Creating a Business Response Plan
Those initial few moments after a water damage emergency happens in your business are critical. Do you know what to do? Does your team know what to do? Do you know who to call? Those are just three of hundreds of questions we can ask ourselves about emergency preparedness in a water damage emergency such as a flood.
Ready.gov strongly encourages all businesses to have a disaster response plan in place, just in case. Not just for floods but for anything that requires quick action. The better people are prepared for the worst, the more likely it will be that everyone gets out safely and that the appropriate steps are taken quickly to correct the situation.
“At the very least, every facility should develop and implement an emergency plan for protecting employees, visitors, contractors and anyone else in the facility. This part of the emergency plan is called “protective actions for life safety” and includes building evacuation (“fire drills”), sheltering from severe weather such as tornadoes, “shelter-in-place” from an exterior airborne hazard such as a chemical release and lockdown. Lockdown is protective action when faced with an act of violence.”
– Ready.gov –
First, start by creating a plan of action for when the incident first happens. At SERVPRO of East Honolulu, we would love to be involved in the full process of creating this plan. We can help you pinpoint possible issues within your building that could cause significant problems in case of a flood, and also have a copy of your disaster response plan in our files just in case you ever need us. This is also actually a critical component for first responders in Indianapolis to have on file as well. Giving first responders, and your restoration company of choice, blueprints of your property and copies of your disaster plan will help greatly with the initial response.
Once you identify particular risks in your building, and in your region (such as potential severe weather like tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, etc. depending on the region of the U.S. in which you operate), you can start putting together a plan to include (but not limited to):
- Evacuation procedures
- Meeting places
- Lockdown procedures
- Important numbers
- Plan of action for who in upper leadership is in charge of what during an emergency
- Communication during and after the event
Once you have your plan in place and delivered to the right people, there are a few other things to think about. For example, is anyone in your company CPR-certified? During severe weather outbreaks and disaster situations, first responders will be flooded with calls for help, meaning response times could increase. Taking a simple CPR class on a Saturday morning could mean the difference between life and death for those around you during a disaster. There are also a number of first response teams in communities across the country that are always looking for volunteers to help during disasters. If you want to help, reach out to your local government offices and they can point you in the right direction.