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National Preparedness Month - Build a Kit

9/23/2021 (Permalink)

Emergency supply kit items What's in your emergency kit?

In our ongoing blog series highlighting National Preparedness Month, this week's focus will be on building an emergency kit.  While your exact needs may be different based on the actual situation, the following is a basic list of supplies that everyone could benefit from having on-hand:

  • Water - Have at least one gallon per person for a minimum of 3-days
  • Food - Keep at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food with a manual can opener
  • Battery-Powered or Crank Radio - If the power goes out, you'll want to know what is happening around you; FEMA also recommends a NOAA Weather Alert Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight(s) - Don't forget extra batteries!
  • First Aid Kit
  • Whistle - Use this to signal for help
  • Dust Mask - To filter contaminated air
  • Plastic Sheeting & Duct Tape - Can be used for a number of tasks, most importantly to shelter-in-place
  • Candles & Matches - Be sure to store matches in a waterproof container
  • Moist Wipes, Garbage Bags & Ties - For personal sanitation
  • Toilet Paper & 5-Gallon Bucket with Lid - For a makeshift toilet (don't forget the lid!)
  • Basic Tools - Include a wrench, pliers and hammer (these may be needed to turn off utilities)
  • Medications - Don't forget prescription medication, as well as general over-the-counter products like ibuprofen, antacids or anti-diarrhea medication; remember an extra pair of glasses or contacts with solution

These items make up the core products that should be in every emergency kit.  Other helpful items that are recommended are:

  • Sleeping bags/blankets
  • Important documents (such as insurance policies, passports, bank records)
  • Infant formula, diapers, bottles, rash cream, etc. (if applicable)
  • Pet food and extra water (if applicable)
  • Cash or traveler's checks
  • Extra clothing and shoes
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Feminine hygiene supplies (if applicable)
  • Dishware/mess kits (cups, bowls, plates, silverware)
  • Paper, writing utensils, books, games, etc.

Once you've assembled your kit, consider making a "mini-kit" for work, school, and/or car.  Be sure to store your home kit in an easily accessible location that everyone is aware of. 

It may seem like a lot of items but any one of these could make all the difference in keeping you and your family safe.  

For more information on National Preparedness and building an emergency kit, go to FEMA's prep website at Ready.gov.  If you experience a fire, water or storm emergency, call the experts at SERVPRO of Eau Claire at 715-834-3473; we are always Here to Help and available 24/7, 365 days a year. 

National Preparedness Month - Cybersecurity

9/17/2021 (Permalink)

Digital code and a padlock September is National Preparedness Month: Is your personal information protected? Is your business safe from cyber attacks?

At SERVPRO of Eau Claire, our primary focus is on residential and commercial restoration and safety.  For National Preparedness Month, we are taking extra steps to protect our small business from a different kind of disaster - cyber attacks.

According to Security Magazine, there is a cyber attack every 39 seconds - more than 2,000 per day.  Cyber attacks can leave you or your business in financial ruin, delete vital information from your databases and servers, or even put people in physical danger with the information retrieved.  

We are NOT cyber security experts, but we rely on those who are to help keep our business and team safe from cyber threats.  We recommend the following steps as a starting point to protect against cyber attacks:

1) Limit the amount of personal information you put online

2) Update to the latest versions of software and operating systems

3) Make sure your passwords are strong, change them often, and use two-factor authentication whenever possible

4) Use anti-virus software, firewalls and ad-blocking services

5) Do not visit websites that do not have valid security certificates - check your browser settings to ensure you have the best security protection options selected

6) Never open an attachment or click links in emails that are not from a trusted source

For more information on how you can prepare for potential cyber attacks or other disasters and emergencies, go to ready.gov and get started protecting your home or business today.

Are You Prepared for an Emergency? SERVPRO Ready App Can Help!

9/12/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Ready App Image of Phone and Tablet with App on Screens Prepare your home and business today by downloading the SERVPRO Ready app

No matter where you live or work, emergencies caused by weather, fire, wind, water, and other natural or manmade disasters can strike at any time and are largely unpredictable.  The property restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Eau Claire, an industry-leading provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services, reminds home and business owners that preparing in advance is the best thing you can do to help minimize a disaster’s impact on your loved ones and your property. 

Each year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designates September as National Preparedness Month – a time to create, or update, your plan for when disaster strikes.

“In the same way that people make ‘resolutions’ at the New Year, National Preparedness Month is a great time to resolve to create a plan, or review your existing plan, each and every year,” said Rick Isaacson, CEO of SERVPRO Industries, LLC. “Everyone needs a comprehensive emergency plan. Business owners also need to plan for business interruption and continuation. But equally importantly, families and businesses alike need immediate access to data like emergency and insurance contacts, shut-off valves, electrical panel locations, and the line of command to authorize work so emergency responders can react quickly and appropriately during the emergency. This month’s focus on preparedness is a great incentive for both families and businesses to put a plan in place and review it regularly.”

