How Does FEMA Assist in Disaster Relief?
FEMA worker assists disaster victim. (Credit: https://www.facebook.com/FEMA/photos/10158864502499965)
A natural disaster can be so overwhelming that victims are often left not knowing where to begin cleanup efforts.
In the wake of a flood, tornado, or hurricane, people who have lost virtually everything need help meeting their basic daily needs. Fortunately, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides several disaster relief services and financial assistance. Generally, it acts as a liaison between the federal government and the affected area.
Some Assistance Specifics
The disaster relief agency provides direct services and financial assistance for damages and other disaster-related expenses not covered by the victims’ insurance. Specifics that the federal agency provides include:
- Coordinates with law enforcement on procedures for evacuation
- Coordinates food distribution
- Coordinates medical assistance
- Provides temporary fixes for houses such as roof tarps
- Seeks and provides temporary shelter for victims
- Provides financial assistance (e.g., unemployment, replacement, repair, lodging)
- Provides crisis counseling
FEMA not only provides help after a disaster but also before a storm hits and when it’s underway. For example, they will help prepare as much as possible for a major flood, assist with evacuations before and during the flooding, and provide financial assistance for damage afterward.
Prepare Ahead of Time
It is helpful to take before and after photos of your property (residence, vehicles, and other personal property) if you begin the repair process before an adjuster comes out to assess the damage. You could be reimbursed for some of these expenses. Know what your property insurance covers and does not cover. After the storm, you will need to apply for disaster assistance and make an insurance claim. Some forms of financial assistance are income-dependent.
Suppose your residence in Memphis, TN sustains damage such as flooding from a major storm. In that case, you will require storm damage mitigation professionals to quickly and thoroughly restore your property to its original state. FEMA should provide help with some of the costs incurred.
What You Need To Know About Commercial Water Damage
Experiencing water damage at your or Bartlett, TN or Cordova, TN business can be stressful, especially when it affects equipment and inventory. Many water emergencies are the result of a plumbing mishap and are graded into different categories. A Category 1 water emergency originates from a clean water source; however, there are a few facts you may want to be aware of to ensure proper cleanup.
Water Appliances Are A Common Leak Source
When a Category 1 flood occurs, the origin point is usually an appliance that dispenses water, such as a breakroom sink, an automatic ice maker, or a water cooler. Supply line leaks and breakage are often responsible. You can stem the water flow by shutting off the main water supply valve and sealing off the area until help arrives.
Sanitary Water Can Degrade Quickly
Although Category 1 flood events have a clean water source, such as a broken pipe in your restaurant's kitchen, the resulting standing water can break down rapidly due to bacteria formation. Humidity and the introduction of dirt and debris from people's shoes as they attempt to clean up the mess. It is a good idea to call in flood damage and remediation service as quickly as possible to prevent water stagnation.
Mold Growth May Still Occur
Unlike Category 3 water, which contains toxins and unsanitary debris, Category 1 can be simpler to deal with cleanup efforts. However, it is essential to remember that mold growth may occur days to weeks later if it is not adequately cleaned and dried. Mold grows in humid, moist areas and can flourish undetected behind drywall and underneath carpet padding. Ask your remediation technicians how to prevent this issue and whether your building is vulnerable after a Category 1 flood.
Clean water flooding at your Bartlett, TN, or Cordova, TN, business may not seem too serious at first. However, there're a few dangers connected with such an event, and knowing what to expect can help you protect the future of your commercial building.
Stay Safe During the Dog Days of Summer
Stay Safe During the Dog Days of Summer
Summertime can be a dangerous season because of predictable hazardous conditions that promote dangerous weather, especially in the South (strong winds, tornadoes, hail, and flooding, among other treacherous situations).
Practice these summer safety tips, even as the season starts to wind down:
1. Have an Emergency Weather Kit
Put together a kit with bottled water, canned food, flashlight, first-aid kit, manual can opener, cell phone and charger, and other essentials in case your family experiences an unexpected natural disaster. Learn how to build a complete emergency kit HERE.
