ERP's and Why They Are Important
Being a business owner can have many responsibilities, and you may have to take on multiple roles.
In most cases, disaster is the last thing you are thinking about, but every business owner, regardless of how new or old your business is, should have a plan and guide for what to do in the event of a disaster.
SERVPRO of Lee's Summit offers a free community service called the "Emergency Ready Plan", or an ERP.
ERP's are handy little guides that we make at SERVPRO that contain basic information regarding your property, who owns the property, and where your emergency shut-off locations are.
We document and photograph, where your electrical, water, and gas shut-offs, are, as well as your sprinkler system and security system. We also have the contacts for those utility companies in the event that you must make contact.
Key contacts are also listed in the ERP, such as the owner, the insurance agent for the property, the SERVPRO representative, and the managers of the building.
The emergency contacts and services page has the fire department and police department's emergency and non-emergency numbers as well, that way, if contact is needed, you know where to find all those phone numbers and contact points.
It's very beneficial to have an ERP because although the business owner might know where everything is and who to contact, your employees might not know. Having a guide like this can help so much if the business owner is not present.
ERP's are very convenient as well, we are able to provide a paper copy, and we can provide a digital version on the Ready Plan app! Which makes ERP's very easy to access in times of need.
When you run a business, it's good to prepare for not just the next day's shift, but for the things that happen unexpectedly.
SERVPRO of Lee's Summit is always here to help!
If you’re in the process of buying a house or you’re looking for a new homeowners insurance policy, you might be familiar with what a flood zone is. If you don’t know what they are, you might want to start reading about them.
Zoning for Floods?
A flood zone is an area in a specific geographical space that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has determined has at least some risk of flooding. There are four primary types of zones, which correlate to the severity or category of excessive water events that can occur in that area.
- Moderate to Low-Risk Areas
- High-Risk Areas
- High Risk – Coastal Areas
- Undetermined Risk Areas
How to Find Your Zone
Each area’s zones are depicted on a community's Flood Insurance Rate Map, also known as FIRM, which can be found online at https://www.fema.gov/flood-insurance-rate-map-firm. You can also contact your local municipality or look on their website, most cities will have zoning information available online. You can try searching for the term “flood elevation certificate” for faster results.
Some people may think that these zones can only be found next to a large body of water or along a river or stream, but that’s not the case. Houses that are nowhere near a body of water can experience a flood if there’s a large rainstorm.
Knowing what kind of flood zone you live in can also be helpful for storage options and emergency preparedness. If you live in a high-risk zone, for example, you probably don’t want to put boxes directly on the floor, and you might want to increase the number of your emergency supplies.
If you weren’t aware that your home is potentially at risk for a flood, and a storm causes water-related damage, you should contact a storm damage specialist in your area to determine your best course of action and get the damage repaired as quickly as possible.
What To Do Right After a Storm Damages Your Home
You hear the wind blowing and the rain pounding on your window panes, and you hope your home will remain untouched by the storm. Unfortunately, this is not the case. A tree falls on your roof, and water pours into your home, soaking your carpets and covering your hardwood floors. Here's how to stem the tide of storm damage in the event's immediate aftermath.
1. Document Damage Before Attempting Immediate Repairs
If you are planning to submit a claim to your insurance company for the damages, you will want to record them prior to attempting any immediate repairs. Make a list of damaged items, and take photos or videos of each.
2. Make Immediate Repairs Only To Prevent Further Damage to Your Home
Take the following steps when attempting immediate repairs or cleanup:
- Cover leaking roofs with a tarp to prevent more rainfall from entering the home.
- Pull up a wet carpet to prevent mold and move it to a dry location.
- Throw away all perishable food that has spoiled.
Make sure all articles being removed from the home were documented on the inventory list of damaged items.
3. Exercise Caution If You're Staying in a Damaged Home
To restore lost electricity in your home, use generators outside, away from windows and doors. Make sure your sewer system is working before flushing toilets, using water stored previously for this function if necessary. Open windows and run fans inside your home to circulate air and aid the drying process.
