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Business Recovery Steps After Hurricane Damage

If you are returning to your building for the first time after the hurricane, it can be overwhelming even with minor damage. These steps will guide you through the process.  

Here’s Where to Start!

After returning to your commercial building, it is good to note that some things can be repaired by professionals while others may be do-it-yourself tasks. The key is to get started safely.

Last-minute Hurricane Prep & Recovery
Quick, last-minute actions you can take and steps to recover quickly. 


1) Protect yourself and others.

  • First, ensure everyone is safe. 
  • Do not enter a damaged building unless you are told it’s safe by local officials.  
  • Do not wade through standing water or step in pools of water. 
  • Avoid downed power lines and assume all lines are live. 
  • Report downed power lines, fire, or gas leaks to local utility companies.  

2) Assess and document any damage.

  • Document damage to your business. Take photos and videos of damaged equipment and inventory. 
  • Assess your roof for damage: 
    • Check your ceiling for water spots or stains. If you have an attic, go inside to look for evidence of water leakage or standing water. 
    • If you have a low-slope roof with safe access, look for any damaged materials, loose or missing mechanical units, and ponding or standing water.  
2- Assess damage

3) Contact insurer right away.

  • If you have damage, contact your insurance agent or insurer as soon as possible. Be ready to provide information such as contact info, policy number, type and date of loss, a description of the loss, and your business inventory. You should be assigned a claim number and adjuster who will work with you. 
  • Prepare for a visit from a claim field adjuster and answer all questions thoroughly.  
  • Fill out and return claim forms as soon as possible. Having an up-to-date business inventory will help. If you do not understand the process, be sure to ask questions and write down the explanation. 
3- Contact insurer

4) Take steps to mitigate further damage.

  • If damage is noted, hire a licensed and insured contractor to mitigate. 
  • Cover any broken windows or roof damage so additional water entry doesn’t occur, while waiting for repairs. 
  • If there was interior water damage, hire a restoration service for water removal before mold becomes an issue. 
Neuwied, Germany - June 3, 2022: two roofers on an elevating platform cover a roof with a plastic canvas

5) Keep receipts.

  • If you need to relocate the operations of your business, keep records and receipts for all additional expenses.  
  • Keep all receipts and documentation for any purchases or services rendered.  
  • Consider creating an electronic file for this information in a cloud storage account so you can access it from anywhere. 
Closeup of numbers on receipt

6) Communicate with staff and customers.

  • Update status of operations:  
    • Employees: Via emergency hotlines/email/intranet. 
    • Customers: Via website/social media/phone calls. 
  • Designate times for key staff members to dial into or join online meetings for situation overviews. 
Employees must complete the online survey form, answer the test questions. Marked checklist on a clipboard. Human resources and management concept

7) Clean up safely.

  • Use the appropriate personal protective equipment such as boots, long pants, long sleeved shirt, work gloves, eye protection, and disposable masks.  
  • Keep windows open to pull moisture out, especially while working indoors.  
  • Remove standing water if you haven’t already done so.  
  • Follow directions from local officials when placing items to discard by the curb. Be sure to remove any items that may have absorbed water.  
  • Remove any drywall and insulation that was in contact with flood water.  
7-Clean up safely

8) Build back stronger.

When you are ready to repair your roof or rebuild, demand for contractors will be high. We can help. 

  • Learn more about the FORTIFIED commercial  & FORTIFIED Multifamily program and the solution that is right for your business. Build your roof or building back stronger, using the FORTIFIED construction method to reduce the likelihood of damage next time. 

*Always ask your contractor to provide a copy of their certificate of insurance (COI) prior to work being done on your business. 

Annual Business Hurricane Prep

office building

These annual maintenance activities will help reduce potential property damage. 

Building Upgrades

Veracruz Mexico

If you’re renovating, re-roofing, or building new, consider these upgrades to make your business stronger against hurricanes. 

Crucial Steps Before a Hurricane

Thick dark black heavy storm clouds covered summer sunset sky horizon. Gale speed wind blowing over blurry coconut palm tree before Norwesters Kalbaishakhi Bordoisila thunderstorm torrential rain.

When a storm is approaching landfall, follow these last-minute actions to help reduce damage to your business. 

After A Damaging Hurricane

Town street with scattered debris after hurricane Ian in Florida. Consequences of natural disaster.

These steps will guide you through the process to recover quickly.