Shelter From The Storm
A heavy rainstorm has finally stopped. Or maybe a long winter has finally ended, and the deep snows have begun to melt.
While good weather may seem like a relief, the potential for water damage may just be beginning. Storm water runoff can quickly overwhelm natural and manmade systems, leading to flooding and property damage.
The steps you take today to prepare your home and yard for proper drainage can help avoid time-consuming and costly repairs when the bad weather does blow through.
In a natural environment, storm water runoff is absorbed by soil, evaporates into the atmosphere or flows into bodies of water, such as streams, lakes or rivers. Homeowners may need to recreate the natural environment on their property to address storm water runoff. This includes planting trees and other vegetation, building rain gardens and installing rain barrels or cisterns to collect roof water.
How Can You Protect Your Home from Storm Water?
“The key to developing a yard drainage plan is to understand the specific characteristics of your property and implement the system that works best for you,” says Mike Koppang, a Travelers Risk Control professional. During a storm, you can go outside and observe how the water flows. Take note of the different grades and slopes and whether they divert the flowing water away from your home. Look for any low spots that collect or pool water and for any steep slopes that have indications of surface erosion.
Consider the steps needed to protect your property from water runoff. Rain that falls on roofs, driveways, patios, roads and other impervious areas moves across the ground surface at greater speeds. The property adjacent to these areas could be more susceptible to damage. Frozen soil can also increase risk of damage by preventing water from being absorbed by the soil. Replacing impervious areas with pervious surfaces, such as permeable paving stones or pavers, can also help.
Other questions you might consider:
Is storm water that falls on impervious surfaces diverted away from your house? This is the work of things like roof gutter downspouts, driveways, walkways and patios. Runoff from these surfaces should be directed to an area that has the ability to absorb or slow the surface flow, such as landscaped areas, and away from your house.
Does your house have a stream, pond or lake close by? Consider the flood potential and how it may impact your property. You can research local flood maps that will detail flood water levels for various storm events and their flood potential.
Does your driveway or other impervious surface have a negative pitch back toward the house? Consider installing trench drains or area drains to help prevent pooling and divert water away from the house.
Do you have retaining walls on your property? If so, it is important that the walls have a drainage system in place to alleviate pressure behind the wall. Periodically clean weep holes to ensure they are not clogged. Surface water should not be allowed to cascade over the top of the wall and instead should be diverted to the end of the wall or around it.
Is a portion of your house below ground level, such as a basement? Make sure any sewer and water lines, or any other pipes or lines that penetrate subsurface walls, and foundation cracks are properly sealed. Basements that are prone to water intrusion should have a water collection system in place, such as a sump pump system. This system should be maintained with a battery backup for continued operation in the event of a power failure. Consider elevating mechanical systems or installing curbs around areas that need protecting but cannot be elevated, such as finished areas and storage areas. Exterior basement window wells should have covers and the ground surface of the well should be below the well rim.
Do you have a sewer or septic system and property with known high water tables? Have the system checked by a professional. If the groundwater rises too high, it can affect the efficiency and operation of the system. In some cases, this may lead to sewer back up or waste leaching above the ground or back into the house.
Surface storm water is not the only consideration for protecting your home. It is also important to assess the functionality of your whole home envelope system. Make sure that your house exterior is maintained, including roofing, flashings, weather barriers, windows, doors and sealants.
While you cannot prevent against all damage from storm water runoff during large acts of nature, these steps can help protect your home when storms do hit.
Content Provided by Travelers Insurance
Winter Storms Headed Our Way!
This weekend will bring our first significant winter storms. PREPARE ahead of it. Along with the milk and bread be sure you have flashlight batteries, a radio, 2-3 days of food supplies, a tank full of gas and a properly working generator.
From News12 Long Island:
News 12 meteorologists are keeping an eye on two storms that are set to deliver a one-two punch to Long Island.
For tonight, expect light snow developing towards midnight. The snow will mix with sleet and freezing rain and will change to all rain towards Friday morning.
A coating to one inch is expected in most areas with a chance of up to two inches along the North Shore.
Weather Center I Radar I Traffic & Weather LIVE
Lows tonight will be near 29 degrees with temperatures rising above freezing after 3 a.m.
Friday morning’s commute will bring wet and slick roads. The early morning wintry mix will end as rain showers around noon. Breaks of sunshine is expected with highs near 42 degrees.
Temperatures will dip Friday night to 25-to-30 degrees. Some black ice is possible.
On Saturday, some light snow and wintry mix developing after 9 p.m. The wintry mix will change to all rain towards Sunday morning.
Snow accumulations, as of now, is 1-to-3 inches before a changeover to rain.
On Sunday, heavy rain is expected before noon. A total of 1-to-2 inches of rain is possible.
