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Severe Storm Preparation

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

Severe Weather Preparation 

   Whenever severe weather is approaching there may not be enough time to properly prepare your family and your property.  It is always a good idea to know what to do and when to do it.  In most cases locally; severe weather strikes in the form of thunderstorms with the potential for wind, thunder and lightning and heavy rain.  There are a few steps that each household should take to prepare for such events.

  • Secure your property and keep trees trimmed and remove dead branches and store any outdoor furniture or items safely. Branches, lawn chairs and garbage cans can quickly become projectiles in a severe storm and cause damage to your home, vehicles and property.  
  • Keeping your gutters and drainpipes clean will help to properly direct the flow of potentially damaging flood waters away from your home and crawlspace.
  • Check the condition of your roof. If repairs are needed; apply them before the bad weather strikes.
  • Prepare an emergency safety plan for your family and include methods of communication and an escape route to a safe meeting place.
  • Keep an eye on the sky and pay attention to local weather information.
  • If severe weather threatens; check on the elderly, disabled, the very young and pets and farm animals.
  • Keep extra ice on hand to properly save and store your perishables.

NOTE: ACCORDING TO NOAA – IF YOU ARE AWARE OF WHAT WEATHER EVENT IS ABOUT TO IMPACT YOU – YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO SURVIVE SUCH AN EVENT.  NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR THEIR WEBSITE IS THE BEST SOURCE FOR ACCURATE WEATHER INFORMATION.

  If severe weather does hit; please always remember that SERVPRO of Sussex County is ready 24/7 to help you to regain control of your life!  Please reach us at 302-856-9768 or visit us at http://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/.

More Hurricanes?

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

More Hurricanes?

  NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center has predicted between 19 and 25 named storms for the 2020 Hurricane season.  To date – we have already had 16 named storm with four disturbances churning currently in the Caribbean and South Atlantic. So, does this mean we can expect more storms each year and why? In 2017 – there were 17 named storms and in 2018; we had 15.  Last year there were 18.  Overall, the number has not fluctuated a great deal; however the school of thought indicates that climate change may produce more catastrophic storms in the future.

  The rising of warm, moist air from the ocean helps to power the storms. Two other factors may also be contributing to the rising intensities of hurricanes. First, warm air holds more water vapor than cold air—and the rising air temperatures since the 1970s have caused the atmospheric water vapor content to rise as well – this would reinforce the theory that climate change may cause more storms.

  So why is there a “season” for hurricanes? Almost all hurricanes develop once the northern hemisphere approaches summer, with the hurricane season running from 1 June to 30 November. The season peaks between August and October.  This is because wind shear, which can disrupt hurricanes, dies down during summer, while the temperature of the oceans rise and the amount of moisture in the atmosphere increases. These conditions are ideal for spawning hurricanes.

  No matter the number of storms or their intensity; SERVPRO of Sussex County stands ready to assist with both the severe and minor damage that a hurricane or tropical storm may cause.  Be prepared, stay calm and call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 for any storm related concerns.

SERVPRO’S Professional Fire Restoration Process

8/19/2020 (Permalink)

A house or business fire can cause extensive damage from fire and smoke and also water damage from the firefighting efforts. The professionals at SERVPRO of Sussex County have the expertise and training to restore your home or business to pre-fire condition.

We have listed the steps below to illustrate our process for a fire emergency.

  1. Call SERVPRO– The SERVPRO National Call Center is available and staffed 24 hours a day – 7 days a week. Our professional representative will ask a series of specific questions regarding the fire and will dispatch the nearest SERVPRO Franchise Professional and they will arrive quickly to the scene with the appropriate equipment and resources.
  2. Inspection and Assessment– the SERVPRO of Sussex County professionals will carefully inspect your property and test adjoining rooms for fire, smoke and soot damage. The information gathered at this point is crucial to develop a plan of action.
  3. Roof Tarp and Board-Up Service– this is sometimes an immediate need after a fire since the event can compromise windows, walls and roofs. Our SERVPRO professionals will offer the service to properly board up missing windows and place tarps over damaged roofs. This will add security and hopefully prevent further damage.
  4. Water Removal and Drying– If water damage is present the water removal process begins almost immediately and the majority of the water is removed. Dehumidifiers and air movers are used to complete then drying process.
  5. Smoke and Soot Removal– All surfaces which have been exposed to smoke and soot are cleaned with specialized equipment and techniques. This includes ceilings and walls and other surfaces.
  6. Cleaning and Sanitizing– The SERVPRO professionals will clean all restorable items and structures damaged in the fire to pre-fire condition. Odors are removed by air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
  7. Restoration– The final step is restoration – which means getting your home back to its pre-fire condition. This may involve minor repairs such as replacing drywall, painting and new flooring installation or if the damage is extensive; full reconstruction measures may be required.

Please call SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 or go to:www.SERVPROsussexcounty.comfor more information and services.

