QBE North America Provides Tips to Help Businesses Prepare for Hurricane Season

Published: May. 23, 2022 at 9:40 AM EDT

NEW YORK, May 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The Atlantic Hurricane Season officially kicks off on June 1 and insurance leader QBE North America is offering tips for businesses to help predict, prepare and protect against severe weather. Another above-average hurricane season is in the forecast for 2022, as experts at Colorado State University say there will be at least 19 named storms and nine hurricanes — four of which will be Category 3 (winds 111 to 130 mph) or higher.

(PRNewsfoto/QBE North America)
(PRNewsfoto/QBE North America)(PRNewswire)

"Even if you have a tried-and-true plan in place, now is the time to look at it with a fresh mindset," said Jan Young, Vice President, Loss Control Leader, Risk Solutions, QBE North America. "Businesses have undergone significant challenges and changes in the last several years that may not be adequately addressed in their disaster response plans, and the risks from the pandemic are still present. We want to help empower business owners to effectively protect their property and people from disaster, and ensure that if an incident does occur, they can recover quickly."

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. Employers should also 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. This year businesses should anticipate possible delays and challenges in recovery due to rising inflation, supply chain issues, and worker shortages.

QBE suggests the following actions to help business owners ready their property and employees prior to hurricane season. The focus is on protecting:

  • People. Employee safety is the number-one concern. COVID 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. 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.
  • Property. 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.
  • Records. Gather contacts that are crucial to business operations, such as employees, banks, lawyers, accountants and suppliers. Save this information in an alternate and accessible off-site location.
  • Inventory. Have an up-to-date inventory of what is in your offices and facilities, including products and assets, as well as current financials. Keep in mind physical records can easily get destroyed so have a backup elsewhere.
  • Power. 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.

"No matter how prepared you are, accidents and losses can happen in an instant," said Monique McQueen, Assistant Vice President – CAT Claims, QBE North America. "Businesses should check in with their broker or insurer regularly 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 hurricane season.

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.

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.

About QBE
QBE North America is a 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 2021 of $6.29 billion. Information on QBE Insurance Group's results can be found at 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 primarily through its insurance company subsidiaries. The actual terms and conditions of any insurance coverage 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 qbe.com/us.

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.

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