Creating an emergency plan is straightforward, according to Isaacson. No matter what type of threats exist where you live or work – wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, or other natural or manmade disasters – tools are available from FEMA with guidelines for preparing emergency food, water, and medical supplies; planning for special needs; and creating communication and evacuation plans. These tools and others, like the SERVPRO READY app, also help you store essential contact and property information electronically where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes. Both home and business owners can download the free app at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp.

Business owners can take an additional preparedness step by designating their local SERVPRO franchise as their disaster mitigation and restoration provider. SERVPRO professionals will conduct a no-cost assessment of the facility and assist the owner in completing a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) to be stored in the READY app.

National Preparedness Month - Make a Plan

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

Preparedness info from Ready.gov Prepare your home or business for an emergency. For more information, go to ready.gov or contact SERVPRO of Eau Claire at (715) 834-3473

In recognition of National Preparedness Month (NPM), SERVPRO of Eau Claire to would like to encourage Americans to work together to take concrete actions toward emergency preparedness. A disaster like a flood, fire or blizzard can be such a stressful situation to homeowners and business owners. When our SERVPRO professionals service people who have taken steps to prepare for such a catastrophe, their chances for staying safe and recovering quickly certainly increase.

Residents can begin to prepare for a natural or man-made disaster by taking the following steps to lessen the impact on their families and their communities if disaster strikes.

 Prepare an Emergency Supply Kit – You should plan for 3 days of supplies, so you'll need water – a gallon per person per day – and non-perishable foods. Then add basic tools (wrench, pliers, can opener, matches), fire extinguisher, flashlight and radio with extra batteries, a first aid kit, extra clothing and hygiene items, garbage bags and duct tape, copies of important documents (insurance policies, ID, bank accounts), cash and local maps. Establish a Family Emergency Plan – Designate an out-of-town contact as your family's centralized, emergency communications facilitator in case your family is not together when a disaster strikes. Add that person's number to your emergency contacts on each family member’s cell phone. If you can't reach that individual with a call from a cell phone, try texting. Stay Informed – Learn about your community's emergency procedures and participate in activities planned during National Preparedness Month. You can also request checklists and other disaster preparedness tools from SERVPRO or at ready.gov. While it's common for individuals to insure their homes, cars and possessions, and even to prepare living wills to protect their families in the event of some unthinkable accident, but most people don't believe it will ever happen to them.   Being prepared for an emergency requires a team effort. First, families need to make a plan, and each family member needs to know what to do. Then, communities and businesses need to have contingency plans in place to ensure their residents and workers stay informed. By working together, individuals, families, businesses and communities can make a real difference in minimizing the impact that a disaster has on their lives and their livelihoods. If disaster does strike, leaving fire, water or mold damage in its wake, SERVPRO of Eau Claire's emergency restoration specialists offer an assortment of services to help local residents quickly restore damaged property.  Call us at (715) 834-3473 - we are always here to help!

September is National Preparedness Month

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO logo National Preparedness Month Are You Ready September is National Preparedness Month - are you ready in the event of an emergency or disaster? We can help!

September is National Preparedness Month, an annual awareness event sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Disaster recovery specialist SERVPRO of Eau Claire says this is a great time for business owners to review their emergency preparedness and business continuity plans. SERVPRO points to startling statistics like this one to emphasize the importance of advance planning: according to FEMA, as many as 40 percent of businesses never reopen following a major flood disaster.

“Business owners who think they are prepared for an emergency because exits are clearly marked and fire or flood drills are parts of the regular routine really need to take another look at their preparations,” said Sue Steen, former SERVPRO Industries, Inc. chief executive officer. “A comprehensive emergency plan also contains critical information about the location of shut-off valves, fire suppression system controls, emergency contact numbers and more—information that can save emergency responders precious time and help contain damage and minimize injury.”

Because SERVPRO knows the time to create a disaster readiness plan is before you need it, SERVPRO has developed the Emergency READY Program to help business owners create an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for their facility, at no charge. The business owner works with SERVPRO to gather and document information that will become critical if a disaster strikes. Once the ERP is created, business owners have access to their information 24/7 online and by using SERVPRO’s free smartphone app.

"When it comes to disaster readiness planning, it just makes sense to take advantage of the tools that are available, especially when they are offered at no charge," said Steen. "The first few minutes after a disaster strikes are often chaotic and very emotional. Minutes lost searching for shut-off valves, fire suppression system controls, or emergency contact numbers can mean further property loss, and worse. With the information in a business’s ERP, our experienced technicians can move into action effectively and immediately to help minimize damage and set the business on the road to recovery."

SERVPRO of Eau Claire professionals specialize in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it "Like it never even happened," for both commercial and residential customers. 

