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Every hurricane season is different: Here's what businesses and individuals around the world will have to do in 2024 to stay prepared.

With the arrival of hurricane season, businesses in vulnerable regions must brace themselves for the potential impacts of powerful storms. Recent years have shown us the devastating effects hurricanes can have on communities and economies, with billions of dollars in damages and countless businesses disrupted.  

For businesses, the stakes are high. Without adequate planning, the physical and financial repercussions of a hurricane can be catastrophic: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates that 25% of small businesses don’t reopen after disasters. But, the agency notes, “Having an emergency disaster plan and a continuity of operations plan in place can reduce that risk and help the business recover faster.” 

This guide will walk you through the essential steps for hurricane preparedness for businesses, from assessing risks and securing physical assets to safeguarding digital resources and establishing effective communication strategies. 

In addition to practical steps to hurricane preparedness, we'll look at the latest predictions for the 2024 hurricane season, helping you understand the level of preparation needed. 

Preparing for a hurricane: For businesses and organizations 

In the event of a natural disaster, corporate leaders not only need to consider how to mitigate the impact on their infrastructure and operations, but also the role their organization will play in ensuring the well-being and safety of their workforce whether at home or the office.  A critical component to your business continuity plan is to ensure your people are taken care of in a crisis.  

Though it’s impossible to say exactly where, with what force, and for how long a hurricane will impact a certain area, we do know that hurricane season wreaks havoc on specific regions every year, and preparing for them is a necessity.  

Here’s how to prepare your organization for hurricane season:

1. Assess your current preparedness 

To understand what aspects of hurricane preparedness your organization will need to improve upon, it’s important to establish a baseline.  

Leveraging the lessons learned from working with many clients during natural disaster emergencies, the following are a list of questions and considerations compiled by Global Guardian leaders to review as your organization prepares for a hurricane (or any natural disaster event), broken down by category.  

Determine Responsibility  

  • What level of responsibility will you take over your personnel, whether traveling or working from home?  
  • Do you have a duty of care provider or emergency response vendor to support and assist your workforce?  
  • Have you reviewed your insurance policies and duty of care programs to understand what is and is not covered during a natural disaster? 

Emergency Response Plans 

  • Do you have emergency response plans in place and have they been reviewed and updated recently?  
  • Have you conducted table-top exercises with key stakeholders and department leaders?  
  • Do you or your vendors have the ability to pre-position assets and resources nearby a storm path for immediate response? 

Regional Impact  

  • Which facilities/offices are in regions that may be most impacted by hurricanes?  
  • Which facilities/offices are nearby but at a safe distance from major hurricane damage and can be used as possible rally points or logistics support bases?  
  • Which employees live in or are traveling to these locations? 

Personnel Accountability  

  • Which part of your organization is responsible for personnel accountability? 
  • Do you know where your employees live (physical address)? What are their permanent office assignments?  
  • Where are your travelers? Do you have capability to track the locations of your people?  


  • How will you communicate with your employees?  
  • Do you have a mass messaging platform to send messaging/alerts? 

Emergency Supplies  

  • Are your facilities/offices equipped with the proper emergency supplies for employees on site?  
  • Are your employees equipped with the proper emergency supplies at home and do they have a go-bag in the event they need to leave the area?  

Business Continuity Plans  

  • Do you have business continuity plans in place, and have they been reviewed and updated recently?  
  • Are your employees prepared to work from home with appropriate log-in credentials and cybersecurity protocols? 
  • Have you conducted site assessments of your location to secure assets in the event of power loss and other post-storm situations? 

Use these questions to guide your preparations, build your emergency action plan, and set the stage for tabletop exercises that you can run in advance of hurricane season — or any natural disaster event.  

download hurricane guide 2024

2. Ensure optimal response during a hurricane

Hurricane preparedness doesn’t end when the storm begins. During a hurricane, businesses must adopt a situationally dependent response to ensure the safety of their employees and continuity of operations.  

One of the primary actions is to continuously monitor the hurricane's path to ensure that potential evacuation routes remain clear, and that all guidance is current and accurate. It is vital to maintain open lines of communication with employees who are impacted by the storm. This includes providing advice on early evacuation, which can be crucial in a hurricane scenario, as well as sending frequent alerts about the storm's path and intensity. Employees should also receive regular updates on the recommendations from national, state, and local government authorities, and they should be encouraged to follow these directives closely. 

