“What is a storm surge?”
This is a question we often hear from clients who have recently relocated to a coastal location, or from clients who are looking into insurance and emergency preparedness solutions for their business. In Florida, where MaintenX is headquartered, storm surge is a real threat during hurricane season. However, not every facility manager knows if or how it will affect their business.
Storm surges occur when hurricanes or tropical storms approach the coastline. The wind forces water from the ocean above the naturally occurring tide line. This results in flooding close to shore, sometimes 20 feet or more above sea level. In coastal areas like Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, elevation in waterfront neighborhoods is often no higher than 10 to 15 feet. Thus, storm surge has the capability to destroy homes and commercial buildings in many coastal areas of the U.S.
Unlike flooding from other causes, the destruction of storm surge is amplified by the force of the ocean waves. Ocean water weighs approximately 1,700 pounds per cubic yard, meaning that same force is exerted on buildings as the storm surge rises. Within a few hours during a hurricane, storm surge can demolish entire buildings.
Will storm surge affect my facility?
Even with local business owners, we receive many questions at MaintenX about the risk of storm surge for Tampa area facilities. The answer, however, is complicated. Storm surge may affect your facility, depending on how high above sea level it is, as well as how close to the coastline you are. Coastal flooding can reach far inland, tens of miles from the shoreline. However, if your facility is high above sea level, you are at a lower risk for damages.
If you are at a lower elevation and close to the shoreline, it is important to prepare for storm surge. You may not be affected, but it is always better to prepare for the worst than simply hope for the best. At MaintenX we take storm surge very seriously and want to keep your facility and tenants safe.
What To Do About Storm Surge
If there is a hurricane headed towards your city, it is recommended to close down your business and allow employees several days to evacuate. As you close down, contact MaintenX for emergency solutions like sandbags and emergency power delivery before and after the storm. You can also talk to our team about developing a preventative maintenance plan to bolster your facility against storm damage.
If your facility is in a hurricane-prone area, talk to Maintenx. We are the area’s leading disaster response team and will ensure you are up and running as quickly as possible after a natural disaster.