Preparing for Hurricanes Now Will Save You Later

During hurricane season, there is no such thing as being over-prepared for a storm.

Each year organizations like FEMA, state, and local governments, as well as emergency management officials, provide guides, flyers, and essential phone numbers and website addresses detailing what you need to do to ensure your safety before, during, and after a storm arrives.

Little, however, is offered on what to do to protect your worksite or business from the storm and what equipment you’ll need to recover if impacted.

Of course, when it comes to deadly storms like hurricanes, personal safety comes first. According to FEMA, a basic emergency kit should include the following items:

  • Water: At least three gallons per person, to last a total of three days.
  • Food: Bringenough non-perishable items for three days.
  • First-aid kit: See how the Red Cross recommends building a first-aid kit HERE
  • Medications: Stock a seven-day supply of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
  • Important documents: Store deeds, leases, insurance policies, passports, medical information, and other papers in a fireproof, waterproof container. You may also want to store electronic copies on an external drive or website.
  • Contact numbers: Know how to reach your support network, including family members, neighbors, doctors, and insurance agents.
  • Cash: ATMs may be down during power outages.
  • Local maps: The internet and global positioning system (GPS) may not be available.
  • Flashlight: Don’t forget batteries!
  • Radio: Get one powered with batteries or a hand-crank.
  • Matches: Keep in a waterproof container.
  • Cell phone: Bring your charger and consider external batteries.
  • Generator: Think about getting a portable generator, and don’t forget the gas.

The last item and many others needed to protect your business or job site in the event of a hurricane can be rented through a company like Herc Rentals. With locations spread throughout hurricane-prone areas, each stocked with gear designed to protect during a storm – and speed up recovery after – Herc Rentals can respond quickly to a crisis and provide the expertise to ensure any losses are minimized.

Rent to Save and React

If you don’t feel like spending tens of thousands of dollars on hurricane protection and recovery equipment you may only use once in a lifetime, renting the equipment is an option.

When you set up an account with Herc Rentals, a climate and remediation expert will go over your needs and offer solutions. This peace of mind can go a long way toward negating any additional last-minute stress as a storm approaches and eliminate any frantic search for the equipment you and many others will need after the storm strikes.

With more than 270 locations in North America, a company like Herc Rentals can quickly mobilize its equipment near areas expected to be affected, ensuring you’ll have the equipment delivered, set up, and working efficiently, effectively, and safely.

After the Storm

After astorm strikes, the desire to immediately assess damage to your business or job site kicks in. But before you get to work, here are some safety concerns to consider:

  • Make sure electricity is turned off to avoid electrocution.
  • While attempting to return to a flooded office or building to gather belongings, beware of stepping into a swale or manhole not visible beneath the floodwater; this could lead to drowning.
  • Do not wade through flood water without protective equipment; flood water could contain large amounts of bacteria, oil, hazardous materials, solid waste, and other contaminants that, if ingested, absorbed or inhaled can cause illness or death.
  • In areas with mold, mildew, or other respirable hazards, wear a respirator and make sure it’s sealed tightly around the face. Be mindful that facial hair will break the seal on a respirator.
  • Heat and humidity can easily cause heat stress or worse, so take proper work/rest cycles and hydrate.

Now that you know what safety precautions to take before and after a storm as well as the benefits of partnering with a rental company, it’s also a good idea to know about what equipment to rent.

Anyone who has been through a hurricane knows recovery speed is unpredictable. It can be days or even weeks before power is restored and days before floodwaters recede and introduce a new problem for affected business owners – mold.

Veterans of hurricanes also know that while one business may be affected by the storm with a damaged roof, flooding, or more, a competitor down the street may have experienced little or no damage at all. Then add in the fact some locations may get power restored days ahead of another location just a mile or so away, and you’re left to ask yourself, “Can I really afford to wait?”

Renting the Right Equipment

Renting the right gear will save you money in both the short and long term. In the short term, renting is more affordable because there’s a good possibility you’ll only ever use this equipment once or twice. And, if your business or job site is impacted by the storm, the longer you have to wait for the restoration process to begin, the more costly the repairs will be due to the spread of mold.

But what equipment you’ll need hinges on a variety of factors, including: type and size of business or job site; loss of power and; property or building damage. Equipment to consider includes:

Fuel tanks – When the power is out, gas station pumps are too. And if there is a gas station open in the area, the line for fuel could be backed up for miles. Whether you need gas for your fleet, generator, or other equipment, one way to keep your work moving is by having a fuel source capable of storing thousands of gallons at your fingertips. 

Portable battery power – With eight AC power outlets and eight USB ports, portable battery power boxes are weather resistant and can power anything from radios, televisions, computers, cell phones and, if you’re working late on repairing damage, even light towers.

Portable light towers – Whether repairing damage after sunset or providing increased security to a business or job site, portable light towers (gas, electric, or solar-powered) are worth your consideration.

Generators – If you want to power something small like a refrigerator and TV, or provide power to an entire office building, pharmacy, hospital, nursing home, evacuation center or job site, you can with Herc Rentals’ selection of portable, towable or skid mount generators.

Climate control – A hurricane’s high winds or floodwaters can damage air conditioning units. Maintaining a cool, comfortable interior climate is essential in pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes, computer rooms, and factories where equipment can overheat. Portable air conditioning units ensure you’re protecting patients, products, and equipment until your permanent unit is repaired or replaced.

Pumps – Flood or water from storm surge can fill up basements and ground floors quickly. A pump will remove water fast.

Dehumidification (LGR and Desiccant) – In addition to pumps, LGR and desiccant dehumidifiers, are key pieces of equipment to have on hand if your building has suffered water damage. Dehumidifiers are designed to remove moisture from the air, thereby preventing corrosion, mold and mildew formation.

Debris removal – Outdoor clean-up can be extensive, ranging from downed trees and limbs, to damaged roofs and more. Equipment that can help make the effort easier includes chainsaws, conveyors, backpack blowers, woodchippers, and more.

Drying equipment – Equipment like air movers are designed to work with other equipment like dehumidifiers, air scrubbers, and more. Air movers, which can be daisy-chained, are designed to dry out soaked carpets, ceilings, walls, and stairways.

Air-quality control – Devices like air scrubbers are another vital piece in the remediation process. Built to remove particles, gases or chemicals from the air, the scrubbers’ filtration system removes harmful mold that often becomes airborne during the restoration process.

Think about your business and job site. What would happen if a major storm hits your area? Will you wait your turn to be rescued and then wait again for equipment to repair and restore your property? Or start preparing now and make sure that when the storm does arrive, its impacts on your business or job site are limited?

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