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Are we ready for hurricane season?


Once again, we are facing the hurricane season that runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. It’s time to prepare for the eventual passage of storms or hurricanes. As in recent years, experts predict that this hurricane season will be very active, with about 19 storms, of which four will be intense, as per Dr. Klotzbach from Colorado State University.

Puerto Rico is in the path of the storms that originate in the Atlantic Ocean, a hazardous area where sustained winds can reach up to 145 mph. Business managers must confirm that they have adequate insurance coverage, that physical structures are in good condition, and have a business continuity plan. 

Each company must evaluate its risks in the face of hurricanes, winds, flying debris, and floods. In the case of coastal properties, storm surges can reach the premises and disrupt business operations.

Follow these recommendations to be better prepared:

Author Ricarte Meléndez is senior technical specialist, Latin America & Caribbean, of American International Group (AIG).

  • Make an objective assessment of your property and building material. Is it made of concrete? Do you have glass doors or windows? Is your roof made of wood or metal?
  • For windows, purchase Miami Dade County Approved models resistant to wind pressures and flying debris.
  • Install storm shutters. There are several types available. Consider your budget, if you have space to store them, and the time and labor required for installation. 
  • Ensure drains are clean and there is no ponding water on the roof. Verify the condition of the roof and its waterproofing system. 
  • Confirm that no debris around the building can become projectiles and cause damage.
  • Anchor all equipment installed outside with tensioners or screws on a concrete foundation.
  • Power plants must have their required maintenance and enough diesel to operate for several days. Disconnect equipment that is sensitive to energy fluctuations.
  • Assess the potential flood risks of the business using FEMA maps to know if your property is in a flood zone.
  • Buildings on the coast at an altitude of 15 feet or less above sea level could be affected. A hurricane can cause storm surges of 14 or 15 feet. One option is to build a retaining wall around the property or raise the land around the structure.

From the start of hurricane season, it is essential to calculate the time it will take you to prepare for the impact of an intense cyclone. 

AIG offers its policyholders the risk assessment service performed by engineers, who identify possible areas of vulnerability of the business and provide recommendations to reduce risks.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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