Update on the Front Street Fire
Freisenbruch-Meyer is happy to announce we’ve returned to our home office, located at 75 Front Street, and are enjoying serving our clients in our familiar space.
UPDATE: Tuesday, September 6th
After relocating to the Chubb Building for six weeks, all four departments at Freisenbruch-Meyer, including commercial, pensions, life and personal insurance, made the move back to our original home on Front Street.
UPDATE: 9AM Friday, July 22nd
Freisenbruch-Meyer’s building on Front Street sustained some smoke and water damage, as well as damage to the roof. Our partners at Chubb graciously opened their offices on the ground floor of their building to us so business could get back to normal. With their support we were able to serve our first client just 25 hours after the blaze.
UPDATE: 11AM Thursday, July 21st
A large fire broke out at a neighbouring property in the early hours of the morning. The Bermuda Fire & Rescue Service managed to distinguish the blaze and thankfully no one was hurt during the incident. Freisenbruch-Meyer was able to enact our disaster recovery plan and local IT firm ACT was able to swiftly and safely retrieve all client records and data.
Preparing for an emergency
The unexpected can happen at any time.
We encourage clients to think ahead and prepare for any worst case scenarios. In order to do that the first step is to create a disaster recovery plan, which allows you to continue operating smoothly should a fire or other disaster occur.
Some things to consider:
- Does your department present any fire hazards? Make sure you are meeting all fire safety codes, especially when it comes to electrical wiring and technology, and that you are able to comply with all regulations from a fire marshal.
- Where will you move or conduct business should something happen to your property or assets?
- Is there somewhere off-site your team of staff can meet should meet in the event of an emergency?
- How will you minimise interruptions to staff and clients should a disaster strike?
- How will you communicate and keep stakeholders and clients up to date on what’s happening (social media, signs, email, the local press)?
- What can you do to protect online data and records should anything happen to your IT systems unexpectedly?
- Who will be the key personnel contacted immediately following an emergency to help with carrying out the plan? Make a list of all necessary staff or emergency services and have their numbers handy as an easy go-to resource.
- What are the specific recovery tasks that need to be carried out to support your business back on its feet in the immediate aftermath of a disaster?
Updating your clients
When something serious occurs, your clients will want to be the first to receive an update.
They’ll want to know exactly what has happened and how they will be impacted.
- Staff should be properly briefed and informed on how best to answer questions from the public. Receptionists or anyone who is a first point of contact for your business should be given a script and document containing ‘frequently asked questions’ so they can handle all queries consistently and accurately.
- Utilise advertisements, social media, as well as print and online media to educate people on any changes to operating times or location. Make sure to change your business voicemail system and update your website with an official statement.
- Send out necessary updates to clients via e-mail and encourage them to speak with their company representative should they have any questions or concerns. Have an emergency contact list on a USB drive, as well as in print form, just in case your computers are damaged and data is lost.
After a fire
Remember to use caution and check with emergency responders before entering your building after a fire.
Even after a blaze is put out, there may be other potential dangers such as a falling roof, fragile floor boards or even smoke or soot that can potentially cause harm to your health.
At your earliest availability contact your insurance agent. Get their advice on what to do about the immediate needs of your property and its contents. You may be asked to make a list of everything that was damaged in the fire and how much you paid for those items. Keep receipts of any replacement items you buy.
If you don’t own the property get in touch with your landlord to find out what steps will be taken to repair the damage. Find out how long it will take for cleaners and construction workers to restore the building, but note your landlord may not have a definitive answer straight away.