Mother Nature is nothing if not unpredictable.
While the Pacific Northwest is primarily known for clouds and showers rather than tornadoes and hurricanes, we’ve also had our fair share of heavy ice or rain, flooding, and damaging winds. Other more serious potential disasters are always a slim but real possibility. As commercial building owners and facility managers, you need to be aware of these dangers, both for the sake of your own home and family, as well as your facility and those who live or work there.
Any sort of unexpected catastrophe can impact the health and welfare of facility tenants and employees, as well as daily operations. Your facility could face some or all of the following:
- Power outages
- Excessive wear on system components that keep buildings running smoothly
- Costly production loss
- Catastrophic mechanical failures
The main thing you need to be concerned with is whether or not your commercial building and staff are prepared to handle this kind of situation?
Common sense preparation
Once the disaster strikes, it’s too late to prepare the best response. It makes more sense to prioritize preparation ahead of time. The following practical tips come from Industry Week, describing what you can do now to better prepare your commercial facility for a natural disaster:
Conduct a risk assessment: Identify potential disasters that could actually pose a threat to your facility and concentrate your planning on those. For example, hurricanes and tornadoes are extremely rare in this area, but heavy rain and ice storms are expected at least a few times a year, and a major earthquake (with accompanying tsunami) is a reasonable possibility. There’s no sense in wasting resources preparing for things that will never happen. Focus instead on events that are likely to cause an interruption to normal business.
Assign emergency response roles: You should formally assign members of the management team and staff specific roles in the event of an emergency. For example, someone needs to be in charge of evacuation procedures, another needs to take responsibility for performing any necessary system shutdowns. Someone else should handle a post-evacuation headcount? In each case, by assigning these roles ahead of time, you can ensure these individuals have the knowledge, tools, and resources they need to fulfill their roles and that they’re willing and able to do so when necessary.
Create a plan: Since panic is one of the greatest enemies of safety, a formal written plan that can be referred to directly in times of emergency is the best way to ensure your plans are carried out effectively. You’ll want the input of assigned staff members and emergency responders, as well as anyone currently responsible for system maintenance or records. It’s important for all building systems and necessary business records be protected without jeopardizing anyone’s safety. Communication and feedback are key, both when preparing for and dealing with a disaster.
Have cleanup and repair arrangements in place: Once the immediate danger is over, every commercial facility in the area is going to be calling the same short list of contractors to arrange repairs and get back up and running. If you have emergency HVAC repair and other key services arranged ahead of time, you’re likely to enjoy a faster and less stressful return to business as usual.
Seattle Emergency HVAC repair services offer peace of mind
The best way to limit or avoid expensive, emergency repairs and downtime is to put in place a regularly scheduled maintenance program that covers all your facility’s major systems.
In some cases, though, routine maintenance can’t fully prevent damage caused by a natural disaster. So, it’s also important to have a contingency plan in place.
As one of Seattle’s leading commercial HVAC and energy service providers, PSR Mechanical has created an industry leading emergency repair program that provides commercial building owners and facility managers with valuable peace of mind in the form of that contingency plan.
In any emergency situation, our technicians’ main goal is fast, efficient, and safe resolution of the situation. They will promptly assess the issue, stop any ongoing issues, and repair the damage, so you can be back up and running as quickly and painlessly as possible.
If you’re located in the Puget Sound area and you’re not currently satisfied with your commercial facility’s emergency HVAC repair plan, contact us to learn more today.