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First Responder Bowl

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO First Responder Bowl #firstresponders #SERVPROnorthkenoshacounty

Mark your calendars for December 30, 2019! Why might you ask? The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl! In our line of work, we work with First Responders quite a bit. It is our privilege to honor the brave men and women who protect our communities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.  They put their lives on the line and sacrifice time with their families every day to protect all of us.

First Responders to be honored include police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, correctional officers, search and rescue, dispatchers, security guards, federal agents, border patrol agents and military personnel. If you get the opportunity, thank a First Responder in your community. Without their dedication and selfless acts, a lot of us wouldn’t be here today.

Emergency Ready Profile - SERVPRO of North Kenosha County

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

It’s the middle of the night and your phone rings, because you’re the one that gets the calls when something goes wrong. The company you work for, well, they had a sprinkler head burst and the facility is filling up with water. What do you do first and who do you call? Do you have a plan?

Some of the things that might cross your mind are:

                -I need to get the water shut off and maybe, where is that?

                - Who is our insurance carrier?

                -Who can clean up a mess like this?

                -Are we going to be able to open the facility and operate business as usual?

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the ones that survive, the majority of them had a plan in place for events such as this. No one ever plans on a disaster to happen, but when it does, the best time to prepare is long before that. Ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever happens?”

SERVPRO of North Kenosha can help you with a property management tool that we’ve developed also known as our Emergency Ready Profile. And the best part is it costs you NOTHING. It is a no cost assessment of your facility that has an immense amount of value. This profile includes information such as where your shut-off valve locations are, priority areas and priority contact information so when you get that call in the middle of the night, you know what to do and who to call.

And best of all is we give you this information in a free app on your smart phone or tablet. We want to help you minimize your down time as much as possible.

Give SERVPRO of North Kenosha County a call today to schedule your absolutely FREE assessment or visit SERVPRO.com/Ready. We are always Here to Help.

Prevention Tips for House Fires | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Prevention Tips for House Fires | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County #firedamage #SERVPROnorthkenoshacounty #firerestoration #heretohelp #firesafetytips #fireprevention

Prevention Tips for House Fires | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

Not only are house fires extremely dangerous, but they also can cause expensive damages. The most effective house fire prevention tip is installing and regularly testing smoke alarms, but there are many other ways to stop house fires before they start.

The Numbers Surrounding House Fires

House fires occur far more often than one would estimate. In fact, at least two house fires are reported every minute, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

About half of the house fires reported are cooking-related incidents, but that is not the only cause to spark a flame.

Tips for the Prevention of House Fires

Fires are incredibly fast-spreading, and one simple mistake can lead to a devastating amount of flames in an instant. Learning the steps for preventing house fires is the best thing to do to keep flames from starting:

Maintain smoke alarms. Working smoke detectors are the best defense against fires because they are the most efficient way to alert the household that smoke is present. Monthly battery tests should be performed, and the entire unit should be updated every 10 years.

Clean the dryer. Dryer lint is the perfect combustible material when combined with the heat from the dryer. The lint tray should be cleared after each load to avoid a build-up of lint.

Watch open flames. Candles, cooking and fireplaces are just some of the reasons most people are exposed to open flames every day—making it easier to normalize them and forget their risk. Because of how quickly flames can spread, it is advised to never leave them unattended.

Maintain wiring. Household wires and cables can become a fire hazard if they are used when frayed or otherwise compromised. Check them often and replace once they become worn.

Shelter household chemicals. Household products often contain chemicals that are highly flammable, especially when stored in aerosol cans. Keep any of these products protected from sunlight or heat to avoid combustion.

If your home has suffered damage from a house fire, give us a call. We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and here to help 247.

Understanding Damage Done by Thunderstorms | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Understanding Damage Done by Thunderstorms | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County The cost of hail damage can reach $1 billion a year.

Understanding Damage Done by Thunderstorms | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

Thunderstorms are not a rarity during the spring and summer—and storm damage is often the result.

Do you know the different types of damage that thunderstorms can cause?

The Storm

Each year in the United States, around 100,000 thunderstorms occur, but that’s overshadowed by the estimated 16 million thunderstorms each year worldwide. Of the United States’ storms, 10% are considered to be severe.

For a storm to develop, several components must be in play. There must be moisture and unstable air, along with a lifting mechanism. This lift can be caused by hilly or mountainous terrain or warm/cold or wet/dry air bumping together, causing a rising motion.

Thunderstorms have three phases—the developing stage, the mature stage and the dissipating stage. During the mature stage, hail, heavy rain, frequent lightning, strong winds and tornadoes can occur.

The Damage

Thunderstorms can damage your home and property in many ways. But one of the greatest risks is the chance of flying debris due to extremely high winds.

Wind speeds can gust in a severe thunderstorm over 57.5 mph, which is enough to cause damage to your property.

