Teaching Kids about Preparedness
We have reached the final week of National Preparedness Month! This week we are focusing on teaching the younger generation about preparedness.
One of the toughest jobs as parents is talking to your kids about difficult topics. There’s so much nonsense in the world that you want to keep from your kids and ensure that their innocence is protected. However, we know that the world doesn’t stop for anyone, and the best way to protect them is through proper education.
Addressing difficult topics, such as emergency preparedness, can empower your kids, and strengthen the family bond. Also, there are many opportunities to turn an educational lesson to fun and engaging exercises that your kids can enjoy.
FUN WAYS TO TEACH KIDS ABOUT PREPAREDNESS
- Practice your emergency plan: role-playing will ensure that your kids understand what do to in times of emergency. You can take turns being the emergency plan leader and see who remembers your family plan best.
- Treasure hunt: Hide some emergency supplies around the house and for every tool they find and correctly describe the purpose of the supply, they get a special treat!
- Make a Song: Bring out your best rhyming skills and create a step by step jingle of do’s and don’t. It can put your child at ease and could help them remember during a time of a crisis
- Get Creative: You know your family best! Create a game the whole family can play that you know your child will love and learn from.
Children face particular vulnerabilities during a disaster, however, they do have unique abilities to prepare themselves as well as their families, schools, and communities. Educating the youth about preparedness helps them become a positive influencer, become leaders, and help them become future prepared adults.
If You Can Gaze Into the Future... | Preventing Accidents at Home
We’ve approached week 3 of the National Preparedness Month. This week, We will discuss the importance of preparing for disaster.
Wouldn’t it be great you knew a disaster was coming before it happens? Just imagine, you’re sitting down, enjoying your meal with your family. Then suddenly, you get an odd flash in your eyes and you’re able to catch a glimpse of your ruined basement that has been flooded by next week’s hurricane. Now that you know what’s going to happen, you’d set yourself up however you can, and immediately!
But, unless you’re a Disney Channel character, you probably don’t have psychic abilities. However, there are simple ways to prevent accidents from becoming catastrophic or from happening at all. Here is a comprehensive suggestions list to prevent further damages.
Preventing Accidents At Home
- Make an emergency plan
- Changing smoke detector batteries as soon as they die
- Have your wiring installation checked at least once every five years by an approved contractor, or straight away if you are buying an older property
- Opening windows and turning off suppliers if you suspect a gas leak
- Taking out built-up lint from the dryer vent
- Have electric blankets serviced and checked regularly
- Never leave any pans unattended while cooking.
Despite how trivial these suggestions may be, many accidents could have been avoided if simple tasks would have been implemented. But until you’re able to see into the future, we strongly encourage preparing for the worst. Lastly, as always, if you need any additional help while dealing with home damages, SERVPRO is always here to help.
For more information on how to prevent an accident at home visit https://www.rospa.com/Home-Safety/Advice/General/Preventing-Accidents-in-the-Home.aspx and ready.gov
Have You Checked Your Emergency Toolkit? | Basic Supply List To Help You Survive A Disaster
We’ve reached Week 2 of National Preparedness Month! This week we will focus on building a Disaster kit. If you haven’t assembled a tool kit, you should consider creating one, and fast! According to III.org, September is the most common month for hurricanes in the United States. Luckily, Hurricane Laura wasn’t able to reach Maryland; However, we are still vulnerable to wreckings of natural disasters. Thunderstorms and high winds are inevitable in the late summer season, which means there is a higher chance that you might experience a power outage or other damaging inconveniences. Below, we suggest some items to keep in your toolkit to help deal with a disaster.
Basic Survival Kit Supply List
- Plastic container to store all your items
- Enough water bottles and Nonparchiable food for the household to last you 3 days
- Portable charger (solar panel options are highly recommended)
- Extra batteries
- Fully stocked first aid kit
- Local Map
- Glowsticks (Highly recommended if you have kids, a good way to keep them entertained)
- Battery-powered fan
- Fire Extinguisher
- Blanket or Sleeping bag
- 4-1 Emergency Tool Kit
- Sanitary Wipes
- Feminine supplies and other hygiene items
- Your favorite source of entertainment!
