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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