Why an ERP is Absolutely Necessary for Your Business
An ERP, or Emergency Ready Plan, is a method of planning for emergencies before they even occur. Why should your business have an ERP? Your emergency strategy will be carefully devised to guide you and your employees when taking the decisive action necessary during a disaster of any size. The SERVPRO Ready Plan information will give you the security of emergency preparedness, and your plan information can be downloaded into our Ready Plan app to instantly share with SERVPRO so that the damage can be intercepted right away.
Here are some things to consider while putting your ERP into place:
- Talk with your employees to formulate as many disaster scenarios as they can come up with. The most recent hurricanes that have hit Texas have created numerous learning opportunities for preparedness. Studying such tragedies can help you more effectively project other possible disasters to better plan for them.
- It is necessary to create an ERP that protects anyone in the building. The Department of Homeland Security refers to this as “Protective Actions for Life Safety,” and includes:
- Fire Drills. Rehearsals for action during a fire.
- Sheltering. Sheltering staff during a natural disaster.
- Sheltering in Place. Sheltering staff during a man-made emergency.
- Lockdown. Eluding an active shooter.
- Stabilizing an incident means preventing further damage on the scene. This can be accomplished by training your employees in various rescue procedures including:
- First Aid and CPR
- Proper Use of Fire Extinguishers
- Without guidance during an evacuation, people will often panic. Consider adding an evacuation team to your ERP:
- Assign point persons to guide evacuees out of the building.
- Appoint helpers to assist persons with disabilities.
- If an exit is blocked by a hazard such as a collapsed ceiling, make sure the evacuation team is trained to redirect employees to an alternate exit.
SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City is a reliable, professional provider of emergency cleaning and restoration services when you experience fire and water damage. SERVPRO can expertly help you devise an effective Emergency Readiness Plan for your business here in the Grapevine area.
What to Expect From a Fire Damage Restoration Project
A fire damage event is difficult for the home or business owner on many levels, and the restoration process that follows can be intimidating. Today we are sharing what you can expect from a fire restoration project. Each fire event is a little different, and each will require a unique solution, although the overall general process stays the same. The steps we are listing below will illustrate the SERVPRO process for the average fire damage emergency.
- Emergency Contact. Your restoration process begins the moment that you contact us. Our representative will ask you questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us to respond with the appropriate equipment and resources for your particular situation.
- Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment. Our team will carefully inspect and test all the adjoining rooms of your home or business to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is vital to us, allowing us to develop the perfect plan of action for your property.
- Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service. Fire damage will often compromise the condition of windows, walls, and roofing. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we will board up missing windows and walls, and place tarps on damaged areas of the roof.
- Water Removal and Drying. If water damage is present, the water removal process will begin almost immediately, with the goal of removing the majority of the water. Our team will then employ dehumidifiers and air movers to remove any remaining water and complete the drying process.
- Removal of Smoke and Soot From All Surfaces. SERVPRO uses specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and all other surfaces.
- Cleaning and Sanitizing. We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. Our team uses a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to the condition they were in before the fire. We are also trained to remove lingering odors, using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
- Restoration. This is the final step - getting your home or business back to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, installing new carpet, or painting surfaces, or it may entail major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various rooms or areas.
Here at SERVPRO of Grapevine/NE Tarrant County, we are ready to help if your Grapevine home or business suffers from damage due to fire or water. You can also count on us when it comes to mold remediation and prevention.
Can I Clean Smoke Damage Myself?
When we talk about fire damage to our homes or offices, we usually think about about flames eating up our most beloved objects. Combustion is dangerous and is easily the scariest part of a fire, but when rebuilding after a disaster, the most complicated restoration and cleanup comes from the damage done by smoke and soot.
Smoke is the incomplete combustion of material in a fire. It’s actually made of tiny pieces of the burning thing floating around in the air. This means the chemicals that make up the burning objects are also being carried around your building, making it toxic to people and possessions.
