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Business Hurricane Prep as a Storm Approaches Landfall

When a storm is on the way, make every minute count to prepare. There are critical steps you can take——like closing interior doors and installing hurricane shutters—to reduce damage to your business.

Begin Last-Minute Prep!

When a storm appears to be approaching landfall, follow these last-minute steps to help reduce damage to your business.

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


1) Ensure 3 ways to receive weather information and alerts.

A hurricane can knock out power and disrupt communications. Having multiple ways to receive alerts helps keep you informed throughout the storm. 

  • Find a reliable source for hurricane updates. Pay attention to hurricane forecasts from the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Follow the NHC on Facebook or X and tune in to local news often. For impacts to your local area, follow your local National Weather Service (NWS) office. 
  • Purchase a NOAA weather radio, preferably one with a hand crank.  
  • Enable wireless emergency alerts on your cell phone. Check your wireless service provider’s website to find out how to do this for your specific phone type. 

Note: Geographical maps are used to communicate critical weather information. Know where you are on a map and know your county name. 


2) Activate your emergency hurricane business plan.

Now is the time to put your hurricane plan into action. By planning ahead, you know what to do now that a storm is approaching. 

  • Your team is activating the plan with communication. 
  • Begin last-minute building preparations.  
  • Allow time for employees that may need time to prepare their homes as well. 
Unrecognizable businessman examining papers at table. Manager with ballpoint pen filling business papers. Close-up of male hands working at desk. Analyzing documents concept

3) Install your hurricane shutters.

Shutters can protect your windows from flying debris and help keep out damaging winds.

  • Place hurricane shutters over all the windows.  
  • Plywood should only be used in place of shutters as a last-minute resort when tropical weather is imminent. If plywood must be used, be sure it’s at least ¾ inch thick. Additionally, taping windows provides no protection and should NOT be done. 
3- Install hurricane shutters

4) Secure outdoor items.

Outdoor inventory, wood pallets, patio seating could become flying debris and damage your building or surrounding businesses. 

  • Move outdoor items such as patio seating, signage, planters, inventory, and wood pallets indoors. 
Outdoors restaraunt

5) Check and clear your gutters and drainage.

Water that does not properly drain off your roof and away from your structure can leak into your building, causing costly interior water and structural damage. Clogged gutters can back up and allow water to damage roof decking and fascia.

  • Ensure gutters and downspouts are secured to the building with gutter straps.  
  • Clean all roof drains, gutters, and downspouts free of tree debris. 
  • Ensure downspouts divert water at least 3 feet away from the foundation.  
Cleaning the gutter from autumn leaves before winter season. Roof gutter cleaning process.

6) Close all commercial doors, personnel doors & windows, including interior doors.

Leaving commercial doors and windows open during a hurricane leaves your building more vulnerable to structural damage by inviting the wind inside, where pressure can build up on the roof and walls. If a window is broken, air rapidly fills your structure, causing a dangerous increase in the forces pushing up on your roof. Scientific wind testing at the IBHS Research Center reveals that closing interior doors helps compartmentalize the pressure inside a building into smaller areas, reducing the force on the roof by as much as 30%, and giving your roof a better chance of staying intact. 

  • Close rollup, garage, and overhead doors all the way.  
    • Initiate wind locks if available. 
  • Close all exterior windows and doors to keep the wind and rain out.  
  • Close all interior doors to compartmentalize pressure from the wind if it gets inside your building. 
An industrial warehouse with eight large yellow drive-in doors for big trucks.


7) Evacuate, communicate, and stay safe.

  • Follow instructions and evacuate immediately if authorities tell you to do so. 
  • Communicate the evacuation information to employees.  
A sign leads hurricane evacuees to safety.

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 appears to be 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.