If you have a fire or water emergency, please call us now at (978) 374-8555

To have the optimal experience while using this site, you will need to update your browser. You may want to try one of the following alternatives:

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Flooded School in West Newbury, MA

1/10/2018 (Permalink)

Is Your Business Prepared For A Crisis?

Instead of ringing in 2018 with toasts of prosperity and good health, many business found themselves focused on damage control as record low temperatures hit Massachusetts, causing pipes and sprinkler systems to freeze and burst. Such was the case at a beloved, local elementary school in the overnight hours of a very cold January night when a pipe ruptured in a first floor bathroom sending 30,000 gallons of water rushing, unrestrained, through hallways, classrooms, and ceilings of the Page School in West Newbury, MA. 

When a catastrophe such as this occurs, it’s the level of preparedness, training, proper equipment and a plan of action that can make the difference between an inconvenience and a total loss for your business.

Because Page School had the foresight to work with SERVPRO to complete an ERP (Emergency Readiness Plan), the maintenance team and first responders were able to quickly locate the shut-off valves, stemming the continued flow of water and therefore, minimizing the loss and environmental risk.

An ERP is a simple preparedness program that is completed at no charge to the customer. It provides a digital blueprint of key information such as location of utility shut-offs, property details, building access, and important contacts that may otherwise be floating in a paper file or on a computer hard drive inaccessible to you. A true game changer during any crisis, right on your phone…in a simple, free app.

When our SERVPRO of Haverhill/Newburyport franchise received the call at 1:00 a.m., we were onsite within 30 minutes. The project was assessed, an emergency team was assembled, and mitigation began within 2 hours. No time was wasted in containing necessary areas, extracting water, dehumidifying and drying, disinfecting and removing saturated drywall.

The key to remediation is time…the quicker you start extracting and drying, the less time the water has to saturate and permeate surfaces. Removing drywall above the water line is paramount as mold can start to grow in as little as 3 days. When not correctly managed, it can grow silently, unbeknownst to you, within the drywall as it did at Page School, causing even more problems when it’s eventually discovered.

Disinfecting all areas, from ceiling to floor is also a concern as water can carry bacteria, dirt, and debris, depositing it in areas where you eat, work and play.

The SERVPRO emergency crew worked in shifts until the entire school was cleaned and moisture readings were back to an acceptable level. Although crews still remain there to remediate the mold, the original crisis is a memory.

In a press release issued to the media on January 3, Superintendent Mulqueen sites the timely response of West Newbury’s emergency responders, the District’s facilities team, and SERVPRO as the main factors in minimizing damage to the school. Had mold not been discovered, the school would have been operational in a matter of days.

The moral of this story is preparedness as well as working with trained professionals who make it their job to remain focused and productive during a crisis. You may never need to engage such a system but when & if you do, having a trained response team ready to go will get your life back to working order faster and with less stress.

SERVPRO mitigates thousands of  losses each year. If you are interested in ensuring your business is prepared for the unexpected, call us to learn more about our Emergency Readiness Program (ERP) at 978-374-8555 or 978-356-7077.

Other News

View Recent Posts