PREPARE FOR FLOODS AND STORM DAMAGE
Unfortunately, the likelihood of floods is increasing across the U.S., even in areas that aren’t usually prone to excess water. But the fact remains that if rain is possible, so are floods.
A flood officially occurs when two or more acres, or two or more properties, have been partially or completely inundated with water.
But if you are facing a flood, the last thing you’ll be worried about is the official definition. You’ll be worried about your safety and the safety of your property.
This blog contains helpful flood preparation tips - not to worry, none of them suggest building an ark.
###1. Back-Up Power In an emergency, you should have a generator. It’s impossible to know whether or not a storm or flooding will take out the power – and you don’t want to be left in the dark. The type of generator you need depends on a few different variables.
Don’t forget: water is a conduit for electricity, and after a flood you’ll be facing a lot of excess water. When you know that flooding is imminent, move all your appliances and electrical devices to safer ground.
###2. Risk Level Before flooding is expected, you should become familiar with your property’s risk for floods. Local government and FEMA are good resources for this. A familiarity with flood zones, risk, and causes is the first step of preparation. For Westfield, NJ, and the surrounding areas, start here.
Another smart risk-management tool is a weather radio. Purchase a weather radio and learn how to use it, including what the different emergency notifications mean.
###3. Emergency Prep It’s important to have an emergency preparedness kit that can handle any emergency. But you should also have supplies tailor to specific severe weather events. Because floodwater contains contaminants, be sure to pack plenty of clean and fresh water. Choose a waterpoof case for your kit and all it contains, like important documents. For a more detailed list on what should be in your emergency kit, read this.
###4. Evacuation Plan Your evacuation plan should include two things. One: become familiar with the local and federal government plans for evacuation. Second: create a personal evacuation plan and involve all members of the family. The plan should be practiced until everyone has it memorized. Be sure to include an emergency communication plan as part of the overall evacuation plan.
Many floods are caused by severe storms and excess rain. Remember that significant storm damage may be caused and may not be noticeable until after flood waters recede.
To get life back on track after flooding and storm damage, call SERVPRO® of Western Essex County.
Storm Damage: What are the Causes?
In the past few months, New Jersey has been experiencing a high level of heavy rainfall. Did you know heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding is one of the common types of damage from storms? There are ten common types of storms and being familiar with them aids in storm preparation and damage prevention.
SERVPRO® of Western Essex County knows how important it is to homeowners to keep homes safe from storm damage.
The 5 most common storms are:
- Snow storm
- Hail storms
Since Western Essex County is so far north and so close to the coast, it’s very possible that you may experience each of these kinds of events.
The fact is that hurricanes cause damage far past the coast. That storms cause damage is obvious, but the kinds of damage they cause and how is not always known.
Since hurricanes have long-term effects (Hurricane Sandy impacted 24 states), it’s very important to be educated on that type of storm in particular.
Hurricane damage is caused by three distinct but related storm elements: storm surge, floods, and wind.
Storm surge is when water rises far past the predicted tide level. This rise occurs because the wind from the hurricane pushes the water toward the shore, giving it nowhere to go, except up and in. The force of storm surge can be so strong as to destroy buildings and roads.
Storm surge is a direct cause of floods. The extra water from storm surge can reach far inland, causing widespread floods as it goes. Hurricanes can also cause rainfall as far as 100 miles past where the hurricane actually hits. Even tropical storms that don’t reach hurricane level can cause excess rainfall and thus floods.
Wind from hurricanes can reach speeds of 74 mph up to 155 mph. Winds of this speed cause widespread destruction by uprooting trees, downing power lines, and carrying debris and tossing it against other structures, even causing roofs to lift. It’s not unheard of for hurricane winds to form tornadoes.
Storm surge, floods, and winds can cause damage that is far-reaching, unexpected, and overwhelming. You can take precautions by packing an emergency preparedness kit, installing weather-resistant features to your house, and always following official safety orders or directives.
