How to Create an Emergency Response Plan for Your Business
Take the time to develop an Emergency Response Plan.
How to Create an Emergency Response Plan for Your Business
A business continuity plan is a preparedness strategy that enables an organization to recover quickly after experiencing a disruptive event. The plan includes the necessary processes, procedures, and resources to enable businesses to resume operations as soon as possible following an emergency or disaster. The goal of any business continuity plan is to minimize disruption, maintain normal operations and help organizations recover quickly from incidents such as fires, floods, and power outages. Businesses can use these tips for developing their own emergency response plans:
Step 1: Develop a Business Continuity Policy
A business continuity policy is the first step toward creating an emergency response plan for your business. A good business continuity policy should:
- Be documented. It's important that everyone in your organization knows what's expected of them during an emergency, so a written document outlining the plan will help ensure they're on board and ready to go when it comes time to put it into action.
- Be communicated to all employees. You may think everyone already knows how things work around here, but chances are there are some folks who haven't heard about this new policy yet (or maybe even been invited into the fold). Make sure you get all hands on deck by sending out a message with details about what's going down if an emergency strikes and make sure it gets read by as many people as possible—that way no one will be left in the dark about what needs doing when it really counts!
- Be reviewed regularly. Your company has probably experienced some changes since last year (or even last month), so it makes sense that your plan might need updating from time-to-time as well; unfortunately this isn't always enough though because old habits die hard--meaning some folks may still fall back into old routines instead of following protocol! So how do we fix this problem? By reviewing both policies periodically throughout each year—and especially after major shifts happen within management teams or departments--not only does this ensure nothing slips through cracks but also helps keep everyone focused on staying up-to-date with changing demands too!
Step 2: Review Your Business' Facility, Operations, and Supply Chain
After you've done your research, it's time to review your business' facility, operations, and supply chain. This is where you'll make sure that everything is up to code and ready for whatever comes your way (or at least as much as possible).
You can start by reviewing the basics of how you do business:
- The building's design and construction materials.
- Your workplace safety practices.
- How quickly workers can exit in case of an emergency.
If you have any questions about these areas or need help improving them, then reach out to local fire departments. They're an excellent source of information on what works—and what doesn't—when it comes to emergency planning.
Step 3: Determine Critical Systems and Processes
In this step, you’ll review the critical services and processes that are necessary for the business to function. These are the systems and processes that must be restored first if an emergency occurs. For example, if your business depends on a computer system or software application to run its operations (like accounting), it is essential to identify all of these systems as they will need to be restored sooner than others.
If you have identified any critical systems or processes in your plan, make sure they include:
- A list of all systems and processes that will be needed for operation after an emergency event.
- Details about how each one operates.
- The person responsible for managing each system or process.
- A timeline indicating when each item should be restored after an emergency.
Step 4: Establish Recovery Objectives
As you begin to establish your emergency response plan, it's important to define the problem. A solution without a clear target will be like trying to hit a moving target—you have no idea whether your efforts are effective or not. That's why you should take time to define what success looks like in each phase of your recovery.
Set realistic objectives and goals for yourself, but be ambitious at the same time. You can easily set short-term fitness goals that are within reach if you work hard enough and make them happen!
For example, if you want to develop more muscle mass by focusing on heavy lifting exercises like squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, bench press variations and barbell rows, then consider these tangible results:
- 3 months: gain 5 pounds of lean muscle mass by focusing on compound lifts; increase strength by 10% or more; perform 6-8 reps with 85% your 1RM weight in back squat.
- 6 months: gain 15 pounds of lean muscle mass by focusing on compound lifts; increase strength by 20-30%; perform 8-10 reps with 80% your 1RM weight in back squat.
Step 5: Identify Recovery Strategies
Next, you will want to identify recovery strategies. Recovery strategies are the plans you will use to recover from a disaster or emergency. They include:
- Business continuity plan
- Disaster recovery plan
- Business resumption plan
It's important to note that these three plans are separate processes, but they all help your business get back on its feet after an incident. You can read more about them in our article "Business Continuity Planning 101.”
Step 6: Create an Emergency Response Plan
Once you have created your emergency response plan, make sure it is up-to-date and ready for use.
- Update your plan every year or after any change in the business.
