Hurricane season has already begun and several named storms have developed in the Atlantic. Caribbean of Gulf of Mexico. For the Atlantic, the season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. On average, there are 12 tropical storms that develop, with an average of six becoming hurricanes, according to the National Weather Service.
Hurricanes can be life threatening as well as cause serious property damage. The National Weather Service lists the following as potential "hurricane hazards."
- Storm Surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm's winds. This hazard is historically the leading cause of hurricane related deaths in the United States. Storm surge and large battering waves can result in large loss of life and cause massive destruction along the coast. Storm surge can travel several miles inland, especially along bays, rivers and estuaries.
- Flooding from heavy rains is the second leading cause of fatalities from land falling tropical cyclones. Widespread torrential rains associated with these storms often cause flooding hundreds of miles inland. This flooding can persist for several days after a storm has dissipated.
- Winds from a hurricane can destroy buildings and manufactured homes. Signs, roofing material and other items left outside can become flying missiles during hurricanes.
- Tornadoes can accompany land falling tropical cyclones. These tornadoes typically occur in rain bands well away from the center of the storm.
- Dangerous waves produced by a tropical cyclone's strong winds can pose a significant hazard to coastal residents and mariners. These waves can cause deadly rip currents, significant beach erosion and damage to structures along the coastline, even when the storm is more than a 1,000 miles offshore.
Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Plan an evacuation route and your emergency plan, take inventory of your property and take steps to protect your home or business.
FireWork safety this summer
With Summer Coming up, celebrate it safely!
Fireworks can be a festive and fun way to celebrate the holidays. In the United States, no holiday is more widely celebrated with the colorful displays of pyrotechnics than the Fourth of July.
However, each year in July, thousands of people - both children and adults - are injured by fireworks while celebrating. According to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission study conducted in 2006, emergency departments treated more than 9,200 firework-related injuries from June 16 to July 16 (2006). Sparklers accounted for one0third of the injuries to children under the age of 5 in the same time period. Children under 15 accounted for 36% of estimated injuries.*
Since a large percentage of the injuries from fireworks are related to illegally made fireworks, the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) encourages consumers to only use legal, approved fireworks. Of course, even then, the fireworks must be used as directed in a safe and responsible manner.
Though a professional fireworks display is the safest wat to enjoy the aerial displays, the National Council on Fireworks Safety suggest the following tips for a fun, safe fireworks display.
• Only use fireworks outdoors.
• Be aware of and obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
• Always have a bucket of water or hose nearby. If conditions are excessively dry, do not use fireworks.
• Alcohol and fireworks are a bad mix!
• Parents should pay special attention to children using sparklers. Sparklers can reach temperatures up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Children should not throw or play games with sparklers.
May Is National Building Safety Month
Building Safety Month is in its 38th year- is an initiative of the International Code Council (ICC) and their 64,000 members across the world, as well as their partners in building construction and design and the safety community. 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 to the ICC website.
The theme for 2018 is Building Codes save Lives with a focus on safer communities over the five weeks in May.
One of the topics highlighted during the third week of the month is Protecting Communities from Disasters.
The general public may not be aware how codes and code officials "improve and protect the places where we live, learn, work, worship, and play," and this month can certain improve that awareness and educate communities on this topic!
Important Tips From The ICC
- If you live in a high wind or hurricane-prone area and do not have tested and code-approved shutters for protection from wind-borne debris, consider temporarily protecting your doors and windows by mounting exterior grade, 7/16' minimum thickness plywood and fastening it into place. Visit www.flash.org for detailed instructions on how to use plywood for emergency board-up.
- Consider building or retrofitting to create a tornado- safe room in your home . Follow ICC/NSSA 500 standard for detailed construction information and to ensure you achieve the highest level of protection for your family.
- In wildfire prone areas, remove fine (dead grass, leaves, etc.) and coarse (dead twigs, branches, etc.) fuels within 30 feet of a building to create a survivable space in case of wildfire. Be sure to remove dry leaf and pine litter from roofs, rain gutters, decks, and walkways. Follow ICC's International Wildland-Urban Interface Code for detailed requirements.
- Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters or on flooded roads. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It takes only six inches of fast-slowing water to sweep you off your feet and two feet of water to move an SUV-sized vehicle.
Improve Your Air Quality, Duct Cleaning Can Help!
The ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, but you can help change that! Inspecting the duct work in your home or facility should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your building or home.
A routine part of SERVPRO of Kaufman County/ Cedar Creek professional service is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help you save money. Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. SERVPRO of Kaufman County/ Cedar Creek professionals will inspect your HVAC system and duct work and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can help save you money and provide peace of mind of the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.
In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke, or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. in these cases, SERVPRO of Kaufman County/ Cedar Creek professionals can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.
If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends they be inspected for proper functioning and be serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.
The SERVPRO Duct Cleaning System is proven to be cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, SERVPRO of Kaufman County/ Cedar Creek professionals use a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.
- The process begins by using patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct's shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
- Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
- Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
- As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
- Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt
For more information on duct cleaning or to schedule an appointment, contact SERVPRO of Kaufman County/ Cedar Creek for a free estimate! (972) 524-3894
Hoarding: A Serious Situation
According to the Mayo clinic, "Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficultly discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of them items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs." Many people with hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem.
Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look at as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, junk mail or packaging.
Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may be spread to outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard.
SERVPRO of Kaufman County/ Cedar Creek encounters hoarding situations several different ways. Often, a SERVPRO of Kaufman County/ Cedar Creek professional is called for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when they arrive on-site. A SERVPRO of Kaufman County/ Cedar Creek professional will communicate with the insurance company regarding their contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried, and stored by SERVPRO of Kaufman County/ Cedar Creek, or relocated to a storage facility so work on the fire or water loss can begin.