Any item that is loose in your yard, even those that seem harmless, can turn into dangerous projectiles. You should take care to make sure tree branches, gravel, mailboxes, fencing, lawn furniture, potted plants and garbage are secured prior to any storm activity in your area.

The following damage can also be produced during a thunderstorm in addition to wind damage:

Lightning damage. If lightning strikes a home or building, that electricity can pass through the wiring of the home. This could severely damage any electrical appliances that are plugged into an outlet and also increases the risk of fire.

Tornado damage. The higher on the Fujita Scale, the more damage a tornado can do. With wind speeds that can sometimes reach 200 mph or more, the damage done by them is extreme and occurs fast.

Hail damage. Small but mighty, hail can wreak havoc on crops, homes and vehicles alike. Did you know that according to NOAA, the cost of hail damage can reach $1 billion a year?

Flood damage. From houses to trees, flooding can do much damage when the conditions are right. Heavy rain can bring about flash flood conditions quickly.

If a thunderstorm has resulted in damage to your home or business, know that the team at SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County is available 247 to help with cleanup and restoration.

What to Do Before a Flood

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

What to Do Before a Flood | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

It is everyone’s wish that they will be able to live their lives without worrying about flooding, but even if your home is not located on a historically flood-prone area that may not be the case.

Natural disasters involve floods around 90% of the time, so it is essential for homeowners be aware.

Your To-do List Before a Flood

While disaster-related floods cannot be prevented, there are steps homeowners can take to limit the damage a flood could cause:

Know your risk. Understanding your risks and precautionary measures is essential for staying safe. Get in contact with your local emergency management office branch and utilize the Flood Map Tool that FEMA provides to gain vital information about your local area’s risks.

Turn off electricity. Even if you feel it’s unlikely that the waters would reach electrical appliances or outlets, it is best to cut electricity to any rooms that might be affected in order to prevent current transfer and shock.

Elevate valuables. Items that cannot be or are difficult to replace, such as passports, family photos or household documents, should be elevated or kept off site.

Discuss emergency procedures. Ensure your entire household is aware of what to do should a flood become a possibility, including evacuation procedures and the location of emergency supplies.

Elevate chemicals to prevent spills. Elevate things such as oil, paint and cleaning supplies to prevent dangerous spills into the floodwater.

Secure propane and fuel tanks. If a fuel tank tips over due to a flood, it can lead to a dangerous spill or even a fire. Remove fuel tanks from the property or anchor them securely.

Disasters are not preventable, but damages to your home can be with certain precautions. By planning ahead, you can keep your home and your family safe from floods and water damage.

If you’ve experienced water damage due to a flood or other causes, SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County is here to help. Our technicians are fully trained in water remediation, and our 247 Emergency Line means we’ll be there for you when you call.

We Can Help Restore Your Property Following Disaster

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

We Can Help Restore Your Property Following Disaster | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

We take pride in the fact that when disaster strikes, we can get there quickly, but there is another reason why SERVPRO should be one of your first calls if you are faced with a disaster.

Our highly trained technicians have a “restore first” mentality when it comes to your property, which benefits from the use of the latest equipment and cleaning techniques. This mentality also helps reduce the inconvenience to your life and makes it possible for your home to get back to pre-fire condition quickly.

Restore First for Fire Damage

Figuring out who you should call first after a fire has damaged your property can be a major stressor, but that’s why you need us. Contact us and know that our team will leap into action right away to service your cleanup and restoration needs.

Our team will develop a unique plan, tailored to your needs, because every fire damage event is different. However, the general process will remain the same.

Here are the steps that are included in our process:

1. Emergency contact. After contacting us, you’ll be able to detail the fire damage situation to us through a series of questions. By answering these questions, we’re able to make sure the team is sent out with the equipment and resources needed for the job.

2. Inspection and assessment. Once our team reaches your home or business, they’ll get to work on inspecting the damage. They will inspect and test adjoining rooms of the property to determine the extent of damage from the fire, which includes smoke and soot damage. This assessment helps us know what plan to take moving forward.

3. Immediate board-up and roof-tarp service. Part of the moving forward process includes making sure your property is secure and not at risk for further damage. This is accomplished by boarding up missing windows and walls and placing a tarp on damaged roofs that were damaged or destabilized during the fire.

4. Water removal and drying. This is an “as needed” step, but when a fire occurs and is extinguished, water damage is usually present. We start by removing water and then make use of dehumidifiers and air movers. This makes sure remaining water is handled and aids in the drying process.

5. Removal of smoke and soot from all surfaces. The smoke and soot from a fire can wreak havoc on your ceilings, walls and other surfaces. Due to this, we bring in our specialized equipment and techniques to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

6. Restoration. Our final step in the process involves making sure your property is back to its pre-fire condition. The restoration needed can include minor repairs like drywall replacement, paint jobs and new carpet installation, or it could require major reconstruction of the damaged areas.

