Outages & Storm Center
Before the Storm
Good preparation makes storms and outages more bearable. Having a plan can also limit the impact on you, your family and your business, while also keeping everyone safe.
Prep Your Home
Storms can cause major damage to your home, costing you thousands to repair. Brace your home for possible storms now with these simple tricks and tips.
- During severe cold weather, let faucets drip to prevent pipes from freezing, and use foam insulation, newspapers or plastic to insulate exposed pipes. Be prepared to shut off water valves if a pipe bursts.
- Fill your bathtub and spare containers with water in case your electric water pump or the local water system goes out.
- Make sure your roof is structurally sound enough to hold the weight of snow or ice.
- Weather-strip doors and windows or cover them with plastic to prevent drafts; insulate your walls and attic.
- Trim back any branches that pose a threat to your house or other structures should they fall during the storm.
- Protect your family from fire hazards by cleaning and maintaining your chimneys and heating equipment.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning is more likely in the winter when homes are shut off from ventilation. Install detectors if you don’t already have them.
Prep Your Business
A Severe Weather Plan can help you be as ready as possible for approaching severe weather. Make sure everyone in your business, especially your leadership team, understands the Severe Weather Plan.
Protect data with backup files
Plan for supplies and services
Know your risk
- Check your hurricane evacuation level and FEMA flood maps to determine if your business location is vulnerable to storm surge or freshwater flooding.
- Have your building(s) inspected by a licensed professional to find out if your workplace is vulnerable to hurricane force winds and what is recommended to retrofit.
- Employee safety comes first! Prepare, distribute and follow your business severe weather plan for recovery.
- Consider providing shelter to employees and their families and helping with supplies after a storm.
- Establish a rendezvous point and time for employees in case communications are disrupted.
- Establish a call-down procedure for warning and post-storm communications.
- Provide photo IDs and a letter of authorization to enter the building.
Contact customers and suppliers
- Share your communications and recovery plan in advance.
- Prepare a list of vendors to provide disaster recovery services.
Review insurance coverage
- Have your business appraised at least every five years.
- Inventory, document and photograph equipment, supplies and workplace.
- Have copies of insurance policies and customer service/home numbers.
- Take out Business Interruption Insurance.
- Consider Accounts Receivable and Valuable Papers Coverage and Income Destruction Insurance. If you have Business Owners Protection Package (BOPP), check co-insurance provisions.
NOTE: Flood damage requires separate coverage and is not covered under other insurance programs.
Ready Your Car
Storms don’t always affect us at the most convenient time. You may be at work or your kids may be at school when the weather starts to deteriorate. Prepare your vehicle now in case you find yourself stuck in the middle of severe or icy conditions.
- Check antifreeze levels.
- Check ignition system and clean battery terminals.
- Get a brake checkup.
- Air filters and fuel – Use additives to keep water out of your fuel system. Keep a full tank of gas to prevent the fuel line from freezing, and in case you get trapped on the road.
- Perform heater and defroster maintenance.
- Check your headlights/taillights and hazard blinkers.
- Oil – See if your car manufacturer recommends thinner weight oil.
- Check thermostat.
- Check your wipers and wiper fluid.
- Check tire tread to ensure grip. Most winter conditions can be managed with all-weather radials.
- Prepare a mobile emergency supply kit.
Mobile Emergency Supply Kit
Road conditions are extremely hazardous during severe weather. If you must drive or find yourself unexpectedly caught in hazardous conditions, be prepared with these emergency supplies:
- Cellphone charger
- First aid kit
- Jumper cables
- Full tank of gas
- Tow rope
- Tire chains or snow tires
- Bag of sand or cat litter
- Shovel, ice scraper, snow brush
- Boots, gloves, warm clothes
- Water, snacks