Three Lessons for Maintenance Managers from Hurricane Harvey


MPulse customers along the Gulf Coast have experienced one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history.

It’s every maintenance manager’s nightmare—whether you’re managing facilities, manufacturing sites, office buildings… well, basically if you work for any organization that uses equipment or works in a building (i.e., everyone).

Even if you’re not in the flood zone, Hurricane Harvey shows us why maintenance managers need to be prepared before catastrophe strikes—whether it’s a natural disaster like a hurricane or a man-made one like an oil or chemical spill.

Here’s three lessons from our fellow maintenance managers in the eye of the storm.

Lesson 1: Be Prepared

The time to prepare is now. Take these key steps before disaster strikes…

  • Have an emergency/disaster plan
  • Define the roles and responsibilities of each staff person
  • Create emergency checklists
  • Review safety measures and inspection processes
  • Plan for supply chain and/or transportation disruptions
  • Modify at-risk areas to improve structural resistance
  • Purchase back-ups to utilities like generators, portable pumps, etc.
  • Keep up on preventive maintenance for grounds and landscaping, drains, gutters, etc.
  • Secure loose items outside and make a back-up plan to store them inside when necessary

Lesson 2: Stock Emergency Supplies

Just like an emergency supply kit at home, your workplace needs to have key items on hand. The maintenance team will likely be on the frontline during a crisis, so you need to be prepared with a basic emergency kit that includes…

  • First aid kit
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Water
  • Non-perishable food and can opener
  • Tools to turn off utilities
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone and extra batteries
  • Satellite phone
  • Extra gloves, hand warmers, and blankets
  • NOAA weather radio receiver

Lesson 3: Know What You Have and What You Need to Do

One of the most important things you’ll need in an emergency is information.

Paper records easily become inaccessible (or destroyed) during an emergency. That’s why MPulse customers turn to their CMMS software to…

  • Back up all data to a secure, off-site location
  • Set up secure methods to access data off-site as necessary
  • Maintain a list of equipment and assets
  • Record information about manufacturers, warranties, and insurance policies
  • Keep track of contact information for employees, vendors, emergency response personnel, etc.
  • Support employees on shift during an event

Hurricane Harvey shows us all how proactive planning makes a difference when things go wrong. Don’t wait for a disaster to strike to prepare your maintenance team for a crisis.

What does your organization do to prepare for emergencies and/or disasters? Leave a comment or contact us.