Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.
We've already shared that September is National Preparedness Month and we're already well into the second week.
We wanted to make sure that we took time to dedicate a whole blog post to this year's theme: "Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How." It is so fitting for us to share and is at the core of our business. We want to help you prepare, which is why we are sharing tips on our blog and our social media (click those icons in the top right corner of your screen if you aren't following us already).
The Ready Campaign said it best when they mentioned this on their website, "Take time to learn lifesaving skills − such as CPR and first aid, check your insurance policies and coverage for the hazards you may face, such as flood, earthquakes, and tornadoes. Make sure to consider the costs associated with disasters and save for an emergency. Also, know how to take practical safety steps like shutting off water and gas.
The devastating hurricanes and wildfires of 2017 reminded the nation of the importance of preparing for disasters. Often, we will be the first ones in our communities to take action after a disaster strikes and before first responders arrive, so it is important to prepare in advance to help yourself and your community."
Disasters don't plan ahead but YOU can. How are you getting prepared this month? Let us know!
Plan To Stay In Business
As a business owner or manager, you are a leader in your community and have the opportunity to set an example for your employees, customers, and community to follow. This 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 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 company, its employees, and its infrastructure, and maximizes your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster.
Ready Business asks companies to take three simple steps: plan to stay in business; encourage your people to become Ready and protect your investment.
This year, the Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps, with support from Coalition Members across the nation, including a wide range of businesses and organizations, is focusing NPM on encouraging individuals, families, and businesses to take active steps toward becoming Ready. We must work together as a team to ensure that our families, businesses, neighborhoods, and communities are Ready.
Ready Business, an extension of the Ready Campaign, helps business owners and managers of small and medium-sized businesses prepare their employees, operations and assets in the event of an emergency. The Business section of Ready.gov contains vital information for businesses on how to get started preparing their business and their unique needs during an emergency.
For more information, visit Ready.gov/business where you can learn more. You can also give us a call so we can help create an Emergency Response Plan for your business.
Prepared On a Budget
SERVPRO Industries, Inc. is once again proud to be a member of the National Preparedness Month Coalition and is committed to helping the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in their efforts to promote the importance of preparedness planning.
It is no secret that many families and individuals are looking to cut back on spending. But with the frequency of disasters, both natural and manmade, can you afford not to be prepared? Preparedness doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. September is National Preparedness Month, and we are asking you to help your family and friends prepare for whatever may come. Here are a few tips* on how you can protect those that matter to you without spending a fortune.
Make a Plan. Work with you family and neighbors to make an emergency plan for the types of disasters that affect your area. Make sure everyone in your family understands where to go and what to do in case of an emergency. You can download Family Emergency Plan templates www.ready.gov/make-a-plan
Update Contact Information. Having accurate records for family, friends and neighbors will help you stay in contact and possibly help those in need. Make sure updated contact information is posted in visible places throughout your house and workplace.
Check Your Policy. Review your insurance policy annually and make any necessary changes – renters, too! When a disaster strikes, you want to know that your coverage will get you back on your feet.
Make a Ready List. You may not need all of the items in ready-made preparedness kits. Choose the essentials that fit your needs and budget. Don’t forget to keep supplies at work and in your car. Sample Ready Lists can be found at www.ready.gov/document/family- supply-list
Plan Your Purchases. You can save money by thinking ahead. Don’t buy preparedness items just before a storm when they’re expensive and supplies will be in high demand. Buy items at the end of the season when you can get good deals.
Shop Sales. Shop at sales and used goods stores. Buy preparedness items throughout the year, instead of all at once, and you won’t notice the cost as much.
Make Sure it Keeps. Store water in safe, containers. You don’t need to buy expensive bottled water, just make sure your water containers are disinfected and airtight
Request a Gift. We all get things we don’t need. Suggest preparedness supplies as gifts from your friends and family. It just might save your life.
Trade a Night Out. Trade one night out to fund your 72-hour kit. Taking a family of four to the movies can cost upwards of $80. Just one night staying in could fund your Ready kit.
*The best tip: start now. Take small steps toward preparedness and before you know it, you will be Ready!
Alabama storms can be a leading cause of flooding, especially during the summer months with all of the summer storms that come through. We wanted to share a couple of tips about what to do and what not to do after your home or business is affected by flooding.
What To Do After Flooding
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
- Gather loose items from floors.
What NOT To Do After Flooding
- Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
- Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
- Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
- Don't use television or other household appliances.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
Celebrating Summer with Campfire Safety
Summer is the perfect time to take a break and go camping! We don't know about you but when we go camping, a night around the campfire is mandatory. When we don't have enough time to go camping, we'll even celebrate with an at-home campfire and enjoy some s'mores.
When we talk about campfires though, we have to talk about campfire safety. We'd like to take the time to thank Smokey Bear for compiling so much wonderful advice that we get to share with you.
First, make sure you are familiar with your campground or event area to ensure that you are allowed to build a campfire. You can also see if the area already has fire pits or fire rings for you to use.
