Be prepared for any storm 2018
September is National Preparedness Month and serves as a reminder that we must prepare now, as well as throughout the year, for any emergencies that could arise where we live, work, and visit. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to have a plan of action to keep everyone as safe as possible. Consider the following questions when making your emergency plan:
• How will my family/household get emergency alerts and warnings?
• How will my family/household get to safe locations during an emergency?
• How will my family/household get in touch if cell phone, internet, or landline doesn’t work?
• How will I let loved ones know I am safe?
• How will my family/household get to a meeting place after the emergency?
Your emergency planning should also address the care of pets, aiding family members with access and functional needs and safely shutting off utilities. It is important to check your insurance policy coverage. You can sign up for preparedness tips & weather alerts by downloading the FEMA app & texting PREPARE to 43362 (4FEMA).
You should also inquire about emergency plans at work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.
Once you’ve collected this important information, gather your family members and discuss how to put your plan into place. Practice your plan at least twice a year and update it accordingly if any issues should arise.
Call SERVPRO of Portsmouth at 757-397-3770
Mold Overview 2018
Mold can grow anywhere that there is moisture and normally you can see or smell if you have a mold problem. It always needs three things to grow; water or moisture, a food source, and time. Mold usually appears to be fuzzy, with discolored patches that can be slimy, accompanied by a musty odor. If the mold is not visible, it is commonly found behind or underneath carpets, walls, wallpaper and cabinets. Sources that can lead to mold are flooding, roof leaks, indoor plumbing leaks, humidifiers, damp basements and crawlspaces, steam from your bathroom or kitchen, and outdoor drainage problems.
Exposure to mold can cause health issues. You are more susceptible to these health issues if you currently have a respiratory condition or a compromised immune system. Mold cleanup starts with controlling the moisture problem, and identifying and correcting the source of the water/dampness. Call us here at SERVPRO of Portsmouth and we will be happy to answer any questions and assist you in remediating your mold issues.
Call SERVPRO of Portsmouth 757-397-3770
Commercial Desiccant Ready for your Large Loss
If you have a large commercial water loss and you need it remedied as quickly as possible, call SERVPRO of Portsmouth at 757-397-3770. We have recently acquired a state of the art, 5000 CFM Desiccant, accompanied by a 150kw generator. Our desiccant is designed to dry large commercial buildings in a fraction of the time of a conventional fan or air mover. This helps you and your business get back on track as soon as possible, making the damage feel “Like it never even happened.”
Currently, our desiccant is stationed in Louisiana, where we are helping the flood victims get their buildings dried out and ready to open for business again. We understand how devastating disasters can be, and how important it is to help people get back to normalcy as quickly as possible. Our Desiccant will remain in Louisiana for as long as it takes to ensure the safety and peace of minds of the victims of this terrible tragedy. As soon as we finish our work in Louisiana, the desiccant will be back in Hampton Roads ready for any size commercial loss.
Water You Don't See Hiding 2018
With any leak or spill, it’s the water you don't see that can cause the most damage. When you experience a water damage, make the right choice. A mop and common household cleaning products may not be enough for the unseen water intrusions. While the surface may seem dry, the water you don’t see can contain bacteria, cause mold or rot, and cause other unseen damage. SERVPRO of Portsmouth wants to help.
The insurance industry estimates that approximately 90 percent of household damages come from water-related occurrences. The most commonly reported cause is leaky or broken pipes and plumbing fixtures. Home appliances are considered a leading cause of preventable water damage. By implementing a simple inspection and maintenance program, homeowners can reduce their risk significantly:
- Dishwasher - Periodically check around the base of the dishwasher, as well as the water supply line under the sink.
- Refrigerator - For refrigerators with ice makers, periodically check the hose connection attached to the water supply.
- Washing Machine - Hoses should be inspected regularly for wetness around hose ends, as well as for signs of bulging, cracking or fraying. Hoses should be replaced every three to five years.
- Water Heater - While the service life of the standard water heater is 10 to 15 years, water heaters should be inspected routinely for signs of leaks or tank rust. Water heaters should be located next to a floor drain or placed inside a drain pan piped to the floor drain.
So before risking the value of your home or further damage by attempting to clean and dry it yourself, call SERVPRO of Portsmouth to inspect your home at 757-397-3770.
