Surviving a Disaster: Evaluating Damage

Small Business Disaster Recovery > Assessing the Damage

The scope of damage caused by hurricanes is nothing short of devastating, and recovering from a disaster takes time and effort. The first step in putting the pieces back together and getting your business back on track is to evaluate damage. Before we provide some expert tips for identifying the scope of damage, protect your business with an Orlando Commercial Property Insurance policy.

First, it’s important to understand how uncharacteristically strong winds affect commercial structures. According to Case Forensics, wind forces acting on a structure will remove the weakest components of a structure long before damaging the stronger structural elements. Wind speed increases with height above the ground and are more severe at higher elevations. Therefore, wind-caused damage to building components is typically initiated at the higher portions of a structure. Conversely, damage resulting from flooding is initiated at the lower parts of a structure. Pressures produced by flood waters moving at just a few miles an hour can exceed pressures generated by 100 MPH wind speeds.

The way the building was built and the safety provisions taken will have a lot to do with the damage after the storm. For example, the use of hurricane clips, straps, and anchors are utilized along the roof-to-wall, wall-to-wall, wall-to-floor, and floor-to-foundation connections. Any of these areas missing possible load-transfer provisions may result in damage caused from a wind incident that could have been prevented, says Property Casualty 360.

Evaluate the damage from the top down. Roofs, walls, structural supports, flooring and foundations are the most at risk after these torrential storms. Once the damage has been evaluated and noted, a claim can be filed. Be sure to document all the damage as you encountered it.

Remember, if the building is structurally unsound, contact a professional engineer to ensure the safety of yourself and your employees. The amount of damage might not be apparent at first glance, so if you’re unsure of the safety, don’t enter alone.

About Newman Crane & Associates Insurance

Deciding what coverages you need and what limits and deductibles make the most sense can be tricky. Since 1965, Newman Crane & Associates Insurance has been helping Central Floridians make sense of their options and make the smartest choices for their circumstances. We encourage you to contact our friendly, experienced, and capable team today. Call us at (407) 859-3691 for a consultation.

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