Now, these are just common items that we recommend to the general public, but we encourage everyone to customize their toolkit to best fit their household. Consider the unique needs of your family members, such as the elderly, infants, or pets. Lastly, we recommend that you check your toolkit periodically, to make sure you have the necessary tools to face an unexpected power outage. For more information please visit https://www.ready.gov/kit
Is Your Family Prepared For The Next Emergency?
Logo for National Preparedness Month provided by ready.gov
September is National Preparedness Month! (NPM). This month we will be promoting family and community disaster planning. Each week we will highlight a specific theme to help you stay proactive and safe.
Week 1: Make a Plan
Each region of the United States deals with different natural disasters. Therefore, each household must know the most common national disaster for that area. Each emergency plan will be different. So, with the help of ready.gov, we provided a guide to help with strategizing your custom Emergency Plan.
Step 1: Communicate with household members
Make sure all household members are present during the meeting, to eliminate any misunderstandings. Establish important protocols such as
- Best way to receive emergency alerts/warnings
- House shelter plan
- Evacuation route
- Household communication plan
- Creating or updating emergency preparedness kit
- Review the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) Coronavirus prevention guide and update the proposed plan if necessary.
Step 2: Understand the specific needs of the household
As you craft your emergency plan, make sure it is a realistic plan for each member. Here some factors to take into consideration when executing your plan
- Did you assign a designated assistant?
- Does the emergency food fit everyone’s dietary needs? (Diabetes, Baby Formula, Vegan, etc.)
- Does your first aid kit reflect everyone medical needs (Extra Inhaler, Epi-pen, Vital Medications, etc.)
- Does the plan respect each house member’s cultural and religious consideration?
- Did you think about the Pets/Service animals?
- Is the proposed plan functional for each member? ( Disabled members, infants, and young children, etc.)
Step 3: Fill out the Emergency Plan
A PDF Emergency plan for parents is available for download at ready.gov/plan, Or you can write your own.
Step 4: Practice, Practice, Practice
Hold practice drills with all household members with different scenarios.
If you’d like more information about disaster planning, please visit ready.gov. Stay safe everyone!
Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage according to the National Fire Protection Association. The most frequent causes of fires in dryers are lint/dust (29%) and clothing (28%). In washers, they are wire or cable insulation (26%), the appliance housing (21%) or the drive belt (15%).
Dryers were involved in 92% of the Washer/Dryer fires; the risk of fire was basically the same for both gas and electric-powered dryers.
- Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
- For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
- Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
- Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
- Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.
Unexpected Water Damage
SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.
We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it is the cornerstone of our business.
What to Expect
When you call us, we will ask questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring. This includes how many trained SERVPRO professionals we may need.
Our SERVPRO Representative will ask questions:
- Your name and contact information
- Your insurance information (if applicable)
- The street address of the water-damaged home or business
- When did the flooding or water damage occur?
- What caused the water damage (if known)?
- Is there electricity available (on-site)?
SERVPRO of Bethesda / Potomac is here for you 24/7 all 365 days of the year. Call us at 301-530-7400.
Faster to Any Size Water Damage
SERVPRO provides 24/7/365 fire and water damage restoration service.
We do not wait for regular business hours. SERVPRO provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.
Faster To Any Size Disaster
Flooding and water damage is invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, plus more. SERVPRO arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
If you need further assistance with your water damage, please call SERVPRO of Bethesda / Potomac at 301-530-7400.
Commercial Building Storm Damage
When preparing for an upcoming spring storm, protecting your home is the priority and something you should take seriously. As a business owner, you have to do double duty because it is crucial to ensure that your business is as secure as your home.
Here are a few ways to help you avoid storm damage to your commercial property:
1. Watch, Listen, or Read
By watching the local news channel, listening to the radio throughout your commute, or reading a weather app on your phone, you will know exactly what is coming your way as well as how to prepare for it.
