Recent Commercial Posts
Could your business survive a business interruption?
Could your business survive a business interruption? What happens when the internet is down? Do you panic? What if it was more serious? As business owners you need to think about what would you do if you walked in one morning and there was two inches of water on the floor. Well luckily you are reading this blog so you know what to do about that, you call SERVPRO. But what other resources will you need to handle a situation quickly and efficiently to get back to business ASAP. You need a plan and we have a free foundation of a plan in our Emergency Ready Profile mobile app. Think about the vendors and contacts you need to have to run your business.
Let’s say that you had a fire in your business and stock inventory of the raw materials you use are destroyed. Let’s list out the resources that are needed in this event.
- 911 Fire dept
- SERVPRO of West Forsyth County
- Insurance company with policy numbers (what if those files were damaged)
- Key personnel within your organization
- Landlord if you rent
- Vendors of the raw materials
You may also need other resources to be able to contact them about restoring services or repairing services. Within the ERP you can load the account mgr. and account number so that you have them pull up your records quickly and know what services you have. These would include.
- The Electric company
- The Water / Sewer company
- Gas company
- Internet service provider
The ERP is customizable, this allows you to place key personnel and contacts that you need all at your finger tips to call right away. These may include.
- HR director for your company
- Maintenance mgr.
- IT Mgr.
- Trades service companies you have a relationship with such as HVAC, Plumber, General Contractors.
This may not be an all-inclusive list here, but having the list of resources and their related account numbers / contacts will make for faster communication. This will result in getting back to business faster. The ERP app is available to have on your phone and or print it out and place right beside / integrate with your current operations manual or employee handbook. We don’t schedule disasters but we can be ready for them when they show up unexpectedly. Call Ed Dean to schedule a walk through and ask for any assistance you need with the SERVPRO Mobile Ready App. 336-946-1131
How Clean Is Your Office?
Like mold, bacteria and germs are everywhere. Even a “sterile” environment will have something. But, making it as clean as possible to prevent the transmission of harmful pathogens is something that all of us can do a better job of. What are some of the things you’re doing that could be bringing germs into your business? How do we prevent it?
The CDC suggests “Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.” This is something SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can help with. Our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program can put you on a schedule for proactively disinfecting your office.
Recently I discovered that resort hotel operators are manning the front door to stave off germs with a host of people. One is giving you hand sanitizer; another is directing you to step on a mat that is saturated with a disinfectant. Another is working on spraying your luggage with disinfectant. All of these protocols are at work to try and reduce the chances of transmission of the disease into the cleanest environment they can create. What can we learn in our own business from this? Spraying our shoes, and shopping carts or other items used frequently with disinfectant. Ensuring that we are sanitizing our hands and maybe even ensuring customers hands are sanitized before they come into our place of business.
What about those items we use in our office frequently with our hands, or even close to our face? When is the last time you disinfected your keyboard or phone? Wiping these electronic items with an electronics safe disinfectant is a good idea. Be sure to wipe your phone down when you come back in from being out and about. While you are out be sure to not lay your phone on a surface in public.
We sometimes forget about the small but “high touch” areas of our homes and businesses. These can include, the medicine cabinet, drawer pulls, handles, and light switches. If you use your hands to open, turn it on, or off, close or pull it, then it probably is a high touch item that needs to be sanitized even more frequently.
If you would like your office disinfected with a CDC approved product. Call us today at 336-946-1131, we can put you on a schedule to maintain a clean and safe environment for your business’s customers and employees. Put the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned shield on your door today.
Can you think of everything? No. Can you be ready for anything? YES.
From fires to storms to vandalism, your business could be disrupted. Can we think of every possible scenario? No, but we can prepare and surround ourselves with a team that will get us back into business as fast as possible. Now you have to ask what does that team look like? It should consist of all the key personnel that are needed to run the business. Do I have their contact information readily available? Most businesses have a file record of those folks but what if that file was compromised in the fire or flood? Can you retrieve those files from anywhere? If they are stored in the cloud you can.
What about key vendors that routinely are maintaining your building like HVAC or your Plumbing company? Would it not be convenient to call them and ask, can you meet me ASAP at the office I am on my way there? What about having the convenience of calling your insurance company and already knowing the policy number and having it available as well? What if you needed to order knew supplies to replace damaged inventory? Do you have those numbers and your customer account number handy?
Do you know the number to the water and power company? How about the non-emergency number to local police or fire dept.?
All of this and more is possible with the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile App. (ERP). It is available on Google Play and iTunes Store. With some planning and preparation, you can be ready for anything even if you can’t think of everything you would need it for. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County will be glad to assist in the planning and development of an Emergency Ready Profile plan. All you need to do is call us 336-946-1131 and we will be happy to assist.
Do you need help with a business disaster plan?
