Preparing Your Automatic Swing Gate for a Hurricane

Hurricane, tropical storm season will be upon us soon.  We get numerous calls and emails from those that have automatic swing gates 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 and gate operators.  It’s not just the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Virginia Beach and Norfolk but Central North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland that need to be prepared.  Tropical storm force winds have reached the far western parts of our region.

Our recommendations

  1.  Open the gates and secure them in the open position.  When you secure the gate(s) remember it’s a hurricane. Gates have more surface area than people realize, so secure them tightly.

Important Note:  Some are uncomfortable with securing the gate open and we understand, however most all gate operators are equipped with obstruction sensing and will not operate during hurricane force winds.  It’s better to have secured open for emergency entry and exit.

  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. Do not pull the operator emergency release pins.  Leave secured to gate.
  4. Secure the cover and lock it.  Double check the cover is secure.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 automatic swing gate.  In the coming weeks we also provide what to do with other types of automatic gates in a hurricane.