ROCKVILLE, MD -- (Marketwired) -- 06/12/13 -- With severe weather threatening much of the U.S. for the next 24-48 hours, the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) has these tips to help residents prepare:
•Clean gutters and storm drains of leaves and other debris so water can flow freely. •Make sure all gutters drain away from the foundation of the building. •Tie down or store items that could become projectiles during heavy winds. •Fill zip seal plastic bags about 2/3 full with water and place throughout the freezer. The frozen bags can be used to help keep food cold during an electrical outage. •Inspect every area in a building and assess its vulnerability to water. Nothing but furniture and durable equipment should be stored on the floor. •Store important papers and files in a filing cabinet or drawer. •Take photos of each room, save them to a flash drive and print hard copies. This provides a digital inventory of the major contents and what they looked like prior to any damage. •Back up computers and keep the information where it's easily accessible in an evacuation as well as at an offsite location. •Businesses should maintain a moderate stock of emergency supplies, e.g., plastic tarps, wet-pickup vacuums, absorbent wipes and floor squeegees. Rapid response is the key to damage control. Placing tarps over computers, production equipment, file cabinets and other critical components can dramatically reduce the extent of damage. •Charge cell phones, laptops, etc. in case electricity is out for a few days. •Locate all insurance information -- business, health & homeowners policies. •Store water for drinking and washing, etc. •Have flashlights and extra batteries available. •Consider using battery-operated candles instead of traditional wax candles to reduce the likelihood of fire if the electricity goes out.
"Making the proper preparations before the storm hits will help reduce some of the damage and impact residents experience during and after the weather event," said RIA President Samuel Bergman, CR. "RIA members know from experience how important it is to be prepared for the unexpected."
Should residents experience severe damage from the storm, RIA recommends they:
•Notify the insurance company of the loss. •Keep a notebook to track dates and times of conversations with individuals pertaining to the claim. •Save receipts for meals, hotels, toiletries, replacement clothing, prescriptions, etc. •Take photos for future reference and insurance claims. This provides a digital inventory of some contents and damage. •Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. •Not use bleach to disinfect since it is corrosive and can react with other substances. Use household disinfectants. •Know that home and business owners with appropriate insurance coverage may hire any restoration company they choose and are not limited to those suggested by an insurer. •Beware of scammers offering restoration services. Check references and visit the Restoration Industry Association website -- www.restorationindustry.org -- to find a contractor.
For more information, visit the RIA website at www.restorationindustry.org and click on the Consumer link. Additional information is available through the Red Cross mobile app at http://www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps.
The Restoration Industry Association (RIA) is the oldest and largest trade association representing the restoration and reconstruction industry with member firms worldwide. RIA serves and represents the interests of its members by promoting the highest ethical standards; providing education, professional qualification and certification opportunities; positively influencing regulations and governmental actions; and advancing the safety, image, efficiency, and competitiveness of industry members.
More information is available on the RIA website: www.restorationindustry.org.
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Patricia L. Harman
Director of Standards & Communications
Restoration Industry Association
Office: 301-231-6505 ext. 28
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