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Important Tornado Safety Tips for Your Family | SERVPRO® of Wilson County

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

Spring weather brings us warming, balmy days, but it is also a time of unpredictable weather. For this reason, it is good to always be prepared for that chance of severe thunderstorms that lead to the perfect conditions for a tornado touchdown.

It is reported that, during the months of April and May, there are the most outbreaks of tornadoes at 30% and 24% respectively. That means that we are now currently in the height of tornado season throughout the United States.

In this blog, we are sharing some tips and information on tornadoes that can help keep your family prepared and safe for the worst possible scenario.

What Are Ideal Tornado Conditions?

The United States experiences roughly 1,200 tornadoes every year, resulting from severe thunderstorms, in particular those known as “supercells.”

Prime conditions for a tornado to form are when changes in wind speed and direction create a horizontal spinning effect within a storm cell. This is then tipped and dropped into a vertical position by the rising air moving up through the thunderclouds.

At first, you will not be able to see the tornado’s signature funnel cloud, but it will become visible as water droplets from the storm’s moist air condense or when it picks up dust and debris as the tornado travels along its path.

A typical tornado can grow to be 660 feet wide and will move at 10 to 20 miles per hour, although larger and faster storms have been observed. Hail and intense winds of more than 200 mph can accompany tornadoes.

The air masses aloft generally become unstable in the late afternoon during the spring and summer, making it prime time for a tornado to occur. But it is important to remember that they can occur at anytime during the day and anywhere.

What to Do in Case of a Tornado

Have you learned the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning? A watch will be issued when the conditions are favorable for tornadoes, while a warning is issued when a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar.

In other words, the tornado watch is a way of alerting you to the fact that there are favorable conditions for a tornado to develop, but if a warning has been issued for your area, you should take quick action to find safe shelter—especially if you are in the path of the tornado.

Shelter options include:

  • Underground options like a basement or storm shelter.
  • The lowest part of your home, in an area that is away from outside walls, doors and windows. Interior closets and bathrooms can be ideal options.
  • If you are outside, try to get to a sturdy building. Mobile homes and trailers are not a safe option.
  • If on the road and no building access is available, do not get under an overpass or bridge. Instead, find a low, flat location and use your arms to protect your head and neck.

As you take shelter in your home, use furniture cushions, mattresses or blankets to help keep your head and neck covered and protected. You should also make sure that you have flashlights, a battery-powered weather radio and extra batteries in your selected tornado shelter.

If you are caught out on the road during a tornado, DO NOT try to outrun it because chances are you won’t win. Attempt to seek a safe, sturdy shelter nearby immediately, or if that is not possible, exit your vehicle and lay flat on the ground.

Tornadoes are unforgiving and can wreak absolute havoc in their paths. While meteorologists and weather services can provide some advanced warning to potential threats, tornadoes can still occur with little to no warning at all.

If your home or business has been damaged by a tornado, know that SERVPRO® of Wilson County is ready and waiting to jump into action and get cleanup and restoration of your property underway.

Getting Ready for Unpredictable Spring Weather | SERVPRO® of Wilson County

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

We’ve crossed the threshold into spring! Now we can better enjoy the weather…but also buckle up for whatever Mother Nature may choose to send our way.

Springtime and Severe Weather Threats

When we reach spring, we have longer days and more sunshine; however, there is also the threat of severe weather throughout the country. It’s dealer’s choice this time of year, which means the weather may change at moment’s notice.

Changing, unpredictable weather during spring is caused by the unstable temperatures—and those temperatures can go from warm to cold in a matter of hours! That temperature change can result in extreme weather changes as well.

Thunderstorms are increasingly common throughout the spring and are the main cause of severe weather. A thunderstorm can occur whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, which is most common in the spring and summer.

Taking a look at losses caused by natural catastrophes in the U.S. for 2017, severe thunderstorms were the most common and produced some of the costliest results. Out of 50 events, there were 85 fatalities and an estimated total of $25.4 billion in overall losses.

These storms pose a threat for floods, high winds and even tornadoes, given the right conditions. It has been found that in modern history, 10% of all violent tornadoes have occurred in March, with April, May and June taking the top spots at 30%, 24% and 15% respectively.

Preparing Your Family

Weather is not something than can be predicted with 100% accuracy, but we are fortunate that meteorologists today have the technology to issue advance warnings that severe weather may be on the horizon. Advanced warnings, along with the right preparation, can greatly improve overall safety for your family.

Some things you can do to your home to prepare for the chance of severe weather are listed below.

  1. Clear out your home’s gutters, drains and downspouts.
  2. Trim trees of precarious limbs or branches that could break off in a storm.
  3. Secure or store outdoor belongings if severe weather is in the forecast.

