3 Disaster Recovery Must Haves You Didn''t Know You Needed
On average, the number of disasters that occur each year rises about 7.4%. (Studies also show that the number of billion-dollar disasters are rising.) On top of that, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) states that 40% of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) never reopen after being hit by a natural disaster — plus an additional 25% reopen but tend to fail in less than 12 months. In other words, almost two-thirds of businesses affected by natural disasters like fire, flood, hurricane, tornado or earthquake no longer exist a year later.
The insights on disaster recovery are daunting, which makes planning for the inevitable seem like even more of an uphill battle. After all, it typically requires the coordination of multiple teams and equipment in order to truly be effective. To ensure that your business survives, it's time to think outside the box when it comes to planning, and incorporate base camps, mobile lodging and an expert team — three critical pieces for thriving through disaster recovery.
Here is a full rundown for planning your base camp, mobile lodging and choosing the right expertise for a successful operation — your outcomes will thank you (if they could) when all is well and running safer, faster and better than before.
Base Camps: The Make or Break of Your Recovery
Base camps make relief efforts much easier to manage. When you’re responding to a crisis, base camps will make sure you have the resources to run your business or agency effectively. They offer security, space for equipment and employees, as well as mobile facility options that can keep everyone safe and boost productivity.
More ways base camps prove to be crucial for recovery efforts:
- Deployable Base Camps are Environmentally Responsible. Because the structures used to create your base camp are reusable, they represent a minimal strain on already stressed areas.
- Base Camps Provide Privacy. By giving your employees privacy, you can easily boost morale among your workers while giving them a little home away from home during their recovery work efforts.
Ample Amenities are at Your Fingertips. Lighting, climate-control systems, potable water and power generation are among some of the most commonly requested amenities for base camps designed for disaster relief workers.
Planning for Your Base Camp
After a disaster, it’s easy for chaos to take over. However, it’s important that you organize your disaster relief base camps properly for effective relief efforts. Your base camps provide a space for logistics and planning, but more importantly, they also house necessary resources for disaster relief personnel. Responders will need food, water, rest, and shelter to adequately take care of their own needs and aid the needs of disaster victims.
1. When Do You Need to Set Up?
Generally, if relief efforts last longer than 12 hours, your responders will need access to basic amenities and provisions. Therefore, you will likely need to set up disaster relief base camps for your responders. Establish disaster relief base camps in a safe area near the scene of the incident that can easily have access to supplies. Therefore, ensuring that your camp is located near an accessible road, if possible, to facilitate supply deliveries.
2. When to Conduct Shift Changes?
Once you have your emergency base camp ready, consider how to manage your relief workers’ shifts. Shifts should last for a maximum of 12 hours, at which time you should conduct a shift change. This way, your personnel can take care of their own needs, such as eating and sleeping. After 12 hours, disaster personnel will need to rest in their mobile sleeper trailers to recover from the day. The best time to change shifts is generally during the daytime since it makes it easier for on-coming shift workers to identify hazards. (Plus, daylight will make transportation safer.)
3. What Base Camp Supplies and Structures Would You Need?
To adequately provide for your responders, you should have food, water, and sleeping arrangements on your base camp. Additionally, full-service restrooms, showers and laundry trailers will help your workforce maintain their hygiene — and their sanity. Be sure that your plans include disaster relief mobile sleeper trailers for your responders to rest in and structures for food preparation as well as service. This way, your relief workers can care for their needs so that they can easily continue to help disaster victims more effectively.
Also, you may need to add a medical area for your base camp. What many incident commanders don’t realize is that EMS responders aiding victims often can’t be diverted to treat relief personnel. Therefore, if you notice multiple medical issues among your personnel, you may need to include a medical tent or trailer to properly care for their injuries.
Mobile Lodging: Creating Comfort During Uncomfortable Situations
Mobile lodging is also a key part of disaster recovery operations thanks to it providing much-needed comfort and safety for all members of your team. Keep your workforce focused on the job without having to worry about where they will sleep at night; this makes them more productive and more likely to deliver excellent results in any environment that they find themselves in.
A mobile lodging facility gives you privacy and comfort for your workforce. You can set up a designated area that's exclusively for employees, which is important if they're working long hours in the aftermath of a disaster. This also allows them to have their own space where they can relax after work is over, instead of being expected to sleep on-site in an unsecured location or at home that may be especially far away from worksites.
Additionally, having electrical plugs per bed makes it easier for workers who need power for their mobile devices while they rest. Portable restrooms are another important aspect that gives people full comfortability when staying overnight away from home.
Planning for Mobile Lodging
To start, your latrines or portable restrooms would be best placed 100 yards away and downwind from your sleeper trailers. Given that your command center will operate 24/7 and will likely produce a lot of noise, you should also try to place your command post away from mobile sleeper trailers to promote the best possible sleep quality for your relief workers.
Emergency sleeper trailers should be away from other high-noise areas like roads, generators, work sites, and maintenance areas. Noisy areas can prevent employees from getting adequate sleep, which can affect their ability to perform their duties.
How Many Sleeper Trailers Do You Need?
Finally, it’s time to ask “how many emergency mobile sleeper trailers will you need to accommodate all of your people?” It’s ideal to have different sleeping quarters for different types of workers. For example, there would be varying sleeping quarters for your kitchen workers vs your logistics crew, as their shifts often clash. Housing people on different schedules in the same area can create sleep disruptions and animosity among your disaster relief staff. It is critical that your disaster relief personnel get the rest they need to efficiently aid victims. A lack of sleep can lead to burnout and exhaustion, which affects their mental, emotional, and physical capacity to help those in need.
Therefore, be sure to fully analyze how to set up your base camps and create a layout plan that will promote the most practical and successful disaster relief operations. Even something as small as where you place your emergency mobile sleeper trailers can have a huge impact on your aid efforts.
Expert Team = Expert Outcomes
The best disaster recoveries have a compelling team of experts that can handle unexpected issues or problems. A professional, experienced and skilled team specializing in turnkey solutions, 24/7 assistance, logistical management and everything disaster-recovery related is an invaluable asset to any relief project.
These types of professionals know how to deal with the unexpected so you don't have to worry about it when your operations are at stake.
- Availability and flexibility. A good team will look at situations from all angles and come up with innovative and creative solutions that may not have been previously considered or thought of.
Turn Disaster into Success
With these three disaster recovery essentials, you’ll be able to better create the operational success your relief efforts deserve. Use versatile base camps, productivity-boosting mobile lodging and reliable expertise to reduce the time it takes to get back on track after a disaster. The sooner you implement all three elements into your continuity plan, the better off you'll be when disaster strikes.