Be prepared for the worst by being the best prepared

By Barb Rapoza and Holly Merrill, Marketing Managers, SERVPRO

With September being National Preparedness Month it’s important to have a game plan in place whether it be for you personally or your business. National Preparedness Month is a campaign led by FEMA and many other agencies that provide emergency assistance and hop on board to help educate others to be prepared before it’s too late.

How ready are you? Ask yourself these questions:
If severe weather were to strike, who would be at risk?
Do you have an effective way of reaching everyone in your facility?
Has everyone been briefed on the best way to report an emergency?
If a crisis occurs, what is the expected impact on the organizations supply chain?

Don’t feel guilty or embarrassed if you do not have a plan in place. Many people do not.  Through our day to day work with SERVPRO, we often ask people if they have a plan and are used to the non-verbal clues that someone does not, but is afraid to say just that. The thought of a disaster occurring, as well as putting a preparedness plan together, can be overwhelming. Too many times in our line of business we hear, “If only I had known what to do, maybe this would not have happened to me or the damage would not have been as severe”.

It’s not too late to get your plan ready. Since SERVPRO is a national sponsor of the American Red Cross Ready Rating program, we are versed in what they offer for proactive assistance. The Ready Rating program is a free, web-based program and is designed to help organizations become better prepared for emergencies. Through the website,, organizations can complete a 123-point self-assessment of their level of preparedness for weather-related or other emergencies. The program allows individuals to assess their readiness for a disaster so they can take all necessary steps before disaster strikes to protect their property from damage and loss.

The American Red Cross also offers some great apps you can download to assist you in case of an emergency, located at The Emergency App in particular is an “all-inclusive” app combining severe weather and emergency information in real time to help keep you and your loved ones safe.

Not only does your family and business need a contingency plan should disaster strike, but your facility also does too.  SERVPRO offers an Emergency READY Program (, and can establish an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contact information, shut-off valve locations and priority areas. In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility.

The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future. As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.

Help yourself, your loved ones and business by being the best prepared. What are you waiting for, get started today!

Contact Barb or Holly for further information. Barb can be reached at: and Holly at

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