninsula is the right mixture for the perfect storm.
Even the lowest level hurricane winds – 75 mph to 95 mph – can wreak havoc on power by tearing standing lines out of the ground or disabling them with flying debris. Even underground lines are vulnerable to storm surges. Florida’s natural water table often prohibits underground lines from the start.
Florida is no stranger to all 5 categories of hurricanes, meaning we’re realistically in line for a major one. This can mean winds exceeding 157 mph and the possibility of losing power for months. This loss of power means more than using hand fans and pouring lots of cold drinks. It can be a life-or-death situation, and one our very own team has helped prevent happening again.
This is all bad news that gets even worse during hurricane season. This is a pretty inaccurate term because it lasts for 6 months, from July 1 to November 30. The silver lining is that you can take action today to mitigate how hard a hurricane hits your operation.
7 ways to hit hurricanes where it hurts
We can assure you that a few key practices can make a world of difference between keeping a cool head in a hurricane or becoming something of a disaster yourself. Make a note of these tips if you want your business to ride out the storm to success.
1. Presume you’re going to be hit
Being pessimistic can sometimes be really positive and proactive. Don’t wait for the media to tell you that a hurricane is on its way because that’s when the general panic and chaos starts. Presume you’re in the crosshairs and stock up in advance. You’ll need things like food, water, and emergency medical kits, which can make a huge difference, especially if the nature of your business is care-centric.
2. Pay attention and prepare to evacuate
Battery-powered radios are a must-have on every Florida business site because personal devices are typically knocked out during a hurricane. These radios help you stay tuned to media instructions on how things are developing and what your business should do next.
3. Have a hurricane plan
Always have a hurricane plan to protect your people and property because 75% of businesses will wish they had, only to find they left it too late. It’s even better if you can make that plan region-specific.
4. Protect your electronics and make an inventory
It’s vital that your business has appliances with built-in surge protection or has surge protectors installed. Separate grounded circuits are another great way to protect the valuable electronics your business depends on and doesn’t want left blown out and useless during and after a hurricane. Make a pre-hurricane inventory of everything your business owns to make post-hurricane insurance plans easier.
5. Backup your data
This is the best business practice regardless of hurricanes, but it can really save your operation when the high winds hit. An outage can lose valuable data, so make sure your information is backed up on flash drives, cloud storage, and any offsite storage you can get. This will protect your business and help it avoid lost profits as well as hurricane headaches.
6. Remember that hurricanes are more than wind
Hurricanes are also directly responsible for floods. Your business should be prepared for water damage by having flood insurance in place. All electronics should be elevated from floor level to help prevent hardware damage, data loss, and electrocution. Once again, Florida businesses face more flood risk than most, thanks to our geographical profile.
7. Install a generator
Last but not least is the step that will have your business’ back against hurricanes all year long. A commercial generator will kick in when the power goes out to keep your business running.
Essential systems like HVACs will continue to run while keeping the lights on literally prevents everyone on the premises from taking a risky shot in the dark as to where they can walk or sit. Any premises running medical equipment that relies on power simply must have a commercial generator installed.
Generators also protect perishable goods and keep TVs and computers running if you don’t have that battery-operated radio on hand. Commercial generators can run for a long time provided you keep them fueled up, a big plus when power outages can easily run into weeks.
Talk to UES to stay strong in a hurricane
There’s a lot riding on taking care of your staff, premises, and customers in the hurricane capital of America. Our team is here to make sure that’s a stress-free process for you. The Universal Electrical Team is licensed through the state of Florida, and we can bring over 20 years of experience to preventing hurricane problems or solving your current one. Visit our contact page if you have any questions or concerns about commercial generators or hurricane-related power issues!