Disaster Preparedness for Your Business
Contact a professional storm damage company to have your business back and safe as possible.
4 Steps To Create a Disaster Preparedness Plan
The weather in West Miami, FL, can change in a blink. While surprises can be fun for birthday parties or movie cameos, you don’t want to be caught off guard by severe weather at your commercial property. Here are four steps for creating a disaster preparedness plan.
1. Identify Risks
The first step in implementing an emergency plan is identifying what the most likely threats are to your business. While this can depend on geographical location to an extent, it is a good idea to have a plan in place for every kind of weather. Fires, floods and tornadoes can strike anywhere at any time.
2. Determine a Course of Action
Once you have identified the possible risks to your business, the next step in business preparedness is picking a course of action. This plan should be tailored to each type of emergency. For example, you should shelter in place for a tornado but evacuate quickly for a fire. Identify the safest areas in which to take shelter and plot escape routes for every room in the building. Do practice drills for both.
3. Keep Communication Lines Open
After a disaster event, regular communication such as cell phones may not be an option due to lack of signal or overloaded towers. It's always a good idea to have a backup system for checking in. This can mean including walkie-talkies in your emergency kit or establishing a meeting point as part of your disaster preparedness plan.
4. Plan Ahead for a Smoother Recovery
The aftermath of severe weather and similar events can be just as overwhelming as the disaster itself. To make your road to recovery smoother, keep up-to-date photos of your assets for insurance claims. Enlist the help of a professional storm damage restoration crew to have your business back and thriving as quickly and safely as possible.
Disaster preparedness is integral to the success of any business. Creating and practicing a contingency plan is the best way to protect your property, your assets and — most importantly — your workforce.
3 Tips for an Effective Office Fire Escape Plan
Soot damage in Virginia Gardens, FL.
Help Prepare Your Office In The Event Of A Fire
Planning for an office fire in Virginia Gardens, FL may be overwhelming, but an effective fire escape plan is an essential part of maintaining a safe office environment. According to the National Fire Protection Association, over 3,000 office fires occurred annually, on average, from 2007-2011. Staying abreast of prevention and mitigation techniques helps prepare your office in the event of a fire.
1. Regularly Check Fire Alarms and Sprinklers
One of the simplest ways to safeguard your office is to keep fire detection equipment up to date. Ensure that your office has the proper number of smoke detectors required in Virginia Gardens, FL, and test them monthly. If your office has a sprinkler system, regularly check this as well. The best fire escape plan is to avoid serious fires altogether.
2. Educate All Staff About Exits, Including Emergency Exits
All staff members should be familiar with the office’s emergency escape plan. Hold an orientation to carefully go over the plan and offer regular updates. Running fire drills twice a year is an effective tactic to protect your staff. If your office has doors, stairwells, or windows that will be usable in the event of a fire, make sure that all staff are knowledgeable about and ready to utilize these escape routes.
3. Be Ready for the Aftermath
It is best to be prepared for the aftermath before a fire ever occurs. After such a disaster, the first order of business is to ensure all personnel are safe and secure. If emergency services have not already been alerted, they should be contacted. It is also helpful to have the phone number for fire restoration services that can immediately assist with remediating flame, smoke, or water damage.
A well-designed fire escape plan is an essential requirement for a safe office environment. The more prepared you are, the better your business is able to deal with the consequences of a fire if one does occur.
The Top 3 Commercial Flood Preparation Tips
Flood cuts performed in Doral, FL.
Flood Preparation Tips
Owners or occupants of commercial buildings prone to flooding should take measures to prepare properties in Doral, FL. Planning ahead for flood damage can be beneficial, as it is more difficult to make good decisions when time is limited. Here are three of the most effective flood preparation tips.
1. Make a Flood Level Checklist
The critical utilities in a building should be installed above the Base Flood Elevation level. Any portable items used below this level should be listed and elevated above the level at which they are likely to be exposed to black water prior to flooding. Electric appliances used in office settings are likely to be ruined by exposure to any type of water, and grossly contaminated water can destroy many other types of contents.