September is national preparedness month, and we have talked about the Ready App by SERVPRO before. Preparing doesn’t mean that you should try and plan for every scenario that could disrupt your business, but to have the resources to get back to business quickly. Scenarios like flood, fire, or vandalism are certainly disruptions to your business, but having the Mobile Ready App with SERVPRO at your fingertips is a great first start. The Mobile Ready App places those contacts that you would need in an emergency to restart your business.
The question is, have you shared it with your employees? Do they know what to do in case of a business disruption? Are they on the plan and do they know their role? Key personnel can be listed on the Ready App for quick access. You should advise them when they are part of your disaster recovery plan and what critical roles they will play. Do they have resources that they use in their day to day operations that need to be in the recovery plan?
SERVPRO has resources to help you get started with a plan and recover should you face a disaster that disrupts your business. For assistance with setting up the SERVPRO Ready App call us directly and ask for Ed Dean. We will be glad to help you get started with preparing, so you and your company will be ready.
It is best to call us directly at 336-946-1131
Commercial Disaster Planning In The Era Of Corona Virus
Businesses in Winston Salem have put up with a lot these past two years. The shut down of business highway 40 took a toll by itself, but then the pandemic shut down those non-essential businesses. Now, some non-essential businesses have reopened only to discover water damage or have a disaster strike just when they are getting permission to reopen. They’re asking themselves how much more can they take, or else they are simply not surviving. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can help with planning, and recovering from a disaster, so that when it does happen you will be #SERVPROready.
Our mobile app puts your emergency contacts and vendors in the palm of your hand. We will consult with you, work with you, trying to minimize the disruption to your business. We will also work to get you back up and running as quickly as possible to get to the “Like it never even happened,” as soon as possible.
No one would have ever thought that we would be dealing with a pandemic so devastating that it would limit the number of customers in our store, or even if we could open. That was unforeseeable. But knowing something could happen like water or fire damage that can disrupt your business is a realty. Knowing what could happen, and being prepared is the difference between being inconvenienced and bankrupt. Don’t wait till you think it’s safe to deal with water damage, it has to be dealt with as soon as possible otherwise it could cause secondary damage or cost you more money.
Staying safe and keeping your customers and employees safe is also of concern to business owners. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can help there as well. Weather you have had a proactive case of Covid19 or just simply want to proactively disinfect your office or store, we can help there also. Our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program will consult with you on your space. Clean that space using CDC protocols and EPA approved products. And leave behind signs to show your customers and employees that you care about their well being and safety.
If you would like to know more about the commercial services we provide call Ed Dean at 336-946-1131.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned For Your Business
Today’s businesses have been turned upside down this year with Covid 19. Having to shut down, waiting for the government’s permission to open back up, and implementing safety precautions to keep their customers and employees safe. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can help business owners with this new found situation they find themselves in. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a new program that helps businesses give confidence to their customers and employees that they are shopping and working in the cleanest and safest environment possible.
Whether it is proactive cleaning in a work space that you want to ensure it has been sanitized, or you have had an employee or customer tell you that they have tested positive for Covid19, SERVPRO can Consult, Clean and Certify your business SERVPRO clean.
Understanding how you do business is part of consulting with you so that we can ensure that we are cleaning the high touch points by your customers and employees. Understanding that there are unique areas to be concerned for, such as food prep or high value electronics, helps us to determine what SERVPRO EPA registered product we will use or method of sanitizing to provide the highest quality of service.
When cleaning your business, we will use CDC guidelines, and EPA registered approved products that have been known to kill similar Corona type viruses. Using state of the art equipment we can most efficiently fog, spray and or wipe the space distributing these disinfectants.
As a part of our certifying process we will post our shield representing your commitment to the comfort and security of your employees, customers and community. Along with digital emblems and other collateral, this beacon will tell all who see it you have gone above and beyond to ensure you are SERVPRO clean.
It is best to call us directly at 336-946-1131
Cleaning for germs
How does one get a germ? According to the Minnesota department of health there are 5 common ways of spreading germs.
- Nose, mouth, or eyes to hands to others
- Hands to food
- Food to hands to food
- Infected child to hands to other children
- Animals to people (petting)
So, what do these all have in common? They involve your hands. The number one thing you can do is wash your hands frequently. Around the office what are the items that your employees touch the most? These items are the most used by your employees and therefore need to be cleaned more often and thoroughly.
- Door Handles
- Desktop / computer / telephone
- Elevator buttons
- The copier or other office equipment
- Water fountain / cooler
- Public coffee pot /maker / mugs
- Sink / cleaning supplies i.e. sponge
- Break room appliances
- Vending machines
SERVPRO of West Forsyth County can perform a proactive cleanup that involves cleaning and disinfecting these areas and more for your office. The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables at a minimum. These same surfaces are mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces as well, including:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Shelving and Racks
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
For your office cleaning needs call SERVPRO of West Forsyth County directly at 336-946-1131
Providing a disaster plan solution to business
How are those resolutions going? Did you say to yourself I’m going to lose weight or I’m going to exercise more? You’re not alone but these things take preparation and determination. They also take practice for to get into a habit. On average it takes 2 months to get into a habit and could vary even more depending on the behavior of the person.
