Summer’s fast approaching and with the change of season comes the warm weather and the beauty of nature. The last thing you might think of is a flood on your doorstep. It’s important to prepare any natural disaster your location might face. The following tips from FEMA will explain how to prepare for a sudden flood.
OUTSIDE YOUR HOME
- Protect Windows and Doors
- Doors and windows are common points of failure during a storm. When they break open, wind, water, and debris can seriously damage your house and belongings. Storm shutters and high-impact glass can prevent glass from breaking.
- Secure Objects Outside The Home
- Lawn furniture, potted plants, and even children’s toys can pose risks when carried off by storm surges and wind. Secure outdoor objects or bring them inside, to keep them from causing damage.
- Seal Crack and Gaps
- Prevent wind or water from coming into your home. Make sure the caulking around windows and doors is complete and in good shape. Use a waterproof sealant to fill any holes or gaps around pipes or wires that enter your building.
INSIDE YOUR HOME
- Have a Plan
- Create an emergency plan for your family and practice it regularly. When a storm is approaching, evacuate and move your car to higher ground. According to the National Weather Service, just two feet of water can move a vehicle. Visit Ready.gov/plan to learn more.
- Store Valuables
- Store valuables and important documents above the BFE (preferably on an upper floor). Place them in waterproof or water-resistant containers. Also, make copies and store them online or offsite.
- Use Flood-Resistant Materials
- Flood-resistant insulation, drywall, and floor coverings like tile will help minimize damage and are easier to clean and sanitize.
If water damages your home, be confident to call us at (207)947-0400
The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile
On any given day, most business owners and managers are worrying about the day-to-day processes of operating their business. Perhaps they're focusing on weekly or monthly goals and projects, or an upcoming special event. One thing that typically isn't on their minds, however, is a major disaster - fires, significant water intrusions, or other major emergencies.
As many as 50% of businesses affected by a disaster will not reopen their doors, according to recent research. Whether it's a large fire or water damage caused by a faulty sprinkler system, incidences such as these can be catastrophic to any size business. Of the businesses that do survive, the vast majority of them had emergency preparedness planning in place. Unexpected emergencies can happen at any time, and being prepared for these unfortunate events can help minimize interruption and get your business back up and running in relatively short order.
SERVPRO has developed the Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) to help ensure area businesses have a plan in place for when unexpected emergencies strike. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information, such as important shut off valve locations, priority areas of your business and who to call to help contain and mitigate damage. When an emergency strikes, every second counts and SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth wants to help you be prepared. This service is offered at no cost to businesses; our goal is to help ensure everyone is educated and prepared should a water or fire damage occur. The ERP is accessible on your smartphone, ensuring a copy is always within reach. Hard copies are also available to ensure your staff has the tools needed to be proactive.
Preparation is a key component for surviving any size disaster. The best time for planning for such events is now when the event happens, but before it happens. No one every plans on suffering through a disaster, but you can certainly plan for it. Today is the day to ask yourself, "Are you ready for whatever could happen tomorrow?"
By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth is here to support your business and ensure you're ready in the event of an emergency. Contact our office at (207)947-0400 and we can begin the processes of building an ERP for your business today!
SERVPRO Is Ready To Assist With Water Damage
SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth 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 Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - (207) 947-0400
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 of Bangor Ellsworth has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.
What to Expect
When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.
Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several 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)?
About SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth
SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Why SERVPRO? Advanced Techniques
When people experience a loss, there’s no doubt this time is frustrating and scary. So when the time comes to bring the professionals in to clean up the mess. You may ask, “Why SERVPRO?”
SERVPRO uses a wide arrangement of chemicals and equipment to ensure that any situation we respond to can be appropriately taken care of with ease. Here are some of the restoration techniques we use at the job site.
Moisture Detection and Measurement Equipment
Scientific drying principles rely upon specialized equipment to detect, measure, and monitor a property’s moisture levels. Recent advances, like infrared cameras, can help us detect water through a wall, ceiling, or floor.
- An infrared camera may be used to identify water location for thorough water removal.
- Sensitive moisture detectors, hygrometers, and other meters measure the extent of moisture saturation.
Water Extraction Equipment
Powerful extraction equipment speeds the drying process by removing the bulk of the water from your home or business.
- Submersible and gas-powered pumps for continuous pumping of high-level water.
- Truck-mounted and portable extraction units perform efficient water removal.
Industrial strength air movers and dehumidifiers are needed to remove the remaining moisture from ceiling, walls, and floors of your home or business. Proper drying helps to prevent swelling and warping of floors, walls, and furniture.
- High-speed air movers causes moisture to evaporate at a faster pace.
- Industrial grade dehumidifiers pull the water vapor from the air.