2. Get Commercial Flood Insurance
Most commercial general property policies exclude flood damage. For this reason, commercial property owners may want to obtain a separate flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program or a private insurer. The NFIP General Property Form can insure building property up to $500,000 and personal property up to the same amount.
3. Consider Interruption Insurance
Neither a general commercial property or a NFIP Commercial policy will offset financial losses that result from the inability of a business to operate for days or weeks due to damage. Business owners can calculate ongoing expenses during a shutdown and take out an interruption insurance policy with a high enough limit to offset these losses during the typical time frame for storm damage restoration.
When flooding is expected to occur in Doral, FL, property owners or commercial tenants can use a checklist to remember to elevate delicate or important contents and take important safety measures. Maintaining business interruption or commercial flood insurance can also give a building or business owner more peace of mind in the event of a flood.
Grey Water or Black Water? Facts About Commercial Water Damage
When water invades your business, suddenly an essential resource becomes a threat to your property. If your Doral, FL, business has sustained damage from water, it's important to assess the level of contamination as well as the extent of the damage. Whether a leaky dishwasher or encroaching floodwater caused your problem, you’ll want to understand the three water-contamination categories.
This lowest level of contamination defines water that originates from clean-water sources, such as:
- a leaking ice maker or water dispenser
- a broken clean water pipe
- a roof leak
- an overflowing bathtub
- a leaking water heater
Cleaning up Category 1 water damage involves a basic water extraction and restoration process. It will generally be covered by your conventional business insurance policy.
When water leaks from a shower, sink, or washing machine drain, it is called greywater. It may contain traces of grease, food, or dirt that make it more toxic than clean water but less toxic than flood water. During cleanup and restoration, disinfectants and other sanitation methods will minimize the spread of the contamination. Category 2 damage is generally covered by your business insurance.
When stormwater enters your building from the exterior, or a toilet overflows, introducing sewage, you have Category 3 damage. This high-level contamination, also known as black water, requires professional cleanup and restoration services because it may contain bacteria, sewage or toxic chemicals. Restoration crews will wear specialized equipment and use elaborate filtration systems to safely extract the water and begin restoring your property.
If flood water caused your property damage, your business insurance would not provide coverage. Flood insurance is a specialized policy issued by the US government. Your insurance agent can explain the process.
When you experience a minor water leak or major storm damage, you’ll have some important decisions to make quickly. It’s crucial to determine your level of contamination, so you can employ the most suitable cleanup process and work toward restoring your business and your property to normalcy.
Can Smoke-Damaged Items Be Cleaned and Restored?
Smoke damage in Miami, FL.
One of the major things you have to deal with in the aftermath of a fire is restoration of your smoke-damaged items. Besides fire and water damage, smoke and soot affects not just the structure but the belongings of your home in Miami, FL. You may assume that impacted objects are irreparably damaged, but according to experts in fire damage assessment, there are a number of specialized types of content cleaning, including dry-cleaning that can bring impacted elements back to pre-damage conditions.
Consider a fire restoration process that not only accounts for water and fire cleanup but offers smoke and soot removal that can reduce costs associated with replacement.
Walking Through Fire Restoration
A complete fire restoration process is typically extensive and is best left in the hands of a professional restoration provider experienced in and equipped for remediation. The process generally involves multiple steps:
- Evaluate the degree of destruction due to fire, water and smoke or soot.
- Contain impacted areas and items to avoid further damage to other parts of your home.
- Remove water and dry impacted items and parts of the residence with special equipment.
- Clean items that are smoke-damaged with content cleaning methods.
- Employ best practices and item-specific cleanup approaches, such as dry-cleaning.
- Repair structural damage as necessary to restore your house and its contents.
Understanding the Professional Approach
Professional remediation and restoration services take a comprehensive look at repairing and removing all damage. The goal is to minimize the interruption to your living situation using every method available, including temporary content storage. Prioritizing repair over replacement is another objective to help save money.
Insurance companies generally prefer to work with a professional remediation provider when it comes to fire damage cleanup. They know that these providers are vetted and equipped to perform advanced techniques, including dry-cleaning, to bring your home back to a pre-fire condition as quickly as possible.
