Protecting Important Documents

  It’s natural. It’s human nature. You don’t really think about this very often. What are we talking about? Water, fire and smoke damage. When you do think about what may happen to your home, and then take action to prepare, what you do is usually minor and easy to do… such as turning off your outside water supply when winter approaches and testing smoke alarms and replacing fire extinguishers on a regular basis. Yet there is one very important action you should take right now in preparation for the unthinkable. That’s right, protecting your important documents, such as your birth certificates, marriage license, financial papers, insurance policies and si Most homeowners keep all their important papers and documents in what they consider a safe place, such as in an organized folder in a home office or secure location where they know exactly where everything is. Unfortunately, that’s not really very safe when there is flooding or fire and smoke. Others might utilize a water and fire proof safe, which is a great idea. Yet there is something additional you can do to 100% guarantee your important documents are safe no matter what happens. Scan them and put them on the “cloud.” You may already do this, and if so, congratulations. No matter what happens to your home, your documents are safe and can be accessed from any device connected to the internet. But if you don’t, get a cloud-based storage account that has plenty of storage space for your needs and start scanning those documents. Keep them organized in online folders, and make sure those in your family who should have access to them have username and passwords they can use in an emergency. You should still keep the originals as safe as you can, of course. And when the unthinkable happens, when you do have a fire, flood or mold damage, don’t forget there is professional assistance for you: Call your disaster restoration pro for help.
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Hurricane and Severe Storm Damage for Commercial Properties

 As the tropics are heating up with activity, Hurricane Preparedness is a topic of discussion. People usually remember to be prepared at their home with supplies, however will forget the workplace. Hurricane winds or flood waters from a major storm will harm any property in it’s path.

As a result, pre-planning leads to better protection for the employees, property, and equipment. Follow the steps below to lessen damages to your commercial property.

  1. Pre written action plan for emergencies– Employers need to have a pre written action plan for employees. This plan can be given to the employees to take action within their space before leaving the office.

Examples include:

  • Secure loose items such as scissors, staplers, reams of paper, etc.
  • Contain valuables in a safe or locked area.
  • Turn off computers and other equipment.
  • Remove items from the refrigerator.
  • Place customer files into a locked area.

  1. Assign a group to be the emergency task force.By assigning 2-5 people, depending on the size of your company, you will have a few people that can perform and oversee other precautions are taken before the major storm or hurricane.

Examples include:

  • Take a photo inventory of the various offices, assets, and equipment.
  • Check there are batteries, flashlights, and other emergency supplies in the office.
  • Secure doors and windows in the event of an emergency.

  1. Remove items from floor, if possible.As storm waters rise, the office may flood. By lifting items such as plants, boxes, and chairs off of the floor, it will  alleviate further water damages to those items.
  2. Send staff home. Their safety is a priority.After the commercial property has been prepared for the severe storm or hurricane, remember your staff will need time to prepare their own properties.

Take the time to plan ahead of the storm, use your staff, and keep emergency supplies on hand. The right preparation leads to very little effort and thirty minutes to an hour of time right before the storm. Not only will this help before the storm, but will get your business back up and running in no time! Be prepared and not scared when a storm is nearb

If I Have a Pipe Break in my Home, How Serious is the Wet Structure?

 While not all pipe breaks are readily identifiable as being dangerous or damaging to your home, rest assured that any uncontrolled source of water that enters your home could be a potential source of money that you will lose to repairs or replacement. A pipe break is among the most common, and the most expensive, types of water damage that can occur within a home. Not all pipe breaks are the same, but you will need to deal with the following issues first and foremost:

  • Is the pipe currently active, and if so, can it be shut off to stop the flow of water?
  • Where was the pipe located? Is there electric wiring nearby?
  • Has there been any flooding, including standing pools of water?
  • Is the pipe located in a ceiling, where it can drip to the floor and cause additional damage?

