Does Your Business Have a Natural Disaster Plan?
Be ready to roll with Mother Nature's punches.
Does Your Business Have a Natural Disaster Plan? | SERVPRO® of Northeast Bronx
If you want your business to survive all that Mother Nature can throw out, like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and earthquakes, you will want to have a disaster plan in place for your business. The key to being able to roll with Mother Nature’s punches, so to speak, is to be prepared for a plethora of worst-case scenarios.
This will involve creating a natural disaster plan for not only your family but also for your business. Here, in this blog, are a few suggestions to take the guesswork out of designing that plan.
The Importance of Disaster Planning
Employees are your assets, as well as the materials and equipment within your business. All of these need to be taken into consideration when devising a disaster plan.
Included in those considerations should be:
- Ensuring your employees are protected
- Ensuring your assets are protected and secure
- Getting your business up and running again in a reasonable amount of time
There are many helpful checklists available from sources like the Red Cross, FEMA and Ready.gov that can assist you in identifying areas that need to be included in your natural disaster preparedness plan. You will also be able to see just how prepared you truly are.<9dca536672372d4d28abd559b4ed09bf>Keeping Employees Safe
Protecting employees and visitors should be top on your list when making a disaster plan. In case a disaster were to strike without warning, that plan should address procedures and safety measures for employees and visitors to follow at a moment’s notice.
All evacuation routes and exits from your facility should be clearly marked. There should be an area that can serve as a shelter space, and you should consider installing emergency lighting and having volunteer staff designated as “safety wardens” properly trained and ready to guide and assist in all emergency efforts.
When picking out a shelter space, the ideal location would be a basement or storm cellar in the event of tornadoes or other high-wind situations. If there is no basement space, use a small interior room, closet or interior hallway on the lowest level of the building.<9dca536672372d4d28abd559b4ed09bf>How to Protect Assets
You may think having your business in a brick and mortar location is safer. However, you’ll have to make mindful choices about how to protect the assets inside it. There could be thousands of dollars at risk in equipment and merchandise when a natural disaster strikes.
Always have a comprehensive and up-to-date inventory of these items, and, if possible, take photographs prior to a disaster as this is always helpful if insurance claims will have to be made. If you keep your assets stored on a computer server, take the steps necessary to ensure that your backup system is doing regular backups and utilize a cloud storage system, which cannot be damaged.
If you own your building, contact a contractor to uncover areas needing structural integrity improvements and can walk you through possible safety upgrades and offer advice on any areas that may not withstand certain weather situations.<9dca536672372d4d28abd559b4ed09bf>Getting Back to Business
Should your business suffer damage in a natural disaster, it is possible that it will be shut down and closed. Every day you remain closed is another day of lost profits. It is a good idea to have a “rainy day” fund set up to cover any additional costs that are not covered by your insurance.
Compiling a list of contractors who would be available for construction concerns and knowing which cleanup and restoration service is available to quickly respond to your emergency situation is helpful.
With SERVPRO® of Northeast Bronx, you can count on us to get to the disaster faster and make it "Like it never even happened." Our training and expertise have prepared us to help with water damage, storm damage, fire damage and mold remediation quickly and effectively.
Knowing what to do when disaster strikes your business is of the utmost importance. When it comes to the cleanup and restoration aspects, depend on SERVPRO® of Northeast Bronx to be there for you.
How To Find and Fix a Water Leak
A water leak can cost a building owner or business a lot of money over time. If you notice a water bill increase, it may be due to a leak somewhere on the premises of a commercial structure. Here are a few ways to locate and stop a leak.
Check for Drips
Dripping is often one of the first indications of a leak. Look for signs of
• Damp walls or floors
• Droplets clinging to surfaces
• Dripping plumbing fixtures
• Water around the base of toilets or appliances
The sooner you identify the source of a water leak, the less damage may take place. A pipe break is likely to be more noticeable and result in immediate damage. Shut off the water supply and contact a plumber to fix a burst or leak.
Search for Stains
Leaks that have continued for some time will result in staining. Inspect ceilings and walls for any signs of discoloration. A leak will not go away on its own. If you see new signs of staining, a leak is probably present and should be fixed. Water damage restoration experts can mitigate primary and secondary damage.
