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Getting Back to Normal: A Planning Guide for the Restoration of Your Property After a Disaster


Fact: More than 43% of companies that sustain a major disaster, flood, fire, explosion, etc., never re-open for business.

Disclaimer: The material and information provided in this Guide is intended as a general discussion of restoration practices and processes and not as a complete source of information or a plan for your particular facility. Every facility is different. Every business has different needs and priorities, and every disaster is different. This Guide cannot be considered a contingency plan; it can only serve to provide background information and incite questions to be answered. Your disaster plan has to be created by you to address your unique needs and facility. Mammoth makes no warranties or guarantees implied or stated regarding the information in this Guide and/or its use. Mammoth is not responsible for the completeness or for keeping the material up-to-date for your particular disaster plan.


Getting Back to Normal: A Planning Guide for the Restoration of Your Property After a Disaster

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Table of Contents 2

I. Guide to Emergency Planning

2

The Need

2

Insurance Alone Is Not Enough

2

The Plan

3

The Solution

3

How to Use This Document

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II. Before the Disaster

4

Step 1: Assemble Your Team

4

Step 2: Document Everything in a Secure Location

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Step 3: Assessing Your Risks and Protecting Your Investment

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Step 4: Review Your Insurance Coverage

7

Step 5: Review Tenant Leases and Insurance Coverage

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Step 6: Create Your Plan

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Step 7: Ensure That All Systems Are in Place for the Plan

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Step 8: Practice Your Plan

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III. During the Disaster

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Step 1: Activate the Evacuation Plan (if necessary)

10

Step 2: Activate the Emergency and Disaster Plan

10

Step 3: Set up the Command Center

10

Step 4: Assist The First Responders Where Possible

11

Step 5: Make Important Phone Calls

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Step 6: Activate Your Relocation Plan (if necessary)

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IV. After the Disaster

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Step 1: Secure the Building

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Step 2: Inspect the Property with the Fire Chief

11

Step 3: Notify the Insurance Company

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V. Health Concerns in Water Damage Situations

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VI. Conclusions

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VII. Key Terms and Phrases

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VIII. Emergency Forms

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Hurricane Checklist

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Emergency Response Team

23

Insurance Information

25

Resident or Occupant Profile

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Emergency Expense Records

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Emergency Cash Expenditures

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Key Service Vendors

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Emergency Service Vendors

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Getting Back to Normal: A Planning Guide for the Restoration of Your Property After a Disaster

I. Guide to Emergency Planning The Need Every company is susceptible to disasters. According to FEMA, of all the businesses damaged by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, 80 percent of those lacking a business continuity plan failed within two years of the storm. Another study by Datapro Research Company found that 43 percent of companies hit by severe crises never reopen and that another 29 percent fail within two years (Cerullo 70). These statistics prove that a well prepared disaster plan is a necessity. When a disaster hits your commercial property, it isn’t just the building that’s at risk. As a property manager, your buildings are rarely 100% empty – whether you’re talking about a commercial or residential space, a disaster for you involves more than just securing your property. You need to coordinate people, mobilize resources, deal with questions from tenants, family, friends, and media, and do all of it on a short timeframe. Planning ahead is essential to ensure that everyone gets out safely and that losses are minimized.

Insurance Alone Is Not Enough Having insurance provides you with a way to rebuild after the disaster, but it can’t usually help you during the initial crisis. Insurance won’t help mitigate the potential damage from a disaster. They may encourage you to create a disaster plan and they may be able to help you with the planning phase, but that’s a bonus service they’re providing, not a strict part of their job. Customers who can’t get services because you have suffered a disaster many times never return. Business interruption coverage may not cover the cost of retaining employees, so key employees find new jobs and bring their talents and contacts with them. Civil authorities may prohibit access to your facility due to health and safety or environmental concerns.

The Plan Disaster plans cannot and should not be created in a rush. A good plan needs to cover a wide range of potential disasters. It needs to be thorough. It needs to be tested. It needs to account for as many variables as possible. You need to revisit it several times to make sure everything is covered. We would recommend once every six months. When you think of disasters, don’t just think of fires. There are many things that could impact your property severely enough to trigger your disaster plan. Here are a few: ƒƒ Prolonged power outages ƒƒ Flooding ƒƒ Fires ƒƒ Vandalism ƒƒ Smoke damage (from a fire in a neighboring building) ƒƒ Burst pipes ƒƒ Chemical spills ƒƒ Severe storms