As mentioned, a pipe break can happen in a lot of areas of the home. A pipe break in the basement could lead to flooding and standing pools of water which will require immediate attention. A pipe break in a bathroom or kitchen may not create standing pools of water if your room is at ground level, but could damage your flooring, create a slipping hazard, and promote the growth of dangerous mold.

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Touchy Subject: Just how dirty are the things you use the most?

You wash your hand after you use the restroom, or handling raw meat, or riding the subway. That’s a great start. However, our handsimmediate surroundings harbor more bacteria than we like to imagine – and not just the usual suspects. The fact is, germs are all around us – it’s their world, we’re just living in it. Often they’re harmless, but not always, and it’s a good idea to avoid taking any unnecessary risks. It all starts with awareness – knowing which items, areas and surfaces are likely to harbor unwanted bacteria. From there we can take measures to disinfect those spaces and prevent potentially disease-causing germs from invading our bodies. Read on to learn which everyday items tend to be the most infested. The results may be surprising.
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Mold Cleanup: One Subject Families and Individuals Must Take Seriously

Mold Cleanup: One Subject Families and Individuals Must Take Seriously

According to the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine’s research, the presence of fungi in indoor environments may cause the buildings’ human inhabitants to experience infections, allergic reactions and premature death. Although we have to say that accidental death due to mold exposure is extremely rare these days. It’s generally confined to populations with existing, life threatening health problems or weakened immune systems. Further proof of fungi toxicity may be found in scholarly articles published in periodicals like the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Journal of Occupations Environmental Medicine. With that said, it’s imperative that Americans take the subject of mold cleanup seriously.

All mold remediation efforts should include plans that help to keep the affected building’s occupants and fungi removal experts’ safe from start to finish. They should also cover issues related to mold containment, prevention, safe removal and post-cleanup. That’s why people who hire mold remediation specialists often notice them wearing personal protective equipment and using one of several, effective, efficient cleanup methods. By the way, the list of professional cleaning methods utilized to remove mold includes, but isn’t confined to wet vacuums, HEPA vacuums, sanitizing wipes and double bags safe enough to hold pathogens.

The one used will be largely determined by the type of indoor mold present and the amount in a given space as well as the lifestyle of the property’s occupants. For example, small mold problems tend to cover less than 11 square feet of indoor space. Moderate problems are normally confined to 100 square feet and anything above that is typically considered to be the basis for a major mold problem. As for the mold type, the ones most likely to hurt children and people with destabilized immune systems are cladosporium, stachbotrys, alternaria and aspergillus.

To discover more about them and obtain information on mold cleanup today, please contact us. At Disaster Response Team, combating unwanted mold is our specialty.

Avoiding Wood Deck Woes

Avoiding Wood Deck Woes

Wood decks can be beautiful things, add value and enjoyment to your home. Unless they are ignored or neglected, of course.

Like any surface in your home, a wood deck needs some special care. While a lower-cost alternative to pavers, concrete and other hard surface materials, wood decks are very attractive, especially if you chose a color tone that matches your home and is one you enjoy.

But after a year or two, aging happens and dirt and grime accumulates. Stains as well. You start to wonder what you can do to bring back to life the deck you admired so much. Continue reading “Avoiding Wood Deck Woes”

Three Steps for Drying Out

Three Steps for Drying Out

There are many causes of water damage to homes and buildings, ranging from heavy rains, leaky roofs, broken pipes, failure hot water heaters, sewage back-ups and more.

The cause of the damage must be considered when drying out a home or building. If it is “fresh” water, such as a broken pipe or leaky roof, the drying process is a little simpler than a sewage back-up.

Small water damages that are concentrated to an area, such as under a kitchen sink, can quickly be cleaned up. Large water damages can take days to clean and dry out, often resulting in pesky odors that then must be dealt with. It’s that pesky odor that tells you not all is well, and more work needs to be done.

