Keeping your community functional, safe, and beautiful can be particularly challenging if it is located in an area that is prone to hurricanes. Here are some of the most important things to consider when preparing your high-rise's elevators to reduce the likelihood of damage during a hurricane.
Before the Hurricane
The majority of the work involved with keeping your elevators as functional and safe as possible during a hurricane involves adequately preparing your elevators prior to the storm. Here are four of the most important steps to take to keep as much water out of your elevators as possible and minimize the level of damage that is likely to occur.
Check Sump Pumps, Float Switches, and Alarms
Your elevator's sump pumps, float switches, and alarms play a key role in protecting your elevator if it gets excessively wet or otherwise damaged by alerting you to problems, preventing the elevator from running if needed, and making it easier to clean after a hurricane or any other type of flooding. Making sure they are functioning properly prior to a hurricane can make it easier to get them back up and running after the storm.
Close Vents and Other Openings
Closing your elevator's vents and sealing as many other openings as you can is an important step in keeping as much water out of your elevator as possible. Although minor leaks are likely regardless of how well you prepare your elevator for the hurricane, they will cause significantly less damage and be easier to clean up than they would be if you did not attempt to block openings. Any vents in your machine room should also be covered to help prevent damage to your equipment.
Consider Power Needs
Your elevator should have an adequate surge protection system and emergency power generation system to help prevent long-term damage and get it back up and running faster after the hurricane. You should also test any emergency lighting and communication equipment your elevator has to make sure you are prepared for any problems that may occur once you start using your elevator again.
Place Sandbags Along Bottoms of Outdoor Elevators
Any elevators that open outdoors should be protected with sandbags to prevent as much water from entering them as possible. This step may also be taken to protect certain indoor elevators that open on the ground floor if you are in an area that is particularly prone to significant flooding, but it is generally the most effective when it comes to protecting elevators with immediate exposure to the elements. This should be the last step in securing your elevators because it will make them unable to be used until after the hurricane.
Shut Off Elevators
Once you have made your elevators as secure as possible, they should be shut off to help prevent damage and keep them from being used until they are inspected, repaired, and approved after the hurricane.
During the Hurricane
Elevators should not be used during the hurricane to reduce the risk of damage and safety concerns. Once you have parked them at the top of your hoistway and sealed them as well as you can, they should be left alone until the storm ends and water levels recede.
After the Hurricane
Do not turn your elevators back on until they have been thoroughly inspected, any water has been removed, and any needed repairs have been made. Consult your elevator service provider and electric company to assist you with making sure your elevators are safe to use, especially if you notice any obvious water or other problems.
At GrandManors, we are here to help your association manage every aspect of keeping your high-rise safe and comfortable for members of your community and their guests.
Contact us today to learn more about steps you can take to protect your property during a hurricane or any other aspects of managing your community.