National Preparedness Month
Every year the month of September is recognized for National Preparedness Month. It is a time where we can focus our attention on the importance of preparing our families, homes, businesses, and communities for an unexpected disaster or emergency that may threaten our lives, property, and homeland. This year’s theme is “Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How”. Take time to look over these helpful tips to better prepare you and your family for an unexpected emergency or disaster.
10 Things You Can Do Right Now To Be Better Prepared:
- 1. Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps, and check your access for emergency alerts
- 2. Create and practice emergency communication plans
- Assemble or update emergency supply kit
- Conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions with family for local hazards
- Participate in local preparedness training or class
- Refresh yourself on lifesaving skills, attend a training class (example: CPR)
- Make digital copies of all important documents
- Make sure you have appropriate insurance for relevant hazards (example: flood insurance)
- Make improvements to reduce potential injury and property damage
- Conduct an exercise to test your emergency plan
- Plan with your neighbors to help each other (example: create a group chat to stay in contact)
Basic Disaster Supplies Kit:
- Water: There should be one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food: At least a three day supply of non-perishable foods
- Battery powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alerts
- First Aid kit
- Extra Batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust Mask to help filter out contaminated air, plastic sheeting, and duct tape to shelter in place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or plier to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Thing to Do Before Leaving for Vacation
Fun in the Sun
Summer is now in full swing! The flowers have all finally bloomed, kids are constantly screaming, and each day is hotter than the last. But the best part about summer is…yup you know it… VACATIONS!!! A period of time where you can get away from work; if only we could take a vacation every week! If you’re like us, we like travel to far destinations, most likely with a beach. Since all the good vacations spots are a good drive from Ohio that leaves your home sitting unoccupied for a while. When we leave our homes to go on vacation, we hope everything will be fine and nothing happens to it, but that isn’t always the case. Follow these tips to prepare your home so you don’t have a disaster ruin your paradise vacation.
- Turn Off the Main Water Supply
When you close the valve on the main supply line, it cuts off water to the house but still allows your outside sprinklers to work. If you do happen to have a leak inside, the line will be under some initial pressure, but it won’t continue to spray water. Shutting off the main water supply takes a little time, but it will save you thousands of dollars in potential damage.
- Check the Sump Pump
Rainwater can be a nightmare. A lot of rainwater can cause your sump pump to back up and eventually fail altogether. If your sump pump fails when you’re gone and a major storm hits, you will be coming home to flooded basement. It’s important to check your sump pump before leaving. Dump a bucket of water in your sump pump to make sure it is working properly; the sump pump will turn on when the water fills it.
- Turn Up the Thermostat—Don’t Turn Off the A/C
If you have a programmable thermostat, set and hold the temperature to have the house at 85 degrees while you’re on vacation, and then the day before you get back, have it go back down to 72 degrees. Even if you have a manual thermostat, it’s still worth it to turn the temperature up while you’re away to avoid wasting energy. Make sure you don’t turn off the air conditioner. It keeps the air circulating so it doesn’t have time to condensate. It is important to keep the house from turning into an oven. When you have a tremendous heat buildup, it can have an effect on certain surfaces in your home.
- Unplug Electronics
If you have any of your televisions, computers, and other electronics plugged directly into the wall rather than into a surge protector, take the plugs out in case a power surge happens while you’re away. You can save money by turning off the surge protector and unplugging electronics. Even if electronics aren’t in use, they are still drawing power to them.
- Light Rooms with Timers
Put timers on in different parts of your home to make your house appear to be occupied. It will be less appealing for burglars. The timers will turn on and off the lights at different times of the day and night, as if someone in the house were flipping a switch.
Summer Storms can Bring Flash Flooding
When we think of summer our thoughts go to sunshine, beaches and lemonade but summer storms can bring heavy rains and flash flooding. These storms can bring several inches or feet of water in a short period of time causing flooding and many dangers. The NSSC (National Sever Storms Laboratory) says that, “floods are the most common and widespread of all weather-related natural disasters and in the U.S., floods kill more people each year than tornadoes, hurricanes and lighting.”
To keep your family safe during a flash flood, follow these guidelines:
- If you live in a flood zone, have a family plan.
- Always be alert of flash flood watches and if it turns into a warning get to high ground immediately.
- Never drive into high water, your vehicle can be carried away or flip over.
- Do not walk into highwaters, only six inches of rushing water can knock you over. Flooding water is also considered sewage because the contaminates it contains.
- Downed power lines can cause the water to be deadly.
