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National Preparedness Month Spotlights the Need for an End-to-End Approach to Disaster Readiness

Disaster Recovery Specialist SERVPRO(R) Urges Business Owners to Conduct a Preparedness Assessment and Create a Disaster Recovery Plan

GALLATIN, TN -- (Marketwired) -- 08/26/14 -- Each September, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sponsors National Preparedness Month to highlight the importance of being prepared for the unexpected. This is good advice for everyone; but for business owners, being prepared to respond to the aftermath of natural or man-made disasters can literally mean the difference between staying in business and closing the doors forever. According to FEMA, up to 40 percent of businesses never reopen following a major disaster; just a couple of inches of water can cause thousands of dollars of damage.

Servpro Industries, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Sue Steen says, "When disaster strikes, you need to be ready to immediately assess the situation and take the first critical steps to protect your employees and property from further damage. The key is having a plan in place before you need it. You can afford to take time now to gather the necessary information and create a recovery plan, but you can't afford that time after a disaster. That's a time for action, not planning."

Preparedness planning tools like the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Program can help business owners know exactly who to call and what to do when disaster strikes. Under this Program, a business owner works with a SERVPRO® disaster recovery specialist to create an Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) for their facility, at no charge. This comprehensive document contains critical information about the business, including emergency contact information, shut-off valve locations and priority areas. Having this information in hand helps business owners and SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals react to an unexpected event quickly and effectively, to help minimize business interruption. And, because disasters are unexpected, there is a Smartphone app and web version of the Program available to provide business owners with access to their ERP 24/7.

Recognizing that the best way to deal with a disaster is to take steps to prevent damage in the first place, SERVPRO® is also a National Sponsor of the American Red Cross Ready Rating Program™. This free, web-based program uses a 123-point self-assessment to help homeowners, business owners, organizations and schools assess their level of preparedness for weather-related or other emergencies in advance. While the Ready Rating Program focuses on disaster readiness, the Emergency READY Program recognizes that, when disaster does strike, fast response is the key to controlling damage and downtime. Together, these two programs provide an end-to-end approach to disaster preparedness.

"When it comes to disaster readiness planning, it just makes sense to take advantage of the tools that are available, especially when they are offered at no charge," said Steen. "The first few minutes after a disaster strikes are often chaotic and very emotional. Minutes lost searching for shut-off valves, fire suppression system controls, or emergency contact numbers can mean further property loss, and worse. With the information in a business's ERP, our experienced technicians can move into action effectively and immediately to help minimize damage and set the business on the road to recovery."

SERVPRO® professionals specialize in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it "Like it never even happened," for both commercial and residential customers. For more information about SERVPRO®, please visit www.servpro.com.

About SERVPRO®
Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO® Franchise System is a national leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO's professional services network of nearly 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar losses. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO® System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.

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