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Crucial Things You Should Always Have in Your Home Emergency Kit

5/17/2021 (Permalink)

Whether it's a hurricane, fire, earthquake, flood, or disease outbreak, you need to be prepared with an emergency kit in your car and home. Here's a list of the essential items you'll need in an emergency.

What to pack in a home emergency kit

If time has taught us anything, it's hope for the best but prepare for the worst. The list of possible worst case scenarios now includes Covid-19 and other infectious diseases in addition to the floods, hurricanes, and wildfires that may already be on your radar, depending on where you live.

Keep the kit in a closet or somewhere near an exit door and have another one in your car, Vogel advises.

Here's what experts recommend packing if you need to stay at home or if you need to leave in a hurry:

  1. A communication plan

Sometimes we know that a disaster is on its way but often there's no warning at all. Make sure you have a communication plan in place for either scenario and one that takes into account the different times disasters can occur. You and your family could be at school or work or sleeping when disaster strikes.

"What is your plan to meet up, to reconnect with folks?

Have a list of phone numbers in the kit. You should also include an actual place (perhaps a relative's place) where people can gather should cell phones become unavailable.

Finally, make sure everyone in your family, including and especially any kids, are familiar with the plan

  1. H2O

You need to store some water, but how much? It depends on the disaster as well as where you are geographically and your health status.

"Covid-19 is not going to impact your ability to walk to the sink and turn on the faucet," says Tornetta. A hurricane, on the other hand, very well might.

The general rule of thumb is one gallon of water per person (and per pet) per day, aiming for a total three days' supply, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That said, children, mothers who are nursing, people who are sick, and people in warmer climates may need more, according to the Department of Homeland Security's ready.gov. The NCDP has a Preparedness Wizard that will help you calculate how much water, and other items, you may need. (Here are the signs and symptoms of dehydration.)

  1. Non-perishable food

As with water, experts recommend that you have enough non-perishable food on hand for people and pets to last at least three days, quite possibly more, says Schlegelmilch, who is co-author of the forthcoming book Rethinking Readiness.

Focus on nonperishable items like dry goods and canned goods but some frozen products are also OK. "Even if you lose power, you've got a few days before they start to spoil."  "A combination of frozen and nonperishable is fine."

As for what kind of food, items that are protein-packed and can be prepared without electricity, such as tuna, peanut butter, or granola bars. If you or anyone in your family has special dietary needs, make sure you take those into account.

And oh yes, don't forget to have a non-electric can opener or choose cans that have pop-tops.

  1. First aid kit

It's important not only to have a well-stocked first aid kit, but the knowledge to effectively use each item in that kit as well, if you aren't sure, get  ready-made first aid kits," From American Red Cross. The organization also has a series of apps that can help you build an emergency kit and more. (Here are first aid tricks from ER doctors.)

Also make sure to include contact lens solution, if you wear contact lenses, and asthma inhalers, according to a disaster supplies checklist from the Department of Homeland Security. Also include personal hygiene products and over-the-counter and prescription medications (a seven-day supply, says Tornetta). These days, it would be a good idea to include hand sanitizer, gloves, and face masks, as well. 

The American College of Emergency Physicians recommends keeping the kit in a clear, waterproof, plastic container and putting it in a visible place.

  1. Multipurpose tool

Simple or complex, multipurpose tools can be lifesavers. "Your multipurpose tool should be able to do what other widely used tools—like a screwdriver, pair of pliers, or scissors—can do," And definitely a can opener, if you haven't invested in pop-top cans. (You might also want to invest in these health gadgets that could save your life.)

Your car should also have its own emergency tool kit which includes water and high-energy non-perishable food but also an inflated spare tire, the jack and wheel wrench, jumper cables, reflective triangles and brightly colored cloth. If the weather's cold, add a snow brush, shovel, blankets, and windshield washer fluid.

  1. Cash

Covid-19 isn't likely to affect ATMs or credit-card machines, but hurricanes and other natural disasters could put them out of commission.

"The digital systems work pretty well but after Katrina there were prolonged power outages." "You may be in a situation where credit-card machines [and ATMs] are down."

