Lowering Your Property Disaster Risk
Disaster risk reduction (DDR) is about a systematic effort to reduce exposure to hazards, lessening vulnerability of people and property, and improving preparedness for adverse events.
DRR is a real field of study and work for professionals that manage systems on a large scale. On a smaller scale, there are strategies that you can put into place which can drastically reduce your financial and health risks once a disaster takes place. Many of these reduction strategies are easy to implement, inexpensive, and can go a long way toward reducing your financial burden after a disaster has passed.
- Preparedness is a very strong method of risk reduction, and can involve personnel training, emergency supplies, and more. Having a detailed disaster plan in place – usually in conjunction with a trusted disaster recovery contractor is vital. Disaster preparedness gives you the best head start on handling the fallout from a disaster, from your communications with emergency services, to ensuring that the people inside of a building are safe, to long term damage and health risks that a disaster can pose. The more thorough your level of preparedness, the better your chances are at risk reduction.
- Awareness can be important once a disaster begins, or is soon to begin. As part of your plan for preparedness, your level of awareness can include monitoring communication channels. With the power of the internet and social media services like Twitter, you can even follow accounts, such as NOAA, or geographically specific Twitter “bots” which transmit emergency disaster information regarding storm movements, shelter locations, and current conditions. Emergency weather radios are important to have on hand as well. A w ell informed staff and occupants of your building is extremely important as well.
- Recovery can help to reduce your costs after the disaster has planned. Your recovery efforts should be incorporated into your disaster planning, with the goal of restoring conditions to their pre-disaster state. Sadly, 50% of businesses that sustain a major disaster never recover – especially if they don’t have a PREP program in place. Be sure to know ahead of time who you will count on to assist you with the clean-up, mitigation and repairs!
Risk Assessment and Audits
Another way to reduce your risk is to have a third party perform an audit on your property, specifically for disasters, and preferably for many different types of disaster at once. You should know any potential weak points in the event of a fire, for example, that could relate to your ability to quickly and safely evacuate personnel.
Do not treat a safety inspection as a disaster audit. While there is overlap in what both look for, disaster and risk audits are far more thorough in identifying potential, as opposed to present, pr oblems in your building and generally cost money.
Priority Response Emergency Planning
While some owners and managers may attempt to develop a pre-disaster plan on their own, there are numerous PREP certified contractor that will usually provide you with a priority response plan tailored to your commercial property. Although a PREP guide is never intended to cover every contingency or disaster type, you would find it help in provide some basics and a simple “starting point” so you can develop on the perfectly fits your needs. Rocky Mountain Restoration – Phoenix, AZ is a PREP certified firm and offers PREP guides and pre-disaster assistance – at no charge!