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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

College Water Damage Preparedness and Education

By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff

Every learning institution has the responsibility to prepare for an emergency, including water damage. Preparedness calls for planning on how the school will respond when a sudden leak or flooding happens. It also involves working to gather the necessary resources for a timely and effective emergency response.

While no college, no matter how well-run or funded, can prevent a natural disaster like massive floods, it is possible to prevent most causes of internal water damage. It is just a matter of being aware of the warning signs and conducting regular building maintenance to detect potential hazards early enough to fix them.

Regardless of the cause of water damage in a college, every member of the staff should know what to do when such an incident occurs based on the school's protocols and, during floods, based on community-based plans. These protocols and emergency plans should be laid out in advance in cooperation with public health officials and emergency responders, including water damage experts.

The basic elements of emergency response plans include:

  • Emergency Response Team
  • Organizational Chart
  • Operations
  • Communications
  • Evacuation
  • Transportation
  • Emergency Care
  • Alternative Facilities

A good preparedness plan does the following:

  • Identifies any existing emergency plans of the school
  • Identifies the stakeholders who will be part of the emergency response team
  • Establishes actions for communicating with college staff and students as well as families and the public
  • Develops procedures to efficiently account for every student during an emergency
  • Collects information about campus facilities, such as the location of water valves if they need to be shut off
  • Identifies all the tools and equipment that will be needed by staff during a crisis

All state and local colleges are strongly advised to have a plan on managing all types of water-related emergencies. Advanced planning will not only reduce property damage, it can also prevent bodily injuries and even save lives. After developing a plan, ensure that it is reviewed, practiced and updated.

Recommended Reading
Consequences of Water Damage in Colleges
College Water Damage Recovery

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