Ask the Experts
If you cannot locate the source of a leak on your own, contact a plumber or leak detection specialist. These professionals can
• Test potential risk areas
• Troubleshoot low water pressure
• Use thermal imaging technology
Experts can minimize the extent of damage caused by a leak. It is advisable to seek assistance sooner rather than later.
It is important to locate and fix a water leak as soon as possible. An undetected leak can cost building or business owners a lot of money and result in water damage and an increased risk of mold growth. If you suspect that a leak is present but cannot locate the problem, contact a plumber or leak detection service located in Bronx, NY.
3 Tips To Keep Frozen Pipes From Ruining Your Home
Winter often brings cold weather to Bronx, NY
3 Ways to Keep Your Water Line From Freezing During Cold Winter Months
Winter often brings cold weather to Bronx, NY. While snow, sleet and ice require you to throw on some extra layers before leaving the house, they can also spell disaster for your home’s plumbing system. As you probably know, water expands when it freezes. This expansion can put tremendous pressure on pipes, leading to a potential pipe burst. Here are three effective ways to keep your water line from freezing during cold winter months.
1. Find Exposed Pipes
Not all the pipes in your home are at equal risk for freezing. Generally, pipes in exposed areas and outer walls have a greater chance of sustaining damage during a cold spell. If you aren’t sure which pipes in your home are vulnerable, ask a plumber to explain your plumbing system to you.
2. Disconnect Outside Hoses
Leaving your hoses connected to exterior spickets during the winter can encourage a pipe burst. At the end of the watering season, disconnect and drain your houses. Also, consider placing insulation around exterior faucets to keep them from freezing when temperatures drop.
3. Let the Faucet Drip
Contracting with a reputable mold mitigation service, you have the equipment, skill and expertise to ensure your home returns to its pre-flood condition.
Two Simple Chores That Can Prevent Fires
Clean your lint trap with every use to avoid fire damage in your Bronx, NY home
Learning about common sources of house fires can arm you with a little knowledge that can lead to a little change, and that change can lead to a big impact. Clothes dryers, for example, are one such common origin for many residential fires - about 2,900 per year according to the National Fire Protection Association. Learn how to reduce the chance of a dryer fire in your home in Bronx, NY, with simple steps you can do yourself:
- Clean the lint trap with every use. Clear the lint screen every time you start a load of clothing. This is an important, routine step that removes the source of tinder and keeps the vent clear from blockages. This is critical to reducing your chance of a lint fire. Never operate your dryer without a screen.
- Do a deep lint removal once per year. The lint screen is the first line of defense, but the frequent use of your machine will certainly cause lint to accumulate in the vent pipe. It’s critical to do a deep cleaning of that pipe once a year.
Deep Cleaning Details
Deep lint removal is critical to preventing a lint fire, and it’s really easy to do. Just remove the screen and brush out the entrance of the vent pipe. Next, unplug your dryer and vacuum any visible lint from the backside. Disconnect your exhaust hose and clear it by snaking it, or take it outside to blow out dust with a shop vac or simply shake it out. Lastly, clear lint from the outside vent flap. Make sure air can flow freely in the hose by laying it out, so it is not kinked when you reconnect it.
Cleaning your dryer is one of those small things that can make a big impact. If a lint fire causes damage to your home, it can be helpful to have a fire damage assessment done by a professional recovery company. Unlike general contractors, they specialize in damage recovery from major incidents like fires, floods and other major events.
Understanding Mold Growth
Mold removal in a retail store in Bronx,NY
Preventing mold growth in Bronx, NY, is something many business owners have become increasingly aware of. Not only can mold cause damage to the property, but it has the potential to spread which can be a cause for concern. Understanding how mold grows can allow these business owners to better protect their companies.
Where Mold Grows
Understanding where mold grows can help you identify potential problem areas in your company building. Knowing these locations can allow you to inspect them as needed for water damage, which can provide an enticing environment for mold spores. These areas can include:
- Duct work
- Masonry surfaces, especially pocket areas
- Drain pans for an HVAC system and the system itself
- Ceiling tiles
- Basement areas
Why Mold Grows
In most cases mold growth occurs in area of high humidity or locations that are constantly damp, where it has access to organic or cellulose-based materials. These can include areas near a leak or other water source, or a place where condensation settles. A lack of proper ventilation can also encourage water build up. The moisture allows the mold to thrive. As it grows mold will release spores which can then spread to other areas.