SERVPRO has an easy and free plan for your business to get into the habit of preparing for a business disruption. Because, when a business disruption happens to you, the last thing you want to be doing is asking “well, what do I do now?” With the SERVPRO Ready App you will have all of the answers and team in place to get back into business quickly.
This handy mobile application can be managed by your maintenance team and will have the resources at your fingertips to handle any situation that business or life throws at you. Access the link above or call Ed Dean with SERVPRO of West Forsyth County for a free consultation on getting started with your disaster plan.
It’s best to contact us directly at 336-946-131
Recognizing fire hazards in the work place
Are you paying attention to some early warning signs or recognizing the potential for fire hazards? We have heard of crime dogs but being a fire hound can make your life much safer. Here are 5 things to be on the lookout for around your home or office.
Overloaded plugs – with Christmas time coming and the extraordinary amount of electronics we have in our offices, it is easy to overload a two-plug circuit. Never daisy chain extension cords or multiplug surge protectors. Check the local fire code regarding extension cords, as they are typically not permanent solutions. Be sure to follow the guidelines on the manufacturer’s instructions for Christmas lights and decorations. Bob Vila has a list of 10 things not to plug into a power strip. If an item is not used on a consistent basis, consider leaving some of these energy vampires unplugged when not in use.
Everybody has a junk drawer, right? Do you store batteries in that drawer? If you do, they could potentially be a fire hazard. According to Battery Products you should never store loose batteries. The reason is the same reason you should not throw batteries in a trash can. Even low voltage batteries have the potential to start a fire. This video of a battery starting a fire was set intentionally, but think of all the metal and paper items in your junk drawer is it fire hazardous? Battery organizers help prevent batteries from being loose and the negative and positive ends from coming into contact. How does your company store batteries for tools that you use?
What is that smell? Do you come into a room turn a light switch and it smells like plastic melting? It may smell like a drill or a mixer that has run to long. Now if an appliance is new that may be normal, for a bit. But if that smell is coming from a wall switch or outlet it’s time to turn it off and call and electrician to check it out.
Speaking of turning on light switches, do the lights flicker? If one light is flickering it may be a loose bulb. But, when multiple lights flicker, that is not a good sign. Tighten or replace the bulb and if the flickering continues call an electrician.
Circuit breakers keep tripping? If your circuit breakers keep needing to be reset see tip number 1. But if overloaded plugs are not the case then you may need to replace the breaker. Usually these don’t need a lot of maintenance but age and use can eventually wear one out. Never attempt to do this with the main power on to the building. If you are even a little unsure of how to do this call a professional and we don’t mean YouTube.
We hope that you never experience a fire in your home or office but if you do you can count on the expertise of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to help you. It’s best to call us directly at 336-946-1131
Commercial maintenance is just as important as home maintenance
Power failure lighting
We changed the clocks back and hour and we hear the call to test our smoke detectors in our home. Well the question is do maintenance managers for your businesses do the same thing around the office? Many of the same maintenance issues you have around your home are needed and or required at work. So, if you are the owner of an office building what are you doing to keep your employees safe?
Most homes don’t have the luxury of power failure lights that turn on when the power goes out. But then again, they don’t have the windowless walls that a lot of offices have. But when is the last time you tested the power failure lights? These will be critical to helping employees escape a flooded building in a storm or a fire that has knocked out the power.
What about emergency exit signs are they illuminated? Are the exits clear of equipment or trash around them?
When is the last time fire extinguishers were tested? Have they expired?
Have you planned an evacuation route? Or put into place a plan to account for all of your employees, in the event they can not all get out the same door.?
Keeping your business, employees, and customers safe should be your top priority. Protecting your office and home is step #1 to prevent a disaster from happening but if it does, we can make it “Like it never even happened.” It is best to call us directly at 336-946-1131
Be Ready for an Emergency
Local SERVPRO disaster restoration specialist highlights no-cost tools to help property owners prepare and maintain a comprehensive emergency readiness plan
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. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County reminds Winston-Salem-area 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.
National Preparedness Month is a great time to resolve to create a plan, or review your existing plan, each and every year,” said Jeff Meadows of SERVPRO® of West Forsyth County. “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 Meadows. 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 (https://www.ready.gov) 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.
Local business owners can take an additional preparedness step by designating SERVPRO of West Forsyth County 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.
“The key to getting your life or business back on track is timely response after a disaster strikes. That’s why it’s important to take the time to record and store your information electronically, and then commit to a time – like National Preparedness Month – to review and update your records at least once each year,” said Meadows. “Remember, filing cabinets and their contents may be inaccessible or even destroyed in an emergency situation, so don’t depend on them to keep track of critical insurance, property, or contact information in the event of a disaster. Store your data electronically. If disaster strikes, you’ll have the information you need literally at your fingertips.”
