After the perilous 2017 hurricane season, businesses along the coasts have seen first-hand what catastrophes are capable of. The first step in recovering and moving forward is entering the business and evaluating the damage. In this post, we’ll cover how to enter a flood-ravaged business safely and restore order. Ensure you contact your coastal clients and assist them in filing a Property Insurance claim efficiently.
Focus on personal safety.
After a flood has damaged property, it’s likely that electrical systems and structural supports have been compromised. Business owners should avoid climbing stairs, entering rooms that are waterlogged, and inspecting supports and walls without the necessary experts.
According to the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, consider the following:
- Enter the building carefully. Leave immediately if shifting or unusual noises signal a possible collapse.
- If the door sticks at the top, it could mean your ceiling is ready to fall. If the door can be forced open, business owners should wait outside the doorway in case debris falls.
- Check the ceiling for signs of sagging. Wind, rain, or deep flooding may wet plaster or wallboard. It is very heavy, and will be dangerous if it falls.
- Upon entering the building, do not use matches, cigarette lighters, or any other open flames, since gas may be trapped inside. Use an explosion-proof flashlight or chemical light stick to light your way.
- If a gas leak is suspected, the smell of gas is present, or if there is blowing or hissing ounds, open a window and leave the building and premises immediately. Call the gas company from a different location. Do not re-enter the building.
- Shut off electricity at the main breaker and shut off gas immediately.
- Watch for hazardous materials floating in water that have become dislodged, such as human or animal waste, including stray animals that have sought higher grounds from the flooding.
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