Severe Weather Safety
Severe weather can happen at any time, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms:
- 10,000 severe thunderstorms
- 5,000 floods or flash floods
- 1,000 tornadoes
- 2-3 land falling deadly hurricanes
Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action, and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.
Know Your Risk. The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms, and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.
Take Action. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.
Be an Example. Once you have taken action to prepare for a severe weather, share your story with co-workers, family, and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.
National Preparedness Month 2021
September is National Preparedness Month. NPM is recognized each September to promote family and community disaster planning now and throughout the year. The 2021 theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.”
The first week of September is all about “Make a Plan”. Be sure to talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during and after a disaster. Make sure to update your plan based on the CDC recommendations due to the coronavirus.
The second week of September is “Build a Kit”. Gather supplies that will last several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs of each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly.
The third week of September focuses on “Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness”. After Hurricane Laura, our area recognizes how important it is to prepare for a disaster. It is important to know the risk of disasters in our area and check over your insurance coverage. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards and act fast if you receive a local warning or alert.
The last week of September is “Teach Youth About Preparedness”. Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.
For more information go to ready.gov/September
Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.
Fire Escape Plan
An average of 353,100 homes experience a structural fire each year (NFPA). Once the smoke alarm sounds, a fire can spread quickly, leaving only a minute or two to escape. That’s why it is so important to have a home escape plan.
Start by drawing a map for your home and follow these guidelines from the National Fire Protection Association:
- Plan two way to escape from each room
- Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily
- Identify secondary route—a window onto an adjacent roof or a collapsible ladder from upper-story windows
- If you live in a multi-story building, plan to use the stairs—never the elevator
- Designate an outside meeting place that is a safe distance from the house where everyone should meet
Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
Facts About Lightning
Lightning is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities. Though the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are only around 1 in 500,000, some factors can put you at greater risk for being struck.
Here are a few lightning safety tips:
- Be aware. Check the forecast before participating in outdoor activities. If it calls for thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity, or make sure adequate safe shelter is available.
- Go indoors. Remember the phrase, “When thunder roars, go indoors.” Find a safe enclosed shelter when you hear thunder. Safe shelters include homes, offices, shopping centers, and hard-top vehicles with the windows rolled up.
- Avoid windows, doors, porches and concrete. Do not lie on concrete floors and avoid leaning on concrete walls. Lighting can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.
- Avoid water. Do not bathe, shower, wash dishes, or have any other contact with water during a thunderstorm because lightning can travel through a building’s plumbing.
Commercial Duct Cleaning
Want to 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 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 & Orange/Nederland/Lumberton’s service is inspecting the HVAC and ductwork. Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the lifespan 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 any 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 & Orange/Nederland/Lumberton today!
May is National Building Safety Month!
This month is the 41st year of recognizing May as National Building Safety Month. “The International Code Council, its 64,000 members, and a diverse partnership of professionals from the building construction, design and safety communities come together with corporations, government agencies, professional associations, and nonprofits to promote building safety through proclamations, informational events, legislative briefings and more. We come together to support Building Safety Month because we understand the need for safe and sustainable structures where we live, work and play.” – ICC Website
The theme for 2021 is “Prevent, Prepare, Protect. Building Codes Save.” with a focus on safer communities over the five weeks in May. One of the topics highlighted during the fourth week of the month is “Disaster Preparedness”. The 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 certainly improve that awareness and educate communities on this topic!
Preventing Water Damage
A small amount of water soaking into your floors, walls or cabinets is all it takes to cause damage in your home or business. A study of closed water damage insurance claims identified plumbing pipes and drain systems as the leading cause of interior water damage. The following tips can help you minimize the risk in your home or business.
- Proper Maintenance — majority of insurance claims were caused by corroded, rusty, or frozen pipes. Maintaining these in your home or business can help prevent any future damage.
- Look for an increase in your monthly water bill—pipes with leaks can cause your water to bill to increase.
- Rust stains, moisture in the walls or on the floor are all potential indicators of plumbing issues.
- If you are on a sewer system or you are located below street level — contact a plumbing professional to install a backflow prevention into your sewer system.
- Make sure to plant trees away from lateral drain lines to prevent roots from damaging pipes.
- NEVER pour grease down the drain.
Drying & Dehumidification
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 & Orange/Nederland/Lumberton 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 moistures. Our SERVPRO professionals carefully monitor the progress using moisture meters until the materials return to acceptable drying goals.
Our SERVPRO of Beaumont & Orange/Nederland/Lumberton professionals are trained and certified according to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) guidelines specifically in Water Restoration. SERVPRO also incorporates its own Employee Certification Trainings in Water Damage as well. Our SERVPRO team members are highly trained and ultimately Here to Help!
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: 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: 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 & Orange/Nederland/Lumberton today at (409) 729-2800.