Hurricanes can be scary, unpredictable, and destructive. You do your best to prepare your home and family for these unexpected events, but what about your office? Having a good hurricane supply list can be your first line of defense against the next big storm.
To keep your business safe, your information secure, and your employees protected during a hurricane, you need to have a safety plan at the ready.
Here is a comprehensive hurricane supply list to always have on hand in case of a hurricane, along with other preventative measures you can put in place to keep your office safe during natural disasters.
Must Have’s For Your Hurricane Supply List
If you and your employees get caught at work during a hurricane, you will want to have adequate emergency supplies for all of your workers.
Keep these items in a single, easily accessible location, and make sure to secure all supplies in airtight containers or bags to prevent water damage.
Clean water is a must-have in the case of natural disasters. If your building experiences any damage or power outages, your water supply could become contaminated or completely shut off.
While buying gallons of water may seem like the best bet, you’re usually better off buying bottled water to support all of your employees. Keep enough bottled water in your emergency supply to last all of your workers at least three to five days. You can also purchase water filtration tablets to keep on hand if you need to purify contaminated water.
First Aid Kit
You never know what types of injuries could ensue from a hurricane. Keep a fully stocked first aid kit in your emergency supplies as a precaution for natural disasters.
This kit from Office Crave includes 212 items in a heavy-duty metal box that you can mount to your wall.
If you already have a first aid kit, make sure to replace expired items regularly. A kit doesn’t do any good in an emergency if its medications are ineffective.
Hand-Cranked Weather Radio
As a storm progresses, it becomes more and more likely that you will lose power and other services and utilities. When this happens, it’s great to have a hand-cranked weather radio on hand so you can stay up to date on the storm without needing electricity or burning through batteries.
The Midland ER310 E+Ready Emergency Weather Radio is a great, inexpensive option with a ton of features. Not only does it keep you informed during a hurricane, it can also alert search and rescue teams to your whereabouts.
It also has multiple power sources including solar power, hand crank and a rechargeable battery ensure long-lasting functionality through any situation.
Supply of Non-Perishable Food
Impending hurricanes often lead to empty grocery store shelves, and if one springs up without warning, you probably won’t have a chance to gather food. Having a steady supply of food for emergencies in the office can make a huge difference while you’re riding out a storm.
Keep a supply of high-calorie, non-perishable foods like canned soup, peanut butter, crackers, granola bars, and powdered electrolyte drink mix at the ready. If you and any employees get stuck at work during a lockdown, you will have plenty of food to eat and maintain your energy.
Hurricanes often lead to power-outages, even if your business only endures minor damage. You need to keep a high-power flashlight in your emergency location to help you see and move around during a power outage.
This StreamLight ProPolymer Lux LED Flashlight has a 10,000-hour bulb life, making it a reliable option to have on hand.
You will want to keep your flashlight in an easily accessible location, as you may need to use it to help locate other items.
If your office building becomes flooded due to a hurricane, securing essential items in plastic bags keeps them dry and prevents water damage.
Keep a few boxes of garbage bags and gallon-sized Ziploc bags along with your other emergency supplies.
You can also use garbage bags to prevent water from entering the building—fill them with sand or water and place them against doors to block any openings to your business.
Duct tape is a versatile item that you should always have on hand. You can use it to seal entrances, repair damaged items, and craft flotation devices.
Purchase several rolls to include in your emergency supply kit.
How to Prepare Your Office For A Hurricane
Along with gathering necessary supplies, there are other measures you should take to prepare your office for natural disasters.
Fortify The Building
Your office building should act as a blockade between you and the hurricane if you cannot relocate to a safe area. To best protect you from the outside elements, your building needs to be up to code with durable windows and doors that will not crack under the pressure of high winds.
Have An Emergency Shelter
Hurricanes have sustained winds of at least 75 mph but can reach up to 150 mph or higher in a category 5 storm. In addition, hurricanes will often create tornados, flash floods, and other weather events. While you won’t need to use an emergency shelter in every storm, it’s good to have one ready and a plan to get to it.
An emergency shelter does not need to be an external structure or underground structure, although basements and cellars do make for a great place to hide from a storm. In most cases, your best bet will be a windowless room, towards the middle of the building. This greatly minimizes the risk of being injured due to broken glass, debris, or storm surge.
Consider replacing the windows in your business with hurricane-grade glass than can withstand damaging winds. Broken windows allow water to enter your office and compromise the structure of the building.
Install hurricane shutters over your windows to protect the glass from heavy winds and rains. Hurricane shutters are typically made from aluminum, steel, or another strong metal, however, if you can’t get these installed in time, regular wood panels work great too.
Protect Your Information
Your office is full of sensitive information that is vital to running your business. To effectively prepare for a hurricane, you need to make sure that all of your data is safe.
Back Up Data
Instruct your employees to back up all of their files, documents, and other data onto a hard drive or in a cloud-based filing system. If a hurricane damages your computers, you could lose any vulnerable information forever.
If you use paper documents and files, water damage could ruin your sensitive information in an instant. Make sure that you place all paper documents in a waterproof container or filing system. As an extra precaution, scan them into a cloud-based system.
Communicate with Employees
All of the preventative measures you put in place will be ineffective if your employees do not know about them.
Put together a detailed document laying out all of your company’s safety measures, including:
- The location of emergency supplies
- An inventory list of all supplies you have gathered
- A list of actions employees should take before leaving the building in the case of a hurricane
- An evacuation plan
- A list of all of your employees’ emergency contact information
- The contact information for the local hospital, police station, and fire department
- A back-up work location in case your building endures flooding or other damage
Email and give a physical copy of the document to every employee of your company. As an added precaution, laminate the plan to protect it against water damage. Place a few copies around the building as well to ensure that they are easily accessible in the case of an emergency.
Be Ready With An Up To Date Hurricane Supply List
Preparing your office building for hurricane season can give you and your employees peace of mind and, in the case of a natural disaster, provide adequate resources until you can exit the building.
Keeping an up to date hurricane supply list along with a regularly checked inventory can make a huge difference when the next hurricane hits. Begin your preparation now to ensure that your office is ready for the next major hurricane.