Blog – Disaster Preparedness, Water and Storm Damage

Disaster Preparedness Tips: Spring Rains Bring Higher Risk of Floods

When the warm weather arrives, winter snow melts and spring rain follows. While this combination prompts nature to produce lush greenery, it also heightens the risk of flooding. Disaster preparedness plans should include steps to remedy water damage as soon as possible because quick action can save a company up to 40 percent on water damage restoration costs. To prevent further damage from ensuing, take action immediately after a disaster with these simple steps before professional help arrives.

Limit the water damage that affects your business and prevent further destruction by safely taking action before professional disaster recovery services arrive.

  • Exercise caution: Make sure a building is safe and the electricity is turned off before you enter. Wear protective gear like an organic vapor respirator, goggles and rubber gloves to reduce your exposure to mold spores and other contaminants.
  • Dry out: Ventilate the building and limit mold growth by opening windows and, if it’s safe, using fans.
  • Salvage documents: Take inventory of your damaged documents by identifying what needs to be salvaged, discarded, or securely destroyed. For the documents that should be salvaged, place them into the freezer until a document restoration company can arrive on-site. To ensure that your business documents are fully recovered, allow a professional document restoration company to salvage the documents through their advanced drying and restoration processes.

Once your disaster preparedness plan is finalized, make sure it is placed in an easily-accessible common space so all employees know where it is located. Stanford University recommends adding these water damage-related immediate response steps in your disaster preparedness plan:

  • Determine if the water is clean or contaminated.
  • Take an inventory of the water-damaged materials.
  • For items affected by clean water, place fans in areas affected by water damage to speed the drying process.

While it might be tempting to start the water damage restoration process yourself, it’s best to let a professional restoration company handle the following processes:

  • Contain and remove contaminated water. Clean and disinfect non-porous surfaces, and remove porous materials from the property.
  • A professional will determine if items such as drywall, carpeting, insulation and particle board are worth salvaging. In some instances, they advise you to replace upholstered office furniture rather than salvage wet pieces.
  • For items affected by clean water a professional will:
    - Use a water-extraction vacuum to remove water from carpeting, furniture, porous flooring and wood, concrete and cinderblock surfaces.
    - Throw away ceiling tiles, cellulose and fiberglass insulation, swollen wallboard and carpeting that have been wet for over 48 hours.

A disaster preparedness plan includes a list of natural disasters that can affect your business during any season and clear steps that outline how to recover from each one. If your business already has a disaster preparedness plan, make sure it is tested often updated regularly to account for new business elements or weather patterns. Even though a disaster plan clearly highlights important steps to start the restoration process, there are still elements of the process that would be better handled by professionals. To learn more about creating and updating a plan for your organization, contact Polygon today.

Related articles