Preventing Mold from Growing
If you find mold or water caused damage in your business property it’s best to take care of it as quickly as possible. A mold remediation specialist can look over the area and not only take care of the damage the water caused, but dry and sanitize the affected space to prevent mold problems. Keeping things as clean and dry as possible is one of the best ways to prevent mold from growing.
Because mold growth occurs in damp locations, it’s best to remedy water damage as quickly as possible. If you have mold or damp areas in your place of business, you may want to contact a professional to help with the cleanup process.
5 Steps of Dealing With a Puffback
Puffback damage in Bronx,NY
Dealing With a Puffback
There are several signs that the furnace in your commercial building in Bronx, NY, needs repair. It may make strange noises or start using more oil. One of the most common signs, however, is puffback damage. If you start seeing sticky soot around your furnace or at other places throughout the building, you must take these five basic steps to remedy the problem.
1. Determine the Scope of the Issue
Furnace puffback does not usually stay in one place. Chances are that if you see it around the furnace, it is probably lurking in hidden places such as supply closets, furniture crevices or drawers all over the building. Inspect your building thoroughly so that you have an accurate account to tell the insurance company.
2. Call Your Insurance Agent
The good news is that puffback damage is typically covered under most property policies. By contacting your insurance company as soon as you realize it's a problem, you can obtain the means to solve it before it causes much further damage.
3. Call an HVAC Professional
The best way to keep problems resulting from a faulty oil furnace is to hire a trained technician to repair it. It doesn't do you any good to clean up the soot until you remedy what caused it.
4. Seek Restoration Services
It is unwise to try to clean this soot problem yourself. Certified restoration experts have the necessary training and equipment to handle the cleanup process thoroughly and efficiently.
5. Expect Damage Repair
Soot cleanup methods may cause further damage to your building. No matter how careful the technicians are, it is likely that post-cleaning repairs will be necessary. It is a good idea, therefore, to hire a team that specializes in both cleanup and repair.
While you may not be particularly pleased to see evidence of puffback damage in your building, restoring your property is manageable. By following these steps, you can resolve the problem before it gets out of hand.
Is Your Home Located In a Flood Zone?
Flooded zone in Bronx, NY
Three Ways To Find Out If Your Home Is Located In a Flood Zone
Residences in flood zones may require flood insurance coverage, particularly if homeowners have a mortgage through a lender that is federally regulated or insured. If you are not sure whether your home is located in a flood zone, there are three ways to find out.
1. The Flood Rate Insurance Map
FEMA maintains a Flood Rate Insurance Map that identifies the level of flood risk in most locations. Rates of coverage under the National Flood Insurance are usually based on this geographical data. Access the FEMA Map Service Center to determine whether your property is located in an area prone to flooding. If your home has mitigating improvements, you may be able to obtain an amendment. This adjustment will not alter the status of your residence on the flood zone map, but may result in lower insurance rates.
2. Regional Risk Levels
FEMA also undertakes and provides access to the Flood Insurance Study Report on regional flood risks. You can view the findings of this study on FloodSmart.gov. Regional information does not account for official determinations or amendments on property.
3. Check for Map Amendments or Elevation Certificates
These documents may be available for improved property situated on a flood plain. While these materials may reveal that you live in a region at risk for flooding, amendments and certificates may also indicate that measures have been taken to mitigate flood risk to the property.
These three methods can help you determine whether you live in a flood zone. You can also find out whether your property has any mitigating circumstances to factor into your considerations. Keep in mind that the location of your property may necessitate flood insurance coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program. If a flood damages your residence in Bronx, NY, schedule a consultation with a service that specializes in storm and water damage cleanup and restoration.
What You Need To Know About Floods and Black Water
It is important to know whether or not the flood waters have been declared clean or not!
If a flood comes to your home in Bronx, New York you may wonder how safe it is to wade into the water. Many people believe that because rain caused the water damage, it is completely safe to touch.
However, this is a dangerous assumption, because it could be black water.
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Remediation Certification classifies water into these three categories:
Each of these types of water carries different risks. Clean water is typically safe for human consumption. Gray water has been used since its last filtering but has not encountered contaminates.
The third categorization is more dangerous to people and animals. Unless and until an authority declares the flood water as clean, you should assume it is black water. Learn precisely what that means below:
What Is It?
