Disasters come in many forms - floods from melting snow, burst pipes, fires, hurricanes, sewage backflows, and even earthquakes. But no matter the cause, the end result is always the same - everything stops. Having an emergency plan in place will help to minimize damage and get your home or business back to pre-loss condition quickly.
Our friends at the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) have compiled a list of things to keep in mind when preparing your home or office for general emergencies:
- Ask yourself- If you had to leave your home or business for an extended period of time, what would you wish you had done? What would you wish you had taken with you?
- Assess for vulnerabilities- Inspect every area and assess its vulnerability to water. Water is almost always a factor in disasters, whether from fire suppression, roof damage, plumbing failures, or earth tremors, even when the damage originates on a higher floor. Nothing but furniture and durable equipment should be stored directly on the floor. Paper records and items are instant casualties.
- File important papers- Desk and table tops are vulnerable to water from sprinklers or runoff from higher floors as well as smoke and heat damage. Make sure important papers and files are put away.
- Create a digital inventory- Take photos of each room in your house or apartment, save them to a CD or cloud storage, and print hard copies. Keep one set with you and one at an offsite location. This gives you a digital inventory of the major contents in your house and what they looked like prior to damage.
- Back up your computers and keep the information where it's easily accessible in an evacuation. This is particularly important for those who work from home.
- Stock emergency supplies- Businesses should maintain a moderate stock of emergency supplies. Tarps, wet vacuums, and absorbent towels provide some protection at a moderate cost. Rapid response is the key to damage control. The ability to swiftly deploy tarps over computers, production equipment, file cabinets, and other critical components can dramatically curtail the extent of the damage.
- Charge electronics- If there is advance warning of impending problems, charge cell phones, laptops and other digital devices in case you're without electricity for a few days.
If you would like more information about emergency preparedness, please visit http://www.ready.gov/emergency-planning-checklists to download FEMA's family emergency planning kit. While we hope you will never experience a disaster, it is vital to be prepared when disaster strikes. So if a loss does occur, call us at 800.865.5157 or click www.smdynamic.com and we'll be there.
For additional peace of mind that a disaster won't sink your business, ask about our Emergency Management Response Plan so that ServiceMaster Dynamic Cleaning can help you get your business back in business quickly.