Published on Monday, 04 December 2017 12:00
After a Catastrophe: What Should You Do To Recover?
After a disaster has taken place, there are certain steps that you should take to ensure that you are safe, and that others will remain safe as well. Here are a few pieces of advice that may help.
- Stay safe, and respect instructions. Depending on the nature of the catastrophe, there may still be a very immediate, very real threat in an area that has been struck. Tornadoes and earthquakes, for example, may expose you to the physical threat of debris, glass, nails, and sharpened pieces of the collapsed or damaged structure. Despite the instinct to do so, do not re-enter an area that has been hit by a natural disaster until you have been cleared to do so. Instructions from agencies trained to respond to these situations are the best course of action to follow.
- Keep lines of communication open. Communication after a disaster is a two-way street; responders and other people on staff of a building may need to coordinate information on head counts, possible threats due to damage to sensitive or combustible materials, and other data that's extremely relevant to the efforts that will follow a fire, hurricane, or earthquake. It's also important to communicate any important information that you might have to the people who can make the most use from it. Never stay quiet about a potential threat that you may personally know about, or even suspect.
- Don't assume it's over. In the case of natural disasters, you may only have been exposed to the first part of a multi-part event. Earthquake aftershocks can still cause significant damage, as can strong winds after a hurricane or tornado. If there are emergency protocols that need to be followed, they should continue to be followed for your safety and the safety of others until the event has totally cleared. Again, professional instruction from responding agencies should give you a much stronger sense of awareness.
- Contact a disaster clean-up contractor once it's safe. The sooner that you can get in contact with a qualified disaster recovery contractor, the sooner that you'll be able to get some form of normalcy after a very serious emergency. As for insurance, there will likely be extensive documentation needed of any damaged parts of a building, equipment, injuries, or deaths. Just be aware that the insurance company cannot tell you what contractor to hire. That is entirely your decision! If they suggest someone, there may be a conflict of interest.
In a disaster situation, professional services and agencies can be extremely important in helping to protect you, and to make sure that everyone in the area is aware of the greater situation at hand. While you may feel completely focused on your current circumstances, understand that some disasters will hit multiple parts of a city or rural area, which can lead to other problems, such as downed power lines on the road once you are cleared to exit. If you own a commercial property, you should seriously consider having a PREP agreement in place with a PREP certified disaster recovery company.
Listen to your local emergency radio station, and pay attention to any new or developing details about the event so that you and your family can stay safe.