National Preparedness Month is September 2018
September is National Preparedness Month and we encourage you to take action to prep for any emergencies that could arise in your home or workplace. Make an emergency communication plan for both your home and workplace in the event of floods, wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and winter storms. Educate yourself and your community with the dangers of these disasters and how to best cope with them.
This month is known for a lot of Hurricane activity and we want to make sure you are prepared in the event a storm does hit our area.
Make sure you are prepared with a disaster supply kit. During an emergency, it is important that you have cell phone backup power, batteries, flashlights, bottled water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, battery-powered radio, and portable generator Conduct practice drills with your family and co-workers for each scenario. Be sure that your home and belongings are properly insured. Talk to your neighbors and share your tips on preparedness. You never know when disaster will strike so it is important to take the proper precautions to ensure peace of mind. For more safety tips, along with a complete list of important emergency items visit ReadyVirginia.gov.
Call SERVPRO of Portsmouth 757-397-3770
Fewer Storms Now Predicted for 2018 According to Experts
Although Hurricane season is far from over, there is good news. Experts are now predicting fewer storms this year than anticipated. Activity for the remainder of 2018 is expected to be “below average.”
Researchers from Colorado State University presume that we will see 9 named storms after August 1st, with 3 being hurricanes, and one reaching major hurricane strength by November 30th.
We have had 4 named storms so far this year: Subtropical Storm “Alberto,” formed on May 21st in the Caribbean Sea, Hurricane “Beryl,” which formed in the Atlantic on July 5th but never made landfall. Hurricane “Chris” which started as a tropical storm in the Atlantic and developed into hurricane strength on July 10th. Luckily, Chris veered back towards the ocean before it could hit the East Coast. And lastly, Tropical Storm Debby, which started developing on August 4th, and has since been down-graded to a Post-Tropical Cyclone.
Colder water temperatures in the Atlantic are creating higher pressure and drier air, which all contribute to the projected drop in storms this season. Drier air helps suppress the formation of thunderstorms, in turn preventing hurricanes from forming.
Experts advise that we continue to stay vigilant and alert this hurricane season, as it only takes one hurricane to create major devastation. Here at SERVPRO of Portsmouth, we are always prepared to assist you in your time of need and make storm damage “Like it never even happened.”
Call SERVPRO of Portsmouth today at 757-397-3770.
The Polar Vortex and What to Expect in Winter Seasons 2018
Polar vortexes, or polar cyclones as they are sometimes called, are climatological features that hover near the poles year-round. These cold-core low-pressure areas strengthen in the winter and weaken in the summer. Strengthening storm systems within the troposphere (the lowest portion of the Earth’s atmosphere) can act to intensify the polar vortex by significantly cooling the poles. A portion of the polar vortex can be fragmented and plunge over Canada, the Midwestern, Central, Southern and Northeastern United States. This alteration in the polar vortex can occur due to the displacement of the polar jet stream.
An example of this alteration would be the significant northwestern push of the polar jet stream over the Western part of the United States this past winter. This is different than the El Nino and La Nina weather occurrences, which are based on the water temperatures and air pressure in the Pacific Ocean that we have seen in the past. So, will the polar vortex have an effect on the upcoming winter?
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, this winter the East Coast will be colder with normal to above-normal snowfall. The coldest periods will be late December through early January and the snowiest periods will be mid-January to early February. Accuweather predicts a soggy, stormy end of the year for the Southeast as a result of the effects of El Nino and even suggests that there may be snow in December. We will have to see if it rains or only sprinkles this winter.
So it sounds like the Hampton Roads area always needs to prepare for a cold and wet winter. Get your sweaters out, stock up on hot cocoa and prepare your home. Have the chimney inspected, check to see that your pipes are insulated, remember to turn your faucets to a slow, constant drip if the temperatures will be below 20?, disconnect the garden hoses, check all of the weather stripping around your windows and doors, and replace your HVAC filters. All of these things will help keep you and your home safe and minimize any possible damages that could be caused by the sudden drops in temperature.
Although we haven’t seen a whole lot of cold weather so far this winter, it looks like it could still be just around the corner. If it does hit, we probably will not see the same effects as we did on January 21, 1985 when the temperatures dropped to 3 degrees below zero in Norfolk making it the coldest day in the history of Hampton Roads.
Call SERVPRO of Portsmouth at 757-397-3770.
