6 Steps to Severe Storm Recovery

Aug. 24, 2017

Limit downtime with this post-storm cleanup checklist.

Do you know what to do if a severe storm damages your facility? Every minute counts after a natural disaster. This six-step checklist by emergency repair provider Cintas can help you minimize post-storm downtime.

  • Be aware of safety hazards. Loose debris and shock hazards are not uncommon after a severe storm event. Make sure employees know ahead of time how to shut off electricity in storm-affected areas. Even if electricity is down, it may be restored without notice, so take precautions accordingly.
  • Review your emergency preparedness plan. You should already have a preparedness plan with up-to-date contact information for emergency repair providers and instructions and checklists for emergency situations. Review emergency procedures during regular staff meetings to make sure employees know how to get help during a crisis and minimize panic during an emergency.
  • Inspect exterior glass and doors. Glass exteriors are two of the most important items to assess after a storm as they usually take the brunt of severe weather. Check the condition of handles, locks and weather stripping. Even small-scale damage like scratches, moisture buildup or hairline fractures can easily escalate into bigger problems and create hazards for employees and visitors.
  • Check the water lines. Flood-damaged facilities often suffer from plumbing backflow, pipe blockages and clogs. Avoid drain line backups and keep sewage out of your building by bringing in a professional to extract and jet the pipes after the storm.
  • Disinfect surfaces. Remove anything that has been contaminated by flood water and thoroughly disinfect all surfaces. Be careful when removing contaminated materials – it’s easy to spread contaminants to other surfaces.
  • Deep clean the floor. Any floor that has been affected by flood water needs to be deep cleaned, regardless of what kind of floor it is. Minimize bacteria and mold growth with cleaning chemicals, adequate dwell time and high-pressure steam.

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About the Author

Janelle Penny | Editor-in-Chief at BUILDINGS

Janelle Penny has more than a decade of experience in journalism, with a special emphasis on covering facilities management. She aims to deliver practical, actionable content for facilities professionals.

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