Fire, Storm, and Other Natural Disaster Preparedness Tips for Commercial Buildings

What should facility managers aim for when it comes to disaster response and preparedness? Should they look for ways to disaster-proof their facility? Or should they simply look for the best company to clean up the damage in the event of a hurricane or fire? At MaintenX, we believe that there is one simple key to your facility weathering any storm: resilience.


A resilient facility is not one that simply folds under pressure and waits for the clean-up crew. Instead, it is able to prevent damage and cope with it when it happens. Below are some tips to make your facility more resilient to fires, storms, and other natural disasters: 


Update your plan annually.

A disaster emergency plan doesn’t do your facility any good if it is not up to date. Review your plan at least once a year to ensure that your insurance coverages are up-to-date, your contacts are accurate, and that any action plans you have still meet the needs of your facility. This is especially important if you add new equipment, staff, or change anything to your regular maintenance schedule throughout the year. 


Plan for disruptions in the supply chain.

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught business owners anything, it’s that you can’t just worry about disasters that affect your community directly. Many businesses have been adversely affected this year not because they couldn’t open safely, but because their suppliers or manufacturers in different parts of the country or even around the world couldn’t. Be prepared for this by having backup suppliers or routes in the event of a natural disaster such as a hurricane or local fire. 


Understand your risk factors. 

Each facility is built differently and will have unique risk factors in the event of a natural disaster. For example, if your building is older you may have to worry about roofing collapses or pipe bursts more so than a newer building. If you have had electrical problems in the past, you may be at a greater risk for power outages to last longer than expected. Talk with your maintenance team to learn the ins and outs of your facility so you know what to expect when disaster strikes. 


Have a communications plan.

If you live in a disaster-prone area (like along the coast of Florida, which faces an increasingly destructive annual hurricane season), you need a plan in place to communicate with staff before, during, and after the disaster. You’ll need to know how to communicate to everyone effectively if you plan closures or an evacuation, and will want to be able to get in touch with your MaintenX team when disaster repairs begin. This communication plan should be effective whether employees and your maintenance team are onsite or at home. 


Choose contractors ahead of time. 

After a natural disaster, there will be an influx of general repair and remodeling contractors into your area offering services for low prices. Many of these contractors will perform low-quality work or may even try to scam an unprepared business. Make sure this doesn’t happen by pre-selecting a local emergency maintenance company before a disaster ever hits. By building that relationship early on, you know you’ll be in good hands. 


MaintenX specializes in disaster response and emergency repairs for businesses across the U.S. We care about our customers and want to help them get back on their feet as soon as possible after a storm. To learn more about our emergency services or previous work with disaster response, contact us today.

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