Recent Posts

Severe Weather Safety

3/31/2018 (Permalink)

Severe weather can happen 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, 1,300 tornadoes, and 2 landfalling deadly hurricanes.

Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 650 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage.* 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 a 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. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

Be an Example. Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same. 

GENERATOR SAFETY

3/24/2018 (Permalink)

If you have a generator on hand for power outages during severe weather, follow the safety tips below from the American Red Cross:

-Never use a generator, grill, camp stove, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawl space, or any partially enclosed area.

-To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. Operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure, such as under a tarp held up on poles. Do not touch the generator with wet hands.

-Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide (CO) buildup in the home. Although CO can’t be seen or smelled, it can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death. Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately.

-Install CO alarms in central locations on every level of your home or property and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.

Call the Cleanup Team That is Faster to Any Disaster

3/10/2018 (Permalink)

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river, or even in the desert—there is always potential for flood damage. Fema.gov reports in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past does not mean you won’t in the future. In fact, nearly 20% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas, and even just one inch of flood damage in an average home can cost you up to $27,000.

According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster. The American Red Cross offers the following flood safety tips:

-Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around, and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.

-Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around, and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.

- Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water

If a flood does strike your home or business, contact SERVPRO of North Morris County. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO® System is prepared to handle any sized disaster. When fire and water take control of your life, we will help you take it back

WHEN WATER DAMAGE STRIKES

3/10/2018 (Permalink)

The first 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO of North Morris County will be on-site to help ensure a water damage is handled by completing the following steps.

INSPECTION: we will inspect affected areas to determine the extent of water damage and will review the inspection with you to answer any questions before beginning any work.

EMERGENCY SERVICES: we will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal belongings and other contents, from further damage by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying. They will explain the needed emergency services to you step-by-step.

MONITORING: To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, we will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently communicated to you.

RESTORATION SERVICES: we will repair structural materials, reinstall carpets, and clean affected areas of your property and belongings. A final walkthrough of the jobsite will be conducted with you to help ensure the property was returned to preloss condition.

EMERGENCY WATER DAMAGE TIPS

3/10/2018 (Permalink)

In case of an emergency water damage, there are a few things you should remember:

-Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.

-Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.

-Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.

-Place aluminium foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.

-Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other sensitive valuables to a dry place.

-Don’t enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.

-Don’t use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water; this could cause electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.

-Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

For more information on recovering from water damage, contact your SERVPRO of North Morris County today. 

Need to Know: Wireless Emergency Alerts

2/20/2018 (Permalink)

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are free notifications delivered to your mobile device as part of a public safety system provided by authorized government-alerting authorities. The alerts are designed to inform you of imminent threats to safety or missing persons alerts in your area (e.g., AMBER Alerts). Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service. A WEA can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm’s way, without downloading an app or subscribing to a service. WEAs may be used to share extreme weather warnings, local emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action, AMBER Alerts, and Presidential Alerts during a national emergency.

A WEA will look like a text message. The WEA message will typically show the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert. The message will be no more than 90 characters. Visit www.ctia.org/wea to learn more about Wireless Emergency Alerts.

YOU CAN BE RUINED, OR YOU CAN BE READY with the Help of Technology

2/13/2018 (Permalink)

Technology can now be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters, as well as during or after to stay informed of the situation and in communication with others. From common technology you already use on a day-to-day basis to taking a few extra steps to prepare, the following will help you be ready in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Store Information Online

There are many places to store important information securely online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer free way to store different types of files, from a Word document to images of important documents. Ready.gov suggests saving an electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records, and information on your pets, if necessary.

Follow the News

Stay informed by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels, and local government on Twitter for the most up-to-date information in a disaster situation. You can also alert first responders if a rescue is needed through Twitter.

Mark Yourself Safe

The American Red Cross offers a Safe & Well check-in site to list yourself as safe or find family and friends in situations where communication is difficult to establish. Facebook also has a feature called Safety Check that is activated after natural disasters or a crisis. You will receive a notification from Facebook if you’re located in the affected area at that time.

Get in Touch

Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in your phone and e-mail for communication with family, friends, business contacts, and others whom you may need to get in contact with before, during, or after a disaster.

Charge Up

Keep a portable charger in your car and home in case of an emergency. You may need to recharge this from time to time, but you can also buy solar-powered chargers as well.

