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2019 National Hurricane Preparedness Week

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 2019 National Hurricane Preparedness Week National Hurricane Preparedness Week 2019

Hurricane season begins June 1st. This year National Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 5th through May 11th. Each day we are urged to focus on specific emergency planning tasks to help prepare our families and communities for hurricanes.

May 5th – Know Your Risk

How at risk of hurricane damages is your home or business? Evaluate what you need to do now in order to best protect your home and business. Sign up for local alerts online or download a weather app, like the FEMA app or the WDSU weather app.

May 6th – Develop an Evacuation Plan

The first thing you need to do is find out if you live in a storm surge hurricane evacuation zone or if you’re in a home that would be unsafe during a hurricane. If you are, then figure out where you’d go and how you’d get there if told to evacuate. You do not need to travel hundreds of miles. Identify someone, perhaps a friend or relative who doesn’t live in an evacuation zone or unsafe home, and coordinate with them to use their home as your evacuation destination. Be sure to account for your pets, as most local shelters do not permit them. Put the plan in writing for you and those you care about.

May 7th - Assemble Disaster Supplies

 A hurricane emergency kit should include all the necessities for surviving at least 72 hours and any unique items your family may need, like items for pets or seniors. In addition to storing copies of important documents in your emergency kit, you should also have documents stored on the cloud or saved as a Google document.

May 8th - Get an Insurance Check Up

Is your home properly protected? Read our latest blog about flood insurance to learn important facts about flood insurance that may probably surprise you. For instance, just one inch of water in your home can cause up to $25,000 in damages. Imagine having to cover the restoration and rebuild costs without having insurance. Also, flood insurance doesn’t go into effect until thirty days after the purchase date and insurance cannot be purchased when a named storm is in the Gulf of Mexico. So, plan a meeting with your insurance agent today to review your policy and make necessary changes before it's too late. 

May 9th - Strengthen Your Home

If you plan to ride out a hurricane in your home, then make sure it is in good repair and up to local hurricane building code specifications. Have the proper plywood, steel or aluminum panels to board up the windows and doors. Remember, the garage door is the most vulnerable part of the home. So, it must be able to withstand high winds. You can reduce property damage in the event of a hurricane by retrofitting (i.e., reinforcing) the roof, windows, and doors.

May 10th - Help Your Neighbor

Many Americans rely on their neighbors after a disaster, but there are also many ways you can help your neighbors before a hurricane approaches. Learn about all the different actions your community can take to prepare and recover from the hazards associated with hurricanes by visiting ready.gov/neighbors.

May 11th – Make an Emergency Plan

Write down your full emergency plan and share it with your friends and family. Having a written plan will take the guesswork out of your response and allow you to calmly make decisions during a disaster. For help creating your emergency plan, you can visit ready.gov/make-a-plan.

Remember, it only takes one storm to change your life and community. For more information on hurricanes and hurricane safety, visit weather.gov/safety/hurricane

Create an Emergency Ready Profile for Your Business and Enter to Win Jazz Festival Tickets

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Create an Emergency Ready Profile for Your Business and Enter to Win Jazz Festival Tickets 2019 Jazz Festival Ticket Drawing

At SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville, we often see disasters become major issues because of a lack of readiness. This is why we offer free emergency planning services to every business owner and property manager in our area. Our disaster planning services help businesses mitigate damages following a storm or accident while ultimately saving them time and money on restoration. This month, in an effort to promote business continuity within our community, we've decided to give away a pair of Jazz Festival tickets to one lucky person who participates in our Emergency Ready Program. 

All local residents, business owners, and property managers are eligible to win. To enter the drawing you must create an Emergency Ready Profile for your business or for a property that you manage with our marketing coordinator Kayla Theriot by April 12th. You can also refer a local business to create an Emergency Ready Profile. If that business completes an Emergency Ready Profile, then both you and the business owner will be entered into the drawing. Again, this service is free and only takes about thirty minutes to complete. We will choose one winner on Monday, April 15th. 

Together let's make sure every business is ready to respond to any size disaster! To learn more about our Emergency Ready Program or to schedule an appointment with Kayla please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com.

