Build An Emergency Kit
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
- Water (one+ gallon per person per day)
- First-aid kit
- Prescription medication
- Sleeping bag or blankets
- Fire extinguisher
- Hygiene products
- 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.
Dangers Of Extreme Cold
According to the National Weather Service, $2.84 million dollars in property damage was caused by extreme cold in 2015. Even scarier? Fifty three people died and three were injured due to extreme cold the same year.
It is important to be aware of the effect extremely cold temperatures can have on you. The two main conditions to be aware of are frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite is caused when your skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Physical symptoms are white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm and/or numbness.
Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature, caused from long exposure to cold weather. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. If someone’s body temperature is below 95 F, Seek medical attention immediately. To avoid these conditions, stay indoors if possible. If not dress warm in layers and try to keep dry.
Fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment. In fact, over 100,000 kinds of fungi have been identified. Yeast is a great example of how some molds and fungi enrich our lives. Yeast is used to make bread. Yeast helped create those refreshing Kombuchas you have sampled at Farmer’s market. Yeast is also present in the fine wine and bleu cheese you are enjoying on your patio this summer!
Sadly, there is also a dark side to fungi and mold. Some molds are harmful to your health. An intrusion of water into your home or place of business can result in mold growth. Water intrusions can result from storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long-standing leaks (that small leak under the sink) and poor humidity control (tenants/family members not turning on the fan while showering). If water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. Health concerns may arise when excessive mold grows indoors.
If there is an ongoing moisture problem in your building, be alert for:
- The presence of visible mold.
- Strong musty odors, which may indicate mold is present.
- Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
- Excessive humidity
If any of these signs are present let SERVPRO know. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals care about proper restoration of your structure and, in most water damage situations, can safely restore your building to preloss condition.
Dont fear, call SERVPRO of South Frisco/The Colony at (972) 335-9900
Questions About Mold
Many customers call SERVPRO inquiring about the potential health effects of known or suspected mold growth. The only way to truly determine the extent of mold spore migration is through lab testing. SERVPRO does not conduct air quality inspections, however we do have trusted vendors and subcontractors that provide these services.
Air or surface sampling can be helpful in determining the scope, or extent of a mold infestation. Air samples are taken by drawing a predetermined volume of air through a sterile media, which is then sent to laboratory for analysis. Lab analysis is able to determine type of spores found, as well as extrapolate estimated quantities of the spores identified. Upon request most labs will include a report detailing any issues regarding the indoor air quality. Most Indoor Environmental Professionals will complement the lab report with a recommended remediation plan.
If you find yourself on the receiving end of this type of report for your home or business, call SERVPRO! We have the experienced and trained technicians coupled with the proper equipment to execute mold remediation on any scale
Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Cold Weather Killer
Carbon monoxide is a gas you cannot see, taste or smell. According to ready.gov an average of 430 American's die each year from unintentional carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Often it is the result of faulty, improperly used or vented consumer products like furnaces, ranges, water heaters, space heaters, and combustion 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 your home, including outside of all bedrooms.
-Consider having all fuel burning heating equipment and chimneys serviced annually by a professional.
-Use portable generators only outdoors away from doors, windows, vents or any other openings to prevent fumes from entering the home.
For additional CO safety information, visit usfa.fema.gov or osha.gov
The Science Of Drying
Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying? The knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, your Missoula SERVPRO is trained to the science of drying and follow strict industry approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages. If your business suffers a water damage, your Missoula SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will:
- Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
- Measure how much moisture is in wet material and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
- Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.
What exactly does “speed up Mother Nature” mean? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material – but only if the air is indeed drier. The only problem is nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out. For this reason your Missoula SERVPRO is trained to use top of the line equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls and much more.
SERVPRO also uses state of the art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business
Be Storm Ready For 2018
Commercial Building that was flooded during Hurricane Harvey,16 days after the water receded
Storm season has come and will soon be gone BUT it will come back! 2017 was a hard year for storm season and Houston and surrounding areas, felt the affects of storm season worse than most. We can't predict, just yet, what storms will hit in 2018 or what damage it will cause but you can be prepared.
Storm season, in Texas, is June 1st to November 30th. This is 6 months out of the year but August and September, historically, is when Texas experiences the majority of it's storms. One of the best ways to be prepared is to stay informed. Between the news channels, weather apps and social media; it is easier than it has ever been to stay informed. Follow the advice of the local government and when evacuation orders are given, follow them. Your home and belongings can possibly be saved and restored, when the storm subsides. If you need help preparing for storm season, call SERVPRO of South Frisco/The Colony at 972-335-9900 and let us help you!
Are You Hurricane Ready?
According to Helen Lowman with FEMA unlike most natural disasters, hurricanes rarely take us by surprise. There’s a season (June 1 – November 30) when forecasters can see hurricanes developing off the coast, hundreds of miles away, and can track them as they move closer to land. However, when they hit, high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and even tornadoes are all part of the hurricane package that can really pack a punch. That’s why if you live in an area where hurricanes are a threat, now is the time to prepare. The following tips can help you get prepared:
- Be prepared if you lose power. If you or anyone in your household depends on medical devices that are powered by electricity, this is a priority. Talk to your medical equipment company to find out what will happen to your equipment during a power outage.