Additionally, businesses need to account for the status of their employees, categorizing them as evacuated, not evacuated, confirmed safe, or unknown. Prioritizing the safety of employees who are under the greatest threat is essential, effectively performing a triage based on concentric rings of threat levels. This means focusing efforts on those in the most immediate danger first. Moreover, businesses should ensure their duty of care protocols are ready to be activated, along with engaging emergency response vendors. By taking these measures, businesses can better protect their employees and mitigate the impacts of the hurricane. 

3. Create a post-hurricane recovery plan

After the storm has passed, the focus shifts to recovery and aid efforts. The aftermath of a hurricane presents numerous challenges, from assessing the extent of the damage to providing support for affected employees and resuming business operations. It is crucial to implement a structured recovery plan that addresses both the immediate needs and long-term recovery strategies. This plan should: 

  • Focus on employees under the largest threat (triage; concentric rings of threat)  
  • Communicate your return-to-work plans, including alternate work locations. Continue to triage health and safety of employees, facilities, and return to business operations. 
  • Assist employees with insurance claims or other needs.  
  • Conduct an after-action review and discuss lessons learned.
hurricane storm surge impacting city

Hurricane preparation for individuals 

Organizations must ensure that their personnel are equipped logistically, emotionally, and physically to weather a hurricane in the event they are impacted at the office, on the road, or working from home.  

Hurricane safety tips for individuals

  • Take warnings seriously: Put shutters and other hurricane protections in place when advised to do so.  
  • Ensure you have backup power and communications: This includes generators and satellite phones or other devices. If you need rentals, Global Guardian can assist with these items.  
  • Ensure extra fuel for vehicles and generators: These should also be secured, locked down, or hidden, as they will become invaluable after a storm. 
  • Fill a bathtub with water for flushing the toilet. 
  • Have a backup plan in place, which includes where you will go if your home is breached by wind or water or destroyed, and identify where the nearest evacuation center is. 
  • Wear boots or shoes during and after the storm, no sandals or flip flops  
  • Be prepared to move quickly if the home needs to be evacuated.  
  • Prepare emergency power sources & an emergency kit (list of items below). 
  • Use water-proof containers to store everything. 
  • Contact your local fire department, and power and water companies if you use any electric-powered medical equipment at home. 
  • After the storm, a return to your water-damaged home or business may require an N95 mask, which is needed for those entering spaces with mold. 

Hurricane emergency kit 

In the face of an approaching hurricane, having a well-prepared emergency kit can be a lifesaver. From necessities to specialized provisions, you should gather important supplies which include:  

  • Solar-powered lights and phone chargers  
  • Basic, battery-operated FM radio to receive news such as food distribution centers and available emergency services  
  • At least 60 days of prescription medication 
  • Flash lights/headlamps  
  • Spare batteries  
  • Extra glasses/contacts  
  • Sandbags  
  • Medical kits and medical supplies, including masks and thermometers  
  • Nonperishable food  
  • Bottled water  
  • Empty bottles (gallons of milk, juice, etc.) to fill with tap water and be used as drinking water  
  • Clean-up materials such as work gloves, chainsaws, and axes 
  • Spare vehicle tires (roads will be covered with sharp debris such as nails)   
  • Fans for cooling and drying saturated parts of the building/home after the storm passes 

Want an easily shareable version of this hurricane emergency kit list? Download Global Guardian’s hurricane preparedness guide for a PDF featuring this list.  

hurricane winds

What to know about hurricane season 2024 

Every hurricane season is different, and not every season impacts each part of the globe equally. As we look ahead to hurricane season, let’s review what you should know.  

When is hurricane season?  

Hurricane season is different depending on what region you’re referring to. Here are the general dates for major hurricane and storm regions:  

  • Atlantic Hurricane Season: June 1 to November 30 
  • Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season: May 15 to November 30
  • Central Pacific Hurricane Season: June 1 to November 30 
  • Western Pacific Typhoon Season: Year-round, with a peak from July to November 
  • North Indian Ocean Cyclone Season: April to December, with peaks in May and November 
  • Southwest Indian Ocean Cyclone Season: November 15 to April 30 
  • Australian Region Cyclone Season: November 1 to April 30 
  • South Pacific Cyclone Season: November 1 to April 30 

What are the different types of hurricanes?  