- Check with local government agencies to find out what laws apply to your business, as each state has regulations on how you need to handle emergencies.
- Train employees on the plan before an emergency occurs so everyone knows what they should do when an incident occurs.
Step 7: Test and Evaluate the Business Continuity Plan
Once all the steps are complete, it's time to test your plan. You don't need to do this every year—just once or twice. Make sure you know who will be responsible for each step in case of an emergency, and make sure they know what they're supposed to do.
If you have a business continuity manager who will oversee this testing, then it's a good idea for them to make sure there aren't any holes in the plan that haven't been filled out yet. They can also help with creating new policies as needed: if something happens during testing that wasn't anticipated by your original plan, then it's important for someone like this person (or yourself) to fill out those missing pieces so everything stays accurate over time.
Finally, make sure everyone knows about the business continuity plan in writing! You should put up signs around your office explaining what each part of the process is and where people can find further information regarding their role within it—and remind everyone at least monthly how important these steps are when dealing with emergencies!
As a business owner, it's your responsibility to ensure that your employees are safe during an emergency. But even if you're not the owner of the company, creating an emergency response plan is still important for you. Here's why:
- An emergency response plan will help save lives. If you're in a situation where there's been flooding or fire, having a plan in place can determine whether or not people survive by getting out of harm’s way as quickly as possible.
- A good emergency response plan will also minimize financial losses due to damage and injury claims. Business owners should be aware that they could be held liable if they don't have plans in place to prevent emergencies from happening in their workplace!
The most important thing is to take the time to develop an emergency response plan for your business. The plan should be reviewed and updated regularly so that it’s always relevant and ready for any eventuality.
Why Closing the Bedroom Door Matters to Prevent Fire Damage
Fire is fast!
Why Closing the Bedroom Door Matters to Prevent Fire Damage
If you want to be better protected from fire, then it is important to close your bedroom door at night. This may seem like a strange recommendation, but it is one that has been endorsed by numerous fire departments across the country. Understanding why this is so vital can help you sleep more soundly at night and get out of your home quickly if there is ever a fire in it.
A closed bedroom door can help protect you from a fire.
If your home catches on fire, it's important that everyone gets out safely. A closed bedroom door can make this easier by slowing the spread of fire and smoke from the rest of your home. By giving people additional time to get out, closing doors can be a lifesaving step in an emergency like this one.
Bedroom doors can help slow the spread of fire and smoke throughout the rest of a home.
When it comes to fire damage, the door is a good friend. Doors can help slow the spread of fire and smoke from the rest of your house. This can provide you with a layer of protection between you and the flames. It also provides a barrier that helps contain fire damage in one room.
For doors to do their job as a barrier against heat, they need to meet certain requirements:
- The door should be constructed with professional grade materials
- It should have reinforced frames that can hold up against high temperatures
- It should be fitted with self-closing hinges, so that it stays closed when not in use
A closed bedroom door can give people additional time to get out of a burning home.
- Closing the door to your bedroom can give you up to 30 seconds of additional time.
- The room will be less smoky, which is especially important if you or anyone in the house has asthma or other respiratory problems.
- The closed door will help keep fire from spreading to the other rooms of your home. A closed bedroom door can prevent smoke and flames from entering other rooms, reducing damage by keeping them cool and making it easier for firefighters to put out any remaining fires in those areas of your home (or apartment).
Fire departments recommend that you sleep with your bedroom door closed.
It’s important to know that when you sleep with a closed door, you’re giving yourself more time to escape. In addition, if a fire occurs in the middle of the night, closing your bedroom door will reduce smoke inhalation and save your life.
For pets and children who can’t help but wander around at night, it’s important to keep them safe by keeping their doors closed. Leaving an open door allows them access to other areas of your home where they could get trapped or injured without any warning.
It is important to close your bedroom door at night to be better protected in case there is a house fire.
It's important to keep in mind that fires spread quickly, and closed doors can slow the spread of fire and smoke from one room to another.
Closing your bedroom door will give your family members an opportunity to get out of a burning home without being injured by flying embers or smoke inhalation. It also give firefighters and advantage by helping them get ahead of the progress of the fire.
As such, most fire departments recommend that you sleep with your bedroom door closed if possible—and it's an effective way for you or other members of your household to protect themselves.
