Brick by Brick: Does Your Business Have an Action Plan For Post-Storm Damage?
You’ve most likely seen the aftermath of a disaster zone, either on TV, the internet, or perhaps in person. The sight can be shocking and heartbreaking. Of course, nothing beats the tragedy of lives lost in the event itself. However, a lack of preparedness is what often leaves survivors in a state of turmoil, and this is true whether their personal or professional lives are affected. When it comes to the impact on businesses, many people feel hopeless when their livelihood rests in the rubble. Are you a business owner? If so, it’s essential that you plan ahead for the possibility of disasters, so you can have access to commercial industrial renovations if they become necessary. Putting such a plan in place can save you from a considerable amount of burden if disaster strikes, giving you the time and space needed to recover.
Wild Weather Here in the West
It’s easy to assume that we westerners are immune to serious natural disasters. But weather events that have taken place over the last few years have proved otherwise. You probably remember some of these occurrences, and reviewing them can highlight the importance of disaster readiness.
Weatherly Wake-Up Calls for North Americans:
- Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans – It’s hard to imagine that the deadliest hurricane to hit the United States wreaked havoc almost a decade ago. But the images are still fresh – highway overpasses sinking into floodwaters, boats navigating through streets turned to canals, wreckage floating like islands – nothing short of a total catastrophe. 1,833 people lost their lives and the damage cost amounted to a staggering $108 billion.
- Tornado Outbreak, Joplin, Missouri – In 2011, a devastating EF5 tornado ripped through the town of Joplin in Missouri. The twister levelled the city, leaving bits and pieces of homes and buildings in its wake. Many residents described the condition of these structures as “looking like rolled up paper”. 158 people died as a result, and the damage costs totaled $2.8 billion.
- Hurricane Sandy, Eastern Seaboard – In 2012, Hurricane Sandy fixed itself along the eastern seaboard of North America, and strolled along causing damage from the Bahamas and Bermuda, through 24 states in the U.S., and even struck Maritime Canada. There was widespread damage, flooding, and cities were crippled as a result. 148 people died and the damage costs totaled $68 billion.
- December 2013 Ice Storm – Just under a year ago, you probably had to deal with ice-covered car windows, frigid temperatures, and power outages if you live in Southern Ontario or the eastern United States. A polar vortex unleashed freezing rain that led to the toppling of trees and power lines. About 1.5 million were affected, and 27 people lost their lives.
In all of these storms, businesses (along with residences) suffered either partial damage or complete ruin. And if you have noticed, these storms seem to occur more frequently. Even with this reality in mind, you shouldn’t give into panic and fear. Rather, you need to adopt a mentality of preparedness, and part of that involves planning for the aftermath of a disaster. Needing commercial industrial renovations after a storm can bring on considerable burdens if you don’t have an exit strategy.
When intense wind and torrential rains hit, the structure of a building faces the risk of sustaining some form of damage. Canadian (as well as American) law codes enforce a high standard when it comes to construction, making it a legal requirement to install reinforced materials in buildings. In other words, you can trust them to remain upright even if extreme weather passes by. But that doesn’t mean they’re invincible, and you can expect some parts of a building to fall apart if subjected to too much force.
Don’t mind the appearance of brick. It looks solid and it is, yet it can easily fold under the formidable forces of nature. Storms of slightly increased severity, such as tropical storms or depressions, can produce winds strong enough to damage brick. So imagine a full-blown hurricane or tornado ripping through your city. For proof of this, all you need to do is Google images of the aftermath left behind from the storms mentioned above. Much of what lays in pieces are buildings made with brick. It’s no surprise, then, to hear that block wall repair is one of the most sought after services when fixing a building or home struck by extreme weather.
Windows and Doors
It’s safe to say that windows are the first things to break in a home or business place. After all, glass is fragile, even when reinforced. It’s also dangerous to those standing nearby, since strong wind can send projectile shards flying through the air. Also, doors are not solid structures and can easily fall from their hinges.
You’ve probably seen footage of roofs ripped off by a hurricane’s wind. This is often seen in homes, but office buildings can also have a roof torn off during a storm. Remember too, that a roof can suffer damage without the wind carrying it away completely. Heavy rains (or snow) and flying debris may puncture a roof and leave large, gaping holes that need repairs.
Where Do You Start?
Understandably, developing an emergency relief plan presents challenges. There’s no path set in stone which tells you exactly how you should go about doing it. Fortunately, there are guidelines and factors which experts point out for you to think about.
Carving a Portion of Your Budget
One of the first things you need to figure out is how you will pay for these costs if repairs become necessary. If a storm were to damage your place of business, the toll would hopefully be minimal. But it’s impossible to predict what the outcome will be, so you need to set aside a reasonable amount of money to pay for losses.
If you don’t have business insurance already, make it a priority to get insured! A provider may not pay for every expense, but their coverage can go a very long way in helping you keep repair costs at a manageable level.
Make a List of Potential Weak Spots
A few areas of concern were listed above. However, they aren’t the only spots to worry about. Every business is unique, so you’ll have to examine the various structures and components in your space that may get damaged during harsh weather. Knowing this in advance helps you to plan ahead, and stow away equipment that is susceptible. Additionally, you’ll know what kind of commercial industrial renovations to plan for, whether it’s roof, window, or block wall repair.
Your Livelihood Shouldn’t End Up in Shambles
You can’t stop the destructive power of nature, nor the damage it may inflict on your property and possessions. However, you can do a lot to bounce back from disaster. But the ability to do so comes from taking action beforehand. That’s why you shouldn’t think twice to devise a plan that can help you piece your business and life back together. You can save yourself from heartbreak and emotional turmoil by having a “safety net”, whether that is a means to pay for commercial industrial renovations, or having coverage from a reputable insurance company. By making an effort to establish an escape plan, you can have the confidence that your business will have a second chance after the passing of bad weather.
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