When a hurricane hits, most people are worried about their safety, possessions, and the safety of their loved ones. Depending on the intensity, a hurricane may cause significant damage. Property and lives are often lost during these extreme weather conditions.
Unfortunately, not everyone has good intentions when such things happen. Some individuals take advantage of the destruction left behind by the devastating winds and they start looting. If you’re a business owner, this can affect you in various ways. So, you must try to prevent hurricane looting.
If your business is new and you’ve never dealt with anything like this before, this post will tell you everything you should know about hurricane looting.
What Exactly Is Hurricane Looting?
Hurricane looting refers to the act of stealing one’s property following a hurricane. A strong hurricane will destroy everything in its way, including buildings. Not only that, but it often results in flooding or power outages. Once the hurricane is gone, many people are focused on the damage left behind and how to fix it. In other words, some take this as an opportunity to strike businesses when nobody is paying attention.
Hurricanes create the ideal conditions for thieves looking for a chance to steal – especially when it comes to businesses that aren’t protected properly. If there is a power outage, then a thief can easily do something illegal on the business’s property as the security systems aren’t functional. Not to mention that there will be no streetlights either. Thinking they can’t get caught, thieves will use these conditions to their advantage.
At the same time, windows might be shattered as a result of the strong winds and the debris flying all over the place. This leaves shops completely vulnerable.
When a hurricane causes significant damage, emergency services will be more focused on helping people who were injured or trying to find individuals who disappeared. If the area is flooded, then mobility will be limited and perhaps even impossible. This means business owners will be at home while the authorities will have a more difficult time moving around. These are the perfect thriving conditions for thieves.
Is Looting Such a Big Problem?
Looting is a real thing after hurricanes. You will often see these things on the news, with the authorities trying to find the culprits or having already found them. Sometimes, the media exaggerates the looting situation. But this doesn’t change the fact that it still happens, and all business owners must take measures to protect their businesses from this sad reality.
How to Protect Your Property Against Hurricane Looting?
Do you want your house or business to be protected against individuals who are looking to take advantage of a terrible post-hurricane situation? Here are some things you can do to protect your property:
- Make Sure Valuable Items Are Secured
No matter the type of business you own, there will surely be some valuables around that thieves will be eager to steal. Now, anything the looters see will be considered up for grabs, but the more valuable items will be surely targeted.
Make sure to keep these items in a secure place. A safe would be perfect for this. Another thing you can use is a backroom with a strong locking system. The valuable products or equipment can be kept there so that thieves cannot access them.
- Strengthen Your Windows
Windows are always prone to breaking during a hurricane. The strong winds are enough to shatter the glass in some cases, while in others, the windows will be broken by the debris picked up by the wind.
Instead of going for standard glass windows and leaving them like this, you can go for plywood installations before the storm. But for extra safety, it’s recommended to overglaze the windows using polycarbonate panels.
- Add Different Barriers
Overglazing your windows is not the only way to keep your business safe. You can also install some physical barriers that will prevent criminals from breaking into your property.
These include thorny bushes that you can plant under the building’s windows or a barbed wire fence that you can install around the warehouse.
Those accused of hurricane looting without being guilty can fight against their accusers as looting is not always an easy crime to prove. Colorado is not a state that is affected by hurricanes that often. Hurricane Rosa was the most recent one that resulted in flood warnings for a few states, Colorado being one of them. So, those accused of hurricane looting in this state can reach out to Denver criminal defense lawyers for help.