2. Fire Safety
Whether it's night time campfires or celebratory fireworks, being extra cautious with fire during the hot, sometimes dry, summertime months is crucial. Always be sure to fully extinguish campfires and never leave them unattended. Fireworks should be used safely and legally by adults 18+ and always in a clear area.
3. Limit Heat and Sun Exposure
The later summer months can bring some of the South's hottest days. Be sure to limit your sun exposure, stay hydrated, be careful about exercising outdoors, and remain indoors as much as possible during heat advisories.
4. Have an Emergency Plan for Your Family and/or Business
Regardless of the season, it's smart to have an emergency plan in place for your home or business, but it can be critical during the summer months which bring a higher likelihood or natural disasters. Your plan should include making sure kids know their emergency contacts, setting up a central meeting place, and having important documents backed up to the cloud.
Many SERVPRO teams hit the road, traveling through risky danger zones to save or repair victims' property. They are compassionate and understanding because their jobs are not only to clean-up and repair, but also give home and business owners peace of mind after experiencing tremendous loss of property and many times even loss of lives.
Summer is a fun time, but it can also be a tragic time. Be careful and watchful out there. For additional information regarding our business, contact SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova at (901) 382-0900. Happy summer!
Career Opportunities at SERVPRO
Interested in being a part of the SERVPRO family? Apply today!
With 17 franchises in 6 locations throughout TN, FL, and TX, SERVPRO Team Nicholson is an exciting, diverse, innovative place to work. We foster positive company culture, offer competitive compensation packages, and prioritize community involvement. Come find out what it takes to be a part of our team!
Our mission is to be a proud, laser-focused team holding each other accountable while creating positive opportunities for our people and becoming the most efficiently run organization in the markets we serve. We value honesty, reliability, relationships, trustworthiness, and authenticity! Our team develops and provides solutions; we are go-getters and carry a “bring it” attitude to our work environment. We listen and value each other’s thoughts and ideas and strive to bring them to life. We are built on hard work, transparency, good business, and integrity. We believe “You can’t go wrong doing the right thing.”
Bill Repsel, our Regional Administrator, shared his testimony on what it's like working for SERVPRO. He said "Every day is a new day. It is an opportunity to serve others in our community in a time of need. We have an incredible team of people with great talent that strives to make a difference every day."
SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova is proud of the work we do and is always looking for like-minded people interested in a rewarding career. Please submit your resume to recruiting@SERVPROclarksville.com, stop by our office at 6755 Whitten Pl, Memphis, TN. from 8:00 am-5:00 pm Monday-Friday or click here to check out our current job openings.
What to Know About Mitigation and Restoration
If your home has storm damage, call SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova!
Many companies in Bartlett, Tennessee, or Cordova, Tennessee, experience the risk of flooding after a massive storm. Fortunately, a flood cleanup company can help with restoration in the aftermath. However, you can do some mitigation steps before flooding happens that may help you protect the company property. Here are three things you may need to know regarding mitigation and restoration.
1. Mitigation Helps Prevent Damage
Mitigation is used when referring to preparation steps before a storm that may help reduce damage. These steps may include building dams around areas prone to pooling water, inspecting drainage clogs that can lead to water back up, and placing tarps or boards over spaces where wind damage can occur. More permanent forms include installing storm shutters or a sump pump.
2. Restoration Occurs After Damage
Restoration is used for any repairs after a storm, often performed by a flood cleanup company. These are done to get the property back in working order. It's recommended that restoration occurs as swiftly as possible, as doing so can help prevent further damage. You will often see your restoration team take additional protective steps to avoid damaged areas from being further exposed.
3. Both Are Important Steps
Taking mitigation steps before the storm, and contacting a restoration company to repair any damages afterward quickly are important steps to keeping your business property in top condition. Reducing the damage possibility beforehand, and making quick repairs may help you avoid long-term problems regarding property upkeep and maintenance.
You can take some mitigation steps to help protect company property before the storm arrives. If your business does experience flooding, contact SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova. We can arrive quickly to start the repair process before additional damage can occur. These options used together may help you prevent the necessity of costly repairs down the road.
