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Weathering the Storm: A Guide to Emergency Response Planning for Storms

5/21/2024 (Permalink)

Storms are a natural phenomenon that can unleash powerful winds, heavy rainfall, and destructive forces. Whether it's a hurricane, tornado, or severe thunderstorm, being prepared for extreme weather events is essential for safeguarding lives and property. Emergency response planning for storms is the cornerstone of disaster preparedness, ensuring that individuals, families, and communities can effectively mitigate risks, respond swiftly, and recover more resiliently. In this blog, we'll delve into the key components of emergency response planning for storms and provide actionable strategies for staying safe and secure in the face of adversity.

Understanding the Risks

Before developing an emergency response plan, it's crucial to understand the specific risks associated with different types of storms. Research historical weather patterns in your region and assess potential hazards such as flooding, high winds, and power outages. Understanding the risks allows you to tailor your emergency response plan to address specific threats and vulnerabilities.

Key Components of Emergency Response Planning

  • Develop a Communication Plan:
    • Establish multiple communication channels for receiving alerts and updates, including NOAA Weather Radio, mobile apps, and local news sources.
    • Create a family communication plan that includes contact information for relatives, neighbors, and emergency services.
    • Designate a meeting place where family members can reunite if separated during a storm.
  • Create an Evacuation Plan:
    • Identify evacuation routes and shelters in your area, and familiarize yourself with emergency evacuation procedures.
    • Determine criteria for when to evacuate, such as flood warnings or mandatory evacuation orders issued by local authorities.
    • Pack a "go bag" with essential supplies, including food, water, medications, important documents, and emergency cash.
  • Secure Your Home:
    • Conduct a home hazard assessment to identify potential risks, such as loose tree limbs, unsecured outdoor furniture, and vulnerable windows.
    • Reinforce doors and windows with storm shutters or plywood to protect against high winds and flying debris.
    • Clear gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage and reduce the risk of flooding.
  • Prepare an Emergency Kit:
    • Assemble an emergency kit containing essential supplies to sustain your household for at least 72 hours.
    • Include items such as non-perishable food, water, flashlight, batteries, first aid supplies, and a multi-tool.
    • Customize your emergency kit based on the specific needs of your family, including medications, pet supplies, and infant care items.
  • Stay Informed:
    • Monitor weather forecasts and warnings issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) and local emergency management agencies.
    • Sign up for emergency alerts and notifications to receive real-time updates on severe weather conditions and evacuation orders.
    • Follow trusted sources of information and avoid spreading rumors or misinformation during emergencies.
  • Practice and Review:
    • Conduct regular drills and practice emergency response procedures with your family members to ensure everyone knows what to do in a crisis.
    • Review and update your emergency response plan annually or as needed, taking into account changes in your family's circumstances or local hazards.

Emergency response planning for storms is a proactive and essential step in mitigating risks, protecting lives, and minimizing the impact of severe weather events. By developing a comprehensive plan tailored to your specific needs and circumstances, you can enhance your resilience and readiness to face whatever Mother Nature throws your way. Remember, preparedness saves lives, so take the time to plan, prepare, and stay informed to weather the storm safely and effectively.

A Shield Against Flames: The Benefits of Installing a Home Fire Sprinkler System

4/15/2024 (Permalink)

When it comes to protecting your home and loved ones from the devastating impact of fires, proactive measures can make all the difference. One such measure gaining popularity for its effectiveness is the installation of a home fire sprinkler system. In this blog, we'll explore the numerous benefits of having a fire sprinkler system in your home, emphasizing how this technology can provide an extra layer of safety and peace of mind.

Rapid Response to Fires

Home fire sprinkler systems are designed to detect and respond to a fire in its early stages. The sprinklers activate individually, ensuring that only the affected area is targeted, minimizing damage and preventing the fire from spreading.

