Preparing Your Automatic Barrier Gate Entry System for a Hurricane

Hurricane, tropical storm season is here. We get numerous calls and emails from those that have barrier gate entry systems as a hurricane approaches.  We all know that high winds, flying debris, lightning, rain and flooding associated with a hurricane can damage many things, including gates, fence and barrier gate operators.  It’s not just the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, but Raleigh, Durham, Central Virginia and Maryland that need to be prepared.  Tropical storm force winds have reached the western parts of our region such as Roanoke.

Our recommendations

  1. We recommend removing the arms.  Store indoors, if not possible secure firmly outdoors disconnected from operator.

Important Note:  Most traffic barrier arms are designed to breakaway in the event the arm is hit by a vehicle.  This design minimizes vehicle and gate operator damage.  The arms will not stay secured in hurricane or tropical storm force winds.

  1. Shut off the power at the the gate operator, shut off power at breaker as well.
  2. Battery back-up and DC powered. Shut off battery back-up or DC power switch. If no switch, disconnect battery cables. Most all models have quick disconnect cables these days. Feel free to call the office and ask for technical support if needed.  Please have your make and model handy when you do.
  3. Secure the slide gate operator cover and lock it.  Double check the cover is secure.
  4. Access controls such as keypads, phone systems and readers cover with plastic and duct tape to protect from driving rain.  Yes, your equipment is outdoor rated, but it’s a hurricane.
  5. Unplug access control transformers if you know where they are and accessible.

Doing these things aren’t a guarantee you will not have any damage.  Hurricanes and tropical storms are very powerful. These items done effectively will certainly help reduce the chances of damage to your entry system.  In the coming weeks we will also provide information on what to do with other types of entry systems in a hurricane.