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.
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
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
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
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:
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.
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.
Facts About Flood Insurance: Why you need to have it and what you need to know
Purchasing a food insurance policy will help you recover faster after a flooding disaster.
According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, affecting every single state. While hurricanes are mostly responsible for massive flooding catastrophes, other causes of flooding include snowmelt, heavy rain, dams or levees breaking, and new developments impacting water flow. In the past couple of years many homes that were not in high-risk flood zones throughout the cities of Covington, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Denham Springs, and Baton Rouge experienced flooding simply due to heavy rainfall. In case you didn’t know, your homeowner’s policy will not cover damages caused by flooding. So, purchasing a flood insurance policy is a wise idea even if your home is not located on the lakefront in Mandeville or near the river in downtown Covington. Just one inch of flood water in your home can cost thousands of dollars in damages. Flood water is contaminated water and, according to industry cleaning standards, every material affected by flood water must be removed and discarded. Imagine if a few inches of flood water entered your home. Now imagine needing to replace your flooring, sheetrock, cabinets, furniture, clothes, electronics, etc. How much do you think this would cost you? Purchasing a flood insurance policy will save you time and money, helping you and your family recover faster. Well, what do you need to know about flood insurance before speaking to your insurance agent? Below are a few facts about flood insurance and helpful tips to make you a more informed insured.
When should I purchase a flood insurance policy?
Do not wait for hurricane season to purchase a flood insurance policy. The average flood insurance policy takes 30 days to become active. However, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a policy may go into effect sooner:
- “If your building is newly designated in a high-risk Special Flood Hazard Area, and you buy flood insurance within the 13-month period following a map revision: One-day waiting period.
- If you buy flood insurance in connection with making, increasing, extending or renewing your mortgage loan: No waiting period.
- If you select additional insurance as an option on your flood insurance policy renewal bill: No waiting period.
- If your property is affected by flooding on burned federal land, and the policy is purchased within 60 days of the fire-containment: Possible waiver of the waiting period.”
But, for the most part, damages from flooding will only be covered after the thirty day wait period. Now is the best time to purchase a policy.
What is covered by a flood insurance policy?
Flood insurance is available to homeowners, business owners, and renters. For homeowners, your flood insurance policy will offer up to $250,000 for repairing the home itself and offer up to $100,000 for replacing personal items and your home’s contents. Business owner policies will offer up to $500,000 for building repairs and $500,000 in building contents. Renters can purchase policies covering up to $100,000 of personal contents.
According to FEMA:
“Building coverage includes:
- The insured building and its foundation;
- The electrical and plumbing system;
- Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces, and water heaters;
- Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances such as dishwashers; and
- Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring.
Contents coverage includes:
- Clothing, curtains, furniture and electronic equipment;
- Portable items such as; window air conditioners, microwaves and dishwashers; and
- Carpeting that is not already included in property coverage.”
Policy prices will differ based upon deductible, the extent of coverages, flood risk, year of building construction, and other factors. The flood insurance market is evolving. Private insurance companies are beginning to offer flood insurance policies now. Speak with your insurance agent to see if you could benefit from purchasing a private flood insurance policy.
How do I purchase a flood insurance policy?
Speak with your insurance agent to learn more about the National Flood Insurance Program and private insurance policies. They should help you to understand which options are best suited for your home and/or business. If your agent does not sell flood insurance, contact the NFIP Referral Call Center at 800-427-4661 for a referral.
What do I do after a flood?
If your home or business has been damaged by flood waters, then please do not enter the property until it is safe to do so. Once you can access your property again, start with contacting your insurance company to file a claim. Then, you can begin to inventory damaged items. Take photographs of everything. Write down each item’s purchase date and estimated value. This home inventory list will need to be submitted to your adjuster. Also, remember to take notes of your conversations with your insurance company and the adjuster. Jot down date and time of each interaction, as well as specific notes about what was discussed.
If you do not have a flood insurance policy and your home or business has been damaged due to flooding, then you will be financially responsible for necessary repairs and restoration services. Only if a flooding incident has been declared a national disaster by the president will FEMA assistance become available. This assistance is usually in the form of a grant or low-interest disaster loan that you are required to repay.
The recovery process following flooding disasters is long and emotional. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville understands the stress and worry you will feel after your home has incurred damages. As your neighbors and your friends, we offer our expertise, guidance, and 24-hour emergency restoration services for those in need of disaster recovery. For questions or to receive assistance please contact our office by dialing 985-871-5375.
