The National Hurricane Center reports the greatest threat to life and property along the coasts are storm surges and large waves caused by hurricanes. In addition, heavy rainfall can result in extensive flooding, including inland flooding. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, inland flooding accounts for more than 50 percent of hurricane-related deaths each year. Furthermore, hurricane-force winds and wind-borne debris from tropical storms and hurricanes can destroy buildings and mobile homes and pose a major risk to people and property.
Things to consider in preparing your facility
- Signs – Know the wind rating of any signs installed
- Flagpoles – Know the wind rating of your flagpole. Take down the flag to avoid damage.
- Trees – Consult a professional annually to make sure your trees are healthy and ready for hurricane season
- Fences – Consult professionals to ensure fencing is installed to expected wind loads in your area.
- Roof Systems – Consult a professional engineer to review the design of the roof system to withstand expected wind loads in your area
- Skylights – If applicable, make sure skylights are impact-resistant
- Gable and bracing – Consult a professional to properly brace the gable-end walls.
- Soffits – Consult a professional to ensure that soffits are properly installed
- Gutters and downspouts – Ensure that systems are wind and updraft resistant
- Garage Doors – Ensure garage doors are pressure and impact resistant
- Windows – Utilize storm shutters whenever possible
- Exterior Doors – Ensure that exterior doors are pressure and impact resistant
- Carports and Canopies – Ensure that they are professionally designed and installed to meet hurricane wind loads and uplift requirements
Consult a professional engineer or licensed professional trained in each system to ensure all systems and connections are designed to resist the expected wind loads and uplift. Develop solutions for protecting vital systems through elevation, anchoring, or other approved means. Systems include:
- Mechanical systems
- Fuel Tanks
- Electrical systems
- Communications equipment
- Utility connections
- Sewer and Water management systems
- Potable Water systems
Determine and relocate your critical contents at least one foot above Base Flood Elevation (BFE) or Designed Flood Elevation, whichever is higher. Contents may include:
- IT Systems
- Important documentation
Always make sure hazardous chemicals are secured and safely stored.