In recent years, we’ve seen hurricanes in Puerto Rico and Florida, fires in California, and earthquakes in neighboring Mexico. All these disasters can be devastating for local communities and businesses.
To ensure the survival of your business, you need to consider what steps you will take in case a disaster strikes. And, getting in touch with the right contractors and services should be at the top of your list.
Business insurance often doesn’t include a flood and earthquake policy, so you may need to get them separately. Moreover, the insurance company may not cover damage that comes from bioterrorist attacks and some other man-made incidents.
Be sure to know what you can expect from your insurance company in case of a disaster. If something happens, call them as soon as possible. And, as soon as the situation calms down, take photos of the damage. Don’t throw out the damaged property by yourself.
Some contractors offer insurance claim management as an extra service. If you don’t have much experience with filing insurance claims, this may be the best way to ensure your business will be reimbursed for incidentals and repairs.
Restoration contractors can deal with your insurance company and help secure the funds needed to repair decking, windows, siding, roofing, and pretty much anything else that has been damaged due to hail, water, wind, fire, etc.
SBA and FEMA
According to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) guide to disaster assistance problems, small businesses should immediately call their local SBA office or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) if they need immediate assistance.
You can call 1-800-659-2955 to reach SBA’s Disaster Assistance. You can reach FEMA at 1-800-621-3362.
Fire Damage Restoration
It’s important to note that many restoration contractors deal with most types of damage, but are more specialized in dealing with some types of damage than in others. If you need help with restoring your office after a fire, you should hire a contractor that has experience in dealing with both fire and water remediation since the water used to put out the fire also does a lot of damage to the building.
When it comes to the restoration service spectrum, fire remediation is most complex. The skillset required typically includes plumbing, wiring, engineering, carpentry, and exterior siding work.
When a fire happens in a building, the heat tends to crack the mortar joints. So, in case a fire breaks out in your office, it will most likely require masonry work afterward.
When businesses are dealing with fire damage, they usually will also require the services of cleaning companies for fixtures and furnishings. The average fire remediation job exceeds $50,000 in services.
Smoke and ash can cause significant damage to an office, including unpleasant odors, discoloration, etching, and corrosion. It gets worse the longer you wait, so you need to call a certified fire restoration crew as soon as the fire is put out. These issues can cause serious structural damage over time.
Once the crew arrives, they will start assessing the source and type of damage. Then they will remove the ash, repair the damage, remove items that are beyond repair, and treat odors with specialized cleaners. Smoke and ash residue is not something you should try to clean yourself. DIY attempts usually lead to further contamination and more problems.
Flood and Water Damage
Pipe breaks, supply line breaks, and storms and heavy rains can easily cause flooding in a building. No matter the cause, you will need to contact a water damage restoration service as soon as possible.
Because it is key to avoid secondary water damage, the first thing they’ll do is start mitigating the damage. After that, drying and cleanup will follow.
Water damage is not as big a problem as fire damage, but it is something that you should deal with as quickly as possible. If you don’t have the right experience, you won’t be able to do a proper job in a timely manner.
This can cause other problems to develop, such as mold and mildew. The water remediation crew you hire will get at the root of the cause, and they will immediately extract the water and dry the contents of the building.
If mold has already developed, the contractor will use industrial-grade cleaners to eliminate it. If the issue is standing water, the solutions can include swales or landscape grading.
So, the services of water damage restoration companies go beyond drying and water cleanup. They take a holistic approach to water remediation. Water damage restoration crews usually offer additional services such as content restoration, sanitation, vent cleaning, and deodorization. The average water damage restoration job costs less than $25,000.
Storm and Wind Damage Restoration
Storm damage restoration contractors deal with siding or roofing repairs, although storms can also affect the interior sometimes. If a tree damages a load-bearing wall or breaks through trusses, the rebuilding process can be complex, so you need to make sure to get the right contractor for the job.
A good storm damage contractor can handle damage due to freezing weather and ice dams, hail, ice storms, tornadoes, high winds, hurricanes, thunderstorms, and lightning strikes. They can handle jobs ranging from structural drying to emergency roof tarping. Such contractors also carry out specialized cleanups.
To ready your property for winter storms, they can winterize your office by insulating walls, basements, and attics and ensuring that the roof will be able to bear the weight of the snow.
Coworking Space or Office Space
If you don’t want to mitigate revenue losses in case your office becomes unusable, it’s a good idea to have a few local coworking spaces or office rentals on your emergency contact list.
So that you will be able to relocate quickly to your temporary headquarters if a disaster strikes, be sure to check out a few local coworking spaces and include the most suitable ones in your contingency plan.
Since all the computers and other equipment are likely to suffer damages in case of a disaster as well, consider renting a storage unit where you can keep backup equipment.
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