Hurricanes devastate without favor. They can hit the unprepared Florida business or the fully prepared one. The outcome — whether your business survives — depends on your hurricane preparedness plan. Part of that plan is a directory of critical contacts. Who should you know how to contact before, during, and after a hurricane?
1 — Your Commercial Roofer
You may quibble about the ranking of these eleven entities, but we think your roofer should always be one of your first three calls. Your commercial roofer can put you on an action list, but only if the roofer knows you need help. Your roofer can also brace your building for impending hurricanes with such practical solutions as:
- Hurricane clips and straps
- Waterproof coatings
- Cleaning and minor repairs
During the hurricane, your roofer cannot do much to help your business. But staying in touch so that you know your place in the roofer’s work orders can be helpful. Immediately after the storm passes, work with your roofer to press for emergency repairs. Be patient. Your roofer will be stretched thin.
Pro Tip: Consider participating in your roofer’s exclusive premium roof maintenance program to be a priority after any large weather event.
2 — Power
You must be able to reach your local power company in any emergency, but before and after a hurricane, that contact could be a lifeline. Downed cables, destroyed insulators, or snapped power poles are all issues which will affect your business.
3 — Electrician
The power company can handle all the electrical issues outside your business. Your local electrician will be needed to address power problems inside your company property. Keep contact information for your electrician not only in a central location, but also next to every breaker panel in your building.
4 — Plumber
Hurricanes bring an unpleasantly varied mix of water:
- Saltwater — storm surges bring salty seawater inland
- Freshwater — all precipitation is freshwater
- Greywater — wastewater free of fecal matter, such as dishwasher and washing machine waste and sink and tub drainage
- Blackwater — Wastewater from toilets containing fecal matter; also called sewage
Hurricanes can wreak havoc with your building’s plumbing, with backups and spillage and flooding. Your plumber is a great asset after the storm passes.
5 — Internet Service Provider
Never mind ordering on Amazon; your business may depend on internet connectivity. Your local Internet Service Provider (ISP) is as vital to your company’s continued operation as the power company, so keep multiple contact numbers on hand.
6 — Water Company
Hurricanes churn water. Your company may be inundated or left high and dry. The local water company can provide emergency help with street mains and cut-off valves.
7 — Facilities Crew
The in-house facilities crew will carry the heavy lifting for bolstering your business in advance of a hurricane. They may also be “first responders” for your infrastructure after a hurricane. Make certain you have complete details on contacting every member of your facilities crew.
Pro tip: write down and use the names of your crew members’ spouses or partners so that the 3 a.m. call goes smoothly; you do not know who may pick up the phone.
8 — Insurance Agent
Your insurance agent expects your call after a hurricane. In fact, along with your roofer, your insurance agent is probably in the top three calls you need to make, along with your trusted roofer. Your insurance agent will work with you to send an adjuster as quickly as possible to your company site.
9 — Local Law Enforcement
Keep handy emergency and non-emergency numbers for your local law enforcement agency, whether that is the sheriff or a police force. Hurricanes heighten emotions, and sometimes people view others’ misery as an opportunity. Protect yourself and your business by being able to reach professional law enforcement promptly.
10 — First Responders
Florida’s Emergency Medical Services System (EMS System) provides your company quick access to first responders for medical emergencies. Fort Lauderdale’s fire department also provides rescue services. Its 12 fire stations provide a wide range of emergency assistance:
- Hazardous Materials
- Technical Rescue
- Dive Rescue
- Marine Rescue
- Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Medical
- Aircraft Rescue Firefighting (ARFF)
Keep emergency and non-emergency numbers for both systems (medical and fire/rescue) handy.
11 — Water Damage Remediators
After the deluge, the high winds, and the terrifying specter of wind-borne debris, your business may be left with sad, soggy carpets, drenched drywall, and destroyed documents. Have contact information readily available for your preferred water damage radiation service.
Pro tip: keep that number, and all contact information, in multiple locations in multiple formats. Writing it only on a piece of paper — in water-soluble ink — is not a wise idea.
PSI Roofing in Fort Lauderdale can provide your business with complete protection for your commercial roof. From your roof to any interior water damage remediation and clean-up, our team is experienced in helping you prepare for Florida’s hurricane seasons. Contact us today to learn all we can do to prepare and care for your roof, both before and after storms.