Keeping yourself safe during a thunderstorm involves staying indoors, avoiding open areas, tall trees and metal objects. Keeping your business property safe during a thunderstorm requires different measures. Though lightning, trees and rainwater can damage your building, it can all be mitigated by you and your employees taking action before, during and after a thunderstorm.
Here are some ways to protect your business.
- Unplug any electronics to protect them from power surges.
- Let employees know not to use landline telephones that aren’t cordless.
- Installing surge arresters can protect your electronics by diverting lightning into the ground.
Trees and debris
- Clear eaves troughs and downspouts to prevent roof leakage and basement flooding.
- Even though they aren’t always on your property, make sure debris isn’t blocking the gutters surrounding your business.
- Most storm-related claims are caused by falling trees and branches damaging property. Take a proactive approach by trimming branches and trees that may fall soon. Look out for:
- Cracked and raised soil by a tree’s base
- Fungal growth around the trunk
- Bare branches, especially near the top
- Cavities or cracks in the trunk
- Always leave a tree’s final assessment and removal to a certified arborist.
- Small puddles of standing water around your property could be a sign that the ground outside is angled towards your building. Have a professional service adjust the grade to angle it away from the building, or perhaps install drain tile.
- Sump pumps are great for taking care of excess water around your property. Connecting one to a backup generator ensures it continues to run when there’s a power outage — always a possibility during thunderstorms.
Buildings and belongings
- Have a professional inspect your roof for cracks, breaks and anything else that causes leaks.
- Any items and furnishings outside your building should be secured or brought indoors before a storm hits.
- Documenting your belongings by taking pictures or videos makes it easier for insurers to replace them if they’re damaged by rainwater.
- If an incident occurs during a thunderstorm, call your insurer after it’s over. You should also encourage neighbouring businesses to contact their insurance companies if the incident affected them in any way. (For example, your fallen tree damaging their property is generally their insurer’s responsibility, so it’s good to get both parties involved.)
Depending on where your business is located, there’s a good chance you’ll experience some lightning storms and heavy rainfall this summer. Getting ready for them now, educating your employees on what to do when they happen and making all the right moves in their aftermath can help keep your business property safe from thunderstorms this summer.