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ƒƒ Earthquakes ƒƒ Terrorism ƒƒ Water or other utility disruption While a power outage seems at first glance much less serious than a fire, the situation escalates quickly. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, buildings throughout New York and New Jersey were undamaged, but suffered serious and prolonged power and water outages. Life in those buildings became primitive for tenants – no way to keep themselves clean, no way to cook, no way to keep food fresh. What if that happened in your building? A good disaster plan looks at appropriate response from many different angles. Spell out everything in advance and practice it! The disaster plan should eliminate as much guesswork as possible. When you’re dealing with the crisis, you want everyone to know exactly what they should be doing, how they should be doing it, and who else is involved. Plan for the following: ƒƒ Health and Safety of Employees and Tenants ƒƒ Potential Damage to Buildings Owned or Operated by Company ƒƒ Potential Damage to Equipment Owned or Operated by Company ƒƒ Interruption to Business Operations ƒƒ Retaining Key Personnel ƒƒ Loss or Damage to Vital Company Data and Proprietary Information ƒƒ Vendor and/or Supplier Disruptions to Production Flow ƒƒ Future Public Relations

The Solution Survival is the goal, and a detailed plan created with help from an experienced restoration contractor is the way to make it happen. We’ve done this before, we can help you think of things that might otherwise be overlooked. Mammoth is ready with the equipment, manpower and knowledge to assist you in your recovery. By working together to create your plan, we can shorten the recovery time and save you lots of time and money.

How to Use This Document This document is designed to help you build the most comprehensive disaster plan for your properties by helping you identify issues to address and drawing your attention to commonly overlooked pitfalls. But no matter how specific and detailed this guide is, it doesn’t replace an actual disaster plan. Your property is unique; you’ll need to adjust everything to your own needs. This document provides examples of disasters we have witnessed. It cannot and does not attempt to cover all possibilities for your property. You must spend some time thinking “What if?” and coming up with situations, no matter how unlikely or far-fetched they may seem to you. Don’t limit your plan to the obvious. Disasters are more far-reaching than most people imagine. For example, what if a city near you is hit? How would that impact your power grid? Your phone service? When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, many surrounding cities that were otherwise fine lost phone service because switching stations in New Orleans were underwater.

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Getting Back to Normal: A Planning Guide for the Restoration of Your Property After a Disaster

II. Before the Disaster This is the time to gather the information you’ll need when a disaster hits. It’s the time to develop your procedure, practice it, and make sure that everything is smooth. This is when you do all the prep work, so that if a disaster happens, your team is ready to spring into action. Here’s an overview of what needs to happen. We’ll go through each step in detail later. 1. Assemble your team – including restoration contractors and other non-company personnel. 2. Document all info for your tenants and your buildings. 3. Assess your risks. 4. Review insurance coverage. 5. Review tenant leases and insurance coverage. 6. Create your plan. 7. Ensure that all systems are in place for the plan to work. 8. Practice, practice, practice your plan.

Step 1: Assemble Your Team Deciding who needs to be involved with your emergency planning is an important first step. You may find it helpful to call on their experience as you follow the rest of the process, so getting them involved from the start is very helpful. You will need to establish a chain of command and assign specific roles for everyone on the team. At a minimum, your team should include one member from every major population center of your building. For example, you might have a floor leader for each level of a large residential complex. If you have multiple building sites, you’ll need one coordinator for each site. Depending on how populated or large the area is, each may need a separate chain of command. It is important to include everyone relevant in this team, even if they’re not internal personnel within your company. Insurance agents, security specialists, data storage recovery teams, and restoration companies are all common parts of a team like this. They all have their own experience and knowledge to help make sure your plan is as comprehensive as it can be.

Step 2: Document Everything in a Secure Location You need to have as much information as possible about your buildings and their occupants, and you need to have it stored somewhere that will be accessible in the event of a disaster. There are several categories of information to collect, and storing them in the same spot but differentiating them can prove valuable in the middle of an emergency.

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Tenant Information You need to be keeping meticulous records of your tenants – not just the leaseholder, but anyone living in your building. This should be checked regularly. It’s a hassle, but it can make a big difference when you’re trying to determine whether everyone is accounted for after a disaster. You should have all of the following on file, offsite, accessible in an emergency: ƒƒ How many people occupy each suite? ƒƒ Which suites are occupied or vacant? ƒƒ Which occupants may need assistance in case of an evacuation, especially residents with physical disabilities? ƒƒ Which units house families with children and what are the ages of the children? ƒƒ Which tenants might use or store potentially dangerous or flammable materials in their units? (e.g. oxygen tanks for breathing assistance). ƒƒ For commercial buildings, the names and home phone numbers of individual office managers or the designated contact person for each space. ƒƒ Types of businesses in the building, if any. ƒƒ Description of any flammable or  hazardous material used in a particular tenant’s space – specific chemical/material names are preferable. ƒƒ Special electrical uses of a particular tenant. ƒƒ Insurers of the tenants and contact information for them.

