Tropical storm Dorian is in the process of being upgraded to a hurricane, and experts expect it to strengthen over the weekend and hit Florida sometime on Monday as a potential Category 3 or 4 storm. While it might not be classified as another Irma, none of us have forgotten the blow received by Polk County just shy of two short years ago, with some of us still recovering from physical and financial damage. Now that another storm is headed our direction, we thought it was a great time to throw out a few pointers as you prepare for the storm to make sure you (and your business) are ready! As fellow business owners here in Winter Haven, we make it our goal to ensure that our friends and neighbors are protected in every way possible, including their livelihood and their company.
Remember when preparing your business for a hurricane you should...
Take a "pre-storm" video for your insurance! Do a comprehensive video of your business (inside and out) and your property before the storm hits. Show any major outdoor features (fences, play structures, parking areas, etc.) and if possible, show the preparations taken to protect those items in the storm. For example, if you put up shutters on the windows make sure to show those, take time to film any tie-downs you added to your play structure, and so forth. This video not only serves as proof for making claims, but also means you're more likely to get your claim taken care of easily since it shows you made an effort to protect your business and there will be no question of whether or not the damages (if there are any) could have been prevented.
Stock up on some essentials for your office, no matter the strength of the storm. It doesn't take huge wind gusts to take out power in some parts of Florida, nor does it take a massive storm surge to affect water supply. Even a "minor" hurricane can cause big problems depending on where it hits along the coastline. Having items like clean drinking water, batteries, flashlights, and even a generator (ONLY to be used outside) is key in making sure you can still take care of yourself and your family in the event of losing power and/or water for a period of time. If you keep some of these items on hand in your place of business, you can not only use it as a backup place of respite if your home is damaged, but you can also offer shelter to those in your circle of friends or family who might need assistance after the storm.
Have all of your important papers on hand in case of emergency. If possible, keep important papers related to your business on your person (or close at hand) when a storm is approaching. The deed to your commercial property and/or office, insurance paperwork related to your business, employee records, etc. are all key pieces to have with you following a major storm, especially if your business sustains damages.
Newton Peach Marketing is gearing up for the storm with you, and we as always, we are here for local businesses in and around Polk County. We treat each client like a neighbor because we ARE your neighbor, working and operating here in Central Florida just like you. Good luck to everyone during Dorian!