The aftermath: When disaster strikes
by Emily M. Hobbs Staff Writer
A fire can wreak havoc on your business, as well as your home, and some new resources are coming to town. Two businesses are looking to expand into the Sampson County area and both are focused on disaster cleanup and post storm damage, as well as forms of damage caused by water and fire.
SERVPRO and CopyPro both made presentations on Wednesday, Oct. 9t in a seminar titled “How to Handle a Disaster Before and After the Event”. During the luncheon, those attending learned about the different types of disaster cleanup options as well as recovery options for documents and files. Considering that this is Fire Prevention Week, attendees were told, this was an excellent resource opportunity, which included the local fire departments and other responder personnel, as well as other local businesses in pest control and insurance.
SERVPRO showed videos explaining different disaster situations and how their services can help eliminate the problems that occur after a disaster or unexpected household problem. Lynwood Reeves, a marketing representative with SERVPRO, explained to the group what can be done for fire and water cleanup and restoration.
Reeves explained the problems that can arise with water damage like mold. He said his employees have the best training and practices. Each franchise has to do extensive background checks on their employees and they have trained technicians that will available.
“One time we had to extrapolate financial data from a hard drive for a customer. That customer was able to use the data recovered to qualify for business interruption insurance,” said Reeves in his presentation. After showing a video about a disaster recover ysituation in Sarpy County near Nashville he told the group that the company has the option to pull from other franchises to handle large disasters and will even bring in tractor trailers of supplies if necessary to handle the situation.
“The most important thing is the safety of family and personnel in these disasters,” said Reeves. The next question that is oftenasked is how soon a business can get back up and running to prevent the loss of contact between service providers and customers. This is where an Emergency Readiness Program assessment, or ERP for short, comes into play he said. It is important to have an ERP so that an business knows who is going to be in charge of making what decisions and know who the responders will be for an emergency situation. The report gathers together a large quantity of information in one place and also puts the customer at the top priority of SERVPRO’s list when a disaster strikes. The ERP may also qualify your business for a discount with insurance companies as well.
D.J. Fleming, director of IT for CopyPro, explained the need for protecting documents from fire and water damage.
“We cover everything from storms, like hurricanes, to burst pipes,” said Fleming. He reiterated that it was important to remember that documents are not always destroyed in a fire by the fire itself, but can be ruined by water from a fire department putting out the fire or a sprinkler system going off. It is also necessary to check the fireproof safe to make sure that it is waterproof, if you have one. Having a safe that is fire proof does not guarantee that the documents will stay dry when the fire department comes to put the fire out.
“We are all about what happens to the documents,” said Fleming in his presentation. CopyPro starts with preventing the loss of data by protecting with off site servers to reclaiming information after is has been damaged. Fleming showed a slide with a picture of the large controlled atmospheric chamber that is used to free dry the documents.
A standard four drawer filing cabinet will fit into about a gig of space on a hard drive once it is scanned. Considering how cheap it is to buy virtual space, there really is no reason that a business can’t afford to take care of their documents. One option he mentioned was the iosafe, which is fireproof and can be submerged in water for a length of time. The iosafe is available through online retailers. His company also offers digital storage solutions by industry, integrated email archiving, and offside backup.
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