Manhattan Maintenance Company Prepares for Emergency Management
When disaster happens, businesses must keep operating. Manhattan Maintenance Company is well aware of this need, as we prepare our maintenance plans for our clients. Operations need to run smoothly in spite of power outages, floods and other weather events.
When an emergency strikes, maintenance personnel must be able to make decisions and solve problems. This requires having a plan; before disaster strikes. When custodial service employees are trained in emergency management, they are more able to react appropriately during an unusual event. During an emergency, maintenance personnel should report to the client site to maintain the emergency level of operations.
The first thing to consider is what functionalities need to be maintained during a crisis. This is different for each client and must be tailored to their unique needs. Obviously hospitals must be kept running at a high level, everyone knows that. But, oftentimes, large businesses and schools become the go to place for people who are displaced by the storm. A plan may need to be in place to accommodate large groups of people, adults and children. A plan would need to be in place for emergency food, blankets and pillows. What is the plan for employees who can’t go home?
Some things to think about before the emergency occurs; what equipment will run off the generator? Who will be allowed access to the building? How will the building security be maintained? Should the building be evacuated? How will the integrity of the IT system be maintained? How will structural damage be assessed? Who will check the elevators to see if people are trapped inside?
Maps of the building with all mechanical and electrical systems clearly marked should be maintained and updated periodically. Proactive measures may include boarding up windows; filling and placing sandbags and other barriers around the building, laying in a supply of emergency fuel and water and checking the batteries in fire alarm systems and flashlights.
The building’s HVAC system must remain running so that if there is water intrusion, the system can dehumidify the air; slowing the growth of any mold. The heating system should remain operational; to keep the pipes from freezing.
Snow and debris should be kept away from the building, to lessen the potential for damage and to allow for emergency vehicle access.
It is imperative to have an emergency communication system. Landline and cell phones don’t always work during emergencies, so there needs to be a backup internal and external communication system in place.