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Disaster Prep: Hurricane preparedness and action plan

Casualty|Property
Disaster Response Center

June 4, 2021

In this installment of Disaster Prep, we focus on hurricane preparedness and actions to take to protect your workplace in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm.

Now is the time to prepare — it only takes one

The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1 and runs through November 30 each year. Although the peak of the season is usually during August – October, preparation is strongly advised at all times no matter how many storms are forecast. For example, Andrew, a Category 5 hurricane, roared ashore to devastate South Florida on August 24, 1992, a year in which only seven named storms occurred for the season.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was extremely active, with well above normal activity for the season. A record thirty named storms formed, with fourteen becoming hurricanes and six becoming major hurricanes - category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. This compares to the long-term average of 14.4 named storms, 7.2 hurricanes, and 3.2 major hurricanes. There was also one tropical depression that did not reach tropical-storm strength. (See page 6, “Understanding hurricane terminology.”) In terms of Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE), which measures the strength and duration of tropical storms and hurricanes, activity in the Atlantic basin in 2020 was 75 percent above the long-term mean.1

It’s important to keep in mind that the effects of a hurricane or tropical storm can be felt for hundreds of miles inland, not just along the coast. For example, inland flooding can be a huge concern, even if you are not physically located in a flood zone. Additionally, tornadoes are frequently spawned from hurricanes and tropical storms making landfall, so precautions are needed to protect structures and personnel from these events as well.

Download our hurricane response and action plan at the bottom of the page to learn how to protect your employees and your business in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm, including:

  • 2021 landfall predictions
  • How to prepare your workplace
  • Post-storm assessment
  • A checklist of hurricane precautions before, during and after a storm
  • Understanding hurricane terminology and classifications
  • Links to additional resources and information

How Willis Towers Watson can help

Willis Towers Watson has teams of highly qualified experts specializing in disciplines that provide solutions to issues that are critical to our clients. Our National Property Claims and Forensic Accounting & Complex Claims (FACC) practice include: certified public accountants, forensic accountants, property claim consultants, certified fraud examiners, project managers, FEMA experts, and engineering and construction consultants, with colleagues residing in multiple offices around the world.

The senior leaders of the National Property Claims and FACC teams have worked on some of the most challenging and complex insurance claims resulting from some of the world’s largest catastrophes and disasters, such as Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina, and the more recent Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. These teams have been successful in quantifying and recovering billions of dollars on behalf of clients.


1 National Hurricane Center, Monthly Atlantic Tropical Weather Summary

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