You may also choose to contact a company that can perform emergency restoration services in your home. If so, keep receipts for services provided, as well as for any purchases made for immediate repairs, such as a tarp for the leaking roof.
Hopefully, your home will never be subjected to storm damage. If it is, however, these storm tips can get you started on the road to recovery and get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.
How To Reduce the Chance of a Kitchen Fire
Though fires can start in any area of the home, many fires often begin in kitchens, and kitchen fires can cause widespread damage to homes. Fortunately, there are various tips you can follow to help to reduce the chance of a kitchen fire occurring in your home.
1. Don't Leave Cooking Food Unattended
When cooking, it can be easy to become distracted. Though you may be tempted to leave your kitchen while cooking, however, this can result in a fire. Items left on a stovetop can burn and catch fire in a short period of time if high heat is used, and if you are out of the room when the fire begins, you may not be able to stop the fire from getting out of control. For these reasons, it's generally best to stay in the kitchen when cooking.
2. Clean Your Kitchen Often
When it comes to fire prevention tips, cleaning your kitchen can be beneficial. If grease has spilled on your stovetop or in your oven, or if you use a dirty, greasy pan, a fire can start quickly. A grease fire can be particularly dangerous because it can spread at an accelerated rate and cause major damage to your home. Cleaning your kitchen often, however, can reduce the likelihood of grease causing a fire.
3. Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby
Though a flame in a kitchen doesn't necessarily spell disaster if it is quickly extinguished, fires that aren't quickly controlled can cause devastation to homes. If a home has been affected by major fire damage, many homeowners find it helpful to contact emergency restoration services. However, the sooner you are able to extinguish a fire, the less likely it is that your home will sustain major damage. Having an ABC fire extinguisher (an extinguisher that can put out fires caused by trash, grease, or electricity) in your kitchen can be wise.
Since kitchen fires are incredibly common, knowing tips to prevent this type of fire can be useful to homeowners. Preventative methods can include remaining in your kitchen when cooking, frequently cleaning your kitchen, and keeping a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.
The 3 Essentials of Water-Damage Protection for Your Business
Understanding the Three Essentials of Storm Preparedness
The right amount of water in the right place is life-sustaining. When too much water makes its way to the wrong place, it can endanger lives and property. Weather conditions that cause flooding are a primary contributor to commercial property damage. Understanding the three essentials of storm preparedness may help you avoid costly water damage restoration, due to a severe weather event.
Preparing your coworkers may prove essential if rising water becomes a reality. Consider the following measures.
Registering with an emergency notification service
Providing your staff with emergency preparedness training by a water emergency specialist
Posting building evacuation routes
Preparing an emergency kit with first aid, water, non-perishable food, flashlights, batteries, towels, and blankets
Choosing an emergency preparedness team leader
With your staff now prepared, you may want to bring your building into compliance with flood-safe practices.
A few precautions can help you avoid costly water damage to your facility. Winterizing your irrigation backflow preventer in cold winters can prevent broken pipes. It may be useful to equip your sump pump with a battery backup that can allow the pump to run, even in a power outage. Regular cleaning of gutters and storm drains can prevent flood-favorable conditions from developing near your structure. With your staff and facility prepared, the third area to address is your financial protection.
Because water-related damage can result in the destruction of irreplaceable items, insurance coverage is recommended. If your business is located in a high-risk area, you may have been required to purchase a separate flood insurance policy when you purchased the property. Even if your flood risk is low, you may still benefit from a policy that includes coverage for other common types of water damage, such as roof or pipe leaks.
Because water cleanup is generally a disruptive and costly process, you may ultimately be glad you devoted some time to prepare. Taking care of a few preventive measures could prove well worth the trouble by minimizing the impact on your valuable property and your bottom line.