How to Create a Fire Evacuation Plan for Your Business
Few people expect to see their commercial property engulfed in flames. No one expects to see a grease fire in the break room, either. No matter what size fire occurs at your place of business, having a contingency plan can help save lives, valuable records and equipment, and money. Here's how to make one.
1. Assign Roles
Delegating tasks and responsibilities now, when things are calm, can reduce the confusion and chaos accompanying an event such as an office fire. Consider assigning roles such as the following:
- Fire extinguishers that'll use the actual fire extinguishers to snuff out small blazes.
- Get-out guides that'll keep exit routes clear and make sure everyone is out of the building before they leave.
- Attendance takers that'll perform a roll call outside to ensure that everyone is accounted for.
Having a job to perform and having others point you in the right direction may reduce the urge to panic.
2. Plan, Post, and Practice Your Evacuation Route
It's important to have multiple ways to exit your building if a fire occurs. Plan these escape routes ahead of time so that your contingency plan can be posted and regularly practiced by all employees. That way, if the unthinkable happens, you and your staff will know exactly where to go, thanks to your well-rehearsed evacuation plan.
3. Set Up a Clear Chain of Communication
In a fire, knowledge is power. To keep misinformation from spreading, it's often wise to devise a clear communication plan. A straightforward method is to create a chain of command, unlike an old school phone tree, where individuals are tasked with relaying information to those underneath them on the tree. It's smart to have a single spokesperson who communicates with the public or news outlets.
A fire doesn't have to spell catastrophe for your commercial property in Bartlett, Tennesse, or Cordova, Tennesee. By creating a plan in advance, you can better protect your employees' safety. After everyone is safe, you can leave the fire cleanup to the professionals. Contact SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova at (901) 382-0900.
Understanding the Risks Of Storm Damage & Insurance Coverage
A homeowner's policy typically covers standard weather patterns and the risks involved. With warmer weather comes the increased risk of volatile storms and damage from high winds and heavy rains. The savvy homeowner may invest in a hurricane and flood insurance policy, knowing the potential disasters related to severe weather.
- Sewage backup
- Mold growth
- Roof damage
- Other property and structural issues
However, not every flood claim is equal, and not all damage caused by strong winds is covered under storm insurance. Therefore, make sure your policy protects you against typical storm damages in your area.
Increasing Water Levels
A typical homeowner's insurance plan will probably not cover flooding related to storms. You will need a specific policy for flood damage and loss. However, these plans are not necessary for every area or region. To verify whether such a policy is needed, you can check the flood zones in your city.
High winds and storm surges can lead to significant structural issues. The winds can lead to damaged rooflines, and the swelling waters can weaken foundations. In either case, your property may become vulnerable to mold growth due to increased moisture and humidity.
Loss of Personal Property
While you may do everything right to prepare for an incoming storm, like install storm shutters and set up sandbags, you can still be vulnerable to property loss. For instance, the winds tear away at portions of your roof, and the rain destroys family photos, clothing, and other items stored in the attic. Thankfully, in this situation, a standard homeowner's policy should have you covered.
Whether a flood or other severe weather hits you, you will need assistance cleaning up the damage. SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova can help by mitigating further loss by putting up shutters and tarps around the property. They can act as a middleman between you and your insurer, making sure you get what you're owed.
While a homeowner's policy typically covers standard weather patterns and the risks involved, certain areas are more prone to flooding and severe weather, requiring specific policy upgrades. Make sure you have coverage for the structure, water, wind, and property loss.
How to Get Rid of Mold
Many business owners have experienced mold growth in their place of business. It seems to congregate in one area. You clean it, think you got rid of it for good, and a few days later, it starts to reappear. Left unattended, it will slowly take up more and more space or show up in another location. This is a common scenario for many people, and it can happen anywhere there is humidity. If you suspect that your business in Bartlett, Tennessee, or Cordova, Tennessee, has a recurring mold problem, you may need to perform mold remediation procedures.
Why Mold Keeps Coming Back
Mold has some unique characteristics that make it a hardy organism that thrives in moist environments. It's these unique qualities that make a mold so difficult to eliminate:
- Microscopic mold spores naturally exist in both indoor and outdoor air.