When the water recedes, there are some precautions you can take:
- Make sure is it safe to return to the flood zone.
- Check your basement for water damage caused by the flood. Do not enter if there is standing water.
- Inspect structure for damage and any risk of collapsing.
- Check for fire hazards, gas leaks and water damaged electrical circuits.
- Look for cracks or damage to your foundation.
- Ventilate your home by opening windows and doors.
- Dispose of any food that was in the flood.
- Be caution of any animals that may have entered your home.
If your home is damaged by flooding, you will need a professional water damage restoration company to restore your home. Call SERVPRO of N.E. Columbus at 614-888-5700.
Have Fun and Be Safe This Fourth of July
Happy Fourth of July!
With the Fourth of July approaching next week, young and old are excited for their local fireworks displays around Ohio. NFPA reports that an average of 18,500 fires per year are caused by fireworks, these include 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. Property damage, injury and even death are caused by these fires each year. Many of the injuries are children and teens under the age of 15 years old. Keep your family safe by enjoying fireworks presented by your local communities.
Studies show that there is more property damage on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year. Check with your home owner’s insurance company on your coverage relating to fireworks. If you are involved in illegal fireworks you may not be covered. This could be a costly celebration!
If you do have a fire property loss, SERVPRO has professionally trained production teams that can quickly respond to your fire loss. We will send an estimator to your home to evaluate the loss and supply you with an itemized estimate for fire restoration and repairs needed in your home. If your damage is severe, SERVPRO can pack up your contents and store them until your home repairs are completed. SERVPRO will clean all cleanable structure and remove any structure that is not salvageable. Our trained construction department can replace any damaged structure.
Be safe and have fun this Fourth of July!
Call SERVPRO at 614-888-5700 if you experience a fire loss.
Spring is finally here! It’s time to get outside and dig out those grills that have been collecting dust in your garage. Barbeques are fun but it is important to keep your home, family, and guests safe. Every year, about 5,700 grill fires take place due to malfunctioning gas grills, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. These grill fires equal up to an annual average of $37 million in damage, along with 100 injuries and 10 deaths. Don’t let one little mistake ruin your barbeque fun! Follow these tips provided by the National Fire Protection Association to make sure you are safe when grilling.
General grilling tips
- Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.
- Grills should be located well away from the home (at least 10 feet), deck railings, and out from carports and overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets away from the grilling area.
- Keep your grill clean by getting rid of any grease of fat buildup in the trays below the grill.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
Before using your grill
- Check the major connection points between the gas tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, along with where the hose connects to the burners. If any are loose, tighten them.
- Check the propane tank hose for any potential gas leaks. To do that:
- Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.
- Turn on the propane tank. If there is a gas leak, the propane will start to release bubbles around the hose.
- If you don’t see any bubbles, your grill is safe to use.
- If there are bubbles being released around the hose, turn off the tank and check the connections. You then should have your grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
- If the leak doesn’t seem to be stopping, call the fire department immediately!
When your grill is on
- If you are cooking and start to smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.
- If the leak immediately stops, make sure to get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
- If the smell doesn’t seem to be going away, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill.
Fire Damaged Home Restoration
A fire in your home can be devastating causing severe damage to your structure and contents. The restoration process is complex and requires expertise in fire restoration to restore your home to preloss condition. SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus specializes in fire and water damage restoration and have highly trained professional fire restoration technicians and a full construction department to restore your home.
The restoration process will begin when you call SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus for your fire damage:
- Contact SERVPRO 24 Hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Our professional office personnel will schedule an estimator to your home to evaluate your loss and provide you with a detailed estimate.
- If any structure is compromised, we will schedule a crew to board-up or tarp your windows, roof or walls to protect against further damage and protect your home.
- When there is minimal or no structure damage, we will schedule a fire restoration technician to clean the soot from the structure and contents. Some items such as electronics and clothes will be removed and cleaned off site.
- When your fire loss is extensive and involves structure damage, you will not be able to stay in your home during the repairs and restoration. SERVPRO will pack, tag and inventory your contents and store them in our warehouse until your home is restored. Our professionally trained contents specialist will clean and re-box the contents in our warehouse.
- SERVPRO has a variety of cleaning techniques and equipment to restore your belongings to pre-fire loss condition.
- Once the soot is removed, and the demolition of affected structure is completed we will schedule our professional construction team to repair or rebuild the damaged structure.
- Your cleaned contents will be moved back to your home once the construction department has completed the rebuild.
Call SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus at 614-888-5700 with your fire restoration needs.
