This Is a Drill: How To Teach Your Escape Plan to Your Employees
It is important to keep your employees safe by having a disaster plan in place!
An unexpected disaster can cause fear and panic in your employees. A solid emergency plan for escaping that disaster, however, can increase their confidence and thus the likelihood that they will conduct themselves calmly and rationally when a problem arises. If a situation that requires evacuation comes up during the workday, you will be glad you made a plan and trained employees to carry it out through the use of practice sessions such as a fire drill.
Making the Plan
As the business owner, you are the best equipped to devise the escape plan for your business in Franklin, Tennessee that will work the best for your employees. Each plan should contain the following elements:
- Alarm procedures
- Evacuation routes and meeting areas
- Chain of command and division of responsibilities
- Emergency kit containing water, flashlights and first aid items
- Contact list of employees for confirming their safety
- Clear reporting structure
Contact information for insurance company and restoration specialists
The time to plan for a natural disaster or fire is before it happens. After you have the plan, it's time to train your employees.
Training the Staff
Whether you are staging a fire drill or testing storm procedures, the information should always proceed the practice. Include evacuation plans in your yearly training. Impress upon your employees the importance of understanding the plan and encourage questions and concerns during the discussion. At some point, you can test the plan with a drill. Only a handful of personnel who will be assisting with key elements of the procedures need to know when the drill is planned. That way, employees can actually experience the surprise they may feel if the real situation should ever arise. During the drill, take note of what goes right and what needs improvement so that you can tweak the plan or training as needed.
Planning how you want your employees to respond in a disastrous situation and training them to implement the plan can keep them safe. Each fire drill brings you closer to a calm, smooth resolution.
Protect Your Building Envelope
Mold on ceiling due to water damage in Franklin,TN
Rain damage can be a serious threat to your commercial building, easily causing thousands of dollars’ worth of damage after a bad storm. The most important thing you can do to protect your building is to ensure that the building envelope is in good shape and well maintained. It is much more cost effective to maintain the property in such a way as to prevent damage than it is to repair after a weather event.
Rain Damage Can Present Big Problems
In many cases, damage done to commercial buildings is caused by water being where it’s not supposed to be. Black mold is just one example of the serious consequences that can arise when rain is allowed to intrude into the building. Get out ahead of potential problems by making sure that cracks are sealed and gaps are closed. There are other things that can help to divert water:
The use of these items can move water away from the foundation of your building and help to prevent water intrusion.
The Building Envelope and Why It’s Important
A building’s envelope is, in a very basic sense, the actual building itself. It is the physical barrier between the conditioned interior and the unconditioned environment outside. It is comprised of the roof and walls of the structure. Cracks, gaps, and other openings in the envelope, including doors and windows, can all present possible points of entry for water and air into the building.
Maintenance Can Make a Big Difference
Preventative maintenance can save you money in the long run. Once damage has been done, it usually becomes a much more costly situation to rectify. However, should damage to your building occur, bring in professionals to help with cleanup.
It is easier and cheaper to fortify a weak point than it is to replace a larger area that has become subject to rot or mold due to water damage. Keep in mind that Franklin,TN, can be subject to severe weather, including heavy rains. Protect your building from rain damage so it will continue to serve its purpose for years to come.
Understanding Why Your Sewer Backed Up
A damaged pipe may allow sewage to lek into your Brentwood,TN home
One important part of a residential sewer cleanup in Brentwood, TN, is figuring out why your home was flooded with sewage. Your team of water damage experts can help you figure out the source of the damage, which helps you create a better repair plan. You can also use this quick guide to learn more about the potential causes.
1. Damaged Pipes
A damaged pipe may allow sewage to leak into your home. If a tree root has cracked open the pipe in your yard, the sewage may fill the ground and travel into the lower levels of your home. In some cases, a pipe in your walls could have burst and unleashed sewer water.
2. Faulty Fixtures
A flooded toilet could also be the source of dirty flood water. While this water may not contain fecal matter, it may still have traces of urine from the bowl of the toilet. A broken or clogged toilet can cause the water to fill your bathroom.
