National Preparedness Month: Storm Damage and Power Outages
An incoming storm surrounds an open field with power lines
Wisconsin experienced a high volume of tornadoes this past July. According to the National Weather Service, 16 touched down in just three days. These widespread storms forged through our state with winds speeds ranging from 90 to 120 mph. The damage in most areas was catastrophic.
One of the biggest factors preventing residence from the task of recovering and assessing their property damage was the power outages. Being without power for a short or extended period can be a costly factor for some homeowners. Knowing how to prepare for a power outage can help your family salvage more of your resources.
There are several ways you can keep your homestead functioning as well as you possibly can if the power were to go out unexpectedly.
Prepare in advance for a power outage:
- Invest in flashlights, a battery-operated radio, and, of course, extra batteries. There are even lanterns used for camping that double as a phone charger. Remember to check your items occasionally to ensure they're all functioning and store them together for easy access.
- Always have bottled water and a variety of snacks that do not require refrigeration.
- An easy-to-miss but crucial consideration: if you have medication that needs to be refrigerated, remember to ask your pharmacist for information on storing it during a power outage.
Tips for your family once the power is out:
- Don't open the refrigerator or freezer door if you can help it. Refrigerated food can stay cold (and safe for consumption) for up to 4 hours, while frozen food can last up to 48 hours if the freezer is densely packed (or 24 hours if it's not as full). For more on food safety in an emergency, check out these guidelines from the USDA.
- To avoid a power surge when the electricity returns, turn off computers, TVs, and other nonessential electronics. But be sure to leave a light on so you'll know when the power is restored.
- If someone has medical equipment that requires electricity, call for help or get them to a place where the power is working.
In the aftermath of a power outage due to harsh weather, practice extreme caution if you go outside to survey the damages after a storm.
Remember that fallen trees or other wreckage can hide downed or hanging electrical wires. Always assume that a downed line is a live line and highly dangerous.
SERVPRO of West Brown County knows your family's well being is your number one priority and wants everyone to be safe. Allow us to be there with helping eliminate some of the burdens you're facing in the aftermath of any storm destruction inflicted upon your home.
We have technicians on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ready to go into action when they are needed. If flood waters hit your home in the middle of the night, or a fire breaks out on Christmas Day, our technicians will be there for you to start the recovery work immediately.
If you need emergency clean up or restoration work in the West Brown County area, call us any time at, (920) 541- 2128
National Preparedness Month: Preparing Your Kids for Natural Disasters
A group of four children standing outside wearing coats and rain boots
West Brown County experienced more than its fair share of storms throughout this summer.
As an adult, we tend to develop ideas over the years of how we should prepare our place of residence for natural disasters that commonly frequent the State of Wisconsin. One important matter that may get overlooked during the preparation process is forgetting to include the younger members of the family as part of that procedure.
Kids and teens should learn invaluable techniques to better equip them for a variety of severe weather disturbances or everyday household disasters. Taking the proper precautionary steps to formulate an emergency plan could help reduce any occurrence of anxiety when such unexpected events transpire.
Some helpful tips on how to prepare your children for natural disasters include:
- Offer them facts on the typical weather developments for our region or emergencies that would generally involve first responders being dispatched.
- Focus on types of hazards that could affect the home: a place to seek immediate shelter in the event a tornado develops or prompt evacuation as a result of a fire.
- Create then test out your family disaster plan. Just as your child practices fire drills at school, disaster drills at home are an excellent way to review what to do during a crisis. Model the exercise for your children and then have them participate either monthly or every few months to see if revisions should be made to your established plan.
These above examples are one way to assure your loved ones every precautionary measure is being made to keep them safe during what could be an incredibly disastrous period.
Another thing you may want to implement into your planning process is a backup plan where the younger members of the family know how to best assist you if you’re distracted by certain emergency matters. You may have your hands full with trying to divert water from overflowing in your basement or distinguishing a fire that suddenly erupts from an electrical matter. Other times you may become injured and need some type of medical assistance. Knowing your kids have the right resources in place could not only help get your household back on their feet but ease their mind because you prepared them for such events.
Your families primary focus should be more on keeping everyone safe. Let the trained technicians at SERVPRO of West Brown County take some of the worries off your hands by clearing out the damage to your residence.
SERVPRO of West Brown County offers:
Restoration work following storms or interior damage to your home is a cornerstone of the SERVPRO business. Give our trained technicians a call at, (920) 434-8224.
Preparedness Profile: Devise a Business Continuity Plan That Will Benefit Your Company and Employees
A the outside wall of a commercial building is engulfed in large flames
Natural disasters typically occur with little to no warning. Often the economic impact of a company can be just as devastating as the destructive aftermath the storm leaves behind. Preparation is the best defense against these disasters.
