Be sure to have a plan if disaster strikes

August 26, 2013

NEWBERRY — National Preparedness Month, sponsored each September by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, focuses attention on the steps home and business owners can and should take to be ready to respond to emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters.

As a national sponsor of the American Red Cross Ready Rating Program and the originator of SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Program, SERVPRO can offer home and business owners guidance on a two-step approach to disaster planning and recovery, encompassing both readiness and recovery planning.

“SERVPRO professionals know a lot about disaster cleanup,” said Rick Isaacson, executive vice president of Servpro Industries Inc. “And one of the most important things we know is that it’s better to take steps to prevent or minimize damage from an unexpected weather event or other disaster than it is to try to clean up after it. That’s why we emphasize the importance of readiness to our clients through SERVPRO’s ‘Emergency READY Program.’ Being ‘READY’ can make the difference between moving back into your home or losing it – or staying in business or closing the doors forever.”

Step 1 — Readiness Planning

The American Red Cross Ready Rating program is designed to help home and business owners assess their level of preparedness for weather-related or other emergencies in advance. This free, web-based program, available at, walks businesses, organizations and schools through a 123-point self-assessment of their establishment’s level of preparedness for weather-related or other emergencies, and then offers tips and best practices to help improve readiness.

Step 2 — Recovery Planning

Through SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Program, local schools, businesses and other establishments can arrange for a local SERVPRO disaster recovery professional to establish an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for their facility at no charge. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about the business, including emergency contact information, shut-off valve locations and priority areas.

In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by ensuring there is an immediate plan of action already in place for the facility. If disaster strikes and damages the business, the ERP can save both time and money during the recovery period. Smartphone app and web versions of the Emergency READY Program are also available.

Marty Williams of SERVPRO of Eastern South Carolina can be reached at 803-755-9774 or Kimberly Kitchens of SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties can be reached at 803-276-0290 or