What’s Your Plan to Recover from an Unforeseen Disaster Event?

By Joe Holman | Insight Restoration

It’s a typical Minnesota winter, but a polar vortex has dropped down from Canada and the temperatures have been well below zero with high winds.  A main water pipe freezes and bursts causing extensive water damage to your property.  Your venue is going be hosting three very large Corporate Holiday Parties next month.  You get onsite and everyone is looking at you for a plan…

Unfortunately, this is a real-life scenario and I have seen versions of it unfold time and time again.


This is not the time to do an internet search for “disaster restoration near me”.  Those without a plan find themselves in a very scary, very stressful and very lonely situation when all the fingers are pointing in their direction, looking for a solution. Unfortunately, we never know when, where or in what form a disaster will rear its ugly head, but one thing we do know is that it’s not a matter of “if”, it’s more a matter of “when”.  Whether it’s this afternoon or 20 years from now, it’s imperative to have a plan in place to be able to recover quickly, and with as minimal business interruption as possible.

To achieve that, you need to choose and build a pre-event relationship with the right disaster restoration partner for YOUR needs. Someone with one restaurant in Minneapolis is going to have different needs than someone with 30 hotels scattered across three states.  Know what YOUR needs are and then find the best solution for those needs ahead of time.

There are many different companies out there to choose from and they all come in different sizes, and offer different specialties. Treat this like an interview process and ask the right questions: “Have you ever handled a large commercial loss, like a hotel/restaurant/resort before?  Do you have a list of references? Do you have a pre-event emergency program?  What does your after-hours emergency process look like?  Are you a member of Hospitality MN?”


We all say that we’re 24/7, but you’ll find out very quickly who is telling the truth when you call at 3:00am on Christmas Eve!  Set yourself up for success and have a backup plan with more than one partner in case one of them doesn’t answer, or doesn’t have the bandwidth to take care of all their customers during a large weather event.


If their office/warehouse is an unorganized mess, with junky equipment and beat up vehicles, why in the world would you expect them to treat your property any different?  Don’t hesitate to ask for a tour of their office/warehouse.

Most importantly, look for a partner that has a pre-event emergency program.  These are tools designed to help you recover quickly and minimize business interruption.  A disaster recovery program can be the difference of receiving priority response or being put on a waiting list.

So…NOW what is your plan to recover from an unforeseen disaster event?

Joe Holman | Insight Restoration | Insight Restoration is an Allied Member of Hospitality Minnesota, and co-chair of the Hospitality Minnesota Allied Network. 

Small Business Administration: Additional Tools for Disaster Planning and Recovery

For businesses impacted by declared disasters, the Small Business Administration can be a source of funding to help with recovery. Including this information as part of any pre-event emergency planning you do with a restoration partner can help you act faster in the wake of an unanticipated event. Check out the Small Business Administration’s Disaster Assistance page for more information.

Photo credits: Photo by Stormseeker on Unsplash (landing page) and Insight Restoration (article).

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