When implementing a hurricane plan, consider other emergency plans, systems or practices already in place that will support surviving and recovering from a storm including:

  • Shutting off water, gas, oil and electricity supplies as required
  • Ensuring that sufficient members of staff and volunteers are familiar with the process designated at each location
  • Maintain a back-up electrical power supply in the event that power is disrupted for an extended period following the storm
  • Establish and maintain emergency contact information for all staff, volunteers and key service providers
  • Back up all critical data securely to the cloud or at a location that is not likely to be affected by the storm
  • Appoint a designated person with the authority to implement the emergency action plan
  • Retain a roofing contractor to allow faster access to critically needed repair services after a storm
  • Have your roofing contractor check the condition of your roof. Verify rooftop equipment is secure and that connections and fasteners holding equipment in place are not corroded.
  • Consider adding strapping or bracing to reinforce rooftop equipment


Implement an annual plan to monitor for hurricanes and tropical storms.

48 Hours

About two days before a hurricane is expected to impact your facility you should consider the following:

  • Review the hurricane emergency action plan with all involved personnel — staff and volunteers as needed
  • Check all roofs and make repairs as time allows
  • Remove all loose items from the roof and remove any debris that has accumulated
  • Ensure roof drains are clear of obstruction
  • Only the appropriate staff trained in the safe use of ladders, scaffolding, lifts and platforms, as well as fall prevention techniques should undertake any work at height, otherwise you should contact a specialist roofing contractor
  • Check that outside storm drains and catch basins are clean and clear of obstruction
  • Remove any debris from outdoor areas that might become a projectile during the storm
  • Remove loose, outdoor, inactive equipment such as BBQ’s, play equipment, furniture etc.
  • Back-up computer data

36 Hours

The impact of the hurricane is now imminent, but time is needed to:

  • Protect or relocate vital business records
  • Remove all loose outdoor storage items and equipment
  • Anchor portable buildings or trailers to the ground
  • Secure outdoor equipment that cannot be moved
  • Install any manual protection systems (e.g. plywood covers)
  • Raise critical equipment off floors (e.g. computers)
  • Move critical equipment from basement areas
  • Turn off fuel gas and oil services, and non-essential electrical systems
  • Verify all fire and life safety systems are in service (e.g. water supplies, fire pumps, sprinklers, fire alarms)

After the Storm

When it is safe to return to your premises:

  • Inspect the site for hazards such as live electrical wires, broken glass etc.
  • Verify the status of fire and life safety systems
  • Check water supplies, fire pumps, automatic sprinklers, fire alarms and security systems
  • Have qualified personnel thoroughly check all utility systems
  • Inspect your facility for any damage and initiate emergency repairs immediately
  • Promptly notify contractors to avoid waiting in line for service
  • Establish repair priorities, including the building envelope, utilities and fire protection systems
  • Begin salvage as soon as possible to prevent further damage
  • Downed trees can also be a hazard if they are in contact with power lines or at risk of causing bodily injury or property damage. Only qualified contractors or personnel should remove downed or partially downed trees.
  • Contact your insurance broker and notify your insurance company

After a Flood or Storm Surge

Flooding often occurs during a hurricane due to storm surges and torrential rainfall. If your facility has flooded:

  • First check that it is safe to enter your property
  • Watch out for hidden dangers in flood waters such as sharp objects, raised manhole covers and pollutants
  • If your property has suffered damage, contact your insurance broker
  • Always wear waterproof outerwear, gloves, boots and a face mask when clearing up after a flood
  • If your electricity service is not already switched off at the main intake, get a qualified and licensed electrician to do this
  • Remove water from your premises using a pump or generator
  • Shovel any mud away evenly from both sides of a wall
  • If you are drying the property naturally then keep all doors and windows open as much as possible
  • If dehumidifiers are being utilized, then close external doors and windows