Severe Weather procedures
Generally, there are three types of unusual weather conditions which may occur and for which extraordinary precaution should be taken; Severe thunderstorm activity, Tornado, and Hurricane. The Property Management Team will begin monitoring the weather events when local weather services have predicted severe weather in the area.
Severe Thunderstorm Activity/Flooding Threat Procedures
Local weather service will issue advisories predicting areas of probable severe thunderstorm activity and the estimated duration of such activity.
- Tenants should monitor weather conditions and possible flooding warning and make internal decisions as to closing their offices or releasing employees.
- Notify the Property Management Office if you decide to close your office for the day.
Tornado Procedures (Warnings)
By definition, a tornado warning is an alert by the National Weather Service confirming a tornado sighting and location. The weather service will announce the approximate time of detection and direction of movement. Wind will be 75 mph or greater. Public warning will come over the radio, TV, internet websites or five-minute steady blasts of sirens by the municipal defense warning system.
If time allows, Property Manager will:
- Instruct the Security Ambassador to announce a warning via the PA system to building occupants that a tornado is approaching and should find shelter-in-place away from windows and open spaces (like lobbies or large offices and conference rooms).
- Instruct the Engineer to secure loose objects indoors and prevent persons from gathering in the lobby areas.
Should an official tornado warning be announced by the National Weather Service, the following safety guidelines are recommended:
- Move away from the exterior of the building (away from windows and glass) to an interior hallway, rest room or exit stairwell.
- As you move, try to close the doors of rooms, which have windows. Also, be sure the door to your suite is closed tightly, but not locked.
- Go toward the center of the building and protect yourself sitting crouched and putting your head closely to your lap or by kneeling to protect your head.
- Stairwells are safe. If crowded, move down to a lower level for shelter. DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS.
- DO NOT go to the first or second floor lobbies or outside the building.
- Monitor your radio, television or internet connection to follow the path of the tornado if possible.
- KEEP CALM. If you are trapped in an outside office, seek protection under a desk.
- Once the weather has subsided, report any damage or storm related leaks to the Property Management Office.
The actions necessary to prepare for hurricanes are much more complex. The National Hurricane Center issues tropical storm hurricane advisories. As these phenomena develop, the information bulletins are issued to inform the public that an unusual weather activity is being monitored.
- Seven (7) days before the tropical storm or hurricane is expected to influence land areas, the Center will issue advisories on a scheduled basis at 11:00 p.m., 5:00 a.m., and 5:00 p.m.
- Approximately forty-eight (48) hours prior to the estimated time the tropical storm or hurricane is expected to reach the coastline, the Center will establish watch conditions.
- Subsequent advisories will be issued at three (3) hour intervals, 11:00 p.m., 2:00 a.m., 5:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 8:00 p.m.
- When the hurricane comes within radar surveillance, approximately 175 miles from the United States coastline, advisories will be issued every two (2) hours.
- Be aware of National Hurricane Center advisories and bulletins and local official advisories. As weather conditions develop, you should be aware of terms being used:
- Tropical Wave or Disturbance: A cluster of clouds and/or thunderstorms without an organized circulation, moving through the tropics. Stronger systems start as Tropical Waves.
- Tropical depression: An organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined circulation and top winds of less than 39 mph.
- Tropical storm: An organized system of strong thunderstorms with defined circulation and top winds of 39 - 74 mph, which can quickly develop into hurricanes.
- Tropical Storm Watch: Tropical Storm conditions are possible in the specified area of the Watch, usually within 36 hours.
- Hurricane: An intense tropical weather system with a well-defined circulation and a sustained wind speed of 74 mph or higher.
- Hurricane watch: A hurricane watch covers a specified area and duration and means that hurricane conditions are a real possibility. When a hurricane watch is issued, listen for further advisories, take steps to notify your employees, secure your office, and be prepared to evacuate if necessary. Hurricane conditions are possible in the specified area of the Watch, usually within 36 hours. During a Hurricane Watch, prepare to take immediate action to protect your property in case a Hurricane Warning is issued.
- Hurricane Warning: When conditions are expected within 24 hours, a hurricane warning will be announced by the National Hurricane Center. All precautionary measures should be completed and you may be required to evacuate the building.
- There are several “phases” in preparing for a hurricane and Property Management will keep tenants up-to-date on planned closures via emails and/or the Tenant Hotline. Closures are typically determined based on local authority closures and recommendations.
- Tenants should prepare their own action plans as to how they will notify employees before and after a hurricane event. Phone contact lists should be kept and up-to-date. Text messaging is always more reliable in high cell traffic events than voice or email communication.
- Landlord will determine building closures and will provide as much advanced notice as possible to tenants. Tenants have discretion as to closing offices prior to Landlord closures. Upon closure all tenants must evacuate the property. The building cannot be used as a shelter for employees or family members.
- Do not attempt to return to your office until notified by your employer or Property Management via the Tenant Hotline. Re-opening is based on the condition of the building and local authorities’ recommendations.
Under most hurricane circumstances, you will have plenty of time to exit the building before the storm arrives.
During emergencies or situations, which can cause loss of electrical power and interruption of water supply pressure from the City, the following conditions can be expected:
- All HVAC systems will be out of service including chillers, air-handling units, and exhaust fans (not including stairwells).
- All elevators except those operating off emergency power from the generator will be out of service.
- All tenant power and lighting except emergency lighting will be out with exception of service provided by emergency generators.
All services will remain in operation as long as possible. Property Engineers will likely remain on site throughout the duration of the storm but electrical and water services are temporarily discontinued if utility companies cannot deliver services. Conditions on the building site warrant shut down of equipment or systems to prevent damage.
Hurricane Preparation Tips
- Do not tape the windows.
- Close all office doors inside your suite.
- Any window coverings (drapes or mini-blinds) should be in the open position.
- Be prepared to protect offices that have exterior glass that could be broken by flying debris. Loose papers should be filed or stored away from the windows. Any small items in an office should be stored.
- Doors between outer offices and inner corridors should be closed.
- Unplug all computers, telecommunications equipment, microwaves, etc. so as to protect them from possible power surges.
- It is advisable to cover computers with plastic and taped or tied down to help prevent possible water damage.
- Secure or remove any valuables, lock file cabinets and desks, turn off the lights in your office and lock the entrance doors to your suite.