Are you Prepare for Winter Weather, RVA?
Are you ready for this year’s winter storms?
Incoming winter storms can be an exciting time for everyone, with so much fun to be had playing in the snow, however winter storms can also bring a lot of problems if you aren’t prepared.
One of the biggest issues in winter storms is power loss. With ice on the trees and the snow getting heavy, branches inevitably fall and can take out power lines leaving you without electricity and potentially also no heat! Make sure that you and your family have plenty of flashlights and fresh batteries for them in case of a power outage, and most importantly make sure that everyone knows where they are in the house so that they’re easier to find when the lights go out and you need them most. If you know a storm is on the way, charge your devices (phones, computers, radios, etc.) before the storm hits, and consider purchasing a power bank for the extra boost in case you need it. Blankets and candles are important to keep around for warmth, just be sure to blow out your candles before you leave the room.
Stock up on water and non-perishable foods as you may not be able to travel on the roads if the storm creates difficult driving conditions. It’s helpful to also have some food on hand that does not need to be cooked in case the power is out and you can no longer use your appliances.
Always try to avoid traveling during a winter storm, but if you do have to travel during the storm always carry a blanket, water, some extra layers, and a fully charged cell phone in case you get stuck and need help.
Getting snowed in can sometimes be scary, but as long as you’re prepared you can spend the time having fun with your family and not be concerned about your safety.
Fire Prevention Week - Home Escape Plans
During Fire Prevention Week, our SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico team wants you and your family to be fully prepared in case there is a fire in your home. Planning you and your family’s escape could make all the difference should you ever have to encounter a fire emergency. First, get the facts:
- According to the National Fire Protection Association, 1 out of 3 American households have developed and practiced a fire escape plan at home.
- Although about 71% of Americans have an escape plan, only about 47% of those actually practiced it.
- You may have less than 6 minutes before a fire in your home becomes life-threatening.
Check out these home Escape Safety Tips from the NFPA:
- Make an escape plan with your household by drawing a map of the home including doors and windows and discuss the plan with everyone.
- Make sure you identify at least two ways out of every room
- Establish an outdoor meeting spot for all household members to meet once escaping the home
- Practice this escape plan at least twice a year
- Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them
- Always close doors behind you when leaving
New Hire Spotlight
New Hire Spotlight! Margaret Davis started in June as an Accounting Assistant.
“I was born in Surry County, VA and I graduated from John Tyler with an Associate’s degree in Accounting. Before I joined SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico, Plus, I worked for SFE Brands as an Accounting Analyst and prior to that role, I worked for Community Partners in the accounting department for over 10 years. While I’m not working, I love traveling, shopping, and eating out and trying new dishes. I also love to bake and try new desserts.
I was interested in working for SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico, Plus because of the potential for growth and I’m really looking forward to growing with the company. The accounting team is awesome to work with and everyone is friendly and helpful!”
Be Weather Ready
Hurricane Ida has wreaked havoc on Louisiana. Experts are calling this storm one of the most powerful to ever hit the U.S. as it knocked out power to all of New Orleans and a total of 1 million people. Roofs were blown off of many buildings and even the flow of the Mississippi River was reversed. So far there has been one fatality from this storm and our SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico team is thinking of all those affected by this horrific natural disaster.
With this storm in mind, it’s important to remind everyone of the importance of preparing for heavy winds and rains. According to Weather.gov, here is what you can do to be weather ready:
- Check the Weather: Check the forecast regularly to see if you're at risk for severe weather. Listen to local news to stay informed about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings.
- Sign Up for Notifications: download the local apps on your phone to be notified in case of emergency and to follow instructions.
- Make a Plan: Make sure your family knows where to meet in case of an emergency. Pick a safe room with no windows in your home such as a basement or a low level of the home.
- Practice Your Plan: Run drills with your family to practice what to do when bad weather is approaching. Don't forget pets if time allows.
- Prepare Your Home: Clear out your gutters and keep trees and branches trimmed near your house. Secure loose objects outdoors and make sure windows and doors are sealed properly.
- Help Your Neighbor: check in on your neighbors, especially ones who live alone or who are elderly. Make grocery runs for them or help secure their home for the storm.
Richmond, VA Smoke and Soot Cleanup
If a fire erupts in your home or business, the flames are not the only thing you need to worry about affecting your structure and belongings.
Smoke and soot are almost always going to linger and affect everything in your home and it can even penetrate various cavities within your home. The smoke and soot reaching these cavities will damage the structure and cause a foul odor that needs immediate attention.
That’s why it’s important to call SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico so our smoke damage expertise and experience can inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage, while developing a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
- Dry Smoke: Fast-burning, high-temperature fires, heat rises therefore smoke rises. Paper and wood materials produce this type of damage.
Wet Smoke: Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, dense. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean. Plastic and rubber produce this type of damage.
Call the professionals at 804-740-6151 to clean up any smoke and soot damage or residue after a fire in your home or business.
Call SERVPRO Professionals for Large Water Damage Emergencies
Recently, Our SERVPRO of Chesterfield team was called to respond to an emergency water intrusion in a Richmond city manufacturing plant. A 24” water main broke out in the parking lot causing massive amounts of silty water to flow into the plant flooding about 80% of the 200,000sqft warehouse.
