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Benson Tower

  Hurricane Season

By living in Louisiana, we understand all too well the dangers of hurricanes and tropical storms. While we are hopeful none of this information will ever be necessary, the following information will assist you in preparing your company to vacate the building and also in returning to work at Benson Tower as soon as possible after the danger has subsided.

If there is a threat of hurricane or tropical storm, please remember that Benson Tower is NOT A SHELTER. In an emergency situation there are many opportunities of risk, interruption of electrical services, resulting in loss of lights, A/C, elevator service, etc. Flood waters could impact the Sewerage and Water Board’s ability to supply minimum water pressure causing loss of fire protection and water service including sinks, toilets, urinals, and drinking water. Additional services not available will include janitorial, restroom supplies, and engineering staff. Upon lock down, all elevator service will stop. Elevators will be disengaged as part of the storm protection procedures. Notification will be made for closure of the Superdome garages. Upon closure to contract parkers, the gates at the entrance and the exits to the garage will be lowered and locked. Tenants will be unable to retrieve vehicles remaining until Management re-opens the building and the Superdome re-opens the garages. Notification will be made as to the timeframe for lock down of the building. Upon lock down, all entrance doors on the first floor and second floor will be locked. If there is a mandatory evacuation ordered for the City of New Orleans, the mandatory evacuation notice will serve as the announcement of the closure of Benson Tower, without further notice from the Management Office. The Superdome garages will be closed and the building will be locked down immediately.

Updates will be posted on Benson Tower’s website (www.BensonTowerNOLA.com), as needed to apprise tenants of the situation at the building.

Hurricane Categorization

Be aware of National Hurricane Center advisories and bulletins and local official advisories. As weather conditions develop, you should be aware of terms being used:

  • Tropical Wave or Disturbance: A cluster of clouds and/or thunderstorms without an organized circulation, moving through the tropics. Stronger systems start as Tropical Waves.
  • Tropical Depression: An organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined circulation and top winds of less than 39 mph.
  • Tropical Storm: An organized system of strong thunderstorms with defined circulation and top winds of 39 - 74 mph, which can quickly develop into hurricanes.
  • Tropical Storm Watch: Tropical storm conditions are possible in the specified area of the watch, usually within 36 hours.
  • Hurricane: An intense tropical weather system with a well-defined circulation and a sustained wind speed of 74 mph or higher.
  • Hurricane Watch: A hurricane watch covers a specified area and duration and means that hurricane conditions are a real possibility. When a hurricane watch is issued, listen for further advisories, take steps to notify your employees, secure your office, and be prepared to evacuate if necessary. Hurricane conditions are possible in the specified area of the Watch, usually within 36 hours. During a Hurricane Watch, prepare to take immediate action to protect your property in case a Hurricane Warning is issued.
  • Hurricane Warning: When conditions are expected within 24 hours, a hurricane warning will be announced by the National Hurricane Center. All precautionary measures should be completed and you may be required to evacuate the building.


The actions necessary to prepare for hurricanes are complex. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issues tropical storm and hurricane advisories. As these phenomena develop, the information bulletins are issued to inform the public that an unusual weather activity is being monitored.

  • Seven (7) days before the tropical storm or hurricane is expected to affect land areas; the NHC will issue advisories on a scheduled basis at 11:00 p.m., 5:00 a.m., and 5:00 p.m.
  • Approximately forty-eight (48) hours prior to the estimated time the tropical storm or hurricane is expected to reach the coastline, the NHC will establish watch conditions and issue subsequent advisories.

In the event of a hurricane evacuation

  • Do not tape the windows.
  • Close all office doors inside your suite.
  • Any window coverings (drapes or mini blinds) should be in the closed position.
  • Be prepared to protect offices that have exterior glass that could be broken by flying debris. Loose papers should be filed or stored away from the windows. Any small items in an office facing the window should be stored.
  • Doors between outer offices and inner corridors should be left closed but not locked
  • Unplug all computers, telecommunications equipment, microwaves, etc. so as to protect them from possible power surges.
  • It is advisable to cover computers with plastic bags to help prevent possible water damage.
  • Secure or remove any valuables, lock file cabinets and desks, turn off the lights in your office and lock the entrance doors to your suite.
  • Account for all employees.
  • Go to your home or designated emergency evacuation shelter.
  • Do not attempt to return to your office until notified by the appropriate local governmental agency or by Building Management via Benson Tower’s website (www.BensonTowerNOLA.com).

Effects of loss of electrical power or water supply

During emergencies or situations which can cause loss of electrical power and interruption of water supply pressure from the City of New Orleans, the following conditions can be expected:

  • All HVAC systems will be out of service including chillers, air-handling units, and exhaust fans.
  • All elevators except those operating off emergency power from the generator (one in the low rise and one in the high rise) will be out of service.
  • All tenant power and lighting except emergency lighting will be out, with exception of service provided by emergency generators.
  • Loss of City of New Orleans water pressure will result in no water supply to this building.

All services will remain in operation as long as possible but conditions at the building site may warrant shut down of equipment or systems to prevent damage. Under most hurricane circumstances, you will have plenty of time to exit the building.

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