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As weather changes, so do the risks that affect any commercial property. The combination of powerful cold, wind and moisture create threats for a business that are wholly different from those it faces throughout the rest of the year. This risk is compounded for those businesses that operate in warmer climates because they are even less prepared for winter weather than their neighbors to the north.

If you're a business owner or facility manager, it is important that you begin your winter preparations early so that you are not caught off guard by a winter storm. For your benefit, our winter preparedness specialists have crafted this outline of important steps to take in order to safeguard your business from a winter storm. Whether your region is accustomed to frigid winters or you’re on the warmer gulf coast, these tips will keep you prepared for any kind of winter threat.

Analyze your risk

Before diving into the specific threats associated with winter weather, it’s important to first determine the liability your facility is potentially exposed...


To Our Family in Louisiana,

I can confirm that after 25 years in the business, this never gets easier. My thoughts and prayers are with the communities affected by Hurricane Ida.

As it made landfall on Katrina’s 16th anniversary, Ida’s wind speeds of 150 mph and dangerous storm surge destroyed thousands of homes, commercial buildings, and essential infrastructures, such as electricity towers and sewage systems. To this day, thousands of residents are still without power and are struggling to get the resources they need.

Due to the amount of water and wind damage, it has been and will continue to be an around-the-clock effort to get our communities back up and running. As your trusted partner and neighbor, I assure you that Cotton will not rest until our businesses, schools, hospitals, government facilities, and other essential institutions are restored.

The Cotton Team has boots on the ground and has been responding to calls throughout the region, working diligently to bring the community back online. In addition to our recovery services, support for the...

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In 2020 alone, hurricanes and tropical storms caused a combined $37 billion in damage in the United States. One of the largest contributors to that figure is the damage done to just commercial roofing. Your roof is not only one of the most valuable components of your commercial property, but it’s also one of the most damage-prone during a tropical event.

When considering your emergency plan for hurricane season this year, it is vital that you include a review of your commercial roof. While your best option is always to call a licensed commercial roof specialist like Cotton GDS, our roofing experts have crafted this guide on best practices for getting your roof ready to face a major storm.


The most important step in safeguarding your roof from any threat is to have a consistent, preventative maintenance plan in place that follows sound inspection protocols. This alone can be the difference between having a strong roof that perseveres through a major storm versus a roof that’s fallen into disrepair and...

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With forecasters anticipating another highly active hurricane season in 2021, it’s time to make sure you’re prepared for any kind of extreme weather event long before a storm even makes landfall. Preparing for the unexpected may feel daunting, but it makes all the difference when you find yourself confronted by a storm at your door with little notice.

Get prepared this hurricane season by reviewing this helpful resource of essential supplies and storage tips when preparing your hurricane emergency supply kit. While everyone’s needs are different, this should provide an essential starting point when building the kit that serves you best.


  • Water - at least one gallon per person, per day for at least 3-5 days
  • Food - at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable items
  • Battery-powered radio
  • First aid kit
  • Life-supporting medication
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Cell phone chargers and back-up power supply
  • Whistle - or other noise making device to...

Get your commercial facilities ready for the Atlantic hurricane season by taking a look at the FEMA flood map. The maps are updated every five years, so it’s a good idea to check them frequently and ensure your zone remains the same. Knowing what flood zone your company is located in can save your business time and money in the recovery process. It will also confirm whether or not you need to update certain items, such as your insurance policy or emergency plan.

  1. Insurance coverage: Is flood insurance a part of your policy? Most policies don’t automatically include flood damages so be sure to review your policy to confirm which damages, and how much, will be covered. For those who’ve just recently been updated to a high-risk flood zone, now is a great time to add flood insurance to your policy. Speak to your broker today and be prepared.

  2. Emergency plan: Businesses in flood zones, whether high or moderate risk, need to have a clear plan of how they’ll prevent potential damages leading up to the storm, and how they’ll...


Last month, AccuWeather estimated that the February winter storm left 4.3 million without power and amassed an economic loss that may rise to roughly $130 Billion. With no power to most commercial buildings, many businesses were forced to close for the subsequent days. Below freezing temperatures caused water pipes to freeze over and for some to burst. Roads, highways, and overpasses were covered in ice, which made it nearly impossible for essential deliveries and customers to reach businesses.

While all this was taking place, Cotton Global Disaster Solutions was able to provide businesses with one of our winter disaster response services. Our trained professionals were able to provide emergency backup power for a diverse set of commercial buildings, made roofing repairs to properties that were damaged by the snow, and also began to address...


Cotton CommUNITY offers relief after the historic winter storm.

Following the devastating winter storm that hit Texas in February, the Cotton Teams worked together to provide relief across the state quickly. While Cotton GDS, Cotton Logistics, Cotton Culinary, and Stellar Restoration responded to our clients’ emergencies, Cotton CommUNITY focused its efforts on the residents living in the affected communities.

In just one day, the team secured approximately 4,000 meals to be donated to families in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. We partnered with ten locally-owned restaurants that were eager to give back, and, within 48 hours, each restaurant cooked, packaged, and served hundreds of hot meals...


Texas, you are in our thoughts and prayers. There’s no doubt that this past week was long and arduous for us all. Some of us lost essential resources, and many suffered serious damages to their homes and properties. Even if you didn’t experience any of the above, chances are you still lost some sleep worrying about your loved ones. We understand how tired you are because we lived it too, but we want to remind you that Cotton is always here to help. Our teams have been working day and night to support our local businesses so that our communities can return to normalcy. I can’t stress enough just how grateful we are to our clients, partners, and most importantly, our families for making last week a little easier.

To our clients: You had a lot on your plate, from managing communications with your employees to monitoring your buildings during the storm and then escalating property damages to us. We know it was tough, but we appreciate your kindness as our teams navigated the icy roads and power outages. Most importantly, we’re grateful that you’ve entrusted us with your...


Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and everyone is sure to be looking for great gifts for their significant other (hopefully not at the last minute, but we won’t judge). In that same spirit, we wanted to share a special gift that business owners and leaders can get for themselves, or more specifically their business. We’re talking, of course, about a FirstAlert! membership.

Designed by Cotton Global Disaster Solutions as a way to help clients with a Master Service Agreement (MSA) get the most out of our partnership, the FirstAlert! Program is the perfect way for businesses to benefit from Cotton GDS’s personalized services. Members receive year-round support and training that helps teams and facilities be ready in case of a disaster. Here are just some of the perks included in a FirstAlert! membership.

24/7 Site Monitoring

Cotton’s Business Intelligence Center (BIC) uses state-of-the-art technology that allows us to monitor anything that could potentially harm your property, from daily activities, weather, to catastrophic events. If...


During these winter months, you may notice your employees pull out the personal heaters for their workspace. In other cases, you may need to raise the room temperature due to the cold weather. Whichever situation you may fall in, be sure to know space heaters and other heating equipment can cause a fire during the winter.

If you fall into a situation where there’s a fire in your building, you should have your air ducts inspected and cleaned because they could be contaminated with smoke, which can lead to poor air quality and respiratory problems. Clean air ducts and a well-maintained HVAC system are essential for your business’s daily operations. If your property has suffered any fire damage, it’s time to get your HVAC system checked by professionals.

In other cases of a fire disaster, a section of your business may have been seriously damaged, which can halt your business. It’s important to ensure your customers, personal, and tenants are safe and away from the damage. Our experts will assess the damages and offer you temporary solutions to continue your business...