Tropical Disturbance

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

Any storm that causes damage or fear can also offer inconveniences.  I kept telling myself how fortunate we were to have had no real structural loss.  I have to admit that losing your power while the news sources are telling you where the tornadoes were was less than tolerable. It was off for most of the day and I acted quickly – since in the past it was out for 48 hours and we ended up in a hotel.  I made my way out bypassing two main roads which were blocked by fallen trees, and managed to get to a small convenience store and bought 30 pounds of ice.  This decision saved all of our perishables and I was rather happy that I still had some of those old coolers in my garage.  It is always a good idea to keep some extra ice on hand even if your fridge makes it for you.  You will need more to store dairy and meat overnight.

  Another small inconvenience related to the loss of power was of course – no air conditioning in 90+ degree heat.  This issue forced us to a hotel later that evening as there was no sleep to be had in a pool of sweat.  I know right now anyone who is reading this is saying – Buy a Generator!  We only have had a couple of these serious events annually and the cost simply does not justify the return so we make do.

  If you have a pet you must not forget about their needs as well.  Since the hotel was not pet friendly – we took our dog Zeik to my son’s for the evening as they had power but only one bedroom.

  But through each small irritation I kept reminding myself of the serious damage all around me and the loss of life in other states.  SERVPRO of Sussex County will be there for you during the major headaches – hopefully your fortitude and patience will get you through the minor ones.  If you have storm damage and need help call us at 302-856-9768 today!

How High is The Water?

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

It is always a good idea to keep water safety in mind in good times and during a crisis. The wrong decision can be costly if not deadly. We remind everyone of the following tips for safety during a water loss or challenge.

Once the waters recede and the immediate danger has passed; one should still use caution before entering a flooded home or structure. Hidden dangers may pose threats as serious as the initial flood itself.

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) offers much guidance on this issue and you may read more at:https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1756-25045-8598/protecting_home_book_508compliant.pdf. Never assume a flooded building is safe and always be aware of the following hazards before re-entry:

  • Electrical hazards– Never enter a flooded building if the power is on. Make sure the power is turned off at the main breaker box and leave it turned off until a licensed electrician or building inspector has inspected and deemed it as safe.
  • Structural Damage– If the framing or the foundation are damaged – do not enter. Look carefully and if you detect any instability leave immediately. A collapse could cause serious injury or even death. Again, have a licensed professional inspect for safety.
  • Hazardous Materials– These include pesticides, fuel oil, gasoline or other chemicals which may have been spread during the flood. Typically, if the structure was built prior to 1978 there may also be a risk of asbestos and or lead based paint. Any building material other than solid wood, glass or metal may pose a risk of asbestos.
  • Injuries- One of leading leading causes of injury is slips and falls due to slick surfaces. A damaged building may also present the risk of falling objects.
  • Biological Hazards- These include bacteria, viruses, mold and mildew. Bacteria and Viruses present in dirty water pose a health risk if ingested or from exposure. Even a small cut can become infected from bacteria or hidden parasites. Mold and mildew may grow indoors and can cause health effects if not safely cleaned and remediated.

Remember, floods can occur due to natural causes or from man-made issues such as broken pipes. If you have any concerns about water damage; please contact us at SERVPRO of Sussex County at 302-856-9768 or visit: https://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/

Recommended Long List of Storm Emergency Kit Items

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

With the number of names storms twice the number they were at this time last year – we revisit the importance of preparedness.

  • Backpack or storage tub to hold your supplies
  • Bottled Water
    • 1 gallon per person is recommended
  • Non-Perishable food
    • If including canned foods, you must include a can opener
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First Aid Supplies
    • Bandages
    • Ointment
    • Disinfectant wipes
  • Tissues
  • Toilet paper and bags with ties for personal sanitation
  • Paper and pen or pencil(to take notes, play games, etc)
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket(recommend one for each person in your home)
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Personal hygiene items (travel size deodorant, cotton swabs, feminine items, etc)
  • Whistle to Signal for help
  • Important documents (identification, insurance information, banking information, wills, etc)
  • Emergency reference materials such as a first aid book
  • Battery powered radio and a NOAA Weather radio
  • Formula and diapers (if there is an infant in the house)
  • Extra pet food (if there are pets in the house)
  • Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Cups and utensils
  • A change of clothes for each person in your home (if you live in a cooler climate make sure the clothes are warm!)
    • Also include a jacket, hat, gloves and closed toe shoes for walking (boots or sturdy sneakers are best)
  • Rain gear
  • Cash
  • Paper towels
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Cards or game (it is important to have something to do to take your mind off the situation for a few moments or alleviate stress if you will be in your shelter for an extended time)

 Call SERVPRO of Sussex County for any storm related damage at 302-856-9768 or visit our site at: https://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/

Helping Our Community – Our Vocation

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

Many businesses are suffering dramatic impacts from the pandemic – both locally and nationally. Restaurants and hotels have been hit especially hard with almost 40 % still closed or only offering carry out or delivery. Small and large retailers are also feeling the stress with all the mandates and restrictions designed to keep both their staff and patrons safe and healthy. Most have to monitor the number of patrons and keep the social distancing in place. Since March we have received more than 300 inquiries from both commercial and residential customers who want to know how to open safely and maintain a safe environment through this time.

