Are Your Pets Included in Your Disaster Plan?
The peak of Atlantic hurricane season is here which is why it's important to take some time to reflect on disaster preparedness. As unlikely as it may seem, a disaster can strike at any moment. Whether it's a fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, or blizzard, it's critical to be prepared and have a plan in place.
Unfortunately, pets are sometimes unintentionally left out of their owners' disaster preparedness plans which makes it difficult to know what to do with them during an emergency.
Listen to your veterinarian
Make sure your pet wears a collar with up to date information on it, get them microchipped, and have them vaccinated. These recommendations will come in handy during a disaster and help you avoid any potential pitfalls, such as being unable to get into a shelter with an unvaccinated pet or losing them during an evacuation.
Find out which shelters allow pets
Do some research into where you can safely evacuate with your pet during a state of emergency before a disaster occurs
Prepare a pet disaster kit
In a suitcase or other easily movable storage container, pack food and water bowls, a manual can opener, two weeks' worth of canned food and bottled water per pet, plastic poop bags (for dogs), litter and a small litter box (for cats), and two weeks' worth of any medications your pet may need.
Create an identification handout and a boarding instruction handout. Have both ready to go at a moment's notice.
If You Want To Be Chillin', Know Your Grillin'
“The NFPA reports that seven out of every 10 adults in the U.S. has a grill or a smoker,” said David Kurzontkowski, owner of SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley.
According to the NFPA, the top three causes of grilling fires are failure to clean the grill, leaks in gas hose lines or breaks in the grill body itself, and proximity to flammable objects. Kurzontkowski says these risks are easily managed and offers the following tips from the NFPA to help Boston area residents prepare and use their outdoor grills:
General Grill Safety
- Check your grill for cleanliness and damage. Remove grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill before the first use and after each subsequent use.
- Position your grill well away from your home and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging tree branches
- Keep children and pets at a safe distance – at least three feet from the grill
- Never leave the grill unattended when in use, and always grill outside.
Shark Sightings and Tornadoes on Cape Cod
A tornado that ripped across Cape Cod has certainly made its mark on a series of storms that broke the heat in the Northeast and Midwest.
The National Weather Service says the tornado struck the famed Massachusetts resort area just after noon Tuesday. It ripped off a hotel roof, collapsing trees and knocked out power to thousands during the height of tourist season.
This is the 4th twister reported in Cape Cod since 1950. Ironically,The wild weather comes days after multiple shark sightings were reported in Cape Cod, but rest assured despite the erratic weather pattern, there will be no sharknado sightings....we hope.
While Mother Nature is unpredictable, SERPVRO of Newton/Wellesley is here to stay to help you find your way.
Mother Nature Displays "Fireworks"
After the 4th of July celebrations and festivities have concluded, Mother Nature decided to display a show of her own. Hours later, severe thunderstorms rolled through Massachusetts, causing flooding, damage, and power outages.
The thunderstorms rattled the region that evening and lighting was the direct cause of a house fire in Marlborough, striking their basement.
Thankfully, the homeowners were awake and immediately aware of what happened and were able get help and get to safety.
There was also heavy rainfall and flooding in the Boston area, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). and finally, the thunderstorms subsided at around 9:45 p.m.
Mother Nature is fickle, and we never know when an emergency situation will arise or in this case, strike. But SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley is there for you 24 hours/7 days a week. No job is too big or too small all that matters is we quickly get the job done.
Paying a Little Now, Will Save You Money in the Long Run
Now that Hurricane Season has arrived, there are a few things Commercial Property owners should always bear in mind. Despite the size of your business or property and where it is located it could still be vulnerable to flood damage. As we all know, water damage knows no boundaries!
Go for the Flood Insurance. A business large or small, on the coast or inland, water will always find a way! According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, more that 20% of flood claims occur outside the high-risk flood zones.
Know the policy and your risks! It is crucial to really understand exactly what you’re covered for and what will be considered as out of pocket. Read carefully through the policy now and not during a time of crisis.
Take action. The longer you wait, the more likely there will be damage.
And certainly, don’t wait for insurance adjusters to arrive. Call SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. We’ll take the proper and immediate action to restore your property “Like it never even happened.”
How To Test Your Sump Pump
It is crucial to own a sump pump to prevent ground water from getting into the basement or even a crawl space. Excess water can quickly gather and seep into the foundation, especially during a heavy rainstorm. A sump pump moves the ground water out away from your home. However, if your pump should stop working, water could get into your basement and foundation walls, causing mold and mildew, or worse a flood!
Make sure you test your sump pump before a rainstorm quickly sneaks up on you. There are two simple and easy steps.
First, unplug the pump and then plug it in again. If you look at the outlet where your sump pump is plugged in, you should see two separate plugs. Unplug both of them, and then plug in just the one for the pump. If the pump doesn’t turn on immediately, your pump needs to be repaired or replaced, so you should call a licensed plumber. If the pump worked properly, please remember to reconnect the other plug!
The second way to test your sump pump is by running water through it. You can manually add just enough water to raise the float until the pump kicks on. When the pump begins to run, great! But watch to make sure the water actually gets pumped out of the hole.
Another way to manually get it to kick on is by lifting the float arm up and see if the pump turns on. This won’t determine if water will actually be pumped out, however. If you test the pump without water, don’t let it run more than a few seconds. Otherwise, you risk damaging the pump motor!