SERVPRO of West Forsyth County specializes 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 SERVPRO of West Forsyth County, please contact Jeff Meadows at (336) 946-1131. For more information on SERVPRO® and the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program, please visit www.ready.SERVPRO.com.
What is you plan for disaster?
If you walked into your place of business and stepped into ankle deep water what is the first thing you would do? Jokingly most have said turn around and walk back out. But as a business owner can you afford to do that? Can you afford to be closed? No. So, that is why every business owner needs a plan of attack when disaster strikes not just water damage but, fire, storm or even vandalism damage can cost you precious days of valuable production.
Can you get to your disaster recovery plan? Small businesses and large will sometimes have a notebook manual on how they are to operate in a crises situation. What if that manual is in the same room as the fire? SERVPRO’s ready App. Is available on your phone 24/7. Even if you are not on site you will have access to the phone numbers and personnel who can ensure that your business opens for business. You can download, and sign up for the app. HERE
Call Ed Dean at 336-946-1131 to help you get started on a free assessment to see if you are SERVPRO Ready.
Plan to stay in business
We all have insurance of some kind. For our family we pay it to take care of them weather it is health insurance or homeowners. It gives, or it should give you peace of mind to know that the money and things you have worked hard for are protected. What about where you work? What assurances do you have that if your company suffers a loss can they recover from it? Chances are that if you work for a large corporation they have all the insurance they think they need but do they have a plan? Small business need a plan just as much as large companies do.
Preparedness planning for your business is just as important as planning for the needs of your family. After all our work family is who we spend even more time with than our own. Recognize the types of risks you have for your business. Do you have the resources lined up to handle losses? Losses do not come just in water damage or fires. Thunderstorms can knock out power and cause loss of production. In North Carolina the government estimates business lose $4-$7 Billion dollars annually due to power failures.
Our free Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) helps discover where you may be vulnerable. It asks questions, reviews, and identifies key personnel that will be instrumental in getting back into business quickly. Not just SERVPRO of West Forsyth County but resources like electricians, plumbers, and decision makers that can make sure your business maintains continuity of production and profit.
Call Ed Dean today to ask about the ERP 336-946-1131
Being ready is better than being ruined
Your business has to be able to operate when you walk in. Do you operate on the weekends? What do you do when you unlock the door, head for the alarm system and you suddenly feel that your feet are wet? You just stepped in two inches of water. Downtime is expensive, and rent doesn’t stop nor do any of the other operational costs of doing business.
One solution is being prepared prior to stepping into a mess, is to have the SERVPRO READY app. It’s available in the Google Play and Apple iTunes store. This app places all the necessary resources for all the “what if” scenarios in the palm of your hand. You can call the experts at SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. We understand that you need to be operational ready quickly.
Depending on the source of the water you will need to call a plumber or a landscaper or maybe even someone who does waterproofing and structural repairs. The SERVPRO READY app can have those resources for you so that you can be ready to deal with unexpected emergencies.
If you do not already have the app and you would like assistance setting it up in the Winston Salem Forsyth County area feel free to call Ed Dean with SERVPRO of West Forsyth County 336-946-1131
Resolve to be ready for disasters
SERVPRO Urges Winston-Salem Home and Business Owners to “Resolve to be Ready” in 2019
Local cleanup and restoration specialist shares no-cost emergency planning tools that enable fast and effective disaster response and recovery
New Year’s Eve has come and gone, but it is not too late to think about making just one more resolutions, according to Jeff Meadows, owner of SERVPRO®of West Forsyth County. While resolutions typically involve committing to personal changes and reaching goals, Meadows says the single most important resolution both business and home owners can make for 2017 is to “Resolve to be ready.”
“Preparing in advance to deal with the unexpected can make a world of difference in how quickly and completely property owners can put the pieces of their lives back together,” says Meadows. “Emergency readiness plans are the foundation for effective and timely emergency response.”
Meadows encourages all property owners to take advantage of the no-cost and easy emergency planning tools available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (https://www.ready.gov/publications), as well as SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile and READY Plan Mobile App (http://ready.SERVPRO.com).
- FEMA resources include guidelines for a creating a Family Emergency Plan and Emergency Supply List, with additional tips for pet owners, seniors, people with disabilities, and even commuters.
- SERVPRO offers their free SERVPRO READY Plan app, which stores critical contact and property information electronically in advance, where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes.
For business owners:
- FEMA offers materials on topics ranging from creating a Business Continuity Plan to an Insurance Discussion Coverage Form in addition to guidelines for creating an Emergency Response Plan.
- For businesses, SERVPRO offers a no-cost facility assessment and assistance in creating a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile®(ERP). The ERP includes information about emergency contact numbers, priority and high/risk areas, shut-off valve locations and more that can then be stored in the READY app.