Some are being pro-active with the SERVPRO: Certified Cleaned Service and applying preventive applications on a regular basis while others are waiting until they have an actual case. We respond in either case with the best trained technicians and the certified products approved by the EPA and the CDC. As each day passes with no end in sight – most are hopeful to get to a Phase 3 – and re-open to almost all patrons. Given the differing results from locations across the nation – most are left with uncertainty due to the ever changing nature of this virus.

We see our responses during this time as a vocation and we liken our group to First responders who will risk personal health and safety to help the community.

If you are a business or a resident – we are happy to help with different applications of our service to give both you and your customer’s peace of mind. Please call us today at 302-856-9768 or visit: SERVPROsussexcounty.com for more details. Be smart and be safe!

Tropical Storm Isaias to Say – Harder to Forget – Hard

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

On early Tuesday morning, August 11, 2020; Tropical Storm Isaias passed near the Delmarva area.  Typically, a tropical system has winds and rain and can be rather fearsome; however this one added something special for all of us locally – TORNADOES!

Almost every Delmarva county was hit by some cyclonic activity – including several verified twisters.  One was too close for comfort.  It went through eastern Sussex County near Long Neck – Millsboro area and I was in awe by its strength – almost 4 miles away.  Power was lost by ten am and trees began to come down just afterwards.  My yard was so full of debris that it took over three hours of bending and about twenty full trash cans to restore it to the pre-bomb look.  But I was very lucky.

Maybe my vocational tie to SERVPRO makes me more aware – however I drove through sections around my home that had sixty foot oak trees fall on home and I saw one that had to be fifty feet tall miss a home by less than a foot.  Every yard looked worse than mine.

The tall oaks around my home are a daily worry as we progress through hurricane season.  I once spoke with an arborist and he stressed how important this issue is at the time of planning new construction.  The space between the home and any trees can be a crucial factor in the damage and destruction to homes and roofs by high winds.  If you have an option – consider the trees type, size and growth potential and create a safe distance.

SERVPRO responded to many calls last Tuesday and we offer a board up service and can even store your valuables if needed.  If you have any storm related damage – call us today at 302-856-9768 or visit: https://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/.

Storm Season - Are You Ready?

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

Even though we are in the middle of a terrible pandemic, the hurricane season is upon us. The storms have been early and fast approaching with 7 named storms to date. The pandemic may disrupt everyone’s lives dramatically, but the weather patterns don’t follow or care about that and experts predict that this season may be harsh for some areas. Pretty much anywhere along the Gulf or Atlantic coasts are vulnerable.

Hurricanes and tropical storms can cause water and wind damage and lead to secondary issues, including mold. Obviously everyone should be prepared and with the challenges associated with the pandemic – it may be a good idea to add SERVPRO to the list of companies who WILL assist. Our teams stand ready through the pandemic to assist with these and any other residential or commercial property damage.

We offer the most professional and widely recognized and respected line of emergency response services available. SERVPRO of Sussex County is celebrating its 27th year as the number 1 storm response and remediation specialists in the area. We have seen everything from Nor-Easters to Hurricanes and we even sent a team of experts to assist with Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf area. When other companies are running away from a storm we are typically running into them and we take pride in this “first responder” mentality and that’s what sets us apart.

So add SERVPRO of Sussex County to your list of emergency contacts and services and whether it’s just a severe thunderstorm or an actual named hurricane – we will make it “Like it never even happened.” Reach us at 302-856-9768 or go to SERVPROsussexcounty.com.

Re-Opening Your Business Safely

7/7/2020 (Permalink)

Re-Opening Your Business Safely

   As we enter the first week of July, the global pandemic of COVID-19 has continued to spread worldwide and especially in the U.S.  While doctors around the globe focus on treatments and vaccines, new cases are on the rise and businesses in some states are still closed.  Those that have re-opened face the possibility of another mandated shutdown if the situation does not improve.

  The primary concern for most business owners is, of course, the health and safety of their staff and patrons.  However, with such a fluid and ever changing situation as the virus has become – how can you have the confidence to re-open or maintain the safety of your business environment?  Some businesses are tackling the problem by putting their own employees at risk by transforming them from waiters or housekeepers into sanitation experts and applying products which lack the effectiveness necessary to combat this threat.  Seldom do they possess the proper PPE to equip these people and in many cases the lack of expertise and resources only makes the problem worse and can even increase the spread. 

  We have also witnessed basic cleaning services utilizing unsafe practices as well.  Although, we applaud their efforts to attempt to remediate the problem – we do not endorse any efforts applied by anyone or company which lacks the certification in bio-hazard treatments and the approved resources.  Why put your employees in harm’s way when there is a better and safer solution?

  The Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Service was introduced just under three months ago and we are seeing many responsible business owners utilizing this service with great results.  Many are applying the service in a pre-emptive manner with regular weekly or bi-monthly cleanings; while others are applying the service once they have a suspected or confirmed case.  This CDC and EPA approved program will offer a higher standard of “CLEAN”. To learn more about this accredited service – please use this link: https://www.SERVPROsussexcounty.com/ and contact us today at 302-856-9768 to initiate the service.