June 1 marks the official start of the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season, and the experts at Colorado State University predict that it will be very active with 23 named storms. Of these named storms, 11 may be hurricanes, and 5 of those hurricanes may be major (Category 3, 4 or 5). They also forecast that 5 of these storms will directly impact the U.S. As the season approaches, it’s time to prepare.

It's Time To Take Action for Storm Preparedness

Cotton Global Disaster Solutions urges you to take steps to protect your employees and safeguard your business from these potential events. It only takes one storm to change the course of your life and your company’s fate. Hurricanes are among nature’s most powerful and destructive phenomena, but emergency planning and preparedness for natural disasters is the key to a quick response and recovery when disaster strikes.

How To Prepare Your Business for Hurricane Season

Preparing for severe weather (e.g., hurricanes, tropical storms and torrential downpours) can make a difference in how quickly you respond. Don’t wait until a hurricane is approaching before considering your family's and business’ preparedness. History teaches that a lack of awareness and planning are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. Knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take can reduce the effects of a severe weather disaster.

Perform Preventive Maintenance for Your Commercial Property

  • Remove large trees that could damage your buildings and power/communication lines if struck down by heavy winds.

  • Secure or remove outdoor furniture, signage, loose debris and equipment that could blow into and damage your facilities.

  • Test your fire alarm system and CO detector.

  • Test your emergency generators, and ensure you have enough fuel. Check if sump pumps are operating properly.

  • Move flammable liquid drums into a safe sheltered area that isn’t your main building.

  • Clean gutters and downspouts.

  • Remove debris surrounding storm drains and catch basins. Inspect the roof and repair any damages, especially along the roof flashing.

  • For outdoor equipment that can’t be moved indoors, ensure it is properly anchored and covered with tarpaulins or waterproof covers.

Buy Supplies and Ensure Records Are Up-to-Date

  • Develop a communication plan you can use in the event of a storm to ensure your employees and customers know what’s happening.

  • Create a business continuity plan with the help of our free checklist.

  • If your organization provides essential services and can’t close due to a hurricane, ensure you have a well-stocked storm kit. The National Hurricane Survival Initiative recommends including the following items:

    • Water for drinking and sanitation

    • Non-perishable food

    • Batteries

    • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio

    • Flashlights

    • First-aid supplies

    • Tool kit

    • Whistle

    • Tarps, plastic bags and tape

    • Fire extinguishers

    • Commercial generator and gas to power it

    • Emergency information

What To Do If a Hurricane Is Approaching

As the season progresses, there’s a chance a hurricane may approach your community. If that happens, check out our free Hurricane Preparedness Checklist for a comprehensive guide on the steps to take.

And if your business or commercial property experiences damage due to a hurricane or severe storm, know that you can trust Cotton GDS to respond quickly and begin working to restore your building to its pre-hurricane state. Add our 24/7 emergency line to your phone for safe-keeping: 877.900.0493.