Be Safer With a Home Fire Extinguisher
Small incidental fires can begin at home for several reasons; a cigarette, a grease fire on the stovetop, or a lit candle or space heater left unattended. A small home fire can often be put out with a fire extinguisher, rather than calling the fire department in Lee's Summit, MO. That, of course depends on the size of the fire and the type of extinguisher you have.
Get the Right Extinguisher
Part of fire preparedness is knowing which kind of fire extinguisher is best for certain fires. Understanding the difference is of great importance, as some can do more harm than good. The following list explains the difference.
Type A – Suitable for everyday combustibles such as paper, fabric and wood
Type B – Works best for fuels like gasoline, butane and for cooking oils
Type C – Most appropriate choice for electrical fires
Not only do extinguisher have different types, but they have other variations besides. Type A and B have a number before the letter to designate its effectiveness. A 4-A works better on a paper fire than a 2-A. If the unit has a C but no number ahead of it, it means it will not conduct electricity.
Which Extinguisher is Best?
The kind you decide to keep in your home depends on where you intend to keep it. You may decide you need more than one at hand for the greatest safety. For instance, you would do well to keep a type B in the kitchen where you are most likely to experience a grease fire. You might want to keep a type C near the breaker box and a type A near a home den, library or craft room.
In the event a larger blaze breaks out and you require more than a fire extinguisher, call 911 immediately. Then get help to assess fire damage and manage fire cleanup, call the fire and water restoration service in Lee's Summit, MO for help. They can handle the fire damage cleanup and help get things back to normal. Preparation can help you avoid a disaster however, so keep a couple extinguishers at hand.
How a Mitigation Company Can Help Rebuild Your Business
When you’re facing fire damage in your business, it can be overwhelming to think about how to begin the rebuilding process. However, consulting a professional fire mitigation company can help to alleviate the destruction caused by the fire incident. If you’re ready to call for help and begin restoring your business, this guide gives you an overview of the mitigation process.
Assessing the Situation
When mitigation professionals arrive at your business, they assess the damage that your building has sustained in the aftermath of the fire. Some of the forms of damage that they inspect may include:
- Smoke damage
- Soot damage
- Water damage (from firefighting efforts)
These types of harm may be present in addition to fire damage caused by direct contact with flames. Professionals can help you determine what the degree of destruction is in your business.
Protecting Against Additional Harm
Examining the extent of damage to your commercial building allows mitigation specialists to prevent further harm from taking place. If your building has any missing walls or windows, professionals can board up these surfaces. They may also place tarps on the roof if it has been damaged as well. Moreover, having your business protected from additional damage can help when an insurance adjuster visits to inspect the state of your building.
Cleaning and Restoration
Finally, fire mitigation professionals clean any damaged items in your building and work on restoring your business. The steps in this process depend on the extent of damage that you are experiencing. If there are any signs of water damage, restoration specialists can remove and dry excess water. Likewise, they may clean any surfaces in your building that contain traces of soot or smoke.
Whether the restoration process involves minor repairs or full reconstruction, mitigation professionals can improve the condition of your business. Be sure to call a specialist immediately to help you rebuild, no matter what type of fire damage you’re facing.
Forgotten Causes of Commercial Water Damage
Business owners usually think commercial water damage is caused by floods, massive rains, and storms. That’s often true. Weather events, storms, and flooding do shut down businesses and create major water damage in commercial buildings. Unfortunately, many business owners, commercial space renters, and entrepreneurs don’t think about and try to prevent other typical causes of water damage.
1. Sprinkler systems
Some older office and retail buildings have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty, not well maintained, or in need of replacement. Many a time a poor sprinkler system has damaged commercial inventory and business assets and shut down businesses. Check your system to make sure that it’s not faulty or in need of repair or replacement.
2. Appliances and equipment
Restaurants and catering businesses sometimes suffer water damage from their appliances or equipment. But any business that has appliances or equipment that use water could suffer water damage. If an appliance fails and spews water across your commercial building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water damage emergency.
