Independents

What to Do Before and After a Hurricane

IndependentsAug 27, 2020

What to Do Before and After a Hurricane

As Hurricane Laura makes its way north, Berkley Asset Protection and Jewelers Mutual Group offer 26 tips for jewelers on preparing for, and dealing with, major storms.

Hurricane Laura made landfall early Thursday morning on the Texas-Louisiana border. As it moves north, here are tips for jewelers in its path on how to protect their stores, employees and goods. (Photo credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

New York—Hurricane Laura made landfall early Thursday morning near the Texas-Louisiana border.

The Category 4 storm is the second named hurricane of the year, following Hurricane Hanna in late July.

After “rapid intensification” over a 24-hour period into Wednesday, Laura lashed the coast with 140-mile-per-hour winds when it hit land.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the massive storm was downgraded to a Category 2 by Thursday morning but still had sustained winds of more than 100 mph and is expected to cause “catastrophic damage.”

Through the week, NOAA expects Laura to move up the Texas-Louisiana border and into Arkansas before heading east, through southeast Missouri, northern Tennessee and southern Kentucky.

Insurance companies Berkley Asset Protection and Jewelers Mutual Group offer tips to help retailers that are in the storm’s path prepare.

1. Stock up on emergency supplies if you haven’t already. This includes plywood for windows if there are no shutters, as well as mops, brooms, tarpaulins to cover key equipment and sandbags.

2. Keep an eye on TV, radio and online to monitor weather conditions and the issuing of watches and/or warnings.

3. Test generators, emergency lighting, uninterruptible power source equipment and sump pumps to make sure they’re functioning properly.

4. Put items that could be picked up by wind, such as store signs and outdoor furniture, inside the building.

5. Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you don’t have the latter, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.

6. Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.

7. Store jewelry inventory in the safe or in a bank.

8. Make sure the computer system is fully backed up and that a copy of key information—like inventory records, repairs, vendors, year-to-date sales, vendors and contacts—has been made to be kept in a safe place away from the store. Jewelers Mutual has a checklist of such material in its Hurricane Preparedness Guide.

9. Charge cell phones and download a weather app, like NOAA Now or NOAA Weather.

10. Give both your staff and local law enforcement your cell phone number.

11. Cover computers, machinery, supplies and other areas with tarps. Avoid storing materials on the floor if they could be damaged by water.

12. Fill your car’s gas tank and get extra cash out.

13. Create an evacuation plan and communicate it to your team, business neighbors and family members. Learn safe routes to travel inland.

14.

Evacuate if advised by authorities. Leave early, during daylight hours if possible. Be careful to avoid roads that are flooded or washed out.

15. Since most business insurance plans don’t cover flooding, consider flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, which must be purchased in advance.

16. Do not go near standing water or moving water, or attempt to drive across flowing water.

Berkley Asset Protection and Jewelers Mutual Group also have 10 tips for retailers that apply to after a hurricane has come through.

1. Do not return to the area until the authorities say it is safe to do so.

2. Survey for damage and take pictures of any damage to the building and its contents.

3. Contact your security company and insurance agent as soon as possible to report damage and review next steps.

4. Check for downed power lines and exposed electrical lines. Report loose or dangling power lines to the local utility company, police or fire department.

5. Before utilities are turned back on, check for gas leaks, look for electrical system damage and check for sewage and water line damage.

6. Complete temporary and immediate repairs to minimize hazards and ensure the building can be safely accessed.

7. Remove all debris as soon as the adjuster has been contacted, and separate damaged property from undamaged property, taking care to protect the latter.

8. Use the telephone only for emergency calls, keep abreast of the current situation, and account for all employees.

9. Critique your pre- and post-storm actions to find strengths and weaknesses and make necessary adjustments for the next emergency.

10. As you are setting up the store again, don’t forget to take COVID-19 protocols into account.

“Remember that COVID didn’t go away just because Laura showed up. You should still be taking the necessary precautions—wearing a mask, washing hands, and social distancing,” said Andrew Chipman, vice president of jewelers block at Berkley Asset Protection.

For additional help from either company, visit BerkleyAssetPro.com or JewelersMutual.com.
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.
tags:

The Latest

Policies & IssuesMay 14, 2021
Petra Reaches $6M Settlement Amid Claims of Human Rights Abuses

A report by a nonprofit documented an alleged seven deaths and 41 assaults on artisanal miners at the Williamson mine in Tanzania.

AuctionsMay 14, 2021
Phillips’ New Selling Exhibition Celebrates Female Designers

It features pieces from the likes of Solange Azagury-Partridge, Suzanne Belperron, Marina B, and Silvia Furmanovich.

Recorded WebinarsMay 14, 2021
Watch: Dissecting the Vintage Watch Craze

Watchfinder & Co. US Country Manager Edouard Caumon talks the timepieces retaining value and current marketplace trends.

Brought to you by
How to Engage and Sell to Millennials

Millennials were once feared in the diamond industry, but now this younger generation has become today’s largest diamond buying demographic.

TrendsMay 14, 2021
Piece of the Week: Deirdre Featherstone’s Amber Drop Earrings

They’re perfect for welcoming “Springtime in New York.”

Weekly QuizMay 14, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of May 10-14, 2021.
Take the Quiz
AuctionsMay 13, 2021
The 100-Carat ‘Spectacle’ Diamond Sells for $14M

It sold at the low end of its estimated range at Christie’s jewelry auction in Geneva.

SourcingMay 13, 2021
Fura Gems Launches Membership-Based Marketing Program

The Fura Marketing Council will offer advertising materials, sales training, product promotion initiatives, business consulting, and more.

Brought to you by
A New Golden Age

Gold has had its share of ups and downs over the last 5 decades. Here’s why the metal is having another big comeback.

MajorsMay 13, 2021
Sotheby’s Opens ‘The Emporium’ Retail Store in New York

The company celebrated its debut by collaborating with beauty entrepreneur Gucci Westman for a special edit of luxury items.

×