Survey: Most Have Emergency Preparedness Plan in Place

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — The news in recent months has been rife with reports of severe weather (Joplin tornado), flooding (East Coast caused by Hurricane Irene), and other catastrophic events (9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington). In light of this, American Laundry News asked its Wire subscribers this month about their emergency preparedness.

Approximately 91% of subscribers polled in this month’s Wire survey said their institution or business has a disaster plan to deal with severe weather, flooding, fire and other catastrophic events.

Some 52% of respondents said they are “extremely prepared” to react to such an event, while another 38.1% said they are “somewhat prepared.” Respondents who are “neither prepared nor unprepared” totaled 9.5%. No respondents said they were “somewhat unprepared” or “extremely unprepared.”

Asked about their operation’s insurance coverage, 66.7% of respondents said they are covered for business interruption, while 61.1% are covered for full replacement/repair of building(s) and equipment. Coverage of contents, including inventory, is in place for 55.6%.

Those taking the survey were asked to describe the most significant “catastrophic event” that has occurred at their laundry and the outcome. Sadly, for one respondent, it involved the death of a worker on the production floor. No details were provided (surveys are anonymous).

Other commonly reported incidents involved equipment failures/breakdowns, plant/equipment fires and power outages. Some examples:

  • “A tunnel washer failed. The laundry used the washer-extractors and extra shifts to continue production until the tunnel washer was repaired. The laundry has its own well and generator.”
  • “Had to close laundry for full 24 hours due to structural problem with floor.”
  • “Contracted services were abruptly stopped with little warning. Our disaster plan was enacted, and we had very little disruption in our daily operation of the hospital.”

While the Wire survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.

Subscribers to Wire e-mails—distributed twice weekly—are invited to take a brief industry survey anonymously online each month. All managers and administrators of institutional/OPL, cooperative, commercial and industrial laundries are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.

To sign up for the Wire, click the “Subscriptions” button at the top right-hand corner of this page and follow the instructions.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.


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