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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Tip of the Month by John Lawrence

9/7/2016 (Permalink)

September is National Preparedness Month

Disaster recovery specialist SERVPRO says a readiness plan is the key to business continuity when disaster strikes

GALLATIN, Tenn. (Grassroots Newswire) September 1, 2015 - September is National Preparedness Month, an annual awareness event sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Disaster recovery specialist SERVPRO says this is a great time for business owners to review their emergency preparedness and business continuity plans. SERVPRO points to startling statistics like this one to emphasize the importance of advance planning: according to FEMA, as many as 40 percent of businesses never reopen following a major flood disaster.

“Business owners who think they are prepared for an emergency because exits are clearly marked and fire or flood drills are parts of the regular routine really need to take another look at their preparations,” said Sue Steen, SERVPRO Industries, Inc. chief executive officer. “A comprehensive emergency plan also contains critical information about the location of shut-off valves, fire suppression system controls, and emergency contact numbers and more—information that can save emergency responders precious time and help contain damage and minimize injury.”

Because SERVPRO knows the time to create a disaster readiness plan is before you need it, they have developed the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program to help business owners create an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for their facility, at no charge. The business owner works with SERVPRO to gather and document information that will become critical if a disaster strikes. Once the ERP is created, business owners have access to their information 24/7 online and by using SERVPRO’s free smartphone app.

“For a business to survive and thrive, it needs to get back to business as soon as possible after a disaster strikes,” said Steen. “With an ERP in place, SERVPRO’s Disaster Response teams can immediately assess the situation and take the first critical steps to protect employees from harm and property from further damage setting the business on the road to recover

On a local note I had an opportunity to participate in a live evacuation drill at Columbia Care Center.  I was very impressed with how well the drill was planned and carried out. However, even with the entire advance planning, things can still go wrong. The evacuation was going smoothly until a bed ridden resident needed to be evacuated. It was only then that they discovered the bed was too large to maneuver around the corners of the evacuation route. This slowed the evacuation process to a crawl, losing precious time. This issue did not become known until the drill was performed live. This drill illustrated that planning and practicing is the best way to ensure safety for all the residents. 

Last winter, Kilchi’s House in Tillamook was evacuated due to severe winter conditions. Debbie, their Executive Director offers this advice, “Make sure the community is ready to go (With a cart) with pillows, blankets and comfort items for the residents as well as the staff and this cart should be on standby with the rest of your emergency supplies.”

Disasters will and do happen.

Locally, floods, mudslides, fires and even broken pipes have led to evacuations.

Is your property READY?

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