As a best practice, all businesses should have a continuity and disaster recovery plan to address these unforeseen forces of nature.
A few considerations for compiling a well-executed Business Continuity Plan may include the following:
Assemble a Team
Build your team, so each member is aware of their roles and which recovery task they're responsible for. This team should be able to address all your plans from preparation to completion.
Devise a Plan
One of the essential components of a business continuity plan is mapping out a strategy. Use this opportunity to classify critical procedures and people that keep the business running.
- Make a list of all the disruptions that could potentially hinder your operations.
- Determine the functions that are most critical to everyday business processes.
- Express practical recovery strategies for each probable disaster scenario.
Educate and Train
- Your employees should know the objectives, requirements, and critical components of your plan, then create a training program that helps them develop the skills needed to execute that strategy.
How Your Business Could be Impacted
Once you've identified all the potential threats to your daily operations, it's time to analyze the impact of those threats.
- Depending on your set-up and geographical location, you may need to think of an extensive list.
- This could include flood, fire, hurricane, or earthquakes.
- The probability of some of these natural disasters transpiring may hit once in a lifetime.
- There are others which have a higher likelihood of that situation happening. In that case, spend more emphasis on those matters.
A flood could easily cause water damage that requires replacement of servers and other equipment, while a fire could result in a situation where you're forced to shut down.
Did you know that SERVPRO of West Brown County specializes in fire damage, especially devastating for a business or commercial property?
In addition to the fire and smoke damage, significant water damage from firefighting efforts and fire suppression systems may occur. Every hour spent restoring your business back to pre-fire condition is an hour of lost revenue and productivity.
In the unfortunate event your business experiences a fire loss, call the fire and water damage restoration experts and we’ll respond immediately to get you back to business.
Services we offer our business or commercial property owners:
- 24 Hour Emergency Service
- Faster to Any Size Disaster
- A Trusted Leader in the Fire and Water Restoration Industry with over 1,700 Franchises
- Highly Trained Fire and Water Damage Restoration Specialists
It is important to test and update your business continuity plan annually. The purpose of testing is to run simulations that allow you to evaluate your team's level of preparedness. Those test results can be used to tweak and update your plan over time.
Business continuity planning ensures that disruptions have minimal impact on day-to-day operations.
When you are in the process of testing your company’s level of preparedness, don’t forget to include SERVPRO of West Brown County as part of that procedure.
Give us a call at, (920) 434-8224, and a trained commercial property team member will see how we may better serve your business needs.
Storm Damage in West Brown County: SERVPRO Is Always Here for You
A residential building with rain gutters full of rain water during a storm
When you live in the State of Wisconsin, you learn to adapt to the way the seasons change faster than you can blink. One moment you're bundled up in a winter coat with at least three layers underneath it. Then the next minute, you are cranking up the air conditioner trying to keep cool because the temps reached a record high in a month that we typically experience freezing temps.
Just think about all that your house endures with those swift climate changes. We want the dwelling we live in to withstand any natural disaster. Our treasured belongings stay stored within those walls, as well as those mementos occasions we create with loved ones. Not taking all of the proper precautions to keep our home up to code could leave us without those cherished keepsakes, making new memories and at a substantial financial loss.
While various factors can damage our home's foundation - earthquakes, extreme temperatures, tree roots; moisture is the number one culprit that weakens and compromises the home's base.
Once water collects around your house from rain, snow, or burst pipes, the saturated soil around the foundation expands and shift — the pressure on the foundation walls increases and results in cracks. Leaks form allowing water to penetrate the foundation and cause electrical hazards, mold growth, and structural damage to the house.
There are a few precautionary measures you could take to lessen the chance of your home enduring such structural damages.
- Clean rain gutters: Inspect your gutters or schedule a licensed professional to clean them annually. A clogged rain gutter can send water cascading down the exterior wall, which can result in water entering the interior walls.
- Roof maintenance: Where rain is concerned, the roof is the first line of defense. Regular maintenance can preserve the life expectancy of your home's roof.
- Window repairs: Proper window installation and maintenance is imperative. Leaks in your windows could be the result of poor maintenance or missing caulking.
At SERVPRO of West Brown County, we make it OUR business to respond to storm damage immediately. If your property is struck unexpectedly by a storm or natural disaster, we will work quickly and efficiently to fix the problem and get your life back on track.
In the event of your house sustains significant weather-related damages, call our trained technicians at West Brown County SERVPRO.
We're available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 920-434-8224.
