Become Flood Smart
Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river or even in the desert-there is always potential for flood damage. Floodsmart.gov reports, in the last five years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods.
According to the American Red Cross (ARC), floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster. The ARC offers the following flood safety tips.
- Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
- If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
- Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
If a flood does strike your home or business, contact SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas is prepared to handle any size disaster. When fire and water take control of your life, SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas will help you take it back.
Severe weather can happen any time, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms*:
◊ 10,000 severe thunderstorms
◊ 5,000 floods or flash floods
◊ 1,300 tornadoes
◊ 2 land falling deadly hurricanes
Approximately 98% of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 650 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage.* Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action, and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.
Know your risk. The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather can impact you, your business, and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts in your area. Severe weather comes in many forms, and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazard scenarios.
Take action. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.
Be an example. Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with family members, co-workers, and friends on social media. Your preparedness efforts may inspire others to do the same.
Contact SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas for more readiness tips and tools, including SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile(ERP). Having an ERP in place for your facility can help minimize business interruption in the event of a disaster. SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas can help you be “Ready for whatever happens!”
Call the Cleanup Team that is Faster to any Size Disaster
Your disaster may not always be fire and water related, but at SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas, we are still here to help when it comes to other situations. Inside this issue, biohazard, crime scene cleanup, and vandalism services are highlighted. These are services you may never think of until a related disaster strikes you or your insured’s home, business, or property. Equipped with the knowledge, experience, and training, we will start helping the moment you call.
In this issue, we also look at National building safety month. This month brings awareness to industry professionals as well as the general public on keeping the buildings they enter on a daily basis safe and up to codes. This month is presented by the International Code Council (ICC). Check out the disaster safety and mitigation tips from the ICC to help you plan for events such as high winds or hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, or floods. When disaster strikes, make sure you have experienced professionals on the line. No matter how big or small, SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas will be ready to help make your property damage “Like it never even happened.”
Disaster Safety & Mitigation
If you live in a high wind or hurricane prone area and do not have tested and code-approved shutters for protection from wind borne debris, consider temporarily protecting your doors and windows by mounting exterior grade, 7/16" minimum thickness plywood and fastening it into place. Visit http://www.flash.org/ for detailed instructions on how to use plywood for emergency board-up. Consider building or retrofitting to create a tornado-safe room in your home. Follow ICC/ NSSA 500 Standard for detailed construction information and to ensure you achieve the highest level of protection for your family.
In wildfire prone areas, remove fine (dead grass, leaves, etc.) and coarse fuels (dead twigs, branches, etc.) within 30 feet of a building to create a survivable space in case of wildfire. Be sure to remove dry leaf and pine litter from roofs, rain gutters, decks, and walkways. Follow ICC’s InternationalWildland-Urban Interface Code® for detailed requirements. Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. Never drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It takes only six inches of fast flowing water to sweep you off your feet and two feet of water to move an SUV-sized vehicle.
Extreme Heat Safety Tips
Did You Know? It is NEVER safe to leave a baby, toddler, disabled person, or pet locked in a car. On average, 37 children die from heat related deaths from being trapped inside vehicles.
- Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
- Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
- Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
- Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
- Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.) Keep storm windows up all year.
As summer approaches, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat in the coming months. Heat affects all people, but especially the young, elderly, sick, and overweight. Urban area residents also have a greater chance of being affected than those who live in rural areas due to the heat island effect.