Remember, if you need us, we’ll be there—no matter the time or day. The team of highly trained restoration experts at SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County is available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You Can Avoid Fire Hazards in the Kitchen

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

Even though the kitchen can be a wonderfully versatile place where family and friends gather to catch up or enjoy preparing and eating a meal together, it is also a place where many home fires occur.

Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries. The leading cause of these kitchen fires is unattended cooking.

State Farm paid out a whopping $130 million for homeowners insurance claims related to grease and other cooking fires in 2017. According to the insurance company, these are the worst states for kitchen fires:

  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • Pennsylvania
  • California
  • Ohio
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Alabama
  • Georgia

<h4fire-hazards">Avoiding Fire Hazards

Staying in the kitchen while cooking is not the only fire safety precaution you should observe. Take a look at these other helpful tips to observe while cooking:

1. What type of clothing are you wearing? Does your outfit have long, flowing sleeves or is it big and baggy? It could catch on fire if you aren’t careful while cooking over the stove. It’s best to wear short or close-fitted sleeve shirts and make sure any baggy shirts are tucked in or tied back.

2. What type of items are you placing around or on the stovetop? Make sure you don’t have kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords or even curtains too close to the stovetop when cooking. Ideally, anything flammable will be moved away from it.

3. Do you have a fire extinguisher in/near the kitchen? Hopefully you have at least one fire extinguisher located in your home, ideally one that is near your kitchen. Make sure you know how to properly use the extinguisher, just in case it is ever needed.

4. How are you disposing of hot grease? While the grease may not be on fire, it could be hot enough to cause something in the trash to burn. You should let the grease cool a bit and then dispose of it in an old coffee can. Also, know the smoke points of the oils you cook with. Be sure to never subject a low-smoke point oil to high heat when cooking, as it could catch fire.

5. Do you have a fire escape plan established? Thinking about the worst-case scenario is never fun, but it’s better to be prepared than unprepared if an emergency were to occur. Go over exit routes and designated meeting points with your family, making sure that everyone knows what to do.

Fire safety in the kitchen is an absolute necessity, as it can help prevent dangerous and destructive cooking fires. If your home has experienced damage from a cooking fire, know that SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Is Your Business Prepared to Handle Potential Disasters? | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

Is Your Business Prepared to Handle Potential Disasters? | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

Business owners have many things to think about, but emergency preparation should be near the top of the list.

Having an emergency preparedness plan in place will not protect your business from all disasters or emergencies. However, it can offer peace of mind knowing that you have put together a plan to ensure that you have given the safety of your employees priority should a disaster or emergency situation occur.

Creating a Plan

Have you prepared an emergency preparedness plan that encompasses various disaster situations? If not, it should be a priority!

There are numerous emergencies your business should have a preparedness plan in place for, including:

  • Fire
  • Severe weather, including thunderstorms and winter storms
  • Other natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes
  • Human-caused hazards, including accidents or acts of violence
  • Technology-related issues like power outages and equipment failure

A disaster is a disaster, and an emergency is an emergency. It doesn’t matter if it’s a man-made incident or a natural disaster. If you have no emergency plan for your business, you are opening your business and your employees up for more problems than you would need in a stressful situation.

You should make sure that safety training and familiarization of emergency preparedness plans are included in the company onboarding process, team-building activities and continuing education opportunities. By helping employees familiarize themselves with proper safety protocol and emergency procedures, you’re not only giving them the tools to protect themselves, but you are also setting them up to help protect guests/visitors and the business itself.

Where to Start

As you are beginning to set up an emergency plan for your business, you should first perform an evaluation as to which scenarios are most likely to occur—and even consider the longshots. After all, it’s better to be prepared for all the worst-case scenarios and not be caught off guard.

There are plenty of online resources to help guide you through this process, including Ready.gov, the American Red Cross, FEMA and the CDC.

Perform a business impact analysis (BIA), which will help predict the potential effect a disaster may have on your business. This would include lost or delayed sales and income, increased expenses from repairs, and delayed implementation of business plans. Don’t forget to make sure a crisis communications plan is in place, too.

After you have done all of the above and have prepared an emergency preparedness plan, be sure to go over it and practice with employees. Reviewing and rehearsing various scenarios can help ensure the process remains fresh in their minds and can help employees feel more empowered.

Disaster can strike when you least expect it, but by being prepared and having a plan in place, your business will be better suited to handle whatever Mother Nature has in store. If the worst should happen and your business is damaged, know that SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Tips for Keeping Your Family Safe During a Tornado | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

Tips for Keeping Your Family Safe During a Tornado | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

Springtime brings balmy weather that can sometimes be unpredictable. So it’s always a good idea to be prepared for the chance of severe thunderstorms that lead to the perfect conditions for a tornado.

