Air and water can be devastating if they move fast enough and have enough volume. In a hurricane, you get both moving at speeds starting at 74 miles an hour. Hurricanes are placed in categories depending on how fast they are, with category one being the slowest and category five being the fastest. Category 5 or cat 5 hurricanes have wind speeds of over 156 miles an hour and can come with heavy showers.
Such hurricanes can cause devastation and extensive damage to businesses and their infrastructures. The extent of the damage depends on several factors, including the path the hurricane takes, the area’s vulnerability to hurricanes, and how prepared the business is for such weather events.
Businesses that are destroyed or suffer damage during a hurricane can make property loss claims that can help them carry out the necessary repairs and get back on their feet. So, what kinds of damage can a Category Five hurricane cause?
The most visible damage caused by a storm is structural damage. As the wind picks up, it may rip shingles from the roof or cause it to collapse. Once wind speeds hit Category 5 speeds, we see damage to walls, windows, and outdoor structures like decks and patios. Depending on their structural integrity, structures may be blown away by the wind, necessitating new ones because repairs would not be possible then.
In cases where the structure remains standing, which is improbable, but it happens, the extensive damage caused by the strong winds and heavy showers means the business would have to undertake significant repairs or tear down the building to start over. The result is additional costs that the business can claim from their insurance provider.
Category 5 hurricanes also come with storm surges and heavy rainfall that can lead to widespread flooding, mainly in coastal areas. However, other areas can get flooded depending on several factors, such as the grade of the land and mitigation measures taken to protect against flooding. Areas can also flood if the flow of water is impeded by structures, such that it flows from the area slowly.
Flooding destroys everything in the flooded area, including equipment, cars, structures, and inventory, leading to massive losses for businesses.
Any buildings that are partially or fully flooded will remain uninhabitable for a few weeks. Business owners have to wait for the flooding to stop and then clean their buildings to get rid of anything the flood water brought in. They then have to dry the building thoroughly to protect against issues such as mold and additional structure damage from prolonged dampness.
Category 5 hurricanes also knock down power lines. Even though that would not have a huge impact on businesses in the hurricane’s path because they are likely evacuated anyway, it can disrupt businesses in the surrounding areas. Widespread power outages like this means affected businesses cannot use devices that depend on electricity.
Additionally, crime often spikes when there is no power, so businesses must also think about protecting themselves from losses associated with theft. They can incur costs associated with putting security measures in place to protect themselves, or ensure they have proper insurance so they are protected from the costs associated with the power outage and any looting that may occur.
All the above – flooring, power outages, and structural damage – can lead to business disruption depending on how long they continue. Businesses can suffer long-term financial losses and must also deal with short-term revenue losses. All of this is on top of the expenses they incur getting their buildings in order and their businesses back up and running.
Business disruptions can also occur due to evacuations before and during a hurricane. Employee safety is crucial, so businesses should evacuate their premises in case of such events, which leads to them shutting down temporarily.
Even in cases where repairs are not required or the business does not need to recover from other damage, employees may be unable to return to work. This happens due to disruption to infrastructure and surrounding transportation networks. The latter compounds the issue further and leads to additional losses.
Transportation and logistics networks do not work when a Category 5 hurricane is on the way. Once these networks stop working, whole supply chains are disrupted. As with power outages, the effects of such disruptions are felt by businesses in the immediate and surrounding areas.
Businesses not directly impacted by the strong winds, heavy rainfall, flooding, and other hurricane events might experience delays in receiving essential products and materials. The result is production delays and potential revenue loss.
They may also lose some of their customers who do not receive their shipped products in time and choose to go with a competitor who can ship the products.
Businesses collect a lot of data that they use to serve their customers better, enhance their marketing, understand their competition, and much more. Sadly, many businesses do not follow proper data backup policies and strategies and end up storing their data onsite.
Businesses that do this put themselves at risk of losing the data in case of a hurricane. For this reason, all businesses must have off-site data backups in place, and they should also work with specialists to ensure they can recover their data easily.
Insurance providers want to make as much money as possible while paying as little as they can get away with. This is why it is common for businesses in areas that experience hurricanes to pay higher insurance premiums than those located in other areas. They are also more likely to face higher deductibles to cover regular payouts.
A category 5 hurricane is the strongest hurricane we can categorize right now, with winds faster than 157 miles per hour. These winds and the heavy rain that accompanies them can cause a lot of damage and cost businesses a lot of money. Businesses that have suffered such damage can make a claim with the help of our insurance claim advocates at Storm Damage, so they can start rebuilding.
You can visit our offices at 200 Lake Morton Drive, Suite 300, Lakeland, FL 33801 to talk to one of our team members about specific concerns or to ask any questions you have.
You can also call us today for a free consultation at (833) 941-7867.