Smoke damage can occur in buildings that aren’t even directly affected by fire. Homes or offices near a burning building or a wildfire, can be contaminated by smoke and soot. If your building was never even touched by the fire, it’s tempting to think of smoke cleanup as a simple DIY, but these are complicated and technical restoration jobs, so take the following elements into consideration before you try to clean the problem area yourself:
- What type of smoke are you working with. There are several different types of smoke: wet smoke, dry smoke, plastic or rubber smoke, protein smoke, furnace soot, and candle smoke. Has organic material been burned? What about plastics? Different materials will produce different types of smoke with different effects
- What are you trying to clean? How valuable is it to you? Electronics are uniquely vulnerable to smoke damage—in addition to causing corrosion, smoke can also be electrically conductive, causing short circuits. Because of this, electronics should always be cleaned and refurbished by technical professionals
- What sort of metal fixtures are in the room that experienced damage? Brass and copper can be etched by smoke within 24 hours of depositing.
Because of the complex nature of smoke, cleaning up after a fire is not a DIY project. Fortunately, the IICRC certified technicians at SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King city have the experience and training to handle this type of restoration and make it “Like it never even happened.” Contact us today to find out how we can help you.
Fire Extinguisher Readiness
It’s December—time for Thanksgiving dinners and cozy fires in the hearth. It’s also a great time to review your fire extinguisher knowledge.
- Do you have a fire extinguisher? Do you know where it is?
- Do you know when your fire extinguisher expires? “You can tell the difference between the two by the head; a rechargeable extinguisher has a metalhead with a gauge that reads Charge/Recharge, and a disposable extinguisher has a plastic head with a gauge that reads Full/Empty.” (Keystonefire.com)
- Do you know how to use your fire extinguisher? The time to read the instructions is not when you reach for it in an emergency.
You should always familiarize yourself with the instructions for your specific extinguisher, but there are four basic steps to follow with a standard foam model. You can remember them with the acronym PASS:
- P—Pull the pin on the fire extinguisher.
- A—Aim the nozzle or hose at the base of the fire. Keep a safe distance away.
- S—Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing materials.
- S—Sweep the nozzle from side to side.
Continue directing the foam at the base of the fire until it is completely extinguished.
If you have experienced fire damage, call SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City to find out how we can help you make it “Like it never even happened.”
Avoiding Fire Damage In Your Home
Most electrical fires are caused by faulty cords, plugs and appliances so knowing safety and fire prevention are keys in avoiding fire damage to your home or business. The following are steps that homeowners and commercial property managers can take to avoid costly fire and soot damage.
Electrical Cord Safety:
- Inspect all cords for frayed or damaged casings
- Never damage or break off the third prong in a plug
- Never break off a third prong plug and plug into a two prong outlet
- Replace all 2 prong outlets with 3 prong outlets
- Do not pull out cords from the cord always pull out plugs from the plug.
- Use surge protectors sparingly as it is possible to overload a circuit if too many plugs are plugged into one outlet.
- Extension cords are to be used as temporary cords.
- Use the correct gage when using an extension cord
- Try to keep cords from running underneath a carpet or rug
- Keep cords away from water and heat sources
- Follow manufacturers instructions
- Disconnect small appliances when not in use
- Disconnect appliances when you are going to clean them
- Unplug small appliances if you are going to leave town for an extended period
- Check phone chargers for overheating
At SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City we are there to help our customers in a fire and soot damage situation with fast service in order to get you back on your feet. Please feel free to contact us at: (805) 674-5771
Team SERVPRO Thoroughly Remediates Water Damage After an Event in Your Home
A hot shower at the end of a long day in Fort Worth is a welcome thing, but when the shower water begins to escape and to pool where it should not be, you have a problem on your hands. The shower pan or shower base is a waterproof floor which includes the drain and is made to protect the shower area subfloor. Made usually of concrete and tile, terrazzo, metal, or concrete, if it has missing tiles or is sloped poorly, you are dealing with water damage in Fort Worth from a shower leak.
If for any reason your shower has caused a leak in your bathroom, the issue needs to be fixed right away. Continual exposure to moisture quickly creates mold in your bathroom, and you need help with the water removal as well. SERVPRO can come to your aid whenever you need us.