We see flooded basements all to often as a result of a failed sump pump. Practice these suggestions and you will be saving yourself from a lot time, heartache and money!
Blackstone and SERVPRO Reach a Deal
SERVPRO and Blackstone (NYSE:BX) announced today that private equity funds managed by Blackstone (“Blackstone”) have recapitalized SERVPRO, a leading franchisor of residential and commercial property damage restoration services. Blackstone is acquiring a majority stake in SERVPRO as part of Blackstone’s Core Private Equity strategy, which is designed to hold investments for longer periods of time than traditional private equity. The Isaacson family will be re-investing alongside Blackstone and will continue to be significant shareholders in the business going forward. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 1967 by the Isaacson family, SERVPRO is a leading national franchisor, providing services in both residential and commercial property mitigation, restoration and reconstruction following damage related to water, fire, mold or storm activity. Since its founding, SERVPRO has now grown to over 1,700 franchisees in the United States and Canada.
Rick Isaacson, SERVPRO CEO, said, “We are thrilled about this long-term investment from Blackstone and the strategic benefits its global platform can provide the company, our franchisees, and our customers. SERVPRO was founded over 50 years ago with the vision of becoming the premier cleaning and restoration company, and we believe this partnership with Blackstone is a vital next step towards this goal.”
Coastal Flooding On The Rise
Many homeowners dream of waterfront property, thesmell of salty sea air and to be greeted by the ocean when the wake up every morning. As idyllic as it may sound there is another side to living on the coast. During 2018 coastal communities experienced record number of high tide flooding. Sidewalks and streets were frequently flooded mainly due to El Nino conditions.
The projected increase in high tide flooding in 2018 may be as much as 60 percent higher across U.S. coastlines as compared to typical flooding about 20 years ago, according to NOAA scientists. These predictions are part ofNOAA’s 2017 State of High Tide Flooding and 2018 Outlook, a report produced by NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services every year since 2014.
Coastal flooding usually occurs during seasonal high tides and storms that pushwater toward the shore. However, as sea levels are rising, floods in coastal communities are increasingly occurring on days with less extreme tides or little wind, even on sunny days. Impacts of coastal flooding may include frequent road closures, reduced stormwater drainage capacity, deterioration of infrastructure, andintrusion of saltwater to drinking water.
The top five cities that saw the highest number of flood days across the U.S. and broke records include Boston; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Sandy Hook, New Jersey; Sabine Pass, Texas; and Galveston, Texas. These cities faced the brunt of an active nor’easter and hurricane seasons and sea level rise, which has made these and other less extreme events more impactful.
SERVPRO ofNewton/Wellesley specializes in Water Remediation, if you ever experience a flood or water damage call us 24/7617-332-9000
Lighting Storm Rolls Through Massachusetts
As severe thunderstorms rolled through MetroWest, a lightning strike caused some damage to a Massachusetts home after it made a tree topple over onto the property's living room.
Then a bolt of lightning struck around 3 a.m. The explosion woke them all up, but no one was hurt.
Windows in the back of the home were blown out and a large tree was torn apart.
The number of homeowners insurance claims from lightning strikes and electrical surges in the United States rose in 2016, compared with 2015; however, the average cost that insurers paid on those claims fell. More than $825 million in lightning claims was paid out in 2016 to more than 100,000 policyholders. Total insured losses caused by lightning rose 4.5 percent from 2015 to 2016, although overall losses have declined 12.4 percent since 2007. There were 109,049 lightning claims in 2016, up 9.7 percent from 2015. Over fifty percent of claims were related to electrical surge damaging components or wiring, while power surges from transformer or service line shorts were also contributing factors. “The average cost per claim dropped 4.7 percent from 2015 to 2016,” said James Lynch, FCAS MAAA, chief actuary at the I.I.I. “However, the overall average cost per claim has risen 42.3 percent since 2007. By comparison,” he noted, “The Consumer Price Index rose only 15.8 percent in the same period.”
SERVPRO of Newton/Wellesley's Reconstruction Team can put your home back together after a storm, flood, mold or fire...“Like it never even happened.”
When Your Commercial Property Experiences a Flood
As a business owner, you must protect your property. You likely have insurance that covers you in case of theft, fire or other serious property damage, but not all policies cover flood damage. Even if you don't live in an area prone to flooding, one burst pipe is all it takes to create a big problem.
Have Digital Backups of Any Paper Files
No matter how well you prepare, your paper files are at risk if storm damage is a possibility. If you don't already have digital copies of your important paperwork, now is the time to create these backups. Doing so can save you days' worth of headaches during the restoration process.
- Property deeds
- Insurance policies
- Inventory lists
- Employee information
- Company handbooks and policies
- Client or customer information
Create Sandbags to Protect Your Building
Placing sandbags at the doors and windows can protect your property from up to two feet of storm water. After filling each bag with sand, fold the top over and place the bag with the folded top down. Create one layer at a time, and limit their placement to three layers, unless you intend to create a pyramid or are leaning the bags against doors and windows. Remember, sandbags are a temporary solution and aren't likely to protect the building from larger floods.
Move What You Can
Consider your furniture and whether you have higher ground in your building. If you have a second story, move as much furniture and equipment to the higher floor as possible. If you have enough notice and a second property that is on higher ground, consider moving furniture and equipment to a new building entirely.
While you aren't likely to get away from flooding with no damage at all, following these steps will help you protect much of your property. Less time spent cleaning up means more time getting back into the swing of doing business.