Staying safe during a storm and what to do once the storm is over.
During a Storm:
- Emergency personnel should stay at the facility only if safe to do so. Notify local authorities if personnel are staying on site.
- Keep names and phone numbers of your electrician, heating contractor, plumber, fire department, police department and other key numbers easily accessible .
- In an emergency situation, comply with all directions and emergency orders issued by authorities.
- Keep your first-aid kit available at all times.
- Designate times for key staff members to call into conference calls for situation updates.
- Update employee emergency hotline and/or company intranet and website with posting on the status of the facility.
- When safe to do so, patrol the property continuously. Watch for roof leaks, pipe breakage, fire, or structural damage.
- Constantly monitor any boilers that must remain online.
- During power failure, turn off electrical switches to prevent re-energizing of equipment until necessary checks are completed.
- The devastation a hurricane leaves in its wake depends on the location, population density, and hurricane size. In the immediate aftermath of a hurricane, it is important to quickly and calmly assess the situation.
- Do not move seriously injured individuals. If high-rise buildings are in the general area, falling debris may make open areas more dangerous than remaining inside the buildings. Watch out for fallen power lines and broken gas lines.
- Provide search and rescue personnel with last known location of any missing victim(s).
- Stay away from power lines, buildings, and any object that might fall.
- Secure the site and provide watch service if necessary.
- Visually check for open bus bars, conductors, and exposed insulators before re-energizing electrical systems.
- Take pictures to start documenting damages.
- Initiate process to check on the well-being of employees and their families. If support is needed and available dispatch to employee homes. Employees who are concerned with the safety and wellbeing of their families will not be available to support company recovery efforts. The sooner families are safe the more quickly they can participate in company recovery efforts.
- Look for safety hazards such as live electrical wires, leaking gas, flammable liquids, corrosive/toxic materials, and damage to foundations or underground piping.
- Repair automatic sprinkler protection and/or water supplies to get protection back in service as soon as possible.
- Restore fire protection systems, if necessary.
- Conduct two-inch main drain and alarm tests on automatic fire protection sprinkler systems to verify public water supply availability.
- Contact key personnel and notify contractors to start repairs. Control smoking and use hot work permits where applicable. Maintain fire-safe conditions at all times.
- Cover broken windows and torn roof coverings immediately.
- Clean roof drains and remove debris from roofs.
- Notify key customers, suppliers, and partners of office/facility reopening and any necessary property or operational changes resulting from storm damage.
Making a Claim:
If your property is impacted by a storm or hurricane, there are immediate post-loss steps you must take:
- Gather loss information, including:
- Date and time of loss.
- All locations that have damage.
- Authorities contacted (police and/or fire): It may not be safe to inspect the damage immediately. If structures are not structurally sound enough to have engineer/local authorities inspect, confirm if it is safe to enter the premises.
- Description of incident (wind/storm surge/water/flood).
- Cause of loss.
- Events leading up to the incident: What steps were taken to mitigate damages (pre-storm actions).
- Description of the impact on the property and operations.
- Assess what can be done to minimize damages.
- Reporting the loss:
- Provide timely notice to all applicable insurance carriers, and copy your insurance broker on the loss notice.
- For catastrophic losses, report directly to your carrier even if you don’t have all of the information gathered.
- Take photos of the damage.
- Inspect the property:
- Is it structurally sound?
- Do you need an engineer?
- Secure the premises and mitigate damage.
- Board up any openings
- Run pumps to remove water.
- Run dehumidifiers.
- Install perimeter fencing
- Provide security to prevent looting or theft.
- Arrange restoration services and contractors for clean-up and/or mold remediation.
- Make sure to keep records and receipts to submit to your carrier.
- Damaged versus undamaged property:
- If safe to do so, separate damaged from undamaged property.
- Generate an itemized inventory of all damaged items.
- Do not discard any damaged property until authorized by the insurance carrier.
View our the other parts of this Risk Advisory:
This blog was updated on 10/04/2022 to include additional claims information.
Category Risk Consulting