Building Systems Information on the pertinent building systems should be stored in a safe place and identified in your plan. These include: ƒƒ Sprinkler system – Where are the sprinkler heads? How are they activated? Is it a wet or a dry system? Who services it? Where are the shut-offs? ƒƒ Utility shut offs – Where do the gas, electric, and water enter the building? Are the entry points and control valves well marked? ƒƒ Security system – Is it tied directly to the police and fire departments or is there an independent monitoring service? What activates the system? ƒƒ Smoke evacuation system – Know the location of fans and controls. Are they isolated individually or wired in series? ƒƒ Emergency lighting/generator – Know where the generator is located and what it specifically operates. How long will that power supply last?

Blueprints Blueprints are essential for the fire department in locating mechanical equipment, elevators, stairwells, etc. Get blueprints that show as much detail as possible, you never know what might be necessary in an emergency. They should be stored in a safe location and the following emergency control locations should be noted for each floor: ƒƒ Stand pipe ƒƒ Roof accesses ƒƒ Shut-offs to water and utilities ƒƒ Emergency generator ƒƒ Emergency exits and pathways

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Getting Back to Normal: A Planning Guide for the Restoration of Your Property After a Disaster

Keys Several sets of keys should be set aside for emergency use. When the fire chief, security staff, etc. arrive at the site, they need immediate access to the building and to all spaces within. Included on these key rings should be: ƒƒ Master keys for the entire building ƒƒ Fireman’s recall keys for elevators

Service Contractors Included in your information package should be the names and numbers of the contractors/ vendors whom you will need immediately. These include: ƒƒ Utility companies ƒƒ Plumber ƒƒ Electrician ƒƒ Elevator contractor ƒƒ HVAC contractor ƒƒ Electronic security contractor ƒƒ Security guard services ƒƒ Disaster restoration contractor Don’t wait for an emergency to select your emergency contractor. Look for the best service, the most experience, and the contractor who’s willing to work with you when your disaster strikes – even if it’s Christmas Eve or a Sunday night.

The More Information, The Better If you think a particular piece of information should be included but don’t see it on the list, put it in. Always include more information rather than less. The key is to have everything organized and labeled so it’s easy to grab whatever is needed. If you’ve got a fire, you’re going to need the blueprints and the tenant information immediately. If it’s vandalism, you might not need anything but the keys. Either way, you don’t want to be digging through other documents to find what you are looking for.

Step 3: Assessing Your Risks and Protecting Your Investment Every property has a unique set of weaknesses. These might be security vulnerabilities, like particularly low windows that could invite robbery, but it could also be situational, like a lot of tenant families who might have trouble getting to safety in a fire. You need to know what the biggest challenge is for each building in a disaster situation, and know how you’re going to overcome it. Correct any physical, fixable issues that might cause problems in a disaster. If the biggest challenge involves people, run more emergency drills. It’s a hassle, but you’ll be glad you did it in the middle of a disaster situation.

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Step 4: Review Your Insurance Coverage Regular reviews of your insurance needs, coverage limits, and limitations are a must. The time to determine how much coverage you need is before the disaster strikes. You may want to have your insurance agent sit in on your planning meetings as a team member. Some insurance companies are getting involved with their clients in disaster planning and pre-authorization of repair/ restoration work. The disaster planning may also illuminate certain coverage needs that were previously unknown It’s easy to forget your broker’s/agent’s name and phone number in the heat of the moment. The following information should also be included with your disaster plan: ƒƒ Broker/agent name, business, and home phone numbers ƒƒ Name of insurance carrier ƒƒ Policy number(s) ƒƒ Policy coverage, limits and deductibles, copies of policies – if possible. Once all of this research has been completed, a meeting with your attorney and insurance carrier will help to determine if all risks are being covered.

Step 5: Review Tenant Leases and Insurance Coverage A proactive emergency plan should include a review of all tenant leases and any required insurance coverage. This lease assessment should help to define the relationship between you and your tenants. There are many questions which must be answered as a part of this analysis. The following are examples of questions you may consider: ƒƒ Who is responsible for insuring the leased premises? ƒƒ What perils must each party cover, all risk or special perils? ƒƒ What are the policy limits of the insurance coverage? ƒƒ How much damage does there have to be before the leased premises are considered uninhabitable? ƒƒ What duty does the tenant have to continue to pay rent if the leased premises are not habitable? ƒƒ Are the tenants required to provide the owner with a Certificate of Liability and/ or Evidence of Property Insurance? The answers to these and other pertinent questions should form a written report which will help you assess the disaster risk for the building. Condos can pose a unique problem for the building manager and the condo association. The building manager and/or condo association should have the power to proceed with emergency repairs or be empowered to authorize emergency repairs at the owners’ expense. For example, a multi-story condo building with multiple units on several floors is wet from a broken pipe. If the unit on top is not dried, it will continue to cause water to migrate to the lower units and possibly cause a mold problem.

