Just when you thought 2020 was throwing fewer curveballs, coastal states hit the most deadly time of the year: hurricane season. First, Hanna caused power outages for thousands and dropped about 15” of rain on Texas. It was the first hurricane to hit the state in July since 2008. Now, Hurricane Isaias is moving up the northeastern coast, causing flooding, power outages, and costly damages.
If your business is located in a state that is threatened by hurricanes, preparation is key. A minor storm can blow up overnight, leaving little time to protect drivers and vehicles. Developing a hurricane preparedness plan allows you to cover every task quickly, minimizing potential losses and damages.
4 Ways to Prepare Your Fleet for Hurricanes
1. Create a Step-by-Step Plan
As soon as a storm starts heading your way, you want to have an organized list of actions that will prepare your fleet. Before hurricane season starts, address the decisions you won’t want to solve during crunch time. These questions may include:
- Where are we parking vehicles to avoid water and wind damage?
- When should we close the office? Are we giving employees enough time to protect their own homes and families?
- Are drivers equipped to deal with post-storm conditions?
- How will we get in contact with the team if power/communication infrastructures are damaged?
2. Prepare Vehicles
Though you’ll definitely want to fuel every vehicle just before the storm hits, there are ways to equip your vehicles in advance. Create roadside kits for each vehicle and check periodically to make sure each kit is full. These kits can include first aid supplies, flashlights, glowsticks, water, batteries, and non-perishable snacks. You should place all documentation into waterproof bags and check each vehicle for leaks. You don’t want to rush these tasks, so do them well before a hurricane threatens.
3. Train Drivers for Storm Safety
Some fleets, particularly those involved in utilities and emergency services, can’t stay off the roads after a storm. Keep drivers safe by coaching them on best driving practices in rough conditions. Remind drivers to drive slowly, avoid flooded streets, and watch for debris. They will likely encounter the unexpected, so emphasize critical thinking and problem solving while they’re out.
4. Determine Your Schedule for Returning to Work
As mentioned above, some fleets have to return to work immediately to offer assistance and restore power. For others, resuming normal options may be more tricky. Meet with your company’s leadership to create plans for different scenarios. You may not be able to fully plan your return, but preparing multiple responses can make the process much smoother and more successful.
How do you prepare your fleet for a hurricane?