Having an emergency kit on hand is always advised. These kits should include the following:

  • Battery-operated flashlight and NOAA weather radio, with extra batteries for both
  • Emergency evacuation or shelter plans
  • Important personal info, like telephone numbers of neighbors, family and friends, insurance and property info, numbers for the utility companies, and medical info
  • A first-aid kit with things like non-latex gloves, adhesive bandages, tweezers, sterile gauze pads, aspirin packets, adhesive cloth tape and scissors
  • 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Blankets or sleeping bag

Despite its unpredictability, there is one thing that always remains true of the spring weather season: It always happens. If your home or business is damaged in a storm, you can depend on SERVPRO® of Wilson County to get the cleanup and restoration process started fast.

Protecting Your Business From Fire | SERVPRO® of Wilson County

3/20/2019 (Permalink)

When you own a business, you must also take safety precautions for your business, employees and visitors. One thing you need to consider and spend a little extra time planning for and working toward is fire prevention.

<h4of-commercial-structure-fires">Causes of Commercial Structure Fires

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that the leading causes of structure fires in office properties from 2007–2011 were (in order):

  1. Cooking equipment, 29% of fires
  2. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment, 12% of fires
  3. Heating equipment, 11% of fires
  4. Intentional, 10% of fires
  5. Smoking materials, 9% of fires
  6. Exposure, 4% of fires
  7. Electronic, office or entertainment equipment, 3% of fires

Of those causes, intentional, exposure, and electrical distribution and lighting equipment accounted for the most property damage with 20%, 18% and 15% respectively.

In 2007, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that fires and explosions accounted for 3% of all workplace fatalities.

In studying more recent numbers, the NFPA estimates that during the period from 2007–2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 3,340 fires involving office properties per year. Those fires were responsible for an annual average of four deaths, 44 injuries and $112 million in direct property damage.

<h4your-business">Protecting Your Business

So what are some of the many steps you can take to protect your business from the risk of fires? By focusing on fire risk assessment, fire prevention and staff education, you will be working to reduce the chance of a fire breaking out.

You should make an assessment of any fire hazard risks in your facility. In some locations, the local government may have a fire marshal who can visit your establishment to help identify these risks and provide guidance on your fire prevention plan.

You’ll want to make sure that the right fire protection equipment is in place. This includes an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on each floor.

Most importantly, consider your employees and visitors. Creating a fire plan and reviewing it with your staff will ensure that everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire. Conduct fire drills at least once a year to keep that fire safety protocol fresh in their minds, and take time to review evacuation plans and the location of first-aid kit.

Despite best efforts with fire prevention and safety tips, the worst could always happen at your business. If a fire has damaged your business, SERVPRO® of Wilson County is available to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Learning About the 3 Classifications of Floodwaters | SERVPRO® of Wilson County

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

You may consider all water causing damage as the same, but there are three different classifications of water that cause water damage: clean, gray and black. When you understand the differences in these types of water, you will also understand how to better handle a water damage situation.

It doesn’t matter what type of water has caused the water damage because there will always have to be a cleanup and restoration process that follows. The most important thing to do first is to remove all the moisture and damp items quickly because this is mold’s favorite environment to grow and flourish.

Clean Water

Much like the name states, this water is considered “clean” and not any kind of water that would pose an immediate health threat. It is free of contaminants and will be water from:

  • Broken water lines
  • Malfunctioning appliances
  • Toilet holding tanks
  • Snow melt and rainwater

The damage from clean water is the easiest type of water damage to work with since there will be fewer microbes living in the water. However, after 48 hours and following contact with the surfaces of a building, clean water can move up to category two, gray water.

Gray Water

Gray water starts to make the water damage cleanup and restoration a bit more tedious as it may be water that could pose a health risk, due to it containing chemical or biological contamination. The slight contamination in gray water means the water should be thoroughly treated before being safe for consumption.

Gray water, for example, is water from dishwashers, aquariums, showers, etc. The 48-hour exposure time applies here as well, because if left untreated, gray water will become black water.

Black Water

Black water is highly contaminated water and is the most serious of the three classifications and will contain harmful chemicals and biological matter.

This would include floodwaters that contain soil and any type of sewage waters. Sewage harbors contamination from microbes, including bacteria, protozoans, molds, fungi and more—many of these can be hazardous to humans.

An example of diseases that are transmitted by black water are:

  • Cholera
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis
  • Gastroenteritis-type illnesses

Remember, when it comes to floods, treat all waters as black water since it picks up contaminants along its path.

These three classifications of floodwater are recognized by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Remediation Certification (IICRC), an organization that certifies and sets the standard for the cleaning and restoration industry. Our technicians all study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration and are available to help determine the steps to take to get your home back to normal.

It doesn’t matter what type of water has caused damage to your home or business, SERVPRO® of Wilson County is here to help get the situation under control and make it "Like it never even happened." Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need emergency cleanup and restoration services!

 

Smoke Detectors in Your Wilson County Property

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Wilson County reminds you that smoke detectors (smoke alarms) saves lives.

Smoke spreads fast. An alarm gives you time to get out.

SERVPRO of  Wilson County wants you to remember:

  • Closed doors can slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. That is good for reducing smoke damage and fire damage. That is also why you should have a smoke alarm in every sleeping room in the home
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home
  • Large homes might need extra smoke alarms
  • Some companies make alarms that are interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound
  • Do not turn off smoke detectors when cooking
  • Test the smoke alarms at least once a month. There is a test button on the alarm
  • When the alarm sounds, get everyone outside and stay outside
  • Replace all smoke alarms every 10 years

SERVPRO of Wilson County reminds you to call the fire department once you are outside the home.