The rain will change to a wintry mix and snow during the afternoon and evening. There could be a brief period of moderate snow with some ice and snow accumulation.
Temperatures are expected to be in the 40s, but a flash freeze is possible as temperatures will drop to near 20 degrees by evening.
Dangerous travel conditions are possible during the afternoon and evening hours.
SERVPRO of Hicksville/Plainview will be available 24/7 should you experience an emergency. Keep our number handy-516-733-1800.
How To Prepare For A Winter Storm
Tips from the American Red Cross on how to protect your home:
- Make sure your home heating sources are installed according to local codes and permit requirements and are clean and in working order.
- Make sure your home is properly insulated. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windowsills to keep cold air out.
- Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside to provide an extra layer of insulation to keep cold air out.
- Consider buying emergency heating equipment, such as a wood- or coal-burning stove or an electric or kerosene heater. - Stoves must be properly vented and in good working order. Dispose of ashes safely. Keep a supply of wood or coal on hand. - Electric space heaters, either portable or fixed, must be certified by an independent testing laboratory. Plug a heater directly into the wall socket rather than using an extension cord and unplug it when it is not in use. - Use a kerosene heater only if permitted by law in your area; check with your local fire department. Use only the correct fuel for your unit. Properly ventilate the area. Refuel the unit outdoors only, and only when the unit is cool. Follow all of the manufacturer's instructions.
- Consider storing sufficient heating fuel. Regular fuel sources may be cut off. Be cautious of fire hazards when storing any type of fuel.
- If you have a fireplace, consider keeping a supply of firewood or coal. Be sure the fireplace is properly vented and in good working order and that you dispose of ashes safely.
- Consider installing a portable generator, following our safety tips to avoid home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning
- Consider purchasing flood insurance, if you live in a flood-prone area, to cover possible flood damage that may occur during the spring thaw. Homeowners' policies do not cover damage from floods. Ask your insurance agent about the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) if you are at risk. More information on NFIP is available at www.fema.gov/nfip.
Are you READY?
When disaster strikes - Fire, Water, Smoke, etc., are you ready to immediately handle the situation?
The SERVPRO of Hicksville/Plainview Emergency Ready Profile provides the critical information necessary so mitigation and recovery services can begin immediately. The "ERP" is a free tool that we offer to help you get your property back in working order quickly. The ERP works as a quick reference guide of important building and contact info. By working with SERVPRO's Emergency Ready Profile, your business can benefit from our experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster.
The SERVPRO emergency Ready Profile Advantages include:
*A no cost assessment of your facility.
*A concise Profile Document containing the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
*A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
*Information of the chain of command for work authorization.
*Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
Call SERVPRO of Hicksville/Plainview to make an appointment to have your Emergency Ready Profile put together.
Fire Safety Tips for the Workplace
GENERAL PRECAUTIONS IN THE WORKPLACE
Eliminate workplace fire hazards:
- Damaged electrical outlets, cords, cables, etc.
- Overloaded outlets and circuits
- Combustible objects in unsecured locations (included excessive trash and recycling)—keep these far from electrical equipment!
- Fire exit obstacles
Keep workspace and equipment clean, dry, and well-ventilated, and especially clean of oil and dust.
Prepare for emergencies:
- Follow workspace protocol and guidelines to ensure safety and health; know and understand rules and procedures concerning fire emergencies.
- Ensure that smoke alarms and sprinkler systems are installed, working properly, and are not blocked.
- Conduct regular fire drills.
Employers should follow these workplace fire safety tips:
- Post clear fire escape plans on every level.
- Educate all employees on emergency procedures, exit locations, escape routes, fire alarms and drills, and the use of fire extinguishers.
- Conduct regular drills.
- Install and properly maintain all fire safety equipment.
- Provide for disabled employees.
HAZARDOUS ELECTRICS AND EQUIPMENT
Use only electrical products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory (i.e. UL).
Immediately replace damaged, hazardous equipment:
- Look out for anything that appears overheated, smells strange, or delivers electrical shock.
- Replace all damaged, worn, frayed, or old wires.
Only use three-prong plugs in three-slot outlets (and, similarly: two-slot plug into two-slot outlets).
Equipment that emanates substantial heat should be at least several feet away from combustible surfaces and objects.
Fires Causes Around $10 Billion In Damage Per YearDirect property loss due to fires in the U.S. was an estimated $10.6 billion in 2001.(2)100 Firefighters Die Each YearAbout 100 firefighters are killed each year in duty-related incidents.(6)
- Heaters must include a thermostat control mechanism.
- Know and follow an established emergency and evacuation plan.
- Eliminate potential fire hazards.
- Keep the workspace clean, dry, and free of unnecessary clutter and combustible materials and liquids.
- Maintain clear and easy access to all exits.
- Install and maintain all essential fire safety equipment.
- Follow a no-smoking policy within the workplace.
