Steps to take after the Hurricane
When returning to your home or business after the storm do you know what to do?
To help home and business owners take the right first step, the IICRC has pulled together a list of post-hurricane resources including property damage FAQ's, homeowner tips and advise on identifying the 'good guys' from the 'storm chasers.' Visit the link here https://www.IICRC.org/page/IICRCResources?utm_source=170&utm_medium=217&utm_campaign=356&utm_term=405&utm_content=1814
SERVPRO utilizes resources and training from the IICRC in many occasions. They provide the training for our staff in areas such as water mitigation, carpet cleaning, fire damage cleaning, mold remediation and so on.....
Here at SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties we pride ourselves in keeping up to date in an industry that is continually changing.
FACING THE HURRICANES OF LIFE
What do you do when you look at the television and see a category 4 hurricane headed your way?
Unfortunately, we are utterly and completely powerless in the face of a 120 mph hurricane that is headed towards our house, our family, and our life.
As human beings who strive for control we come face to face with the ultimate reality - there is so much in life that is beyond our control.
You see, hurricanes don't just come in the form of weather patterns, wind and rain. Every day we face hurricanes at work and in life. A sudden illness. A sick child. A car accident. Divorce. Job loss. Company reorganization. Financial crisis. The death of a loved one. Loss of business, etc. The winds of life blow. The conditions get worse. Hurricanes come at us from all directions. So what do we do? Do we give up? Do we live in fear? Do we hide under the covers or do we face the reality of the storm, adapt and deal with the damages it brings?
The answer comes from a boy named Joshua. As a hurricane was approaching our town years ago Joshua’s mom was in his room telling him that that she and his dad were getting a divorce. With tears streaming down his face he said, "You know Mom, this is really hard but I’m going to try to be strong and positive and trust it will all work out." As she told me this story my heart just melted. This boy, whose pain was unbearable, was choosing to stay positive as his world was being torn apart. While his levies of strength were breaking and the pain was flooding in, he was mustering up the courage and faith to reinforce his walls and stay strong in the face of adversity. He didn't act in denial. He accepted the situation. And he knew he had to deal with it; with courage, positivity, hope and faith. I've come to realize that, like Joshua, every one of us will come face to face with hurricanes in our life.
We will come to the realization that our situation is beyond our control. During these moments we are meant to realize that we can’t do it alone. In our powerlessness we are meant to discover the ultimate power. In our fear we are meant to find our faith. And in our need for control we are meant to find a peace that comes when we surrender. We are meant to stay positive and overcome whatever challenges come our way.
I don't know why we have to face hurricanes but people like Joshua and my own heart show me the way to overcome them.
Storms are going to happen.
But the sun always rises and shines again.
Hurricane Dorian - what to do if you sustain damage
Live Radar of Hurricane Dorian
While hurricane force winds are not likely in our area, property owners in our area may experience downed limbs and trees. Should your property sustain damage from the wind or flooding, we advise the following:
People First - take care of your family, friends and neighbors. People are more important than property. Check on your neighbors once the winds die down.
Make Temporary Repairs and Document - take pictures, save receipts and do what you can to prevent further damage. Most home and dwelling insurance policies will reimburse you for reasonable temporary repairs, such as hiring a contractor to remove a tree from your roof, putting a tarp on your roof, etc.
Avoid Scams - avoid repair scams from out of town contractors by calling us first. Homeowners should resist the temptation to sign up with the first repair crew that shows up at the doorstep, and especially should not sign paperwork that includes an Assignment of Benefit clause. We will help you understand your coverage and will report your claim for you. A good source of information about reputable contractors is the Columbia County Builders Association.
SERVPRO is here to help! Call our local office at 386-754-0261 and we will be happy to assist in any way possible.
What the Smell?!
Odors could be a sign of other issues with your home. Stop using those air fresheners and call SERVPRO today to fix your odor problems at the source.
Do you have unpleasant and embarrassing odors in your home? Maybe you aren’t even sure where the smell is coming from or what it is, but you are running out of air fresheners trying to mask it. At SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties we are odor experts.
We have the expertise and knowledge to identify what these mysterious odors are and where they are coming from. Our highly trained and licensed technicians are equipped with the latest top of the line chemicals and equipment to effectively treat and remove those odors in the toughest conditions right at the source.
Stop buying more sprays that are just a temporary fix to the problem. Give us a call so we can come and evaluate your home. We will have your home restored “Like it never even happened.”
Water Damage May Be Hiding in Your Home or Business
Things you might not think of could be causing unseen damage to your home.