Another way SERVPRO of Kaufman County/ Cedar Creek encounters hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, case workers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situations, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance while they clean the job. Sometimes, family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well.
Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO of Kaufman County/ Cedar Creek professionals are here to help make it "Like it never even happened." If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties, or with your insureds, call us today! (972) 524-3894
SERVPRO Of Kaufman County/Cedar Creek wants you to understand the dangers of flooding and helpful facts
Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. It doesn't matter if your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river or even in the desert- there is always potential for flood damage.
Just because you haven't experienced a flood in the past, does not mean you won't in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims pain by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3 billion in annual losses in the United States. Commercial flood claims average more than $75,000.
According the American Red Cross (ARC), whom we are in sponsorship with, floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster. The ARC offers the following safety tips.
- Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around, and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
- If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and water are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
- Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
If a flood does strike your home or business, contact your local SERVPRO of Kaufman Count/Cedar Creek Professionals at (972) 524-3594. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO system is prepared to handle any sized disaster. The sooner work begins, the sooner order can be restored.
When fire and water take control of your life, your local SERVPRO of Kaufman County/Cedar Creek Professionals will help you take it back.
Do You Have A Plan?
How quickly your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire, or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for an emergency. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared for an 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. The following are basic measures business owners and managers can take to begin preparing. A commitment to begin planning today will help support your employees, customers, the community, local economy, and even the country. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival.
Develop a Business Continuity Plan.
your organization's risk needs will vary depending on the specific industry, size, scope and location. Begin by reviewing your business process flow chart, if one exists, to identify operations critical to survival and recovery. Carefully assess your internal and external functions to determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating. You should also establish procedures for succession of management.
Review Insurance Coverage.
Inadequate insurance coverage can lead to major financial loss if your business is damaged, destroyed or simply interrupted for a period of time. Insurance policies vary; check with your agent or provider about things such as physical losses, flood coverage and business interruption. Understand what your policy does and does not cover.
Prepare your Emergency Plan.
Your employees and co-workers are your business' most valuable asset. Communication is central before, during and after a disaster. Include emergency information in newsletters, on your company intranet, in periodic employee e-mails and/or other communication tools.
Practice the Emergency Plan.
Some disasters will require employees to leave the workplace quickly. The ability to evacuate workers, customers and visitors effectively can save lives. If your business operates out of more than one location, establish evacuation procedures for each individual building, an industrial park, or even a small strip mall, it is important to coordinate and practice with other tenants or businesses to avoid confusion and potential gridlock.
Secure Your Facility and Equipment.
Install fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and detectors in appropriate places. Secure all entry and exit points and plan for mail safety. Plan what you will do if your building, plant or store is not usable. Secure valuable equipment.
Improve Cyber Security.
Protecting Your data and information systems may require specialized expertise, but even the smallest business can be better prepared. Use anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date. Don't open e-mails from unknown sources. Use hard-to-guess passwords. Protect your computer from intruders by using firewalls. Back up your computer data and download security protection updates known as patches regularly.
Emergency Ready Program
SERVPRO of Kaufman County/Cedar Creek utilizes the latest technology in order to expedite the mitigation process further increasing our value to our customers. The SERVPRO Ready Plan is a tool for property managers and owners, both residential and commercial. It allows for the creation of an Emergency READY Profile. By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your home or 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 home or business.
Preparation is the key to making it through any sized disaster, whether it is a large fire or area flood, or just a minor water leak. Having an Emergency READY Plan may help minimize the time your business is inactive, and get you back in the building following a disaster.
SERVPRO of Kaufman County/Cedar Creek has restoration experts available 24 hours a day to get your business back up and running. Our expertise includes restoration services for fire and water damage, including electronics restoration and document drying. We are also your business’s best resource for mold mitigation and removal.
Call your local SERVPRO of Kaufman County/Cedar Creek at (972) 524-3894 to help with your Emergency READY Profile, and be “Ready for Whatever Happens” in 2016.
SERVPRO Professional Training
"Like it never even happened."
Since 1969, SERVPRO Franchise professionals have been redefining the cleanup and restoration industry, and that includes award winning training in fire, water, and mold remediation. In 1992, SERVPRO Industries, Inc. opened the National Training Center to better teach its time-tested techniques. In 1995, the SERVPRO System again showed it commitment to having an industry leading training program be dedicating an entire wing of its new Corporate campus to a state-of-the-art National Training Center.
More than 100,000 square feet are dedicated to training at the Corporate campus. This includes the fully furnished two-story “House Fire,” which is put through fire damage situation on a regular basis to allow Franchise Professionals to hone their skills in true to life restoration situations.
SERVPRO Industries, Inc. also recently opened the doors to its “Flood House.” This fully-furnished, six-room structure helps to host the IICRC-approved Applied Structural Drying school, one of only nine such school in the entire country.
With such a solid foundation in extensive, hands-on, innovative training, it’s no wonder SERVPRO franchises around the country are praised time and time again for being heroes in the face of disaster. The next time disaster strikes you, call the professionals with the training to help make it “Like it never even happened."
Understanding Water Types
When your home or business suffers water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup. There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals, and more. Sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster typically causes black water. Trained professionals should always handle black water. When you have water damage, don't leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO of Kaufman County/Cedar Creek! Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.
Damage from Clean Water
- Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electric shock. Do not enter rooms with standing was, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushion to allow more even drying.
- Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
- Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
- Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
Damage from Contaminated Water
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated water.
- Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
- Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility -of spreading contaminted air.
- Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contamination.
- Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.
If you have any further questions and need help with the restoration process please contact SERVPRO of Kaufman County/Cedar Creek at (972) 524-3894. We are here 24/7 to attend to your emergency services. We make disaster "Like it never even happened."