Disaster Restoration: What to Do When Disaster Happens?

No one is ever truly prepared for a disaster, but with these tips, you’ll be better equipped to face the aftermath.

What is Disaster Restoration?

Disaster restoration returns the property to its original condition after a natural or human-made disaster has damaged it. It typically involves repair work, cleaning, and sometimes even rebuilding. The objective is to restore the property to its pre-disaster state as nearly as possible.

In the case of severe damage, disaster restoration can be a lengthy and expensive process. However, it is often possible to salvage some or all disaster-damaged property. Successful disaster restoration entails proper planning and execution.

How Can Disaster Restoration Help After a Natural Disaster or Other Emergencies?

Natural disasters, like floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes, can cause significant damage to your home or business. If you’ve experienced a disaster, you could feel overburdened by the idea of fixing all the damage. The good news is that the repair process doesn’t have to be done by you alone. Professional disaster restoration companies can help restore your property to its pre-loss condition.

Disaster restoration companies specialize in cleaning up and repairing damage caused by natural disasters and other emergencies. They are knowledgeable and skilled in handling all aspects of the restoration process, from water removal and structural repairs to mold remediation and odor control. After a disaster strikes, contact a disaster restoration company as soon as possible to start restoring your home or business.

What are the Different Types of Disaster Restoration Services?

Disaster restoration companies offer a wide range of services to help you recover from a natural disaster or other emergencies. Some of the most common services include:

Water Damage Restoration Services

Water damage caused by rain, floods, or hurricanes can be highly destructive. If not dealt with quickly, it can lead to secondary damage like mold growth and structural damage. Water damage restoration companies have the training and equipment to remove water quickly and dry out your property. They will also repair any damage caused by the water, such as holes in walls or ceilings, wet carpeting, and damaged flooring.

Smoke and Fire Damage Restoration Services

Fires can significantly damage your house or business, leaving soot, smoke, and a strong odor. Smoke and fire damage restoration companies have the experience and equipment to clean up and repair damage caused by fires. They can also help remove smoke odors from your property.

Flood Damage Restoration Services

Floods can damage your home or business, leaving water, mud, and debris behind. Immediately restoring business properties is vital to minimizing downtime and revenue loss. Flood damage restoration companies can help clean up and repair flood-damaged properties. They will decontaminate and clean the affected areas, repair any damage caused by the flood and remove any potential hazards.

Storm Damage Restoration Services

Whether anticipated or unanticipated, tornadoes and hurricanes cause buildings significant wind and hail damage. Storms can produce wind, water, hail, and uprooted trees that harm structures. At the same time, winter blizzards may damage by fast winds and ice blockages.

Restoration services will clean up any water, mud, and debris left behind by the storm. They will also repair any damage caused by the storm, such as holes in roofs, broken windows, and damaged siding.

Mold Damage and Remediation Services

Mold can increase in moist, damp environments. If mold is multiplying in your home or business, it’s essential to have it removed as soon as possible. Mold damage and remediation companies have the experience and equipment to remove mold from your property safely. They will also repair any damage caused by the mold and take steps to prevent future mold growth.

Steps in Disaster Restoration Services

In every disaster restoration project, there are four main steps to follow to bring the property back to its original state. These steps are:

  1. Emergency services – The first step is stabilizing the property and making it safe. It might include removing debris, shoring up damaged walls, and providing temporary repairs.
  2. Assessment and planning – After stabilizing the property, a complete evaluation will determine the restoration plan. This plan will consider the damage’s extent, the materials that need replacement or repair, and any special considerations.
  3. Restoration – The next step is to carry out the restoration work. It might include repairing or replacing damaged walls, floors, and fixtures and cleaning and restoring contents.
  4. Reconstruction – The final step is to rebuild and restore any parts of the property that were too severely damaged. It might include rebuilding walls, floors, and roofs.

Create Your Own Safety Audit Checklist

Eliminate manual tasks and streamline your operations.

Get started for FREE

What are Some of the Challenges That Restoration Professionals Face After a Major Event Occurs?

After a significant event such as a natural or man-made disaster, the resulting damage can be considerable and far-reaching. There is a possibility of destroyed homes and businesses, washed-away roads and bridges, and downed power lines. In the aftermath of such devastation, restoration professionals work tirelessly to repair the damage and help communities get back on their feet.

However, they may face several challenges that make their job more difficult. For example:

  • Damaged roads or bridges may prevent access to the affected area.
  • There may be widespread damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure, making it difficult to identify priorities and develop an effective restoration plan.
  • Cleaning up hazardous materials and debris can be extremely dangerous.
  • Damaged infrastructure can make restoring power and communications networks a monumental task.
  • Rebuilding homes and other structures is often a slow and complex process.
  • People who have experienced something tragic are often traumatized or displaced, making it hard to give them the assistance they require as things return to normal. 

FAQs about Disaster Restoration

Restoration refers to the process of returning a property to its pre-disaster condition. Meanwhile, rehabilitation refers to repairing the damaged property or structure to make it habitable again but not necessarily to its original condition.

The three types of disasters are natural, man-made, and hybrid disasters.

  • Natural disasters include storms (hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, etc.), floods, and wildfires.
  • Man-made disasters include fires, chemical spills, and power outages.
  • Hybrid disasters are a combination of natural and man-made disasters, such as flash floods caused clearing of forests.

Reconstruction refers to rebuilding a structure or property from the ground up. It’s often necessary when the damage is too extensive for repair. Rehabilitation, however, involves restoring a structure to useable condition, but not necessarily back to its original state.

Disaster mitigation comes before disaster restoration, which is the process of making changes to a property or structure to reduce the risk of damage from a hazard. Mitigation strategies might include retrofitting homes and businesses with stronger roofs and windows to withstand high winds or building levees and sea walls to protect against flooding.

Rob Paredes
Article by
Rob Paredes
Rob Paredes is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. He is a content writer who also does copy for websites, sales pages, and landing pages. Rob worked as a financial advisor, a freelance copywriter, and a Network Engineer for more than a decade before joining SafetyCulture. He got interested in writing because of the influence of his friends; aside from writing, he has an interest in personal finance, dogs, and collecting Allen Iverson cards.