SERVPRO of West Brown County is here to help with storm damage
A couple of months ago, a storm spread across our region and caused some damage in our area. Fierce winds and heavy rain left thousands without power and damage to homes. According to the WE Energies website, it was estimated that more than 70,000 customers were affected and out of power in the Green Bay area. After a storm, you may want to inspect the damage. What exactly should you look for? How can we stay safe while assess a property? Check out the tips we have provided below:
Staying safe after a storm
After a storm, you may want to evaluate the damage a storm has done to your property, here’s some tips on staying safe:
- Watch out for broken glass and nails
- Be careful of power lines, always stay at least 10 feet away and alert police and the local utility company
- It is advised that you use a flashlight instead of an open flame such as a candle
Inspecting damage on your property after storm damage
- Look for fallen branches and/or trees
- Holes in the roof
- Missing shingles
- Check your property’s windows for any cracks, dents, etc.
- Check your gutters
If you experience any type of water damage it is important to call the experts as soon as possible. SERVPRO of West Brown County is ready to restore your home or commercial property. The sooner you call us, the more we can restore such as important documents, furniture, etc.
SERVPRO of West Brown County is faster to any sized disaster
SERVPRO of West Brown County is a locally owned company so we’re also a part of the Green Bay community and we take great pride and joy helping our neighbors recover from storm damage (and other clean-ups and restorations). We’re equipped with the proper equipment to handle any disaster both in your home and commercial property.
Call us today if you need help, we’re here for you, (920) 434-8224
Preventing Water Damage
Water damage can be a frustrating event that one can experience. Although we hope you never have to experience such an event, SERVPRO of West Brown County is always ready to help you with any water damage needs you may have. We are able 24/7 365 days a year! Luckily there are a few things homeowners and business owners can do to prevent water from happening in the first place.
Inspect your roof
Your roof is constantly exposed to sunlight, rain, and many other things. You should inspect your roof regularly especially after a heavy thunderstorm. Look for shingles that are missing or loose, or any heavy wear.
Clean your gutters
You should clean your gutters regularly to ensure proper drainage. If you put off cleaning your gutters, in a worst-case scenario, your foundation could settle cracking your basement walls.
Test your sump pump regularly
Sump pumps are incredibly important devices that help keep your home safe from any water damage. You should check your sump pump at least yearly, ideally, you’d want to check your sump pump after heavy storms to ensure it is properly working.
Check for leaks
Check your pipes regularly to make sure there are no leaks. You should have your pipes repaired as soon as possible to avoid any further problems such as mold.
Bonus tip: Check your water bill
If you notice your water bill is higher than usual it might be a cause for concern. There could be a potential leak, or something is just not right. Check it out before any more damage occurs.
Call in the professionals
If water damage does happen in your home or business, rest assured that SERVPRO of West Brown County is ready to help you. We are available at any time or day, and since we’re local, we’re faster to any sized disaster!
Call us, we are here for you at (920) 434-8224.
August is Water Quality Month
August is national water quality. With the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, we often don’t think about how great it is to be able to turn on the tap and have clean water run through. This month is National Water Quality month, which means it’s a perfect time to educate ourselves on how we can continue to maintain great water quality.
Use a trash can, not the sink
While you may think throwing trash in the sink is a good idea, it might not be. Avoid tossing motor oil, medical prescriptions, paint, etc. We certainly don’t want products like those in our water. Harmful contaminants can leak into our water system.
Don’t use pesticides or fertilizer
Fertilizers and pesticides can run off the soil and contaminate our waterways that provide us our clean drinking water. Being exposed to the chemicals that pesticides and fertilizers contain, can be harmful to both humans and animals.
Use the car-wash
If possible, you should avoid washing your car in your garage or driveway. Washing your vehicle in your driveway can flush contaminates down the drain and seep into our streams and lakes. Instead, you may consider washing your car through the car wash. A professional car-wash is required to drain their water to the sewage system.
Pick up pet waste
Animal waste can contain harmful bacteria. It’s important to pick up after our pets so that their waste does not run into our water supplies and drains. Instead, consider throwing your pet’s waste in a recycled plastic pet waste bag and in the trash can.
To keep enjoying our safe and clean water, you may want to consider joining a community cleanup crew. Educate yourself and learn from others to continuing keeping our water and environment clean!
SERVPRO of West Brown County Cares
SERVPRO of West Brown County cares about our community. Whether you’ve experienced water damage or fire damage, we are here to help to make it seem “Like it never even happened.”
Common causes of a house fire
Homeowners in our Green Bay community can do many things to prevent a house fire. In fact, most house fires can be prevented. When a fire occurs, it can damage and destroy many personal items as well as costing homeowners thousands in structural cleaning, deodorizing, and repairs. So, what are the most common cause of house fires and how can we prevent them?
Common causes of a house fire
Most kitchens can become a potential fire hazard if left unsupervised. According to the National Fire Protection Association, unattended cooking was the leading cause of cooking fires and casualties. It’s a smart idea to always stay in the kitchen when frying, broiling, or grilling. Make sure loose clothing and towels are secured prior to cooking.
