Fourth of July Fun on the Northshore
This year the fourth of July falls on a Thursday and celebration events will kick off the weekend before.
The partying will kick off on Friday, June 28th with the Columbia Street Block Party in downtown Covington. This free, family-friendly event is a great way to stroll down Columbia street, view classic cars, and show your support for local businesses. Columbia street blocks 200-500 will be blocked off from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
On Saturday, June 29th the cities of Abita Springs, Mandeville, and Slidell will each offer family-friendly events with musical performances. Abita Springs will host a free Independence Day Celebration from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Presented by VFW Post 8720, the celebration starts with a decorated bike and wagon parade rolling through the town (patriotic costumes encouraged!) and features live music, a flag retiring ceremony, local civic organizations with fun activities and games, Abita Beer and concessions by a local restaurant as well as hot dogs, baked treats and snowballs. In Mandeville, people are encouraged to picnic and celebrate on the lakefront beginning as early as 10:00 am. The Old Mandeville Business Association Food Court will begin selling food at 5:00 pm. Entertainment on stage begins at 6:00 pm, with a special patriotic tribute to all who have served and continue to serve in our nation's military. The tribute will be followed by live music featuring Four Unplugged. Fun, free activities will be provided by Keep Mandeville Beautiful’s Kid's Tent, and the evening closes with fireworks over Lake Pontchartrain sponsored by The City of Mandeville, Lakeview Regional Medical Center - A Campus of Tulane Medical Center, and Baker Pile Driving. The stage will be located between Coffee and Carroll Streets. And lastly, the Slidell Heritage Festival offers families music, entertainment, food, fireworks, and so much more to celebrate America's birthday. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 4-12, and free admission for children 3 years old and younger. The festival is from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm, with a firework show at 9:00 pm.
On July 3rd, Pearl River will host a fourth of July celebration from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm throughout downtown Pearl River and at the Pearl River Town Hall. This celebration is free and will feature a pie eating contest, a petting zoo, a firework display dusk, and much more. Also on July 3rd, is the Sparks in the Park celebration at the Bogue Falaya Park in downtown Covington. This free, family-friendly event will be from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm and boasts music, a firework display, games, and even a hot dog eating contest.
And finally, on July 4th, you can celebrate America at three different events across the Northshore. Bright and early at 7:30 am, there will be a Four on the Fourth Family Fun Run/Walk in Covington's Hubie Gallagher Park. The Land-O-Pines Campground will have a DJ and a firework display from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. And for a place to celebrate all day, you can head over to Madisonville for the Madisonville Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration beginning at 11:00 am. This event offers music, games, food, the Miss Madisonville Beauty Pageant, and a firework show at 8:30 pm.
Dedication Ceremony for Ernest Cooper Memorial Fire Station
A brief Dedication Ceremony recognizing the completion of the 2-Bay expansion and the interior renovations at the Ernest J Cooper Memorial Fire Station will be held on Wednesday, June 26th at 10:00 am. Citizens of Covington, area first responders, and the general public are invited to attend. This finished project will provide for better fire protection for our community.Did you know the Covington Fire Department has one of the best response times in the state of Louisiana and responds to over 1,700 emergency calls each year? Our Covington Fire Department firefighters and administrative staff members spend countless hours teaching fire prevention and fire safety throughout our community. Members of the department also help teach emergency planning for residents and business owners. To contact someone with the Covington Fire Department please visit http://www.covla.com/fire_department/contact_information2.php.
Responding to a Water Damage Event
We see it every day, a pipe under the kitchen sink breaks or a water heater explodes and causes a water damage event in your home or business. Chances are that at least once in your lifetime you will deal with a water damage event at home or the office. So, what can you do to prevent unnecessary damages following one of these emergencies? Firstly, as an insured, you have the responsibility to immediately mitigate damages as best as you can. In the examples of a pipe breaking or a water heater exploding, your responsibility would then be to find the source of the water leak, turn the source off by shutting off the water supply line and to begin mitigation as soon as possible. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville's water damage restoration technicians are available 24/7 every single day of the year to respond to water damage emergencies. After reaching out to our team for help, you can rest assured our team will help make your water damage event seem "Like it never even happened". By utilizing the science of drying techniques and our state-of-the-art drying equipment, most water restoration projects are complete with the drying process within three days. Next, while our technicians are in route to your home or office you can begin to move any furniture or belongings away from flowing or standing water, take pictures of anything damaged, and start documenting any items that may be ruined beyond repair. All of this information will be helpful should you choose to file an insurance claim.
For more questions regarding water damage claims or water damage restoration, you can send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com.
American Red Cross: Pillowcase Project
The Pillowcase Project is a program that was developed in New Orleans after college students were seen using pillowcases to carry their belongings during a hurricane emergency. Now the American Red Cross is distributing pillowcases throughout the country and teaching children how to stay safe during emergencies specific to their region and how to respond during a home fire. Through the Pillowcase Project, children will learn how to prepare for an emergency, practice what they have learned, and share this information with their family and friends.
