When it comes to severe weather, this year will be one for the record books. The first named Atlantic storm churned into existence before hurricane season started and forecasters predict an unprecedented 16 named systems in 2020. Meanwhile, furious thunderstorms and hailstorms have already aimed winds, property damage and flooding from the Gulf Coast through northern Canada.
Clearly, it’s time to “batten down the hatches” in preparation. For commercial customers, a new free service from Paul Davis completes that process very effectively: personalized Emergency Preparedness Plans (EPPs). Pam de Boer, Continuing Education Director with Paul Davis, answered questions about this service.
What does an EPP do for my property and business?
PdB: With an EPP In place, businesses get faster response when a disaster occurs, minimize the amount of damage and reduce down-time. An EPP makes your business and property much more resilient. Severe weather is becoming more common and frequent. It’s not a question of IF there will be an emergency but WHEN. Every company benefits from advance planning.
What type of information is included in an EPP?
PdB: We collect information specific to your property and operations, such as emergency contacts, preferred trade and supplier partners, specific mechanical room information, locations of shutoff switches and a variety of additional details you will need in an emergency. The plan also includes special instructions pre-loss, such as areas of your property that should be prioritized, preferred response parking areas and preferred access to the property and its structures.
Once the EPP is finished, what happens?
PdB: We send your plan by link or printed copy for your records. We will also email or text your plan to your main point of contact when an emergency occurs. We retain a copy, which enables our team to respond to your emergency faster, more effectively and with more targeted actions.
How will Paul Davis protect my information?
PdB: We partnered with a company called Encircle to build the app that we use for EPP creation. Encircle is a trusted software development partner in the restoration and insurance industries that applies a number of advanced safeguards to protect sensitive information.
How can I get an EPP?
PdB: Contact your local Paul Davis office to schedule EPP development. Our offices have a few options for completing one in this new era of social distancing. You can start one remotely, over the phone or through an online meeting platform, and then finish it in person with our staff (with appropriate social distancing, of course). Or our team can create the plan remotely and send you links to upload photos and documents that complete the plan.
Convince me in a few words why I should contact Paul Davis now for an EPP.
PdB: More than half of small business owners and property managers estimate it would take at least three months to recover from a disaster but three quarters of these do not have a disaster plan. Business interruption and displacement of occupants is often more costly than physical damage so minimizing downtime is important.