Are You Prepared?
When Disaster Strikes
As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don't necessarily have to be.
By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
Don't let it grow!
Fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment. In fact, over 100,000 kinds of fungi have been identified.
Fungi produce some very useful results. Yeast is a type of fungi used in preparing breads, baked goods, and other food products, including some alcoholic beverages. The unique flavor of blue cheese is a result of mold. An edible mushroom is simply a type of fungi, and lifesaving penicillin is a product of mold (Penicillin chrysogenum).
Even though some forms of mold can add value to our lives, other forms can be harmful. Excessive amounts of mold, different types of mold, and/or exposure to molds may present health concerns for some people. If you think you might have a mold problem call us at 630-862-3930.
Intrusion of water into your home or place of business can result in mold growth. Water intrusions can result from storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long-standing leaks and poor humidity control. When water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. Some amount of mold spores are normally present in most environments. If the humidity and moisture levels in a water-damaged environment are not properly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply. Organic materials found inside a building, such as wood, paper, drywall and insulation, provide food sources for mold to flourish. Excessive mold growth can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a health threat. If you think you might have a mold problem, call us and we will make it "Like it never even happened."
Every Second Counts
Every second counts during a fire. Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it's too late to get out. In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing the escape plan.
Mitigation requires quick action. The faster we arrive on site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results - including lower claim costs. When we are called to a fire loss we ensure a fire damage is handled by utilizing the following services.
Structural Cleaning - After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. We will pretest to determine the extent of damage, then use specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces within the structure.
Contents Cleaning - All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized.
Deodorization - We provide specialized services that rid your home of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage.
Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the back flow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.
To prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take, according to The American Red Cross:
* Be sure to completely drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses.
* Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air near the plumbing.
* When the weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
* Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.
Ice dams can be a little-known, but major problem during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still-frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roofs shingles and into the structures interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall.
Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, according to Travellers.com. To spot ice dams inside, “check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of exterior walls of your house. Water stains or moisture may be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the rood membrane.”
Removing an ice dam as soon as it is found is vital to. Helping prevent damage to your property and can be done using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melted.
Dangers of Extreme Cold
According to the National Weather Service, $2.84 million dollars of property damage was caused by extreme cold in 2015.
Even scarier? Fifty-three people died and three were injured due to extreme cold the same year.
It is important to be aware of the effect temperatures can have on you. The two mailconditions to be aware of are frostbite and hypothermia.
Frostbite is caused when your skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Physical symptoms are white or grayish-yellow skin,skin that feels unusually firm, or waxy numbness.
Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature, caused from long exposure to cold weather. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss,slurred speech, and drowsiness. If someone’s body temperature is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit seek medical attention immediately.
To avaid these conditions, stay indoors if possible. If not, dress warm in layers and try to keep dry.
Be Ready With the Help of Technology
Technology can be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters, as well as during or after to stay informed of the situation and in communication with others. From common technology you already use on a day-to-day basis to taking a few extra steps to prepare, the following will help you be ready in the event of an emergency or disaster.
Store Information Online
There are many places to store important information securely online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer free ways to store different types of files, from a Word document to images of important documents. Ready.gov suggests saving an electric version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records, and information on your pets, if necessary.
Follow the News
Stay informed by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels, and local government on Twitter for the most up-to-date information. You can also alert first responders if a rescue is needed through Twitter.
Mark Yourself Safe
The American Red Cross offers a Safe & Well check-in site to list yourself as safe or find family and friends in situations where communication is difficult to establish.
Facebook also has a feature called Safety Check that is activated after natural disasters or a crisis. You will receive a notification from Facebook if you’re located in the affected area at that time.
Get in Touch
Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in your phone and e-mail for communication with family, friends, business contacts and others whom you may need to get in contact with before, during and after a disaster.
Keep a portable charger in your car and home in case of an emergency. You may need to recharge this from time to time, but you can also buy a solar-powered charger as well.
As the weather outside gets frightful and your cozy homes become warm and delightful, the holiday season’s aglow, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. According to climate.gov, on February 12, 2010, there was snow present in all 50 states, including Hawaii! Five years later in 2015, it almost happened again, when every state but Florida experienced snow. While it is generally unlikely for certain states to encounter snow, it is still important to know how to be prepared if winter weather strikes your home, business, or while traveling.
What happens if disaster does strike during the most wonderful time of the year? Easy - Call SERVPRO of Aurora, even if it’s the night before Christmas and we will make it “Like it never even happened.”