Disasters Happen: Plan Ahead
As a business owner you are a leader in your community, and have the opportunity to set an example for your employees, customers, and community to follow.
This year For National Preparedness Month (September), join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types, and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared. "Disasters Happen" and not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities, including businesses of all sizes.
As an employer in your community, having a business continuity plan can help protect your employees, company and its infrastructure. This will maximize your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster. You can do this by taking three simple steps:
- Plan to stay in business-develop a Emergency READY Profile with SERVPRO
- Encourage your employees to become ready-Download the READY Plan APP
- Protect your investment-Plan Ahead
Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile
- No Cost Assessment of your facility
- A concise Profile document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster
- Establishes us as your local SERVPRO restoration provider
- Identification of the line of command for authoring work to begin
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and critical contact information
We must all work together as a team to ensure that our families, businesses, and neighborhoods are ready when disaster strikes. At ready.gov/business companies can find vital information on how to begin preparing and addressing their unique needs during an emergency. Contact SERVPRO to find out more o how to be ready when disaster strikes wit the Emergency READY Profile program and APP.
Mold Found Inside a Wall
Mold Found Inside the Wall
Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both indoors and outdoors.
This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. SERVPRO has specialized mold removal equipment and trained technicians to get the job done right. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic and float along the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any source of water must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your porperty and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today - 1(800)497-7179. Read our Mold Blog to learn more about mold. Visit our Mold Web Page to learn about all our services
Is Your Business READY? Commercial Disaster Prepardeness
September is National Preparedness Month, and it is the perfect opportunity to share the benefits of having a readiness plan in place with your customers, employees and family.
The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you and your business are "Ready for whatever happens." In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility.
Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile:
- The no-cost assessment ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contact information, shut-off valve locations, and priority locations.
- The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or tablet; download the SERVPRO free Ready Plan APP to access this information at any time using your smartphone or tablet.
- Establishes SERVPRO as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. Knowing who to call in advance is key to a quick response and timely mitigation, helping to minimize the amount of time your business is inactive.
Preparation is the key to making it through any disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. No one plans on a disaster, but now you can have a plan in place when it happens.
Smoke Alarms: Life Savers
Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Assoc. (NFPA).
Follow these tips:
- In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met.
- Test Smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other smoke alarms need batteries replaced every year and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms are present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries. (source NFPA)
- In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building is smoke is detected in just one area. (source NFPA)
If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarm, contact your local fire department, electrician or the American Red Cross.
(Source: Restoration Newsline Vol.29, Issue 9)
Preparing For A Flood: Be Flood Smart
Flooding can happen fast. Just because you haven't experienced a flood doesn't mean you won't in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities.
The American Red Cross recommends having the following list of items packed and ready to go in the event of an emergency or evacuation due to flooding.
- Water-3+ day supply; one gallon per day per person
- Food-3+day supply of non-perishable, easy to prepare food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries (all sizes)
- First Aid Kit
- Medications (7 day supply) and medical items (hearing aids, glasses, contacts, syringes, canes)
- Multi-purpose tool, supplies to secure your home
- Personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication lists, deed/lease to home, insurance policies, birth certificates)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Baby supplies, pet supplies
- Extra car and house keys
- Extra clothing for both warm, cold and rainy weather-sturdy footwear
- Insect repellent and sunscreen
- Camera for photos of damage
Quick Tips To Defend Against Mold Growth
Did you know? Prompt mitigation is vital to avoid mold growth, which can be visible in as little as 24 to 48 hours under certain conditions. The faster the water is removed, the less chance of serious damage or excessive mold growth will happen to your building.
Follow these tips to help prevent mold growth in your home or business.
- Keep the humidity between 30 and 60 percent.
- Provide proper drainage away from building foundations.
- Regularly inspect plumbing and appliances for leaks.
- Keep gutters and drains clear of debris.
- Inspect the roof, windows and other areas where water might enter the building and perform necessary maintenance.
- Respond to all water intrusions immediately.
Don't forget to contact SERVPRO for professional water removal and mold mitigation. We are Faster to any size disaster.
It's The Water You Don't See
Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time.
