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Disaster What To Do's

Chemical Spill

Before

Make sure individuals handling chemicals are trained in the proper use, storage and disposal of them.

Plan ahead by consulting with a disaster recovery company regarding business continuance and recovery of property.

Purchase Protective Equipment (PPE) and breathing apparatus for use by those working most closely with chemicals.

During

In the event of large spill in the area and told to shelter in place, go indoors, turn off HVAC system and seal all windows and doors.

Listen to emergency broadcast stations for instructions.

After

Evacuate immediate area as quickly as possible and assemble occupants at a safe distance.

Inform emergency services that there has been a potentially hazardous chemical spill.

Engage a full-service disaster recovery firm to assess the damage, develop a scope of work, liaise with insurers and carry out necessary services. www.cottoncompanies.com

Earthquake

Before

Learn about your area's seismic building standards before beginning new construction.

Know where and how to shut off utilities.

Bolt and brace large furniture, water heaters, gas appliances and heavy equipment to wall studs or floors.

During

Take shelter under furniture or other sound structure away from windows until earthquake ceases.

After

Expect and prepare for aftershocks, landslides or a tsunami.

Carefully evacuate after shaking has stopped, avoiding hazardous obstacles and power sources; use stairs rather than elevators.

Extinguish small fires as these are common after an earthquake

Shut off utilities.

Do not re-enter building until a professional has inspected damage and confirmed it is safe to do so.

Engage a full-service disaster recovery firm to assess the damage, develop a scope of work, liaise with insurers and carry out necessary services. www.cottoncompanies.com

Fire

Before

Check existing fire-fighting equipment and notification systems to ensure they are functioning properly.

Carry out regular fire drills.

Post building diagrams in common areas and make sure exits are clearly marked.

Ask local fire departments to inspect commercial buildings.

Keep important documents and valuables in a fireproof cabinet.

Plan ahead by consulting with a disaster recovery company regarding business continuance and recovery of property

During

Call 911

Evacuate immediately to designated safe area. Do not re-enter the building.

Stay out of affected buildings until release is given by the fire department.

After

Secure affected property to protect salvageable contents

Engage a full-service disaster recovery firm to assess the damage, develop a scope of work, liaise with insurers and carry out necessary services. www.cottoncompanies.com

Flood

Before

Know the difference between a flash flood watch and warning.

Move vehicles away from flood zone or to upper levels of parking garages.

Run elevators to an upper floor and cycle doors shut.

If there is advance notice of potential flooding, relocate valuable or sensitive material offsite or to a higher elevation.

Plan ahead by consulting with a disaster recovery company regarding business continuance and recovery of property.

During

Once evacuated, stay away from affected area until flood waters recede and authorities deem it safe to return.

After

Report contamination and hazardous spills to authorities

Remove all items that have been wet for more than 24 hours to prevent mold growth.

Engage a full-service disaster recovery firm to assess the damage, develop a scope of work, liaise with insurers and carry out necessary services. www.cottoncompanies.com

Hurricane

Before

Monitor weather reports closely and follow the orders of local authorities regarding evacuation.

Store computers, business records and other important items in a safe area on upper levels and away from windows.

Where possible, place storm shutters on windows and protect doors

Plan ahead by consulting with a disaster recovery company regarding business continuance and recovery of property

During

If remaining on property take shelter in a secure area with no windows above sea level.

Listen to emergency broadcast stations for instructions and remain in shelter until storm winds have subsided.

After

Wait until the all-clear has been given by building management or emergency services before reentering the area or property.

If necessary, secure the facility to prevent looting.

Shut off all gas

Engage a full-service disaster recovery firm to assess the damage, develop a scope of work, liaise with insurers and carry out necessary services. www.cottoncompanies.com

Landslide

Before

Be alert for signs of earth movement in and around the building, such as cracking, broken pipes and tilting of walls or vegetation.

Consult a geotechnical expert to assess the likelihood of a landslide and the possibility of installing preventive measures.

Plan ahead by consulting with a disaster recovery company regarding business continuance and recovery of property.

During

If there is sufficient time, evacuate personnel from the building. If not, move to the highest part of the building.

Move away from the path of the slide or debris flow.

After

Do not re-enter the affected area.

Watch for flooding and monitor emergency broadcast stations.

Engage a full-service disaster recovery firm to assess the damage, develop a scope of work, liaise with insurers and carry out necessary services. www.cottoncompanies.com

Tornado

Before

Know the difference between a tornado watch and warning

Make sure employees a familiar with the signal to head to safe area.

Pay close attention to wea

Plan ahead by consulting with a disaster recovery company regarding business continuance and recovery of property.

During

Take shelter in a secure area with no windows on a low floor or in a basement.

Monitor emergency broadcast stations for instructions.

After

Remain in shelter until given the all-clear.

If a hissing noise or odor of natural or propane gas is detected, leave property immediately and get to safe distance, call fire department using a cellular phone.

Engage a full-service disaster recovery firm to assess the damage, develop a scope of work, liaise with insurers and carry out necessary services. www.cottoncompanies.com

Winter Storm

Before

Monitor weather advisories and follow advice regarding travel.

Assemble emergency supply kits for any personnel left in the building.

Shut off water to avoid burst pipes and drain system

Maintain heating equipment with repairs and annual inspection.

Plan ahead by consulting with a disaster recovery company regarding business continuance and recovery of property

Unplug non-essential electrical equipment.

During

Monitor accumulation of snow on roofs as this could jeopardize integrity and cause to collapse.

Keep personnel off and away from roof lines.

After

When safe to evaluate, conduct property damage assessment.

Report power outages and downed electrical lines to supply company.

Engage a full-service disaster recovery firm to assess the damage, develop a scope of work, liaise with insurers and carry out necessary services. www.cottoncompanies.com