Commercial Services SERVPRO Offers
SERVPRO is Ready to Assist Your Company with Any Loss
SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus is always ready to assist and you can trust the SERVPRO brand to get your company back in business after any loss. We can minimize the disruption to your clients while delivering professional and superior service. Most people think of SERVPRO when they have a water damage, but we offer many other services.
Services SERVPRO can provide to your business:
- Commercial Water Damage
- Commercial Fire Restoration
- Commercial Mold Remediation
- Commercial Storm and Major Events
- Commercial Duct Cleaning
- Commercial Carpet Cleaning
- Commercial Disaster Recover Team
- Odor Removal
- Bio-Hazard Clean Up
The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike your business. Regardless of your property type or size, we respond quickly to clean your property and manage your restoration project to its completion.
Call SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus should your business need assistance with any type of loss.
Water Damage Safety
Beware! Falling Ceiling
Should you have the unfortunate experience a water damage, safety should be your number one priority. There are many safety issues you need to be aware of to protect your family. Two of the most common safety issues are “slips and falls” and electrical hazards, however, there are others.
- If possible, turn off the water supply to minimize the water damage and safety concerns. Take caution when entering all rooms with wet flooring to prevent injuries from “slips and falls.”
- To prevent being shocked or electrocuted, do not enter a room with deep standing water that may be exposed to electricity.
- If the water is high enough to reach the electrical outlets, have an electrician inspect your wiring to prevent electrical shock.
- Have electrical appliances such as furnaces, freezer, washer and dryers dried and serviced by a qualified repairman if the water has reached their electrical unit.
- If you smell gas, turn off main valve and leave the area. Call the gas company immediately.
- Have gas appliances inspected by a qualified repairman if high water has reached their gas controls.
- Water damage on a second floor can compromise the ceiling below. If you see sagging ceilings do not enter the room.
- Sewer backups can present diseases and bacteria and should never be cleaned without personal protective equipment.
If you have a water damage call SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus at 614-888-5700 to assist.
Types of Flooring SERVPRO Encounters During Water Damages
Floor Drying System
SERVPRO encounters many types of flooring when servicing water damage losses. There are many variables that determine if the flooring can be saved. Since the arrival of laminate flooring in 1977 and the many new options and trends in flooring we are seeing less carpet.
The first factor in determining if SERVPRO can save your floor is if the water source is clean water or black water. Any water that is contaminated such as water from a drain back up, flooding or water damage that has sat for over three days is considered black water. In all these scenarios the flooring would be removed and disposed of.
If the water is clean and the incident has happened in the last several days, these are the determining factors in saving your floor:
- Carpet – Most times carpet can be saved. SERVPRO would extract the water and remove all of the wet pad. Dehumidifiers and air movers would be placed and monitored until the drying is complete. The pad would then be replaced, and the carpet would be re-installed and cleaned.
- Laminate Flooring – When water gets under laminate flooring, it will need removed and replaced with new flooring.
- Wood Floors – SERPVRO uses floor drying mats that can be successful in drying wood floors. The amount of water and the type of wood flooring is an important factor on saving a wood floor.
- Ceramic Tile – The determining factor for saving ceramic tile floors is what is under the floor. If the tile floor is laid over vinyl the floor cannot be saved.
Call SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus and we can assist you with your water loss and determine if your floor can be saved.
Why do I Have Mold in My Home?
Mold is a fact of life, it can be found everywhere. Mold requires several conditions before it can grow. According to Ecolife, “Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores: the spores are invisible to the naked eye and are able to float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when spores land on moist surfaces and find food. “Food” means virtually any organic substance, such as wood, paper, carpet, human food, and insulation.” If you discover a mold issue in your home, you have a moisture problem.
Check your home for the following possible issues:
- Roof leaks – Keep your roof in good repair and check your attic several times a year for moisture.
- Humidity – Hot humid summer day and rainy weather both can cause mold issues.
- Poor ventilation – Enclosed spaces in your home can be areas of poor ventilation. Make sure these areas have proper ventilation.
- Plumbing problems – Common plumbing problems that go unnoticed can also cause mold. Pipe leaks, toilet seals, ice maker hoses, etc. Check these areas often and correct any problems immediately.
- Flooding - If your home is affected by heavy rains, call a professional to properly dry the affected area.
- Foundation Problem – The soil around your home should always be sloped away from your home to prevent water from entering your basement.
If you have a mold issue or have questions regarding mold in your home call SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus and we can send a professional estimator to assist.