How Do I Protect My Business?
The gulf coast and southeastern United States are some of the most desirable areas in the country to live in. Known for its sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and warm climate, this region is home to over 80 million residents. Sometimes it can be easy to forget that these same communities are among the most hurricane prone areas in the country. If you’ve lived in the southeast for long, you know that these large tropical storms are a part of daily life in the south, especially from the months of June to November.
“Almost 40 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors after a disaster.” – FEMA
In the last decade, major metropolitan areas have seen a steep increase in devastating, destructive, and deadly hurricanes. From Alex to Harvey to Katrina, year after year these storms are finding ways to impact cities and towns thought previously invulnerable. Capable of causing billions of dollars in damage, hurricanes destroy homes and businesses alike. While natural disasters like these can’t be completely avoided, they can be protected against to ensure that your business and your livelihood survives the onslaught.
How To Survive A Hurricane
Total Cost: $47,000 – $85,000
Part of what makes hurricanes so tricky to protect against is that they aren’t just one force of nature. When they make landfall they almost always bring water, wind, and even frequently spawn tornadoes. What do you need to do in order to counter these equally cataclysmic disasters? Let’s break it down.
The most dangerous aspect of a hurricane is its ability to cause flooding both from rainwater as was seen recently in Houston and storm surge. Both sources have the ability to submerge your business in a significant amount of water. Even worse is when the flooding eventually starts to impact other structures in the area filling the water with debris and waste. Luckily, there are options available to keep the water out.
Average Cost: $3,000 – $5,000
Waterproofing your business includes everything, from sealing the foundation, to sump pumps capable of draining any water that accumulates on the ground level of your business. Keeping up with the build up of water is crucial for keeping your building clear of water.
Average Cost: $1,000 – $3,000 per barrier
Flood barriers are like a dam for your building. If the foundation and walls of your commercial property are sealed up and sturdy, then the addition of a flood barrier will keep the water raging outside flowing right on by your door. These flood protection products can be a huge help in keeping your building above water especially when trying to combat storm surge. Barriers range from highly sophisticated automatic systems to crude physical barriers & sandbags. What you buy needs to hold and cheaper solutions may fail when you really need them.
Hurricane Preparation Loan
Don’t lose out on retirement and don’t start again from scratch. We can finance the upfront cost of everything you need to ensure your business is protected and most importantly, around for a long-time to come. Not only will you be able to count on your property still being there but you’ll be able to count on your income. Protect your business and protect your financial well-being.
Hurricane Relief Loan
Should the worst come to pass, we can help get you back up on your feet with the money you need to rebuild and recover through a hurricane relief loan. While there’s no substitute for prevention we understand that even the unexpected can happen when you least expect it. Our financing can provide the necessary funds to contract repairs, replace equipment, and re-open. Even when everything seems lost, it’s always still possible to keep going.
Save On Taxes
Many states in the gulf region offer incentives for making these improvements to your place of business. Through reimbursement programs, you might be eligible to receive a discount on your property taxes, or even a rebate on the money you spend to get the property ready. Many of these items will improve the insulation of the structure, meaning a lower energy bill every single month.
3. Power Down
Average Cost: $3,000 – $12,000
During a hurricane the chances of you losing power is almost a certainty. While a well constructed power grid may remain functional for a few hours, it will eventually fail leaving you in the dark and any pumps you’re running completely disabled. Furthermore, if the building’s electrical system is located in a basement or low point in the structure, then even a moderate amount of floodwater can create a highly dangerous situation. Before things get to that point, it’s advisable that you switch off the power in the building. To keep everything running properly and protected, it’s advised you purchase a permanent backup generator capable of keeping things running for a long period of time.
Hurricanes can exert a tremendous amount of stress and damage to a structure with the violent winds that frequently blow for the duration of the entire storm. In the most powerful hurricanes, wind speeds can even exceed 150 mph. The key to resisting these extremely powerful gusts is by strengthening the weakest areas of the structure.
1. Secure the Doors
Average Cost: $4,000 – $6,000 per door
Investing in an impact door for your business can go a long way toward ensuring it remains once a hurricane has passed. These doors also double as protection from tornadoes that might spawn during the course of the storm. They tend to be made from strong, extremely sturdy, materials capable of taking punishing hits from debris and other wind propelled missiles. They can also help with insulation and energy costs when not protecting you from danger.
2. Secure the Windows
Average Cost: $750 per shutter + $2,000 installation fee
Hurricane shutters come in many different styles and material. The most expensive of which can run $3000 per shutter, are made from wood and can beautifully accentuate the exterior of a building. The most practical hurricane shutters tend to be the roll-up style, made of metal, and cost an average of $750 per window. Hurricane shutters not-only protect costly glass, but ensure the exterior of the building isn’t breached leading to very expensive damage to the buildings interior. Hurricane resistant glass is also an option.
3. Secure the Roof
Average Cost: $2,400
One of the biggest points of failure on a building during a hurricane is the roof. The powerful winds generated by the storm can easily tear a roof straight off the structure. To prevent this, depending on the roof, hurricane clips can be installed to ensure the roof stays on no matter how bad the wind gets outside.
4. Replace the Roof
Average Cost: $14,500 – $19,500
A metal roof not only has the benefit of being extremely difficult to get under and lift, but it also provides physical protection from any debris that may strike the roof itself. Building the roof from metal can provide an excellent level of protection from wind damage and it has the benefit of being an extremely long-lived property investment. These roofs are capable of lasting a very long time and withstanding many forms of inclement weather.