That means you may have to rely on good old hard cash during an emergency.

"Not everybody has enough money to do this but if you're able to set aside a few dollars, it's definitely a good thing," 

Ready.gov recommends having small bills available so you can buy fuel and food.

  1. Gas

"Fill up early and fill up often," Hart says. "With Hurricane Irma, we had advance notice—it's important to think, 'What do I need to do to start preparing right now?' Even if you don't know where the hurricane's going, as soon as it's a possibility for you in your area, think about things like gas. Your presence of mind when a catastrophe is far away is much clearer than your presence of mind when you're in the throes of that catastrophe."

Schlegelmilch recommends having your tank at least half full at all times.

And while having extra gas cans may be tempting, bear in mind that this can be a fire hazard,

  1. A change of clothes

Or two or three. It's important to have the right kind and amount of clothes you'll need in any given situation.

"Consider protective clothes and outerwear. Think: coats, windbreakers, ponchos, rain jackets,"  She also notes the importance of items that will wear well across all climates—so anything versatile, durable, and comfortable—is a universally safe choice. "Follow the same three-day rule here, too," she says. "And, as we talked about earlier, remember to change your supply out annually. Our children grow from year to year."

Layers are an especially good idea for any warmer or colder conditions. As are socks in case you get wet.

  1. Closed-toe shoes

If you're leaving really quickly, you may not have a chance to pick your ideal shoes but, if you can, take closed-toe shoes. "You might not know exactly where you're going." "If you have to be in a shelter environment or walking through areas, that's just to protect your feet from all of that. If you can only grab one pair of shoes, don't grab the flip flops."

This could be especially important in areas that have been damaged by hurricanes or tornadoes. "There's a lot of debris," says Tornetta. "We want our team to wear closed-toe shoes so there's no chance of getting a splinter or some kind of infection."

  1. Low-tech basics

Technology isn't always reliable, especially in a disaster. That means you should have some low-tech options on hand such as a hand crank, battery-powered radio and flashlight, and extra batteries, says Vogel. Garbage bags are good not only for holding trash but also to keep things dry, and matches in a waterproof container are a good idea too.

Light plastic sheeting and duct tape can be invaluable if you have broken windows because of a hurricane or tornado.

Just in case technology does survive the storm, fire, or pandemic, keep some extra portable charging blocks on hand as well. And you should also have a car charger for your cell phone.

  1. Important documents

This is important not just during the disaster, but for rebuilding your life after. Having key legal and personal documents can go a long way towards minimizing stress once the immediate damage has passed. Make sure you know the signs that you may be suffering from serious stress.

Legal Aid recommends keeping these papers together so you can grab them in a hurry:

* Identification, be it a driver's license, passport, or another photo ID.
* Insurance documents like life insurance, flood and fire insurance as well as homeowners or rental insurance.
* Legal documents. This includes birth certificates, any child custody or adoption paper, wills, powers of attorney, and the like.

You can scan your documents or take pictures with your smart phone or make photocopies and store those in your evacuation preparedness kit, says Tornetta. "Have an extra copy of your driver's license and social security card. If you have to flee in a hurry, you may forget your ID or your wallet if they're stored in a separate place."

You can also store these documents online, or in a thumb drive.

SERVPRO of Woodcrest / El Cerrito / Lake Mathews 

951-398-3240

We are cleaning Experts

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

We are cleaning Experts Concerned about the Cleanliness of you school or business. Call SERVPRO

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Woodcrest / El Cerrito / Lake Mathews at 951-398-3240

Causes of Water Damage

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

There are several possible causes of water damage. Leaky dishwashers, clogged toilets, broken pipes, broken dishwasher hoses, overflowing washing machines, leaky roofs, plumbing leaks, and foundation cracks are just some of the possible causes of water damage in homes and businesses. Floods, heavy snow, and heavy rain are other possible causes of this type of damage and can lead to having water in basements. Too much water can lead to minor problems such as water in basement areas, or it can lead to the destruction of homes and businesses. Once a home or business sustains water damage, it is important to start the water damage cleanup immediately. Starting water damage cleanup as soon as possible increases the likelihood of saving water-soaked furniture, carpets, rugs, clothing, and other items.

