Prep Tips for the 2024 Hurricane Season

Written by
KGI Marketing Team
Published on
June 3, 2024 at 10:21:37 AM PDT June 3, 2024 at 10:21:37 AM PDTrd, June 3, 2024 at 10:21:37 AM PDT

The Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1st and current forecasts point to a highly active season. Is your business prepared? KGI’s President, Nick Gunia, recently served as an expert panelist on a webinar about hurricane preparedness for the chemical distribution industry that was presented by the Alliance for Chemical Distribution, or ACD. KGI is a proud ACD member and we’re grateful to the organization for affording Nick the opportunity to share his knowledge and experience on the subject with fellow chemical distributors. During the panel discussion, Nick shared lessons learned while preparing his Miami-based company for several tropical storms and hurricanes over the past two decades.

Since hurricanes are a risk for many KGI customers, we wanted to share some of the key takeaways from the webinar. Importantly, we should not prepare for future hurricanes based on past experiences or historic protocols since we are seeing alarming new trends such as rapid intensification, whereby a tropical storm might strengthen into a category 4 or 5 hurricane in just 24 hours. Furthermore, although tropical storms typically are not feared as much as hurricanes due to their lower wind speeds, they can still cause catastrophic damage from flooding due to heavy rains. These trends, which some scientists attribute to climate change, underscore the need to evaluate your company’s preparedness with fresh eyes and an open mind.

Top Tips for Preparing for the 2024 Hurricane Season

1. Develop a robust hurricane plan that clearly outlines preparation protocols, evacuation procedures, and business continuity measures. Ensure that your plan contemplates common challenges in the aftermath of a major storm, including loss of electricity, water, internet, and cellular service for prolonged periods.

2. Address complacency (i.e., a common mindset, especially in areas that have not experienced a major storm in some time) among your team members by getting senior management involved in preparations and planning, and by providing live training and drill opportunities.

3. Ideally before the start of hurricane season, stock up on the essentials to keep your business running, including necessary chemicals, ingredients, and packaging materials to produce your products despite supply chain disruptions in the wake of the storm.

4. Ensure that storage locations for any hazardous materials at your facility are secure and out of harm’s way in the event of contingencies like flooding.

5. Thoroughly test all necessary emergency systems and backup equipment, such as generators, before the start of hurricane season so that any necessary maintenance or repairs can be performed in a timely manner.

6. When a storm is approaching your area, be sure to give your staff ample time to make personal preparations at home. Encourage your team to similarly get prepared on the home front before the start of hurricane season so there is less to worry about in the event of a storm.

7. Consider utilizing cloud-based software and services, which can be accessed from anywhere, regardless of whether your site is impacted and offline.

8. Be aware of regulatory compliance obligations under applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

9. Be proactive about engaging and communicating with community stakeholders, including emergency responders and local governments.

10. Ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage, including for insurance and business interruption for maximum peace of mind.

In addition to these tips, there are many available resources to help get your business prepared for hurricanes and other natural disasters. Ready.gov, a website of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is one example that provides helpful toolkits for businesses among myriad other resources.