The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a “near-normal” hurricane season in 2019, with between two and four major hurricanes expected. The Atlantic hurricane season, which began June 1, is officially underway and is forecasted to last until November 30.
While this is only an estimate, buildings should prepare in advance for a hurricane’s disruption.
Are You Prepared?
The National Hurricane Center suggests a multi-step approach to prepare, plan, recover, and find resources in the event of a storm.
Step One: Financial Risk Analysis
The contingency process begins with a review of the different functional areas of your facility, their dependence on power, HVAC and compressed air equipment, and the impact a loss could potentially have.
By understanding the importance of these items to your operations and quantifying their financial impact, you can determine the areas that need to be considered.
Step Two: Risk Assessment
Identify the potential causes for an interruption and rank them based on cost impact, probability of occurrence, and system downtime.
Step Three: Equipment Identification
Document all equipment in your HVAC and power systems, including their operating conditions. Partnering with a trusted advisor, like Boland, will help you detect system weaknesses that need to be addressed prior to implementation of the plan.
Step Four: Prioritization
Evaluate your most critical facility loads and process needs for essential operations, including those with the highest financial implications for your business.
At this point, you may want to consider load prioritization and/or load shedding to reduce the amount of capacity required. For a short period of time, you may be able to operate with higher air temperatures in certain areas and completely shut down others.
Step Five: System Connection
Decide how and where connections should be made to help reduce time and money. Care will be taken to choose a location that is easily accessible and that requires the least amount of temporary installation material to keep additional costs to a minimum.
For businesses, HVAC and power should always be part of the plan.
Having a plan and being prepared in advance of an HVAC emergency can reduce the risk of financial loss by:
Shortening the time needed to acquire, install and start up temporary power, HVAC or compressed air systems. In addition, having the paperwork completed in advance further reduces downtime.
Ensuring that all parties involved in dealing with the outage are aware of their roles and are trained in the processes and actions needed to work through the problem.
Lowering the total cost of the temporary solutions because any necessary building modifications can be scheduled, instead of being performed under emergency conditions.
Reducing startup delays caused by oversights or problems resulting from improvised designs.
Improving a facility’s operations by identifying and reducing any weaknesses in the system.