Winds from hurricanes and other severe storm systems can cause devastating effects to your commercial property within minutes, with the potential to seriously disrupt your business. What can commercial property owners do to combat this threat?

In April alone, Louisiana suffered several severe weather events that produced damaging high winds, hail, heavy rain and more. With the spring and summer storms that consistently work their way into Louisiana, now is a fitting time to assess your options to guard against serious wind damage to your roof, windows, building structure and more.

Considerations before you buy

Obtaining a strong insurance policy protecting against the effects of high winds is critical for Louisiana property owners. However, there are also steps you can take throughout the buying process to ensure that the property in question is prepared for severe weather risks.

Before finalizing your purchase, inquire as to whether the building is in compliance with Louisiana building codes. A thorough inspection of the property can uncover any issues that could pose considerable financial consequences for you later, including an unstable roof, outdated windows and other defects.

Assessing the vulnerability of your current property

Business owners can also take steps to protect their current properties. Considerations to regularly assess include:

  • Inspecting your roof. This is something that should be done on an annual basis, including proactively before the storm season and after severe weather.
  • Analyzing threats along your property. Each year can bring new risks or needs, such as a need for upgraded windows or the better sealing of doors.
  • Reviewing your insurance policy. Regularly review your policy to ensure your contact information is current and your needs are up to date.
  • Securing any outdoor items. Properly secure any outdoor equipment, signs or shrubbery near your building.

Business owners should also regularly evaluate an emergency plan to protect employees and key business valuables like IT equipment or other critical items inside the building in the event of a severe weather outbreak. Regularly analyze the security of your designated shelter space and notify employees of the procedure for when a storm hits.

In some cases, taking even the most proactive steps may not protect against the damaging effects of high winds. After a storm, swiftly assess and document the damage before filing a claim with your insurer. Work with an attorney to obtain the maximum amount you deserve.