Building materials and water don’t mix. Insulation, wood studs, plywood sheathing, and subflooring can all degrade, rot, or develop mold when they’re repeatedly saturated with water. Making the situation even worse, this water damage is often hidden from sight, tucked away between walls or under floors. As a result, significant structural damage can occur before it’s discovered.
- In a wall underneath a window
- Behind or under siding
- Exterior Door Threshold
- Exterior Painted Windowsills
- Beneath the Dishwasher
- Next to tub or shower
- Under a wobbly toilet
- Underneath the sink
- Behind a bathtub surround
- Behind Drywall
- Around a chimney
- Inside or Under an HVAC unit
- Behind and exterior faucet
- Behind a washing machine
- Below a window a/c unit
At SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties, we are trained in water remediation and licensed in mold remediation. We are able to assist in helping to determine if you have a problem. Call us at 386-754-0261 to schedule an assessment.
Invested in our Community
Home is where the heart is.....
We are so very thankful to say after 13 plus years of working in Columbia County we are able to finally have a place to call our own!
We are so very thankful to all of the people that helped make this happen. Castagna Construction for helping us find the perfect place/land to build and ProBuild Construction for helping us make our dream building and Columbia Bank for making it all possible.
We can't wait to have our open house and ribbon cutting and invite all of you to our new home/office.
Thank you to Columbia County for making us feel like we belong. Living and working in this community has been a blessing for our family and we are hoping to be here for many more years to come.
Are you ready?
Let's be Prepared if this Happens Again
Hurricanes generate a series of threats to lives and property. The most obvious is the threat posed to buildings, equipment, and people by the high winds which characterize such storms.
This checklist will help you prepare for a hurricane’s effect on your business, employees and community by highlighting activities you should undertake before, during, and following the event. When the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center issues a watch or warning, use the time available to begin taking the following steps.
The National Weather Service rates hurricanes by their intensity, using a scale of one to five. The scale categorizes storms according to their sustained winds, the storm surges produced, and expected damage. Businesses located within areas of risk should have a hurricane preparedness plan. It is a good idea to develop a plan of action for your business and your staff to be ready for this type of interruption
Here at SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties we want to be prepared and understand what we are facing. We hope the attached check list helps you be prepared. If you need assistance after the fact know you can depend on SERVPRO to be there when you need us.
Do you have a emergency fire plan for your home?
Have a PLAN!
We are all busy with kids, school, work, after school activities, but we all need to take some time out of our busy schedule, and make a family fire plan. I know as a parent it hard to juggle family life, but safety for my family is always on my mind. Here is what you can do.
- Make a map of your home, and make a fire exit plan. Post you fire plan in the kitchen area a daily reminder.
- Teach safety techniques like step by step how to instructions to stay low to the ground, and cover your face with your shirt or a pillow case to protect from the smoke
- Conduct drills like listening for the smoke detector, and practicing the fire exit plan for evacuation.
- Talk about fire safety with your children. Play games to teach them stop drop and roll, and to be ready for if a fire if it happened in your home.
If a fire happens in your home SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties can help you fix your home. We are here for you and your home 24/7.
Hurricane Preparedness - Be Ready
The two keys to weather safety is to PREPARE for the risks and to ACT on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials.
Before a Hurricane:
- To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
- Know your surroundings
- Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone.
- Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
- Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground.
- Make plans to secure your property
- Cover all of your home's windows
- Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure.
- Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Reinforce your garage
- Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
- Determine how and where to secure your boat.
- Install a generator for emergencies.
- If in a high-rise building, when high winds are present, be prepared to take shelter on a lower floor because wind conditions increase with height, and in a small interior room without windows.
- Consider building a safe room.
No matter what the situation life is more important so evacuate if necessary and when you return if you need assistance call SERVPRO of Columbia & Suwannee Counties at 386-754-0261
Fire Extinguisher Safety
P.A.S.S. is something to remember in case of an emergency!
Do you have a fire extinguisher in your home or business? Did you know that many insurance companies offer a discount for having a fire extinguisher in your home? For a mere $20-$50 you could save money on your homeowners insurance and have a life and property saving tool in your home.
If you have a fire extinguisher in your home, it is important to understand how to properly use it. After reading this article read the instructions on your extinguisher and become familiar with where everything is located on it. Make sure to share the information with everyone in your home so they too can be prepared.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends remembering the word PASS in order to properly operate your extinguisher.
Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the level slowly and evenly.
Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
Make sure you store your fire extinguisher in a safe and easily assessable area. Check the date on your extinguisher and make certain it is not expired. Put in your calendar to check the expiration date yearly.
Before purchasing a fire extinguisher, visit NFPA.org to understand which type of extinguisher is right for your property.
SERVPRO of Columbia and Suwannee Counties offers some tips about fire extinguishers!