Emergency Response Partner

Benefits of a Trusted Partner Already in Place, Before a Disaster Strikes

Category: Article • December 1, 2021

Disaster Strikes!

Perhaps it’s a bad storm or a water pipe bursts. You reach out to someone in the middle of the night, in a panic-state. Someone shows up and makes the water go away, but at what cost? And what did they know about the specific needs of your business BEFORE the call came through at 3 a.m.?

That’s where the benefits of disaster pre-planning with an industry professional really evidence themselves.

Each business has vastly different needs when it comes to disaster recovery. Just about everyone has a plan to get their people out in an emergency, but too few have a well-thought-out plan for how to get the doors back open again as quickly as possible. Knowing what equipment and materials are most vulnerable and most critical to the re-opening of the business is key. We shall examine three very different businesses and their specific needs and desires for what they rate as their “top priorities” when a disaster should strike.

For one business, it may be articles of family business history, of a more personal nature.

For another, it’s the specialty equipment and the ‘stock’, or building-blocks of his products.,

For a third, it’s not just equipment, but large, heavy, immovable equipment that is permanently installed, that must be secured and safeguarded in place.

The only way to gain this knowledge is by getting to know the unique needs of each business.

According to FEMA: The Federal Emergency Management Agency

According to FEMA, 40% of Businesses Never Reopen After Experiencing a Disaster, and another 25% of surviving businesses will shut down within 2 years.


That’s an alarmingly high number.

I recently met with the VP of a well-known regional dry-cleaning company. Her husband is 3rd generation in this family business. This was a 1st meeting for us, and largely social. We had been introduced by a mutual friend. As she welcomed me into the foyer of their primary operating plant, I couldn’t help but notice the large bookshelf filled with old photos, plaques, memorabilia, past awards, and the like. My host noticed that it had caught my eye and began a 1-minute family history lesson about the business and its lineage.

My wife is 7th generation in her family’s business, and so I’m sensitive to the value that such items hold for the legacy & heritage of a business. I shared this with my host, and she could tell that we valued similar things.

In the case of this business, while there are hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in the machinery & equipment that they use every day, that can be replaced. But there are also “priceless” items of family heritage that cannot.

Taking the time to listen and learn from this business owner allowed me to gain a better understanding of what was top of mind to her in the event of a disaster. If she had 5 minutes to grab anything from the building in a crisis moment, the items on that bookshelf would be among her top priority.

And they would be our top priority if we were ever called to the scene during a disaster. Knowledge like this is only gained from observing, listening, asking questions, and building a relationship before a disaster strikes.

Shaking Hands in Commercial Building

The Right People and the Right Equipment for the Job

Another day, I was touring a 150-year-old warehouse that had several tenants. One business caught my interest and I struck up a conversation. This gentleman is a fine-art woodworker. His specialty is “live-edge” tables and shelves.

Think $10,000 coffee tables!

When the discussion turned to what was most “valuable” to him in his operation, two things stood out: his stock of highly prized, very rare, and very pricey raw lumber, and his precision woodworking machine.

Without either, for more than just a short time, he is, effectively, out of business.

The specialty wood is rare, often difficult to source and is also often direct imported from around the world. Not easily or inexpensively replaced.

The woodworking equipment is expensive, and although replaceable, at what cost, and how quickly. Specialty items like these already take time to procure from a manufacturer before the recent supply-chain issues became front of mind to us all.

Between the significant time delays and the potential out-of-pocket costs, he would suffer, his business would not likely survive a disaster if his stock and his specialty equipment didn’t receive priority-one attention.

Dedication and Training Never End

In our last case, a physical therapy and chiropractic center, the items that they would most like to get out of a compromised building in a disaster cannot be easily moved.

They recently installed an on-site X-Ray suite with state-of-the-art equipment. This is a game-changer for their business model, as it allows them to complete the circle of care with their patients. No more sending them somewhere else for x-rays. This saves the Dr.’s and the patients valuable time and money in the proper diagnosis and treatment of hurting bodies.

The challenge here…in a disaster…is that there’s no effective way to quickly remove this sensitive and expensive equipment in a hurry. Moving it during an on-going crisis would likely do more harm than good.

So, what to do in the event of a disaster?

Secure and safeguard in place.

Certain items are best left in place, but with special attention paid to diverting the disaster around or away them. The use of protective plastic coverings and the sealing of doors might mean all the differences in the world in the case of flooding, as an example.

Elegant Restoration Group

Three different businesses. Three very different disaster recovery plans.

As clearly demonstrated, each has specific needs and priorities in the event of a disaster.

For one, in a “legacy” family business, a top priority would be to remove, then safely secure those irreplaceable family heirlooms that tell the family history of the business for generations yet to come.

For another, removing precious raw materials, along with removing, isolating, or securing precision equipment is job one.

For the medical facility, isolating the x-ray room and covering its contents is the order of the day.

To gain the knowledge outlined above, one must start with a conversation: getting to know the individuals, the nature of their business, and what is most important to getting their doors back open while preserving their family and business identity.

At Elegant Restoration, the conversation doesn’t end here, and the process is just beginning!

We not only take the time to get to know you, but to get better acquainted with your building.

We gather vital information about your water and electrical services, tagging and photographing them and their location. We’ll add information about your special equipment, like the x-ray machine mentioned above, as well as critical office equipment and vital records and valuable art.

We accumulate this data and present it to you in a bound Building Report, which you can share with your staff. It’s also presented to you in electronic form which you can access with your smart phone.

We go a step further…

We’ll guide you to install a “24/7” CALLER APP for your phone that will place you into immediate contact with our 24/7/265 Emergency Response Team the moment a disaster strikes.

And we maintain our relationship with you throughout the year, with opportunities for staff educational “lunch & learns” and updates to your building and equipment changes.

And everything outlined above is presented to you for the sum of ZERO dollars. Repeat: there is NO cost to participate in this valuable program.

The Agreement is non-binding, the up-front cost is ZERO, and the value is near priceless!

With us as your trusted partner, like so many of our valued clients, can feel safe & secure in knowing who you are working with in the event of a disaster, not having to search for someone who may respond. Time is of the essence.

Pre-disaster collection of vital documents like building layouts/blueprints, as well as insurance documents equals a faster, more targeted approach to any disaster response, as well as determining if you need to file a claim or not and putting the pieces back together again.

Please reach out to us to learn more about this unique approach to Emergency Restoration and to experience the Benefits of a Trusted Partner Already in Place!