According to the EPA, “the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to temperatures 50–90°F hotter than the air, while shaded or moist surfaces—often in more rural surroundings—remain close to air temperatures.” These surface heat islands are strongest during the day when the sun is shining, while the atmospheric heat islands are more likely after sunset “due to the slow release of heat from urban infrastructure.” Whether you are in an urban or rural area, there are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat from affecting you. If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets who may be outdoors or bring them inside. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake. If you must go outside, wear loose fitting, light colored clothing, and be sure to apply sunscreen often. Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion,
which are heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, and clammy skin; nausea or vomiting; and fainting, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life threatening. Signs of heat stroke are a high body temperature (103°+), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person somewhere cool. Reduce body temperature with cool, wet cloths or a bath. Do not give a person with heat stroke fluids, and treat the situation as a serious medical emergency (CDC). If you live in a humid climate, be aware of the heat index. The heat index factors in the humidity, which can make the temperature feel 15° hotter. Extreme heat is a serious danger. For more information on preparation and prevention, visit ready.gov or cdc.gov.
May is National Building Safety Month
National Building Safety Month is an initiative of the International Code Council (ICC) and their 64,000+ members across the world, as well as their partners in building construction and design, and the safety community. This month serves as an opportunity to educate insurance and commercial property professionals, as well as the general public, on “what it takes to create safe, resilient, affordable, and energy efficient homes and buildings,” according to the ICC website. Some of the topics and tips shared throughout the month include disaster preparedness, construction professionals, and innovations in building safety. The general public may not be aware of how codes and code officials “improve and protect the places where we live, learn, work, worship, and play,” and this month can certainly improve that awareness!
Biohazard, Crime Scene, and Vandalism Cleanup
Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas also offer fast, reliable bio-hazard and crime scene cleanup* and restoration services to residential and commercial property owners.
Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments.
SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas are trained to safely and effectively remove bio-hazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and state and local health regulations.
Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas helps turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices. SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas can help with the following issues:
- Bloodborne Pathogens
- Methamphetamine Labs
- Crime Scene Residues
- Sewage Backups
- Black Water Intrusions
- Mold Mitigation and Remediation
State and local regulations vary. Contact SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas today for 24 hour emergency service.
BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue, and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime, or death. Trained SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas Technicians thoroughly clean, disinfect, and deodorize the structure.
Many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine, are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.
CRIME SCENE RESIDUES
From fingerprint powder and evidence gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas can clean and restore your property and contents.
ARSON AND VANDALISM
SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas are recognized as leaders at helping property owners recover quickly from fire and water damage. SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas also provides general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods, and human or animal waste.
One of the easiest ways to protect yourself, your family or your employees is by having a weather radio in your home or office. Did you know having a NOAA Weather Radio in your home is just as important as having a fire alarm?
A weather radio is the most reliable source for weather alerts. It is designed to alert you to dangerous weather situations such as an approaching tornado, allowing you to be warned ahead of approaching storms providing time to seek shelter. In 2012, a new nationwide text emergency alert system was launched, called Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). The WEA system is a huge step toward keeping our nation informed in crisis situations, however it does not alleviate the need to own weather radios. The new WEA system relies on cell towers to send alerts—if cell towers are knocked out during bad weather or are no longer sending a signal, you will not receive alerts. Television and radio broadcasts can also go down during a destructive event. Having a back up such as a weather radio is critical to ensure you still receive information in the event media outlets can no longer broadcast or you are unable to receive the broadcast.
When selecting a weather radio, ensure it includes SAME alert programming—sounds an alert only when specific counties are threatened (allowing you to only receive alerts for your county) and reviewable alerts (allowing you to turn off alerts you do not want to hear).
Contact your local National Weather Service Office for assistance programming your weather radio, or for additional information, including county codes for your state, visit the NOAA Weather Radio website at https://www.noaa.gov/weather
Do You Have Dirty Ducts?
Did you know your ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality? Inspecting the ductwork in your facility or home should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your building or home.
A routine part of SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas service is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money. Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can help save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and duct work.
In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke, or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, your SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition. If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends they be inspected for proper functioning and be serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.
SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas Duct Cleaning System is proven and cost-efficient Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, your SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas uses a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.
- The process begins by using patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
- Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
- Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
- As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
- Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.
For more information on duct cleaning, or to schedule an appointment, contact your SERVPRO of Northern Las Vegas today.