The primary purpose of a fire sprinkler system is to suppress and control the flames until the fire department arrives. This quick response can significantly reduce property damage, increase the chances of saving valuable possessions, and most importantly, save lives.

Protection 24/7

Unlike human-operated fire fighting equipment, fire sprinklers are always ready. They operate automatically, providing continuous protection day and night, even when you're away from home.

Each sprinkler head is activated independently based on the heat generated by the fire. This ensures that only the sprinklers in the affected area are triggered, preventing unnecessary water damage in the rest of the house.

Water Conservation

Fire sprinklers use significantly less water than fire department hoses. Their targeted approach minimizes water wastage, reducing potential water damage to your property.

The swift response of fire sprinklers not only protects your property but also provides a safer environment for occupants. In many cases, having a sprinkler system can afford residents the time needed to escape safely.

Lower Insurance Premiums

Many insurance companies recognize the value of fire sprinkler systems and offer lower premiums for homes equipped with this safety feature. Installing a sprinkler system can lead to cost savings over time.

The presence of a fire sprinkler system can enhance the resale value of your home. Potential buyers often view such systems as a valuable safety feature, making your property more appealing.

Building Codes

Building codes in some regions may require the installation of fire sprinkler systems, especially in new constructions or significant renovations. Compliance with these codes ensures that your home meets the latest safety standards.

While the initial cost of installing a fire sprinkler system may seem significant, it's crucial to consider the long-term benefits. The potential reduction in property damage and insurance premiums can make the investment cost-effective over time.

Perhaps the most valuable benefit of all is the peace of mind that comes with knowing you've taken a proactive step to protect your home and loved ones. A fire sprinkler system provides an added layer of security, reducing the potential consequences of a fire emergency. Investing in a home fire sprinkler system is not just a practical choice; it's a lifesaving one. The benefits extend beyond property protection to safeguarding the well-being of those you hold dear. By choosing to install a fire sprinkler system, you're making a commitment to a safer and more secure living environment, ensuring that your home remains a haven for years to come. When it comes to fire restoration services, SERVPRO® is here to help and make it "Like it never even happened."

When a Disaster Strikes Your Home, Call Our Crew!

8/15/2023 (Permalink)

 

Why SERVPRO is the Choice For Restoration

With decades of experience across the restoration services that we offer, we know how to help when every minute counts. We have teams, trailers, and service vehicles prepared to roll out from our SERVPRO facility 24/7 to address the harsh effects of water, fire, storm, and mold losses. We have trained professionals to handle more specific recovery niches like air duct cleaning, biohazard cleaning, abatement, and reconstruction efforts. These talents, aiding in every facet of our customers' work, improve our efficiency and effectiveness in your home or business.

Storm

Storm damage in Florida homes is a common situation that our SERVPRO professionals must address. Florida is susceptible to severe storms from both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Properties in this midsection must remain prepared for inevitable run-ins with hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes, damaging winds and other harmful conditions. Our ability to handle these situations is partly due to our commitment to the training and growth of our specialists, ensuring that each loss incidents gets technicians that can:

  • Extract and dry up floodwater (WRT – Water Restoration Technician)
  • Clean contaminated areas where they exist (Biohazard Cleaning)
  • Deploy air movers and dehumidifiers for effective drying solutions (ASD – Applied Structural Drying)
  • Clean Carpets and other flooring types (CCT – Carpet Cleaning Technician)
  • Prevent microbial growth or address present colonization (AMRT – Applied Microbial Remediation Technician)

The other aspect that has allowed our disaster relief team to become so successful in the Gulf Beaches South area is our commitment to having the top-tier equipment that gets the job done quickly and correctly. We keep storm trucks stocked with a deep inventory of recovery and mitigation tools, including submersible pumps, engine-driven trash pumps, power washers, air movers, and dehumidifiers.

We can offer a full-service approach amid a crisis so that our customers do not have to waste time finding secondary contractors to handle other aspects of their recovery. We have the skilled professionals to perform board-up and tarping services for your residence amid flood penetration. We can also oversee full-scale reconstruction once mitigation completes in your Florida property.

