Post-Disaster Restoration: Fire And Water

Post-Disaster Restoration: Fire And Water: What Are The Solutions? A special report that was released after Hurricane Katrina, this report identifies many areas of loss, recovery, and rebuilding that can occur after a disaster, and lists some best practices to follow. These practices can help ensure that no areas of your community are left without basic infrastructure that will be essential to a complete recovery.

Fire restoration is perhaps one of the most difficult challenges for local municipalities to handle. Fire damage often covers an entire community, and there is often very little that can be done to save the buildings and homes of a community. Local and State authorities must also coordinate with homeowners, business owners, tenants, and other key influencers to restore the integrity and functionality of the community after a catastrophe such as a fire or flood. Fire and water restoration professionals may be able to help you establish a realistic timeline for the process and to implement recovery measures that are necessary for the long-term health and safety of all residents and businesses.

When a fire occurs, the immediate first step is often the emergency response. Many communities experience flooding, and water restoration professionals can assist in establishing safe infrastructure throughout affected communities. They can also help provide for the nutritional needs of pets, the elderly, and children. These professionals can also work in coordination with local law enforcement and other government agencies to mitigate the threat and dangers of floodwater and the associated damage to public and private assets. Once the fire has been contained, fire restoration professionals can assist in drying out the building and property, which may require asbestos removal and structural steel building analysis.

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Flooding can impact the structure of buildings and infrastructure in a number of ways, from the structural integrity of the building itself, to the potential for additional water damage and mold growth after the water recedes. As the water recedes, so may the potentially harmful mold spores, and it may take a few days or longer for them to dissipate and be cleaned up. The most hazardous forms of mold, however, may remain behind, posing serious health threats to occupants and to anyone who comes into contact with contaminated surfaces, such as in basements, crawlspaces, and showers and toilets. Fire restoration professionals can advise on the safest and most effective routes for occupants to exit buildings in flood-prone areas, as well as the best accessible routes to prevent exposure to mold spores.

When flood waters recede, clean-up efforts will need to continue to ensure safety and to ensure the health and safety of displaced residents. Depending on the type of flood and the duration of flooding, these post-disaster activities can range from minimal to extensive. Clean-up efforts can include removing debris, securing damaged floors and carpeting, repairing affected appliances, and cleaning bathrooms and showers. For smaller water-related disasters, such as those that occur in a home following a flood, homeowners can help themselves by devoting certain rooms to storage, and turning off electrical power to the dwelling. Following a disaster in which sewage backup is a contributing factor, the property owner may choose to donate water-damaged property to a nearby charity.

The scope and severity of a disaster dictate what kinds of post-disaster activities will be required. Water cleanup may require the presence of fire restoration professionals, who can assess the fire hazards and ensure adequate precautions are taken to protect residents. Additionally, materials removal and clean-up will likely need to continue for a period of time, especially if sewage backup is a concern. Some post-disaster activities may also require the assistance of contractors, volunteers, and cadavers. The extent and nature of each incident are largely dependent upon the type and extent of damage, the duration of flooding, and the level of public concern following a disaster.

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