Call SERVPRO of Woodcrest / Lake Mathews / El Cerrito if you experience any type of water loss at 951-398-3240

Types of Water Damage

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

Assessing the severity of the damage is important for determining what is needed to start water damage repair and water removal. There are several different categories assigned to water damage. Category 1 refers to clean water, or water that does not pose a threat to humans. Possible causes of this type of damage include broken appliances or sink overflows. Category 2 water is also called gray water. This means that the water is contaminated and may cause sickness of ingested. This type of water contains microorganisms. Broken toilets, broken sump pumps, and seepage may cause category 2 water damage. Category 3 water is known as black water. This type of water is unsanitary, as it contains bacteria and other organisms that cause sickness. The possible sources of black water damage include sewage problems and contamination of standing water.

There are also several classes of water damage. The class of damage is important when assessing water damage repair options. Class 1 is the least harmful form of damage. Materials absorb very little of the water from this type of damage. Water damage repair is the easiest in this type of situation. Class 2 has a fast rate of evaporation, which means that carpets and cushions may be damaged. Water damage repair is more difficult when it involves class 2 damage. Class 3 has the fastest rate of evaporation. In this case, the water may come from broken sprinklers or other overhead sources, soaking the walls and furniture. Class 4 requires special water restoration and water removal procedures. This type of damage may affect hardwood floors, plaster, and concrete

If you have any type of water damage, call SERVPRO of Woodcrest / Lake Mathews / El Cerrito at 951-398-3240

Effects of Water Damage

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage is a problem that most property owners dread. When it rains heavily or snow melts quickly, the risk of this type of damage increases. Water can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage by damaging wood furniture, upholstery, electronics, household appliances, and plumbing equipment. Water damage also increases the risk of mold growth, which is a very expensive problem to remediate. Hiring a water damage restoration company can make the cleanup process easier to handle, as these companies employ experienced workers who know the best ways to repair or replace damaged items and help with water damage cleanup. SERVPRO of Woodcrest / Lake Mathews / El Cerrito has a vast array of products and highly skilled and trained water damage technicians who can make it "Like it never even happened." call us at 951-398-3240

Riverside, CA Fire Smoke and Soot Cleanup

2/20/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke damage removal is one of the most difficult aspects of a house fire. It is also one of the most important tasks you need to tackle after a fire has damaged your home, and it is essential that you begin smoke damage removal immediately after a house fire to restore your home to its former state. However, entering your home to begin smoke damage removal after a house fire is usually unsafe, as it is likely your home’s structure has sustained fire and water damage. Therefore, you should always leave smoke damage removal to a professional restoration company, as they have the proper equipment, expertise, and experience to handle this task. To understand why it is necessary to leave this task to a professional, it can be helpful to know some information about the equipment and expertise required to implement smoke damage removal successfully.

Smoke Damage Removal Requires Special Equipment

One of the biggest reasons that smoke damage removal is not something you should do yourself is that it usually requires special, industrial-grade equipment to remove it from your home effectively. Smoke often seeps into the walls of your home and can cause future health issues if not removed properly. The best method for removing smoke odor from your home is with thermal fogging, a technique professionals use that works by opening the pores in your walls and neutralizing the smoke odor hidden within them. This combined with dehumidifiers to dry any water damage and ozone generators to help get the smoky smell out of your home is an effective method professionals use to make your home smoke-free. Depending on the extent of the damage to your home, it is likely the restoration company may need to repaint the walls and ceilings in your home after the smoke damage removal process is complete.

Smoke Damage Removal Requires Certain Expertise

In addition to requiring special equipment to remove smoke from your home thoroughly, smoke damage removal also requires a professional to have certain expertise about the different types of smoke and the necessary chemicals to remove them. For example, the smoke odor from wood can react differently to certain cleaning products than smoke odor from plastics, which means you could damage your home further if you do not know which type of smoke residue and odor you are dealing with. Professional fire restoration companies know details about the different types of smoke and how to deal with them properly, which means they are your best resource for cleaning, repairing, and restoring your home to its original state.