Remove, Clean, Dry

Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces quickly means less microbial growth, which can lead to potentially dangerous mold. Some people are highly sensitive to mold spores, while others show no physical reaction at all. Don’t take the chance in learning the hard way how you might react to mold. Prevention is best.
To ensure the safety of your family, there are three basic steps:

  1. Remove the water/contamination: This means get the affected areas dry, and quickly.
  2. Clean the area: No matter the water source, a quality disinfectant should be used.
  3. Dry the area: Air movement is important. Directed air on damp areas aids in the evaporation process.

Remember, water damage can be potentially dangerous even after you think surfaces are dry. If it feels dry, it just might be… but it might not. Professional water damage removal pros have meters and devices to determine when surfaces are totally dry. And they have the products and equipment necessary to do the job right — items you can’t buy at your local grocery or hardware store.

Play it safe. Protect your family. Call your restoration pros at Regency DRT for any type of water damage to your home.

7 Facts About Disasters and Why Disaster Response is Important

7 Facts About Disasters and Why Disaster Response is Important

 

We live in a world where natural disasters are unfortunately common occurrences, so it is extremely important to always be prepared for them. Get familiar with what kind of natural disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, landslides, etc.) affect the region you live in and make yourself aware of different distaster response options you have. These services exist to be on-call and offer assistance when you experience an earthquake, house fire, or any other unexpected disaster event. Below are seven facts you should know about disasters.

  • In 2012, 905 natural disasters struck worldwide including tornadoes, droughts, earthquakes, hail storms, floods, hurricanes, and wildfires.
  • It is important to devise a disaster response plan with the older adults in your life. With Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, over half the victims of both catastrophes were senior citizens.
  • Within one decade, from 2002 to 2012, there has been over $1.7 trillion in damages related to disasters. These disasters have affected approximately 2.9 billion people.
  • In 2012 alone, almost 50% of disaster-related fatalities were caused by hydrological events including mass movements and flooding.
  • Hurricanes can reach wind speeds of over 160 miles an hour. Often, these hurricanes can unleash 2.4 trillion gallons of rain in a day causing massive flooding and horrendous wind storms.
  • Floods are the most common natural disasters. In the United States alone, the President declared that over 90% of natural disasters were flood related.
  • Too large of a percentage of homeowners do not have a disaster preparedness plan. A survey conducted showed that 80% of people do not have a home evacuation drill and an additional 60% were not aware of what their town’s evacuation route was.

THINK INSIDE THE BOX: Freedom Within a Framework

THINK INSIDE THE BOX: Freedom Within a Framework

A lot of people talk about thinking outside the box. I want you to think inside the box.

Imagine two boxes, one quite large and the other rather small. The small box is inside the big box. In the large box is everything that you are capable of doing. Inside the small box are the few things you can do that you believe will have the greatest positive impact on improving your most important desired business outcome.

STAY INSIDE THE SMALL BOX

Too often, in my opinion, people allow themselves to be pulled into all kinds of activities because they are able to do them. Weeks, months, and even years fly by while these people are busy doing all sorts of different things that they are able to do. They go home quite exhausted at the end of each day knowing that they worked hard. The problem is they haven’t penetrated the desired results to anywhere near the degree that they could have. They essentially tried to please people in different departments and different customers and different prospective customers and different volunteer groups. They kept moving all around in the big box. Continue reading “THINK INSIDE THE BOX: Freedom Within a Framework”

Prepping For Urban Survival

Prepping For Urban Survival

If a disaster strikes in an urban setting, there are certain precautions one may need to take in order to survive comfortably. With limited space and security, creating a well-strategized plan is key in order to survive whatever hurricane-swine-flu-economic-collapse-zombie-ridden-disaster one may encounter in an urban location.

People Planning

In the event a disaster does strike your city or neighborhood, security weakens and your home or apartment may be potentially in danger. To be successfully prepared for any disaster, plan to prepare with friends, family and/or neighbors. Continue reading “Prepping For Urban Survival”