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Getting Back to Normal: A Planning Guide for the Restoration of Your Property After a Disaster

Step 6: Create Your Plan Communications An emergency response plan is only as good as your ability to communicate quickly and effectively with your staff and your occupants. Clear and current listings must be kept of home phone numbers, work numbers, cellular phone numbers, etc. A calling chain and priority list are essential to your success in managing a disaster.

Staff Responsibilities and Special Skills The assignment of specific emergency responsibilities is another important element of emergency planning. A well-developed plan should clearly identify the roles of your staff during and after business hours. For example: ƒƒ Identify the person or persons authorized to call for an evacuation and activation of the company’s evacuation plan. ƒƒ Who is responsible for notifying and dealing with civil authorities such as the fire department? The person dealing with the fire department should have access to blue- prints, list of hazardous materials stored, and knowledge of special building systems. ƒƒ Who is responsible for notifying the insurance carriers and dealing with their personnel? Will that person have access to insurance policies? ƒƒ Who has the authority to authorize emergency services such as a restoration contractor, plumber, HVAC contractor, and/ or elevator contractor? ƒƒ Should someone be in charge of protecting or removing computers, magnetic media, and/or vital records? ƒƒ Who is the designated public relations spokesperson to handle the media? ƒƒ Which staff member will take the Emergency Procedures Manual and move to the designated gathering point to coordinate the flow of people and information? ƒƒ Similarly, you should survey your staff for their lesser known talents and training: ƒƒ Who is certified in CPR or first aid procedures? ƒƒ Is someone fluent in a foreign language or sign language? Survey the particular needs of your tenant population and determine if your team possesses any other appropriate skills.

Evacuation Plan The most valuable asset of any organization is its people. Physical facilities and contents can be restored, but people cannot. OSHA mandates that all companies have an evacuation plan to get occupants safely out of the building and accounted for. Some components of an evacuation plan are: ƒƒ Who is authorized to call for an evacuation? ƒƒ Identify the alarm that will signal an evacuation. The alarm must be identifiable and able to be received by all occupants, including those with disabilities such as hearing or sight. ƒƒ Assign persons to assist those with disabilities in evacuation. ƒƒ Identify who is responsible for shutting down critical systems. ƒƒ Specify the gathering place outside the building and how occupants will be accounted for.

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Develop a Relocation Plan You need to be aware of other sites available in the event of a disaster. If your building is damaged by fire, it may take months or years to rebuild – where will your tenants go in the meantime? Whether it’s residential or commercial, your tenants will need a new place to either sleep or work. Planning ahead will not only make your job easier, but will promote good will with your tenants at a difficult time. Be knowledgeable about the market and have the following information on hand:

Residential Buildings ƒƒ Phone number of the Red Cross ƒƒ Phone number of the Salvation Army ƒƒ Names and phone numbers of service an emergency ƒƒ Names and phone numbers of hotels, motels and churches located nearby ƒƒ Commercial Buildings ƒƒ Names and phone numbers of local real estate brokers/agents ƒƒ Names and phone numbers of nearby buildings with vacant space ƒƒ Special Facilities for Valuable Documents and Electronic Data Processing ƒƒ Names and phone numbers for cold storage facilities for wet documents ƒƒ Hot sites or off-site processors for computer and other specialized electronics ƒƒ Names and phone numbers for companies renting portable offices, mobile kitchens, etc.

Step 7: Ensure That All Systems Are in Place for the Plan Establish a Chain of Command Know in advance who will be in charge during an emergency and the specific responsibilities of all staff. Specifically, assign the following: ƒƒ Building Staff. List all building staff with names, phone numbers, cell phone numbers, and an assigned calling order. Determine who makes those phone calls. Is it a chain or is there one specific person assigned to this duty? Do you have an answering service who could assume this responsibility for you? ƒƒ Fire Chief. Determine who talks with the fire chief. One contact person who is familiar with the building and the tenants will eliminate a great deal of confusion. ƒƒ Public Relations. Who handles public relations? Depending upon the size of your building and the size of the emergency, you can expect the press to cover the situation. Assign one person to field their questions. Instruct all others to send the press to the designated person. ƒƒ Who Can Authorize Emergency Work? Acting quickly and appropriately immediately after the emergency can save time and dollars in the restoration work. Your disaster restoration contractor can assist you although you’ll need to authorize his work. Know who can authorize this work and the limits to which it can be authorized. You may want to talk this over with the property owner and your insurance broker/agent. It is a good idea to document this authority in writing which may include a power of attorney be executed. ƒƒ Information Liaison. Who is the public information liaison during the emergency? There should be someone assigned to sit still (at the command post) and merely relay information among all of the parties involved.

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Getting Back to Normal: A Planning Guide for the Restoration of Your Property After a Disaster

Identify Your Command Center It is preferable that the command center be offsite but within view of your building. Perhaps the building across the street has a lobby which could be used. A neighbor may help out. It is important that everyone know where the command center is and who is in charge.

