Dealing with damages after a disaster isn’t necessarily something any property owner wants to think about. But without the right plan in place, a disaster could devastate your property or business. At Kiser Construction, as disaster restoration specialists, we deeply understand the impact fires, floods, severe weather, and man-made disasters can have on commercial properties. To help you better protect your business and your property, we’ve outlined X disaster preparedness misconceptions every property owner and lessee should avoid.
Thinking Your Building Is Not at Risk
It doesn’t matter where your building is located in the Twin Cities, it’s susceptible to storm damage. In fact, according to weather experts, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the surrounding suburbs are among the top 15 locations in the United States for tornado-related damages. Even if your building has never suffered weather-related damages in the past, that doesn’t mean it’s immune to future disasters.
Understanding the risks you face in the event of a natural disaster will go a long way in both minimizing damages to your building and keeping occupants protected. So take a look at your preparedness plan — does it outline response steps for each of the following situations?
● Natural disasters. What is your plan of action for tornadoes, flooding, insect infestations, fires, and other naturally occurring phenomena?
● Technological disasters. These types of disasters typically involve both natural and man-made elements. They include extended power outages, plumbing leaks, structural collapse, and civil response (a.k.a civil disorder), among other issues.
● Man-made disasters. These disasters are entirely produced by humans. They include intentional vandalism of commercial property, manmade fires, terrorism, and other crimes.
Failing to adequately prepare for each of the above situations can leave both your building and your business in a tight spot when the dust settles. You could potentially lose critical materials, documents, machinery, and other essential components of your building or business that are necessary for continued operation, so plan accordingly.
Once you have your plans nailed down, outline a plan for emergency restoration services too. Prompt response is critical here because, in many instances, even a few hours can make the difference between minor and extensive losses.
Thinking Your Plan Is Adequate (Even When You’ve Never Suffered a Disaster)
Do you routinely review and update your disaster preparedness plan? How often do you train and retrain your employees on its execution? There’s a big difference between thinking you’re in compliance with current standards and actually being in compliance — many business owners aren’t aware of that.
Because courts deem every kind of disaster as a foreseeable incident, if you fail to appropriately plan for such incidents or adequately train your employees, that may be seen as gross negligence. What happens next? In addition to building damage, there’s a strong likelihood you’ll also face litigation. As an employer or building owner, current standards mandate that you regularly test your plans to ensure they work.
So take a look at your plans — are they up to date with current OSHA regulations? Are you missing anything? OSHA mandates the following:
● How to account for all employees after evacuation
● Guidelines for employees who may perform rescues or medical duties
● Emergency evacuation procedures, including exit routes for each type of evacuation
● How to report fires and other emergencies
● Essential building operations and who is responsible for performing them before evacuating the building
● Names and professional roles of employees who are designated to explain your plans and employees’ assigned duties
The nature of the disaster will play a central role in executing the plan properly; however, without a properly sized and well-organized emergency team, there’s little chance any plan will function according to its design.
To ensure everyone works well together and performs their assigned duties, create a clear chain of command and designate at least one in-charge team member for every five employees. Schedule routine training for all employees, and most importantly, acknowledge that your disaster preparedness plan is never truly complete.
Kiser Construction: Your Twin Cities Source for Comprehensive Disaster Restoration
If your building suffered damages from a natural, technological, or man-made disaster, our team at Kiser Construction is here to help you get back on your feet. We specialize in fire restoration, water damage restoration, storm damage repairs, and a variety of other contracting services designed to bring your building back to life. To schedule an appointment or learn more about our services, feel free to contact our team today at 763-633-2010 or send us a message, and we’ll be in touch.
If you require emergency restoration services after a fire, flood, or another disaster, please call us on our 24/7 emergency line at 612-518-8852.