The classification of water as “black” means that it has come into contact with harmful elements such as raw sewage. This rating means the water may contain all kinds of dangerous microbes, including bacteria, mold, fungi, and viruses. It may even include the noro virus, parasites, and other infectious material.
Why Is Flood Water Classified This Way?
When water enters your home after heavy rains, it’s not just water from the sky. Water damage also comes from overflowing sewage. That sewage can mix with the rainwater and contaminate everything it touches.
What Should Homeowners Do?
If you have water in your home after a storm, do not wade into it unless doing so is necessary. It is also important to dry out the area as soon as possible. That water can spread disease and cause mold growth.
It’s essential to call an experienced restoration company in Bronx, New York as quickly as possible after water damage or flooding occurs. Be sure to rid your home of the black water as soon as you can to keep you and your family safe.
Grilling Safety Tips Every Grill Master Needs To Know
Contact your Bronx,NY fire damage cleanup team in case something occurs
You may have years of grilling experience under your belt, and your friends might all refer to you as the grill master, but are your grilling techniques really safe? Most peoples' aren't. A grill fire can occur instantly and for seemingly no reason, but there is always a reason. Some of the most common reasons for a barbeque fire include the following:
- Failure to clean a barbeque
- Placing the grill too close to something that can catch fire or indoors
- Leaving the grill unmanned
You can avoid grill fires and subsequent smoke damage by applying a few key safety measures.
Clean Your Grill Before Every Use
While you don't need to use dish soap and a sponge to clean your grill, you should use a scraper to scrape away old food debris, left over debris and other possible flammable contaminants. The bonus of taking this step is that you also scrape away leftover bad bacteria from raw meat.
Keep Your Grill Outdoors and Out in the Open
One common cause of grill fire incidences is that the grills are being used indoors or under an overhang. People place their grills in such areas so that they can grill year-round or grill out of the heat. While the idea is innocent enough, fulfillment of the idea is dangerous. Grills need to be out in the open and have nothing above them that flames can catch onto.
Attend the Grill at All Times
Unattended grills are the most dangerous grills. If a barbeque fire does happen and you're there to catch it, you can put it out before it causes too much damage. However, if you're not around, the fire can grow out of control and quickly. Also, if you're not around, there is no telling who or what might accidentally bump the grill and cause hot charcoal to spill out, or worse, the grill to tip over.
You can prevent a grill fire by grilling in a safe and controlled manner. Clean your grill, grill in a safe place and man the grill at all times. If something does occur, contact your Bronx, NY, fire damage cleanup team ASAP.
3 Tips to Stop Mold From Gaining a Hold After a Storm
Mold removal in a retail store in Bronx,NY
Mold growth is not the kind of growth you want for your Bronx, NY, business. Following a particularly wet storm or season, it should be on your radar as a potential problem. It can hide itself in your commercial property and spread its infestation despite numerous cleanup attempts. You can both prevent it and stop it from consuming your building by adhering to these three tips.
1. Stop the Mold Before It Spreads
If it’s safe to do so, you should enter your property after a storm to investigate potential areas where mold may’ve set up. Discolored, moist areas are likely locations where mold growth is now located and should be scrubbed and sanitized.
Any areas with leaking pipes damaged by the storm should be remedied by a professional plumber as soon as possible to stop unwanted standing water from creating more suitable places for growths.
2. Do What You Can to Isolate Mold
Mold is a quickly reproducing microorganism, much like a bacteria or yeast. Acting quickly on the problem will stop a localized growth from encompassing the whole building in as little as a day.
If you notice any visible mold on objects, it’s best to seal them up in a bag and remove them from the premises. Precaution should be taken to not let moldy objects come in contact with any clean areas. Any clothes worn while in an infested zone should be sealed up before leaving the area and washed.
3. Treat the Problem
While cleanup and sanitation can be attempted without assistance, you may overlook hidden fungus that will continue to reproduce and resettle in previously cleaned areas.
Adequate cleanup involves completely removing water and killing every mold growth on the property. A professional storm damage cleanup crew has both the expertise and toolkit to fully remedy current infestations and any water damage that acts as fungus fuel. Keeping the mold from spreading can lessen the length of business closure and its cost. You can act swiftly to stop storm damage from becoming extensive mold damage.