Hurricane Preparation for Businesses

How to Prepare Your Business for a Hurricane

Preparing for a hurricane is no easy feat for yourself, but when your business is in the path, it’s another layer to think about. Use these helpful tips from fellow boutique and business owners to help you prepare and clean up after a hurricane.

Before the Storm:

  • Determine what can stay and what needs to evacuate with you. Important documents and such should take the trip with you. We personally are packing up our inventory and putting it in our cargo trailer to evacuate with us. Just one less thing to worry about.(Hillary Gravett, Brown Bag Boutique)
  • Logistically we make sure that nothing is touching the floor, everything is raised up, and we take videos of the inventory before we leave for the last time in case any insurance claims are needed. (Corey O’Loughlin, Prep Obsessed)
  • Take videos and narrate what is in your store/warehouse. Adjusters can take pictures from the video to submit for claims. (Hillary Gravett, Brown Bag Boutique)
  • Insurance. Insurance. Insurance. Whether it’s home or for your store, add more. We are survivors of Harvey. I would call and make sure all your insurance is up to date. (January Lincoln, Rustic Closet Boutique)
  • Always board up and block any French door. They open far too easily in that kind of wind. (Tina Joyner, The She Shack Boutique)
  • My advice…take it all with you! That’s what saved us after Harvey! Make sure you call your insurance agent and you are covered a million different ways! (Cara Little, Ritzy-Gypsy Boutique)
  • Pack belongings in tubs and store in a high place. Board your windows. EVACUATE!!! In plenty of time. Take important papers. Refill meds. Clothes. Food. Water. Batteries & flashlights. Do NOT leave your pets behind. Take them out of danger in another town and board if need too. Fill up with gas. Have extra if u can. I chest with water and ice. Blankets. (Jodie Butler, Southern Mess Junkies & More Boutique)
  • Ensure all of your animals are tagged and if possible microchipped. Move everything you can and prep your windows. Looters and even just busted glass can and will happen. Also if you can cover or remove your stuff- do it. Fill up your cars and keep them full. (Barbara Pshigoda, Southern Mess Boutique)
  • If you can evacuate do it, if it’s not an option be mindful of your surroundings. Fill up the bathtub with water, gallons from the store are great but that tub will fill plenty! And if you need to flush toilets it’ll come in handy. (Mindy Bliss Smith, Southern Bliss Company)
  • Have cash on hand for post‐windstorm needs, such as buying food and supplies, or paying employees and contractors. (SBA)
  • Fill fuel tanks of generators, fire pumps, and all company‐owned vehicles. Shut off natural gas supply in order to minimize fire loss. Disconnect the main electrical feeds to the facility, if possible, to prevent a potential fire caused by short‐circuiting of damaged equipment. (SBA)
  • Before you leave, I encourage you to do what I did. I grabbed my best selling accessories, graphic tees we had gotten in for the fall, cups, and small items I could shove into my jeep. I also grabbed my CPU, and my original machines we started out with. I took detailed videos of my store, my merchandise I was leaving, my items I used to run the store, I videoed serial numbers, makes, and any info that would be helpful for an insurance claim. (Lacy Layton, Louise & Co Boutique)
  • MAKE SUREyou have a printed version of all of your insurance documents and have this on you at ALL times. The Red Cross, FEMA & other aids may request to see this for your business. Also, some banks were closed for over a month, we carry a lot of cash in my family, but if you don’t- you need to go get cash now! Stores had no power for weeks but would take cash for items that they had leftover. (Lacy Layton, Louise & Co Boutique)
  • We picked everything up off of the ground and put it as high as possible because we had no clue that a Cat 5 was coming and then it would just crumble our building. If you boarded up windows, board up the door too. The wind only needs one entrance to get in and then it can make a wind tunnel and destroy everything. (Lacy Layton, Louise & Co Boutique)
  • BUY THE WATER. We went four weeks with no power. BUY the water, and then buy some more. Make sure your medication is filled, make sure you have feminine products, make sure you have a first aid kit. Make sure you have anything you need for your kids. If you feel overly prepared. Then you are prepared! (Lacy Layton, Louise & Co Boutique)
Photo by Taylor Bennett

After the Storm:

  • Keep listening to radio, TV or NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards to make sure the storm has passed. (SBA)
  • Afterwards, don’t drive around. Flooding is insane and not worth it. Let first responders handle what they can and not tend to gawkers. (Barbara Pshigoda, Southern Mess Boutique)
  • During the storm monitor the weather situation in your area and determine when it is best and most safe to come back. When cleaning up TAKE ALL THE PICTURES. Remember, before and after you can never have too many pictures or too much documentation for what you have. (Hillary Gravett, Brown Bag Boutique)
  • Survey for safety hazards such as live wires, leaking gas or flammable liquids, poisonous gases, and damage to foundations or underground piping. (SBA)
  • Call in key personnel and notify contractors to start repairs. Make sure safety systems are fully implemented before work is allowed to begin. This means controlling smoking and other open flame sources. Require contractors to share responsibility for establishing fire‐safe conditions before and during the job. (SBA)
  • Begin salvage as soon as possible to prevent further damage: Cover broken windows and torn roof coverings immediately. Separate damaged goods, but beware of accumulating too much combustible debris inside a building. (SBA)
  • Clean roof drains and remove debris from roof to prevent drainage problems. (SBA)
  • MY BEST ADVICE- keep talking to your customers. We used my group to get food to customers, we got clothes to children, blankets to families sleeping in cars. We did so much with our group, and the help of YALL! We had no phones for about 2 weeks and then got burner phones! I got my iPhone back around week 4 & started posting the items that I had taken with me in my Jeep! My ladies were so happy to shop! They wanted normalcy! We did pickups out of my Jeep at Walmart!(Lacy Layton, Louise & Co Boutique)

Our entire Boutique Hub team is here for you, you will all be in our thoughts and prayers. Please feel free to reach out to any of us! We will be posting check-in threads in our Boutique Hub Members Only group to get updates from our members and to make sure everyone is safe. 

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Meredith Pomietlo
Meredith Pomietlo
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Meredith is our Trend & Podcast Editor here at The Hub and enjoys anything involving photography, art, and design! She also has a love for fashion, especially the boho-vintage vibe. She is currently going to school for Retail.