NFPA's Most Recent Home Structure Fire Research Report

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage NFPA's Most Recent Home Structure Fire Research Report National Fire Protection Agency

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a global nonprofit organization, established in 1896, devoted to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss due to fire, electrical, and related hazards. NFPA is a great resource for fire safety tips, fire safety training, and fire research. In December of 2018, NFPA released their most recent research publication of fire statistics and findings from 2012 to 2016. Below are a few important statistics to note:

  • More than one-third of reported fires (27%) occurred in the home.
  • During this five-year period, firefighters responded to an average of 355,400 fire per year.
  • Roughly one of every 326 households per year had a reported home fire during this period. On average, seven people died in a fire in a home per day.
  • Leading causes of home structure fires from 2012- 2016 are as follows: Cooking equipment accounted for 48% of home structure fires. Heating equipment accounted for 15% of home structure fires. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment accounted for 10% of home structure fires. Eight percent of the fires were deemed intentional. And lastly, five percent of the home structure fires from 2012-2016 were caused by smoking materials.
  • Candles started an average of 8,200 fires annually, resulting in an average of 80 deaths, 770 injuries, and $264 million in direct property damage per year.
  • Someone, usually a child, playing fire or another heat source, started an average of 5,700 home fires annually in 2012-2016.
  • The kitchen was the leading origin in home structure fires.
  • Almost three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in which either no smoke alarm was present (40%) or at least one alarm was present but did not operate (17%).

Ways to help protect your home from fire damages:

  • Pay attention when cooking. Never leave food cooking on the stove unattended. 
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Do not pour water on a grease fire, either use a fire extinguisher or baking soda to put out the fire. 
  • Do not overload outlets or power strips. 
  • Do not plug more than one heating appliance into an outlet.
  • Make sure flammable items are kept a respectable distance away from the stove, fireplace, and appliances. 
  • Teach children not to play with fire and other fire safety tips. 
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in each bedroom. 
  • Test smoke alarms every month and replace batteries every six months. Smoke alarms should be replaced every ten years. Check the back of the smoke alarm for the manufacturer's date. If not date is noted, then replace that smoke alarm and install a new one. 
  • Clean out the lint screen before each drying cycle. 
  • Unplug appliance when they are not in use. 

For more fire safety tips, please visit https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire.html 

No Job Too Big for SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in water damage restoration, mold remediation, and fire and soot damage restoration for both residential and commercial properties. We are also a leading restoration vendor for catastrophic storm response. With over 1,800 SERVPRO franchises and hundreds of SERVPRO large loss disaster recovery teams strategically placed throughout the country, help is always nearby. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is able to provide immediate disaster restoration services for any size property any day of the year.

We are committed to helping businesses recover faster following a disaster and to helping business owners better prepare for an emergency. SERVPRO's Emergency Ready Program was created to help business owners prepare for any size disaster by understanding their risks and formulating a plan of action. To learn more about our Emergency Ready Program please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com

What is Black Mold?

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

"Black mold", formally known as Stachybotrys chartarum or Stachybotrys atra, is only one species of mold. Stachybotrys chartarum often appears black or dark green in color. Stachybotrys chartarum can grow on materials with high cellulose and low nitrogen content, such as fiberboard, gypsum board, paper dust, and lint. Now, there are thousands of unique species of mold in the world. Not every dark green or black colored microbial growth is Stachybotrys chartarum. Other species of molds may look similar in color. In order to be certain of which species of mold you have discovered growing in your home or business, you must have an Indoor Environmental Professional or Industrial Hygienist test for mold. The mold testing professional will take samples of the air quality inside of your home, of the suspected microbial growth, and of the air quality outside of your home. The samples will then be sent to a lab for testing. In less than one week, the professional should send you the test results and explain the findings. Any excessive amount of mold spores in your home should be addressed by professionals like our mold remediation team at SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville. "Black mold" or not, an excessive count of mold spores affects your home's air quality. For questions regarding mold remediation or to schedule an appointment with one of our certified mold remediation technicians, please contact our office by dialing 985-871-5375.    

Have You Created an Emergency Preparedness Plan for Your Business?

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Have You Created an Emergency Preparedness Plan for Your Business? SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville Emergency Ready Program

Benjamin Franklin said, "by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail". This is one of our favorite quotes, as every day we are reminded of the importance of disaster preparedness. We understand accidents happen. Even with regular business maintenance, you can not prevent accidents from occurring, like water pipes breaking or appliances malfunctioning. Also, you can not control natural disasters, nor can you prevent damages following said natural disasters. As a business owner, your best defense for property damages is a strong offense of proper maintenance and emergency planning. Have you created a disaster plan for your business? If so, have you shared this plan with your employees? How would your team respond following an accident or disaster if they could not get in touch with you or didn't know about your emergency preparedness plan? SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville offers free emergency preparedness and business continuity planning services for businesses of all sizes in St. Tammany Parish. Our marketing coordinator will help you create an Emergency Ready Profile that will serve to better prepare you and your team to respond quickly following a disaster. A quick response will help you to minimize business interruption, minimize lost revenue from business interruption, and save you money from reduced secondary damages. For more information about our Emergency Ready Program or to schedule your appointment with our marketing coordinator, please contact Kayla Theriot by sending an email to Kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com

Notice a Moldy Smell in Your Home or Business? Here's How You Should Respond.

