Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th each year. Louisiana has experienced 54 hurricanes since 1851, with 17 ranking between a Category 3 and a Category 5. Other states that have suffered significant hurricane damage include Florida, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, New York, and Massachusetts. Unfortunately, hurricanes are not something that can be avoided in certain regions. Since hurricane watches are announced only 48 hours before the expected tropical-storm-force winds, your business, there is not always a lot of time to fortify your business. Magellan Construction has a multitude of experiences with building businesses to stay hurricane ready.
Tropical storms have sustained winds of 39 to 73 miles per hour and hurricanes have sustained winds of 74 miles per hour and higher. Making sure the structure of your business will be able to endure these winds is crucial. Also, keep in mind that roof overhangs are subject to wind uplift forces and increase your chances of damage from a hurricane. Partnering strong connections between the structure and foundation with using a more durable material such as concrete or steel will help fortify your business from debris and winds.
Installing impact-resistant windows and doors will also help with debris and winds. Windows that are double-paned and have air-tight seals and doors made of heavy metal materials will give you the best chance to avoid hurricane damage. Additionally, elevated structures are necessary if you are in an area where flooding is common. Many insurance companies will only offer you flood insurance if your business is raised. Keep in mind where your backup power will be kept. Onsite generators are a deciding factor as to when your business will be able to reopen after a storm.
There are a few things that you can do once a watch has been announced. Hurricane shutters should be installed on your business during construction and latched before the storm hits. This way, wind, and debris will have to make it through the shutters and the double-paned air-tight seal of your window to cause interior damage to your business. Properly maintaining your business facilities regularly will also help your business stay intact. Be proactive instead of reactive with your maintenance, especially if you live in an area that is frequently affected by hurricanes or tropical storms. Be sure that all roof-mounted equipment is securely attached. During a storm, movement on your roof can cause damage and/or allow for water intrusion into the building.
For more information on making sure your business is adequately prepared to face the hurricane season, call Magellan Construction at (337) 856-0034.