Tokio Marine America's (TMA) mission as a Good Company is to provide Anshin (safety, security and peace of mind) to our clients and the public during these challenging times.
Hurricane season in North America runs from June 1st to November 30th. While hurricanes are known as a concern for the southeast region of the country, 40 of the 50 U.S. states have experienced hurricanes or tropical storms since 1866, according to FEMA.
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is setting up to be no exception. This is the first hurricane season in recorded history where eight tropical storms and one hurricane have formed before August 1.
Preparing for Hurricane Season
Now is the best time to start planning for the possibility of a windstorm event. TMA recommends the following tips:
- Review your emergency response plan. Elements should include options for evacuation, operating offsite, and sheltering in place.
- Establish a plan for communicating with your employees, clients, and other key stakeholders - both from your existing location and from potential offsite locations.
- Prior to any storm, inspect roof, flashing, windows, exterior walls, and doors. Ensure rooftop equipment is secured properly. Hire a qualified contractor to make needed repairs now to prevent the potential of a large loss during or after a storm.
- Ensure your rooftop drains are clear of debris and the ground outlets are free of obstructions to allow proper flow of storm water off the roof.
- Test emergency generators to assure proper operation during a power outage. If your building is not equipped with an emergency generator, secure one from a third party supplier well ahead of a storm for essential systems, if possible.
- Practice emergency evacuation and shelter in place drills.
- Continue to manage your inspection and maintenance procedures for any vacant or unoccupied buildings. Tokio Marine America has developed guidelines to identify action items for these buildings: Precautions During Vacated or Idle Production Periods
Taking action before, during, and after a severe rainstorm, windstorm, tornado or hurricane may help mitigate the severity of the loss as well as enhance the overall safety of the facility.
Our windstorm guidelines adhere to nationally recognized standards followed by the insurance industry for new construction and re-roofing. Pre-storm actions should include developing an effective hurricane preparedness plan that incorporates advanced planning to ensure your buildings’ roof covers and rooftop equipment are designed to meet the anticipated wind loads.
Tokio Marine America Loss Control has developed several resources to help you and your organization prepare for windstorms such as hurricanes and tropical storms.
Please consult with your local TMA Loss Control representative for assistance with implementing this advice at your facility.
If you have fire protection equipment that is out of service, report the situation and expected duration to Impairment Notification Online: www.TMAmerica.com/impairments
Property Damage and COVID-19 Concerns
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, officials in the United States have expressed concerns about the hurricane season potentially exacerbating the effects of the pandemic. Evacuations would be significantly hindered due to fears of contracting the virus and social distancing rules would break down when giving aid to hurricane-affected areas. As Hanna, the first hurricane of the 2020 season approached landfall, local officials underscored the reality of the coronavirus when warning residents living in flood-prone neighborhoods about the prospect of evacuation.
The CDC has posted important information for Disasters, Severe Weather and COVID-19 that explains how the COVID-19 pandemic can affect disaster preparedness and recovery, and what you can do to keep yourself and others safe.
As part of Tokio Marine America's commitment to providing high quality loss control services to our policyholders, we offer web-based resources that can assist you in hurricane preparedness safety training. Visit www.TMAmerica.com/SafetySkills for more information.
Below are links to websites that have useful information for employers from Simple Safety Coach, American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), National Safety Council (NSC), and other sources for reference.
IMPORTANT NOTICE - The information and suggestions presented by Tokio Marine Management, Inc. is for your consideration in your loss prevention efforts. They are not intended to be complete or definitive in identifying all hazards associated with your business, preventing workplace accidents, or complying with any safety related, or other, laws or regulations. You are encouraged to alter them to fit the specific hazards of your business and to have your legal counsel review all of your plans and company policies.