Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
September is Disaster Preparedness Month
To assemble your kit store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
- Food (at least a several-day supply of non-perishable food)
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle (to signal for help)
- Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
- Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
- Manual can opener (for food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
This preparedness kit information was provided by Ready.gov
Mold Mitigation After a Flood
You never know when flooding will strike, but when it does, you know who to call! (360) 695-4418
Mold may start to grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours immediately following a flood. If your home experiences flooding, you should get rid of standing water, clean, disinfect, and dry the affected area as soon as possible. The following measures may prevent or limit the severity of mold growth.
Eliminate Flood Water
The faster you get flood water out of your home, the less likely mold spores will be to multiply. There are several ways to make your home less inviting for mold:
- Pump out remaining water
- Tear out porous contents and building materials
- Use a wet vac to get rid of any puddles
Once all of the flood water is gone, it is time to clean and disinfect the affected area.
Clean and Disinfect
Flood water is classified as a category three or black water. This means that standing water may contain
- Heavy metals
For this reason, it is necessary to disinfect all surfaces and contents exposed to flood water. Mold also flourishes in undisturbed locations. Cleaning surfaces and eliminating porous contents that cannot be thoroughly cleaned, such as carpet or drywall, will make mold growth less likely.
Dry the Area
The more you can lower moisture levels following a flood, the less likely mold will be to grow. For this reason, homeowners or restoration experts should use equipment such as commercial- or industrial-grade
- Air movers
All of these appliances help to speed up drying. Dehumidifiers are particularly useful for maintaining low moisture levels in the air and drawing dampness out of semi-porous surfaces.
Removing water, cleaning and disinfecting, and drying are all ways to reduce the risk of mold growth. For the fastest mitigation process and less of an opportunity for mold to develop, rely on the professional equipment and extensive experience of residential water and storm damage specialists.
Maintaining Your Commercial Building to Avoid a Water Damage
Our goal first and foremost is to inform you on how to prevent a water damage but we will be there day or night if you do!
Pay special attention to areas of the building where leaks are most likely to occur:
- HVAC system
- Toilets, faucets, and plumbing system
- Building foundation
- Sprinkler systems
Document the age and maintenance records for all building systems. Knowing your building equipment’s age – and having them regularly serviced and updated – can save you time and money down the road. It can also help you keep track of equipment warranties.
Your first sign of a water issue could be in your water bills. A small 1/8” crack in a pipe loses 250 gallons of water in a single day.
Signs of a water leak include:
- Dark or wet spots
- Cracking, bubbling, or flaking drywall, plaster, or wallpaper
- Pooling water or puddles
- Dampness or humidity in the air
- Sounds of dripping or gushing water
Consider installing a water sensor monitoring system at your business. There are different models and options available.
Choosing SERVPRO Has Huge Benefits
Since you never know when an emergency will come, prepare ahead of time by signing up for SERVPRO’s Emergency Ready Profile!
Available 24/7Storms and other disasters can strike at any time of the day or night, so we are ready to help as soon as we’re needed.
Commercial Large Loss DivisionOur Disaster Recovery Teams are composed of elite technicians who have the training and resources to handle large-loss events for industries that have included hospitals, universities and government facilities.
Strategically LocatedWe have more trained and certified technicians than any of our competitors at more than 1,900 locations in the United States and Canada. This gives us a larger network of professionals, supplies and equipment to get the job done, regardless of size.
Personal AttentionEach large loss project is managed by a project manager. They’re backed by the SERVPRO headquarters operations team to help you have the smoothest restoration experience possible
Easier Insurance Claims ProcessSERVPRO will help you navigate the insurance claims process and coordinate the necessary paperwork for a quicker, easier experience.
After a Fire, Wait Until Help Arrives
Call for questions concerning a fire damage, we're happy to give tips and provide resources.
After experiencing fire damage to the home, it’s understandable if most homeowners want to clean it up themselves. However, homeowners run the risk of further damaging your home if not cleaned properly. When in doubt, call SERVPRO of Vancouver/ Clark County.
Until we arrive, keep these things in mind
- Limit movement in the home as much as possible to prevent further damage.
- Place clean towels or linens on carpeted areas to prevent more soiling.
- Always keep your hands clean to avoid spreading soot around the home.
- Do not attempt to wash walls or painted surfaces.
- Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or other surfaces.
- Do not attempt to clean electrical appliances.
SERVPRO of Vancouver/ Clark County understands how much your home means to you. Our 24 hour, 7 days a week availability allows us to respond quickly. Our team of experts make fire damage “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at (360) 254-0049
Types of Smoke & Why to Call a Professional
Our technicians have experience, both tested and in the field. Knowledge is power, so gain control back by calling SERVPRO of Vancouver/ Clark County.
After a fire, aside from the the more obvious damage to your home or business there is another silent factor; smoke. Depending on the type of smoke, it may greatly affect the restoration process. SERVPRO technicians are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke which is vital to proper restoration.
Wet Smoke (Plastic & Rubber)
Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke (Paper & 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.
Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs)
While "puff backs" can create havoc for homeowners SERVPRO technicians can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.
Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue)
Special loss situations require special care.