Step 8: Practice Your Plan What good is a plan that doesn’t work or a plan that no one knows? The only way to correct problems with your plan is to have drills. Have a drill, correct the deficiencies, and drill again. Practice makes everyone aware and comfortable with their responsibilities. Don’t be afraid to change something if it is obviously not working.

III. During the Disaster Above all, stay out of the way of the first responders. This is their job; let them do it. However, there are certain things you should do:.

Step 1: Activate the Evacuation Plan (if necessary) If there is any kind of threat to the building or its tenants, a quick evacuation will save lives. You can always decide after the fact that evacuation wasn’t worth it; you can’t decide after the fact to evacuate. Track what’s been evacuated and have someone on hand to tell emergency services when they arrive. You’ll save time and possibly save lives.

Step 2: Activate the Emergency and Disaster Plan You’ve practiced it, now is the time to put it into action. Follow it exactly as you practiced; others may be relying on certain steps.

Step 3: Set up the Command Center The site was pre-selected and everyone knows where it is. By establishing your command center now, everyone will know where to go for direction and information.

Step 4: Assist The First Responders Where Possible ƒƒ Be able to verify that everyone has been evacuated, and if not, be able to advise the fire department of how many people are still in the building and at which locations. ƒƒ Have a list of all flammable and/or hazardous materials, the quantity stored, and location of each. ƒƒ Know the locations of all energy or utility sources. ƒƒ Provide keys and all other access quickly. ƒƒ Keep all personnel out of the building and away from the fire department.

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Step 5: Make Important Phone Calls ƒƒ Call the Emergency Response Team to fully activate your emergency and disaster plan. If the disaster happens after hours, each member of the team should have a copy of the plan and phone list at home. ƒƒ Call the insurance broker/agent and/or carrier’s claim office and inform them of the loss. ƒƒ Call the owner of the property and inform him/her of the loss. You should already have written authority to make emergency repairs. ƒƒ Call the elevator contractor so that they can make the elevators operational as soon as possible after the disaster. Having them functional will be a tremendous help in the clean-up and restoration work. ƒƒ Call Mammoth at 888-495-5211. Most insurance policies require you to take steps to mitigate the damage and minimize the loss. Mammoth is trained and equipped to handle these tasks and if notified early, can begin as soon as the building is safe to enter. In cases such as water damage, time is critical; the longer the damage sits, the worse it will become.

Step 6: Activate Your Relocation Plan (if necessary) Once the situation is under control, you’ll have an idea of whether you’ll need to activate the relocation plan or not. It is better to look into relocation options and decide you don’t need to use them than to need them and not have contacted them. This is especially true if the disaster is larger scale: you may need to compete with other companies to get the space.

IV. After the Disaster Step 1: Secure the Building This may be as simple as locking the doors. Or it may require tarping and boarding up. Make sure that no one can get in without authorization.

Step 2: Inspect the Property with the Fire Chief ƒƒ Determine which areas are safe. ƒƒ Identify any life threatening situations. ƒƒ Determine whether or not tenants can return.

Step 3: Notify the Insurance Company The insured (owner/manager) or the agent for the insured should notify the insurance broker/agent or the carrier directly to inform them of the loss. In cases of theft or vandalism, the insurance company will generally require a copy of the police report before processing the claim. Immediately after a loss occurs, the insured should take whatever measures are necessary to protect from further damage (i.e. temporary repairs, water extraction, securing damaged entrances, windows, shoring, etc.). These emergency repairs are mandated on most policies. The insured should keep accurate records of all emergency repairs and expenses incurred to be turned over to the adjuster.

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Getting Back to Normal: A Planning Guide for the Restoration of Your Property After a Disaster

Determining the Scope of the Loss The scope and value of the loss will be determined by the insurance carrier’s adjuster working closely with the property manager and the manager’s designated restoration contractor or technical consultant. In preparing to meet with the adjuster, the manager should prepare a brief description of the events that transpired prior to the loss. He should also gather information concerning the losses of the tenants. Material and equipment specifications for components of the building will also be important to assist the adjuster in properly valuing the loss.

Assessing Damage and Loss In determining the scope of the loss, you usually begin in the room which was the source of the loss. It is here that damage will be most severe, and the scope of loss most complete. The scope determined for this room will be later used as a guideline for determining the work to be done elsewhere. This decision is usually made between the adjuster and the restoration contractor and is contingent upon several considerations: ƒƒ Type of Material to be Used ƒƒ Installation and Application of that Material ƒƒ Type of Finish In most cases, restoration is preferable to replacement unless the cost of restoration far exceeds replacement costs. Restoration is also preferred when the element of the construction is unique or no longer readily available. For example, restoring the finish of handmade arbor/ support styled hinges on a church entry is preferable to replacement because the costs of recreating the original product would be excessive. When considering any scope of work, the material to be used must be of like kind and quality to the original construction. This will ensure that the finished product is as similar as possible to the original. Damaged contents must be either replaced or cleaned and restored, depending upon the severity of the damage. Your restoration contractor will be able to inventory, pack, and transport the contents to a storage facility until the work is complete. Items that require dry cleaning can be inventoried and sent to be deodorized and cleaned before odor sets. Damaged furnishings can be removed, restored and warehoused until restoration is complete. The adjuster will provide inventory sheets for content items damaged beyond restoration. These total loss items will be listed along with a description of the item, brand name and serial number, model number, age, and quantity. Keeping a prepared inventory sheet on file for all contents which includes this information could eliminate costly hours trying to remember all of the items which were completely destroyed by fire.

