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Effective Disaster Planning Tips

What would you do if disaster struck your building?  Are you prepared? Facility, property, operations and maintenance professionals know that in property management, it’s a matter of when, not if, things happen. When fire, water, mold or bio-recovery damage affects your property from natural or man-made sources, your residents look to you to make decisions. How can you prepare?

  • Have a plan.  If you have an Emergency Action Plan, update it annually.  If you don’t, get started!
  • Communication is key.  Staff and residents should be familiar with your emergency plan.  Distribute the information frequently through newsletters, meetings, e-mails, and the management company website.
  • Make sure you have an alert system in place to reach people during all hours of the day or night, including loud speakers, strobes, automated messages, and phone and e-mails alerts.  Regularly update your contact list with multiple methods of contacting each person so you are able to reach everyone quickly.
  • Test fire extinguishers and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly.
  • Know the locations of your emergency shut-offs for electricity, water, and your sprinkler system, as well as the zones each cover, to alert your first responders when they arrive.
  • Hold an elevator-free Evacuation Plan meeting with residents.  Practice the plan at least every six months.
  • Designate a floor monitor for each floor.  It is the responsibility of this person to make sure everyone on his or her floor is aware of emergencies.
  • Test your vendors in advance.  Make sure they truly deliver 24/7/365 service and their response is immediate as promised.

While we hope you will never experience a disaster, it is vital to be prepared when disaster strikes.  Remember that ServiceMaster is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to quickly and completely restore your property. Looking for assistance putting your Emergency Action Plan together?  We can help!  For more information about how, contact Amanda at