Because this was a huge project to take on, our SERVPRO of Chesterfield and SERVPRO of Tri-Cities, Plus were called with the necessary manpower, knowledge, and equipment to start working on water extraction and a plan of attack. Our team immediately began hours of extraction after the water was shut off and stayed until nightfall.
The following morning we are right back on the scene finishing up water extraction and beginning the equipment set up process. In large emergency water damages like these, it’s important to call the professionals who have the experience and tools to efficiently and strategically get the business back up and running as soon as possible.
Why You Should Call SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico
SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team Bahen holds the morning line up of crew at a large loss in Jacksonville, Florida.
If or when a big water or fire damage occurs in your business, it’s important to call the professionals who are qualified to handle large commercial losses. Luckily our SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico franchise is considered a Disaster Recovery Team.
This means that we have some of the best of the best in the restoration industry who are stationed right here in Richmond to act fast when disaster strikes. Our elite large-loss specialists are prequalified with the necessary knowledge and tools to address these major losses. Every large loss is supervised by a commercial operations manager to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation.
Disaster Recovery Team Bahen has the ability to dispatch trained production professionals and cut costs through the strategic placement and oversight of temporary labor. Our leaders know the business and know exactly what needs to be done in order to get your business back up and running ASAP.
The Importance of Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms are a necessary and effective tool to protect your home or business and the people in it. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you an early warning so you can get outside quickly. Here are some tips to give you peace of mind that your smoke detectors will work when you need it most:
- Know what kind of smoke detector you have: There are two types of smoke detectors commonly found in homes and businesses. A battery-operated smoke alarm is commonly found in households. An AC powered smoke detector, also known as hard-wired, is usually found in businesses. These detectors require battery backup to ensure that even during a blackout or an electrical fire, they will still function properly.
- Ensure there are smoke alarms in the appropriate places: Places like hallways, stairs, sleeping areas need to have smoke alarms near them. Check with your local fire department to ensure you follow proper regulations. The NFPA maintains fire prevention codes and requirements for all types of occupancies. Explore the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code and the Life Safety Code from NFPA to ensure you have the latest information and are complying.
- Test the range of the alarm: Have someone stand at the farthest point away from the smoke alarms. This will help distinguish if another alarm needs to be installed, especially if the sound is muffled or low.
- Change the batteries: Batteries in a smoke detector should be changed once a year, at the least. Do not wait until your alarms chirp to install fresh batteries. A useful trick to remember is to change your batteries when you change your clocks for daylight savings time.
- Replace your alarms every 10 years: Replacing your smoke alarms every ten years helps ensure you have the latest technology and the best protection for your family and your home. “Long-life” smoke alarms even need to be replaced. The non-removable batteries in long-life smoke alarms only have a 10-year guarantee.
Checking your smoke detectors regularly is a critical and simple measure you can take to help keep your family and co-workers safe should the unexpected occur.
Water Damage To Your Business
In the business industry when a water damage occurs, it can cause a lot of stress for the business owners. Getting back up and running is so important that sometimes mistakes and quicks fixes can happen that can actually cause more damage. Check out these facts to help understand why it's important to call the professionals to handle this damage.
Water Restoration Facts
- A sheet of drywall standing upright in 1/2" of water can absorb as much as 6 inches in less than 3 hours.
- Water is known as a "universal solvent" because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid.
- Mold typically begins to grow within 24 to 48 hours in an untreated, moist environment. So if water is left untreated, this forms the perfect conditions for mold growth.
- A puddle of water around a water heater indicates a slow leak, or rusted or corroded fittings. Act quickly as water heaters are under a great deal of water pressure.
Water Contamination Categories in the Restoration Industry
- Category 1 - Water from a clean source that poses no risk of sickness or discomfort such as from an overflowing bathtub or from a broken water supply pipe.
- Category 2 -Water that has a significant degree of chemical, biological and/or physical contamination such as water from a dishwasher or washer, or aquarium leak or discharged Category One water that sits untreated for more than 24 hours becomes a Category Two.
- Category 3 - Water coming from a grossly unsanitary source or carrying disease causing agents such as releases from septic systems and flood waters or discharged Category One water that sits for more than 48 hours becomes Category Three, or discharged Category Two water that sits for more than 24 hours becomes Category Three.
At SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico we use the proper cleaning agents approved by the EPA which include:
- Sanitizers -reduce the number of microorganisms
- Disinfectants - destroy or inhibit the growth, but not necessarily the spores.
- Sterilizers - destroy all microorganisms and their spores, such as mold, bacteria, viruses, etc.
Our knowledge of the water mitigation and restoration industry is vital for your business to utilize to take the necessary steps to get your business back up and running as soon as possible. Call us at 804-740-6151 to handle your business's water damages.
Hurricane Season is Approaching
Hurricane Season is almost at its height and this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. The season extends from June 1 through November 30, with the end of August and September being the most active for Atlantic hurricanes. Now is the time for communities to come together to help spread awareness that NOW is the time to prepare for heavy winds, rain, and the potential for flooding to your home or business.
According to FEMA administrator Deanna Criswell, ““Visit Ready.gov and Listo.gov to learn and take the steps to prepare yourself and others in your household. Download the FEMA app to sign-up for a variety of alerts and to access preparedness information. Purchase flood insurance to protect your greatest asset, your home. And, please encourage your neighbors, friends and coworkers to also get ready for the upcoming season.” (source: noaa.gov).