Essential Steps for Contractors to Prepare for a Hurricane

ABC members play a crucial role in disaster recovery efforts, helping to rebuild and restore affected areas. To effectively respond to the challenges posed by hurricanes, contractors must be well-prepared. Here are some essential steps that members should take to ensure their readiness in the face of an impending hurricane.

1. Pay close attention to evacuation orders:

Pay close attention to evacuation orders issued by local authorities. Ensure that your team members are aware of these orders and know how to safely evacuate if necessary.

2. Stay Informed:

Keeping a close watch on weather forecasts and updates from meteorological agencies is paramount. Advanced warning of a hurricane allows contractors to make informed decisions and initiate preparations well in advance. Utilize weather apps, news outlets, and official sources to track the storm's progress and projected path.  See links below.

In preparation of a Hurricane’s arrival to Central Florida, our partner’s United Way has compiled hurricane resources that can help you before, during and after the storm. This page will be updated as information becomes available. Be sure to follow Heart of Florida United Way on Twitter (@HFUW) and Facebook (@HeartofFloridaUnitedWay) for information as well. The 211 Information and Referral hotline, is available by calling 211, texting your zip code to 898211, or chatting online, is available 24/7/365 and our 211 operators are multilingual and can assist you in Spanish.  

3. Develop an Emergency Plan:

Create a comprehensive emergency plan that outlines steps to be taken before, during, and after a hurricane. Designate roles and responsibilities for your team members and establish communication channels for quick and effective coordination. Ensure that all team members are familiar with the plan and know how to execute it.

HFUW is Here to Help


Call: 2-1-1 | Text: Your zipcode to 898211 | Chat online here

United Way’s 2-1-1 is Central Florida’s 24/7/365 information and assistance hotline during natural disasters, and throughout the year, for connecting with community resources, like:

  • Shelter information and housing assistance
  • Sandbags, tarps and other storm supplies
  • Evacuation routes and road closures
  • Food, clothing and hygiene locations
  • Special needs registry and medical supplies
  • Emotional and crisis support

To search for resources in your area using our online database, visit

4. Secure Job Sites:

Prior to a hurricane's arrival, secure all job sites by removing loose materials, tools, and equipment. Reinforce scaffolding and temporary structures and cover any exposed materials that could become projectiles in high winds. If feasible, dismantle or move equipment and materials to safe storage locations.

Hurricane preparedness guide for construction projects


This checklist is intended to assist you in making your jobsite safe during a hurricane and wind event and limit construction materials becoming windborne debris and possibly causing damage to nearby structures.

1. Site Preparation

  • Clean and secure site of loose building materials to minimize flying debris.
  • Tie down job trailers and portable structures (including toilets).
  • Secure lids of dumpsters and other debris containers.
  • Brace new landscaping.
  • Remove sand /trash from roadway gutters and drainage systems.
  • Secure sediment/erosion control devices to avoid sediment leaving the site during heavy rainfall
  • Remove construction vehicles and equipment or move inside.

2. Construction Materials

  • Band and stake down plywood lumber, scaffolding, etc.
  • All materials inside buildings should be banded together.
  • Remove all wood scraps around trailers and site.
  • Delay or postpone construction material deliveries.

3. Roofing Materials

  • Do not load tile onto roof if it cannot be installed 48 hours prior to predicted landfall.
  • Remove and secure roof materials prior to 48 hours prior to predicted landfall.

4. Structural building elements

  • Shore up unsupported walls, frame or block.
  • Inspect trusses to ensure anchors and hurricane clips are in place.
  • Plywood not installed should be removed to the ground.
  • Lower tower cranes if possible.
  • Inspect tie down on construction and sales trailers.
  • Secure any antennas.

5. Windows and glass

  • If possible, install panels over windows and sliding glass doors.
  • Secure all windows and doors.

An emergency kit includes basic items your household may need in the event of a disaster. Start building your emergency kit here to be prepared for several days after a storm.  