3. Pipes and plumbing
Just like in a residential home, the plumbing system in a commercial business can fail. A broken pipe or faulty plumbing can result in major water damage in just a few hours.
4. Sewer lines
Sewer backups are another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated black water which can cause health issues and ruin products and office furnishings.
5. Water Heaters
Water heaters in commercial buildings can crack or lose their seal because of high pressure. You want to make sure and follow the manufacturer's guidelines and flush your water heater regularly to make sure it is working properly.
One of the more obvious ways commercial buildings suffer water damage is through an old or leaky roof. Inspect the roof frequently (at least every six months) to make sure it does not need to be resealed and to be sure it drains properly. Even small leaks should be fixed immediately.
Important Facts About Mold Growth
Everyone Should Know These Three Facts About Mold
It always pays to have a little bit of knowledge about certain subjects, and knowing a few facts about mold growth is a good idea. This information may help your business prevent the growth of mold, as well as help to rectify the situation if mold is found. Everyone should know these three facts about mold:
- Mold is a naturally occurring fungus that are found just about everywhere in small amounts
- Mold thrives in damp conditions of high humidity
- Mold can degrade indoor air quality and cause health effects to many people
A few other facts are relevant here. Mold often exudes a musty odor. Finally, mold spores are microscopic and can be spread throughout a building through the heating and cooling system.
Proven Steps for Mold Cleanup
When mold growth is discovered at your business in Lone Jack, MO, it should be looked into immediately. Calling in a mold mitigation team that is Faster to Any Size Disaster is the place to begin. Each situation is unique, but the process for mold remediation is similar in most respects. It begins with an inspection and damage assessment and looks for instances of water damage, which often paved the way for mold to grow in a commercial building. These initial measures are followed by mold containment and air filtration and then the removal and cleaning of materials affected by mold. The final stages include content cleaning and restoration.
It is essentially impossible to remove every last vestige of mold spores from a building. However, with the right techniques and equipment, mold growth can be stopped to the point where it does not pose a problem for employees and customers. The removal of mold colonies will also address the appearance of the workplace, and the musty odor will be gone, too. With a better understanding of mold, your company can deal with the issue effectively.
SERVPRO Professionals are the Storm Damage Experts
Quick Response and High Standards Will Leave you Satisfied after Remediation
When heavy rains and high winds hit hard, property destruction and loss can be devastating to you as a homeowner. Structural damage to the exterior of your home is followed by interior devastation from water and winds. Storm damage is rarely isolated to just a few buildings in an area adding the challenge of finding a restoration company that can respond swiftly to your needs to an already anxiety-provoking situation. SERVPRO delivers the help you need swiftly even when a local disaster is widespread as we are able to call upon a network of over 1,650 franchises nationwide to respond if the need is great.
Storm damage in Lee's Summit can feel overwhelming, but your fear and panic will disappear when our team of professionals responds to your water, wind, and flooding repair and restoration needs. Your particular situation is of paramount importance to us, and you need not worry that your repairs and restoration will take a back seat even when many in your area are struggling to recover from the same issues you face. Choosing our company puts in motion a vast support system, but our local ownership means you will receive a personalized approach to your particular situation, efficiently returning your home back to its pre-storm condition just “Like it never even happened.”
Placing your trust in SERVPRO for your storm damage needs will reap benefits that less qualified companies simply cannot deliver. We use state-of-the-art equipment to clean, repair, and restore your home and in the process, we also restore your and your family’s peace of mind. Our technicians are highly trained and qualified. We also work closely with your insurance company, ensuring that all the work necessary is approved and compensated according to the terms of your policy. Our high standards and relentless drive to do the job on time while meeting local specifications means you and your family will quickly return to the quiet enjoyment of your house and neighborhood. We are not satisfied until you are happily back in your restored dwelling.
Once you make sure that your family is safe after a major storm, your first call should be to SERVPRO of Lee's Summit. Call 816-246-5566 24/7 and begin the road to recovery by scheduling an inspection with our storm damage experts.