3 Pertinent Facts About Water Damage Every Homeowner Should Know
Water damage in a West Miami, FL residence.
Water Damage Facts
Whether it is the result of a home malfunction like a pipe burst or leaky water line or a natural disaster like flooding, anything involving a sudden vast influx of fluid into your lodgings has the potential to cause a great deal of trouble. Consulting a professional restoration company in West Miami, FL, is generally a good idea, depending on the extent of the harm. As you ponder whether or not you wish to, there are some important facts that you should know about water damage.
1. Insurance Doesn't Always Cover It
Homeowners insurance may not pay for any services or repairs needed if the issue is due to your negligence or normal wear and tear. Usually, it will take care of a pipe burst, other accidental occurrence or problem you could not reasonably have anticipated and kept from happening. This includes:
- Other plumbing issues
- Leaking roofs
- Toilet overflows
In some instances, your policy may cover the consequences of the water, but not the reason it is saturating your home. For example, your provider probably won't shell out to fix the holes in your roof. It may, however, do so for the cleanup of the liquid that has soaked into your floors. Flooding normally falls under a separate kind of indemnity.
2. Mold Growth Is a Possibility
It is vital to remove as much moisture as possible from impacted areas as soon as you can. It takes approximately 24 to 48 hours for mold colonies to begin growing on damp spots. Taking fast action to dry saturated items and rooms can help ward this off.
3. There Exist Preventative Measures
While there is no precaution that can guarantee a water-related incident will not happen, there are some steps you can take to minimize the chances of one transpiring. Cleaning out gutters and downspouts regularly can stave off clogs leading to overflow. Maintaining your pipes and any appliances connected to your water supply can head off a lot of potential complications as well.
A pipe burst or other water problem can be difficult to handle. In many cases, contacting a professional may be the best move.
The 4 Components of a Damage Assessment
Commercial water restoration services in Virginia Gardens, FL.
The 4 Components of a Damage Assessment
If your business in Virginia Gardens, FL, suffers water damage, seek a capable cleanup and restoration company to get your property back in shape. During the initial inspection, known as pretesting, the company associate assesses the damage done to the property to determine what can be restored. This reduces the cost of your insurance claim by preventing the unnecessary replacement of repairable damage. You should expect the assessment to consist of these four steps.
1. Inspection of Damage
The associate assesses how much damage the water has caused, inspecting the affected areas to determine whether restoration or replacement will be needed. Additionally, the professional will check for any dangers in the area, such as lead, asbestos and unsafe electrical outlets.
2. Addressing Ongoing Leaks
If there is still water leaking on the property, it is necessary to identify the source and stop its flow. The associate should check for any sources of contamination of the water as well.
3. Testing the Water
Pretesting involves classifying the water contamination into one of three categories:
- White Water – Water with no substantial contaminants
- Gray Water – Water containing microorganisms, as found in septic water
- Black Water – Water containing dangerous bacteria or fungi
If the water is coming from an overflowing sink or broken supply line, it is most likely to be white water. Gray and black water can be the result of contamination from standing water, sea and river water, or sewage.
4. Preparing the Area for Water Removal
Before moving forward in the restoration process, the area needs to be cleared of any furniture or carpets in the way and subject to water damage.
Once the pretesting has been done, your property is ready for the next steps of restoration. It’s a good idea to discuss the process with your insurance agent so that you can be prepared in the unfortunate event of water damage.
How To Contain Mold Spores During Cleanup
Mold containment in a Miami, FL building
Ways That Mold Can Be Contained
Despite your efforts to keep it at bay, you've discovered mold growing at your business in Miami, FL. In the best interest of your staff, building, and clients, you've hired a professional mold remediation specialist to handle the mold cleanup. You're wondering: is it safe to continue running my business as usual while cleaning happens, or do I need to come up with a different plan? During cleanup, professionals will use containment strategies to prevent the spread of mold. However, the impact to your business practices will depend on the size of the containment area.
