Disaster Preparedness for Property Managers: 10 Steps to Create a Plan

By: Diana Rodriguez-Zaba
Updated on: December 4, 2019

Whether your tenants operate retail outlets or raise families, you want to provide them with the safest possible environment. Part of ensuring their security rests on having a solid disaster preparedness plan in place. As a property owner or manager, it’s one of your biggest responsibilities.

Do you have a partner who you can trust for emergency fire and water damage cleanup?

Developing a disaster plan is important, but you also need strategies that put your building and your tenants on the road to recovery as quickly as possible.

10 Step Process to Find a Contractor You Can Trust

These 10 steps can help you find a contractor who understands fire and water damage restoration and who knows how handle the worst.

1. Ask Other Businesses for References

Ask other building owners and managers in your area about their emergency restoration services. Speak with individuals who take care of property similar to yours, and ask them about the pros and cons of their restoration company.

Those who have a contractor of choice should be happy to share information about past projects and service quality.

2. Check Out Online Reviews

Independent online review sites let you see a potential hire through the eyes of other people. As you browse through thumbs up and down, pay attention to the details. Review information helps narrow your search to contractors who offer the best fit for your emergency preparedness plan.

3. Listen to Your Insurance Carrier

Your agent wants you to be prepared for emergencies, so she should be happy to share recommendations for professional restoration companies.

Ask her about contractors with IICRC certification and Quality Restoration Vendor status. These are both excellent indicators of invaluable expertise.

4. Interview in Person

Before making a final decision, visit your potential restoration company. Explain that you’re looking for help developing action plans to cover your property and tenants after a fire or water disaster.

Expect a detailed response that makes you feel comfortable and confident in the contractor’s abilities.

5. Look for Local Involvement

Does the company practice local outreach through both its services and facilities? Do you have a sense of its involvement with surrounding home and business owners?

A successful restoration contractor sets an example as a good neighbor and really cares about the community. After a disaster, you want that level of commitment on your side.

6. Size up Restoration Capabilities

Whether you own a small shopping center or manage high-rise condos, you need to know that your restoration company can handle any disaster.

Your best plans for prevention, reaction and evacuation must be backed up, so you want to partner with a contractor who has the man-power and equipment to respond immediately.

7. Be Aware of Limitations

Not all restoration businesses offer a complete line of services. Some focus on just water and fire damage, and not all are certified for mold inspection, removal and remediation. Others don’t provide commercial cleaning options.

Be clear about your expectations for both routine jobs and emergency disaster restoration services.

8. Let the Company Earn Your Trust

restoration expert cleaning table

You don’t have to wait until the worst happens before hiring a restoration business. Put the contractor to work sanitizing air ducts, removing stains from office upholstery and rejuvenating carpets with steam cleaning.

This approach lets you get to know the company better as it earns your trust.

9. Expect Help with Recovery Planning

Make it clear that you want a proactive approach to developing plans that back up your disaster preparedness. An established restoration business brings years of experience to the table and tailors recovery strategies to your property.

You should expect custom recovery plans designed to take care of your building and tenants after any type of water or fire emergency.

10. Take Advantage of Shared Knowledge

When a contractor shares insider information on everything from power cleaning tips to insurance adjusters, you know that he or she’s a confident, established professional. His willingness to put industry knowledge at your service makes him a trusted partner. That assurance becomes an invaluable asset as you develop disaster preparedness strategies for your commercial property.

Working Shoulder to Shoulder

property manager with expert

Every commercial property owner and manager needs to be sure that his disaster preparedness plan includes a dependable, experienced partner. When you know and trust your restoration contractor, you can confront any worst-case scenario with confidence because you’re not alone.

We’re proud to offer years of disaster restoration experience as Chicago’s leading fire and water damage cleanup specialists. Area property owners and facility managers know that we’re ready to work shoulder to shoulder with you 24/7.

You can count on ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba for emergency fire and water damage restoration in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.