Storm damage clean up can be exhausting and dangerous. Don’t do it alone. Call SERVPRO® of Western Essex County for expert storm damage restoration services.
Preparedness for Pets: After the Storm
Pets are just as important as any family member to most people, so why would you not make them a part of your preparedness planning? There are several things you can do to make sure they stay safe as well during an emergency. Pet Emergency Kit Ready.gov/animals lists the below items as essential to building your Pet Emergency Kit.
- Food: At least a three-day supply in an airtight, waterproof container.
- Water: At least three days of water specifically for your pets.
- Medicines and medical records.
- Important documents: Registration information, adoption papers and vaccination documents. Talk to your veterinarian about microchipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.
- First aid kit: Cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Including a pet first aid reference book is a good idea too.
7.Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies tag and a leash.
8.Crate or pet carrier: Have a sturdy, safe crate or carrier in case you need to evacuate. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.
- Sanitation: Pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach.
- A picture of you and your pet together: If you become separated, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you. Add species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics. Familiar items. Familiar items, such as treats, toys and bedding can help reduce stress for your pet.
Evacuations While practicing fire escape or evacuation plans, be sure to include pets. If an evacuation happens, don’t leave pets behind as they can be lost or injured.
Identification Microchipping pets is a great way to locate them. Most veterinary clinics and shelters have scanners that will read the microchip information to help find a pet’s owners. Be sure to take four-legged friends into consideration when planning for emergencies. Visit ready.gov/ animals for further tips and safety precautions to think about for you or your insured’s families’ pets, or your tenants pets’ during a disaster.
Mold: When To Call The Experts
Experienced homeowners know that mold comes with the territory. Often, a little elbow grease will do the trick to get rid of it, but not always. It’s important to be educated about mold to know when it’s time to ask for professional help.
Below you’ll find three mold facts to help determine when to call for professional mold remediation services.
Did you know that mold is airborne? Mold spores spread through the air - which means it can spread quickly and far.
Because mold spores are airborne, they can also cause health side effects like allergies and respiratory issues, and even skin irritation. If you’ve noticed these adverse reactions, it may be time to call in an expert.
Mold can grow in the walls of your home - especially untreated drywall that is porous. To get rid of mold in the walls, often the infected section of the wall has to be removed.
If a mold colony has grown larger than 10 sq. feet in the wall, it’s time to ask an expert for help.
All mold needs to grow is water or humidity. That makes the bathroom or even the basement the most common locations for mold. Because mold is common in these places, you may think you can handle it on your own. But if the infestation continues to reoccur, the problem might be worse than you think.
If you have a mold problem that just won’t go away, call SERVPRO® of Western Essex County today. SERVPRO of Western Essex County will make it like it never happened.
Water damage is difficult for home and business owners—due not only to the damage it can cause but also because of the unique health hazards and risks it can present.
One of those dangerous risks is mold growth. The CDC has many negative symptoms associated with mold exposure that are well-documented, and the problem is exacerbated because of how quickly mold can begin growing.
If your home has been affected by water damage and you’re concerned about mold growth, there are steps you can take to help stop mold from taking hold:
Before You Get Started
- Never re-enter your building before officials have deemed it safe and are positive all water has receded.
- Take photos and videos of damage throughout—making sure to include damage done to furniture and walls—for insurance claim purposes.
Drying Should Begin Right Away
- Begin vacuuming with a heavy-duty, outdoor vacuum before the cleanup crew arrives.
- Weather permitting, open windows and doors to maximize airflow for as long as possible.
- Make use of fans, dehumidifiers and heaters to speed up drying time.
Items Exposed to Water Should Be Sorted
- Porous materials exposed to water damage, such as wood, upholstery and paper of any kind, can trap mold and should be discarded.
- Non-porous materials—such as metal, plastic and glass—can often be cleaned, disinfected and reused.
- It is important to note that drying carpet will not necessarily remove mold spores if they’ve already begun to grow.
