Warning signs of disaster scams
When natural disasters strike such as Hurricane Harvey and Irma, many people immediately ask what they can do to help. Some may volunteer at disaster sites, while others may offer financial donations from afar. While donors'efforts are always sincere. Fraudulent websites, bulk email solicitations and texting scams that encourage donations are each means by which criminals take advantage of conscientious donors. As eager as prospective donors may be to lend a financial hand when disaster strikes, it's important to take the time to confirm that an organization is legitimate and not an operation organized by fraudsters looking to make a fast buck. Research the organization before donating. If they are asking for personal information such as social security numbers or using high pressure tactics this may be an indication of a scam.
Other scammers may stop by and knock on doors and promise to restore property and contents immediately if you can pay upfront. This should be an immediate red flag. Do not ever hand over payment before work begins. Legitimate contractors and restoration companies will walk you through to process and have you sign a contract explained exactly what work will be done and the payment agreements. Also, ask for references or contact the BBB and make sure they are a reputable company.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, flooding is becoming more frequent along the coastlines of the United States. Studying measurements from tide gauges at locations along U.S. coasts, the NOAA found that nearly every site measured has experienced an increase in coastal flooding since the 1950s. The mid-Atlantic region experienced the highest number of coastal flood days and also the largest increases in flooding from 1950 to 2015. Since 2010, no area has flooded more often than Wilmington, North Carolina, which flooded an average of 49 days per year. The United States Environmental Protection Agency notes that higher sea levels pose a number of threats to coastal communities, including making coastal infrastructure more vulnerable to damage from storms because that infrastructure was not designed to withstand frequent inundation or exposure to salt water. Coastal flooding, the EPA notes, also can affect human health by increasing the risk that drinking water and wastewater infrastructure will fail, potentially exposing people to pathogens and harmful chemicals.
But flooding is not exclusive to coastlines or waterway. Flash flooding, hurricanes, and prolonged rainy season cans affect any property not just those in a flood plane. Knowing this having a conversation with you insurance provider to determine what is and isn't covered in your policy will help prepare you in the event that this happens to you.
September is National Preparedness Month
SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville realizes no one plans on being affected by a disaster but we can help you prepare for one. September is National Preparedness Month and we want to help you prepare your home and business for whatever comes your way.
The first step in your planning process is to determine what type of disasters your plan will cover. You may want to begin with the most common type of situation in your area such as flash flooding or tornadoes. Know how to contact each member of your family throughout the day in the event of an emergency situation is critical as is establishing a family meeting place. Having a clear thought out plan can save time which could be critical.
Next thing to consider is a list of the supplies each family member (both two and four legged) needs specifically for their daily living needs. Remember to include medications, water, sanitary supplies such as diapers and wipes. If you are storing canned food remember to pack a manual can opener. A weather radio and extra batteries are important if this is a slow moving event.
If this still seems a bit overwhelming, SERVPRO offers and free mobile based emergency response plan or “ERP” that can help you begin the process. The app is free and can be downloaded for any android/iphone mobile device. We even offer to complete these profiles for free for businesses. Having a plan in place can’t prevent a disaster from occurring but preparing for one can help you get back to your life much more quickly.
SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville can make it “Like it never even happened.”
SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville 336-224-2565
When a disaster affects your home who do you turn to? There is so much uncertainty when disasters occur it can become overwhelming and confusing. Big issues are easier to handle such as if you have a leaky pipe, you call a plumber to repair. Who do you call if your grandmother’s antique china cabinet is covered in smoke and soot? When you trust the professionals of SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville you know that all of your possessions will be handled with the upmost care. Our repair not replace philosophy means whenever possible we restore your possession to preloss conditions. Once repairs are made we can inventory and secure your items until repairs are completed in your home. If a disaster should strike your home give us a call at 336-224-2565 and we can make it “Like it never even happened.” #SERVPROLexington #SERVPROThomasville #HereToHelp
Preventing Illness in the Office
Work families share many things together, offices, supplies and sometimes illnesses. When working in close quarters with others, it’s not surprising that stomach bugs or colds get passed the office.
Germs, bacteria and viruses can spread easily through the air and on surfaces. According to Healthwatch it’s possible for certain viruses and bacteria to live on nonporous surfaces for hours and even days. However, The Mayo Clinic says that, while it’s possible to catch the flu or a cold after handling an object an infected person sneezed or coughed on a few moments ago, personal contact with an infected person such as a handshake or breathing in droplets from a cough or sneeze is the most common way germs are spread.
While employee’s are often told to stay at home when feeling ill, it’s not possible to avoid the co-worker’s entirely when they are feeling under the weather, there are some steps that individuals can take to help staunch the spread of illness at home, in school and around the office.
Wash hands regularly
Good hand hygiene is the most effective way to prevent the spread of germs. Hands should be washed before eating, after preparing food, after coughing, after touching items in public areas, and after using the restroom.
Clean hygiene hot spots in the office
It’s impossible to kill every germ in the office, but regular cleaning and disinfecting high-risk areas can prevent illness from spreading, especially when a coworker is ill.
