Preparing Your Elevator for a Hurricane

hurricane_matthew

Hurricane season is upon us and we have a deadly one named Mathew heading for the east coast. Because of this we thought it would be a prudent to share our standard hurricane preparedness plan.

BEFORE THE HURRICANE

  • Check all sump pumps, float switches and alarms in elevator pits.
  • Close up all vents and openings in top of hoistway and machine room to prevent water from entering.
  • If elevators open to the outside, place sandbags along the bottom of hoistway doors. Since this makes the elevator unusable, do this just before shutting down the elevator.

DURING THE HURRICANE

  • Run elevators to the top floor of hoistway and pull the main breaker in the elevator machine room (not in the building’s main breaker room).
  • Park elevators with doors closed.
  • Do not operate elevators during the hurricane.

AFTER THE HURRICANE

  • Inspect the elevator pit, cab and machine room for any water. Do not energize main line breaker if water is found.
  • If water is found, call your elevator service provider immediately!
  • Do not attempt to start elevator if power is out – call your electric company

Even with the proper preparations, hurricanes often cause power outages and surges that can stop elevators between floors and entrap passengers, and worse, knock out the emergency communication system. Be aware that people may be trapped in elevators with no way to call for help. We can’t state this strongly enough: never try to exit, or attempt to help others exit, a stalled elevator without trained professional rescue workers on hand.