Facility Dude

How a CMMS can help with earthquake preparedness

By FacilityDude
Mar 19, 2014

Facilities Management

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The importance of earthquake preparedness While many people are preparing for National Flood Awareness Week, Southern California is recovering from the end of a different kind of drought. A 4.4-magnitude earthquake shook the Los Angeles Basin on Monday, March 17, potentially marking the end of a year-long dry spell of significant earthquakes in the region. While there have been no major reports of injury or damage, the event should serve as a wake-up call for homeowners and facility maintenance mangers alike.

Surprise disaster

Earthquakes can break foundations, level buildings and swallow up streets. Fortunately, the Los Angeles Times reported no such problems of that scale. Yet, the quake did make itself known across much of Southern California, and the San Fernando Valley especially.

"The location is somewhat surprising." seismologist Egill Hauksson told the news source. It's within the Santa Monica Mountains. We have not seen seismicity in it in recent times," Hauksson said. "It has been dormant for quite some time."

The incident has reminded many people of the importance of emergency preparedness, even without the post-quake prompting of government officials.

"It makes me ask questions," Jennifer Graham, a teacher from Venice, told the LA Times. "Being ready is the intelligent thing to do, but you get so busy, you don't really think about it. This is a good reminder."

CMMS preparedness

Graham's statement is reflective of a lot of people's attitude toward being prepared. We all know it's the right thing to do, but being busy makes it hard to remember. Facility managers likely know exactly what she's talking about.

The tasks involved with running a facility can be seemingly endless, and when the possibility of disaster seems minimal, it's easy to put preparation low on the priority list. In that regard, one of the easiest tasks to leave by the wayside is the record-keeping necessary for filing future insurance claims. However, if you hope to get any financial compensation for damages accrued in the event of the earthquake, you'll need to have the proper paperwork to submit both to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and your insurance provider.

When it comes to keeping records of reports and repairs amid natural disasters, paper trails just won't do. They can be easily damaged or lost. At the very least, they can also be rather disorganized. Computerized maintenance management systems, on the other hand, can be efficient and effective when it comes to tracking labor hours and costs associated with losses and repairs.

Cloud-based software makes it easy to upload work orders and cost reports anywhere within a facility. Once they're submitted digitally, you no longer have to worry about losing them, as they become accessible from any device with Internet access. The ease of entry also means you'll be more likely to actually submit the work, as all it requires is a few pushes of a button.

When it comes time to enter in your work, just remember to be as detailed as possible. With a CMMS such as MaintenanceEdge, that's easily done. If you keep up a regular routine of submitting data, you'll have extensive reports to offer both FEMA and your insurance claims, better ensuring that you get back all the money you deserve.

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