Water

We know how easily water loss incidents can develop, and that's why training our restoration technicians in this niche is a constant and continual process. The science of restoring water damage in St. Petersburg homes is evolving. So our professionals have to move along with it – putting these new practices and equipment into use to help our customers with the most efficient and practical approach. Our commitment to customer satisfaction and the outcome of your loss incidents goes far beyond our IICRC training.

Our restoration team has access to equipment and machines that far exceed the limitations of conventional recovery tools. The truck-mounted water extractors that our SERVPRO team uses, for example, can handle the removal of thousands of gallons of water every day. Combined with multiple other impressive equipment pieces, this vehicle sets our professionals apart in water damage restoration for the Gulf Beach South area.

We also have the capability of addressing the massive loss of water damage for commercial properties and houses. 33 years of industry experience and a roster that features Commercial Drying Specialists (CDS) and those with WRT and ASD endorsements, no job is too big or too complicated for our field technicians with the right approach, equipment, and attitude.

Fire

Our team is responsible for many structures in this area alone; the possibility of fire damage is a persistent threat. Knowing the best approach to handle these conditions hinges on the severity of the situation and what materials, surfaces, and contents have become affected. Our IICRC-Certified Fire & Smoke Restoration Technicians (FSRT) and those with additional training in odor control and upholstery/carpet cleaning have access to equipment that can help our team restore loss incidents quickly.

Much of our efficiency in fire recovery stems from these advanced and cutting-edge machines. Soot removal and cleaning, for example, often fall to a combination of specially-formulated cleaning agents and products with automated surface scrubbers that can eliminate residues on surfaces.

Every minute counts in fire restoration. Our technicians obtain IICRC certifications and train to understand how fire damage in St. Petersburg homes and businesses spreads and the best approach to overcome the damages.

Mold

Before our certified AMRTs can set up containment barriers and begin the often-intricate process of mold remediation in your Gulf Beach home or business – our professionals must locate the source of the moisture and dampness. These conditions are likely to happen again without adequately identifying how the water damage facilitated mold growth.

Sometimes the humid conditions are enough to generate microbial growth, as interior humidity above 60% can grow mold on ceilings and other organic materials. The initial approach is to establish isolation zones using our powerful negative air machines in conjunction with physical plastic sheeting. Mold damage in Florida homes can spread quickly without these containment barriers.

Suppose our technicians reach the situation in your residence fast enough. In that case, many of the hosting materials can be repaired using sophisticated equipment like dry ice blasting machines and soda-blasting equipment. These approaches can remove mold debris without harming the surface and substrate.

St. Petersburg is a highly active area of the country, and as such, the threats of emergencies and disasters never cease. You can count the swift response of SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg team in a crisis. Give our professionals a call anytime that you need us at (727) 341-1001.

State of The Art Equipment

8/15/2023 (Permalink)

 

State of The Art Equipment

The past few decades have seen a rapid advancement in the technology and techniques used in the restoration industry. These advancements allow us to restore a property to pre loss condition quickly and more effectively.

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) sets practical standards for restoration and cleaning. The IICRC S500 Water Damage Guide is a specific set of practical standards that incorporate the field of psychometry, which involves the manipulation of temperature and relative humidity to remove moisture and dry a property quickly and effectively.

Moisture Detection and Measurement Equipment

Scientific drying principles rely upon specialized equipment to detect, measure and monitor a property’s moisture levels. Recent advances, like infrared cameras, can help us detect water through a wall, ceiling, or floor.

  • An infrared camera may be used to identify water locations for thorough water removal.
  • Sensitive moisture detectors, hygrometers, and other meters measure the extent of moisture saturation

Water Extraction Equipment

Powerful extraction equipment speeds the drying process by removing the bulk of the water from your home or business.

