Elevators are a major investment for a property. According to Taylor Ronnander from OTIS Elevator Company, properties are wise to take appropriate action prior to a major weather event to protect the elevator equipment and prevent shutdowns. Examine your property insurance coverage to see if you are fully covered for a hurricane, including elevators.

Here are other preventative measures Ronnander recommends for elevators.


  • Weather stripping around doors should be checked, and replaced or repaired if necessary.
  • An elevator machine room with louvers can be protected from blowing rain by fastening a sheet of plywood to the inside of the ventilation opening. After the storm, this shield should be removed to provide adequate machine-room ventilation.
  • Elevator machine-room window can be blown out by strong winds. Fastening sheets of heavy plywood over windows can prevent water damage.


  • It is recommended to suspend elevator operation during a hurricane even if your building has an emergency generator. This precaution can avoid trapping elevator passengers in the event of a power failure or elevator shutdown. Storm damaged roads may delay service mechanics attempting to respond to an elevator emergency.
  • Park all elevators near the center of the hoistway. This will help keep the elevator cars, travelling cables and counterweights form being damaged by water entering the elevator pit.
  • Position elevators at the top floor if your building has entrances open to the weather.
  • Shut down your elevator system at the mainline disconnect in the machine room. If necessary, you also can shut off the elevators by using the key
    switches in the cabs.


  • Although your elevator equipment may have no apparent water damage, be cautious. Unseen structural damage can cause an emergency shut down if you operate the elevator system before a qualified mechanic inspects it.  A call your elevator service provider may be a prudent choice.