Preventing Further Damage Some of these recommendations will obviously need to be handled by trained and experienced professionals so as to minimize damage and control losses. However, some items may be handled by your maintenance staff. In all cases, being familiar with the techniques for handling various types of damage will ensure that your building is properly restored.

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Fire/Smoke Damage Before you enter the affected area: ƒƒ Be sure the power is off. Generally, the power company will have been called to the scene and will have terminated the power. If not, shut off the power to the affected area before entering. ƒƒ Be sure the natural gas is off. ƒƒ Conduct a small safety meeting with those planning to enter the area. ƒƒ If there has been any structural or ceiling damage, DO wear hard hats. ƒƒ Wear hard-soled shoes, not sneakers. ƒƒ If the building is still smoking or smoldering, wear respirators. ƒƒ While inside the building: ƒƒ DO NOT enter any affected area and light a match. Light must be provided by non-sparking flashlights. NO SMOKING! ƒƒ DO NOT enter any area without permission from the fire chief. ƒƒ DO NOT attempt to wash walls, ceilings, or other porous surfaces. ƒƒ DO NOT use electronic equipment or appliances until checked and cleaned. ƒƒ DO NOT use upholstered furniture. ƒƒ DO dispose of all food and canned goods exposed to excessive heat. For retail establishments in the food industry, the health department will determine which items can be salvaged, if any. ƒƒ Drain all heating, plumbing, and sprinklers during the winter in regions where freezing can occur. Pour antifreeze into all traps. ƒƒ Follow the guidelines under “Water Damage” below to further protect the property.

Water Damage Water damage can occur due to firefighting techniques, burst plumbing lines, a leaky roof, etc. Often with a fire, there is more damage caused by the water than the fire. Follow the guidelines outlined below to control water damage and minimize losses. Before entering the affected area: ƒƒ Make sure the power is off. ƒƒ Hold a small safety meeting for everyone planning to enter the affected area. ƒƒ While inside the building: ƒƒ Beware of plaster falling. ƒƒ Beware of light fixtures falling. ƒƒ Be careful not to slip on wet flooring. ƒƒ Locate the source of the water and shut it off. ƒƒ Poke small weep holes in wet ceilings to allow the water to drain. Be sure to place buckets underneath. ƒƒ Protect furnishings if possible. Those items most greatly and immediately affected by water damage include: ƒƒ Electronic equipment ƒƒ Anything made of wood or cellulose fibers ƒƒ Books ƒƒ Artwork ƒƒ Musical instruments ƒƒ DO NOT turn the heat up high. Too much heat can actually accelerate damage. Try to maintain an even temperature of about 72°F.

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Getting Back to Normal: A Planning Guide for the Restoration of Your Property After a Disaster

ƒƒ Begin removing water from hard floors with squeegees. ƒƒ Towel dry furnishings. ƒƒ Open drawers and doors of furniture to prevent them from swelling shut; do not force. ƒƒ Retail tenants should immediately inventory damaged items. They should be removed and stored for the adjuster to inspect. A photo record or inventory of these goods would be excellent, but not required. Salvage value is generally assessed by the insurance adjuster.

Dehumidification Ordinary household-type dehumidifiers will not properly dry down your building. Likewise, air conditioning systems are made to cool, not to dry water damaged structures. Professional dehumidifiers are made to quickly and safely remove large volumes of water vapor from the air and speed-dry the structure. Dehumidification combined with air movement caused by using high velocity air movers will minimize further damage and retard mold growth.

Electronics Most electronic components can be restored after smoke and/or water damage. The permanent damage occurs in the form of corrosion which forms afterwards. Do not turn on computer systems or other electronic office equipment until it has been inspected, cleaned, and dried by a qualified technician. Spray electronic systems (elevators, generators, control panels, etc.) with a recommended critical contact cleaner. This will prevent the corrosion of electronic components. Dehumidification is important to reduce risk of corrosion in computer equipment, phone systems, copiers, etc. Proper cleaning of damaged electronic equipment to remove conductive or corrosive debris should only be done by trained, qualified technicians.