3. Heavy Rainfall
When there's a lot of rain in Brentwood,TN, the water table level can rise exponentially. This extra water can flood into the city sewer line. When this line reaches its capacity, the water and sewage have to go somewhere. You may not think of a sewer cleanup being tied to a storm, but it does happen when the system gets overloaded.
Clogs and blockages are another common cause of a sewer backup. The blockage could be located in your plumbing or it could be in the sewer main pipes. No matter where the clog is, it causes the same problem. The sewage leaving your house cannot travel past the clog. The pressure builds up and causes the contents of the pipes to travel backwards into your home.
Sewer doesn't often fill a home, but when it does you need to start sewer cleanup as soon as possible. Understanding the potential cause of your flooding can make creating a repair plan easier.
Cleanup After Commercial Sewer Damage
Air movers on a commercial water restoration in Brentwood, TN
If your business in Brentwood, TN, has experienced a sewer backup or damage due to a flooded toilet, the results can leave your building in a terrible state. It's likely that business equipment, documents and furniture may have become saturated. The area has been exposed to black water, which can harbor dangerous bacteria and viruses. This is not something you can handle on your own. Once the plumber has come to make the necessary repairs, you'll need to enlist the services of a water damage restoration company to do the sewer cleanup. They can send a crew out quickly so that more serious damage doesn't occur. Their specially trained technicians will get your building back to normal by following the procedures outlined below.
The first step in a commercial sewer cleanup operation is to inspect the damage. The water will be tested to see what kind of contaminants are present, and the amount and type of damage will be assessed to determine what kind of specialized equipment is needed.
2. Contents Removal
All furniture, equipment and other items will be removed from the premises. Any items that can be saved will be thoroughly dried, cleaned, deodorized and disinfected, using a number of specialized methods.
3. Water Removal
Once everything has been taken out of the affected area, the technicians will begin to remove all the water from the building, using a variety of high-efficiency equipment, including truck-mounted extractors, sump pumps and trash pumps. Any porous materials that have been contaminated will also be removed at this time. All surfaces will be disinfected using specially-made cleaners to make sure everything is completely free of contaminants.
4. Final Drying and Dehumidifying
After as much water as possible has been removed and the area has been disinfected, any remaining moisture will be removed using industrial-strength air movers and dehumidifiers.
5. Restoring the Building
Once everything has been thoroughly dried and disinfected, the damaged areas can be restored to their pre-flood condition. The amount of restoration work can vary depending on the damage, ranging from minor drywall replacement and repainting to large reconstruction jobs.
Using the above steps, a water damage restoration company will promptly take care of your sewer cleanup problem and make sure you're back to business as usual.
The Car Is Floating, Now What: Funding Your Flood Recovery
Water damage after heavy rain in Franklin, TN
Severe weather in Franklin, TN, can bring with it flooding and other significant home damage. For many homeowners, there is a concern about what insurance will cover and what it won’t. Without getting into specifics about coverage, if a homeowner does not have flood insurance, the cost associated can be devastating; however, FEMA does offer some relief depending on the situation and homeowner eligibility.
1. Disaster Relief
Depending on the severity of the storm and the damage inflicted on the city or area you live in, the area may be classified as a designated disaster zone. These areas are often allotted some form of disaster relief and aid. If you want to find out if your city is eligible, you can call your local municipality or emergency management department.
If your location is not classified as a disaster area, you may be eligible for a FEMA grant. These grants max out at $33,000 but they can also go a long way in restoring your home or covering alternative living expenses. In order to be eligible, you have to prove that your insurance coverage will not cover the storm damage.
3. SBA Loans
While the government offers some excellent programs to help people reestablish themselves after a flood, the Small Business Administration (SBA) also provides low-interest loans of up to $200,000 for eligible borrowers to rebuild their home. Additionally, the SBA offers assistance in replacing larger ticket items, like cars, through smaller loans of up to $40,000.
4. Outside Help
you can also reach out to local restoration specialists who may be able to work with your insurance company directly or offer special financing to get you back in your home as quickly as possible.
When a flood strikes and you need assistance because of a lack of coverage, you should always reach out to FEMA first; however, you can also reach out to the SBA or other specialists directly to ensure that you get the help that you need.