Odor Removal and Deodorization
Water and fire damage often causes powerful odors. The machines we use remove airborne contaminants and control the air quality during the restoration and cleanup process.
- Air scrubbers remove airborne particles and contaminants.
- Thermal foggers and deodorization agents control odors.
Sanitizing Agents, Germicides, and Anti-Microbial Treatments
The use of OSHA-approved cleaning agents may be needed to clean and remove odors and/or contaminants on your property.
- Cleaning agents help to stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, mildew, and other harmful microorganisms.
Remember to choose SERVPRO for a great outcome for you and your home. If you should suffer a loss make sure to contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400! Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."
Fire Safety: Fire Extinguishers
At the workplace, a fire can seem like an extremely rare occurrence and for the most part, it is. No matter how rare these disasters happen, you and your employees should always be prepared. One of the most important tips for fire safety is how to effectively deal with the fire when discovered. These tips from the NFPA can prove to be very useful for your situations.
- Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.
- To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:
- Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
- Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
- For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher (can be used on all types of home fires) that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle.
- Choose a fire extinguisher that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory.
- Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation before a fire breaks out. Local fire departments or fire equipment distributors often offer hands-on fire extinguisher trainings.
- Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit when you use the device so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately.
- Know when to go. Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape. Every workplace should have a fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.
It is very important to note that not all fires can be contained with a traditional fire extinguisher. If your employees are not confident they can extinguish the fire, it probably means it can’t be. Personnel should instead be evacuated and allow the fire department to handle the rest.
Safety For You Against Floods
With an increase in rainfall comes the danger of floods. Areas near bodies of water are especially at risk. When it rains, be sure to pay attention to your local news center, they will likely post a flood advisory. Be aware of your home and surroundings when you hear this.
Flash floods, however, are quite a bit different; they can happen whenever we get too much rain in a small period of time, at any point during a year. Warnings are issued, but there may be little or no advance notice and flood waters can rapidly move into an area.
- A car or small truck will float in as little as two feet of water. If your vehicle begins to float, you lose control over the vehicle. If your vehicle stalls in a flooded roadway, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground. The water may sweep the vehicle and its occupants away.
- Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are vehicle related.
- Never drive a car into a flooded roadway as the road underneath may be washed out.
- Stay clear of streams during heavy rainfall events. Swiftly moving water is extremely powerful and can easily overpower a person.
- Do not attempt recreational boating in flood water. The current can be powerful and there may be heavy debris swept along in the water, making it extremely dangerous.
- Keep children and pets inside and away from flooded streets, culverts, and streams.
- Report flooding to the appropriate authorities.
- Obey roadblocks and barriers, even if the flooding has receded. Flood waters may have undercut the road surface or left dangerous debris in the roadway.
- If you live in a flood prone area, have a plan in case the water starts rising quickly.
- Know your evacuation route and if advised to evacuate do so immediately.
Although we can't stop the flood waters, we can certainly help with the cleanup and restoration after the waters have receded. When in need, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400; we're always here to help!
Tornadoes in Maine
Tornadoes are nature's most violent storm. By definition, a tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of the thunderstorm cloud to the ground. While they are rare in Maine when compared to other parts of the country, they can still form and be quite dangerous.
Prior to the development of a tornado, a thunderstorm typically begins to rotate. As this rotation becomes stronger, the chance that a tornado may develop also increases. Although the National Weather Service's Doppler Radar generally can not see the actual tornado, the Radar does detect rotation of the thunderstorm cloud; this gives some indication of the possibility that a tornado may be forming or has formed.
The scale used to measure tornado damage is the Enhanced Fujita scale, commonly referred to as the E-F scale. Based on scientific studies of tornado damage, the original Fujita scale was modified and the new "Enhanced Fujita Scale" was officially implemented in 2007.
- EF-0 - Light damage (winds 65 to 85 mph)
- EF-1 - Moderate damage (winds 86 to 110 mph)
- EF-2 - Considerable damage (winds 111 to 135 mph)
- EF-3 - Severe damage (winds 136 to 165 mph)
- EF-4 - Devastating damage (winds 166 to 200 mph)
- EF-5 - Incredible damage (winds over 200 mph)
Tornadoes and Maine:
Peak tornado activity in northern New England occurs between June and August, but tornadoes have occurred as early as May and as late as November. Most tornadoes occur between 3 and 9 pm and have an average forward speed of about 30 mph. For the 40 year period between 1950 and 1990, 74 tornadoes occurred in Maine. This is an average of about 2 tornadoes per year. During 2016 one tornado touched down in Maine.
Due to the usual short life-span of tornadoes in northern New England, there is often little, if any, advance warning.
