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Home Disaster Guide – What to Do When an Emergency Strikes

When disaster strikes, don’t panic! Use our home disaster guide as a checklist for what needs to be done next.

Home Disaster Guide - What to Do When an Emergency StrikesEmergencies can happen at any time, and being prepared can make a significant difference in how you handle the situation and limit damage. Here’s a quick guide on what to do when disaster strikes your home, focusing on water, fire, and mould damage.

This Is a Disaster – What Now?

When a disaster occurs, there are simple steps you can take to limit the damage to your home or property. Quick action can prevent further damage and ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Basic Guidelines

The specific actions you take may depend on the cause and condition of the disaster, but some general rules apply to almost all types of damage:

  • Life Safety: Always address life safety issues first.
  • Shore Up and Secure: Shore up, secure, and/or evacuate all areas in danger of collapse.
  • Prevent Unauthorized Entry: Secure the scene to prevent unauthorized entry.
  • Install Protection Barriers: Use protection barriers or secondary containment systems to prevent pollutants from flowing into drains or absorbing into the soil.
  • Switch Off Equipment: Turn off all equipment immediately and do not reconnect them until it is safe.
  • Shut Down Systems: Shut down power, water, gas, compressed air supply, and air conditioning systems. Do not reconnect them until it is safe.
  • Document Damage: Document damage with photographs and written records.
  • Notify Insurance: Notify your insurance company as soon as possible.

Home Diaster Guide for: Water Damage

  • Extract Water: Remove water to prevent irreversible damage such as swelling and discoloration.
  • Remove Soaked Objects: Take out soaked objects like furniture, curtains, carpets, and floor coverings.
  • Apply Corrosion Prevention Agents: Use agents to protect and preserve equipment, electronics, and machinery.
  • Demolition or Drying Efforts: Perform demolition or special drying efforts if walls, floors, and ceilings are very wet or saturated.
  • Reduce Humidity: Lower the relative humidity to less than 40% quickly to slow corrosion and discourage mould growth.
  • Raise Furniture: Insert plastic wedges or styrofoam blocks under furniture to prevent moisture wicking up.
  • Begin Drying: Start drying with desiccant or refrigerant dehumidifiers. Professional services are recommended to avoid damage from improper drying techniques.
  • Pack Books and Documents: Place books and documents in a cardboard box lined with a plastic trash bag.
  • Freeze Wet Materials: Freeze any wet books or documents as quickly as possible.
  • Maintain Inventory: Keep a detailed inventory of wet materials.

Home Disaster Guide for: Fire Damage

  • Allow Smoke to Escape: Open vents, windows, and doors to let smoke out. Use fans as needed.
  • Organize a Fire Watch: Establish a fire watch in your community and regularly review emergency plans.
  • Cover Electronics: Protect electronics, machines, and equipment with plastic sheeting while extinguishing water is present.
  • Pump Out Residual Water: Remove residual extinguishing water into tanks for temporary storage.
  • Remove Soaked Objects: Take out soaked objects like furniture, curtains, carpets, and floor coverings.
  • Disconnect Electrical Supply: Turn off the electrical supply to the equipment and disconnect the backup batteries.
  • Dry Storage: Place electronic devices, machines, stock, and inventory in dry storage.
  • Minimize Corrosion: Keep relative humidity below 40% in rooms or inside plastic tents. Use dry air or an air dehumidifier.
  • Apply Corrosion Prevention Agents: Use agents on machinery and technical equipment.
  • Safeguard Unaffected Areas: Isolate fire-contaminated areas to prevent cross-contamination.

Home Disaster Guide for: Mould Damage

If you discover mould, you should:

  • Assess the Situation: Identify the extent and source of the mould.
  • Contain the Area: Seal off the affected area to prevent mould spores from spreading.
  • Remove Contaminated Materials: Carefully remove and dispose of mould-infested materials.
  • Clean and Disinfect: Use appropriate cleaning agents to clean and disinfect the area.
  • Dry the Area: Ensure the area is thoroughly dried to prevent mould from returning.
  • Monitor for Recurrence: Regularly check for signs of mould recurrence.

Work with Us

Dealing with disasters can be overwhelming, but with our home disaster guide, you don’t have to handle it alone. Working with a professional remediation company like ours ensures that your home receives the best care possible. We specialize in flood and water damage remediation, fire damage remediation, and mold removal and remediation. Our expertise and comprehensive services ensure that your property is restored efficiently and effectively, minimizing disruption and ensuring your safety.

By partnering with a professional remediation company, you can be confident that your home will be returned to its best condition, protecting your investment and peace of mind. Contact us when disaster strikes!