1-800-SWEEPER Blog

Prepare for Disaster – It Is Coming

Jul 30, 2018

Prepare for Disaster – It Is Coming

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You’re likely aware of the flooding that occurred in Ellicott City, outside of Baltimore, MD, over a weekend at the end of May 2018. Some areas were overcome with as much as 8 inches of rain in just a few hours on a Sunday evening.

Hundreds of people had to be rescued from a rapidly rising river of brown water that rushed through Ellicott City’s historic Main Street. Buildings were toppled cars upended, as the nearby Patapsco River swelled to a record-breaking level.

Rescue personnel examine damage on Main Street after a flash flood rushed through the historic town of Ellicott City, Maryland, on May 27, 2018. (Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo, EPA-EFE)

Likely less familiar than the recent photos and video of the devastation is the fact that a very similar path of destruction ran through Ellicott City in July 2016 – less than 2 years ago.

An article in Stormwater magazine covered that event, which dropped 6.6 inches of rain in three hours on July 30, 2016. That storm and ensuing flood was termed at the time a “1,000-year” event.

Government officials and residents alike are shocked that this same area has been hit twice in less than two years by floods many considered unimaginable. Early reports say this year’s damage to infrastructure is far worse than that caused by the 2016 flooding which caused $32 million in damages.

With hurricanes in Houston and Columbia, South Carolina, New Jersey and Florida still fresh in people minds, as well as wild fires in California, flooding in Wakegan, IL, and volcanic eruption in Hawaii, the question of how to prepare for the next major natural disaster occurs to many of our 1-800-SWEEPER Partners.

1-800-SWEEPER Partner Envirosweep (based in Colorado Springs, CO) responded to clear roads following mudslides triggered by storms in Manitou Springs, CO on July 23, 2018.

Our Partners are among the responders who will need to be ready to assist home owner associations and municipalities in the event of a local or regional disaster.

A recent article may help guide your company to prepare mentally for a disaster – man-made or natural — that requires unusual coordination under the worst conditions. As the article points out – we work in an industry people count on to help them restore their lives back to normal.

You and your people are going through the same problems, but the community is looking to you for help. The only way you will be able to provide any help is to have a solid disaster plan in place.

The article raises many important points and presents questions owners and managers of power sweeping companies should consider.

It also suggests considering not only natural disasters but also encourages business managers and owners to think about man-made places where something could go wrong and completely disrupt business — train yards, airports, military bases, mining operations, factories and power plants.

Creating an in-house disaster plan isn’t meant to scare owners or your employees; rather, it’s a good exercise to go through so you can be as prepared as possible to help your company and the larger community come out the other side of the disaster.