SMOKE ALARMS: A NECESSITY, NOT AN OPTION
Invest smoke detectors for every room or office.
- Install dual sensor smoke alarms; make sure they contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors.
Test your smoke detectors(and sprinkling system) once a month.
Replace the batteries at least once a year (possible exception: non-replaceable 10-year lithium batteries; still, be sure to test them); many manufacturers also encourage a replacement of the smoke detectors after a decade.
Never disable a smoke alarm.
Consider smoke alarms for the disabled.
- Audible alarms (pauses between the siren wail allow for auditory communication) are available for the visually impaired; visual alarms (with a flashing light or vibrating pad) are available for the hearing impaired.
A NO-SMOKING ZONE IS LESS OF A DANGER ZONE
Keep the workspace a no-smoking zone. If you must smoke, smoke outdoors, and always ensure that you properly extinguish the cigarette in a sand-filled can, or drown cigarette butts and ashes in water.
- Never throw away hot cigarette butts or ashes without attending to them properly.
Be alert and then alert others. If you smell or spot fire or smoke, bring it immediately to attention.
Never smoke where oxygen is being used; for instance, in a hospital room or hallway, or at a nursing home. Even if the oxygen is turned off, the building is much more vulnerable—oxygen can be explosive and will only serve to fan the flames.
IN CASE OF FIRE: FOLLOW THE EVACUATION PLAN
Immediately call 911 in case of a fire.
Know and understand the fire emergency and evacuation plan with these workplace fire safety tips:
- Plan at multiple escape routes from as many locations as possible.
- Check the condition of fire ladders and fire escapes; ladders should be collapsible and have been evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory (i.e. UL);
fire escapes need to be stable, secure, and easily accessible.
- Ensure that windows don’t become obstacles; glass should be openedeasily and screens should be swiftly removed.
Never use the elevator. Walk—don’t run—down the stairs.
If you cannot evacuate,
- Remain calm and put as much distance as possible between yourself and the fire.
- Seal all cracks with wet materials (towels, jackets) to prevent smoke from seeping into the room.
- Wait at the window; shout for help and signal your location by waving the most visible object
- Open the window for air, but try not to break it; you may need to close it if smoke begins to seep in.
Practice; can you feel your way out of the office and building with your eyes closed, or in the dark? Do you know multiple escape routes? Do you know the low windows from which you could jump? Do you instinctively use the back of your hand to feel a door’s heat, and do you remain crouched down as close to the floor as possible?
---- Workplace Fire Safety Tips: Sources ----
Why SERVPRO of Hicksville/Plainview is a Better Restoration System
SERVPRO of Hicksville/Plainview is a trusted vendor for the insurance industry. We understand your responsibility to provide results to your shareholders, managers and customers.
SERVPRO of Hicksville/Plainview blends customer service and accountability with proven methods of mitigating damage after water and fire losses. The result is 24-hour emergency mitigation, damage restoration, and a quality job file you can use to download and finalize your claim.
Please take a moment to browse our website to learn details of our services and to hear what our many clients have to say about us. You can be certain we will do our very best to help you and your customer make it "Like it never even happened." Our goal is to serve you, and your clients, with top professional restoration services.
What To Do Until Help Arrives
Fear, uncertainty,stress and doubt about your home after a fire is immense. SERVPRO of Hicksville/Plainview understands these emotions.
Before you risk doing further damage by trying to clean up the damage yourself, give SERVPRO Hicksville/Plainview.
*Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading.
*Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas.
*Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
*Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
*DO NOT wash any walls or painted surfaces.
*DO NOT shampoo carpet or upholstery.
*DO NOT clean any electrical equipment.
*DO NOT send clothes to a dry cleaner.
SERVPRO of Hicksville/Plainview is available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to help you regain control quickly.
Home (Safety) For The Holidays!
The holiday season is here! No matter if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or all three, we’re excited to share in the holiday spirit. It’s easy to get caught up in the festivities, and while you’re busy decorating the house, safety may be one of the last things on your mind.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were 15,000 injuries related to holiday decorations in 2012. Mishaps send about 250 people to the ER daily, with falls, cuts and back strains topping the list of injuries. To ensure you have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season with your friends and family, here are 12 tips to keep in mind as you deck out your home:
1. Keep live trees away from heat sources.
Place your tree away from fireplaces and heaters, and keep a fire extinguisher near your tree. Live trees are highly flammable, due to needles and sap.
2. Hydrate your tree.
A dried-out tree can catch fire faster than one that has been properly watered. Check the water level every other day to ensure proper hydration. Starting with a green tree is one way to keep it from drying out so quickly.
3. Fake it!
If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it’s labeled “fire resistant.” Fire-resistant trees are less susceptible to catching fire.
