Create a Building Safety Plan For National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month reminds us all to prepare now for the unexpected in the future. The Department of Homeland Security’s “Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today,” theme from last year returned this year with a continuing emphasis on preparedness for youth, older adults, and people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. For those of us in charge of commercial buildings, whether through construction, maintenance, or management, preparedness is especially important. Building occupants rely on safety measures established by us when a situation does arise. And when it comes to your roof, having a plan in place to help prepare for unanticipated events is critical.
Elements of a good disaster roof plan include:
Know your roof ahead of time.
Any good roofing disaster response plan should include knowing what the condition of your roof is ahead of any event. Having a thorough inspection done ahead of any storm season by an experienced roofing professional is a must. This will allow you to understand the condition of your roof and if steps can be taken to strengthen it prior to any potential disaster. This could be as simple as repairing any minor tears in your roofing membrane to cleaning it of excess dirt and debris. Once repairs have been made, make sure they are kept up with bi-annual roof inspections, once in the fall and once in the spring. In many cases, this will at least keep your building under warranty.
Create an action plan.
After any natural disaster, be it hurricanes, tornadoes, or snow storms, there will probably be damage to your roof. No roof can withstand everything – even buildings that have been prepared ahead of time. And even if it did, you will probably want to make sure there was no damage. Create a course of action to have repairs done as soon as possible. Have the names and contact information of both your insurance company and your roofing contractor on hand is essential for speedy repairs. In the wake of any disaster, building owners will be scrambling to find a contractor to get repairs done quickly. If you already have a relationship with a contractor who is approved by your insurance company, the probability of your roof receiving faster response is greater.
Having the right plan in place will make you and your staff feel more confident about dealing with the unexpected. If a situation ever does arise, it could also mean the difference between life and death. National Preparedness Month is the perfect reason to revisit the safety measures your facility has in place.