If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact SERRVPRO of Vancouver/ Clark County, we are trained to handle even the toughest losses here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Storm Preparation for your Home
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There are simple things you can do to minimize the impact of storms on your home and surrounding property, as shown in the following emergency planning checklist:
General home maintenance
- Check your roof regularly to make sure it’s in good condition
- Keep gutters, down-pipes and drains clear
- Remove tree branches that are close to your house
- Fix any corrosion, loose fittings and rotting or termite-affected timber
- Secure loose items around your property
General home safety preparations
- Ensure your home, contents and car insurance is adequate and current
- Identify the safest room in which to shelter during a storm
- Learn how to safely turn off your power, water and gas
- Keep water containers, a camping stove and fuel safely on-hand
If you live in a flood-prone area
- Store poisons and garden chemicals well above ground level
- Identify indoor items you’ll need to raise or empty if flood threatens
- Relocate power points well above previous flood levels
Contact SERVPRO of Vancouver/ Clark Co. TODAY to help be prepared. (360) 254-0049
Residential Fire Statistics
Contact SERVPRO® of Vancouver/Clark County (360) 254-0049 if you do experience damages from a house fire.
In life, especially during your youth, there are many different reasons you might hear the phrase, “Don’t become a statistic.” Often, that advice is trying to deter you from getting in trouble; warning against drinking, drugs, or other illicit activities. In life there are other dangers for which everyone should avoid becoming a statistic - one of the scariest being fires.
The following is a list of various home fire statistics (published in 2017) for you to consider.
- Between 2011-2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 358,500 home structure fires with an annual average of
- 2,510 civilian fire deaths
- 12,300 civilian fire injuries
- $6.7 billion in direct damage
- The leading causes of home structure fires are
- Electrical distribution and lighting equipment
- Heating equipment
- Cooking equipment
- Smoking materials
- The leading origins of these fires are
- Kitchen or cooking area
- Confined chimney or flue fire
- Living room, family room or den
- People between the ages of 25-64 have a greater risk of death or injury in a house structure fire
- 93% of structure fire deaths and 80% of all fire deaths are due to home structure fires.
- Property use plays a factor in the amount of fires that occur as well. For example
- One- or two-family home, (including manufactured home) amount to 249,500 - or 70% - of home structure fires
- Apartment or other multifamily housing amount to 109,000 - the other 30% - of home structure fires.
- In America, an average of seven people die in fires per day.
- Home fire deaths peak in the cooler months.
This list is a highly condensed version of the lists out there, provided by groups like the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), to keep you and those you love aware of the causes and effects of house fires. The most important thing to take away from the information included here is that no matter your age, the size of your household, etc. your home is at risk. Take precautions, make a plan, and trust your local rescue teams.
Don’t become a statistic.
Information retrieved from: https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics-and-reports/Building-and-life-safety/osHomes.ashx
Commercial Damage Have you Puzzled?
Remain positive and hopeful because SERVPRO of E. Vancouver is here to help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!
Natural disasters can cause significant and costly damages to homes, roads and, of course, local businesses. While you should always be prepared for such events, by maintaining adequate insurance coverage and secure file backups, you sometimes get little warning before disaster strikes. And if something happens, you'll want to get your business back up and running as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, the road to recovery isn't always easy. A previous article about recovery from 2012's Superstorm Sandy reported that just 25 percent of small businesses had backups of critical programs and data before the storm, and even fewer (20 percent) said they had protected their buildings from the storm or prepared emergency survival kits.
Execute your business continuity plan
Your business continuity plan should prepare you for major disaster scenarios, such as the loss or unavailability of IT systems, key people or a facility third party. Make sure key personnel will have access to the plan on secured mobile devices immediately after a disaster.
Don't have a business continuity plan?
Check your backed-up data
You should have already backed up and safely stored your most critical data: your business license, major contracts and legal documents, tax returns and financial statements, and other critical business and customer documents. Following a disaster, make sure your vital records are still securely accessible from the devices you're using.
Communicate with your employees and external parties
Leverage your website, social media channels and text messaging to reach your employees, customers, partners and vendors. Reassure your customers that you're still in business, while making sure that no communications will inadvertently create legal liability or adversely affect service-level agreements.
Contact your insurance company
Once you and your employees are safe and accounted for after a disaster, survey the damage. Contact your insurance company to file a claim. You should always do an occasional check-up to ensure you have adequate coverage for major disaster types, including cybersecurity insurance. Office break-ins and vandalism may occur during a disaster, and if someone steals computer equipment or paper documents containing personally identifiable information, and the information was not encrypted, you may have a legal requirement to notify your customers. To be safe, encrypt your customer data, digitize paper documents and store all critical data in a secure, cloud-based document-management system.
If your insurance doesn't cover the full cost of the damage, you may be eligible for a disaster loan from the Small Business Administration of up to $2 million. The SBA may even provide working capital loans, even if you didn't have any property damage.
Grill Safely This Summer!
SERVPRO of W. Vancouver / Clark Co. Professionals wish you a safe and happy summer!
Celebrate Summer Safety
Summer is a time to enjoy the great outdoors, but it is also important to keep safety in mind. Consider the following tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association, to keep you and your family safe all summer long.
- When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbecue grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
- When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
- When camping, always use a flame-retardant tent and set up camp far away from the campfire.
- Always build a campfire downwind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your fire. Extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite.
- Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.