Who Has Your Back?
by Alexander Dahlgren of The Ancon Group
We all know the importance of computer back-ups. Putting them off is an assurance that your hard drive will fail at the worst possible time. You probably have them scheduled to occur automatically, but unfortunately we can’t do the same for our property manuals, and vendor/building trade lists. We have to do these the old fashioned way with research, networking and a telephone.
Recently (I relay this story with his permission) a client called in a serious panic. On a sunday evening, while using the restroom in his wine cellar, he noticed a small drip from the supply line to the toilet. As a transplant surgeon, he knows his way around the tools of his trade and thought “how hard can this be to fix”. He decided that he might simply tighten the nut to stop the drip rather than disturb his house manager who was on the first day of a seven day vacation. All it took was one twist and 18” wrench he was using broke the supply line off in the wall. Imagine turning on a garden hose at full blast and aiming it toward a wall of mahogany cabinetry sitting on a stone floor. He was unable to reach his house manager, so he called me. I was able to retrieve the copy of his house manual on my iPad, let him know where to find the water shut off for that part of the house and avert further disaster. However, the wine cellar is below the Master Suite which meant that until the pipe was capped or repaired, there Master Bath would be out of commission.
Who to call? When we had been contracted to write the household manual two years prior, the emergency plumbing contact was the company that had been a sub-contractor on this then new home. We placed a call on the owner’s behalf, but found that the company was no longer in business. The number disconnected.
Fortunately, since this occurred in Dallas, one of our primary service areas, we were able to get a vetted plumber on the job in about an hour. We also sent the water extraction team and a site manager. All of these individuals have had background checks and a history working with our company which made it possible for us to respond quickly and positively to situations. The last thing you want to do in an emergency is to get on the phone and start hunting around for someone that “come right now!” while hoping for the best.
So what’s the status of your emergency contacts list? Does the Principal or lead staff member have access to your household manual? Is it easy to use, well organized and most of all, up to date?
How current is your back-up?
PO Box 192688
Dallas, TX 75219
Dallas: +1 214 432 6596 Los Angeles: +1 213 291 9558