April and May are the months of spring that, traditionally, have the highest occurrences of tornadoes at 30% and 24%, respectively. This means we are currently right in the midst of tornado season throughout the United States.

Read on as we share some tips and information on tornadoes that can help keep your family prepared for the worst possible scenario.

The Right Conditions for a Tornado

Roughly 1,200 tornadoes occur in the United States every year, and they are a direct result of severe thunderstorms known as “supercells.”

A tornado comes into being when changes in wind speed and direction create a horizontal spinning effect within a storm cell. This is then tipped vertical by rising air moving up through the thunderclouds.

You will usually not see the tornado’s signature funnel cloud at first because it is transparent, but it becomes more visible when water droplets from the storm’s moist air condense or when dust and debris are picked up.

A typical tornado can grow to be 660 feet wide and will move at 10 to 20 miles per hour, although larger and faster tornadoes have been observed. Hail and intense winds of more than 200 mph can accompany tornadoes.

Typically, tornadoes occur in the spring and summertime during the late in the afternoon, but that isn’t the only time. So it is important to remember that they can occur anytime and anywhere.

What to Do in Tornado Weather

Make it a point to understand the difference between tornado watches and tornado warnings. Tornado watches are issued when the conditions are favorable for tornadoes, while tornado warnings are issued when a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar.

If a warning has been issued for your area, it is vital to take action to find safe shelter, especially if you are in the path of the tornado. Shelter options include:

  • Underground options like a basement or storm shelter.
  • The lowest part of your home, in an area that is away from outside walls, doors and windows. Interior closets and bathrooms can be ideal options.
  • If you are outside, try to get to a sturdy building. Mobile homes and trailers are not a safe option.
  • If on the road and no building access is available, do not get under an overpass or bridge. Instead, find a low, flat location and use your arms to protect your head and neck.

You should make sure that you have flashlights, a battery-powered weather radio and extra batteries in your selected tornado shelter at home. When you are taking shelter in your home, furniture items like couch cushions, mattresses or blankets can be used to protect your head and neck.

If you find yourself caught in a tornado out on the road, DO NOT try to outrun it.

Tornadoes can be devastating and life-threatening in the areas they touch down. While meteorologists and weather services can provide some advanced warning to potential threats, tornadoes can still occur with little to no warning at all.

If your home or business has been damaged by a tornado, know that SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County is ready and waiting to jump into action and get cleanup and restoration of your property underway.

How to Prepare for Unpredictable Spring Weather | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

How to Prepare for Unpredictable Spring Weather | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

Welcome to long-awaited spring! Now we can enjoy spring-like weather…and all that Mother Nature has in store for us during this season.

Spring and Increased Severe Weather Threats

We can now enjoy longer days and more sunshine with the arrival of spring, but unfortunately, spring also brings with it the threat of severe weather throughout the country. You never know what kind of weather a spring day is going to bring, which means the weather may change at moment’s notice.

Spring brings unstable temperatures, which cause changes in the weather, going from warm to cold even in the same day. Those temperature changes can result in extreme weather changes as well.

Thunderstorms become more prevalent throughout the spring and are the main cause of severe weather. A thunderstorm can occur whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, which is most common in the spring and summer.

Severe thunderstorms were the most common cause of natural catastrophe losses in the U.S. for 2017 and produced some of the costliest results. Out of 50 events, there were 85 fatalities and an estimated total of $25.4 billion in overall losses.

With these storms comes the threat of flooding, high winds and even tornadoes if the conditions are right. It has been found that in modern history, 10% of all violent tornadoes have occurred in March, with April, May and June taking the top spots at 30%, 24% and 15% respectively.

Preparing for Spring Weather

Even though we may not be able to predict the weather with 100% accuracy, forecasters do have the technology at their disposal to at least warn us of severe weather that could occur. Advanced warnings, along with the right preparation, can greatly improve overall safety for your family.

Here are some things you can do to your home to prepare for the chance of severe weather:

  1. Clear out your home’s gutters, drains and downspouts.
  2. Trim trees of precarious limbs or branches that could break off in a storm.
  3. Secure or store outdoor belongings if severe weather is in the forecast.

Having an emergency kit on hand is always advised. These kits should include the following:

  • Battery-operated flashlight and NOAA weather radio, with extra batteries for both
  • Emergency evacuation or shelter plans
  • Important personal info, like telephone numbers of neighbors, family and friends, insurance and property info, numbers for the utility companies, and medical info
  • A first-aid kit with things like non-latex gloves, adhesive bandages, tweezers, sterile gauze pads, aspirin packets, adhesive cloth tape and scissors
  • 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Blankets or sleeping bag

Despite its unpredictability, there is one thing that always remains true of the spring weather season: It always happens. If your home or business is damaged in a storm, you can depend on SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County to get the cleanup and restoration process started fast.