damaged greenhouse

Aug 29, 2019
Why and how to protect your greenhouse from severe winds

{Sponsored} When it comes to your crops and greenhouses, it never hurts to be over-prepared for the potential of severe weather. Each year across the United States, an average of 867,000 people are affected by damage, loss and displacement as a result of severe thunderstorms, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The effects of severe weather, accompanied by high winds, can leave greenhouses vulnerable to damage based on numerous factors — including wind speed, building orientation, exposure, and height and shape.

According to a study done by the University of Massachusetts on wind and the effect it can have on greenhouses, high winds can act almost as an aircraft wing, attempting to lift the greenhouse off of the ground. An 80 mph wind, for example, can create a “lifting force” of 220 pounds per foot of length, meaning a gust perpendicular to the side of a 28’ by 100’ greenhouse could create 22,000 pounds of uplift on the structure.

Being prepared ahead of time is key when it comes to making sure your employees, greenhouse structures and equipment can withstand a severe storm. Some of the things you can do ahead of time are:

  • Check area for loose objects — anything that could be picked up by a wind gust and hurled toward a greenhouse.
  • At the start of the season, have an arborist assess nearby trees to ascertain if dead branches need removal. Always have a professional handle branch or tree removal.
  • Close all vents, louvers, doors and any other openings that would allow a gust of wind to gain leverage on the structure.
  • Have an evacuation plan in place to ensure the safety of your employees.

Consider adding coverage for your whole greenhouse business. For example, a policy that covers everything from fixtures to products, plants and equipment, even in the case of utility outages or equipment malfunctions, would be an excellent addition to your basic business insurance.

Making sure your bases are covered when it comes to potential wind damage of your greenhouse and subsequent facilities and equipment is vital to the operation of your business. Consider where your operation is located and recent trends in local weather- and non-weather-related disasters. View resources available on the Hortica® website to learn more about protecting your business and minimizing risk.

Want more information? Contact us at 800-541-5082, or visit hortica.com.

Hortica® property and casualty coverages are underwritten, and loss control services are provided, by Florists’ Mutual Insurance Company, Florists’ Insurance Company, and Florists’ Insurance Service, Inc., Edwardsville, IL, members of the Sentry Insurance Group. For more information, visit hortica.com. Policies, coverages, benefits and discounts are not available in all states. See policy for complete coverage details.

This document is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. No one should act on the information contained in this document without advice from a local professional with relevant expertise.

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© 2019 Hortica


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