Preparing for a Flood
Flooding at our office after Hurricane Harvey.
- Know the types of flood risk in your area. Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center for more information
- Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- If flash flooding is a risk in your location, then monitor potential signs, such as heavy rains.
- Learn and Practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response.
- Gather supplies in case you have to leave immediately, or if services are cut off. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of your pets as well. Obtain extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment.
- Purchase or renew a flood insurance policy. It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to go into effect and can protect the life you’ve built. Homeowner’s policies do not cover flooding.
- Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies.
- Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.
For more information on how to stay safe when a flood threatens, visit www.ready.gov/floods.
Smoke Alarms: Life Savers
Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National fire Protection Association (NFPA). In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met.
Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate has missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).
In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).
If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.
Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. For more information on emergency preparedness, contact the SERVPRO of Beaumont today.
National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month 2018
As a business owner, insurer or property 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 year for National Preparedness Month, 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 happen” and 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. You can do this by taking three simple steps:
- Plan to stay in business
- Encourage your employees to become ready
- Protect your investment
We must work together as a team to ensure that our families, businesses, places of worship and neighborhoods are ready. At Ready.gov/business, companies can find vital information on how to begin preparing their organization and address their unique needs during an emergency. You can also contact the SERVPRO of Beaumont to find out more on how to be ready when disaster strikes with the Emergency READY program.
Hurricane Season Is Here
It may seem early, but hurricane season is currently underway. For the Atlantic, the season begins June 1st and runs through November 30th. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season began in mid-May and will continue through November 30th as well. Hurricanes can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property-threatening hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds, and tornadoes. While the primary threat is in the coastal areas, many inland areas can also be affected by these hazards, as well as by secondary events such as power outages as a result of the high winds and landslides due to rainfall.
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. For more information and preparation tips, visit the Ready campaign website at www.ready.gov/hurricanes.
Questions to Consider Before Mold Remediation
Mold can be found almost anywhere. It can grow virtually on any substance, providing that moisture is present. Listed below are questions to help determine if remediation services may be needed:
- Is there an existing moisture problem in the building?
- Have building materials been wet more than 48 hours?
- Is there a hidden source of water or is the humidity too high (high enough to cause condensation)?
- Are building occupants reporting musty or moldy odors?
- Are building occupants reporting health problems?
- Are building materials or furnishing visibly damaged?
- Has the building been recently remodeled or has building use changed?
If you have answered yes to majority of these questions, contact the SERVPRO of Beaumont today for a mold inspection (409) 212-1977.
2018 Hurricane Season
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a near or above normal 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. They’re predicting anywhere from 10-16 named storms. In the range of 5-9 becoming hurricanes and out of those 1-4 becoming major hurricanes. The NOAA states that the possibility of a weak El Nino developing and near-average sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea are two of the factors that are driving this outlook.
With all of the sophisticated technology, next-generation models and satellite data; this helps decision makers and the general public the ability to take action before, during and after hurricanes. After the 2017 Hurricane season, specifically Hurricane Harvey, Southeast Texas can use this information to be better prepared for the upcoming 2018 season.
Determining the Category of Water Damage
IICRC S500 Standard Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration defines three categories of water. Category refers to the type of water affecting the structure.
A Category I loss is where water originates from a sanitary water source and does not pose substantial risk from dermal, ingestions or inhalation exposure. A Category II loss is when water contains a significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans. Category II water can contain potentially unsafe levels of microorganisms or nutrients for microorganisms. Examples of Category II are: Discharge from dishwashers or washing machines, overflows from washing machines, overflows from toilet bowls on the room side of the trap with some urine. Category III water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents and can cause significant adverse reactions to humans if contacted or consumed. Examples of Category III water are: Sewage, Flood water, and other contaminated water entering or affecting the indoor environment, such as wind-driven rain from hurricanes, tropical storms or other weather-related events.
Have questions about water damage? Contact the SERVPRO of Beaumont today at (409) 212-1977.
Improving Air Quality
Inside dirty ductwork
The ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, but you can help change that! Inspecting the ductwork in your facility should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your building.
A routine part of SERVPRO of Beaumont’s service is inspecting the HVAC and ductwork. 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 will inspect your ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address an indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can help you save money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.
For more information on commercial duct cleaning, contact SERVPRO of Beaumont today!
Drying and Dehumidification
SERVPRO helping properly dry a commercial building.
The first step to any water damage is removing the standing water. Even though your floors and walls may look dry at first glance; they are still wet to the touch. Most building materials, like drywall and wood, are porous and will retain significant water. The retained water will cause these materials to warp, swell, or break down and can also cause damage.
SERVPRO of Beaumont will manipulate the temperature and relative humidity to remove the remaining moisture. We use specialized equipment, including industrial air movers and dehumidifiers, to remove water retained by building materials and other hard-to-access moisture. Our SERVPRO professionals carefully monitor the progress using moisture meters until the materials return to acceptable drying goals.
Our SERVPRO of Beaumont professionals are trained and certified according to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) guidelines specifically in Water Restoration. SERVPRO also encorporates its own Employee Certification Trainings in Water Damage as well. Our SERVPRO team members are highly trained and ultimately Here to Help!
Fungi and mold occur naturally in our environment. In fact, there are over 100,000 kinds of fungi have been identified. 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. Mold spores can colonize within 72 hours and multiply within just a few hours. Moisture is the foremost factor that causes mold growth. Physically removing the mold contamination is the primary means of remediation.
If you would like more information on mold and mold remediation, contact SERVPRO of Beaumont at (409) 212-1977 today. It’s a dirty job, but your local SERVPRO professionals are here to help when you encounter mold!