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Before Winter Arrives. . . Don’t Let Pipes Freeze

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Before Winter Arrives. . . Don’t Let Pipes Freeze Water pipes freeze in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks.

Before Winter Arrives. . . Don’t Let Pipes Freeze

A major home maintenance disaster is bad enough in itself, but when several disasters happen all at once, well that’s a nightmare.  Especially when your water pipes freeze because not only do you have to call a plumber, but that crack in your pipe can spew up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flood damage, serious structure damage, and the immediate potential for mold damage.

The causes of frozen pipes are quick and sudden drops in temperature, poor insulation, and thermostats that are set too low.  Now is the time when the temps are warmer to prepare your home and here are a few preventive precaution steps.

  • Insulate your pipes in your crawlspace and in your attic. Exposed pipes are vulnerable, and the more insulation, the better.
  • Use approved and tested insulation products for use intended, either indoors or outdoors and make sure to follow the manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Seal those leaks near or around the pipes. Electrical wiring outlets, dryer vents, and pipes can be caulked or insulated to keep out the cold air.  The least little opening during severe cold weather can cause a pipe to freeze.
  • Disconnect garden hoses before winter and if you can drain water from indoor pipes that lead to outside faucets and shut off the valve. This can help prevent that little bit of inside pipe from freezing.

If you have water or flood damage, call us at 252-331-7889, Your 24Hr. Emergency Service.

Commercial Emergency Planning in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Emergency Planning in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks Commercial Emergency Planning in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks

The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to Plan for it NOW.

By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action.   All your contacts, your property manager, engineers’ info, etc. accessible at the touch of a button.

SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks offers complimentary ERP services to commercial business owners and facilitators.

Your ERP with SERVPRO® will include:           

  • A no cost assessment of your facility
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in an emergency
  • A guide to help get you back into your building following a disaster
  • Establishes SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

Call Missy Burns at SERVPRO® of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks at (252)331-7889 today to get started!

Cooking Fire Safety

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Cooking Fire Safety Kitchen Fire Restoration in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks

Cooking Fire Safety

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries.   Travelers Insurance offers these safe cooking behaviors to help keep you and your family safe.

Never leave your cooking equipment unattended while cooking, turn it off.

Don’t wear loose clothing, roll up your sleeves.

Keep your cooking area clean and remove any items that may explode or catch fire, like a paper or kitchen towel, oven mitt, non-dairy creamer, or flour.

Remove any grease buildup from your cooking area. 

Keep a fire extinguisher in the cooking area.  Be sure to have the correct type of extinguisher and know how to properly use it.  

Don’t throw hot grease into the garbage.  Let it cool and harden then dispose of it.

Don’t store food items in your oven.  People forget that there is food in there and it could catch fire when preheating. 

What do you do if you do have a cooking fire? 

Your safety comes first.  Leave the scene if you aren’t sure if the fire is safe enough to combat, call 911 for help.  The fire department will control the fire.

If the fire is small and you are going to attempt to extinguish it, call 911 for help first.  The fire can get out of control quickly and having help on the way is safer.

Never throw water on a grease fire, smother it.  Watch how the water will turn to burning steam and the oil will splash and spread the fire.  If you can, use a mitt to carefully slide a lid onto the pan and safely turn off the heat source.  Don’t attempt to remove the pan until the fire is out and the pan has had time to cool.

Keep the door closed for an oven or microwave fire and turn off the heat and electrical source.  Don’t open the door until the flames are gone.

If you suffer fire damage, call us for your Fire Damage Restoration in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks

How to Avoid a Fire Disaster this Holiday Season

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How to Avoid a Fire Disaster this Holiday Season Fire Safety in Elizabeth City/Outer Banks

SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks wants to help you avoid a fire disaster this holiday season.  November is a time of the year that inspires family get togethers, like Thanksgiving.  As you begin the holiday season, and are busy whipping up delicious dishes, it’s also important to take time to remember safety.  Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and home-fire-related injuries in the U.S.  According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency), cooking equipment and heating equipment are the leading causes of home fire deaths,  read more at Thanksgiving Safety  and watch the  Potential Danger of Turkey Fryers

If you have a cooking fire, consider just getting out and when you leave close the door behind you to help contain the fire.  Then call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.  Consider for an over fire, to turn off the heat and keep the door closed and to keep a lid nearby when cooking to smother small grease fires. 

SERVPRO Elizabeth City/Outer Banks want you, your family, and your property to stay safe.  If you do experience a fire or water damage during the holidays, or any time of the year, we can make it “Like it never even happened.”

November is Military Family Month.  All of us would like to thank all service members and their families during Military Family Month and all year-round.

Property Managers Who Plan Ahead

9/28/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Property Managers Who Plan Ahead Flooded Apartment Complex

Property Managers Who Plan Ahead

Unexpected water damage and its havoc can be a devastating situation for anyone.  Losing personal property or having to live elsewhere until mitigation has been completed is challenging, especially for those in apartment complexes, condos, or any other multi-unit property.  Property managers who plan are prepared to handle the masses quickly and help avoid further damage. 

It is so important for property management companies to prepare for the worst, given the large amount of people and personal property that can be affected.   In an emergency, it is important to act quickly, which means having your point of contacts easily accessible, and knowing your property specifics to relay to the emergency responders and utility companies.

To help property managers plan, SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks will help create a personalized Emergency Ready Plan with your property manager that focuses on all the important aspects of your property. Example: Flooring Type, Number of Units, Electrical Box Locations, shut off valve locations, etc.

