QBE North America Marks National Hurricane Preparedness Week 2021 By Offering Tips for Businesses
NEW YORK, NY, May 11, 2021— As 2021 National Hurricane Preparedness Week kicks off (May 9-15), insurance leader QBE North America released its Predict, Prepare and Protect Hurricane Tips for businesses. Beginning June 1, experts predict a more active season than usual. A recent report by the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project calls for 17 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes (115-plus-mph winds), making it a great time to think ahead.
QBE recommends having a disaster response plan in place to help ensure employee and customer safety, minimize property damage, and get business back up and running should a hurricane occur. Businesses should anticipate possible delays in recovery due to economic implications of the pandemic and the challenged construction market.
“Even if you have a tried-and-true plan in place, now is the time to look at it with a fresh mindset,” said Paul Isaac, Senior Vice President and Loss Control Leader at QBE North America. “Businesses have undergone significant challenges and changes in the last year that may not be adequately addressed in their disaster response plans, and the risks from pandemic are still present. Our team works closely with claims to help businesses prevent claims from happening and ensure that—when they do—we are right there with you.”
Some tips to consider when preparing for hurricane season:
- Employers should be sure to have an up-to-date formal business continuity plan in place, which should be shared with key staff well in advance of a hurricane.
- Gather contacts that are crucial to business operations, such as employees, banks, lawyers, accountants, suppliers, etc. Save this information in an alternate, accessible off-site location.
- Have a plan in place if there is a loss in power. Make sure generators are on hand and employees know how to use them safely. Companies should be prepared for longer than usual power outages.
- COVID-19 safety is still an issue, especially with the potential for additional on-site workers such as outside responders, contractors, and vendors in the event of storm damage. Businesses should have formalized procedures for protecting all workers during both response and restoration periods.
- Have an up-to-date inventory of what is in your offices and facilities. All products and assets should be documented. Also save a record of current financials and keep in mind physical records can easily get destroyed, so have a backup elsewhere.
- Make sure employees know how to turn off water, gas, and other utilities when necessary, and conduct proper facilities training so multiple people can be called on in a crisis, if needed, especially those in close proximity to the business.
- Stock up on essential items ahead of time and if possible, use a storage facility for storing materials like chainsaws, fuel for generators, plywood, pumps, and other key machinery, as well as survival needs like PPE, disinfectants, water, food items, batteries, first aid kits, and medications.
QBE Risk Solutions offers a variety of tools and tips to help their insureds plan for disasters. Additionally, there are several useful resources to assist with hurricane preparedness planning, including The Ready Business Hurricane Toolkit from FEMA.
Businesses should check in with their broker or insurer to discuss any changes to their operations and property, including any employee workplace changes and new or updated equipment. QBE also suggests discussing your current insurance valuations to make sure everything is updated going into the hurricane season.
QBE North America’s Risk Solutions teams are experts in risk and delivering loss prevention and loss protection services. Their focused commitment to service and technical acumen helps customers identify, evaluate, and reduce their potential for losses and business risk. By getting to know their customers, their business operations, priorities, and concerns, they can help deliver the best possible outcomes.
QBE North America is global insurance leader focused on helping customers solve unique risks, so they can focus on what matters most. Part of QBE Insurance Group Limited, QBE North America reported Gross Written Premiums in 2020 of $4.775 billion. QBE Insurance Group's 2020 results can be found at www.qbe.com. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, QBE operates out of 27 countries around the globe, with a presence in every key insurance market. The North America division, headquartered in New York, conducts business through its property and casualty insurance subsidiaries. The actual terms and coverage for all lines of business are subject to the language of the policies as issued. QBE insurance companies are rated "A" (Excellent) by A.M. Best and "A+" by Standard & Poor's. Additional information can be found at www.qbe.com/us or follow QBE North America on LinkedIn and Twitter.
QBE makes no warranty, representation, or guarantee regarding the information herein or the suitability of these suggestions or information for any particular purpose. QBE hereby disclaims any and all liability concerning the information contained herein and the suggestions herein made. Moreover, it cannot be assumed that every acceptable risk transfer procedure is contained herein or that unusual or abnormal circumstances may not warrant or require further or additional risk transfer policies and/or procedures. The use of any of the information or suggestions described herein does not amend, modify, or supplement any insurance policy. Consult the actual policy or your agent for details about your coverage. QBE and the links logo are registered service marks of QBE Insurance Group Limited. © 2021 QBE Holdings, Inc.