Are You PREPARED?
How quickly you company can get back to business after a fire, flood, or storm often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies. Review the following questions to learn if your company is prepared.
Be Informed: Do you know what types of emergencies might affect your company?
Develop a Business Continuity Plan: Do you know which staff, procedures, and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep operating? Are you ready for utility disruptions? Do you have a plan if your building is not accessible? What will you do if your suppliers are impacted?
Prepare Your Emergency Plan: Do you have an plans for evacuation and shelter? Do you have plans for communications with employees before and during? Do you have copies of buildings and site maps with utilities and emergency routes marked? Are any employees trained for medical emergencies?Practice the Emergency Plan: If you have a plan, have your practiced it recently? How often do you review the plan? Do you have to coordinate the plan with other businesses?
Review Insurance coverage: Have you review your insurance coverage recently to see if you're covered in a disaster?
Secure Your Facility and Equipment: Have you conducted a room to room survey to determine what can be strapped down and secured?
Improve Cyber security: Do you regularly install patches to your software? Have you installed a firewall on your computer? Do you update your antivirus software?
Promote Family and Individual Preparedness: Do you encourage employees to have a personal emergency supply kit and a family communication plan?
If you answered "NO" to any of these questions, visit https://www.ready.gov/ and learn how to better prepare your business, employees, and family.
September is National Preparedness Month: Be Ready for Whatever Happens with the SERVPRO ERP
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.
The Science of Drying
Specialty Drying Equipment
Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying? Having the knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water-damaged structure to its preloss condition. SERVPRO technicians are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry approved standards. This helps lower the chances of any secondary damages like mold growth.
Here are the steps we will take to ensure your water damage restoration is handled correctly and efficiently.
- Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
- Measure how much moisture is in wet materials is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
- Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.
What exactly does it mean to help "speed up mother nature"? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material-but only if the air-is drier. The only issue is that nature often takes too long and secondary damage such as mold may occur. SERVPRO has special equipment and tools to help dry hard wood floors, and hard to reach spaces inside walls. We use modern moisture monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process called DryBook to help speed the drying of your home or business. DryBook is a proprietary tool that provides real-time documentation and updates on the drying process. It helps ensure industry drying requirements are met. With DryBook Mobile, you have the ability to know exactly where your property is in the drying process. SERVPRO has the training, equipment and technology to help make your water damage disaster "Like it never even happened."
As summer approaches it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat. Heat affects all people, but is particularly dangerous for the sick, elderly and young. Urban area residents also have a greater chance of being affected than those who live in rural areas due to the heat island effect.
According to the EPA, "the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to temperatures 50-90° F hotter than the air, while shaded or moist surfaces often in more rural settings remain close to air temperatures."
Whether you are in an urban or rural area, there are several things you can do to prepare for an prevent extreme heat from affecting you and your family. If possible stay indoors I the air conditioning. Remember to bring your pets indoors, or have shade and water available for them at all times. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake.
If you must venture outdoors, wear light-colored, and loose-fitted clothing. It is also important to wear sunscreen when outdoors, and follow the instructions for application.
Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which include: heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale and clammy skin, nausea or vomiting, and fainting according to the Center For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC). Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life-threatening. Signs of heat stroke are a high body temperature (103°+), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person somewhere cool. Try to reduce the body temperature with cool, wet clothes or a bath. Do not give the person with heat stroke fluids, and treat the situation as a serious medical emergency. (CDC)
If you live in a humid climate, be aware of the heat index. The heat index factors in the humidity, which can make the temperature feel 15° hotter.
Extreme Heat Safety Tips to Prepare Your Home
- Install window air conditioners snugly, insulate if necessary
- Check air-conditioning ducts for proper ventilation
- Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes). Aluminum foil covered card board can be used to reflect heat back outside.
- Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers, to reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80%.
Extreme Heat is a serious danger. For more information on preparation and prevention, visit https://www.ready.gov/ or https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/index.html
The Mold Mitigation & Remediation Process
When there's a water intrusion, like a roof leak from a storm or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can affect your health and can also cause significant damage to your property. SERVPRO technicians have the training, protective gear, specialized equipment and cleaning products to handle your mold problem.
Call SERVPRO, the mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call. Our customer service will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.
Inspection & Damage Assessment, we will inspect your property for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water which can be hidden from plain view.
Mold Containment, we use various containment procedures that prevent the spread of mold. The contaminated area is isolated with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup.
Air Filtration, equipment captures microscopic mole spores our of the air. Technicians use powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.
Removing Mold & Mold-infested materials, is dependent on the amount of mold growth and the type of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.
Cleaning Contents & Belongings, we clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. A variety of cleaning techniques are used to clean and sanitize your belongings. Technicians will also remove odors and deoderize using fogging equipment.
Restoration, may include removing drywall, subfloors, and other building material depending on the level of mold damage. Restoration may involve minor repairs such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new flooring. Or major renovations if the mold damage is extensive.
