The 2017 hurricane season brought new challenges to the facility management industry. As a certified restorer and national responder, I found myself traveling to not only client locations, but to other areas that were greatly affected by the storm. I also learned that preparedness is a spectrum and 2017 really showed me the extremes from both sides of preparedness.
It was two weeks after the storm when a gentleman in a branded company vehicle flagged me down in a parking lot. His company manages over 30k apartments in the across the country.
“Hey- can I rent some dehumidifiers and air movers from you?”
I kindly explained that we are not an equipment rental company and that we typically manage the project from demo, dry down, and decontamination at a minimum. His response to me really blew my mind.
“I know how restoration contractors work. Our contractor has no more resources so I am stuck with 8 properties that have 4 feet of water or more in them. I’ve hired some demo crews and we are cutting everything out and spraying it with bleach. I will only need the equipment for 3 days maybe 4 at the most. I plan on hanging sheetrock next week.” I was really taken aback. Water that has been sitting in the structure for an extended period of time will not dry out in 3 days.
In contrast, I had had multiple conversations with a comparable apartment management company prior to Hurricane Harvey. We had unit counts and a response protocol in place including an email chain with about 20 people on it to report property conditions should a disaster occur.
The best tips I can give for formulating your own preparedness plan are as follows.
To find the right contractors, here are a few things to consider:
The difference between being prepared and unprepared really shows exponentially in times like the 2017 hurricane season. Historically, we know to expect other catastrophic weather events.
Rolyn's PSA is a Priority Service Agreement that puts pricing, billing, and response logistics in place before services are needed. It allows you to make a decision about prices and capabilities before a disaster strikes, instead of in the chaotic midst of a disaster or emergency situation.