Sponsored by Society Insurance
There’s one consistent hazard in Colorado every year – the return of hail season – and your business should be prepared. Colorado’s infamously dangerous and costly hail season begins mid-April and runs throughout the summer and into September.
Colorado is one of the most hail-prone states in America, with 380,066 hail loss claims between 2017 and 2019, according to a National Insurance Crime Bureau Hail Report. That’s 14 percent of all hail claims in the United States. In fact, of the top five U.S. cities with the most hail loss claims, two are in Colorado – Colorado Springs and Denver. And the financial impact is tremendous. In May 2017, a powerful storm accompanied by hail resulted in $3.6 billion in damages across Colorado. In the last 11 years, hailstorms have caused more than $5 billion in insured damage in Colorado.
While you can’t predict the unexpected, restaurant owners can better prepare themselves with preventive measures against these dangerous storms. At Society Insurance, we have compiled best practices for establishments to protect their businesses against hail storms and other natural seasonal disasters to avoid costly storm damage insurance claims.
Inspect your Roof Every Year or Two to Prevent Indoor Storm Damage
Not only does a regular roof inspection extend the life of your roof, saving you money long-term, it allows you to troubleshoot and remedy any issues such as split shingles, loose or broken roofing material, rusty metal and sagging. It is much easier to fix a small roof problem than a collapsed roof or burgeoning leak that can cause even more damage inside.
Address Drainage Problems Prior to Storm Season
Check your gutters and building drainage before the storm season begins. If your gutters are due for a cleaning, contact a local gutter company to complete the job. Additionally, if your roof has been damaged, so have your gutters most likely. Neglected gutters spell disaster as they accumulate debris and standing water. Standing water can easily overflow into your foundation, potentially flooding the basement and shutting down your establishment.
Secure Outdoor Items to Prevent Wind Damage
Any grills, picnic tables and/or lawn furniture can become projectiles in high wind scenarios. “Batten down the hatches” as they say – you don’t want your patio umbrella to go spiraling through the air in the midst of a summer storm. Consider securing patio furniture with steel security cables if you cannot safely store furniture.
Trim your Trees to Prevent Storm Damage
While dead trees and dead branches are a liability all of the time, dead branches are more likely to fall during heavy storms and gusting winds. This can be hazardous to you, your employees, patrons and the building. From tree limbs falling on the roof to dead branches getting tangled in power lines, a well-maintained property will, again, help you avoid costly storm damage insurance claims.
Create a Storm Preparation Checklist
- Have storm supplies inside the building and in working order. This includes flashlights, backup generators, water bottles, battery-operated weather radio, first-aid kit, blankets, extra batteries, and a tool set.
- Maintain a current contact list for state and local entities and ensure employees know where it is.
- Have an emergency plan in place for severe weather and make sure employees are properly trained in what to do.
Have a Plan for Power Loss
A plan for a power loss should include:
- Who to contact in the case of a power outage and their contact information
- Where supplies are kept (ie: batteries, weather radio, flashlights, first-aid kit, etc.)
- Instructions for employees to keep freezers and refrigerators closed
- Compliance with generator safety measures by only using outdoors and away from windows
- Notice that a gas stove should not be used as a heating source
With the worst of this year’s hail season possibly still ahead of us, there’s never been a better time to prepare for a possible hail storm, especially if you call “Hail Alley” home. Restaurant owners can mitigate damage to their building, payroll and bottom line if they invest a little bit of time into preventive measures. For more information on Society Insurance, please visit https://www.societyinsurance.com/.
This information is provided as a convenience for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute legal or professional advice. It is provided to assist you in recognizing potential unsafe work problems or conditions and not to establish compliance with any law, rule or regulation.