4. Don’t burn wrapping paper in the fireplace.
Paper can catch fire very quickly and can cause flash fires. Instead, recycle (or better yet, reuse!) your wrapping paper.
5. Work as a team.
When stringing lights and decorations above your normal reach, make sure you use a proper ladder with someone supporting the base.
6. Double-check your lights for safety.
Replace any lights with frayed wires, broken sockets, and loose connections. The CPSC issued new guidelines for seasonal light safety in 2015, setting a minimum wire size, and standards for strain relief and over-current protection.
7. Power down before you turn in.
Turn off all lights when you go to bed and before leaving the house to avoid a short that could start an electrical fire.
8. Prevent electrical cord damage.
Don’t mount lights in a way that might damage the cords, and avoid using nails or tacks. Use hooks or insulated staples instead.
9. Secure candles.
Keep candles on a sturdy base to prevent tipping. Never leave a lit candle unattended.
10. Use unbreakable ornaments.
If you have fragile ornament, place them out of reach from pets and kids.
11. Skip the fake food.
Avoid decorations that look like candy or food if you have young children — or pets — in the house.
12. Beware of poisonous plants.
While festive, poinsettias are poisonous when eaten, so keep them out of reach of kids and pets.
The One Medical blog is published by One Medical, an innovative primary care practice with offices in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, DC.
Any general advice posted on our blog, website, or app is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute for any medical or other advice. The One Medical Group entities and 1Life Healthcare, Inc. make no representations or warranties and expressly disclaim any and all liability concerning any treatment, action by, or effect on any person following the general information offered or provided within or through the blog, website, or app. If you have specific concerns or a situation arises in which you require medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified medical services provider.
Making the correct decision when you encounter a water damage
A flooded basement is no fun. You have a big mess and you need help now. Any type of devastation in your home or office can be disastrous. It is important to do your homework when hiring a contractor. Some companies dabble in restoration work, but, in fact, they just specialize in carpet cleaning or reconstruction. Here are some things to consider when you are looking for a reliable water restoration company in an event of an emergency.
Construction companies may offer restoration services, but they don’t have the proper training and expertise to be a restoration company. To restore something means to bring it back to what it looked like before. A restoration company should be certified in water and fire damage.
When an emergency happens, it usually isn’t going to happen during business hours. You want a company that can start to work right away. You want a company with 24-hour representatives that can get to your home quickly. You want to talk to a live representative day or night. You don’t want to wait till business hours to call. The longer that water and fire damage is left sitting, the worse the situation will become.
Any company who is reputable should stand behind their work.
You also want a company that can start to work right away. The longer you delay and allow the damage to sit, the more problems it is going to cause.
You have the power to hire any water restoration company that you think is best and SERVPRO is here to help you with all your restoration needs.
Holiday Cooking Safety Tip
Thanksgiving is a time for family and holiday traditions including taste tested, Thanksgiving recipes. It's also a time where family members may want to join in the food preparation so fire safety is important. With the speed of deep-frying a turkey, the irresistible flavor, and juiciness that results, turkey frying has become a Thanksgiving tradition for some. But turkey fryers have the potential to cause fire and serious injury, which is why organizations like Underwriters Laboratories and the National Fire Protection Association advises against using them. If you plan to deep-fry your holiday bird, be sure you know how to safely use the fryer, and take these precautions to protect yourself, your guests and your home.
Many first-timers fill the fryer with too much oil or attempt to fry a turkey that isn't entirely thawed. Both mistakes can cause serious fires. U.S. fire departments respond to more than 1,000 fires each year in which a deep-fryer is involved.
Tips to help prevent deep fried turkey accidents
- Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.
- Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water that mixes into the hot oil can cause flare-ups.
- Watch the weather. Never operate a fryer outdoors in the rain or snow.
- Place the fryer on a level surface and avoid moving it once it's in use.
- Leave 2 feet between the tank and the burner when using a propane-powered fryer.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid overfilling. Oil can ignite when it makes contact with the burner.
- Choose a smaller turkey for frying. A bird that's 8 to 10 pounds is best; pass on turkeys over 12 pounds.
- Never leave fryers unattended.
- Purchase a fryer with temperature controls and watch the oil temperature carefully. Cooking oil that is heated beyond its smoke point can catch fire. If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the fryer off.
- Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner on.
- Wear goggles to shield your eyes, use oven mitts to protect your hands and arms and keep an "ABC" or grease-rated fire extinguisher close by. Do not to use water or a garden hose on a fire related to Turkey Fryers.
- Skip the stuffing when frying turkey and avoid water-based marinades.
- Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.
- Once finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner, place it on a level surface and cover to let the oil cool overnight before disposing.
- Opt for an oil-less fryer. This uses infrared heat, rather than oil, to cook the turkey.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® or SERVPRO. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. Neither SERVPRO or State Farm makes any guarantees of results from use of this information.
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