Hamilton, Ohio – August 21, 2009 - Damaging storms have recently affected several areas of Western New York, and the result has been flooded roads, homes, and buildings.

The storms, which started in early August, have continued off and on through the middle of the month. At least one town, North Collins, has been forced to declare a state of emergency because of the downpour.

In Eden-a small community located about 20 miles south of Buffalo-as much as four inches of rain was pouring per hour, causing floods throughout the small city. This resulted in flooding of halls and classrooms in at least one of the Eden Central School System public schools.

Addressing the cleanup challenge, school custodians notified Kaivac Cleaning Systems via the company’s Web site that the school’s Kaivac equipment proved to be an effective way to remove the water. “Out came the machines and we cleaned up the flood in no time,” wrote a school custodian. “Without those machines, we would have [had] a lot more damage than we did.”

According to Angelo Poneris, Customer Service Representative for Valley Janitorial Supply, Hamilton, Ohio, many facilities are caught off guard, not knowing exactly what to do when a flood occurs.

Poneris says, “A little planning can help minimize damage and return facilities back to normal as quickly as possible.”

Some of his suggestions include:
  • Take photos or make a video of the contents of a facility before a flood for verification purposes.
  • Review insurance policies; some policies do not cover flood damage.
  • Store (or have a backup of) important records and accounting information off-site.
  • Have a communication plan so staff will know when and how they can expect to hear from management.
Poneris also suggests that custodial workers have a clean-up plan in place should a flood happen. “In many ways, this school was lucky that their Kaivac equipment proved so effective,” he says. “But you need more than luck to clean up after a flood.”