If you are a trained catastrophe claims adjuster or restoration contractor, you may be summoned to respond to areas affected by natural disasters. These types of unpredictable, dangerous and often catastrophic natural events come in many different forms:
• Severe thunderstorms with torrential rain, wind, or hail
• Lightning strikes
• Hurricanes and tropical storms
Any of these events can hit an area fast and hard, triggering an immediate, massive increase in the demand for your expertise. Here are ten ways you can prepare to respond quickly and work efficiently – even when facing extremely challenging conditions and working in unfamiliar places.
When you receive an assignment, you may be asked “Which states are you licensed in?” That’s why you’ll want to make sure you have an active license in your home state (or Designated Home State), as well as surrounding states or other states where you may be sent to investigate damage claims.
Learn what’s involved with disaster mitigation and restoration. Read articles about this specialized type of work. Talk to contacts in your network to get real-world advice, and ask how to go about getting contract jobs at natural-disaster sites. [You may also want to register ahead of time with disaster-focused government entities, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).]
Decide what items you will need if an assignment takes you out of town. Then pack those in a bag that you can grab at a moment’s notice. Bottled water, prescription medications, dietary supplements, prepackaged snack items, a first-aid kit, an eyeglass repair kit, face masks, a waterproof jacket, extra gloves – whatever is necessary for your personal well-being while you’re on the road.
Staying organized is a big advantage when you are working feverishly in the field. You’ll find it’s helpful to have a system in place for organizing inspection appointments, claim information, forms, photos, etc. This structured approach will help you work more productively while also minimizing mistakes.
Figure out the best ways to communicate with a variety of individuals:
You’ll want to keep everyone informed and updated while you are working in the field. Definitely consider arranging both online and offline communication channels.
When you swing into disaster-response mode, you can’t afford to invest time in your traditional hiring process. Running ads and interviewing prospects yourself will be too impractical. So what can you do? Get acquainted with the folks at a local temporary staffing agency, and let them know what types of temp workers you may be needing on short notice. This sets the stage for a quick response when you suddenly need extra help in the office or at a disaster-affected jobsite.
Natural disasters often happen with no warning. And when one does occur, you may suddenly be bombarded with a bevy of work assignments. So, it pays to be prepared. Following the tips above will help you make sure you can respond to any natural disaster in a fast, professional and successful manner.
Head of Product