“The time to gather and store information like emergency contact numbers; insurance contacts; and the location of fuse boxes, fire suppression system controls, and such is before an emergency strikes, not during an emergency,” says Meadows. “Having this information at your fingertips can help emergency responders react as quickly and effectively as possible, helping to limit loss of property and even lives.”
SERVPRO of West Forsyth County specializes 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 SERVPRO of West Forsyth County, or the SERVPRO mobile app and the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program, contact Ed Dean at (336) 946-1131 you can also visithttps://ready.SERVPRO.com.
Commercial Equipment for Commercial Losses
Water damage in your business can certainly effect your bottom line. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County understands this. We move quickly to remove the water and dry the area so you can get back to business quickly. Weather your production or office staff are effected, we will remove the water and prevent further damage. We will also use training and equipment to prevent mold from growing. When water is out of control we use proven methods to control the water and how it is removed. Our commercial fans promote evaporation of the water. But then the water is in the air and if a cold surface is around it can condensate on that surface. Depending on the material that can lead to secondary damage. That is why SERVPRO of West Forsyth County uses commercial grade dehumidifiers to pull the water out of the air to contain it safely.
If mold has already started to grow then we will mitigate that as part of the scope of work. Here we see a SERVPRO employee using the extractor to remove the water we can see. The sheet rock was cut out to remove damage you don't see and prevent mold from forming behind the wall. Drying the entire area and structure to help prevent the production of mold.
If your business is affected by water damage call us directly at 336-946-1131
Fire prevention maintenance
Why do you change the oil in your car? To prolong the life of the car, right? Maintenance around your office or home is just as important. Fire prevention is a part of that maintenance. Some of these include items that are often overlooked or placed on the back burner (pun intended). But they are key to avoiding the need for SERVPRO of West Forsyth County’s fire restoration services.
- Be sure to test smoke detectors monthly. It’s a good idea to change the batteries when we change the clocks in the fall and spring.
- Your Fire Extinguishers should be checked to ensure they are in date. The fire marshal will inspect and tell you if you have enough for your building. A company like Fire-Ade will test and certify extinguishers. Extinguishers can last anywhere from five to fifteen years. Ask your fire marshal if you have to have your extinguisher certified.
- Check the lights in Fire Exits and Exit Signs. Can customers and employees clearly see exit signs? Can they easily get to them? Have you practiced a fire drill to ensure guests and employees can easily get out of the building in the event of an emergency. Assign key personnel to ensure the safety of customers and visitors in the building in case of emergency.
- State or Local Guidelines. Here are the Forsyth County inspections page and includes common hazards and violations. Take a minute to read up on these, check to see if you are in violation or have a hazard around your home or office. Talk to your local fire marshal to learn about the guidelines.
Keeping your business, employees, and customers safe should be your top priority. Protecting your office and home is step #1 to prevent a disaster from happening but if it does, we can make it “like it never even happened.” Call us directly at 336-946-1131
Power Failure Plan = Business Success
If you experienced a power outage this week due to storms did you follow your plan? Did the plan work? Are there improvements to make in your plan? In case you missed it here are the steps to creating a plan for your business.
Before the power outage.
Have an emergency continuity plan.
- Determine the processes and equipment that would be affected by a power outage. Electrical equipment such as computers, security alarms, elevators, as well as HVAC and lighting.
- Inventory all equipment and keep it up date. What key equipment is used in your day to day operations? Prepare a list of equipment that need to be shut off during an outage to prevent damage to it when power is restored.
- Back up computer data frequently invest in redundant cloud based service that backs it up off site and protects it from hacking and virus threats.
- Make sure computers and other sensitive electronics are plugged into surge protection devices
- Test your battery backup UPS systems, emergency lighting, phone, security and fire protection systems quarterly or a week before a weather predicted event.
- Determine what the impact of the outage will be.
Have a plan for alternative power
- Use a standby generator.
- Portable generator
- Or backup UPS (uninterruptable power supply)
Have emergency lighting available
- Battery operated light sources. (flash lights or lights that turn on when power fails) Do not use candles and consider the installation of emergency lighting for the safety of your employees
Establish shelter locations in the business or on the business site
- Should you have to shelter in place ensure there is enough space for all employees and allow for any customers that are visiting your establishment at the time the emergency is declared.
- Ensure the shelter location has emergency supplies. i.e. flashlights, battery powered radio, first aid kit, blankets, water, and food.
- Educate and review often the emergency plan of action
- Ensure key personnel know the role they have responsibility for in the emergency plan. I.e. Mgrs. Should be able to account for their personnel who report to them.
- Identify employees with special needs will they need assistance evacuating. If the power is out and elevator unavailable or cannot see well in low light.
What are your customers to do?
- Determine the likelihood of customers being in your business at the time of outage.
