Emergency Ready Profiles at No Cost
Picture this: you're sitting at a desk in your home or business, reading the newspaper or returning emails, maybe wondering what you'll have for lunch or if you remembered to turn off the stove. Everything is how it always has been, and your window promises another perfect Central Oregon day to come, surely like all the others. This day, though, will be a very different one; and the violent geyser of water about to erupt from your ceiling is going to prove it.
These situations (sudden water or fire losses) are not the time to decide what you are going to do. Thoughts such as "where is the water shut off" and "is that a gas or electric appliance" could cost you time, and in turn money, because every second the source is not dealt with additional damage is being done. To illustrate this point, I will relate to you a story that was told to me by a fellow SERVPRO employee from another part of the country. It underlines the need for a contingency plan in case of property damage, and how even if you yourself know the building like the back of you hand, some of your employees (or family members) may not.
In a different state in a past year, there was a privately-owned sporting goods company which carried everything from footwear to soccer balls, running apparel and exercise equipment. This smallish store, in keeping with many others around the country, employed younger high school and college students who were left to close up the shop at the end of the night after the owner had long since gone home. After locking the doors, a few of these employees thought it would be fun to toss a football back and forth across the now-empty retailer, which they did--sending the ball spiraling by the ceiling and eventually directly into an overhead fire-suppression spigot. Having broken the small glass vial normally designed to react to flames and heat, every single sprinkler in the store began to spew the grey-stinking water that had sat in the lines for years, beginning to soak almost every square foot of the building. The young employees, thoroughly distressed by this strange new turn of events, proceeded to do what is usually never advisable in these moments: they panicked. No one knew how to shut the water off. No one even knew who to call. With the fire alarm screaming and water continuing to pour from the ceiling, the employees decided to contact the fire department who by this time were most likely already on their way. At a loss of what else to do (no one seemed to want to call the owner), the employees exited the store and waited out front for the fire fighters to hopefully shut the water off as the contents continued to saturate behind them. The fire department did, with some difficultly, and almost an hour after the water began to fall the alarm finally stopped sounding and the indoor monsoon ceased. Not surprisingly, the entire stock of contents besides some metal items were a total loss, and the building itself had to be treated for extensive water damage.
As the blog photo states, 50% of all businesses who experience a disaster may never reopen. In some cases, such as the aforementioned sporting goods store, the reason for this is because the damage could not be stopped quickly and what would have only been a small cleanup soon became an emergency. If the employees had known how to shut the water off, the outcome would have been very different; thousands of fewer gallons of water would have made it from the pipes to the sales floor, and many of the contents could have been saved. With no plan in place, they never had a chance.
For these reasons, I wish to introduce you to the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile which we will happily provide to your home or bushiness at absolutely no cost or obligation. These function as contingency plans and list all of the important information when dealing with emergencies: a floor plan and exit strategy, water and gas shutoff locations, emergency contacts, building background and insurance information. These ERPs can be produced physically and added to existing contingency plans, or even shared digitally to every one of your employees cellular phones or computers. If a water or fire loss does occur (or any other kind of disaster) you, your employees, or family members, will be able to easily access this information and guide themselves to shutoffs or breaker boxes with provided photos and descriptions. This will help you keep your family or employees safe, and allow you the peace of mind of knowing that you would not act as a bottleneck in the event of an emergency when every second counts.
If you would like to view an ERP, or have one completed for your home or business, please do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Bend and ask for Brad. We can come to your location in a time that works for you, and will likely take less than half an hour. Be prepared for the worst and you'll easily deal with the rest!