How salons and spas can prepare for this year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season

The 2019 hurricane season caused significant damages to businesses and homes across the country. Hurricane Dorian, for example, reached Category 5 status and according to Aon, caused $1.2 billion in economic damages. Tropical Storm Imelda, even though it barely registered as a tropical storm, managed to cause $2 billion in damages and at least five deaths through its incredible flooding.

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is nearly here — it begins June 1 — and research so far indicates it will be another active one. Hurricane forecasters at Colorado State University anticipate 16 named tropical storms, with eight of them forming hurricanes and four of those being major hurricanes. These experts have estimated that there is a 69 percent chance at least one major hurricane makes landfall along the U.S. coastline this year, greater than the last century’s average of 52 percent. Hurricane data indicate that this season will be another dangerous one, making proper disaster planning and preparation essential.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many beauty industry professionals are now at home, while others are reopening for limited operations. While they may not be at their physical locations during potential hurricanes, they still may need to consider adequately preparing them for the storms. Here are some steps business owners can take to ensure their businesses stay safe during hurricane season:

  1. Clean up: In a severe hurricane, any signage, seating or other items kept outside the building is at risk of flying away due to the heavy winds. Either remove or secure any items to help ensure they do not become projectiles. Furthermore, clean up the property and remove any other items that could cause damage if blown up by the wind.
  2. Check your insurance: Review what exactly your insurance policy covers in advance of any storms so you can prepare for any losses accordingly and make sure your business is as protected as possible.
  3. Take inventory: Make a list of all company property beforehand, including supplies, vehicles, equipment and more. This will make it easier to organize a claim in the aftermath of a storm.
  4. Prepare the roof: Perform regular roof inspections to make sure it is prepared for hurricane winds and damages. A strong roof with maintained roof covers and a drainage system will minimize potential damages to both your home and business during a storm.

These steps are just a few of the disaster planning options people can take to prepare for hurricane season. It would be wise for salon and spa owners to ensure their businesses are safely secured, so that once the pandemic is over, they can return without a hitch. For more useful tips and practices, consult the Insurance Information Institute’s guide to preparing for hurricane season and these guidelines for how to respond when a hurricane is nearing.

As 2020 hurricane season nears, now is a great time to make sure you are prepared. By preparing your business and reviewing your insurance, it will be easier to ensure you and your company stay safe and healthy throughout the hurricane season.

Kathy Lopez, Account Manager for SASSI, the Salon and Spa Specialty Insurance program at Brownyard Group. She can be reached at klopez@brownyard.com.

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