For smaller areas of mold contamination, a single layer of plastic sheeting will be hung to contain the mold spores that will be released into the air during cleanup. The sheeting is attached to the floor and ceiling with duct tape, or a metal frame may be used for larger spaces. The area is kept under negative pressure, which prevents the spread of spores to non-contaminated areas of the building. If the mold is not in your main work area, it is possible that you can continue to run your business. Always follow the direction of the remediation specialist when determining your business plan.
In a larger area, in situations where there is massive mold growth, or in spaces that are harder to contain, a double layer of plastic sheeting will be erected, and airlock chambers will be utilized for entrance to and exit from the mold cleanup area. In both limited and full containment projects, all air vents, fans, doors, and stairs will be sealed off to further protect the building's occupants.
Your mold remediation team will wear personal protective equipment that they will keep in a contained area in order further prevent the spread of mold spores to the rest of the building.
Proper mold cleanup can be an involved process, so deciding how to run your business while cleaning occurs is a decision that you should make under the advisement of a remediation professional.
What To Do When a Pipe Bursts
More water damages are caused by broken pipes.
Bursting pipes aren't always located out in the open; sometimes, they are situated behind the walls where they are out of sight and hard to recognize. Within minutes, your commercial property could experience a lot of damage because of a broken or leaking pipe behind the walls. Sadly, broken pipes are some of the most common causes of water damage in Doral, FL, and in many of these cases, a burst or leaking pipe could go unnoticed until serious damage has occurred.
Take Quick Action
As soon as you notice that your property has suffered water damage in Doral, FL, you should take some quick steps to prevent further damage:
- Turn off the water at the water main.
- Open one or more faucets to decrease the water pressure in the pipes.
- Remove water as quickly and thoroughly as you can.
- Contact professionals to fix the broken pipe and provide further cleanup and repair services.
Your quick actions could mean the difference between containing the damage and experiencing extensive, widespread trouble.
Recognize the Potential for Trouble
There are many pipes throughout your property that could cause a lot of damage. Bursting pipes often happen when plumbing and other systems are installed along the exterior of the home without enough insulation to protect them from freezing. Aging pipes can develop leaks or cracks if they are exposed to pests or unusual amounts of water pressure. If the original installation of the pipes wasn't handled correctly, slow leaks could cause damage for a long time before you notice them.
Get Help Quickly
Once any damage has happened, it's important to contact water damage cleanup and repair professionals to correct the situation. In addition to putting your business back into a safe working condition, the technicians may also help you recognize other areas of weakness and concern. It's definitely better to avoid damage altogether when it's possible to take preventative action.
You may not always recognize water damage when it first occurs, but when you do notice the damage, take quick action. It doesn't take long for bursting pipes and running water to cause a lot of harm.
The Effects of Lightning Strikes on Homes
Lightning strike in Doral, FL area
There are many causes of home fires, both natural and man-made. A lightning fire is one of the most destructive and deadly you could encounter in Doral, FL. As a homeowner, it’s helpful to be aware of how these occur, what you can do to prevent them and what the effects can be on the structure and your own safety.
How and When They Occur
Unlike other types of fires that could start in your home, it is difficult, if not impossible, to predict when a lightning strike will hit a structure. However, there are certain conditions and situations where there is a greater likelihood for a house fire due to this weather phenomenon:
- Strikes occur frequently during the summer months
- Strikes occur mostly in the late afternoon or evening
- Strikes vary depending on regions
- Weather patterns affect where and when strikes occur
A lightning fire can often be more devastating than other types of fires. In many cases, these blazes result in fatalities and widespread damage. Fires from strikes can result in structural losses, electrical failure and loss of other property and belongings. The results can be sudden although some of these fires may start small and gradually increase in strength.
During an electrical storm, you should turn off all electronics, including televisions, stereos and phones. Do not bathe or do dishes when there is lightning nearby. You should stay away from windows but remain inside during these situations. The only time you should leave your home during such a storm would be if your house caught on fire. Otherwise, remain indoors until 30 minutes have passed since the last flash.
If lightning does hit your dwelling and cause a fire, evacuate and get to a low place outside. Call 911 and do not try to reenter the house. After crews extinguish the lightning fire, get in touch with a professional fire restoration team to clean up and rebuild your home.