I hope that this information will help you to understand the importance of keeping your bedroom door closed at night. I know it seems like a small thing, but if there is ever a fire in your Puyallup, WA home, it could mean the difference between safety and danger. Please keep this in mind as you go through each night and make sure all doors are shut before going to sleep!
Why does my toilet leak every time I flush?
If you are experiencing a toilet leak and you can't fix it call a professional.
Why Does My Toilet Leak Every Time I Flush?
You can fix most toilet leaks yourself with a little elbow grease (and maybe some plumber's putty). In this post we'll discuss why toilets leak and how to tell if you have a leaky tank or bowl.
Toilets leak for a lot of reasons.
You’re not alone. Many people have experienced a toilet leak, and it can be difficult to determine why it happens. There are many reasons that a toilet might leak, including:
- A clogged drain line
- A loose flapper or flush handle
- A leaking shut off valve on the tank
- A cracked or broken tank
1. Dry wax ring or improper installation.
If your toilet leaks every time, you flush it, you may have a leaky wax ring.
The wax ring is a rubber or PVC device that fits between the toilet bowl and the floor to prevent leaks from occurring. When properly installed and maintained, it should last for about two years before needing replacement. Leakage can often occur once the wax ring ages and or due to improper installation.
2. Tank flange can be broken or tank not tightened.
If you've tried to diagnose the leak and determined it's coming from your tank, then the problem could be that:
- Your tank flange is broken or not tightened properly. This will allow water to run down into the bowl of your toilet. The flange is a metal piece that sits between the tank and bowl, giving you a tight seal against leaks.
- Your toilet isn't level, causing one side of your toilet to be higher than another (often due to uneven flooring). If this happens, water can run out of one side when flushed since there's no longer an airtight seal around the toilet base.
- Your support is broken or not installed properly and cannot withstand heavy usage without falling apart under repeated use or shifting over time.
3. A worn out, cracked or damaged flapper, which is the most common reason for a leaking toilet tank.
The most common reason for a leaking toilet is a worn-out, cracked, or damaged flapper. The flapper is the rubber seal that keeps the water in your tank and not on your floor. Replacing it yourself takes only a few minutes and costs less than $10 at hardware stores. If you don't feel comfortable doing that yourself, you can have a plumber replace it for about $50-$100.
4. A tilted or loose toilet bowl may cause water to slowly leak from the base of the toilet and pool in the bathroom floor around the toilet.
If your toilet is leaking, either water is coming out of the base of the toilet or there is a pool of water around it. In both cases, you should check to make sure that the bowl isn't tilted or loose.
If your floor is not level, this can cause your toilet bowl to become tilted. To fix this problem, adjust the bolts connecting your toilet to its base until they're barely touching each other.
If your floor has shifted or moved over time and no longer supports your toilet securely, it could be loose and therefore prone to leaking. In this case, unclamp from under any pedestals that support it and then gently lift on all four sides until it's level again before replacing any clamps or pedestals you removed in order for them not to get lost down there somewhere!
5. Condensation on a toilet tank is another possibility if you see droplets of water underneath or on your tank lid, along with damp walls and floors around your toilet.
If you're noticing condensation on your toilet tank, it's not always a sure sign that the leak is coming from inside the toilet. Condensation can be caused by several factors:
- A leaking roof or window AC unit outside of your bathroom
- A faulty humidifier in another room that's sending moisture into your walls and flooring
- An air-conditioner is running constantly and adding humidity to the air in your house.
6. A damaged shut-off valve causing a drip at the angle stop of your toilet supply line, where it’s attached to the angle stop (wall shut off) just below the tank, which generally means that you have a slow leak in your toilet supply line.
If none of the above suggestions have resolved your leak, it could be that there is a problem with the actual shut-off valve or supply line itself. The first step to finding this out is to check for leaks in each of these components:
- Shut off valve
- Angle stop (wall shut-off) just below tank
- Supply line from shut off valve to wall and/or floor drain connection. Check for kinks in lines, cracks in PVC pipes, and breaks in copper pipes.
The good news is that most of these problems can be fixed quickly and easily. All it takes is a little know-how, some time, and patience—and maybe even a sense of humor!
What does commercial property insurance policy cover?
Is your commercial property covered by insurance?
What Does A Commercial Property Insurance Policy Cover?