- Spores can enter through windows, on clothing, or on shoes.
- Spores begin to grow into colonies when given a moisture-rich environment.
- Mold growth thrives if the moisture persists.
Colonies release new mold spores.
Ways to Eradicate Mold
There're many species of mold. Some are easier to spot and simpler to get rid of than others. All thrive in high humidity. If your mold problem is not severe, you can try to get rid of it yourself by keeping inside humidity below 45%, removing moldy items, and using antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to kill the spores.
When More is Needed
Any time you experience water damage, you should be suspicious of mold. Sometimes it lurks where it cannot be seen, such as behind drywall or underneath carpet. Mold remediation specialists use equipment that finds mold in dark areas. They can prevent the spread to other areas by using negative air chambers, running specialized HEPA vacuums, and replacing damaged materials. In the end, your property will be restored to its original condition.
If you find mold, contact SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova at (901) 382-0900. We have the tools to solve the problem and keep mold growth from spreading.
Fire Preparation Steps
As a homeowner, the thought of a fire breaking out in your house is a nightmare scenario. This emergency could have devastating effects. Your family safety is at risk, but you could lose precious possessions and your home itself. There're fire preparation steps you should follow to reduce the risk of this terrible event from occurring.
Sure up Those Smoke Alarms
All Bartlett, Tenessee, or Cordova, Tennessee, homes should have smoke alarms to alert you of fire danger. One or two devices are not enough. Your home should have one in every bedroom and an additional alarm per floor. There're also other essential elements of smoke alarms you should look for to prevent a home fire from spreading and getting out of hand.
- Test your smoke alarm once a month.
- Change the batteries in your smoke alarm at least once a year.
- Never disconnect your smoke alarm.
Keep an Eye on the Dryer
Of all your appliances, your dryer is perhaps the most significant potential culprit for starting a fire. You must check the filter after every loan and remove any lint buildup. Make sure you inspect the outside vent and the hose leading from the dryer to the vent.
Watch the Outlets
Being aware of electrical problems is an important fire safety tip. Check each outlet in your home, and never overload them with cords. Also, be mindful when you use power strips, especially with electronic equipment such as computers.
Be Careful When You Cook
Fire prevention often starts in the kitchen, where there are a few different heat sources. Make sure your oven is clean and functioning correctly. Also, never leave food on the stove unattended.
You can have peace of mind when you follow these fire prevention guidelines. If you need further direction, contact SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova at (901) 382-0900.
What is Covered by Your Commercial Property Insurance?
If you have experienced a house fire, contact SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova. We are experts in fire damage restoration.
Reasons to Have Commercial Insurance After Fire Damage
If a fire occurs in your Bartlett, Tennessee, or Cordova, Tennessee, building, it can be beneficial to have commercial insurance. While the details will vary between companies and individual policies, it can cover a wide range of property. Here are some of the items you can expect to be included.
1. The Structure of the Building
In many cases, fire damage will include the building itself. If it was severe enough, you might be required to rebuild part of the structure. Your insurance will usually cover this. If you are missing portions of your walls, floors, or ceiling, your policy should include the costs of repairing and restoring these areas. It will often involve repainting and placing new flooring as well.
2. Property Inside the Building
Whether the fire was large or small, there's a good chance that the building items were damaged. This can include equipment, furniture, and decorations, such as curtains or artwork. If these were affected by smoke or fire damage, they would be included in your policy as well, so you won't have to worry about the costs associated with repairing or replacing them.
3. Property Outside the Building
Fires are not always contained in the building where they began; your commercial insurance can cover the area outside of your business as well. This can include outdoor furniture and equipment. In some cases, it may cover neighboring properties if the fire and the damage it caused spread outside of your property.
You may like to think that a fire cannot occur on your property, but some accidents cannot be prevented even if you are careful. Fires are common, so it is a good idea to have commercial insurance that covers them. It will help pay for the repairs that you will need to have done by a fire restoration company and the costs of replacing destroyed items. Contact SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova at (901) 382-0900.