Once our techs have entirely removed any standing water and then dried out your home again, we can perform the restoration services. These include all the tasks that are needed to return your home to its normal condition before the loss. The restoration process can include any repairs to the structure and contents, final cleaning, final inspections and all of our equipment being removed from the job site when done. We also ensure that all of your belongings are put back into place.
One thing SERVPRO staff has to watch out for in a water damaged bathroom is the condition of any ceramic tile which was affected. The grouted joints are usually waterproofed when installing over plywood. However, any cracks make it vulnerable to water damage. The tile often is unaffected, but water can penetrate the grouting, causing warping or expansion of the subfloor, which causes the tiles to come apart at the joints and become loose. We need to repair your subflooring in this case and reinstall the tiles afterward.
SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City is thorough when it comes to water removal and restoration of any damage left behind by the leak. You can trust us to take care of your home in Trace Ridge, Heritage Trace, or Keller when you call us at (805) 674-5771.
What Happens After You Call Us? When Face with Water Storm Damage
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
At SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City we are there to help our customers in a fire and soot damage situation with fast service in order to get you back on your feet. Please feel free to contact us at:
How to Prepare for Severe Weather
Nine Storm Preparation Tips
- Get and stay informed.
Tune in to the local radio or TV station and community alert system for emergency information. Keep a battery-operated/solar-powered radio on hand.
- Inspect the emergency survival kits and the food and water supply.
The emergency kits should be stocked with essential items. If one or more are not available, purchase the necessary items to properly outfit the kits. Stock up with a two-week supply of food and water.
- Round up plenty of LED flashlights and batteries.
LED flashlights burn much brighter and last much longer than traditional flashlights. Heavy-duty solar-powered landscape lights can perform a double function as an attractive landscape feature and as an emergency light. Gather them up before the threatening storms, tornadoes, or approaching hurricane.
- Fully charge the car chargers.
The chargers can be used to charge a personal cell phone, smartphone, and other portable devices.
- Secure all outdoor furniture.
Secure outdoor furniture and other objects or move them inside. An EF-2 (135 mph) or EH-3 (140 mph) tornado can destroy an outdoor swing or trampoline. Deck furniture can disappear never to be seen again.
- Collect tools and emergency building materials.
Sandbags, plywood, and waterproof tarps will come in handy if windows are blown out, or a roof is torn off, or the shingles are damaged. Keeping as much water as possible out of homes and businesses will reduce damage to the interior. Keeping the inside as dry as possible will hinder the growth and spread of mold.
- Fill up automobiles and equipment.
Store fresh fuel for the emergency generator if one is available. Use approved fuel containers and store the fuel in a safe, dry place.
- Know how to shut off the utilities.
Should the home or business receive extensive damage, it may be necessary to shut off utilities, such as gas, electricity, and water. If evacuation is required, turn off utilities before leaving if time permits.
- Gather documents and records.
After a severe storm disaster, residents may need ID to prove who they are. Gather and store ID documents in a portable waterproof, fire-safe security chest. Important identification documents include birth certificates, Social Security cards, marriage certificates, adoption papers, passports, naturalization documents, wills, living wills, powers of attorney, and property deeds/titles. If there is room in the chest, include essential or memorable DVDs, portable disks, and flash drives. A better solution may be to create a document cache with files and images of relevant documents, ID cards, and photos. This cache can be stored on the cloud, and duplicated on a flash drive that is kept on hand. Personal IT management is essential, especially during and after a house fire or natural disaster.
Preparation is the key to weathering the storm when it hits. When it does, contact a storm damage restoration specialist. Emergency tarping and boarding, site stabilization and security, immediate water damage restoration, and other disaster recovery procedures can best be implemented by expert technicians facilitated by advanced equipment and technologies.
SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City is a trusted leader in the restoration industry as well as in the local community. We provide 24-hour emergency service and are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. We pride ourselves on having not only the training but also the expertise to handle our customer's restoration and cleaning needs. We are locally owned and operated and can respond immediately to any emergency. Being locally owned, we make every effort to stay involved in the community providing our time and services when needed.