Commercial property insurance is one of the most confusing types of insurance policies. This is because there are so many different sub-types of coverage and so many ways that the policy can be customized. In this article, we're going to go through each type of commercial property coverage so that you know exactly what your policy covers.
Understanding what a commercial property insurance policy covers can be confusing.
You understand that a property insurance policy covers the physical structure of your building, but what about all the other important aspects of owning a business? A commercial property insurance policy also provides coverage for:
- Business income - you'll be reimbursed for any lost income if your business must close temporarily due to damage from an insured peril
- Building ordinance or law - this protects against legal expenses when you must comply with new building ordinances and laws
- Personal property inventory can be covered up to $100,000 under most policies
There are three types of coverage on a commercial property insurance policy.
These include business income, commercial property, and building ordinances or laws.
- Business income: This coverage reimburses you for your business's operational costs if it has been shut down due to damage caused by fire or smoke, theft, vandalism, or other covered perils.
- Commercial property: This coverage protects against losses if insured properties are damaged or destroyed by covered perils like fire and vandalism.
- Building ordinance or law: It pays for expenses related to rebuilding damaged structures under local laws and ordinances when they're in compliance with those laws at the time of loss.
The first coverage is Commercial Property.
The first coverage is commercial property. Commercial property insurance covers the building and the land on which it sits. It covers you for fire damage or natural disasters, but it also covers your own negligence and vandalism. The policy will also cover losses caused by theft, wind damage, water damage from plumbing issues, or floods caused by weather events like hurricanes or tornadoes. This can be a combination policy that includes separate coverage for each component of your building:
If one part of your building is damaged in an accident or disaster, then that portion will be covered under its own specific policy limit (the amount of money assigned to pay for damages associated with certain types of damages).
The second coverage of the policy is Building Ordinance or Law.
A building ordinance or law coverage on a commercial property insurance policy is required by most cities and counties where you operate your business. It provides protection from liability for any damage that may result from violating local codes. This coverage is also often required by lenders to secure financing.
The third coverage is Business Income for business owners with retail, office, or other types of service space.
If you are a business owner, buying this coverage is highly recommended. Business income coverage protects a business against loss of income due to direct physical damage or interruption of business because of a covered peril. This policy pays the business owner's net operating profit during the period in which their property was damaged, and they could not conduct normal operations.
Business income covers losses that occur during the following time periods:
- From the date of loss to the date when your building is repaired or replaced and ready for normal use
- From the date when it becomes impossible for you to conduct your regular trade or profession because of an insured peril until it becomes possible again
The most confusing type of coverage is Commercial Property because there are so many sub-types of coverage involved.
The most confusing type of coverage is Commercial Property because there are so many sub-types of coverage involved. There are two main categories: fire and water damage, which can be further broken down into several other types of damage. Commercial property insurance is the most confusing because it addresses all the different types of accidents that could happen to your building or property and the things inside it.
At the end of the day, commercial property insurance is an important protection for your business. If something happens to your building or inventory, it’s essential that you have enough coverage to cover any expenses related to repairs or replacement.
FAQs About Mold Damage
Mold and moisture go hand in hand.
If a storm has caused flooding in your Puyallup, WA business, you have approximately one to two days to act if you want to prevent mold growth. Since mold can destroy your building, you want to act. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the prevention of mold after a storm.
What Steps Can You Take To Prevent Mold and Water Damage?
When dealing with standing water after a flood, there are some basic things you need to do immediately before help arrives. This includes:
- Turning off the water
- Turning off the HVAC units
- Turning off the fans
- Pick up any irreplaceable items from the floor
- Move furniture and equipment out of the wet areas
Can Business Owners Dry Water by Themselves?
While you may believe you can prevent mold growth by setting up fans and shop vacs to remove the water, you are not actually getting all of the moisture. Instead of attempting this on your own, you should hire a storm remediation company with the proper tools to dry your building.
Does Water Always Lead To Mold?
When your business has not dried out within 24 hours of the disaster, mold growth is certain. Despite folk tales, mold grows without discrimination, no matter the season. In other words, unless you experienced minimal water intrusion, it is almost guaranteed that you will get mold after flooding.
Can You Remove Mold Yourself?