- Ensure that your emergency plan includes customers. Since you cannot review your plan with customers regularly be sure the employees who interface with customers are aware of their responsibility in the plan. They should guide customers to safety.
During a Power Outage.
Stay informed of the conditions
- Listen to the battery powered radio for situational developments.
- Download the local news app for your phone.
- Use only approved indoor sources of power such as battery
- Never use a generator indoors or any source of power that could emit deadly exhaust into your emergency shelter
- Don’t go outside to start a generator if the weather conditions are unsafe.
- Go through your list of sensitive electronic equipment and turn it off and or unplug it to prevent damage to them.
After a Power Outage
Turn on the most essential equipment first.
- Wait 10-15 minutes to plug in other equipment this will prevent the electrical system from becoming stressed and going out again. Turning everything on at once may overload it and cause it to fail once again.
- Check your facility to ensure everyone is safe and accounted for
- Ensure all equipment is operating correctly and safely
- Review the preparedness plan to determine if any areas need to be improved and train appropriate personnel.
Should you need SERVPRO of West Forsyth County assistance after a loss event call us directly at 336-946-1131 #NatlPrep #SERVPROready
Can your business survive a disaster?
We consider ourselves lucky to live and work in such a beautiful and vital area as we do. Whether you spend most of your time in Winston Salem, Lewisville, Clemmons, Pfafftown, Rural Hall, Tabaccoville or any of the other neighboring areas we understand why you are choose to live and run your business here. As this area’s premier disaster recovery service we also understand the circumstances that can put your loved ones, your business and your investments at risk.
As a business owner or manager, you are a leader in your community and have the opportunity to set an example for your employees, customers, and community to follow.
Disasters not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but businesses of all sizes. As an employer in the Winston-Salem, Forsyth County or any of the surrounding areas, having a business continuity plan can help protect your company, its employees, and its infrastructure, and maximizes your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster.
SERVPRO of West Forsyth County would like to invite you to check out the Ready Campaign which is encouraging individuals, families, and businesses to take active steps toward becoming Ready.
Ready Business, helps business owners and managers of small and medium-sized businesses prepare their employees, operations and assets in the event of an emergency. The Business section of Ready.gov/business . There you will find more information and links where business owners can download or order free Ready information, publications, and much more.
For more information to help prepare your business visit our website for the ERP App. The app contains vital information for businesses on how to get started preparing their business for their unique needs during an emergency. If you have any questions feel free to contact Ed Dean directly at our office 336-946-1131
Plan for a disaster with the SERVPRO ERP App
The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile
If your home or business had a fire whom would you call after 911 and Winston Salem’s fire fighters have left? Your insurance agent? Your banker? The interior decorator that made your office the warm and inviting place you did business. Now here is the important question. Do you have all of the numbers you need at your fingertips to call all the people you need to help you get back into business or your home quickly?
You can with the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile APP. This is free and only takes a little time to gather the info so you are ready for whatever could prevent you from enjoying your home or office.
? A no-cost assessment of your facility. Letting you know where you may lack preparedness thinking of things you had not thought of before.
? A concise profile that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
? A guide to help you get back into your building quickly following a disaster.
? Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
? Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
? Profile is viewable online or on your SERVPRO READY APP and is secured with a login and password. So even if you’re not onsite when disaster strikes you have a plan.
Don't wait until a disaster strikes.
Contact SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to establish your Emergency READY Profile.
Or visit https://ready.SERVPRO.com/
SERVPRO of West Forsyth County
It's always best to call us directly.
Business power outage preparedness
In the recent years there have been discussions regarding the infrastructure of our nation’s power grid. What would happen if your business was without power for an extended period of time? Every business should have a continuity plan. That is where SERVPRO’s ERP can assist by having key personnel and vendors on a list in one place to help you resolve a crises quickly.
Take note or inventory of the processes in your business that would be affected by a power outage. Computers are the first thing most business owners will think of. What about security systems, or alarms, HVAC, and elevators in multilevel buildings could also be impacted.
Do you need an alternate source of power to be operational during the outage? Uninterruptable power supplies to power down computers and save work. You should obtain and keep that system maintained. There would be nothing worse than preparing for an outage only to find that the generator does not work or is low or out of fuel.
Emergency lighting, most warehouses and cubicle farms have limited if any natural light. You need to consider if customers and office workers would be present during the outage. Their safety should be a priority.
Should a shelter in place order come from authorities do you have proper emergency supplies? Consider that same emergency kit you have for home for the office and keep it maintained. This should include flashlights, battery powered radio, first aid kit, food, water and blankets.
Education: Do your employees know what to do in case of an emergency? Inform them of what the emergency business plan is. Review it with them regularly. Keep in mind any special need employees who may need assistance evacuating the building if necessary. Make sure they know what to do with customers in order to keep them safe.
During an outage stay informed, listen for directions from authorities or news broadcasts to take shelter or evacuation routes.