After a Storm
What should you do after a storm floods your home? After a significant weather event, you may find yourself dealing with conflicting impulses. On one hand, you'll be eager to start the cleanup process right away. On the other hand, you'll probably feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start. While it’s best to have a restoration professional working through the process on your behalf, there are certain steps you can begin while you wait for help to arrive.
The first and most important thing to know is how to re-enter a building safely. Never begin damage mitigation until a building has been cleared as safe.
- Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet yourself or standing in water.
- Don’t walk through floodwaters. Water can be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage or possibly even be electrically charged. (See our earlier blog post on water contamination levels.)
- Turn off electricity to any rooms that are affected by flooding.
- Don’t operate any electrical equipment while standing in wet or damp locations.
- Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
- Wear protective clothing such as boots, long pants, and gloves when entering your home or dealing with flooded areas. I realize this is going to be uncomfortable in Austin since storm season is generally in the late summer heat, but it’s not worth the risk of injury to wear shorts in a flood clean-up.
Once you get into your building, notify your insurance agent. Your policy guidelines will influence your next steps and your agent should be able to recommend a trusted water restoration team in your area. To make sure that your agent has an accurate assessment of the damage, take photos or video to record the condition of your building and possessions. Don’t move any objects or collections without documenting their condition.
At SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City, we’re ready to answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but there are still some steps you can take the moment you get back home while you’re waiting for our team to arrive.
The faster you act, the more effective the restoration process will be and the better your chances are of saving water damaged possessions.
- Remove any paintings, art objects, documents and other sensitive materials to a safe, dry place.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Raise wooden furniture out of standing waters and place on blocks if possible.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Move large furniture away from walls for better air circulation.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
Tips for Carpet Care
If the affected room is carpeted, there are a few things you can do to prevent further damage to your carpet that might not be obvious if you’ve never been through a flood before.
- Place aluminum foil between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Remove books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items from wet carpets.
- Do not leave colored area rugs on wet carpets (or white rugs on wet colored carpets). Color transfer from one can stain the other.
Let Us Help You
Most people only ever have to recover from a flooded home once in their lifetime. When it does happen, it’s good to have a partner who has been through this before. At SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City, we have years of experience and the backing of the SERVPRO system to draw on and help make your home "Like it never even happened."
If you are dealing with flood damage, call us for help at (805) 674-5771 or request help online today.
How to Help Home Fire Survivors
As restoration professionals, we at SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City frequently work with homeowners going through the worst disasters of their lives. We’re proud to be able to help and to fix what’s been damaged. We know the joy of making homes “Like it never even happened.” But what do you do when someone’s home is actually destroyed by fire?
How can we as a community step up when a family loses everything in a fire? If you know the family, the simplest way to help is to give your neighbors the items that survivors of house fires need the most:
- Immediate necessities. Imagine walking into a hotel room with no bags. What do you change into after your shower? How do you brush your teeth? Gently used clothes from your own closet are generally considered appropriate since they’re immediately available and don’t require the time and effort of wardrobe shopping. But on your way to deliver them, stop by Walmart or Target and grab some new socks and underwear.
- Short-term basics. Now imagine moving into a new apartment with no boxes—no towels to put in the linen closet, no dishes to put in the cabinet. As you’re preparing to help a neighbor in need, mentally walk through your day and think about all the things you use daily.
- Long-term help. Now if you really know the family, work with them to provide assistance as they go through the process of recovery. Are you good with organizing? Maybe you can help them work with the insurance companies? Do you know their kids? Suggest a playdate while the parents work their to-do lists? Create a meal calendar for their friends or just take them out and let them talk.
If you don’t know the family affected by fire damage (or if it’s a community-wide disaster you’ve seen on the news) the best way to help is to donate money. You can give through gofundme.com or local charities, but the Red Cross is a consistently reliable organization with years of experience helping in exactly this sort of situation.
No one can know exactly what it's like to survive a house fire, but we know enough to know that we're needed and that's where we need to start.
If you've experienced fire damage and would like to find out what our restoration professionals can do for you, call SERVPRO of Morro Bay to King City at (805) 674-5771