Although most people will attempt to kill mold with bleach, you will likely do more damage using this method. In other words, you should avoid removing mold yourself and hire a professional with the proper cleanup methods.
Can Mold Die When It Dries?
Mold does not die when it dries up. When there is no moisture, it simply goes dormant. Once dormant mold finds more moisture, it starts to grow. Unless you remove it, you will not remedy it by leaving it alone.
As a business owner, you want to protect your site from mold and other harmful bacteria. Therefore, you need to know more about flooding and mold.
How To Stay Safe During a Flood
Let us help when you experience storm damage.
Flood Safety Tips
Storms can create unexpected circumstances in Sumner, WA. One minute your home may be fine, but the next you have rising waters in your basement. Because the situation can change so quickly, you need to know how to stay safe during a storm-caused flood. Keep these flood safety tips in mind whenever bad weather approaches.
Stay Out of the Water
Did you know that as little as six inches of moving water can cause you to lose your balance? Because it doesn't take high waters, you need to be careful whenever you have to walk through any type of flood. If you must walk through a flood, keep these safety tips in mind:
- Use a walking stick.
- Hold on to something sturdy.
- Walk quickly and cautiously.
While the waters may not be moving in your house, they can still pose a health and safety risk. However, as a homeowner, you cannot always avoid the flooded parts of your space. You also want to avoid standing water outside of your house even if you're in your car.
Avoid Electrical Equipment
Water conducts electricity, so you want to avoid electrical equipment whenever you are in standing water. If you know there is electricity running through your basement flood, you should turn off the power to your home before anyone enters the lower levels for the best flood safety. Even if you are damp and not currently in water, you should avoid the electricity.
Call for Help
Storm-caused flooding can trap you in the upper levels of your home. If you need emergency help during a storm, you should call someone as soon as you can. After the danger has passed, you may need help restoring your home. Getting in touch with storm restoration services can make your cleanup process much easier.
The heavy rains of a storm may cause flooding in Sumner, WA. Knowing the best flood safety techniques can keep you and your home in one piece during a disaster.
5 Common Types of Household Mold
5 Common Types of Household Mold
It's not uncommon to discover mold growing in your Puyallup, WA, home. Mold growth can occur under several different circumstances, depending on the type of fungi in question. Before you begin your mold remediation process, you should identify which species is the culprit.
More commonly referred to as the infamous black mold, Stachybotrys is perhaps the most common type of residential mold. Much like the name implies, it has a dark green or black color and may feel slimy to the touch. It's very common in places that come into frequent contact with water, or in areas that have recently suffered some form of water damage.
This species of mold is often confused for black mold, as it thrives under the same damp or high humidity conditions, has a very similar appearance and is just about as common as its cousin. Instead of feeling slimy, Alternaria has an almost velvety texture due to the wispy dark green or brown hairs that sprout on its surface.
Once again, this type of mold growth is quite common in water damaged structures. When it first appears, it boasts a white or gray color before slowly fading to dark brown or black over time. You're more likely to smell this species before you see it, due to its musty odor.
You should check for this type of fungus behind your wallpaper or on painted wooden surfaces. This mold appears pink or brown in color when it's young and slowly fades to black over time, much like chaetomium.
This versatile species of mold can thrive in both warm and cold environments. You're most likely to find it growing in your carpeting, upholstery and other types of fabrics. It boasts a soft, suede-like texture and green coloring.
You could potentially find several different mold species growing in your home, so it's important that you know which common varieties to look for. Contact mold remediation experts like SERVPRO of Puyallup/Sumner for assistance if you do discover mold growth in your home.
How to Prevent Black Mold in Your HVAC System
Walls in the basement were damaged by water and mold
Black Mold Is Very Dangerous But Easily Preventable
By now, everyone has heard of black mold. In case you haven't, it is a dangerous form of toxic mold that grows in a variety of environments. It is named for its color and can cause a lot of effects, but there are ways to prevent it.
Keep Your Filters Clean
If you use replaceable filters, replace them every 30 to 60 days, depending on your business. If you have washable filters, make sure you wash them regularly with an approved mold preventative cleaner. Not only will this save you money in the long run, but it also prevents other issues.
Look for Wet Spots
Wet spots can appear in several ways. Some of these ways are:
- Brown spots
- Sweating ducts
- Grey areas
- Black spots
When you see wet spots, it is extremely important to dry them as soon as possible because black mold grows very quickly.