SERVPRO of Southern Rockland County is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here too and are proud to be part of this community. We are proud to provide mold remediation services in our community.
Biohazard, Crime Scene, and Vandalism Cleanup
Be Ready, Biohazard, Crime Scene, Vandalism Cleanup and Restoration
Recognized as a leading fire, water, and mold restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO also offers fast and reliable biohazard, vandalism and crime scene cleanup and restoration services.
Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments.
SERVPRO technicians are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA and state and local health regulations.
Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO helps turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices.
Our services cover the following issues:
- Bloodbourne Pathogens: SERVPRO removes and disposes of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substance resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Technicians clean, disinfect, and deodorize the structure.
- Methamphetamine Labs: Many chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs, are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO follows federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.
- Crime Scene Residues: Fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues can be cleaned from surfaces and contents to restore your property.
- Arson and Vandalism: After the fire trucks are gone, your home and belongings likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO has the specialized fire and water damage cleanup and restoration training and experience to quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition. We also have specific training and equipment for odor removal and deep cleaning of upholstery and carpet.
- Sewage Backups: Water from sewer system backups should be considered very dangerous. The water is grossly unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness. Special training and equipment is necessary to safely clean this type of contamination. This water is grossly unsanitary and could cause severe illness or death if ingested, and any contact should be avoided. Sources for category 3 water could include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.
- Black Water Intrusions: This water is grossly unsanitary and could cause severe illness or death if ingested, and any contact should be avoided. Sources for category 3 water could include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.
- May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
- Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup
- Mold Mitigation and Remediation: Mold can produce allergens and irritants and has the potential to cause other health effects. Mold can spread quickly through your home or business in as little as 48 hours. If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property. If mold is found, we have the training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
May is National Building Safety Month
Building Safety Month is an initiative of the International Code Council. Building Safety Month-is an opportunity to educate insurance and commercial property professionals as well as the general public, on "what it takes to create safe, resilient, affordable, and energy efficient homes and buildings," according the ICC website.
The theme for 2017 is Code Officials~Partners in Community Safety and Economic Growth, and highlights managing disasters, specifically natural disasters. Some of the topics and tips shared throughout the month include Disaster Safety and Mitigation, as well as, Fire Safety and Awareness.
Important Tips From The ICC
Disaster Safety & Mitigation
- If you live in a high wind or hurricane prone area and do not have tested and code-approved shutters for protection from windborne debris, consider temporarily protecting your doors and windows by mounting exterior grade plywood. Visit www.flash.org for more info.
- Flooded roads could have a significant damage hidden by floodwaters. Never drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It only take 6 inches of fast flowing water to sweep you off your feet and two feet of moving water to move an SUV-sized vehicle. Want more info visit www.iccsafe.org
Destroy Odors with DEODORIZATION
Deodorization, fire cleanup, water restoration, mold remediation
Even small fires can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke and soot damages in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems.
Other odors that may require deodorization:
- Cigarette Smoke
- Pet Odors
As various material burn, or other problems like mold growth go untreated, the odorous residues and deposits on surfaces are left behind. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors.
We have technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), to handle specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage.
Our services don't cover up the odor with fragrance; we seek out and remove the sources of the odor. Once the source is found, SERVPRO's own proprietary line of cleaning products is used to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies, upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC ducts and more.
Whether it's fire, water, mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, SERVPRO will make it "Like it never even happened."
The Importance of Cleaning Dryer Vents
Fire Cleanup and Restoration
According to FEMA , failure to clean home dryers causes 34% of home dryer fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause injury or death.
To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your home or business, clean your dryer vents on a regular basis.
Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include cleaning the lint filter before and after each load. Also, make sure the outdoor vent flap will open and is not restricted by snow, a bird's nest, or other potential obstacles.
For more information visit https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/clothes_dryers.html
We’ll treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care. If you suffer a fire damage event, please refer to our Fire Damage Tips—Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.
March is RED CROSS Month
American Red Cross And SERVPRO Partnership
Founded in 1881, the American Red Cross is a charitable organization that relies on donations and volunteers to carry out their mission. Whether it is disaster relief, blood donations, military family support, or training and certification in CPR, lifeguarding, first aid and more, the Red Cross is committed to helping those who need it most. The American Red Cross is part of the Global Red Cross Network, the world's largest volunteer network found in 187 countries, according to redcross.org.
Every year, March is declared Red Cross Month by the President of the United States. The American Red Cross celebrates by honoring the "everyday heroes" who support and carry out the mission of the Red Cross by donating, giving blood, taking a class or volunteering.
SERVPRO began a partnership with the American Red Cross in 2013, and became an official Disaster Responder partner in 2016. The Disaster Responder program provides families and individuals immediate support, comfort and assistance when a disaster, such as a house fire happens to them. Disaster responders also help communities prepare for disasters ahead of time by participating in preparedness activities such as the Smoke Alarm Installation Campaign. To learn more about the American Red Cross, or about how you can get involved visit www.redcross.org