How To Deal With Mold Damaged Contents
Mold growth on crawlspace in a Brentwood, TN home
How To Deal With Mold Damaged Contents
You should take steps to address mold damage as soon as it occurs to improve the chances of being able to restore and retain more contents. Experts recommend disposing of most porous items exposed to and extensively damaged by mold. Some items with sentimental value may stand up to mold cleaning as part of the larger mold remediation process.
- Resolve the Underlying Issue: Until you put a stop to the source of primary water damage or excess moisture, mold may continue to grow in your residence and heighten the risk of undermining the structure and contaminating more contents. This issue typically involves sources of moisture within your home. Contact a plumber, roofer, or another type of specialist to fix leaks and use a dehumidifier to control air moisture levels.
- Consider the Condition of Contents: Some delicate porous and semi-porous contents directly exposed to mold growth may not be capable of being restored. Other materials, such as canvases or other painting mediums and cloth, can be restored with specialized mold cleaning methods. Remediation experts can help you determine which method is suitable for the composition of each affected item.
- Seek Expert Remediation Methods: Certified experts trained at performing remediation should be able to recommend the best cleaning methods for any item or material. Non-porous materials may be thoroughly cleaned and dried. Materials that are more porous may require special cleaning tactics such as the Esporta wash system, freeze-drying, being dipped in solvent, or being exposed to ozone.
Mold remediation experts can recommend the best ways to approach mold cleaning the contents of your home in Brentwood, TN. It is a good idea to address this problem as soon as possible to limit the extent of damage caused by mold and increase the chance that more delicate or rare possessions can be restored instead of needing to be replaced.
What You Need to Do When There's a Fire at Your Business
Most likely, you'll never have to face the results of a commercial fire.
If you're a business owner in Brentwood, TN, you need to know how to proceed if a fire impacts your company. If disaster strikes, you have to be prepared for the substantial monetary loss from the cost of fire restoration and the time lost while repairs are being done. The good news is that you can save a lot of time and money by moving quickly and following the plan below.
1. Notify Your Insurance Agency
Your fire insurance company should be notified as soon as possible. When you file a claim, they will send someone out to look at the damage and get you the money needed to for cleanup and repairs.
2. Call a Fire Restoration Company
As soon as you've spoken with your insurance agency, you need to get in touch with a qualified fire restoration company. The restoration company will immediately come out to assess the situation and begin any emergency repairs needed to prevent further damage. After this, they will start the process of smoke cleaning, removing water from carpets and furniture, and drying and disinfecting the building. When this phase is finished, the final restoration and repair can be completed.
3. Assessing Damage and Salvaging Property
As soon as the fire department allows you to re-enter the building, you will need to assess the damage done to valuable items inside, such as computers, documents, phones, and other office or manufacturing equipment. (Don't go inside without taking precautions first; wear a breathing mask, as there may still be harmful smoke in the air.) Your insurance company will need a list of what items have been damaged in order for you to be reimbursed. Try to save everything you can. Some items may still be working, or may work after being professionally cleaned.
4. Call in Arson Investigators
Even if you don't believe any foul play was involved, it's important to enlist the services of a fire forensics team. The insurance company will want to know for certain what the cause of the fire was, and if it was indeed arson, find the perpetrator and recover costs from them.
Most likely, you'll never have to face the results of a commercial fire. But if it does happen, by following the steps above you'll know how to take quick action to get the fire restoration process started and get your business back on track in much less time. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwilliamsoncounty.com/.
3 Storm Preparedness Tips for Business Owners
Increase your business’s chance of survival in Brentwood, TN, by preparing for a natural disaster.
Suddenly, your business is in the path of a natural disaster in Brentwood, TN. As the flood water accumulates, the potential consequences of a flooded building start to sink in. Will your business survive this disaster? Unfortunately, not all businesses do. Prepare ahead of time to recover faster in the aftermath of a storm.
1. Purchase Insurance
Every business owner knows the importance of commercial property insurance. But, do you know the specifics of your plan? Does it cover damage caused by flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and fires? What about business interruption insurance to keep you afloat during the restoration process? If you cannot answer these questions off the top of your head, it is time to meet with your insurance agent and review the policy. Supplemental insurance may be needed. The worst time to find out your policy does not cover damage from flood water is after a flood.