Have Your Ducts Professionally Cleaned
You should have your air ducts professionally inspected and cleaned at least twice per year. This should happen in the spring and fall and can prevent mold or mildew build-up. It isn't difficult to find mold cleaning companies in Enumclaw, WA.
Keep an Eye on Humidity
Assuming you have clean ducts, you can use a hygrometer to measure the amount of humidity in, on or near your ductwork. These instruments are not expensive and can be placed almost anywhere you need them. You can also use a portable meter to measure humidity in whatever area you need to.
Fix Water Damage Immediately
In the event of a flood or leak, fix the damage immediately. It takes just 24 to 48 hours for mold to start to grow. Damaged ductwork and drywall need to be removed and replaced before mold has a chance to form.
Black mold is very dangerous but easily preventable. With a little bit of work, you can stop a major problem before it starts.
The Importance of Tending to Both Primary and Secondary Damage
Water and mold damage in a South Hill, WA home
The Importance of Tending to Both Primary and Secondary Damage
Black mold is a fungus that thrives on dampness. When water penetrates something organic, it triggers the mold's development, permitting fast reproduction. Homeowners may concentrate on the mold but not think much about how it started. Both the source, though, and the result are significant. If one isn't fixed, then the other may just continue to reappear down the road; therefore, homeowners should be aware of the house's secondary and primary damage. When both are understood and cared for, the property can be properly restored.
What Is Primary Damage?
Something initiated the trouble, causing a level of high humidity or excess wetness. This is considered the primary cause. For example, any of the following would fall into the classification:
- Pipe burst
- Sewer backup
- Leaky faucet
- Missing shingles
A water restoration company in South Hill, WA, should investigate the premises, searching for the source. The experts then should shut off the water supply, fixing any plumbing issues. By taking this step first, the professionals mitigate the devastation.
What Is Secondary Home Damage?
Secondary complications stem from primary cause. A broken pipe, for example, allowed moisture to penetrate a space. When it soaked into the walls and flooring, the fluid started secondary concerns. Black mold, for example, might begin to grow. In addition, wood can rot, carpet can get contaminated and valuables are likely to become ruined.
The team tends to the secondary damage by extracting moisture, sanitizing the property and replacing spoiled items. Drenched dry wall and carpeting is pulled out. These porous materials are too difficult to fully clean. Instead, replacements are needed. Content cleaning can be applied to things that fall into the following categories:
Speak with the crew about anything special. They can advise of the proper treatment.
Black mold isn't something you want in your home.
To keep it at bay, you'll want to be aware of primary water damage. With that under control, residents are less likely to suffer other headaches.
Can Employees Resume Work During Restoration?
Whether you need professional cleaning to make your business shine, or emergency water restoration services, SERVPRO is here ready to help you.
Can Employees Return To Work During The Restoration Process?
Business owners may wonder when employees can safely resume work in a commercial building that has experienced damage. The answer may be sooner rather than later. Depending on whether black water, storm damage, or a fire caused the damage, employees may be able to return as soon as cleanup is complete and work through the restoration period.
There are several types of water damage that may affect the duration of mitigation.
• Clean Category One water from a burst supply pipe should not cause a major interruption.
• Category Two gray water is considered contaminated with chemicals or microbes but does not contain solid waste. Complete disinfection prior to resuming work is often required, and interruption might not be necessary if only a portion of the property sustained damage.
• Category Three black water in flood cleanup or from a sewer backup should be extracted, and the affected area disinfected and dried.
Keep in mind that nearly all categories of water contain salts that can cause corrosion and short-circuiting in electronics. Computers, electronic devices, or servers may or may not be able to be restored, which could cause delays.
If a storm causes a roof leak or breaks windows, employers should wait until cleanup and basic mitigation is complete before calling in employees. The same guidelines for water damage apply to flood damage resulting from a storm.
Fire or smoke damage may call for more extensive restoration and air filtration. It may take longer for a work space to be considered safe for employees following this type of damage. Consult with a restoration service to set a timeline for resuming regular business.
Employees should not work in a structure that is undergoing mitigation for black water or flood cleanup. They may be able to return during restoration. For the best results, hire an experienced commercial restoration company in Graham, WA.