Preparing for Hurricane Matthew
Lori Cronin and Team Vice President, Regional Property Manager
Fort Lauderdale, United States
Tropical storms and hurricanes are a part of life in South Florida. Fortunately for our customers and colleagues, at Prologis, disaster preparedness is also a part of life. We have robust risk mitigation strategies in place to cover natural disasters. All Prologis offices participate in annual training so that in the event of a natural hazard, such as a hurricane, earthquake or flood, our customers can safely resume operations once the incident has passed. Our preparation includes detailed written business resumption plans, contractors on call and building supplies at the ready. In hurricane zones, we start preparing months before hurricane season. We clean drains to avoid flooding. We trim trees to avoid overgrowth, mitigate the risk of breaking branches and diminish the likelihood of flying debris during storms. We inspect our roofs and make repairs in advance of inclement weather. During hurricane season, local teams track the trajectory of forecast storms.
In the fall of 2016, when watches and warnings were issued for Hurricane Matthew, our Southeastern region sprang into action to ensure the safety of our colleagues, customers and logistics facilities. As Hurricane Matthew advanced toward Florida, our Miami and Broward teams worked around the clock, preparing for the worst.
Led by a senior property manager, the team began general preparations by touring each of our logistics real estate properties in areas that might be affected. Since most hurricane-related property damage is the result of from flying material, such as pallets, the first step was to make sure that roofs and building surrounds were free of debris. Next, the team contacted our builders, roofing vendors and consultants to put them on alert to make any needed repairs quickly, in case the hurricane hit and damage ensued. Due to the scale of our operations and the depth of our vendor relationships, vendors prioritize calls from Prologis.
After touring the properties and putting vendors on alert, the team sent notices to customers with additional recommendations for preparing their space and operations. They let customers know that Prologis property managers would be available by phone for the duration of the hurricane watch. Finally, they told customers that, should the watch turn into a hurricane warning, the local teams would go home to join their families, providing our customers with emergency contact information. The team was in constant communication with customers and vendors about the status of our buildings. Lori Cronin was proud of the way Prologis took care of its properties and customers, saying, “Thanks to such great teamwork, we were able to get home to our families knowing that we had covered all of the bases to take care of our customers and buildings. ”
Concurrent with the efforts put forth by the local team, John Aviles, Prologis vice president in charge of Regional Property Improvement, flew from his office in New Jersey to Florida to help the team should they need to file insurance claims and work with adjusters after the event. Fortunately, this wasn’t necessary. Matthew came ashore in Northern Florida, where Prologis has only one property which was not damaged.
Had Matthew been as devastating as feared, we are confident that our customers would have resumed operations immediately following the storm due to the extensive efforts of our dedicated real estate professionals.