NOAA’s forecast differentiates between named storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes. Here’s what that means:  

  • Named Storms: Tropical cyclones with sustained wind speeds of at least 39 mph (63 km/h), including both tropical storms and hurricanes. 
  • Hurricanes: Named storms with sustained wind speeds of at least 74 mph (119 km/h). 
  • Major Hurricanes: Hurricanes that reach Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, with sustained wind speeds of 111 mph (178 km/h) or higher. 

In addition, hurricanes are classified into categories based on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which measures sustained wind speeds and potential damage: 

  1. Category 1: Wind speeds of 74-95 mph (119-153 km/h). Damage is typically minimal, with some damage to roofs, siding, and trees.
  2. Category 2: Wind speeds of 96-110 mph (154-177 km/h). Causes extensive damage, with risk of injury from debris, and significant damage to trees, roofs, and power lines. 
  3. Category 3: Wind speeds of 111-129 mph (178-208 km/h). Considered a major hurricane. Causes devastating damage, including severe damage to buildings, with many trees snapped or uprooted. 
  4. Category 4: Wind speeds of 130-156 mph (209-251 km/h). Causes catastrophic damage, with most trees snapped, power poles downed, and heavy damage to buildings. Areas can be uninhabitable for weeks or months. 
  5. Category 5: Wind speeds of 157 mph or higher (252 km/h or higher). Causes catastrophic damage, with high percentages of framed homes destroyed, total roof failure, and wall collapse. Areas can be uninhabitable for months. 

atlantic hurricane season probability chart 2024What is the 2024 Atlantic hurricane forecast?  

Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center are anticipating an above-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic basin for this year.  

The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season is predicted to have an 85% chance of above-normal activity, a 10% chance of near-normal activity, and only a 5% chance of below-normal activity. 

NOAA forecasts between 17 and 25 named storms with winds of 39 mph or higher. Out of these, 8 to 13 are expected to become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or higher, including 4 to 7 major hurricanes reaching category 3, 4, or 5 statuses with winds of 111 mph or higher. These predictions come with a 70% confidence level. The anticipated increase in hurricane activity is attributed to several factors, including near-record warm ocean temperatures in the Atlantic, La Niña conditions in the Pacific, reduced Atlantic trade winds, and decreased wind shear. 

Pacific East_Update-2What is the 2024 Eastern Pacific hurricane forecast?  

The Eastern Pacific region is the area of the Pacific Ocean north of the equator, east of 140°W longitude, and west of North America's coastline. NOAA’s 2024 forecast for the Eastern Pacific hurricane season predicts a below-normal season, with a 60% chance of this outcome. There is a 30% chance of a near-normal season and only a 10% chance of an above-normal season.  

The 2024 outlook includes a 70% probability for the following activity ranges: 11 to 17 named storms, 4 to 9 hurricanes, and 1 to 4 major hurricanes. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center forecasts La Niña conditions are likely throughout the hurricane season. The combination of La Niña and above-normal Atlantic Main Development Region temperatures usually results in decreased eastern Pacific hurricane activity, leading to a below-normal hurricane season. 

central pacific hurricane season probability chart 2024What is the 2024 Central Pacific hurricane forecast?  

The Central Pacific region is defined as the area north of the equator between 140°W longitude and the International Date Line. NOAA’s 2024 forecast predicts that this region will experience between 1 to 4 tropical cyclones, encompassing tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes. Typically, a near-normal season would see 4 or 5 tropical cyclones. 

The outlook suggests a 50% probability of below-normal tropical cyclone activity, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 20% chance of an above-normal season in the central Pacific hurricane region.  A key factor influencing NOAA’s forecast is the predicted arrival of La Nina this summer, which typically contributes to less tropical cyclone activity across the central Pacific Ocean basin.  

Whether you're a business owner or an individual homeowner, proactive planning and readiness can significantly mitigate the impact of these formidable storms. Organizations in particular can also benefit from working with vendors who can help you plan for and navigate emergencies. By taking steps to secure your property, develop emergency communication plans, and stock up on necessary supplies, you're not only protecting your own interests but also contributing to the resilience of our entire community. Remember, in the face of a hurricane, preparedness is our most powerful tool.  

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