The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a serious problem that will affect your property. Our service technicians have the training and equipment to find and dry unseen water before secondary damage occurs. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage and expense during a fire or water damage event.
When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to work, here are just a few of the tools our technicians use to do their job and restore your property.
Moisture sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.
Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate reading, allowing technicians to monitor the drying process.
Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, technicians can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but also to disinfect and deodorize.
Ultra Low-Volume Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard to reach areas.
Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor causing particles.
These are just a few pieces of the professional grade equipment that each SERVPRO technician is trained to use to help ensure your property is completely restored.
Extreme Heat Safety Tips
Now that summer time is here, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat. Heat affects all people, but mainly the young, elderly and sick. There are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat from affecting you. If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets who may be outdoors or bring them inside. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake. If you must go outdoors, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and be sure to apply sunscreen often. Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which are heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale and clammy skin, nausea or vomiting and fainting. (according to the Center for Disease Control) Heat Exhaustion can lead to Heat Stroke which is life threatening. Signs of Heat Stroke are a high body temperature (103 Degrees or more) rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has Heat Stroke, call 911, and move the person somewhere cool. Reduce the body temperature with cool wet clothes or a bath. Do not give a person with Heat Stroke fluids- treat the situation as a serious medical emergency. For more info visit ready.gov Extreme Heat Tips to Prepare Your Home
- Install window air conditioners snugly, insulate if necessary.
- Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
- Install temporary window reflectors such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard to reflect heat back outdoors.
- Weather strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
- Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers.
- Keep storm windows up all year.
Mold Growth on Wall
6/12/2018 - Future Scheduled Date
From the Ordinary
Fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment. In fact, over 100,000 kinds of fungi have been identified. Yeast is a type of fungi used in preparing baked goods and other food products. The unique flavor of Blue Cheese is a result of mold, and edible mushrooms are a type of fungi. Lifesaving penicillin is also a product of mold (Penicillin-chrysogenum).
Even though some forms of mold can add value to our lives, other forms of mold can be harmful. Excessive amounts of mold, different types of mold, and/or exposure to mold may present health concerns for some people.
To The Unhealthy
Water intrusion events such as storm damage, plumbing leaks or equipment failures, and poor humidity control, in your home or business can result in mold growth. When these water intrusions are not addressed quickly the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. Some amount of mold spores are normally present in most environments. However, if the humidity and moisture levels in a water-damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply into mold colonies. Organic materials found inside a building, such as paper, fabric, drywall, wood, and insulation, provide food sources for mold to flourish. Excessive mold growth can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a health threat.
Health Concerns may arise with excessive mold growth indoors. These concerns will likely arise for people that are considered "at risk", which might include immune suppressed or compromised individuals, young children, the elderly, pregnant women, people with allergies or asthma. However, anyone can experience problems associated with exposure to mold. Possible health effects include: runny nose, sneezing, coughing, aggravation of asthma, sore throat or inflammation of the sinuses.
If there is an ongoing moisture problems in the building/home it is important to be alert for signs of mold growth:
- Presence of visible mold
- Strong musty odors
- Evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold
- Excessive humidity
Help is Here
Sometimes a qualified Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional will be required to inspect and test the building for mold growth and provide reports on the type of mold present. After, the reports are done our SERVPRO Technicians can start the mold mitigation process.
Fire Safety Tips
Fire Escape Plan
Follow these Fire Safety and Prevention Tips
Fire prevention should be your first concern. The next best thing is to make sure everyone in the household knows what to do if there is a fire in the home.
- Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home and test them monthly.
- Know two ways out of every room in your home.
- Create a home fire escape plan, practice it at least twice a year.
- Identify a meeting place outside your home for your family or anyone who lives in the home.
- Don't Wait, Check the Date-Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
- Store matches and Lighters safely, mainly out of the reach of children. Also, make sure you store them in locations where combustion or exposure to flames might be an issue.
- Practice proper cooking safety. Don't leave cooking food unattended, have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen, keep children and pets away from the kitchen while cooking.
- Be careful with all open flames, never leave them unattended.
- Generators should always be used outside the home. Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur when a generator is not working or vented properly.
The key is to reduce risks by practicing fire safety in your home, while there are no guarantees taking these steps will help prevent fires and keep your family safe