  • Submersible and gas-powered pumps for continuous pumping of high-level water. 
  • Truck-mounted and portable extraction units perform efficient water removal.

Drying Equipment

Industrial strength air movers and dehumidifiers are needed to remove the remaining moisture from the ceiling, walls, and floors of your home or business. Proper drying helps to prevent swelling and warping of floors, walls, and furniture.

  • High-speed air movers cause moisture to evaporate at a faster pace
  • Industrial grade dehumidifiers pull the water vapor from the air.

Have Water or Flood Damage?

Call Us Today!

Common Water Issues for Businesses

8/15/2023 (Permalink)

 

For a commercial property owner in Florida, unexpected water problems can be a big issue. Fortunately, water damage professionals can help you assess, clean, and repair damages from any flooding or leaks you may have. Here are a few of the most common water problems a business may face, from leaking pipes to foundation cracks.

1. Pipe Breaks

A pipe break can occur in several ways. Over time, the pipe can age and loosen in its fittings, or extensive use can lead to pinhole leaks. Extreme heat or cold can affect a pipe’s integrity. A blocked pipe can lead to pressure buildup and burst.

2. Plumbing Backup

Blocked plumbing can lead to a toilet backup or sink overflow. Water in blocked pipes can take the shortest path regardless of its intended flow path. Blockages occur, including the buildup of water minerals over time inside a pipe or someone pouring a solidifying material, such as plaster or grease, down a drain.

3. Weather

Extreme weather conditions can lead to leaking pipes. Cold temperatures can cause the water in pipes to freeze and expand. The expansion puts pressure on the pipe and can create a crack or cause it to burst. If you know cold weather is coming, you can check with a local professional what preventive measures to take.

4. Foundation Cracks

Foundation cracks can become a problem leading to water damage. Water can seep through any cracks and pool, leading to issues such as mold. Any cracks should be assessed quickly to determine the best course of action.

Water damage can happen to a commercial property. Fortunately, a professional can fix the damage caused by leaking pipes, foundation cracks, a backed-up toilet, or weather, and help you repair your property. Contact SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg at (727) 341-1001.

How to Locate a Bathtub or Shower Leak

8/15/2023 (Permalink)

 

Though some water leaks throughout your Florida home can be easy to spot, there are a vast amount of others that require more than a casual glance. A shower or bathtub leak, for example, can fall into the latter category, as there are a variety of places for leaks to emerge from in these areas. If you need help identifying a water leak in your shower, SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg can help! Read how to locate one without much hassle effectively. Once identifying the source, contacting a trained water restoration team can ensure your home is cleared of any water damage, as well. 

Check the Common Sources First

Before tearing into the tile work or uprooting your tub, it pays to investigate the more apparent areas first. After a shower, inspect familiar sources such as the:

  • Showerhead face,
  • The O-ring between the showerhead and arm,
  • Faucet handles, and the areas surrounding them, or
  • The caulking at the base or surrounding of a shower/tub combination

Leak issues are generally noticeable in these spaces and can be more easily detected by sight after running water through your shower.

Have a Professional Inspect Your Shower Pan, Whether New or Old

A shower pan leak is another usual spot for an issue, especially in tiled shower designs. These leaks can start due to the pan being too old and faulty or simply due to a new one being installed incorrectly. Therefore, it pays to have someone inspect this space as a potential cause for any shower or bathtub leak.

Determine the Severity of the Issue by Searching the Levels Below

There’s no clearer indication of a bad water leak within your shower floor than through the ceiling or flooring directly below the shower itself. Look for signs of water damage or condensation on the ceiling beneath a second-story shower or throughout your crawl space below a first-floor shower.

When you’re hoping to eliminate a shower or bathtub leak in your Florida home, follow any of these efficient methods for a quick solo inspection before contacting a professional for further assistance.