Make sure you have extra compatible batteries for your flashlights, radios or any device that can run on battery power
FEMA recommends each person have at least a three-day supply of food and water, and more if possible.
Set your freezer and refrigerator to the highest temperature so that it can stay cooler longer if you lose power.
- Have an emergency supply bag. Food, water, medication and batteries are just some of the basic emergency supplies you’ll want to have ready in a “Go Bag” that you can grab quickly before evacuating. Take time now to make a list of the things you would need or want to take with you if you had to leave your home quickly.
- Know your community’s evacuation plans. Many communities have designated “evacuation routes” and some even have evacuation zones. You will want to be familiar with these so if your local authorities issue an evacuation order, you’ll know exactly where to go.
- Make provisions for your pets. Arrange a place for them to stay if possible. If you are taking them with you locate hotels that are pet friendly and bring their food along.
A Few Facts About Tornadoes
Spring is here and with it comes the blooming flowers, nice weather and the threat of tornadoes. Although tornadoes can happen anytime throughout the year however there are 3 months when they more likely to occur: April, May and June, a transition time when unsettled weather is more likely to occur.
Tornadoes often appear with little warning and possess strong winds that can cause serious damage and according to The National Severe Storms Laboratory you don't have to live in Tornado Alley to experience a tornado, around 1,200 tornadoes touch down across the United States each year so preparation and understanding your risk is key.
Here are four things you need to know about tornadoes and tornado season:
1.Tornadoes can happen anywhere, any time of year.
When people think of tornadoes they often associate them occurring in Central Texas, Oklahoma and other Great Plains states commonly known as Tornado Alley but tornadoes happen outside this area every year and, in fact, they can happen all over the world anytime the conditions are right.
2.The difference between tornado watches and warnings.
Many people are not aware of the difference in a tornado watch and a tornado warning, but the difference between the two is simple:
A tornado watch is issued by the National Weather Service when weather such as thunderstorms in an area could produce tornadoes but it does not mean that a tornado will occur, it simply means you should be alert and pay attention to weather updates.
A tornado warning means that a tornado has been spotted on the ground in your area or that the storm circulation seen on Doppler radar may produce a tornado. You should seek shelter now. Even though there is a chance that the tornado will miss you or that one won't form, it is always best to be safe.
Remember if there's a tornado watch, you should keep watching the weather. If a warning is issued, that’s your warning to take shelter.
3. Never open your windows and doors or take shelter under an overpass.
While there are many good safety tips on tornadoes there are some that can put you in danger instead of making you safer. Here are two safety tips you should know:
Do not open your windows or doors during a tornado. It will not help, it just makes it easier for debris to fly through the open windows into your house.
If you are on the road during a tornado try to get inside a building as soon as possible. Do not stop and take shelter under a bridge. Taking shelter under a bridge or overpass if you're on the road is very dangerous. The winds from a tornado could blow you out from underneath or the structure could collapse on top of you.
4. Tornado season can't be forecasted.
Unlike hurricane season, there is not a forecast for the whole of tornado season, though various large-scale atmospheric patterns, such as the El Niño-La Niña cycle, can affect how a tornado season plays out. Tornado season starts roughly in April and is at its most active from May to June, but there have been many tornado outbreaks through the year so there is not a clear pattern. While some tornado seasons start out busy, they can diminish gradually and stop while some seasons have been known to be the exact opposite.
The only effective thing a forecaster can say is when and where a given storm system is likely to produce tornadoes with the next few days or hours, then watch for signs of them on radar or for spotters to see one on the ground and send a warning that generally only amounts to a few minutes. Those few minutes can be crucial so if you're under a tornado warning, pay attention.
Severe Weather Tips
With the spring season comes lush green lawns and warmer sunny days. However, spring is also the prime season for severe weather such as tornadoes, thunderstorms and flash floods. Per the American Red Cross, there are steps that can be taken to help ensure your safety if dangerous weather is predicted in your community.
The following are a few safety steps that can be taken to be ready if a tornado warning is issued is your area:
- Know what your community’s warning system is.
- Choose a safe room in your home for your family to meet if a tornado is headed your way. This room should be a basement, storm cellar, or interior room on the lowest floor and should have no windows.
- Prepare your lawn for strong winds by removing any damaged limbs from trees and making sure your lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants, etc. are secured.
Thunderstorms are also common in the spring and can produce very dangerous lightning. A few thunderstorm safety tips recommended by the American Red Cross are:
- Where there is thunder, there is lightning! If thunder can be heard, then you are close enough to be in danger of lightning strikes. Go indoors!
- Postpone any outdoor activities, such as sporting events and picnics until the storm passes. It is possible to get struck by lightning even if it is not raining.
- Take shelter in a building or vehicle with windows closed and stay clear of the windows.
- Do not shower or bathe during a thunderstorm.
Spring can also be the time of year for flooding. Flash floods occur suddenly when water rises rapidly along a stream or low-lying area. Below are some safety steps recommended in the event of flooding:
- Be prepared to evacuate and head for higher ground.
- Stay away from floodwaters.
- Do not drive on flooded streets.
- Be especially cautious at night when it is more difficult to recognize flood danger.
While severe weather can be frightening, you can help ensure your safety and the safety of the ones you love, by being prepared and taking precautions.