o Stabilize the structure. First, deal with any damage that
cannot wait. Shore up walls, stairways, and roofs that
o Waterproof the structure. Water is a buildings mortal
enemy. An empty building is especially at risk. Put the
building under a secure roof. Make sure gutters and
downspouts are sound and clear. Check flashing and
install chimney caps if needed. Check basement drains
often. Turn off the utilities (water, electricity, gas).
Drain toilets and water pipes.
Close windows, doors, and other openings to keep out rain
and snow. If necessary, sheets of plywood may be
carefully inserted into openings.
(Use screws, not nails,
to minimize damage to original building materials.)
o Keep vermin out. Birds, bats, rats, mice, groundhogs,
squirrels, and skunks are destructive.
Provide thorough ventilation of attic and basement spaces.
Louvered vents can be installed in existing window
openings to keep air flowing through the building.
o Keep an eye on the building. Regular inspection can spot
trouble before it gets out of hand. Install fire or smoke
detectors connected at least to an outside howler alarm
or, preferably, to the base fire station. An intrusion
alarm system is also desirable, even if it only catches a
3.5.2 Emergency Preservation. The requirements
preservation (the roof blows off, a wall collapses,
a fire starts
in the attic, or the first floor floods , etc.) are
those for mothballing. The main difference is that
they have to
be done fast to avoid further damage.
o Waterp roof. If necessary, add a temporary covering
immediately to protect the interior until the roof is
rebuilt, even if it must be a temporary covering of
plastic. Follow the other waterproofing steps under the
Mothballing section of NAVFAC MO-300, such as closing door
and window openings. If there is water damage, be
especially careful to allow for good air circulation.
Turn off the utilities. A gas leak, an electrical short,
or a broken water pipe will make a bad situation worse!
Stabilize. Do whatever needs to be done to protect human
life and to keep the damage from escalating. Shore up
damaged walls, floors, stairs, and chimneys as needed.
Look for evidence of structural damage still waiting to