Frequently Asked Questions
We have damage. What happens when we call the exclusive emergency hotline?
Our claims expert consults with you to determine what steps need to be taken. Within the agreed timeframe and just a few hours of your call, our team of industry specialists arrives on site. Having assessed the damage, we advise your and your insurer’s representatives on the measures to be taken to prevent consequential damage. We also initiate stabilising mitigation actions. In addition, we provide you and your insurer with a damage report and propose a bespoke recovery programme.
I am insured. Why do I need RED ALERT®?
Insurance helps you transfer the financial risks of material and physical damage, and business interruption. What you need, though, is immediate emergency response, to avoid or reduce downtimes and consequential damage caused e.g. by soot, smoke and water. In fact, under your insurance policy you are responsible for damage limitation, for which you need immediate access to restoration and recovery resources.
However, natural disasters in particular tend to cause bottlenecks, as every business and household is in need of restoration services simultaneously. In a crisis, RED ALERT® clients benefit from a prioritised response and specialist immediate measures with just one call. We also restore, repair and refurbish your buildings, facilities, machinery and electronic systems to get you back in business as quickly as possible.
Do you help us if we’re not a RED ALERT® member?
Any business can call us for assistance and we will join you on site as soon as we can. However, in peak periods when demand is high, e.g. after storms or floodings, RED ALERT® members come first. And delays in emergency response may result in serious consequential damage to technical facilities, buildings and inventories, increasing downtime and business interruption.
Will you have capacity shortage if multiple RED ALERT® customers call for assistance at the same time?
We always keep our RED ALERT® promise. And as the world’s largest disaster management company with over 12,000 employees in 26 countries, we don’t run out of resources to help our members. We quickly move people and equipment to disaster areas to meet RED ALERT® members’ demand. And we limit the number of memberships per region to ensure that we continue to keep our promise.
What do you do on site?
First we assess and mitigate the damage. Our experts know what to do to prevent the damage from getting worse. Taking immediate measures will dramatically reduce consequential damage and related costs, as well as downtime and business interruption. Measures include securing the site, sealing parts of the building, inventory and machinery for protection against soot, dust and water, removing debris, draining off water.
We keep you fully informed and provide you with a proposal for comprehensive and bespoke restoration, covering the restoration of buildings, machinery, electronics and other inventory, as well as leak detection, mould remediation and decontamination services. We’re with you every step of the way.
We can’t promise lower premiums for RED ALERT® members. But we do ensure restoration capacity and priority emergency response. This will drive down costs related to consequential damage and business interruption. And we issue a RED ALERT® certificate as proof that you have a robust business continuity plan in place, which you may present to your insurer or broker when e.g. negotiating renewal.
How does RED ALERT® impact delivery times?
In the aftermath of a fire or a natural catastrophe, your customers are understandably concerned about your capacity to restart production. RED ALERT® helps you minimise production and delivery disruption thanks to priority restoration. Your RED ALERT® Business Continuity Plan Certificate proves to your customers that you are doing all you can to minimise delays and that you are fully committed to keeping your promise under even the most challenging conditions.
Can you also write a business continuity plan for me?
Our strength is remediation and minimising business interruption after damage. With this in mind, we review and complement the business continuity plan of our RED ALERT® clients. We do not write the plans ourselves, but we can recommend independent consultants.
We have a sprinkler system. Why would we need fire damage restoration services?
Fire as well as extinguishing water can be detrimental to your building, machinery and equipment. In addition, there’s an inevitable delay in the activation of sprinkler systems, enough for the fire to cause smoke and contaminate the building. Did you know that a surface of 10,000 m² can be contaminated by just 1.5 kg of burned PVC?
And while sprinkler systems and yard hydrants help reduce the worst impact of fire, the water and increased humidity cause corrosion. If corrosion is not addressed quickly, machines and equipment may ultimately suffer damage beyond repair. Long lead times and the expense of new machines are just two reasons to start restoration as quickly as possible.
There’s no river nearby. Why would we need flood damage restoration services?
You don´t need a river nearby to be exposed to the risk of production disruption due to flooding. Flat roofs collapse under the weight of water and sewers overflow as a result of heavy rainfall. Climate change exacerbates weather extremes like heavy rainfall events, which are becoming ever more frequent. And prolonged droughts result in soil compaction, harming the soil’s capacity to absorb water. As a result, even small rivers can turn into raging torrents.
Bottom line: there are no more safe regions. Climate experts’ expectations that extreme weather events are becoming more volatile and unpredictable are confirmed by our own call-out data.
It takes a while to get a PO number. Will this delay mitigation?
RED ALERT® onboarding is all about preparation. This means we list your suppliers and make sure all the administrative work is in place, prior to any incidents. And thanks to the work authorisation form, we can get started without delay.
What if I just want you to assess the damage?
Sure, that´s part of our offering. In countries where we have offices, the assessment is included in the annual fee. For damage suffered in other countries we only charge travel expenses.
Can I call you for smaller incidents?
Of course you can. In fact, we recommend doing so. Your contract covers any type of damage, irrespective of the extent. Even small incidents can cause costly business interruption and need to be mitigated without delay. Working with you on all your incidents, we increase our understanding of your company and risks, and improve our processes accordingly. And clients report that their claims management processes have become more efficient since they have started using RED ALERT®. That’s how RED ALERT® unburdens your brokers and your in-house risk & insurance teams.
Do you cover sites outside Europe?
Definitely. BELFOR is the global market leader in restoration and emergency management services. With 550+ locations and over 12,500 employees worldwide, we have you covered. Our Major & Complex Loss team gets you back in business on every continent, apart perhaps from Antarctica.
We have an unusual emergency. Can we call you?
Yes. We are confident that we can deal with any challenge that requires our experts and equipment. A big part of our job is to engineer solutions for problems that you haven´t seen before. Challenge us! If we don´t have the answer ourselves, we have a robust network of partners that may well have the solution.
What happens after we’ve signed the contract?
After signing the contract, we initiate your business’ onboarding process. We collate and structure all the data relevant to damage management. In addition, we design a customised process to deal with incidents and embed the process in your organisation. We also can create a digital twin of your facilities using the BELFOR 360° Damage Scan. Particularly after a devastating fire, it will be very hard to determine the original state of the facilities. The digital twin tells all the stakeholders exactly what was there and acts as a crucial reference when restoring your facilities to how they were before the incident.
When did BELFOR introduce its disaster response services?
RED ALERT® was launched in London in the 1980s as a priority service for banks that were targeted by the IRA. The IRA bombings terrorised the City and BELFOR UK was frequently called out after an attack. Suffering substantial losses while closed, the banks were looking for a reliable way to minimise business interruption after an attack. In a time when there was no internet, no cloud storage, and no working remotely, people had to be in the office to work. RED ALERT® helped banks tackle most types of damage, reopen quickly and limit business interruption.