Keep your distance
Steer clear of sick individuals as much as possible. When sick, cover your mouth or nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Discard any used tissues promptly and wash hands afterward.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth when someone in the home is ill. These mucus areas are easily contaminated and can be sources of entry for germs.
Some evidence suggests that eradicating all germs can affect the body’s natural ability to fight infection. Therefore, routinely clean with soap and water, but do not overdo it with regard to your use of chemical disinfectants or hand sanitizers.
If all these steps have been taken and your employees are still ill you may be experiencing ‘Sick Building Syndrome.’ Sick Building Syndrome is a condition affecting office workers, typically marked by headaches and respiratory problems, attributed to unhealthy or stressful factors in the working environment such as poor ventilation. If your office is experience these systems call the professionals at SERVPRO of Lexington / Thomasville. Our technicians are experienced in all aspects of cleaning and can get your staff back to feeling better in no time.
Fire Damage In Lexington Business
An electrical short in a bathroom vent started this fire.
A fire at your business is the stuff nightmares are made of. Fire can rage through your business establishment causing massive damage to your property and your bottom line. Knowing who to call if a fire takes place at your business or property is so important because the longer your business is disrupted the more it can affect your customers and your employees. It will probably be very difficult to walk through your space after the firefighters have left to survey the damage, and you may wonder how you will get your property back to its former condition. That’s where the experts at SERVPRO of Lexington / Thomasville come into play. We will walk through your business with you answering any questions you may have, create a customized plan of action for your property and get your doors open as quickly as possible.
Severe Weather Can Affect Your Thomasville Home
Living in the heart of the Triad has its benefits but is has its drawbacks as well. While we can drive to the coast or the mountains in a couple of hours we can also experience the same types of damage as those regions as well. Hurricanes, tornadoes, major snow storms and ice events are just of the few catastrophic storms our region can face. That’s why it’s so important to have a name you can trust when storm damage hits your Thomasville home. No matter how your home is damaged from a storm, SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville is prepared to respond to your emergency with best practices, advanced gear, and with the goal to ease your mind and get you back into your home as soon as possible.
Understanding the Hazards After a Storm
The National Weather Service is constantly at work trying to create a better warning system for thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding and other natural disasters that can affect our region. While warning times have steadily increased to help people take the step to protect their family and property knowing who to call after the storm hits your Thomasville home or business is critical. That’s why SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville are the professionals you know and trust. As a family owned and operated business we have a stake in this community. We not only work here but live here as well so we know we will be working with our friends and neighbors. Unlike other restoration companies we pride ourselves of being life long residents of this community and know the value of calling Davidson County home.
Severe storms can cause a number of issues such as flooding, fallen trees, tornadoes, and even hurricanes that come in from the coast. While you cannot prevent the storms from impacting your region there are things you can do to respond if a crisis like this occurs. Keep an eye on the weather. Some storms such as major winter events and hurricanes are slow moving and can give you time to prepare your home for the upcoming event. Other things like tornadoes and severe thunderstorms strike with out warning. With our 148 Guidelines we can be on site within hours. Our guidelines are as follows:
148 Emergency Response Guidelines:
1– Within one hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will contact your Insured to arrange for service.
4– Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will be on-site to start mitigation services (if necessary).
8– Within eight business hours, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the adjuster by a SERVPRO franchise Professional.
If your home or business experiences a loss due to storm damage, contact SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville at (336) 224-2565. No matter what type of damage your home has been affected by, you can count on our specialists to respond to your emergency. With our 24-hour emergency service we are here to help any day, any time.
Establish A Fire Home Safety Plan in Your Lexington Home
Cooking accounts for the greatest percentage of residential fires.
People rely on fire and smoke detectors to help keep them safe in their homes. Though fire and smoke alarms are effective, a firm fire safety plan that will keep everyone calm should a fire occur could make the difference between life and death. The U.S. Fire Administration says that more than 3,500 Americans die each year in fires, while roughly 18,300 more men, women and children are injured each year. Cooking accounts for the greatest percentage of residential fires, followed by arson. Dryer vent fires are also a big concern. FEMA says that smoke, rather than the fire's flames, is responsible for 75 percent of all deaths by fire. In addition to physical injury and material damage, fires can cause a host of problems. Psychological distress, monetary damages and loss of pets may come with fires. Loss of irreplaceable personal items is also a concern. Although fires can be devastating, they're also highly preventable, and smoke alarms and a home fire safety plan are two precautionary measures everyone should take. Creating an evacuation plan doesn't have to be complicated. Such a plan can be established in a few minutes and then reinforced through practice every so often to keep everyone fresh on what to do. * Begin by assessing the layout of the home. Figure out the two best exits from the home. * If your home doesn't have two doors, invest in a fire ladder so that one of the windows can be a point of exit. * Know how to gain access to the exits, including the best path to take to avoid injury. It's a good idea to consider a few different scenarios. A kitchen adjacent to the upstairs staircase may become engulfed in flames and make exit by way of staircase impossible. Just because you have doors to the outside doesn't mean they'll present the best type of exit. * Sketch out the layout of the home and the escape plan. Smoke can make it difficult to know up from down. Be sure everyone can reach the exits even if vision is obstructed. Try it with your eyes closed. * Check fire alarms routinely, and change batteries at least every year. * Make sure windows can be easily opened if they are an exit point. * Make note of who will be helping children or the elderly out of the home. * Establish a place where the family will meet outdoors. This area should be far enough away from the home so that everyone will be safe from smoke, flames and falling debris. Fires may ignite fuel explosions, so be sure the meeting spot is a good deal away. * Children should be instructed to run to the meeting spot immediately without waiting behind for anyone to catch up. No one should reenter the home after arriving at the meeting spot. * Do a few practice runs so that everyone will be accustomed to getting out quickly.