Smoke damage removal is one of the most frustrating and difficult tasks homeowners must deal with after a house fire. It requires much time, effort, and expertise, and is something you should always leave to a professional restoration company. For more information about smoke damage removal or finding the best professional to handle it for you, it is a good idea to contact a fire damage contractor.

Why You Should Get Fire Damage Estimates

2/15/2021 (Permalink)

After a house fire, getting fire damage estimates is critical. Without knowing the full extent of the damage, you may end up overspending on repairs or restoration. Either your homeowners’ insurance company or a third-party restoration company can provide the fire damage estimates for you. After a devastating event like a house fire, it is helpful to know just how much money you have to repair or restore your home to its former state. Since you should hire a restoration company anyway, fire damage estimates make the task of doing so much easier.

Discrepancies in Fire Damage Estimates

If your insurance company and third-party restoration company have a discrepancy in their fire damage estimates, one of two things are likely to happen: they can agree to a middle ground or begin arbitration. Choosing the middle ground option is a compromise of sorts and may include any number of outcomes, which are all dependent on the specifics of your situation. The other option involves including a third party, having them inspect and formulate an appraisal of the damage, and present that as an acceptable value. All of this depends heavily on your insurance company, the restoration company, applicable state laws, and the circumstances surrounding the fire.

What Fire Damage Estimates Do

Fire damage estimates allow you and your hired full-service restoration company to plan the restoration of your home. By having an effective budget, the company can do their best for you and make sure that they can return your home to its former. Most importantly, fire damage estimates include services that restoration companies do that you are unable to, such as removing smoke odors from your home or rebuilding any structures that the fire has damaged. Other costs that require professional help, such as special dry-cleaning of your garments and fabrics, may also be included. Additionally, if you attempt the repairs and accidentally cause more damage, chances are that the insurance does not cover the extra damage, whereas with a restoration company, it is covered.

Fire damage estimates allow a professional full-service restoration company to restore your home to its former state in the most effective manner possible. With a clear plan on which services you need, how much they cost, and how the company implements them, they can cater to your individual needs. After a devastating event such as a fire, money should not be your primary concern. A full-service restoration company can take care of all aspects regarding the remediation of the fire damage so you can concentrate on other things. For more information about fire damage estimates for your home, contact your insurance company.

If you have damage from a fire or smoke from a fire. Call SERVPRO of Woodcrest / Lake Mathews / El Cerrito we will work with you and your insurance directly "Like it never even happened." 951-398-3240

Faster to your Riverside Water Damage

1/16/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Woodcrest / Lake Mathews / El Cerrito  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 very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Woodcrest / Lake Mathews / El Cerrito  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 – 951-398-3240

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 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.

About SERVPRO of Woodcrest / Lake Mathews / El Cerrito 

SERVPRO of Woodcrest / Lake Mathews / El Cerrito  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.

Meet Our  Crew: 

SERVPRO's Infectious Disease Precautions

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

It is important to us that our customers know the steps SERVPRO of Woodcrest / Lake Mathews / El Cerrito is taking to reduce the risk of team member exposure to the virus.  These precautionary steps we have taken as a company include:

  • All tools and equipment coming into your property have been cleaned and disinfected.
  • All workers wear personal protective equipment to protect themselves while performing work.
  • We’ve all been provided with training to safely work in contaminated environments.
  • We’ve all been provided with training to identify coronavirus symptoms and carefully monitor ourselves and our co-workers.
  • We have stringent safety and health policies and procedures; and we continually strive to follow and improve our safe work practices.

Overall, we are taking the appropriate measures to ensure we don’t cross contaminate our customers, our co-workers, or our families.  We cannot make any guarantees that the virus could not enter your property, but we can tell you that we have taken every possible measure to protect customers and team members alike.

Whether it is a water loss, fire damage, or a cleaning request, please know that SERVPRO of Woodcrest / Lake Mathews / El Cerrito is still here for the entire Woodcrest / Lake Mathews / El Cerrito community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 951-398-3240

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

Table tent signs describing the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program on top of a wooden table. Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness.

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned,but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of Woodcrest / Lake Mathews / El Cerrito today at  951-398-3240 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.