How to Get Ready for Hurricane Season
Be prepared no matter what Mother Nature has up her sleeve.
Hurricane season is here. We’re launching a 3-part series with all the tips you need to stay safe before, during, and after the storm. In this first installment, we tackle what you need to do to prepare the landscape of your commercial property or residential community.
Just as we’re all ready to head off onto our summer vacations, hurricane season is ready to head into the southeast and Gulf. Luckily you don’t have to let it rain on your parade. With a little preparation, you can have peace of mind your landscape and the exterior of your property is in the best shape possible to withstand the storm.
Mark Your Calendar
June 1 through November 30 is officially hurricane season in the United States. While it is true coastal areas are most vulnerable to destruction, all states in the southeast and along the Gulf of Mexico are at risk, including the inland areas. States along the Mid-Atlantic, and cities situated on the coast in the Northeast aren’t immune to dangerous winds and flooding either. The bottom line: for a good swath of America, it’s wise to prepare. Here’s what to do.
Prune Your Trees
Before a storm is forecasted, consult a certified arborist to ensure your trees are fit to weather a storm. Dead, diseased, or damaged limbs can quickly become airborne, creating a serious threat to both people and property. Larger trees pose an especially dangerous risk, and due to their height, require an experienced tree crew for pruning. A certified arborist and their team can proactively prune your tree to remove the risk and ensure good canopy structure that can withstand high winds.
Secure Items That Could Become Projectiles
That patio furniture, signage, planters and other outdoor décor all seem inviting now; but during a storm they can become dangerous projectiles due to the strong uplift pressures of hurricane force winds. Identify the number of items that need to be secured and how you will secure them, so it can be part of your hurricane preparation plan.
Review Evacuation & Access Routes
If you have a larger property, you may have multiple points of entry and exit for vehicle and pedestrian traffic. In the event of a named storm, determine and communicate how you’ll safely evacuate people from the property to ensure the utmost efficiency and reduce panic. You’ll also want to work with your landscape partner to identify and prioritize critical entry points for emergency services that ought to be cleared first in the event of downed trees or other debris.
Check Your Insurance
Now is also a good time to review your insurance’s process for making a storm damage claim and share this information with your landscape partner. That way, they can assist with any documentation needed along the way-- like details on the clean-up effort, pictures, and more-- to help you expedite your claim.
Authorize a Clean-Up Plan Now
In the event of the worst, storm clean-up services will be in high demand. When you’re anxious to get back to business, every minute counts. By pre-authorizing storm clean-up with your landscape partner, they’ll already know your plan and top priorities, and can automatically dispatch a team to get you back on track sooner.
Not Sure If You’re Prepared?
Take the guess work (and stress) out of hurricane season by scheduling a free preparedness check with one of our experts. Not only will we be there to help keep you safe before the storm, but you can also count on us to be there after. With our national resources, we’re able to mobilize additional teams from across the country to assist in clean-up efforts, so you can achieve “business as usual” as soon as possible.
Want more hurricane preparedness tips? Check out the second article in our series: “How to Stay Safe During a Hurricane”.