Books and Documents Books and documents are hygroscopic materials that will absorb moisture from the excess humidity present in a fire or water damage situation. In absorbing that humidity, the papers begin to swell, curl, and grow mold. As a rule, the critical period for books and documents is the first 48 hours after a disaster. Our goal should be to have the restoration of these items started within the first 48 hours or have them frozen. Freezing will stop the degradation of the papers and retard the growth of mold. ƒƒ Assess the condition of books and documents immediately. ƒƒ Prioritize by value and need. ƒƒ If wet, interweave with wax paper and place in freezer. ƒƒ Mold may appear and cause permanent damage within 48 hours. ƒƒ If the humidity is above 60%, the books and documents may be damaged by high humidity. ƒƒ Books and documents that have been damaged by flood waters may need to be rinsed with cool, clean water prior to freezing or drying. ƒƒ Make an inventory of damaged items.

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Health Issues Having access to ductwork to dry it properly is important. Duct systems should be inspected and restored by qualified technicians. Local ordinance may require licensed technicians to perform this work. ƒƒ Pay close attention to crumbling pipe, it may contain asbestos. ƒƒ Be careful of flaking or peeling paint in older buildings. It may be lead-based. ƒƒ Flood waters and sewage backflows will contain hazardous bacteria and fungi. Personnel entering those areas should wear appropriate personal protective equipment and be trained in its use, such as respirators, goggles, gloves, protective clothing, and boots.

Repairing the Damage After the disaster has been abated and the building has been stabilized, it is the property manager’s responsibility to have the building repaired and operational as quickly as possible. By working with your restoration contractor and the insurance adjuster, prompt decisions regarding the scope and value of the loss can be made. Once the scope has been agreed upon, the work can begin. A manager should not let the determination of fault delay getting the building back in operation. Generally, the insurance company will approve the repairs, even if caused by the negligence of a tenant, and subrogate the claim later with the responsible party. The manager, of course, should assist the insurance company in such a claim by providing all relevant information. The main goal, however, is to repair the damage.

Historic Properties Owners and managers of historic properties have special responsibilities to ensure these building and contents are: ƒƒ Accurately Documented ƒƒ Adequately Insured ƒƒ Thoroughly documented by videotape and/or photographs. Having all building materials documented will provide critical information about woodwork, floors, plaster, etc. if ever there is a loss. The documentation, along with information about the building’s restoration such as original or recent blueprints, building surveys, and architect’s name should be stored in a separate location. With historic properties, it is imperative to document conditions and present detailed cost information to ascertain restoration issues with the adjuster. Most adjusters will not be familiar with preservation or restoration concepts. The average adjuster may have only a working knowledge of the typical suburban tract house. OWNERS, BEWARE!

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Getting Back to Normal: A Planning Guide for the Restoration of Your Property After a Disaster

V. Health Concerns in Water Damage Situations In today’s enlightened era of environmental health, it is clear that proper water damage restoration is imperative. There is more to water restoration than extracting water from the carpet and pad. Controlling and terminating the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew is the primary concern. Water damage restoration should be done in accordance with the IICRC S500; Professional Water Damage Standards. In terms of the interior building temperature, it is important to note that ideal temperature range for mold and bacteria growth is between 68°F and 86°F. Both mold and bacteria will grow at temperatures outside of this range, just at a much slower rate. The key ingredient necessary for microbial growth is moisture. What does this mean? The structure needs to be dried quickly and thoroughly. Water damage restoration is one of those procedures that must be performed by trained technicians who understand proper procedures and chemical applications. This isn’t something you want your maintenance man to handle. Trained personnel will provide the necessary adjustments to the environment by altering temperature and humidity levels to deter production of mold, mildew, and bacteria. The property manager must remain alert for the following signs of microbial growth: ƒƒ Musty, stuffy odors. ƒƒ Black/gray patches along the bottom of walls. ƒƒ Deterioration of jute backing on carpeting and/or dust covers on the bottom of furniture. ƒƒ Water from beyond the trap of drain lines or any form of flood waters. Water-damaged building interiors provide a “prime” environment for the growth and reproduction of mold and bacteria. Molds are parasitic in that they rely on dead or decaying organic matter for food. One of the favorite foods for mold is the paper on drywall. This, coupled with warm humid air, creates the ideal environment for reproduction. The most common reaction to mold is an allergic reaction. However, individuals in a high risk group, such as children, elderly, someone who is immunocompromised or with chronic respiratory problems, may suffer more severe reactions. Bacteria are pathogens that may infect healthy individuals and cause serious illnesses in a matter of hours.

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VI. Conclusions No amount of preparation can stop a disaster from happening. But by preparing carefully and practicing your plan, you can mitigate the disaster, reduce stress for everyone involved, and potentially even save lives. Follow your plan to the letter. Track and document everything that you do. The more you can describe exactly what happened and when, the better. The insurance adjuster will need as much information as you can give him or her in order to reach a fair settlement; come prepared with all the information you can gather, and be ready to get more if needed. There is no such thing as a good disaster. But if you take the right steps before, during, and after, you can make a disaster a lot less horrific.

