A note to our pros about Coronavirus (COVID-19). Learn More

Disaster Preparedness

How to Prepare Your Business for a Hurricane

If you service an area affected by hurricanes, follow these steps to ensure that your business is prepared to respond safely and effectively — before, during and after the storm.  

Plan out how your company will respond to a hurricane. 

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends you create a disaster plan for your company before severe weather hits your area. 

  • Assemble a planning team. This might include anyone from upper management to labor, security or sales.
  • Conduct a vulnerability analysis to find out how prepared you are to respond to a hurricane. 
  • Make sure your employees are aware of your building’s emergency management policy, including members of key onsite personnel. 
  • Have a plan for getting ahold of first responders in case you need them to come to your business.  

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also offers step-by-step guidance for creating a disaster response plan.  

Get the right personal protective equipment (PPE) for your team.

If you and your employees are responding to a hurricane, know that NIOSH recommends several different types of PPE. Note that you may need to adapt this equipment to specific hazards your team encounters while on the job. 

  • Hard hats
  • Goggles
  • Safety glasses
  • Heavy work gloves
  • Watertight boots with steel toe and insole
  • Hearing protection 

Learn more about PPE from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 

Understand the risks of hurricane clean-up.

Before you get to work, make sure you understand the hazards you might encounter on the job. These can include:

  • Low air quality. Flood waters can bring allergens and chemicals into the water and air. Take precautions to limit exposure if your team works in or near the water.  
  • Mold and fungi. Some fungi and mold can cause health problems when inhaled. Try to avoid breathing particles or dust, or consider using an N-95 mask to lower the risk.  
  • Electrical hazards. Stay safe from electric burns and shocks. Make sure your team is educated on electrical safety and how to avoid an accident.  

Conduct a pre-exposure medical screening.

If the work you do is particularly intense or dangerous, consider having a medical professional screen your team ahead of clean-up work.

  • This helps evaluate whether they can handle the physical and emotional demands of the work.
  • It also gives them any vaccines or booster shots they might need.
  • This screening can also test whether they know how to use PPE properly. 

See a full list of hazards and how you should respond here.


Related Resources