Tropical Storm Debby started arriving in Florida the middle of last week and is just now leaving the area. Because the storm lingered so long many localities ranging from central to northern have received between 12 and 24 inches of rain *.
The storm brought numerous tornadoes, localized flooding, wind damage, downed trees, sinkholes and fires placing many assets at risk. For some the worst has yet to arrive as several rivers are experiencing major flooding or near record flooding.
The types of damage municipalities, hotels, amusement parks, hospitals, facilities and the general public face as a result of TS Debby include but are not limited to:
- Power outages
- Fallen trees
- Clogged storm drains
- Rain gutters blocked
- Roof leaks
- Pools filling with dirt and bacteria
- Insects, pests and wildlife seeking refuge
- Interruption of fresh water supplies
- Medical supplies and care being interrupted
- Mold growing in damp walls, in pipes
- Mildew setting in on wet carpets, furnishings, walls
- Wood rot
Get out your Inspections Checklist
No one could have stopped the storm from occurring, but we can take immediate action to minimize the effects of the storm as well as make sure that our homes and all facilities can be back to normal as soon as possible.
The fastest way to recover after Mother Nature says hello is to perform an inspection of all assets. For homes and smaller facilities a simple spreadsheet with a listing of everything to check on may suffice. For larger establishments and organizations an inspections checklist generated from a CMMS works best.
Assets are inspected immediately after a storm for several reasons. The most important reasons are making sure there is no standing water as a result of blockage or leaks, ensuring assets are in working order, double checking on debris damage to roofs, garages, parking areas, parks and power lines/supplies.
Since every facility or home is different, the types of inspections may vary. If an item is found to need attention then a work order can be generated and repairs can be done. Typical inspection items will generally include:
12 Typical Assets for an Inspections Checklist
- Debris including fallen trees, limbs, garbage on roadways and parking areas
- Storm drains and culvert check
- Roofs and storm gutters
- Interior ceilings and walls for water damage and cracks
- Backup Generators
- Standing water
- Electrical systems and anything with a motor
- HVAC units including cooling towers and filters
- Pools, amusement park attractions, parks for debris, broken glass, sand etc.
- Signs of a sinkhole developing
- Water supplies for clarity and contamination
- Outdoor assets for damage
(The same checklist can also be used prior to a storm arriving)
It should be noted that damage does not have to look major to present a risk. For example, electrical fires can be caused by dripping water and standing water will attract pests as well as bacteria.
* Special note for our northern readers. This storm is the equivalent of a major blizzard if you figure one inch of rain equals 10-12 inches of snow.