Tornadoes in New England generally touch down and then lift off the ground very quickly. Many of the tornadoes that have occurred in the past, have occurred while severe thunderstorm warnings have been in effect. If you hear that a severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for your area, be alert for the possibility of a tornado. A low rotating cloud, large hail, and/or a load roar are all signs that may precede the touchdown of a tornado.
Here are some tornado facts and safety tips:
- Flying debris causes most deaths and injuries in tornadoes
- The safest place in your home during a tornado is your basement.
- Stay away from windows.
- Get out of vehicles or mobile homes, they offer little protection. Seek shelter in a substantial building.
- Do NOT seek shelter under a bridge overpass. Bridge overpasses offer little, if any, protection from wind- driven debris.
Although we can't stop tornadoes or severe storm damage, we can certainly help with the cleanup and restoration after everything has calmed down. When in need, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400; we're always here to help!
Air ducts in your business are extremely important; they circulate air from your heating and cooling systems throughout the building and into each room, which allows for a consistent temperature regardless of the season.
The air circulating throughout your business is the same air flowing through the ducts and being breathed by you, your employees and your customers. It's in everyone's best interest to ensure this air is as clean as possible. Regular cleaning of your business' ductwork will help keep it free from dust and other contaminants as well as increase its efficiency and prolong the life of the equipment.
Here are some of the benefits of having your duct systems professionally cleaned:
- Creates a Cleaner Living Environment
- Having your air ducts professionally cleaned reduces the dust that would otherwise circulate throughout your living space, landing on your furniture, your bedding, your flooring…just about everywhere. Fortunately, a thorough air duct cleaning reduces the amount of interior cleaning and dusting necessary to maintain a hygienic home.
- Reduces Allergens and Irritants
- In addition to dust, air ducts frequently contain harmful contaminants and micro-organisms. These include pet dander, bacteria, pollen, mildew, mold spores, and similar toxins. People who suffer from allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems are particularly sensitive to these airborne particles. A periodic air duct cleaning promotes healthier living…otherwise the dirty air in your home just keeps re-circulating over and over.
- Helps Everyone Breathe Easier
- Even if no one in your household suffers from chronic allergies or respiratory problems, cleaner air makes it easier for everyone to breathe. Even among the most healthy, dust and pollutants entering the nose and lungs can trigger sneezing and coughing, as well as sinus and bronchial congestion. Air duct cleaning creates a more comfortable environment and promotes well-being. Given the choice between clean air and dirty air, which would you rather breathe?
- Removes Unpleasant Smells and Odors
- Pets, household cleaning agents, paint fumes, mold, tobacco use and even food preparation all contribute to stale smells in the air ducts. Every time the furnace or air conditioner is running, these odors will repeatedly flow through the house. Even an accumulation of dust and dirt over the years can lead to a musty scent coming from the ductwork. A detailed cleaning of the air ducts removes all odor trapping particles, resulting in a fresher smelling home.
- Improves Air Flow Efficiency
- Ductwork and registers that have a heavy build-up of dust and grime can restrict the flow of air from the furnace and air conditioner. This means your system will have to work harder to heat or cool your home, resulting in a decreased level of efficiency. Conversely, a clean system will operate at peak efficiency and provide the most cost-effective performance for your energy dollar.
For more information on HVAC and air duct cleaning, call us today, (207) 947-0400.
Preparing for Storms
The weather is warming up again. The cold frigid air will soon be a thing of the past until fall. For now we all can enjoy the delightful sun and warm spring breeze that greets us. However, as the saying goes “April showers bring May flowers”, homeowners will have to worry about how these spring storms affect their homes. Ensure that your family and your home is prepared for these sudden destructive storms by following these tips by the CDC.
- A battery-operated flashlight, a battery-operated, and extra batteries for both
- An emergency evacuation or shelter plan, including a map of your home and, for every type of severe weather emergency, routes to safety from each room
- A list of important personal information, including:
- telephone numbers of neighbors, family, and friends
- insurance and property information
- telephone numbers of utility companies
- medical information
- According to the American Red Cross a first aid kit external icon may include:
- non-latex gloves
- assortment of adhesive bandages
- antibiotic ointment
- sterile gauze pads in assorted sizes
- absorbent compress dressings
- adhesive cloth tape
- aspirin packets (81 mg each)
- first aid instruction booklet (NOTE: Customize your first aid kit to meet your individual and family needs.)
- A 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
- Personal hygiene items
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- An emergency kit in your car
Ensure you have all of these supplies and you and your family will be ready for any storm.
Why SERVPRO? Water Damage
Water damage events - whether caused by broken pipes, faulty roofs, or weather - in the Greater Bangor area are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth
SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.