Use the backup power safely. Never use a generator indoors. Doing so can be fatal causing carbon monoxide poisoning. The most common symptoms are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.
Electrical surges or spikes can cause damage to sensitive equipment when the power is restored. These devices should be unplugged to avoid being damaged especially if critical to your operation.
After the power is restored turn on the most essential equipment first. Wait 10 -15 minutes to reconnect other lesser essential items. This will avoid overloading the electrical system and give it time to stabilize to the demand. Remember all of your neighbors are doing the same thing rushing to get power may put you back in the dark. Be sure all equipment is running correctly and safely. Most importantly be sure all personnel are safe and accounted for. Review with your department heads what went wrong with the plan what went right, be sure to take corrective actions to your plan.
How ready is your business for a disaster?
It is estimated that up to 50% of businesses that close due to a disaster, such as fire and flood never reopen! Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.
Are you “Ready for whatever happens?”
Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.
The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile serves as a quick reference of important building and contact information or can be an ideal supplement to any well-designed emergency preparedness or existing contingency program. Rather than simply reacting to disaster situations, most prefer proactive measures to establish a relationship with a restoration services company. And it’s available as a mobile app in the Google Play and iTunes stores.
By working with SERVPRO®of West Forsyth County to develop your personalized Emergency READY Profile your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.
Call Ed Dean at 336-409-3060 Today for a No Cost Assessment
of Your Facility!
Emergency planning can be the difference in open or closed
Even with insurance coverage, disasters can shake the foundations of even the best-managed companies. Make a business assessment for the survival of your company. Regardless of the cause of the catastrophe, a company’s very survival often depends on being prepared to responding quickly and efficiently, so a carefully constructed disaster recovery plan is one asset that every business needs. Before any calamity strikes, you should know what tasks will need to be performed to get your company running again and who will be responsible for accomplishing them. While there is no one-size-fits-all recovery plan, every business’ strategy should include some basics. Laying the groundwork by preparing to handle insurance claims, scouting viable options for temporary operations and considering the implications of various financial alternatives before trouble strikes can make the process of recovery much easier. The impacts from hazards can be reduced by investing in mitigation. If there is a potential for significant impacts, then creating a mitigation strategy should be a high priority.
Depending upon the details of the policy that you have selected for your business, commercial property insurance may cover damage or loss of the insured property, time element losses, loss mitigation costs, and loss adjustment expenses. It may also cover costs for public relations, research and development, and other necessities. When a disaster occurs, it is crucial to take the steps that will preserve and maximize your insurance coverage. To ensure that you receive all the benefits that your business is entitled to, familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of your policy before any problems arise. Work with your insurance company to create a checklist of your responsibilities after a loss to aid you in meeting deadlines and assembling documentation. Knowing what you are responsible for and being organized will make the recovery smoother and faster.
Making Your Claim
If your business is hit by disaster, set your recovery plan into motion by providing prompt notification of any claim to your insurance company. Be ready to meet any deadlines for filing proof of loss statements. If circumstances make the deadline for these statements unreasonable, get written approval for extensions. Be prepared to meet any requirements for preserving the evidence of your claim if destructive testing or immediate remediation is necessary. You will also want to record your loss mitigation efforts and the reasons that these efforts were needed.
Regardless of the cause of the catastrophe, a company’s very survival often depends on responding quickly and efficiently, so a carefully constructed disaster recovery plan is one asset that every business needs. SERVPRO of West Forsyth County has a FREE customizable app that can aid your company recover in a timely manner.
Timing is critical in insurance claims. While keeping your insurance company informed is important, you need to understand any time limitations in your policy and their potential consequences. Review your policy to see if there is a deadline for electing a valuation method. See if there is a time limit for rebuilding or replacement. You will also want to check your policy for a suit limitation clause. Most policies contain one, so you will want to be sure that it is conservatively calendared to give you time to maneuver if necessary.
It is not surprising that cash flow is a primary concern for a business working to recover after a catastrophe. While it can take time for a claim to be settled, some insurance policies contain provisions for claim advances or partial payments. Search through your policy to see if these provisions are included and identify how you would invoke them.
A business impact analysis (https://www.ready.gov/business-impact-analysis) of your business before a disaster will plan and effectively get your business running smoothly again. Before anything bad happens, think about how your business could operate during the recovery phase. This may involve moving to a temporary location or finding storage for undamaged inventory or equipment, so it’s smart to be aware of the possibilities in your area. Make a note to analyze leasing and service contracts if you are forced to relocate so that you can try to tailor them to your business’s specific needs.
Regardless of where you set up shop after a catastrophe, you will have to decide what to do with your original location. Is rehabilitating or rebuilding the site worthwhile? If you believe that it is, then you will need to arrange for professional remediation, design and construction services. If you decide against rebuilding, then you must figure out how to dispose of that property and acquire a new permanent location. Remember that a new location will still require design and construction services in order to modify it to suit your company’s needs. Don’t forget to review zoning issues for any new property to verify that your business will be able to build appropriate facilities and operate as desired at that location.