For more information on the SERVPRO and the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program, please visit https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp.

What Causes Musty Odors in a Business?

8/26/2021 (Permalink)

Mold remediation icon SERVPRO of Eau Claire is your commercial mold remediation expert and available 24/7, 365 days a year.

Musty Odors are a Common Sign of Mold Growth. SERVPRO is an Eau Claire Commercial Mold Remediation Specialist Available 24/7.

Are odors a sign of low indoor air quality?

Musty odors in your Eau Claire business could be putting off customers and affecting staff. Usually, these odors result from a microbial growth issue that may be residing somewhere in the company building. Commonly, these issues occur due to a slow leak or damp spot, which could occur seasonally or as the direct result of an event. Mold does not just release odors but also microscopic spores. These spores often become airborne, where they can be inhaled or ingested by people using the space. If musty odors lead to the discovery of molds, you may need to restore indoor air quality to get your business back to its preloss condition.

What are the stages of mold growth?

- Spores land on damp or wet spots with enough organic matter and temperature to reproduce

- Hyphae grow from the spore onto, or into, surfaces

- Colonies produce additional spores which can spread further throughout the structure

What tools control indoor air quality?

It is typical for commercial mold remediation techniques used in your business to include air scrubbing. Cleaning air uses specialized equipment known as air-filtration devices. These can be placed throughout your company, drawing indoor air into a complex set of filters. These filters are known as high-efficiency particulate air filters (HEPA) and can pull microscopic mold spores out of an indoor environment. Usually, SERVPRO technicians create an exhausting duct in the business to remove contaminated air from the building altogether and replace it with clean air. 

How should air-filtration devices be set up?

- Identify the affected area and enclose the system by shutting doors or windows

- Place an air-filtration device within the closed system

- Attach ducts for exhausting clean air and drawing out waste air

When your business shows signs of mold growth, contact SERVPRO of Eau Claire at 715-834-3473.

Dryer Fires Cause Tremendous Damage

8/24/2021 (Permalink)

Mirror with soot damage A dryer fire can leave your home damaged and covered in soot

SERVPRO of Eau Claire responds to fire damage emergencies throughout the year in the Eau Claire & Chippewa Valley areas. Even small, contained dryer or washing machine fires can cause lots of smoke and soot damage to the rest of the house. Here are some clothes dryer fire statistics from the National Fire Protection Association:

  • In 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 15,970 home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines each year
  • These fires caused annual averages of 13 civilian deaths, 444 civilian injuries, and $238 million in direct property damage
  • The vast majority of fires (92 percent) involved clothes dryers
  • The leading items first ignited in dryer fires were dust, fiber, or lint (26 percent of total) and clothing (26 percent), while items first ignited in washing machine fires were part of the appliance itself, including wire or cable insulation (26 percent), appliance housing or casing (24 percent, and drive belt (11percent)

Call Us Today!

SERVPRO of Eau Claire has a team of highly-trained technicians, on-call 24-hours a day to respond to fire damage emergencies in the Eau Claire area. Call us today at 715-834-3473. We’ll restore your fire damage, “Like it never even happened.”

Franchises are Independently Owned and Operated.

Mitigation & Restoration: What's the Difference?

8/17/2021 (Permalink)

Green Velo fans with SERVPRO logo We are here to help, day or night, 24/7

During a storm, your building may suffer some damage. When this happens, it can be good to know the difference between mitigation and restoration before hiring a flood cleanup company.

Understanding what mitigation and restoration are and how the processes pertain to the cleanup and repair of your building is important. Here are some differences between the two:

  1. Mitigation comes first: If your building has been harmed during a storm, one of the first things you should do is make sure it will not sustain any further damage. During mitigation, a flood cleanup company can provide services, such as removing water and boarding up windows, to keep water from spreading and increasing the problems with your building.
  2. Mitigation is usually finished quickly: With mitigation, the company does not usually make any repairs to your building. The job here is simply to prevent any further harm. Because of this, the mitigation process is done as quickly as possible so that restoration can begin, as the restoration company can only start repairing your building after mitigation has finished.
  3. Restoration can be lengthy: Repairs are done during the restoration process, so it can often take much longer than mitigation. Depending on the extent of damage during the storm, the restoration process can take months to complete.

Mitigation vs. Restoration: Which Do You Need?

If your building has suffered damage during a storm, you may be wondering which of these services you need. The answer is that you will likely need both. Having mitigation done before you begin repairs can save a lot of work and trouble in the long run. If you begin repairs without mitigation first, you may end up needing to do more fixes than you would have otherwise. 

Mitigation and restoration are services that go well together since they each offer something that the other does not. When you are searching for a flood cleanup company you should call SERVPRO of Eau Claire, we offer both mitigation and restoration services. When you call us, you can feel confident that your property will be properly dried and restored.

