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Hurricane protection, preparation, response and recovery

Every facility that is located in a coastal area should develop a hurricane emergency plan. The plan should include a detailed procedure and checklist for shutting down processes and protecting buildings, contents, equipment and yard storage. In addition, the procedures should include guidelines to follow to mitigate losses during the hurricane and salvage procedures to follow after the hurricane has subsided.

The plan should include the amount of time required (in hours or days) to complete each major task to ensure preparations are initiated at the appropriate time. Hurricane preparedness also should include the appointment of a qualified group of individuals to form a salvage squad. The objective of the salvage squad is to restore operations to normal as quickly as possible.


Preparation for a hurricane should include both long-term and short-term plans.

Long-term preparation:

Long-term plans should be established, completed and reviewed periodically. These plans will mainly encompass improvements to construction features and site preparation to minimize hurricane damage. Long-term preparations could require several weeks or months to complete.

Long-term planning should concentrate on installing and maintaining construction features to increase the “hurricane resistance” of the property. Any hurricane resistance feature that cannot be permanently installed should be arranged so that the specialized protection can be quickly and easily installed. Protection features will need to be inspected and tested at least annually (prior to hurricane season) to keep them in good repair. The following items should be included on the pre-hurricane checklist:

Any new construction or building remodeling should comply with the hurricane preparedness plan.

Short-term plans should be developed well in advance of a hurricane, but need only be implemented when the projected path of a hurricane puts your facility in imminent danger of receiving damage. To prepare for an oncoming hurricane, detailed procedures and a checklist should be developed to ensure an orderly shut down of all production processes and all property is properly protected. The amount of time required (in hours or days) to complete each major task should be determined in advance to ensure preparations are initiated at the appropriate time.

Short-term preparation: As a hurricane approaches, secure the facility.

As the hurricane approaches, quick action will need to be taken to install temporary protection features. The following actions should be completed:

During the Hurricane

Arrangements should be made to evacuate the emergency response team before the hurricane strikes. If the emergency response team is able to stay on site, a safe area of substantial construction should be available for the team members to occupy. The emergency response team plans should be communicated in advance to local law enforcement officials. The emergency response team should continually patrol the facility as long as it is safe to do so and complete the following:

After the Hurricane

Once the storm has subsided, the salvage squad should be assembled and the squad leader should assign job priorities to safely repair and restore production processes and buildings.

A properly staffed salvage squad generally consists of personnel that are qualified to repair electrical, mechanical, plumbing and fire protection systems. In addition, an adequate complement of personnel for general cleanup may be required. If outside contractors are used, they must be supervised to ensure safe
operating conditions are maintained.

The squad leader should verify the salvage squad is properly staffed and equipped to complete their objectives. Typical supplies will include construction tools, mops, buckets, rust inhibitors, fans, water vacuums, brooms, dehumidifiers, squeegees, and wiping rags. Other non-typical items may include the need to order replacement motors, mechanical equipment, etc.

The salvage squad leader should verify the following items
are completed:

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