Whether you’re in a wildfire-prone district or one that is annually battling hurricanes, how you as a PRO respond and assist during a state of emergency is often similar and always vital.
Accessible portable sanitation is not merely a luxury in these scenarios, it can be a godsend for exhausted relief workers giving their all to protect lives, the environment, and property.
PROs are always needed during emergencies, so start preparing today. Whatever you do, don’t wait until it’s too late. We reached out to PROs on the frontline of disaster response and assistance, and they gave us some excellent tips.
Preparation Before an Emergency Happens
- Have enough cash available, as a disaster, especially hurricanes that ransack towns and cities, can knock out ATMs and other credit sources.
- Train your staff in responding to emergencies, including clear protocols on what they should do when out in the field, and how to contact you and one another.
- Check equipment regularly to make sure it’s in top condition.
- Make sure you have a supplier that can act fast. You might need to bring in a lot of new units if demand is high. Firefighting camps can require hundreds of units, so you’ll want quick access to a reliable supplier.
- Get yourself on preferred vendors’ lists. For more on this, check out our article here.
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Top Tips During the Response
- With all hands on deck, the going can be tough. Make sure you have a dedicated, hard-working staff. Bump up their pay during the emergency if necessary.
- During wildfires especially, camps can be set up in quite remote areas. Make sure you’re able to provide enough food to feed your workers.
- Have chemical, water, and fuel available for your trucks.
- Service your units more than usual to ensure they don’t drop below expected standards (during intense heat, bacteria can grow much faster in units).
- Have a system for checking in with your employees to make sure they’re safe and sound. Some PROs even move their base camp to the main relief camp during a serious emergency so they’re on the frontline themselves 24/7.
- Check with local authorities and with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to see if there are any requirements for you to operate in a disaster area. They can also tell you which dump sites in the area are operational.
- Once the danger is cleared, treat your staff to time off, bonuses, or a work party to say thanks.
Always remember that your first priority is to assist the greater effort. Making money is secondary. How you respond will dictate how great of an assistance you are. If you’re reliable and put in a tough shift, you’ll be justly appreciated and rewarded by hard-working relief workers. You’ll most likely be called upon again in the future.