SERVPRO of Eau Claire: Here to Help 24/7

(715) 834-3473

Is Your Roof Leaking? 6 Signs to Look For

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

Water mark on ceiling A small roof leak can cause HUGE damage

Your Residential Roof May Leaking, Look For The Six Signs

Six Signs That Your Roof Is Leaking

As many plumbing experts know, leaking roofs can cause a plethora of unwanted problems such as water damage in your home. If these problems pop up, they can adversely affect your emotional and economic equilibrium. For this reason, it's good to be able to detect signs of a leaky roof early. In so doing, you can attain the professional assistance necessary to correct the problem and prevent structural damage to your property. With that idea in mind, consider whether you're experiencing any of the following six signs of a leaky roof:

 1. A Loss of Granules

 The granules of your roof's shingles can grow loose as a result of aging and ongoing exposure due to water damage. When your shingles start to lose their granules, the roof is subjected to faster deterioration. 

 2. Buckling Shingles

 The shingles of your roof can start to buckle as a result of hot air coming from your attic. This hot air is an indication of poor ventilation and can lead to a build-up of moisture.

 3. Mold And Mildew Growth

 If you notice possible mold growing inside your home or on the roof, the growth could have been caused by a leaky roof. This is the case because a leaky roof will create the excess water and moist environment that mold likes to thrive in.

 4. Roof Rot 

 Another sign of a leaky roof is roof rot. Roof rot is a term that refers to the process of your roof deteriorating rapidly. When this rapid deterioration transpires, your property can become increasingly susceptible to water damage because of potential leaks.

 5. Damaged Skylights

 Damaged skylights can cause your rainwater to leak into the home and cause water damage. 

 6. Damaged Flashing

 When your flashing is improperly sealed or damaged against your roof, it can make it much simpler for excess water to start seeping into your home.

 If you find that your property has been subjected to a leaky roof, you need to address and resolve the issue immediately. The best course of action is to contact a team of trained, IICRC-certified water damage remediation specialists. The team to trust is SERVPRO. All of our technicians will offer you the goal-oriented, detail-centered care necessary to restore your property with lightning speed

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Eau Claire is strategically located to respond quickly to your flood and water emergency event. Call us today! (715) 834-3473

How Does an Ozone Generator Remove Odors?

8/4/2021 (Permalink)

Air freshener sprayed on couch area Do you have odors that you just can't get rid of? Maybe ozone is the solution!

You may be wondering, “What is an ozone generator?” An ozone generator is an industrial machine that produces ozone. So now you’re probably asking yourself, “What is ozone?” Many of us may remember learning about the ozone layer in school. The ozone layer is a layer in the Earth’s stratosphere that has trace amounts of ozone.

Up in the stratosphere, the ozone protects us by absorbing most of the ultraviolet radiation that reaches the Earth from the sun. While that might sound great, ozone in high concentrations is actually very toxic to humans.

What is Ozone?

Ozone is a colorless, highly reactive, toxic gas with powerful oxidizing properties. It is comprised of three atoms of oxygen rather than the two atoms of oxygen that we breathe. Ozone is naturally occurring as well as man-made. An ozone generator is a man-made way of creating ozone.

So why would we want to create ozone if it is toxic to humans? Because ozone is very good at removing particles in the air that cause odor. It is the ultimate air purifier which is why it is used by industrial clean up companies like SERVPRO of Eau Claire.

How Does Ozone Remove Odors? 

Ozone removes the smell and odors by reacting and destroying the offensive smelling particulates, molecules, and bacteria. The ozone chemically reacts with them breaking them down into molecules and particulates and bacteria that don’t smell.

When Should Ozone Be Used?

An ozone generator is recommended for professional-use only, due to the dangers of high concentrations of ozone. Ozone generators and ozone are used to remove odors that seem impossible to remove. They can be used to remove the smell of cigarette smoke from a home that has been heavily smoked in.

They can also be used to remove the smoke odors from homes and businesses that have experienced a fire. Ozone is highly effective at removing odors due to the fact that it can penetrate anything that oxygen and smoke can penetrate. This can include fabric sofas and carpets in a home that has experienced smoke damage.

Due to the toxicity of the ozone gas, ozone generators are only used in spaces that are unoccupied and sealed. This means that if they are used in a home or business, they space usually needs to be evacuated while the ozone generator is in use. That is why it is highly recommended that you rely on professionals who are trained on how to safely operate an ozone generator.

Struggling to Get Rid of Strong Odors in Your Home or Business?

If you have strong odors that you have been battling for months and even years to get rid of, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Eau Claire to get rid of them. They’ll be able to determine the best actions to take including whether an ozone generator is needed.

The experts at SERVPRO of Eau Claire have helped remediate the odors from fires, flooding, mold damage and other sources for years. They have all the tools and experience to handle any disaster and any smell.

Call SERVPRO of Eau Claire today at 715-834-3473.