• Chris Dowler, FMP


Strap in and hold on!

For about two-and-a-half months our lives have centered on the many impacts of the coronavirus. And now, beginning yesterday, the Atlantic hurricane season has begun. Actually, as a curve ball, Mother Nature jumped the gun, with two named storms already having formed prior to the official start to the season.

To add to the many concerns with which many of us are living, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting higher than normal activity for this season.

The Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 – November 30 – is forecast to have 13 – 19 named storms of which 6 – 10 could become hurricanes; of those, 3 – 6 could become major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5).

The other two major hurricane forecasting services – AccuWeather and Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science – make very similar predictions.

With supply chains disrupted it is more important than in previous years to prepare.

Like a good Scout, be prepared.

Proper preparation will make enduring – or even surviving – a hurricane easier. Readiness begins with a vetted continuity of operations plan (CoOP).

Review your CoOP to refamiliarize yourself with the hurricane annex plan. Make any corrections needed and let all stakeholders know what changes have been made. Do this now, before a hurricane approaches.

Make sure all contact information is updated. And make sure you have alternate means of communicating. Hard lines are often lost during hurricanes and cell signals become quickly overwhelmed.

Because damage is usually regional, rather than town-specific, your usual vendors may not be able to service you – have back-ups from outside the area ready. Make those relationships now.

Prep your facility and grounds. Bring in outdoor equipment and secure anything left out so that they do not become projectiles in high winds. Inspect roofs and clear roof drains / gutters.

Ensure back-up generators have full fuel tanks and have been serviced. Don’t forget to coordinate how you’ll receive refills after the storm.

It may be prudent to have plywood to board up windows. Ideally these were purchased before the announcement of the proximity of the hurricane. They should have been sized and marked for each window / door.

Have a cache of clean-up tools / supplies pre-positioned in a secure location so that clean-up can be expedited.

And check with your insurance carrier long before a hurricane is announced to ensure that you have proper coverage.

Oft forgotten dangers.

People always forget that hurricanes are not just coastal storms.

Larger hurricanes have a reach of hundreds of miles inland.

While storm surge and high winds rack coastal areas, inland flooding and tornadoes can be wreaking havoc inland, along with high winds.

Another impact which needs to be addressed is the impact of the storm on your staff / tenants / customers. How will you get back up and running if 50% of your staff have homes which have been impacted? How can you help your tenants to get back up and running? How will you service your customers?

Lean on us.

These are just some general areas which should be addressed. Dowler Construction Services can help you with specific plans. Plug-and-play plans are a useful start but often fail in the face of an actual storm precisely because these plans do not know your business and do not know the nuances of your business in your location. Contact us today for a free consultation.


Chris Dowler, FMP

Founder and Owner

Dowler Construction Services

a strategic facility solutions firm

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