Get an Emergency READY Profile

 SERVPRO of North Morris County is proud to offer Emergency READY Profiles (ERP) for free at ready.SERVPRO.com to help prepare you, your property, or your business for an emergency. By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your property or business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your property or business. Put help in the palm of your hand with the Ready Plan App. Get in touch with SERVPRO of North Morris County today for more information on developing an ERP for your property or business, and we will be there to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Build an Emergency Kit

2/4/2018 (Permalink)

Be prepared at your home or business with an Emergency Kit. Ready.gov suggests you have enough supplies to last for at least three days. Below are some suggested items to include in your kit: 

-3-day supply of nonperishable foods n Water (one+ gallon per person per day)

-First-aid kit

-Prescription medication

-Sleeping bag or blankets 

-Fire extinguisher

-Hygiene products

-Flashlights

-Extra batteries

-Cell phone charger

-Change of clothes

-Matches in waterproof container

-Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

-Whistle to signal for help

-Pet supplies

-Infant formula and diapers

-Important documents such as insurance policies, IDs, and bank records in a plastic container You can also keep a condensed emergency kit in your vehicle as well.

For a more extensive list, check out Ready.gov.

In a disaster, SERVPRO is "Ready for whatever happens."

1/30/2018 (Permalink)

When a storm or disaster strikes, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team is poised and “Ready for whatever happens.” With a network of more than 1,700 Franchises, the SERVPRO System strives to be faster to any size disaster. Strategically located throughout the United States, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms and highest flood waters. Providing experience, manpower, equipment, and other resources, the Disaster Recovery Team assists SERVPRO of North Morris County. SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team has responded to hundreds of disaster events. In the aftermath of a disaster, there is only one objective, to help you make it “Like it never even happened.”

2017 Hurricane Harvey: Category 4 Hurricane Harvey hit Texas on August 26 with winds of 130 mph. The hurricane made a second landfall just hours later and lingered over Southeast Texas for about two days, dropping more than 40 inches of rain. On August 29, Harvey made a third landfall in Louisiana. Following the storm, an estimated 550 storm crews were deployed, representing more than 240 SERVPRO Franchises. Those numbers, in addition to area Franchises, placed more than 1,000 crews in storm-affected areas. Crews traveled from as far away as California, Washington, Wisconsin, and New York.

2016 Houston, TX, Flooding: In April, a nearly stationary mesoscale convective system developed over Houston, resulting in widespread rainfall rates of 2-4 inches per hour. This was a historic flooding event for Harris County, which saw a total of nearly 18 inches of accumulated rainfall. The Storm Team dispatched 81 crews to over 360 jobs, mitigating over $3 million in damages.

2015 Siberian Express: Record sub-zero temperatures caused major problems for a large portion of the country stretching from Florida to Maine. The Midwest also experienced record-breaking low temperatures, resulting in frozen pipes and ice dams causing major problems for residents. The Storm Team dispatched a total of 257 crews from 108 Franchises to assist local SERVPRO Franchises, completing nearly 2,000 jobs.

2014 Mid-Atlantic Flooding: Rainfall rates up to 2 inches per hour caused major flash flooding stretching from Northeast Ohio all the way up to Portland, Maine. Eastern Michigan and Baltimore, Maryland, were also impacted, creating over 1,381 jobs for the Storm Team to produce. A total of 82 SERVPRO Franchises and 173 crews mitigated over $4.3 million in damages while assisting the local Franchises.

2014 Polar Vortex: Record low temperatures caused by a break in the North Pole’s polar vortex resulted in an unprecedented freezing event, spanning from east of the Rocky Mountains to as far south as Central Florida, affecting all or part of 39 states and 70 percent of the SERVPRO Franchise System.

Carbon Monoxide: A Silent Cold-Weather Killer

1/29/2018 (Permalink)

Carbon monoxide is a gas you cannot see, taste, or smell. According to ready.gov, an average of 430 Americans die each year from unintentional carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Oftentimes, it is the result of faulty, improperly used, or vented consumer products like furnaces, ranges, water heaters, room heaters, and engine-powered equipment, such as portable generators. However, there are precautions you can take to help protect yourself, your family, and your employees from deadly CO fumes. Reduce the chance of CO exposure in your workplace by performing regular maintenance on equipment and appliances that can produce CO. Install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the home, including outside of all bedrooms. Consider having all fuel-burning heating equipment and chimneys serviced annually by a professional. Use portable generators only in well-ventilated areas away from doors, windows, vents, and any other openings to prevent fumes from entering the home.

For additional CO safety information, visit usfa.fema.gov or osha.gov.