As summer gets into full swing, there’s always the potential for devastating storms, tornadoes, fires, flooding and more to wreak havoc on your home or business.

If you do suffer damage or loss in a disaster event, hiring an emergency restoration company will do a lot to get your life back to normal. They can do everything from clear the basement of water to recovering important financial documents to removing musty or smoky odors. But, to do their job as best they can, there are a few things you should do before they arrive.

Here are five easy to remember, practical tips to help you prepare for emergency restoration services.

photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/globalx/

1) Prepare an Emergency Kit

First things first – It’s crucial to have an emergency kit in an easy-to-access area of your home, so you can stay safe before, during and after a disaster hits. Prepare an emergency kit so that you can be ready to go in an instant, as the restoration team may need you to clear the premises so they can get to work.

A properly prepared emergency kit is ideally kept in something that’s easy to carry, such as a waterproof bag, and can include such items as:

  • First aid kit
  • GPS device
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Battery-powered radio or television
  • Flashlight
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Extra batteries
  • one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • A change of clothes
  • Blanket
  • Identification
  • Cash, wallet, and checkbook
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
  • Keys to your home, car, and/or office
  • Helmets, especially for young children

2) Prepare the Space

Heavy winds and rain can easily spread debris around your property, making it hard to navigate the grounds. Broken windows, downed branches or blocked escape routes can be unsafe for you and your family and make it tough for the emergency restoration company to work. As best you can, clear the property of harmful debris.

It’s also a good idea to have a designated shelter somewhere on the property. In your home, choose an interior room located away from outside walls and windows. On a commercial property, there should be a designated space in the building that can fit all tenants or employees.

3) Prepare People

Create an emergency plan and share it with every member of the family. Young children can be especially vulnerable, so go over each step and do some practice run-throughs to get them used to the actions to take in an emergency.

For commercial property owners, it’s imperative to have the contact information of tenants and/or employees in case of injury. Inform everyone of emergency procedures, such as where the shelter is, and remind them to bring essentials like cell phones, wallets, and purses with them if they need to leave the property during a tornado warning.

4) Prepare Possessions

Damage to the possessions on the inside of your structure can be even more devastating than the damage to the property. Losing important documents, important personal items and other valuables is a stressful situation. Backup your important information onto flash drives or a cloud service, such as:

  • Contact information for friends, family, or business
  • Financial documents (wills, taxes, etc.)
  • Account details for credit cards, banks, utilities and other accounts
  • Insurance policy information and agent contact information
  • Passwords
  • Itemized list of things you own
  • For homeowners: jewelry, paintings, electronics, and other valuables
  • For businesses: furniture, paintings, documents and inventory

5) Find an Emergency Restoration Company before Disaster Strikes

One of the best things you can do to protect your home or business is to find an emergency restoration company before disaster strikes. When you have a reputable company on call, you’ll be better prepared to quickly and effectively address damage from destructive events, protecting your investment, minimizing your losses and helping you maintain your peace-of-mind.

Looking for the Best Disaster Restoration Specialist in Minneapolis? Contact ServiceMaster today!

Whether it affects your home or business, fire, flooding, mold damage and other disasters can be the most stressful event you ever experience. All you want is to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. That’s where the disaster restoration team at ServiceMaster of Minneapolis can help, with our 24/7/365 availability, premier services and expert service technicians.