For more information about the National Flood Insurance Program or what to do before, during or after a flood you can visit:
Minimize Water Damage With This Product
Water Leak Detector
"I just woke up and found my house is flooded with water! At some point last night a pipe under my kitchen sink broke and now there's water everywhere. Please help me."
We get this phone call all of the time. It's more common than you think for a water pipe to accidentally break or for a hot water heater to explode, causing several gallons of water to leak in your home. Accidents do happen though. Pipes get old and break. Appliances often malfunction. So, how do you prevent waking up in the morning to wet, squishy bedroom floors? Water leak detectors work like smoke detectors in that they will sound an alarm to notify you of a water leak. You can purchase a water leak detector from a hardware store, like The Home Depot or Lowe's, or from an online retailer for about ten dollars. Simply leave the water leak detector in places prone to cause water damage like under sinks and in the drip pan under your hot water heater. If an accident were to occur, then upon hearing the alarm you should quickly act to find which alarm is sounding and turn off the water supply to that sink or turn off your hot water heater. This simple product can help to diminish a water damage disaster in your home, saving you time and money.
If a water damage event has already happened in your home, then follow these tips to prevent further damages.
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is available 24/7/365 for emergency water damage restoration.
Responding Quickly to a Commercial Water Loss
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in commercial water damage restoration.
While renovating a new space at this shopping center a contractor accidentally broke one of the sprinkler heads. Gallons of water began spewing out of the fire suppression system and leaked into the neighboring retail store. Once notified of the situation the property manager called us for help. Our water damage restoration crew was on site within twenty minutes. We quickly extracted all of the water and then properly placed drying equipment where needed. In just three days both affected retail spaces were completely dry!
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville believes in the 1-4-8 customer service promise. Within one hour of receiving notice of an emergency one of our project managers will schedule a time to meet our customer at their home or business. Within, four hours of the original phone call our team will be on site assessing damages. And lastly, within eight hours one of our project managers will communicate our plan of action to our customer. We uphold this promise 24/7/365.
Sewage Loss at Church in Picayune
Sewage Loss at Church in Picayune, Mississippi
On Sunday, December 30th our marketing coordinator received notice from one of our clients of a sewage loss at a church in Picayune, Mississippi. The sewage pipe system had malfunctioned and raw sewage was flowing from underneath the wall into the church sanctuary. Luckily, someone was able to quickly respond and shut off the water supply to the building. One of our project managers and part of our water damage restoration team was on site as soon as possible to help. As you may notice in the picture, only a small portion, approximately seven hundred square feet, of the main space was affected. Our crew removed all affected materials, including carpet, sheetrock, and insulation. The remaining materials were sprayed with a biocide to disinfect and prevent future damages.
If your home or business has experienced a sewage loss, then please do not attempt to clean the affected area by yourself. Please call our trained and highly certified technicians to properly clean up and restore your property.
Flood Warning Continues for St. Tammany Parish and Surrounding Areas
Flood warning for St. Tammany Parish and Surrounding Areas
Last night's storm has caused several roads to be unpassable and we are now receiving many phone calls requesting help to restore flooded homes and businesses. The flood warning will continue for St. Tammany and surrounding areas until early next week. If your home or business has experienced flooding, then please call our office at 985-871-5375. Our water damage restoration technicians are ready to respond as quickly as possible.
According to Weather Underground:
The Flood Warning continues for
the Bogue falaya river at Boston St in Covington.
* Until Monday December 31.
* At 9:30 am Friday the stage was 10.1 feet.
* Minor flooding is occurring and moderate flooding is forecast.
* Flood stage is 6.0 feet.
* Forecast... the river will continue rising to near 11.0 feet by
Saturday December 29. The river will fall below flood stage Monday
* Impact... at 11.0 feet... there will be major flooding around christ
episcopal school and Bogue falaya River Park.
* Impact... at 9.0 feet... Bogue falaya River Park will be inundated.
Some ground floor classrooms at christ episcopal school grounds
* Impact... at 7.0 feet... water will rise onto the West Bank flooding
property of the Bogue falaya towers at East Boston street and
threatening commercial property on the East Bank near military
Road. Bogue falaya River Park and christ episcopal school grounds
will begin to flood.
* Impact... at 6.0 feet... the river will leave its banks under the
Boston street bridge and begin to flood the Bogue falaya towers