How to protect a coastal property
Many people dream of owning coastal properties. Some aspire to have a home away from home for vacations or long weekends, while others move to the coast to be nearer to family or when they reach retirement age. Living close to the water can be relaxing, and it's hard to beat the fresh air and the relaxing sound of the waves. However, coastal homes require some unique upkeep that prospective buyers should familiarize themselves with before buying a property. Salt water Salt buildup is one of the pitfalls of living close to the ocean. Salt is corrosive to metal components, so homeowners are advised to avoid metal parts in various areas of construction on their homes. Windows and doors are particularly at risk because they face the constant onslaught of Mother Nature. Fiberglass, vinyl and aluminum are less corrosive than other metal parts and should be considered in window framing. Homeowners may need to apply lubricant to moving parts, locks and fasteners to keep them moving smoothly. Consult with a lawn and garden expert about which coastal plants thrive with high levels of salt in the air. Professionals can make recommendations on low-maintenance landscapes that will not be damaged by the sun and salt. Humidity and salt concentrations also can cause concern indoors. Mold likes damp, dark conditions, so homeowners should do their best to keep their homes dry and well-ventilated. Rely on dehumidifiers to take moisture out of the air. Install more vents to draw air outside and create fresh air flow. Coastal flooding Coastal flooding is another concern for homeowners who live close to the water. Prospective buyers should first determine if the house they want to buy is in a flood zone or an evacuation zone. This is information that may come up when applying for homeowner's insurance, as flood insurance is a separate policy. Individuals may have to take special measures to protect their homes from incoming tides or high waters during storms. The National Flood Insurance Program provides a flood damage simulator to predict the total cost of flood repair based on the height of the water. For one to four inches of water, the estimated repair cost is $7,800. For nine to 12 inches, the estimate is $18,930. At 18 inches, the estimated cost is $26,285. Homeowners may want to invest in lifting their homes or taking other preventative measures if coastal flooding is common. Privacy and safety Living by the ocean can be great, but coastal towns are often a magnet for tourists. Homeowners with seaside homes or homes in popular tourist areas may want to take extra steps to create privacy and security. Fencing and natural windblocks can block the view of backyards and other outdoor spaces. An alarm system can offer peace of mind in areas close to resort towns. Adequate lighting can deter trespassers as well. Living by the ocean is a dream for many people. The increased upkeep required on a coastal home is often a small price to pay for such luxury, but it's something prospective buyers should consider before buying a home.
Water Damage Businesses Can Count On SERVPRO
An outside drain backed up at this local restaurant flooding the kitchen.
There is a very famous quote from Ben Franklin that states ‘Time is Money’. That is especially true when your Lexington business experiences a loss due to water damage that would require you to close your doors. For every hour your business is closed that is money that you’re not making. Getting your doors back open is quickly is critical to your bottom line. That’s why choose a company you can trust with your Lexington business is so important. SERVPRO has over 50 years experience in water restoration and mitigation. We can not only restore your business quickly and effectively we can help you get your doors back open faster and get your business back to preloss condition which can save you time and money
If you’ve never experienced water damage in your businesses knowing what will happen will help understand what will take place. When disaster strikes our highly trained professionals will arrive and assess your damage. From a broken pipe to flood damage our skilled team will walk your property scope the loss and develop a customized plan of action for your business. Once an action plan has been developed our skilled technicians will begin the drying the process. Once the loss happens water will begin seeping into your floors, walls and ceilings. Drying your property quickly will prevent secondary damage which means getting your business doors open quickly. The science of structure drying is much more complicated that dropping a couple of fans in the room. SERVPRO uses state of the art equipment such as dehumidifiers, air movers, portable and truck mounted water extractors, vacuums, and more. The quicker the water is extracted the less likely mold or other microbials can begin to grow.
While the structure is drying SERVPRO will begin the contents restoration process and other services such as:
- document drying
• mold remediation
• odor removal
• smoke removal
• vent cleaning
• air duct cleaning
If you experience commercial water damage in your Lexington Business contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville. We are an IICRC-certified restoration firm and can handle any size loss. We can get your business doors back open and make it “Like it never even happened.”