VDA Elevator Consulting, Post Hurricane Recommendations

September 2, 2021

  • SAFTEY FIRST – secure any elevator that was exposed to water/storm damage by having an authorized person safely disconnect Single Phase and 3 Phase Power until permanent power is restored to avoid. BE AWARE OF ELECTRICAL HAZARDS! Ensure entry is safe (no water, etc.) to electrical disconnects prior to accessing that space
  • Confirm that no one is trapped inside the elevator.
  • If someone is trapped inside the elevator, notify the Fire Department or your Elevator Service Provider IMMEDIATELY.
  • NEVER attempt to remove someone who is trapped inside an elevator.
  • Notify your Elevator Contractor that you Elevator is out of service.
  • ALWAYS Follow proper Electrical Safety Procedures at all times.
  • NEVER enter or look into a damaged Hoistway/Elevator Shaft or Elevator Doorway.
  • Divert water away from elevator Hall door entrances if possible. Elevators are often low points in a lobby. Limiting the amount of water that falls into a hoistway can reduce the damage.
  • Safely examine Elevator Machine Room/Equipment Room for Structural Damage and Water Damage.
  • SAFELY Examine your elevator shaft exterior at each level for damage.
  • SAFELY examine elevator shaft ventilation and louvers.
  • Carefully Barricade any Damaged/Removed Hoistway doors at each landing.
  • Carefully Barricade any Damaged Hoistway Structures at each landing larger than 2 inches in Diameter.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and standing water.
  • SAFELY Determine if elevator pit has water inside it.
  • Contact VDA Elevator Consulting to discuss your current situation and to receive advise.
  • DO NOT return your elevator back to service until your Elevator Contractor/Mechanic has given you Proper Authorization.
  • Activating power prematurely, to a storm damaged elevator, can create extensive damage and result in INJURY/DEATH.
  • Photographs – We cannot emphasize this enough. A client should insist on pictures of any component exposed to water.  Take several photos and videos of all elevators, hoistway damage and water intrusion.
  • Documentation – Record what was happening.  Were all elevators in service? Was passenger traffic-heavy, or were all cars parked in the lobby or above the water intrusion?
  • Have VDA review your on-site conditions as soon as possible.  Don’t wait for days or weeks, as this can make it difficult to determine what components were exposed to water. Time is of the essence.
  • Take Several Pictures of Cab interior while it is still wet, if safely possible.
  • Read everything presented to you by your elevator contractor, CAREFULLY before you sign it.
  • INSIST on itemized Repair Proposal with “Material and Labor” fully detailed, identifying material, hours, and billing rate.
  • NEVER sign an open-ended proposal. Make sure that there is a Maximum on how much the elevator contractor is authorized to spend.
  • Determine how your Elevator Equipment Maintenance Agreement will be affected, because of this Storm Damage.

Remember, when in doubt, call a professional!