When the weather is good, it makes for positive, effective workdays in greenhouses and nurseries — plants thrive, people are happy and it’s a healthy work environment all-around. But when the weather is uncooperative, the effects of storms, hail and flooding become evident very quickly. So keep your greenhouse or nursery safe during storm season by reviewing, securing and planning for whatever Mother Nature has in store for your area.
Get paperwork and technology in order
Whether you know storm season is coming or you live in an area known for “freak storms,” review your insurance policy so you’re fully aware — and in control — of what’s covered. Did you add on to a greenhouse in the last few months or purchase new heavy equipment? Make sure those items are covered in your policy and keep all paperwork up to date.
Don’t forget about your technology, too. Check that your computer platforms are consistently updated, and that your files are protected, by backing them up regularly. Be sure to keep all technology on surge protectors so motherboards don’t burn out.
Batten down the hatches … and everything else
If you have employees, teach them how to firmly secure all aspects of your business, from properly covering plants to keeping tools, equipment and chemicals safe. And don’t forget to check the following items to make sure they’re in good working order or stored properly:
- All large motor vehicle equipment such as trucks, tractors, diggers, etc.
- Hand-held equipment such as chain saws
- All bracing systems — if needed, create new ones
- Drainage systems are cleared of debris
- Loose items such as watering and pesticide equipment, hoses, hats, gloves … anything you see that should be stored, put it away
Flooding can be swift and dangerous, but even an inch or two of stagnant water can set a business back by damaging soil, plant roots or pumps. Hail brings a different concern — it can rip holes through material, dent metal and damage motor vehicles, among other things. Learn more about how to safely clear debris and care for equipment.
Be the man or woman with a plan
Whether you run a small business by yourself or have employees helping you, it’s of the utmost importance to have an evacuation plan. Even if it’s never needed, having a plan in place will help provide peace of mind for all involved.
- Keep people together in a group and create a “buddy system” so no one gets separated or left alone.
- Let employees know whether you will provide group transportation or whether people will need to drive their own vehicles.
- Make sure everyone knows the phone numbers for local authorities.
- Post copies of the evacuation plan all over the property: where people congregate, at workstations, above sinks in bathrooms and kitchen facilities — and make sure the plans are highly visible.
- Account for everyone, including anyone with disabilities or those who may need their own equipment and/or medications.
- Consider turning off the power before evacuating.