2. Protect the Property
Be knowledgeable about where your pipes are located. With a quick visit to the hardware store, you can gather insulation supplies for the pipes that are easy to reach. Hate the drip, drip, drip from a leaky faucet? In the event of a cold front that brings freezing weather, turning the faucet on to a drip can help you avoid a potential serious and costly pipe break. This is because the drip keeps the water moving in the pipe and does not allow it to sit and freeze. When left alone, the water can freeze and expand, and this pressure is what will break a pipe.
3. Ask for Help
Utilize others’ knowledge on how to keep your business safe. Know who you can call to help prevent damage or to fix an already broken pipe. Save the phone number of a cleanup and restoration company in your phone contacts for quick reference in case of an emergency.
No one wants to deal with the headache of storm damage or a pipe break. By being prepared and creating a plan for your business, you can ease the burden of an upcoming winter storm. Your business storm strategy can also be easily applied to your home so that you won’t have to worry if a storm hits while you’re at work.
The Fire is Out, Now What?
Residential and commercial fires are unpredictable and can be devastating.
Hopefully you have given thought to fire prevention for your home. In addition to taking these steps, you have also developed an escape plan with your family. In the unfortunate case of a serious fire, would you know where to turn after the fire crews leave?
SERVPRO of Bethesda / Potomac, 301-530-7400, is the simple, effective solution. We'll respond quickly and get to work restoring your property.
One of the first steps in our fire damage restoration process is the inspection.
Without proper and careful inspection, we cannot be sure of risk factors in the environment, the extent of damage, critical utility locations, and numerous other important factors. Inspection can sometimes be a lengthy process, as SERVPRO inspectors have to look for and catalog many different factors.
Here are some of the things that we look for in homes that have taken fire damage.
One of the most important considerations when inspecting fire damage is structural stability. Fires, as they burn through supports and other structural components, can create unstable conditions and high potential for collapse. Our technicians look for signs of structural weakening to ensure the safety of both you and SERVPRO technicians, such as warped walls, burned columns, caved-in ceilings, buckled door frames, and scraping between doors, windows, and their upper frames. Any of these may be an indicator of a weakened structure, so knowing of them before any work begins has the potential to save lives.
Spots for Tarping and Boarding
Immediately following inspection, our crews move in with tarps and boards to seal up any windows, doors, or holes in the home that leave it open to the elements. Inspectors look for these openings and compose plans to seal them most effectively.
Of course, the central part of any fire damage inspection is what has been hurt, and how much. Inspectors will catalog items, surfaces, and areas which have taken damage, describing in detail for our other teams how bad the situation is and what factors caused it. From there, our technicians can work to apply appropriate cleanup processes and measures. If you have used our ERP (Emergency Ready Profile) system, this process may be greatly accelerated as our inspectors will have access to plans and inventory lists beforehand.
SERVPRO of Bethesda / Potomac works with you to get fire damage cleaned up quickly, cheaply, and with the minimal safety concern. Call us at all hours at 301-530-7400
You Can Count on Team SERVPRO
When commercial property owners and managers are expected to produce excellent business operations and a disaster strikes, it can be an overwhelming experience for these individuals. SERVPRO has completed some of the area’s largest disasters including the Pentagon clean up after 9-11, the U.S. Treasury, NIH, Francis Scott Key schools, Georgetown University, Howard University, and the Department of Health. We also assist with any industrial services. Facility managers love working with SERVPRO and rely on us for their disaster solutions.
General adjusters and consultants in D.C. Metro area trust SERVPRO with their largest losses and overwhelmingly complicated claims.
Some of our specialties include, but are not limited to:
- Small Office Buildings
- Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
- Apartment Buildings
- Small Retail Stores
- Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
- High-Rise Residential
- Manufacturing & Industrial
- Commercial Disaster Recovery Services
- Commercial Reconstruction
When a disaster strikes, SERVPRO is here to make it seem “Like it never even happened.” Choose SERVPRO of Bethesda / Potomac as your team who will assist you with any future disaster.