SEVERE WEATHER 101
Winter Weather Basics
A winter storm is an event in which the main types of precipitation are snow, sleet or freezing rain.
- Why can winter storms be so dangerous?
Most deaths from winter storms are not directly related to the storm itself.
- People die in traffic accidents on icy roads.
- People die of heart attacks while shoveling snow.
- People die of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold.
Everyone is potentially at risk during winter storms. The actual threat to you depends on your specific situation. Recent observations show that:
- Of injuries related to ice and snow:
- About 70% occur in automobiles.
- About 25% are people caught out in the storm.
- Majority are males over 40 years old.
- Of injuries related to exposure to cold:
- 50% are people over 60 years old.
- Over 75% are males.
- About 20% occur in the home.
We have had some pretty warm days here in Alabama the last few weeks but that doesn't mean the cold weather is over. Make sure you take all the precautions to keep your home or business prepared for the cold days and nights. Call us if you need us! 205-664-6770
Flooding in the Southeast
2018 has started off with a lot of flooding in the Eastern states including Kentucky, Indiana and Michigan. Storm Team Wilson has been activated and sending crews from different franchises to help assist those that are inundated beyond what they can handle.
Storm Team Wilson helps organize the franchises that need assistance, the franchises that are able to travel as well as the customers. We also have office staff behind the scenes working with payments, estimates, and uploads.
SERVPRO franchises from all over work together to make sure all customers are handled quickly yet efficiently. We love being able to paint the town, GREEN!
Restoring storm- and flood-damaged properties is the cornerstone of our business. Our highly trained professionals use specialized equipment and advanced training to quickly restore your property to pre-storm condition. We’re dedicated to responding immediately, which helps to minimize secondary damage.
Emergency Ready Profile
As a homeowner you always want to make sure you have emergency contacts close by in case anything unexpected happens. What if you are a homeowner but also a business owner? I know personally I couldn't imagine the amount of stress! SERVPRO realizes that you might not think about the unexpected things that might happen to your business; flooding, tornado damage, etc.
That's why we have our Emergency Ready Program available to you! Our ERP, Emergency Ready Profile is the best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster, plan for it now! As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your 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 business.
The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage A no cost assessment of your facility. – This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost. A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. – It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed. A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. – This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action. Establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. – You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by. Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. – This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money. Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. – Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.” Give us a call today and set up your ERP!
Heat Related Fires
Before you know it, it'll be cold again...
Besides using the fireplace to stay warm some people use alternative sources such as portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. Heating equipment is the cause for many residential fires annually, causing deaths, injury and property damage. Here are some tips to help you reduce the risk of a heating-related fire:
-Keep flammable items at least three feet away from heating equipment
-Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters, or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturers instructions
-Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed
-Plug space heaters directly into outlets, never into an extension cord or power strip.
-Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters
-Install and maintain carbon monoxide and smoke alarms inside your home and business.
-Test alarms monthly
-Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional
-Make sure fireplaces have a screen to help prevent sparks
-Make sure ashes are cool before putting them in a metal container
For more information on safety tips call your local fire department.
School Fire Damage
Unfortunately late one night there was a fire at a local school, luckily it was during a holiday break there was time to clean up before students and teachers came back. The fire ended up being caused by a printer, more specifically an outlet. The fire caused the sprinkler system to go off, which caused the water damage.
SERVPRO of Bessemer/SW Jefferson worked alongside the local fire department to clean up as much as possible the night the loss occurred.
Many desks and chairs had to be removed for cleaning, and the fire started upstairs so needless to say numerous classrooms, hallways, and stairwells had to be cleared due to the water from the sprinkler system.
SERVPRO of Bessemer/SW Jefferson provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any size disaster. Our highly trained technicians can respond immediately to your residential or commercial emergency.
Soot and Smoke Cleanup - Bessemer/SW Jefferson
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop 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
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Bessemer/SW Jefferson will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 205-664-6770
Facts about Mold
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.
If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
What to do if you see mold
If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of Bessemer/SW Jefferson for mold remediation services.
What Not to Do:
- Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
- Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
- Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
- Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
About Our Mold Remediation Services
SERVPRO of Bessemer/SW Jefferson specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.
Warning, Watch, or Advisory!?!
Lately there has been flooding all over the United States: if you are unfamiliar with the difference between a flash flood warning, flood warning, and flood advisory; then read below!
What is the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service?
Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.
Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.
Flood Watch: Be Prepared:A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.
Flood Advisory: Be Aware: An Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.
Information from http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov/
Severe Weather Tips
Since SERVPRO partners with the American Red Cross we love sharing their tips on different occasions.
Check out www.redcross.org for more information!
TORNADOES Tornadoes can strike without warning and destroy a community in seconds. Before a tornado warning is issued for your area, here are some things you should do:
1. Know your community’s warning system.
2. Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.
3. If you are in a high-rise building and don’t have enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.
4. Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees.
5. Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.
THUNDERSTORM SAFETY STEPS Thunderstorms injure an average of 300 people every year, and cause about 80 fatalities. Here are the top thunderstorm safety steps you should follow:
1. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.
2. As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.
3. If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.
4. If you are inside, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.
5. If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.
FLOODING Heavy rains could fill rivers and streams, bringing flooding to the area. If your neighborhood is threatened with the possibility of flooding, here are some things you should do:
1. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
2. Stay away from floodwaters.
3. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
4. Keep children out of the water.
5. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of tornadoes, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.