Living in Central Oregon is a dream for many. Four seasons and plenty of sunshine enhance the natural beauty of this region. For both the recreational and leisure led life style, we have a little bit of something for everyone. Although peaceful, our region does not escape the risk of natural disasters from high winds and winter storms, to fires and flooding.
The unexpected disaster can strike any home or business. Handling a disastrous event is stressful, but knowing what to do and who to call can ease the stress. Whether you’re new to the area or a seasoned local, disaster preparedness is essential in protecting your property.
With our dry season in full swing, you might think fire is the most common destructor of property in our area. Truth is, even when fire is the source of destruction that fire is put out by tons of water. Water is the most damaging substance in the indoor environment. All structural materials and personal property, of every description, deteriorate rapidly in the presence of excess moisture. Just a few inches of water on the floor will immediately soak into any porous materials. The humidity can rise to damaging levels within hours. Without immediate response, the problem worsens. The window of opportunity to prevent mold development is within hours of water damage, not days or weeks.
So what is the first thing you should do? The obvious answer is to call your insurance agent. But after that call, what happens? What is the next step to begin recovery for your property? Your next move is to call your local restoration company.
Do your homework ahead of time and find a restoration company that is qualified to work in your home or business. The last thing you want to do is flip through the yellow pages at 3am when disaster strikes. At that point it is difficult to decipher qualifications. When looking for a restoration company, focus on three key elements: expertise, capacity and experience.
Look for a company that has expertise in the services that you would need in the event of a disaster. Do you keep vital records and documents in your home or business? Then a company that has the technology in document restoration is essential. If you have asbestos or hazardous material on the property you would need a company that is licensed to handle that type of substance. Electronics and machinery restoration might be a vital piece to your road to recovery. Make sure you choose a company that is not only full service, but also an expert in their field.
The company must have the capacity to handle a range of losses from a small kitchen fire, to a multiple unit apartment fire, depending on your needs. Ask for references and years of experience. Whether you own a home, industrial warehouse or historical landmark, you need to find a company that fits your needs.
The response and action taken during the first 24 to 48 hours after a disaster are critical. Take a few moments and research a restoration contractor now, before disaster strikes.
Todd Kirkham, BELFOR Property Restoration, Bend, Todd.Kirkham@us.belfor.com. BELFOR is a disaster recovery services and provides 24/7 single-source recovery solutions for any type of disaster. www.belfor.com, 877-232-6524.