2. Back up Documents
Do you store important records for your business in spreadsheets, word processing programs or in file cabinets? Consider what happens to computers or papers in a flooded building. It is possible to lose the data forever. To avoid this scenario, ensure that all important information is backed up securely in another location. This includes employee data, financial and tax records and customer information.
3. Put a Plan in Writing
Stressful situations can easily turn into chaos. In a weather emergency, do your employees know how to safely evacuate? Is there a plan for protecting the building and contents from flooding and water damage? To be efficient in an emergency, write down a plan, assign roles and responsibilities and communicate the plan with staff. Keep important numbers handy, including your insurance agent and a storm restoration company.
Increase your business’s chance of survival in Brentwood, TN, by preparing for a natural disaster. After the danger has passed, act immediately to have restoration specialists remove the excess flood water and restore your business. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwilliamsoncounty.com/.
Why a Basement Floods and What You Should Do About It
Following the above checklist of troubleshooting tips will usually stop the problem before it begins.
Typically, the best way to deal with flooding in your basement in Brentwood, TN, is prevention. By understanding the usual causes of water retention in the lower floors of your home, you can take the necessary maintenance steps to ensure that your property stays dry for years to come.
1. Location and Climate Factors
A primary cause of excess water is above-average rainfall. Choosing to reside in a coastal area, for example, can increase the risk of a basement flood. Even in dryer climates, laying your home’s foundation on a low-lying or sloped part of the property can cause water to pool under walls and seep through the outer layers of the building.
2. Basement Drainage
Should your home sit near or on the water table, a basement drainage system and sump pump will likely be necessary to prevent excess dampness in the flooring. If the pump system breaks down due to electrical or plumbing problems, contact a qualified professional who can perform wiring or pipe repair. A powered mechanism for removing water from the basement after flooding is the most robust method for the prevention of property damage.
3. Sources of Leakage
Sometimes the biggest issues facing the homeowner lie in the ingress of water. Cracked walls or insufficient sealants and waterproof coatings can allow water that would otherwise drain away to enter the basement. Improperly positioned or damaged gutters and downspouts can divert water toward the house rather than into the yard. Gutters can also become clogged with leaves or other material, causing them to overflow. Gaps in roofing tiles or shingles can also cause undesirable water redirection, especially in periods of extreme rain or snowmelt. Controlling the water volume before it reaches the basement is often the best preventative measure.
Following the above checklist of troubleshooting tips will usually stop the problem before it begins. Should you experience unavoidable flooding and require basement cleanup and decontamination, contact a company that specializes in that process to avoid potential health hazards. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwilliamsoncounty.com/.
Why Flooded Streets Are Dangerous
Many residents of Brentwood, TN, have probably been faced with the decision of what to do when encountering a flooded street. Perhaps they’ve noticed cars in front of them that have successfully crossed over with no incident, or maybe they believe that the time saved by taking a calculated risk outweighs the consequences of being late to their destination. Whatever the case, it may be better to take a safer route until the water subsides or a disaster recovery team can restore the area, since reputable sources agree that it may not be worth taking that chance.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Statistics provided by FEMA show why crossing a flooded street may not be the best idea:
• Most cars can start to float in only one foot of water.
• Many vehicles can be affected or even stall in just six inches of water
• Even larger cars can be washed away with two feet of rushing water.
National Weather Service.
The National Weather Service has the following flood-related travel tips that may be helpful:
• Avoid lower-lying areas.
• Remember it is even more difficult to assess flood dangers at night.
• It is better to avoid flooded roads altogether to reduce the risk of drowning.
Consumer Reports notes the potential damage that can result from miscalculating a flooded surface:
• Water can be pulled into the engine and destroy it.
• Your car can become totaled.
• A flooded road can conceal broken electrical sources that can lead to electrocution.
The next time you contemplate crossing a flooded street in Brentwood, TN, remember what the experts say. According to The Weather Channel, 64 percent of deaths in floods between 2004–2010 occurred in vehicles. Even if your experience is not fatal, it can be helpful to understand the risks involved with flooded areas that can mask unpredictable terrain, create unforeseen vehicle damage, or pose serious safety risks.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROwilliamsoncounty.com/.