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Notice a Moldy Smell in Your Home or Business? Here's How You Should Respond. Does it smell like mold is growing in your home or business?

Most people learn their home has a mold issue either by discovering visible mold growth or by smelling a “moldy” odor. Mold growth produces gasses called microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC). Depending on the species of mold, the microbial volatile organic compound gasses can either be odorless or carry a distinct moldy smell. People often describe this moldy smell as musty, as if something inside of the pungent room is wet. If you notice this smell in your home or business, but do not see visible mold growth, then you should contact an industrial hygienist or indoor air quality professional to have the property tested for elevated mold spore counts. The professional will take air samples from multiple rooms in your home or business. They will also swab specific materials in areas believed to be affected and take samples from the air outside as a base to compare mold spore counts. Often the heating and air conditioning system is tested as well as mold spores will travel throughout the property through this channel. The samples are then sent to a lab for testing. Within a few days, the mold testing professional will send you a copy of the test results and explain their findings. Once the location of the mold growth has been determined our mold remediation technicians can devise a plan to remove affected materials and rid your home or business of an excessive mold spore count. To learn mold about our mold remediation process or to schedule an appointment with our mold remediation project manager please call our office by dialing 985-871-5375.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville's Rebuild Services

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville truly is your one-stop shop for restoration services. In addition to specializing in water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, and mold remediation, we also offer rebuild services to help replace materials affected by said damages. Our mitigation and remediation teams work to salvage as much as possible following an incident, but some materials are too damaged and must be discarded of. Our rebuild team is able to provide drywall installation, flooring installation, painting, and other numerous other construction services. By offering an array of remediation and rebuild services, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville ensures your restoration project runs smoothly and most efficiently. 

Our rebuild manager is Coty Reeves. To contact Coty please send an email to Coty@SERVPROofcovington.com Our rebuild project manager is Kenny Fourroux. To contact Kenny please send an email to Kenny@SERVPROfcovington.com. To contact the office please dial 985-871-5375. 

Severe Weather Warning for Northshore and Southshore Areas

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Severe Weather Warning for Northshore and Southshore Areas Follow these tips to thaw frozen pipes

A sharp cold front will be moving through our area late tonight, January 28th, and throughout the early morning hours tomorrow, January 29th. A flood warning will continue for the Pearl River near Bogalusa until tomorrow morning at 8:00 am. I urge you to prepare your home for the upcoming dangerous temperatures. Wednesday morning we will likely have freeze or hard freeze warnings or watches, according to WDSU. Also, please be mindful while driving as roads are expected to be frozen or slick with icy patches. 

For help with any water damage emergencies relating to this winter storm, please contact our office by dialing 985-871-5375. Our emergency restoration team is available 24/7 to make any size disaster seem "Like it never even happened." 

Fire Safety Tips for Children

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Most children learn about fire safety practices in school. Every year local firefighters make special visits to elementary and middle schools in St. Tammany Parish to teach children how to prevent fires and how to respond in case of a fire. But there's more you can be doing at home to help prepare your child for an emergency. Follow the tips below to help practice fire safety with your kids:

Fire Prevention 

Children should know that items like candles, matches, and lighters are for adults only. Teach them to notify an adult of any matches or lighters they find out of place. 

Test the smoke detector 

Have children participate in testing the smoke detectors in your home. Children should know that every month smoke detectors must be checked and that every six months the batteries should be changed. Also, by testing the smoke detector together your child will become familiar with the alarm sound, ensuring they know when a fire has been detected. 

Get low and crawl

Teach children to escape during a home fire is to get low on the ground where there is less smoke and crawl to safety. Because fire is scary some children may actually crawl into a closet or hide under their beds during a fire. Teach your child that they must escape to a safe place and not to hide. 

Find help 

Prepare them to find help after escaping by finding a neighbor and calling 911. Most importantly, teach them that they are not allowed to go back into a burning building under any circumstances. 

Stop, drop, and roll

Your child will most likely learn this fire safety tip at school, but you should still spend time going over it with them. The more they practice this tip,  the calmer they will be in if their clothes actually did catch on fire. 

Practice, practice, practice your escape plan 

Usually, children will return from a fire safety class with a fire escape map they have drawn of their home. Go over that map with your child. Make sure they are aware of two exists in each room. Have them draw escape routes and practice escaping a few times each year. Teach them how to determine which route is the best one to take, like testing to see if their bedroom door know is hot.

Children are eager to learn, especially when the information is presented in a fun way. Make games out of practicing these fire safety tips. Maybe you can make children race each other to see who can escape fastest!  Also, there are plenty of activities and games for children available at http://www.sparky.org/. And for more information about teaching children fire safety tips please visit https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/fire-safety-for-kids.html