Careless smoking is a real danger inside a home. You should not smoke if you are drowsy or taking a medication that affects your judgment. Make sure your cigarette is completely put off before throwing it away. A still lit cigarettes can easily start a fire. If you must smoke indoors, make sure your ashtray is deep and away from items that are flammable.
While candles are fun and smell nice, they are an open flame. You should always be in the same room if you have a candle burning. Never leave a candle burning when you are not home. Always keep candles away from children and pets. You may want to consider switching to candles powered by LED lights.
Did you know? The top three days for home candle fires are New Year’s Day, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.
Ideally, you should have your furnace (and chimney if you have one) equipment inspected yearly by a qualified technician. Out of all the heating equipment, space heaters are the leading heating equipment that cause fires. Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from items such as curtains, bedding, or paper products. Ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are properly working by pushing the ‘test’ button on the alarm. Having a smoke alarm that is working can alert you and increase your chances of surviving a fire.
Here to help
A fire can be an emotional time for any homeowner, but we are here to help you through the process. We have the experience, knowledge, equipment and processes needed to effectively recover from a fire and it’s soot, smoke odor, and damage. SERVPRO of West Brown County ensures that you will be taken care in a time of need should a fire start in your home. You can call at any time (920) 434-8224.
Staying safe in higher temperatures
We are definitely feeling the temperatures rise in Green Bay (and our surrounding areas) this week! Not only can it be miserable and uncomfortable if you stay outside for several hours, but it can also cause potential dangers in extreme heat situations.
You can prepare yourself and your home ahead of the heat with these tips provided by ready.gov:
Keep your home cool by doing the following:
- Cover windows with drapes or shades.
- Weather-strip doors and windows.
- Use window reflectors, such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
- Add insulation to keep the heat out.
- Use attic fans to clear hot air.
- Install window air conditioners and insulate around them.
If possible, postpone any outdoor activities to prevent heat stroke and exhaustion.
If you suspect a person is suffering from a heat stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately, and move that person to a safe cool location.
If you must be outside, ready.gov has provided some helpful tips for dealing with heat stroke:
- Never leave a child, adult, or animal alone inside a vehicle
- Find places with air conditioning. Libraries, shopping malls, and community centers can provide a cool place to take a break from the heat.
- If you’re outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Avoid high-energy activities.
- Check yourself, family members, and neighbors for signs of heat-related illness.
Use caution when using electric fans when the temperature outside is more than 95 degrees, as this could increase the risk of heat-related illness. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature.
SERVPRO of East Brown County cares about our community. If experience fire damage, water damage, or storm damage we are ready to help. We are only a call away if you need us!
Call us today (920) 434-8224.
Flood insurance, do you need it?
According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, affecting every single state. While hurricanes are mostly responsible for massive flooding disasters, other causes of flooding from outdoor sources can include snow melting and heavy rain. While many homeowner insurance policies cover flooding from sources inside your home like a broken pipe or leaky water heater, they typically do not cover flood damages from outdoor sources. It may be a wise idea to purchase a flooding insurance policy, even if your home isn’t in a high-risk area. Just one inch of flood water can cost thousands of dollars! Purchasing a flood insurance policy may save you time and money, helping you and your family recover faster.
When should I purchase a flood insurance policy?
Your home does not need to be in a high-risk area to experience flooding. Floods can happen anywhere. More than 20 percent of flood claims come from properties outside the high-risk flood zone. It is wise to look at your neighborhood and talk to longtime residents about the frequency of flooding. If there is a pattern that is concerning, it may be a good investment to obtain a flood policy. So, when exactly should you purchase a flood insurance policy? A flood insurance policy typically takes 30 days to go into effect. Any damages that occur before the 30 days, will not be covered. Essentially, now is the right time to purchase a flooding policy if you need one.
What is covered by a flood insurance policy?
A flood insurance policy covers outdoor flooding sources on two types of property: the structure of your home and the contents within it. Remember, each has their own deductibles. The coverage for the structure of your home typically includes:
- Water heaters
- Electrical and plumbing
- Central air systems and furnace
- Refrigerators, cooking stoves and built-in appliances, etc.
- Damage done to walls and floors etc
Contents covered under your flood insurance policy can include:
- Curtains, wall hangings, and other personal items.
How Do I buy flood insurance?
Speak with your insurance agent, to learn more about the government assisted flooding insurance and private insurance policies. Your insurance agent well know what insurance policy is best suited for your home or business.
SERVPRO of West Brown County is ready to cleanup water damage
Cleaning up water damage is critical to prevent any mold growth and further damages. Hiring a professional company can make things easier for residential and commercial property owners. Here at SERVPRO of West Brown County, we pride ourselves with being able to handle any-sized disaster, both commercial and residential. Call us today! (920) 434-8224.