Your ERP Profile will help our team at SERVPRO to be prepared even quicker as they will already have a better idea of how many technicians and amount of equipment that will be necessary prior to arriving to the emergency.

For commercial services, please call SERVPRO of Elizabeth City/Outer Banks and be sure to ask how to get started with your Business Emergency Profile. 

Developing Your Emergency Plan & Your Family/Household Living Needs

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Community Developing Your Emergency Plan & Your Family/Household Living Needs Practice your Family Emergency Plan

While planning your emergency plan, you should consider specific needs of those family/household members.  You can tailor it and your supplies to those specific daily living needs and responsibilities. 

Discuss these specifics with each other and determine how you can assist each other with communication, taking care of the children, the business, the pets, and even specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. 

It is recommended to create your own personal network for specific areas where you will need help.  These factors are important to remember when developing your plan.

  • Different ages of members within your household
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical needs that include prescriptions & equipment
  • Responsibilities for assisting others
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs that include devices & equipment
  • Locations frequented
  • Languages spoken
  • Cultural and religious considerations
  • Pets or service animals
  • Households and school aged children

Download and fill out an Emergency Family Plan or use it as a guide to create your own.  Practice your plan with your family/household.

Next Blog:  Get Your Kids On Your Team

Get Your Kids On Your Team!

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Community Get Your Kids On Your Team! Get Your Kids On Your Team!

Get Your Kids On Your Team!

Young children and teens need to be part of the emergency planning process for their own safety and sense of empowerment.  The burden of preparing for emergencies should not fall upon your shoulders alone.

Here are team building suggestions:

Play these games with your kids to test your know-how in a wide range of emergencies and they will help teach how to build the perfect emergency kit in a fun way!

Knowing how to respond to your child during or after a disaster is important.  Learn more about  helping children cope during and after a disaster.

Hurricane Safety During and After

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Community Hurricane Safety During and After Hurricane Safety During and After

Plan Ahead. . . Survive During and After

We know that hurricanes are massive storm systems that threaten us with powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, tornadoes and even landslides.  Hurricanes are the most active in September.  You know what to do to plan ahead, and now let’s discuss how to SURVIVE DURING  the hurricane.

  • If you have been told to evacuate, do so immediately and do not drive around barricades.
  • If sheltering during high winds, go to a FEMA safe room, or an ICC 500 storm shelter, or a small, interior windowless room or hallway on the lowest floor that is not subject to flooding.
  • If you are trapped in a building by flooding, go to the highest level of the building. Do not climb into a closed attic, as you may become trapped by rising flood water.
  • Listen for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Use a generator or other gasoline powered machines outdoors only and away from windows.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn around. Don’t Drown!  Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off of bridges over fast moving water.

Be safe AFTER

  • Listen to authorities for information and special instructions.
  • Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing and work with someone else.
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock.
  • Avoid wading in flood water, which can contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends.
  • Document any property damage with photographs. Contact your insurance company for assistance.

When a Hurricane is 18-6 Hours from Arriving

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Community When a Hurricane is 18-6 Hours from Arriving When a Hurricane is 18-6 Hours from Arriving

When a Hurricane is 18-6 Hours from Arriving

We know that hurricanes are massive storm systems that threaten us with powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, tornadoes and even landslides.  Hurricanes are the most active in September.  Plan Ahead for when a hurricane is 18 – 6 hours from arriving.

  • Bring inside any loose, lightweight objects that cannot be anchored as they could become projectile in high winds.
  • Trim or remove trees that are close enough to fall on your home or building.
  • Cover your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection, but a second option is to board up the windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.
  • Bookmark on your phone or computer your city or county website for quick access to storm updates and emergency instructions

When a hurricane is 6-18 hours from arriving

  • Turn on your TV/radio or check your city/county website every 30 minutes to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Charge your cell phone now so you will have a full battery in case you lose power.

When a hurricane is 6 hours from arriving

  • If you are in an area that is recommending evacuation, plan to stay at home, or where you are and notify friends and family.
  • Close storm shutters and stay away from the windows to be safe from flying glass.
  • Turn your refrigerator and/or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temp when the power is restored.
  • Turn on your TV/radio or check your city/county website every 30 minutes to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.

Next:  Plan Ahead. . . Survive During and After

Hurricanes. . . Plan Ahead

9/7/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Hurricanes. . . Plan Ahead Hurricanes. . . Plan Ahead FEMA News Photo

Hurricanes. . . Plan Ahead

Hurricanes are huge storm systems that form over warm ocean waters.  These systems move towards land with threats of powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, landslides and tornadoes.  The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.  Hurricanes are most active in September.

  • Remember that if you are under a hurricane warning, you should find shelter sooner rather than later to protect yourself from high winds and flooding. You should evacuate if you are told to do so.  If you must take refuge, you should do so in a storm shelter, or an interior room for high winds.  Make sure you have a way to receive and listen for emergency information and alerts.  Use a generator outdoors only and away from windows. #FloodSmart turn around, don’t drown!  You shouldn’t walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.

Plan Ahead

When a hurricane is 36 hours from arriving

  • Turn on the TV or radio to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Restock your emergency preparedness kit, and include food & water enough for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Prepare to use your family communication plan if you lose power. For example you can call, text, or email or use social media.  Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually more reliable and faster than making a phone call.
  • Know and review your evacuation route and shelter locations with your family as you may have to leave quickly.
  • Keep your car in good working condition with a full tank of gas, emergency supplies and extra clothing.

Next:  Plan Ahead. . . When a Hurricane is 18 -36 hours From Arriving