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A Hard Look at Spring Storms, Preparedness, and Recovery

February 01, 2017 Marissa Saucedo

property

Spring storms are on the horizon as the season changes from winter to spring. Over the past few years, severe weather has led to historically high Property losses, with hail being a top contributor. 

Is your organization prepared for these weather emergencies?

  • Flooding / flash flooding
  • Employee injury & availability of skeleton crews
  • Interruption to services such as student transportation
  • Electrical storm damage & loss of power
  • Property damage caused from fire, flooding, hail and heavy winds

Now is the time to take action. Begin by identifying the potential threats and areas of high hazard around your campus. Assemble a committee to survey sites and review operational functionality.

Tips for an effective review

  • Identify low lying areas and steeply sloped land, which has the potential for flooding. Sandbags may be necessary to create a barrier.
  • Inspect the trees and trim back limbs that are dead or too close to power lines and buildings.
  • Identify alternate ingress and egress routes, in the event of blocked access.
  • Mark locations of the gas and electrical shut offs and begin drilling exercises with key staff members.
  • Move outdoor equipment to elevated or enclosed areas
  • Check the condition of gutters and downspouts – long standing water leads to ground swelling that can create foundation issues.
  • Check availability of fuel and other sources of power such as generators and smaller tools such as car chargers.
  • Restock first-aid kits and emergency supply kits.
  • Keep a supply of water, flash lights, batteries, and weather radios.

The average cost of a hail claim is more than $407,000. That is more than three times the cost of the average property claim, but remember that all severe weather has the potential to cause property damage.

Consider administrative functions

They can be just as important in any severe weather emergency.

  • Create a list of vendors and verify their availability during evenings and weekends for an emergency situation.
  • Update the staff contact list and be sure to train new employees, who may not have undergone emergency drilling.
  • Test alert notification systems and consider developing pre-written communication that will be ready to share on websites and social media platforms.
  • Designate staff to address phone calls and monitor online messaging that may experience an influx.
  • Cross train staff to help alleviate burdens when severe weather impacts employee transportation and additional demands from family.
  • Test employee mobile connection capabilities to ensure they have the right tools and knowledge for an unplanned event.

Awareness and preparation will go a long way during the recovery process. If you need help preparing, we are here to help! Contact your Risk Solutions Consultant for assistance in preparing your facilities or staff for severe weather.

Tagged: "emergency preparedness", "severe weather"