Smoke Detectors Are Important

7/30/2023 (Permalink)

 

We learned fire safety throughout elementary and middle school and what to do when you hear a smoke detector. However, have you forgotten to change out the batteries? Or maybe you turned off your smoke detector because everything you cook sets off the alarm?

Individuals should think twice before taking out the batteries. Why? According to The National Fire Protection Association, 3 out of 5 homes without a smoke alarm experience deaths. Let smoke detectors help your family!

So, be sure to check your smoke detectors once a year, replace the batteries, and make sure each smoke detector is working in your home – they save lives, after all! For additional fire safety tips, visit The National Fire Protection Association.

If you experience fire damage in your property, call SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg at (727) 341-1001!

Certified (IICRC) Business

7/28/2023 (Permalink)

 

SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the restoration industry standards and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.


IICRC Certified Firms Must:

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a trained technician on all jobs who passed all the required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to the Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes and accept arbitration's conclusions and recommendations.


The IICRC Develops the Standards for the Restoration Industry


The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration, and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.


Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.


Our Company


SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke, or water damage event. Highly trained in property damage restoration, and we're an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, our staff is equipped to restore your property.

Career Opportunities at SERVPRO

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

Career Opportunities at SERVPRO

With 19 franchises in 6 locations throughout TN, FL, and TX, SERVPRO Team Nicholson is an exciting, diverse, innovative place to work. We foster positive company culture, offer competitive compensation packages, and prioritize community involvement. Come find out what it takes to be a part of our team! 

Our Mission

Our mission is to be a proud, laser-focused team holding each other accountable while creating positive opportunities for our people and becoming the most efficiently run organization in the markets we serve.

We value honesty, reliability, relationships, trustworthiness, and authenticity! Our team develops and provides solutions; we are go-getters and carry a “bring it” attitude to our work environment. We listen and value each other’s thoughts and ideas and strive to bring them to life.

We are built on hard work, transparency, good business, and integrity. We believe, “You can’t go wrong doing the right thing.” 

Bill Repsel, our Regional Administrator, shared his testimony on what it's like working for SERVPRO. He said, "Every day is a new day. It is an opportunity to serve others in our community in a time of need. We have an incredible team of people with great talent that strives to make a difference every day." 

SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg is proud of the work we do and is always looking for like-minded people interested in a rewarding career.

How to Apply

Please submit your resume to recruiting@SERVPROclarksville.com, stop by our office from 8:00 am-5:00 pm Monday-Friday, or click here to check out our current job openings.

Common Water Issues for Businesses

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

 

For a commercial property owner in Florida, unexpected water problems can be a big issue. Fortunately, water damage professionals can help you assess, clean, and repair damages from any flooding or leaks you may have. Here are a few of the most common water problems a business may face, from leaking pipes to foundation cracks.

1. Pipe Breaks

A pipe break can occur in several ways. Over time, the pipe can age and loosen in its fittings, or extensive use can lead to pinhole leaks. Extreme heat or cold can affect a pipe’s integrity. A blocked pipe can lead to pressure buildup and burst.

2. Plumbing Backup

Blocked plumbing can lead to a toilet backup or sink overflow. Water in blocked pipes can take the shortest path regardless of its intended flow path. Blockages occur, including the buildup of water minerals over time inside a pipe or someone pouring a solidifying material, such as plaster or grease, down a drain.

3. Weather

Extreme weather conditions can lead to leaking pipes. Cold temperatures can cause the water in pipes to freeze and expand. The expansion puts pressure on the pipe and can create a crack or cause it to burst. If you know cold weather is coming, you can check with a local professional what preventive measures to take.

4. Foundation Cracks

Foundation cracks can become a problem leading to water damage. Water can seep through any cracks and pool, leading to issues such as mold. Any cracks should be assessed quickly to determine the best course of action.

Water damage can happen to a commercial property. Fortunately, a professional can fix the damage caused by leaking pipes, foundation cracks, a backed-up toilet, or weather, and help you repair your property. Contact SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg at (727) 341-1001.