Secondly, do not build a campfire in dry conditions.
If a fire pit/ring doesn't already exist (but you are allowed to build a campfire), you will then need to choose a site that is at least 15 feet from tent walls and surrounding plant life (like shrubs or trees). Also keep in mind staying away from "fuel" sources such as logs, decaying leaves or brush.
Lastly, don't forget to keep in mind the direction of the wind to make sure that you keep yourself and the campsite safe.
If you'd like to learn more about campfire safety, click here to read more about it. If you go camping this summer, we'd love to hear about it on our social media. Tag us in your photo on Instagram using our handle @SERVPROofPET so we can see your campfire safety.
July: The Peak Month for Grill Fires
Every year we write a grill safety tips blog in the summer and that is because we know just how important these tips are to ensuring that you and your family are safe.
We're sharing these tips from the National Fire Protection Association. They put it best by saying that you want your summer barbecue to be memorable for the right reasons.
Before you use your grill:
- Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.
- Check the gas (propane) tank hose for the potential (gas) leaks. To do that:
- Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.
- Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose (big enough to see).
- If there are no bubbles, your grill is safe to use.
- If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections, then have your grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
- If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department immediately.
When the grill is on:
- As you are cooking, if you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.
- If the leak stops immediately, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
- If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill.
- There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
- If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
- Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
- There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
- When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
Thanks again to the NFPA for having such great resources for us to share with our followers. Who is ready for some grilling?
Facts About Lightning Fires
Did you know that lightning fires peak in the summer months? It's the beginning of July and summer is in full swing.
We're back on the blog to share some great information from the National Fire Protection Association.
Here are some facts that you may not have known:
- During 2007-2011, U.S. local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 22,600 fires per year that were started by lightning. These fires caused an average of nine civilian deaths, 53 civilian injuries, and $451 million in direct property damage per year.
- Only 19% of reported lightning fires occurred in homes, but these accounted for 86% of the associated lightning fire civilian deaths, 76% of the associated injuries and 68% of the direct property damage.
- Almost two-thirds of the lightning fires reported to local fire departments were outside vegetation fires.
Fires started by lightning peak in the summer months and in the late afternoon and early evening.
Stay safe this summer but if disaster strikes your home or business, we're here to help 24/7.
Alabama Summer Storms & Flooding
Alabama summer storms will happen whether you're in Phenix City, Eufaula or Tuskegee. We're here to remind you that we're the number to call when your home or business is affected by flooding from storm damage.
Do you know what to do in the case that this disaster happens to you? Before we get into a short checklist, save our number in your phone so you can easily give us a call if you find yourself in this situation because we are here to help. You can reach us at (334) 298-8252.
First, call your insurance agent.
Second, be careful entering your home. Water damage can seriously damage the structure of your home and we want to make sure that you are safe. Once you are inside, move around carefully and be aware of your surroundings.
Third, document everything. Take photos of your own of everything that is going on. You may also consider beginning to take an inventory of the damaged items.
Fourth, don't use appliances in the affected areas and keep power turned off to those areas of your home until an inspection can be done to ensure it is safe for you to do so.
Last but not least, give us a call quickly so we can quickly mitigate your loss and clean it up to reduce the potential for mold damage.
Here's to enjoying our summer! If you have any fun plans, we'd love to hear about them on our social media. Have a great week.
Warning Signs of Mold
It can be difficult to spot mold in the beginning stages when you have an untrained eye. Mold also loves to hide behind walls or underneath sinks and other places that aren't so easy to notice. That's why you can trust us to come and inspect your home. If mold is found, we have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle the situation. However, we want to share a few things so you know when to give us a call.
First and foremost, visible mold. However, in the beginning stages when it is still a small area, it can be mistaken for dirt or soot. If you are concerned, don't hesitate to give us a call 24/7.
Secondly, be on high alert if you have had water issues in your home, whether that is just a small leak or minor flooding. Again, beware of small leaks as mold can grow in as little as 48-72 hours.
Lastly, beware of the health issues that can be associated with major mold infestations. If you have a similar feeling to being affected by "allergies" when you are at your home but feel better when you are out then your home could be being affected by mold. There are also more severe issues that can be the result of toxic symptoms of mold. We share this not to scare you but to make sure you know what to look out for.
Remember, the best way to know if you have mold in your home is to give the professionals a call and let us assess your property!
Mold at Your Business
Besides causing a major business interruption, a mold problem can present a serious health risk for people exposed at your commercial property.
Mold infestations can be caused by minor water intrusions, like a slow roof leak or loose plumbing fitting. The list could go on and on because it can be caused by a number of different things. We know that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. We are ready to respond quickly and manage the situation if you suspect that your Phenix City, Eufaula or Tuskegee business may have a mold problem. A fast response can also lessen the damage, limit further damage, and reduce costs.
We have the training and expertise to safely handle any mold situation. Give us a call anytime. We're here for you 24/7.