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IN THE WAKE OF DISASTER, BUSINESSES IN HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS CAN MINIMIZE INTERRUPTIONS TO OPERATIONS

 NORWOOD, Mass., March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite careful planning, disasters striking high-rise buildings inevitably result in some business interruption, especially when tenants cannot return immediately to their offices. According to Factory Mutual Engineering and Research (FME&R), the world leader in property loss control, there are preventive measures that help offices restore normal operations as quickly as possible.
 "Topping FME&R's list is the creation of a comprehensive disaster plan," says Ed Pedranti, FME&R's section manager of customer training. "This should be kept in strategic locations outside of the company's main office for retrieval following a disaster. It should contain everything the company needs to keep business moving, including customer and supplier lists with phone numbers and contact names. This allows the company to update its clients directly regarding the situation." Pedranti also recommends the following measures:
 -- Establish a contingency plan for conducting business off-site -- for example, at a nearby hotel, a sister company or subsidiary -- before disaster occurs.
 -- Assess priorities before disaster strikes. What records are critical to the company's operations -- accounts receivable and payable and confidential files, for example -- and how will these be protected? Back-up documents of critical data should be stored outside the office so they can be accessed from the contingency site. This is not a simple undertaking, however. According to FME&R, while most businesses own computers, more than 80 percent of office data is still on paper.
 -- Keep employees well-informed. Office staff should know in advance whom they should contact in the case of emergency for information on where to go and what to do.
 -- Check all safety systems to ensure they are back in service before employees return to the original office.
 -- Assess damage to the office and determine what can be recovered. What seems destroyed may in fact be salvageable. Insurance adjustors and professional restoration services can offer advice in this area.
 -- Consider the emotional impact of the disaster on employees, and make counseling available to those who are hesitant to return to the site of the emergency, or who are otherwise showing signs of stress.
 FME&R operations are directed by three major industrial and commercial property insurers: Allendale Insurance, Johnston, R.I.; Arkwright, Waltham, Mass.; and Protection Mutual Insurance, Park Ridge, Ill.
 -0- 3/3/93
 /CONTACT: Liz Elman, 212-980-9060, or Diane Viera, 617-762-4300, both for FME&R/


CO: Factory Mutual Engineering and Research ST: Massachusetts IN: SU:

AH-GK -- NY077 -- 2627 03/03/93 16:43 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 3, 1993
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