Cleaning up after a storm can be more dangerous than the actual storm itself – live electrical wires, broken glass and fumes leaking from leaking pipes are common, meaning protective gear and safety measures may be required. System4 has helped many businesses manage the risks and aftermath of devastating storms. Follow these guidelines for a clean-up and recovery:
Return to Safely to the Site
Only return to the site once local authorities say it’s sage to do so, and bring identification to enter a secured disaster area. Take personal protective equipment, including hard hats, heavy work globes, dust masks, eye protection and steel-toed safety boots. Bring additional supplies such as flashlights with spare batteries, cameras, bottles of water, etc.
Conduct a Site Assessment with Qualified Personnel
Do not switch on electrical power or being clean-up until qualified personnel have checked all utilities and evaluated all risks. Flooding may cause toxic spills; while live electrical lines may energize flood waters and create an electrocution risk. Damaged areas of a building should be reviewed by a structural engineer.
Survey the Site for Damage
Check for hazards such as broken glass, sharp metal and fumes. Look for damaged building features and contents that could shift or collapse.Check inside and outside the building, as well as around you and overhead. Take photos to document damage and conditions.
Be Cautious of Animals
Displaced pets and wild animals may seek shelter in buildings, vehicles and trees. They are often injured after a storm and can be become dangerous.
Gather Insurance Policies
Call your insurance representative to begin the claims process.
Begin the Restoration Process
Prevent further damage to buildings and content by restoring the air conditioning systems or run fans to mitigate mold due to humidity or flooding. Do not use extension cords in wet areas. Safely dispose of combustible materials. Avoid storage in areas with impaired fire protection.
Verify the Status of Protection Systems
Check water supplies, fire pumps, sprinklers, fire alarms and security systems. Report fire protection system outages. Clear all drains in preparation for further rain. Make repairs and post security personnel on site if protection systems are compromised.
Notify Reputable Contractors
Establish repair priorities, based on level of danger the damage poses and promptly notify service providers to initiate repairs. System4 can be your one-point-of-contact for all service provider needs. We will create one invoice for you to simplify the process and streamline the work order process for you. We are more than happy to work with you to ensure that your building is safe for re-opening.
Perform Emergency Repairs Where Feasible
Electrical supply for power tools should be equipped with a ground fault circuit interrupter to prevent electrocution. Existing or repaired systems should be equipped with ground fault protection.
Protection Your Employees and Maintain Regular Communication
Employees often support with the clean-up process, but ensure they are kept safe.