How to Prep Your Equipment for a Storm
When you are a screen printer, your equipment is your livelihood. We have officially hit the season of adverse weather, storms, and hurricanes. It is extremely important now more than ever that you prep your shop and equipment for the worst possible situation. So where do you start?
Update Contact Information
One of the lessons learned of many businesses is finding out that you don’t have updated contact information: team members, customers, suppliers, utilities, etc. It's also good to update your local government emergency response contact information.
Physical Building Preparation
Ensure roof drains are clean and no debris is on the roof that could plug a drain. Cover critical computers and servers with plastic in case windows get blown out of you receive roof damage.
Document and Collect
One of the very first things you need to do is document all of your equipment and get your paperwork together. Write down and take pictures of all of your equipment and assets. To make it a little easier on yourself, grab your cell phone and take a video walking through your shop showing your equipment. Grab all of your paperwork (invoices, receipts, maintenance records, proof of assets, etc.) and put them in a safe place that you know they will stay dry. Make digital copies of these documents! If you are evacuating and can take them with you, take them! Without these important documents, it is going to be more difficult to make an insurance claim if you end up needing one.
Unplug what you can!
It is extremely important to unplug anything you can. Tie up your cords to the highest possible place you can. An easy way to do this is to tape them to the top of your equipment. No matter what, don’t let your cords drag on the floor. This will help reduce the amount of potential water damage your equipment is going to face and will reduce the possibility of a power surge. If you can take all of your cords and electronics with you to a safer location, do so. You won’t regret it. Don’t forget to turn off your power distribution panel, it is critical!
Move and Relocate Your Equipment
For a lot of your equipment, you are not going to be able to move it off of the floor. But for your smaller pieces, like your manual presses, move what you can. Even getting your equipment a couple inches off of the direct floor can help reduce the amount of potential water damage. Cinder blocks and or/ 2x4’s is a great way to elevate your equipment. This is extremely important for your flashes, exposure machines, small dryers, etc. If you can relocate it to another location, do so before the storm hits.
Secure What You Couldn’t Move
You are going to want to secure down any equipment that you could not move to a different location, such as your ROQ press. Tie down what you can in order to reduce the possibility of your equipment breaking. Cover the equipment that you have left in the location with tarps to help protect it from water damage BUT make sure that everything is unplugged and turned off. Otherwise, you could create a power surge and start a fire. Creating flood barriers around the equipment will also help to reduce the amount of water damage your equipment faces.
Assess the Damage and Contact Insurance
After the storm is over, you need to assess the damage that was done to your equipment during the storm. Before you start cleaning anything or trying to fix anything, take pictures of the damage. Get the photos of the damage over to your insurance company and schedule an appointment for them to come take a look at your space. Messing with anything before the insurance company sees it creates the risk of the insurance company not giving you the money that your claim deserves.
After your insurance company has assessed the damages, it is time to get help fixing any of your equipment that was damaged. NEVER try to start fixing your equipment until you have talked with one of our ROQ and screen printing professionals. You don’t want to end up making the damages worse than they.
Most importantly, do not turn on your equipment until you have talked to a professional. The storm could have caused damages that you might not realize. Turning on the equipment without knowing the full extent of the problems could put your equipment out of commission for good or could even cause you to get hurt.
If you have any questions regarding protecting your equipment or getting your equipment fixed, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 1-800-314-6390 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. At Ryonet, we really care about our customers. If the storm has affected you head on over to our Ryonet Cares page and fill out the form. We will see what we can do to help. If we can’t help, we will try to connect you with other screen printers that can because screen printers help other screen printers. And always remember, that if you have insurance, we will always work with you on getting your equipment up and running again.