A Professional Should Always Be Consulted
In some cases, carpets can be salvaged after water damage. However, experts typically recommend replacing the carpet pad at a minimum.
Mold is incorrectly associated with discolorations and foul odors when the reality is that mold can often lurk unnoticed long before it is seen. While replacing the carpet pad is less costly than a full re-carpeting of the home, only a professional can determine if this is adequate enough to prevent mold from spreading.
If you’re worried about cleanup associated with mold growth and water damage, SERVPRO® of Western Essex County can help you restore your home and remediate any mold issues you may have.
Ways You Can Prevent Mold Growth After Water Damage
Most homeowners and renters are familiar with the common household annoyance that is mold. But just because it’s common doesn’t mean that common solutions will always work to fix it. Sometimes, mold requires more than a simple cleaning and you need to hire professional remediation services.
But when is that time? This blog is meant to offer information about mold that will help you decide if and when you need call an expert.
- Is the mold a common occurrence?
Places in your home, like the bathroom, that are often damp and humid are the most likely places for mold to grow. But that could also mean the attic or basement are prime spots for mold as well. If mold keeps recurring in these places, even after several scrubs, your problem may be bigger than you think.
- Is the mold in a hard to reach place?
You might not know it, but mold likes to grow in or behind the walls too. Because it tends to be hidden in these places, it’s sometimes too late once you find mold in the wall. Often, the mold-infested section has to be removed.
- Is the mold causing health problems?
Mold allergies are just as common as mold. Less common, but more serious, are the other respiratory issues that mold can cause. Mold can also cause skin irritation. Mold spores travel through the air, so mold-related health problems are usually indicative of a larger problem.
If your answer to any of these question is yes, it’s time for you to hire a pro to get rid of the mold in your home. Call SERVPRO® of Western Essex County today to get life back on track.
IICRC Certified Firm
SERVPRO of Western Essex County is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.
IICRC Certified Firms must
• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops the Standards for The Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
About SERVPRO of Western Essex County
SERVPRO of Western Essex County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Is Your Business Ready?
Preparation is a vital component for making it through a disaster, whether it's a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time to plan for these events is well before they happen. No one ever plans a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself and fellow employees, "Are you Ready for whatever happens?"
SERVPRO of Western Essex County offers the Emergency Ready Profile as a startup approach that provides the important information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It was created to help as a quick reference guide of the buildings most important information.
The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile Advantage:
- A NO COST assessment of your facility
- This means you do not need to appropriate any funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
- A Compact Profile Document that contains only the important information needed in the event of an emergency.
- It will only take a short time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. Most importantly it will save you a lot of time if ever needed
- A guide to help you get back into your building after a disaster.
- This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action
- Establishes SERVPRO of Western Essex County as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
- You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader close by.
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
- This saves time, so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.
- Having quick reference guide provides solutions in the advance of a disaster, so that during a disaster you are "Ready for whatever happens."
Call Today to Get Started!
SERVPRO Is Ready For Any Storm
SERVPRO of Western Essex County specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained, and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.
Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit Western Essex County, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today at (973) 994-1640
Fire Damage Specialists
Fire damage to your home can be a traumatic experience for any homeowner. Apart from the damage due to heat, fire can cause significant damage to your property and belongings due to smoke and soot. The smoke particles can coat walls, ceilings, and almost any surface and cause permanent damage if not cleaned quickly and efficiently.
The particles in the smoke contain unburned carbon that can be very difficult to remove after a fire to your Western Essex home. Not all soot particles are alike, and it takes a multi-step process to eliminate them. It is a job for the professionals who have years of training and expertise in fire damage restoration.
We’re Fire and Water Damage Specialists
As fire and water restoration specialists, we have the training, experience and specialized equipment necessary to restore your home or business. We are committed to providing superior service while restoring your property back to pre-fire condition.
- Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician
- Odor Control Technician
- Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
- Water Damage Restoration Technician
Call SERVPRO of Western Essex County (973) 994-1640