Fall Brings Cool Weather and Increased Risk of Fires 2018
There is a chill in the air, beautiful colors outside, football on the TV, and an abundance of decorations to be put up. With everything going on in the fall, it is easy to forget that autumn can be a dangerous time for fires. It is very important to be prepared and aware of your surroundings.
As you start to put up the decorations for Halloween and Thanksgiving, remember that dried flowers, cornstalks, and bales of straw are all highly flammable. Pair this with the candle-lit Jack-O-Lanterns along with other open flames and there is a recipe for disaster. It is very important to be careful and think about the way you decorate. Be sure to keep any flames far away from anything even remotely flammable. It is also very important to keep all exits clear of all decorations.
SERVPRO of Portsmouth isn’t the only one stressing fire prevention in the fall. Each October, the National Fire Protection Association observes Fire Prevention Week. It is a week designated to encourage people to evaluate their surroundings and make sure that they have a plan in place in the event of a fire. It’s a great time for schools and families to teach children about fire safety.
Even if you don’t have children, take some time this month to make sure you have a plan in place. Make sure you have up to date fire extinguishers at the ready and fresh batteries in your smoke detectors. Always remember, no one ever expects a fire to happen. A good plan and fast action can turn a total loss into a small claim.
Call SERVPRO of Portsmouth today at 757-397-3770.
Power Outages Affect Hampton Roads 2018
Due to the humid weather lately, Hampton roads has experienced many severe thunderstorms. This has, in turn, caused both residential homes as well as commercial business to experience outages.
Thousands were without power in Virginia Beach on the night of July 15, 2015 after a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for some areas on the Southside. According to Dominion Virginia Power, more than 2,000 customers in Virginia Beach experienced a power outage. Just after midnight, that number had been reduced to about 1,500 customers and the estimated restoration time was 3 a.m.
Here are some tips that will prove to be helpful if a power outage looks likely.
To prepare for a power outage you should do the following:
•To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
•Follow energy conservation measures to keep the use of electricity as low as possible, which can help power companies avoid imposing rolling power outages.
•Fill plastic containers with water and place them in the refrigerator and freezer if there's room. Leave about an inch of space inside each one, because water expands as it freezes. This chilled or frozen water will help keep food cold during a temporary power outage, by displacing air that can warm up quickly with water or ice that keeps cold for several hours without additional refrigeration.
•Be aware that most medication that requires refrigeration can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without a problem. If unsure, check with your physician or pharmacist.
•Keep your car tank at least half full because gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.
•Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it. Garage doors can be heavy, so know that you may need help to lift it.
•Keep a key to your house with you if you regularly use the garage as the primary means of entering your home, in case the garage door will not open.
Always remember SERVPRO of Portsmouth is here to help by calling 757-397-3770.
Commercial Fires 2018
Living in a high-rise building can protect you from a handful of different disasters. Unfortunately, they don’t make you any less at risk from a fire. Although high rise buildings are more likely to have fire protection systems in place, they face additional challenges that low-rise buildings may not. Complex evacuation strategies, limited fire department accessibility, smoke movement, fire control, and longer egress times and distance are just some of the unique challenges that these buildings may face in the event of a fire. The multiple floors of a high-rise building create the cumulative effect of requiring great numbers of persons to travel great vertical distances on stairs in order to evacuate the building.
People working or residing in high-rise apartment, condominium, and office buildings need to be fully prepared in the event of a fire. Be sure that you are working closely with your neighbors, landlord and co-workers to ensure everyone is aware of the proper fire safety procedures and features in your building in the event of a fire.
Does your building have fire extinguishers and/or sprinklers? Do you know where the fire alarms are located? Do you have an evacuation plan posted in designated areas of the building? SERVPRO offers a complimentary ERP (Emergency Ready Program) for your business that provides an immediate plan of action in the event a fire or other disaster should occur. For more information, contact your local SERVPRO Franchise or go to: https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/readyprogram
The following are a few essential free resource tips and guidelines from the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) on how to prevent fires & be prepared in case a fire should occur.
Guidelines to Developing Emergency Action Plans for All-Hazard Emergencies in High-Rise Office Buildings
Download NFPA's free safety tip sheet on high-rise buildings.
See more NFPA tips for escape planning in tall buildings.
Call SERVPRO of Portsmouth today at 757-397-3770 if you need any help.