In Louisiana, children taught the Pillowcase Project will learn about preparing for home fires, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Children will learn how to fill their pillowcases with items needed during an emergency, like a flashlight, radio, a change of clothes, medications, and other necessities. An American Red Cross presenter, be it a volunteer or an American Red Cross employee, will also help explain healthy coping skills so that the children can learn how to emotionally process an emergency. Pillowcase Project presentations can be done for a wide variety of groups, such as classrooms, girl or boy scout groups, and church organizations.
To learn more about preparing your child for an emergency please visit https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/emergency-preparedness-for-kids.html.
For questions regarding the Pillowcase project please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com
Networking on the Northshore
Northshore Young Professionals Luncheon
Yes, “Northshore” is one word here. The Greater New Orleans Northshore area is comprised of St. Tammany Parish, Tangipahoa Parish, and Washington Parish. This region has become known not only as an idyllic place to live and visit, but also a community where both small and large businesses can thrive. St. Tammany Corporation explains, “St. Tammany boasts low business costs, successful workforce development initiatives, and responsive incentive programs”. As a small, locally owned and operated business located in Mandeville, the team at SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is proud to be a part of this community and we believe working with other Northshore businesses has contributed greatly to our success throughout the past ten years.
According to the United States Small Business Association’s 2018 Small Business Profile, 30.2 million businesses in the United States are small businesses, accounting for 99.9% of all United States businesses. This statistic rings true for the Northshore’s business economic makeup as well. A casual stroll throughout charming downtown Covington or historic Old Mandeville will serve as proof. As the marketing and sales manager for SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville, small business owners and entrepreneurs often ask me about networking events and referral groups around town. Everyone is surprised to hear me say that if you really wanted to, you could attend a networking event almost every day of the week on the Northshore. From networking opportunities specific to a particular industry to events more inclusive of businesses from a certain neighborhood, the Northshore hosts dozens of organizations focused on helping businesses grow. Below is a list of local organizations focused on helping business owners and entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
Northshore Networking Organizations:
St.Tammany West Chamber of Commerce
The St.Tammany West Chamber of Commerce is a 5 star accredited chamber of commerce. Their mission is to help support and promote local businesses. The St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce offers members networking opportunities, seminars, business counseling services,industry-specific roundtables, and other member perks. Each month members can attend no cost networking events like Business After Hours, Business to Business meetings, and ribbon cuttings for new businesses. Membership prices are determined by the company size. For information regarding membership, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Northshore Young Professionals
The Northshore Young Professionals organization is a subcommittee within the St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce that promotes networking for young professionals within our community. NYP membership is available to any young professional who is a St.Tammany West Chamber of Commerce member free of charge. Admission to networking Pop-Ups is $15.
Covington Business Association
The Covington Business Association (CBA) is a nonprofit organization that works to raise awareness of businesses operating in Covington and to advance their interests. At the monthly CBA meetings, local business owners and entrepreneurs can network and receive updates about local projects and upcoming events. Annual membership dues are $120. To join or for more information, please send an email to email@example.com.
Old Mandeville Business Association
Old Mandeville Business Association (OMBA) is a non-profit organization made up of a network of businesses in the Old Mandeville area and resident members which share the same commitment to serve, support, and advance the interests of local commerce while remaining true to the unique, soulful spirit of the Old Mandeville community. Throughout the year OMBA hosts a handful of networking happy hours and a few very well-attended events, like the Girod Street Stroll and Empty Bowl. Yearly membership dues are $125 for businesses and $45 for residents. For more information click here.
If you’re looking to join a networking organization that meets more frequently and is strictly focused on passing referrals between members, then maybe joining a referral group would be best for your business. Two of the more notable networking referral groups in our community are BNI and Master Networks. BNI, Business Network International, is a popular international networking organization based upon the principle that “givers gain”. There are thousands of BNI “chapters” around the world and dozens located throughout the Greater New Orleans area. For more information about local BNI chapters please visit bnilouisiana.com. Master Networkers is also a referral based networking organization. While Master Networks is a referral based group, their mission “is to lead a movement of learning-based, service-orientated, entrepreneurs and business leaders”. For more information about local Master Networks groups go to masternetworks.com.
Joining an industry-specific group is another way to network with like-minded business professionals. Besides being kept informed with recent events or legislature concerning your industry, most organizations host luncheons, continuing education classes, happy hour networking events, and fundraisers throughout the year.
A few industry-specific organizations with chapters located throughout New Orleans and the Northshore area include:
I told you that if you wanted to, then you could spend almost every night of the week at a networking event around town! Hopefully, this list helps inspire you to get more involved with the networking scenes on the Northshore, Southshore, or both sides of the lake. For questions regarding a specific organization or upcoming event, please feel free to send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com.
Marketing and Sales Manager
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
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
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
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?
"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.