Responding to Hurricane Damage: Retail


Hurricane’s can be especially damaging for large retail facilities.

Everyone in the retail business knows that the last thing you can afford is to have your doors shuttered.  Every hour, day, or week you spend closed due to disaster damage is more time that you are compounding your losses.  Repairing damages costs money, but having your store closed for an extended period of time can be even more costly.  You can’t predict nature, but you can be prepared.  Here are some tips for staying prepared in the face of a natural disaster which will help make sure you minimize the amount of time you have to stay closed and the money your business will lose.

More expansive facilities can often be more susceptible to hurricane damage due to sheer area.  Many times large retail complexes span multiple stories, putting them at a higher elevation and therefore a higher risk for wind damage from hurricanes.

Property manages of such complexes, especially in major coastal areas, should always be aware of their surroundings.  Do you know where the local levee systems and damns are?  Knowing this type of information will help you be better suited to predict where potential flood waters will come from, and therefore inform your preparations.  You will have a better idea of how to spend your resources when prepping your facility and making sure water runoff areas are in place.

How to Prepare for and Minimize Damage

Natural disasters such as hurricanes sometimes develop quickly and having contingencies in place which allow you to respond quickly will help mitigate your damage and loss of revenue.  Make sure all of your facility’s large doors and windows can either be shuttered or that you always have materials at the ready should you need to board and seal them before an impending storm.

Hurricane damage can also put your facility at risk for fire.  While many newer buildings are built to withstand fires, it can be easy for a property manager to overlook their products.  Always know how flammable your facility and the products it houses are.  Managers may also want to consider installing redundant sprinkler systems since hurricanes and loss of power frequently come as a pair.

Finally, consider the scale of your facility and take into account how the size will affect potential hazards and how you plan on repsonding to them.