Even with insurance, a recovery may require financing. Depending on your recovery plans, options might include a line of credit, an acquisition loan or a construction loan. In some situations, it may be possible to use legal actions to seek reimbursement from the party responsible for your loss. Weigh all the possibilities carefully and remember to consider the potential tax consequences. Understanding the pros and cons of your options before any problems start will make it easier to make smart decisions when a disaster hits.
When your business needs assistance dealing with the aftermath of a catastrophe, count on SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. Our professionals are prepared to respond, so when a significant event occurs, they’ll be there for you. Whether it is damage from flooding, a fire, a tornado, a hurricane, an ice event or a snowstorm, we have the resources and expertise to help in the Winston Salem, Forsyth County are.
SERVPRO of West Forsyth County serves Winston Salem, Lewisville, Clemmons, Rural Hall, Pfafftown, Tobaccoville, and surrounding areas. It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131 Emergency Services available 24 hrs. a day.
Lead paint renovations in your home or office
Doesn’t it seem like every time you turn around there’s something new that you should avoid because it’s “toxic”? In our industry we hear about mold and asbestos all the time. Lesser known is another substance known to cause health issues: lead. The most common place lead is found is lead-based paint. Chipping or peeling paint that contains lead and lead contaminated dust are the main sources of lead poisoning. Houses and apartments built before 1978 may have lead-based paint on the inside, outside, or both. Lead-based paint can also be found on toys, furniture, playground equipment, older cars and boats. Soil, especially around the foundation of homes and near highways, and old water pipes may also contain lead. Hobbies such as making pottery, stained glass or refinishing furniture can expose someone to lead.
Exposure to lead can result in serious health issues. The Forsyth County Environmental Health web site has more information regarding the effect of lead on the body.
Can I just paint over existing lead-based paint?
Repairing damaged painted surfaces can temporarily reduce your family’s risk of lead exposure, but it is not a permanent solution. Never use a belt sander, dry scraper/sandpaper, water blasting, torch, flame, or heat gun on painted surfaces that may contain lead. A contractor who is certified to work with lead-based paint knows how to safely work around the potential hazard and should conduct any work needed. And SERVPRO of West Forsyth is a certified lead paint renovator.
In disaster situations, we sometimes have to disturb lead paint in order to properly dry your home and make it safe. There are many jobs that we tear out drywall, and therefore paint. Enter the EPA Department of Health Services. There are laws about how to deal with structures older than 1978: we assume that lead is present unless we test for it and confirm otherwise. We use lead safe work practices, which basically means contain the workspace and make sure it gets cleaned up per EPA regulations. This makes it a safe environment for your home or workplace.
Place your trust in SERVPRO of West Forsyth County to handle all of your water, fire, smoke, mold, and vandalism damage, lead paint renovation and restoration needs.
It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131
Is your work family ready for a disaster?
Businesses should take steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies. Recent events in Texas show us the importance of preparing for as many contingencies as possible. From terrorist attacks to natural disasters anything could happen to disrupt your business. Despite a national campaign of activities, resources and information each year less than ½ of all households surveyed could boast a plan of action already in place. 52% of businesses say it would take them 3 months to recover from a substantial loss. But 75% of them do not have a plan in place to minimize that time or even know where they would begin to recover. Of business polled, if a disaster were to occur, 44 percent of small business owners say they don’t have access to generators — and 66 percent don’t even have business interruption insurance.
The numbers are staggering but they can be planned for and minimize the amount of disruption to your home or business. Are you ready? On the Home front, FEMA offers lots of information for adults, children and teachers to help them assist in educating and formulating a plan for themselves and those in their care at: http://www.ready.gov. This site offers everything from checklists to coloring pages as well as information on how best to plan for those with special needs.
For business owners, SERVPRO of West Forsyth wants to ask Is your business ready? 50% of the businesses that suffer a disaster that causes a disruption in transactions never reopen, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that do survive an overwhelming majority had a preparedness plan in place. A disaster recovery plan is a detailed, step-by-step course of action for getting a business back on its feet quickly following either a natural or manmade disaster. Where are your documents? How recently was your information backed up, or updated and how do you gain access to it? Can you reach your team members? Answering questions like these ahead of time could be the difference between getting up and running quickly and smoothly or perhaps not at all. Get started; http://www.ready.gov/business offers business specific planning and resources.
SERVPRO of West Forsyth County would like to help. By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you’ll have an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key in minimizing how disasters can affect your business. Customize your ready plan data on your mobile device for quick access during an emergency. Our Emergency Ready app is available as a free download at: http://www.SERVPRO.com/disaster-recovery
Our location off Stratford Road and I-40, SERVPRO of West Forsyth County is strategically located to quickly respond to your call anywhere in the Winston Salem area. Call us directly at 336-946-1131