Resources Available in Orange, Osceola, & Seminole Counties

Orange County

Phone: 3-1-1 |407-836-3111Special Needs: 407-836-9319

Website @OrangeCoFL | @OrangeCountyFlorida | available

Osceola County

Phone: 407-742-0000Special Needs: 407-742-9001Website @OsceolaCountyFL | @OsceolaCountyFL |

Seminole County

Phone: 3-1-1 | 407-665-0311Websitehttp://www.prepareseminole.orgTwitter: @seminolecounty | @SeminoleCounty |

Emergency Operation Centers are available in your county, view more info.

5. Back Up Data:

Protect your critical business data by backing it up on remote servers or in the cloud. This ensures that important project information, contracts, financial records, and client communications remain safe even if physical office spaces are damaged during the hurricane.

6. Review Insurance Coverage:

Review your business insurance policy to ensure that it adequately covers potential damages caused by hurricanes. Understand the extent of coverage for property, equipment, and liability. Consider adding coverage for business interruption and extra expenses that may arise due to disruptions caused by the hurricane.

7. Build Relationships with Suppliers:

Establish strong relationships with suppliers and vendors to ensure a smooth recovery process. Communicate your disaster preparedness plan to suppliers and inquire about their own preparedness strategies. This will help you access necessary materials and resources as soon as conditions permit.

8. Communicate with Clients:

Proactively communicate with your clients about the potential impacts of a hurricane on ongoing projects. Provide them with updates on your preparedness efforts and the steps you'll take to mitigate potential delays. Clear communication fosters trust and helps manage client expectations.

9. Protect Vehicles and Equipment:

Move vehicles and heavy equipment to higher ground or safe storage facilities to prevent damage from flooding and storm surges. If relocation isn't possible, secure them with proper tie-downs and covers.

10. Stock Up on Essential Supplies:

As part of your emergency plan, stock up on essential supplies such as water, non-perishable food, first aid kits, flashlights, batteries, and communication devices. These supplies are crucial for your team's well-being during and after the hurricane.

Contractors have a significant role to play in disaster response and recovery, especially during hurricanes. By staying informed, having a well-thought-out emergency plan, securing job sites, backing up data, and fostering strong relationships with suppliers and clients, contractors can minimize risks and contribute to effective disaster recovery efforts. Preparedness is key to ensuring the safety of your team, protecting assets, and facilitating a swift recovery after the storm passes.

  • Register with Florida's Disaster Contractor's Network
    • During times of crisis, ABC of Florida participates on and represents the Commercial Construction Industry on critical private sector business response calls with the Florida Department of Emergency Management and the Executive Office of the Governor.  These are beginning tomorrow.  We will provide critical updates as we secure them.  

After Storm Resources Information

Emergency food pantry locations

Phone: 407-295-1066Website

Red Cross Shelters

Website 407-894-4141 (local) or 800-733-2767 (Toll Free National)

FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency

Apply for assistance: 1-800-621-3362Websitehttps://www.fema.govTwitter: @FEMA |

Utility Service Provider: Florida Public Service Commission

Program provides an online locator tool for public, private and city utility providers.

Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed to staff our state’s shelters and support other disaster relief organizations. 

  • Heart of Florida United Way – Disaster Response Team. Sign up here
  • Volunteer Florida – Disaster Action Team Responders, Disaster Mental Health Services, and Food Banks. Sign up here. 

Disaster Distress Helpline

Provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disastersCall or text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 800-985-5990

Florida Hurricane Resources

Florida Disaster State Emergency Response Team (SERT)

Website  1-800-342-3557Twitter: @FLsert | @FloridaSERT  | Alerts: Text FLPrepares to 888777 to have alerts sent straight to your phone

FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency

Phone: 1-800-621-3362Websitehttps://www.fema.govTwitter: @FEMA |

Florida Special Needs Registry

Website 800-374-9689Special Needs by County

Additional Resources


Contact 5-1-1 for information about traffic and evacuation routes.

Call: 5-1-1Websitehttps://fl511.comTwitter @fl511_central | alerts: available


Check GasBuddy for live updates on fuel availabilityApp

Price Gouging Hotline

Report instances of price gouging on hurricane suppliesPhone: 1-866-966-7226


Step-by-step plan on how to prepare from days to hours before a hurricane: