By Barb Rapoza and Holly Merrill, Marketing Managers, SERVPRO
Here in Maine our weather can be unpredictable, and we do not know what to expect after a storm event. The storm could bring on flooding, wind, snow, or ice buildup and depending on the severity it can interrupt businesses from operating normally. Some businesses end up having to close their doors whether it be temporarily or permanently as they do not have contingency or action plans in place. Don’t be one of the potential businesses that do not reopen after a disaster.
When flood water enters your building, your first thought may be related to how you could have prevented the disaster. Instead of letting a flooded building ruin your operations for several days, or even several weeks, there are steps you should take to prepare your business for impending storms.
1. Develop a Plan
Planning for water damage is the best way to deal with it when it arrives. Decide who is responsible for doing what in the event of a disaster and what you need to do to operate your business from a remote site. You should write out this plan and introduce it to your employees, so they are aware of what to do when flood water entering your building becomes a possibility.
2. Back Up Your Data
Your business’ data and important information may not survive a flood if it is not backed up to remote or cloud-based servers. Well before a disaster hits, take time to research data backup options and transfer important information from your physical location to electronic files.
3. Watch the Weather
It’s hard to know if a flood will happen if you aren’t aware of the weather. Pay attention to the weather in your area and put your emergency plan into action if there is a chance your location could flood in the event of a serious storm.
4. Plan for Quick Restoration
Before a storm hits your location, know the names, and contact information for your key contractors (Plumbers, Electricians, HVAC Company, Painters, Landscaping, Snow Removal, and Restoration Professional, etc.) Be sure to have all your key utility contact details and ensure your staff know the locations of key shut offs. You should be able to access this information easily if flood water enters your building, so you can protect your operations and clean up the damage a quickly as possible. Failure to eliminate standing floodwater and dry out your building’s structure and materials as quickly as you can, could result in additional damage, lost operation time, and mold growth.
Getting your own plan together can help prevent you from being one of the up to 50% of businesses that do not reopen after some sort of storm disaster. If you need assistance putting a plan together, we can assist you with our emergency ready profile. This is a no cost assessment that will walk you through all of these steps and help make it easier for you to put together and you will receive a hard copy and online access as well as be able to download it within your app store so you can have it with you at all times. For more information, you can contact Barb Rapoza at firstname.lastname@example.org or Holly Merrill at email@example.com.