VII. Key Terms and Phrases Actual Cash Value: Replacement cost of the property less accumulated depreciation. This is physical depreciation, not cost recovery. Agent: Person who actively represents insurance services to the insured. All Risk/Open Peril Contract: The policy covers all perils EXCEPT for those which are specifically excluded. Broker: Represents a number of different licensed insurance companies and their services. Coinsurance Clause: Specifies the amount of recovery you will receive on a partial loss if the property is not insured for a specified amount of the property’s cash value. Depreciation: An adjustment to value based on physical age and deterioration, obsolescence and geographic market value. Direct Loss: Physical destruction of property. Extra Expense: Additional costs incurred because you are unable to use the property. This may include extra mileage on your car if you are forced to live further away from your employment due to a loss at your home. Loss Of Income: Lost economic gain due to loss of utility of the property. An example would be rental income. Peril: The cause of the loss. Usual insurable perils include fire, explosion, wind, burglary, negligence, collision, accident, sickness, and death. Policies often cover more than one peril. Proximate Cause Of Loss: The direct or effective cause of the loss. Replacement Cost: The cost to replace the damaged property with like kind and quality. Salvage: Property, equipment, etc. that the insurance company retains to attempt to reduce the total dollar loss. Specified Peril Contract: The policy identifies the particular perils which are covered. Spoilage: Caused by particular perils.

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VIII. Emergency Forms

Use the forms provided to get prepared before disaster strikes.


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Hurricane Checklist When preparing for hurricanes, develop a detailed checklist indicating the order in which to shut down processes and secure the facility. In order to initiate appropriate actions, the length of time needed to accomplish these tasks must be determined in advance. Complete each task during either a hurricane watch or hurricane warning and check it off below. Please add or delete items as needed to customize to your facility.

Action

Time Needed

Done

1. Shut down processes safely. 2. Inspect roof edging strips, gutters, and drains. 3. Inspect signs, supports, guy wires, and anchorages. 4. Secure doors and windows; protect from flying debris. 5. Protect important records from wind, debris, and rain. 6. Prepare up-to-date backups of electronic records and move to safe location. 7. Anchor structures in yard that can be moved by wind. 8. Assemble emergency supplies at a central location: ƒƒ Emergency lighting ƒƒ Tarpaulins ƒƒ Lumber and nails ƒƒ Sandbags ƒƒ Tape ƒƒ Roofing paper ƒƒ Caulking compound ƒƒ Chain saws ƒƒ Boxes or crates ƒƒ Drinking water ƒƒ Batteries ƒƒ Fuel for generator 9. Ensure the emergency crew remaining on site has the following: ƒƒ Nonperishable food ƒƒ Two-way radios ƒƒ First aid equipment ƒƒ Lighting 10. Fill emergency generator and fire pump fuel tanks. 11. Clean out drains and catch basins. 12. Add unique items to your facility below.

Notes:

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Department

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Date:

Emergency Response Team

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Mobile Number

Home Number

Getting Back to Normal: A Planning Guide for the Restoration of Your Property After a Disaster

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Art

Valuable Papers

Vehicles

EDP

Inland Marine

General Liability

Contents

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Renewal Dates

Getting Back to Normal: A Planning Guide for the Restoration of Your Property After a Disaster

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Alternate:

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Contact:

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Getting Back to Normal: A Planning Guide for the Restoration of Your Property After a Disaster

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Getting Back to Normal: A Planning Guide for the Restoration of Your Property After a Disaster

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To Whom

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Cash or Check

Getting Back to Normal: A Planning Guide for the Restoration of Your Property After a Disaster

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Contractor/Vendor Name

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Utilities: Contractor

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Utilities: Water

Printer

Security

Plumbing

Phone Systems

Office Equipment

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Glass Company

HVAC Contractor

Electrical Contractor

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Contact

After Hours Phone Cell Phone

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Getting Back to Normal: A Planning Guide for the Restoration of Your Property After a Disaster

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Mammoth Restoration & Construction

Contact

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Utilities: Electric

Utilities: Gas

Utilities: Water

Printer

Security

Disaster Restoration Contractor

Community Services

Environmental Services

Local Health Department

Hospital

Poison Control Center

Ambulance

Fire Department

Police Department

Vendor

Date:

Emergency Service Vendors

888.495.5211

After Hours Phone

814.690.1677

Fax

Getting Back to Normal: A Planning Guide for the Restoration of Your Property After a Disaster

888.495.5211

Business Phone

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Be prepared, plan ahead– Don’t let an emergency shut you down!


Build it. Restore it. Get it right.

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