Links:

https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Smoke-alarms

https://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/smoke-alarms/safety-messages-about-smoke-alarms

Possible Causes for Water Damage in Your Mt Juliet home

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

Causes & Categories of Water Damage in your Mt Juliet property:

An old poem has the line, “water, water, everywhere”. When you need to say this in your house, you know there is trouble. You may be looking at water damage. There are several different possible causes of water damage in Mt Juliet.   

Causes can include:

  • Leaky dishwashers or washing machines
  • Clogged pipes
  • Leaking roofs
  • Broken toilet pipes
  • Heavy rain
  • Snow or ice

The amount of water damage depends on the amount of water and on the cause of the damage.

It is also important to start cleanup as soon as possible. The longer your home or business is water-logged, the more damage.

Categories of Water Damage in Mt Juliet:

  1. Clean water. It might come from an overflowing sink or a broken appliance. The water does not pose a threat to people. Keep in mind that any water will become contaminated after it stops flowing.
  2. Gray water. This water is contaminated from the get-go. It comes from broken toilets or sump pumps. It might not look dirty, or it might be brown.
  • Black water. Like gray water, it might not look dirty. One major source of black water is broken sewage pipes. Another source is any water that has been standing still.

Links:

http://www.thewaterpage.com/water-damage-effects.htm

Mold Remediation vs Mold Removal

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Wilson County Presents: Mold Removal vs Mold Remediation

We cannot see mold spores without magnification. The spores can survive almost anything.

Mold removal is impossible.

“Mold removal”

  • Get rid of all of the mold.

AND

  • Get rid of all the mold spores.

Mold starts growing within 24 hours of exposure to moisture.

SERVPRO of Wilson County can’t promise the impossible. It CAN promise mold remediation.

SERVPRO of Wilson County is licensed in mold remediation.

“Mold remediation” 

  • Remove mold colonies.
  • Throw out whatever mold has destroyed.
  • Clean, dry, and disinfect the rest.
  • Identify materials that stayed wet for over 24-48 hours.
  • Throw out those items.
  • Identify moisture sources
    • leaking pipes
    • standing water
    • condensation
    • humidity (40% or higher)
  • Stop the moisture = Prevent mold

Important:

By law, only licensed professionals can remediate large areas. A “large area” is 10 square feet or more.

Links:

https://www.fema.gov/pdf/rebuild/recover/fema_mold_brochure_english.pdf         

Storm Damage to your Lebanon property

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

Storm and water emergencies don't wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Wilson County provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week--including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Storm and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of Wilson County arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call us 24/7 - 615-449-5000

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • 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 wrap.

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 wrap.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture wraps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and wraps.
  • 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 pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Wilson County

SERVPRO of Wilson County 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.

Fire Escape Route

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Wilson County hopes your home or business never has to deal with fire or smoke damage.  Sometimes, a portable fire extinguisher is not enough to save your property and the only thing you can do is escape.

A small flame can turn into a large fire in a matter of minutes. Lives are more important than objects, so get yourself and others out of danger.

SERVPRO of Wilson County Tips for Escape:

  • Make an escape plan ahead of time. Make sure everyone knows the plan
  • Make sure that all doors and windows open easily
  • Plan at least two different ways of escaping every room
  • When you leave, close the doors and windows to shut in the flames
  • Practice the plan
  • Do not stop to pick up valuables. You can replace objects
  • Make sure your plan includes a place to meet that is a safe distance from the home
  • Do not turn off smoke alarms when you cook. You may need the warning
  • If you have to go through smoke, crawl under it

SERVPRO of Wilson County reminds you to call the fire department once you are outside the home.

Links:

https://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/fire-and-life-safety-equipment/fire-extinguishers

https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/Public-Education/Resources/Safety-tip-sheets/EscapePlanningTips.ashx?la=en

Mold Remediation and the EPA

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Wilson County presents: Mold in Drywall

Even a tiny bit of moisture can lead to mold growing in drywall.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ruled that only licensed professionals can clean any surface that has more than 10 square feet of mold. The EPA cannot know how you take care of your home or business, but you will need an inspection if you want to sell. You might not see all of the mold. The sooner you get rid of mold, the less damage it can cause.

SERVPRO of Wilson County is licensed in mold remediation.

Mold remediation means getting rid of the mold spores that become mold as well as fixing the root cause of the dampness. 

Mold:

  • can start growing on a damp surface within 24 hours
  • can destroy the materials they grow on
  • can spread and destroy adjacent materials
  • grows from tiny spores that travel through the air

SERVPRO of Wilson County can:

  • remove drywall
  • disinfect certain surfaces
  • find the source of moisture
  • stop the moisture problem

Links:

https://www.fema.gov/pdf/rebuild/recover/fema_mold_brochure_english.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/mold/index.html