Tornadoes: An Unlikely But Dreadful Event
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 and Bar Harbor 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.
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 and Bar Harbor 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!
Why SERVPRO? Biohazard Cleanup
While SERVPRO is the #1 leader in the restoration industry, we're equipped to handle much more than just fire or water damage! Disasters come in all shapes and sizes; whether it is an act of vandalism or a full on crime scene, SERVPRO Technicians are trained to cleanup and restore messes of all degrees:
SERVPRO Professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Trained SERVPRO Technicians thoroughly clean, disinfect and deodorize the scene.
Crime Scene Residues
From fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO Professionals can clean and restore your property and contents.
Arson and Vandalism
SERVPRO Professionals are recognized as leaders at helping property owners recover quickly from fire and water damage. Your professional also provides general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods and human or animal waste.
Sewage backups and black water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits – these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. SERVPRO Professionals remove the sewage, contaminants and moisture, disinfecting and deodorizing as they clean.
No one should have to sit in a house or work in a business contaminated with anything listed above, so make sure you call SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth and Bar Harbor at (207)948-0400. One phone call to us will begin the process of making it "Like it never even happened."
Gutters and Their Cleanliness
Gutters are an integral part of every home. It provides a path for rain to go down to protect your roof, and walls. Leaves and other debris can clog up the path, however which can lead to extensive water damage and possibly a home for pests. It is recommended to check your gutters regularly, especially during the fall where airborne debris is most common. But as a good rule of thumb, it benefits to check every 4 months.
If you would like to invest in a gutter cover it will significantly reduce the amount of debris that enters the gutter, but there is still a chance for debris to enter in. Your tri-annual checking can be extended to checking yearly. As the debris count decreases significantly.
When you clean your gutters, ensure to safely ascend and descend up your ladder to avoid an unfortunate fall. Check to see if the ladder is stable where you place it. If the ground is too soft, you can always place plywood over it to increase the stability of your ladder. Also ensure you do not lean your ladder directly on the gutters, as the weight will cause the gutters to collapse.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation where you experience water damage to your home. Do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth and Bar Harbor. Our experienced technicians will swiftly deal with your loss and make it "Like it never even happened."
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.
What To Do After A Flood
Floods can be extremely devastating, both to your property and mental well-being. It can be tempting to immediately rush back into your home after the water finally recedes, but there are a number of factors that need to be considered first. A post-flood home can feature a variety of potential hazards that should be considered prior to reentry.
When first entering your home, be sure to open the doors and windows to ventilate the structure and help remove foul odors or leaking gas. Do not turn on any of the house’s lighting; instead, use a flashlight as you’re moving throughout the structure. Open flames, electrical sparks and cigarettes can cause an explosive fire if there is a gas leak. Should you discover a leak, immediately exit your home and contact your service company for assistance.
After a severe flood, there will likely be damage to a house’s electrical system. Avoid turning on lights or operating electrical appliances. Ensure the electricity is turned off at the main panel before checking an individual circuits or equipment. If your basement is flooded, the utility company will need to disconnect the power from your house. If you absolutely must work on live circuits, don’t rely on basic rubber gloves or rubber soled footwear to protect you; only properly rated equipment is sufficient for use around electricity.
Watch for falling debris and check for possible damage to floors and walls. Knock down any hanging plaster. If you are not sure of the dangers the structural damage presents, call the city building inspector or engineer.
There is a danger of foundation walls collapsing, especially if the basement is flooded. Keep an eye on the foundation walls as the water is removed. This causes a change in pressure and could cause the walls to cave in. To prevent radical changes in pressure, pump about a third of the water out each day. The water pressure needs a chance to equalize.
Drinking Water, Food Safety
Supplies from any source suspected of being affected by flood conditions may be treated by one of the following methods:
- Mix teaspoonful of commercial laundry bleach with 2 gallons of water. Let stand five minutes before drinking.
- Bring water to a boil for ten minutes in a clean container. Eliminate the flat taste by shaking the water in a bottle, by pouring from one container to another, or by adding a pinch of salt. If the water is from a public supply, local authorities will tell you if boiling is necessary.
- Add five drops of tincture of iodine solution to one quart of water. Mix thoroughly and allow to stand for 30 minutes before drinking.
- Use water purifying tablets, available in drug stores or camping equipment outlets.
Do not use fresh food that has come into contact with flood waters; it will likely be contaminated with any number of infectious agents.
Although we can't prevent floods from happening, we can certainly help with the cleanup and restoration after the waters have receded. When in need, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth and Bar Harbor at (207)947-0400; we're always here to help!
Why SERVPRO? IICRC Certification
Why should you choose SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth and Bar Harbor? We're IICRC certified. Now you may be asking, what does that mean?
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.
IICRC Certified Firms must
- Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
- Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
- Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
- Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
- Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
About SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth and Bar Harbor
SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth and Bar Harbor 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 and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: 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?: Your Household
Homeowners can fear many things. Whether it be home value going down or damage to your household. Nobody wants it to happen, and it might very well just happen to you, or to someone you know. So what should you do? Contact SERVPRO!
But you may be wondering, “Why SERVPRO?”
SERVPRO offers many services to its community. Which includes but are not limited to:
- Fire damage repair and restoration
- Water damage repair and restoration
- Storm damage cleanup and restoration
- Mold remediation and restoration
All of which we do with the intent to get it done as soon as possible. To ensure we can make your home nice and cozy again, with as little hassle as possible.
Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened." Contact us at (207)947-0400
Commercial Fire Tips
Fire Safety Tips for the Workplace
No matter type of business you conduct at your workplace, fire safety should always be a main concern. Here are a few fire safety tips you can distribute to your staff.
- Keep your work area free of waste paper, trash and other items that can easily catch fire.
- Check on your electrical cords. If a cord is damaged in any way, replace it. Try not to lay cords in places where they can be stepped on, as this will contribute to deterioration of the protective outside coating.
- Don't overload your circuits.
- Turn off electrical appliances at the end of each day.
- Keep heat producing equipment away from anything that might burn. This includes copiers, coffee makers, computers, etc.
In the Event of a Fire
- Upon finding a fire, call 911 immediately and don't hand up with the emergency responder until told to do so.
- Close doors when exiting to help limit the spread of smoke and fire throughout the building.
- Never use elevators during an evacuation.
- Follow the escape plan and meet at a per-determined place outside of your building and away from danger. Conduct a headcount to ensure all of your staff has evacuated.
The best way to ensure the safety of your staff is through fire prevention and preparation. Talk with your staff about fire safety in the workplace today.
Should your business suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth and Bar Harbor at (207)947-0400! Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."