Are You Prepared for Severe Weather?
While we are all excited that summer is finally here, SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest wants to remind you to be prepared for severe weather season. In 2016, severe weather and climate disaster events across the United States, claimed the lives of 245 people.
As a national sponsor of the Red Cross Ready Rating Program and a premier fire and water restoration provider, SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest wants you to be prepared for dangerous weather events.
A few simple actions will increase your readiness today:
Check the weather forecast regularly. Know when there is an increased risk of severe weather in your area.
Obtain a NOAA Weather Radio. You can purchase a weather radio from the Red Cross store at https://www.redcrossstore.org/home or from Midland at https://midlandusa.com/product-category/weather/ or local stores such as Hy-Vee, Bakers, Shopko, and others.
Learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. These are emergency messages sent by authorized government-alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service. Visit www.ctia.org/wea to learn more about Wireless Emergency Alerts, including how to determine of your mobile device is WEA-capable.
Learn more about severe weather safety. The Red Cross is an excellent source of severe weather safety and warning information and tools. Visit www.redcross.org/prepare to learn more about preparedness for disasters of all kind. Be sure to check out the app store for the FREE Red Cross Tornado App.
If you experience storm damage, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest at 402-408-0134. We are here to help 24 x 7.
Does Your Insurance Cover This?
Trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest to clean sewage backup like this.
Fall and spring tend to be our wettest seasons making our homes most susceptible to the backup of sewer or drain lines. While these events don't occur often, when they do, the problem can be a small disaster. Did you know a standard homeowner's insurance policy excludes coverage for such an event?
It's true. The backup of sewer and drains as well as the failure of a sump pump is excluded. The damage you sustain from either of these problems will not be covered and you'll be responsible to pay for the loss and the clean up. If you have a finished basement, or use your basement area for storage, you shouldn't go without this coverage endorsement.
Heavy rains can trigger a backup. A storm sewer backs up into your home and usually comes in through a sump well, washtubs in the basement, or toilets in the basement. However, the damage can happen anywhere in the house. Sump pump failures normally occur from power outages or motor failures. Sump pumps run on electricity and during a bad storm many times the power goes out. That's when you need the sump pump the most, to pump the heavy water from the rain out of the basement.
The damage can be quite costly. Normally damage occurs in the basement, which houses the mechanical systems of the house such as: washer and dryer, furnace, hot water tank and the numerous items people store there. Water or sewage usually destroys anything it comes in contact with. For the thousands of dollars in damage, it would be well worth purchasing the additional coverage with your homeowner's policy to cover such an event.
Be sure to ask your agent about this coverage to make sure you already have it on your policy or to purchase it. This coverage can often be purchased as an endorsement on its own, or with an endorsement that will expand/increase other coverages on the policy. The additional cost runs between $25 and $50 annually. Well worth the peace of mind. The key is to ask your agent or company what your best option is.
If you experience sewer or water damage at your home, SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest is here to hellp 24x7. Call us at 402-408-0134.
Using Portable Fire Extinguishers
Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tools when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS:
- Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
- Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the level slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with then before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. To find more information on choosing the appropriate class of extinguisher, please visit the NFPA website at www.nfpa.org.
We are here to help 24x7. Call us at 402-408-0134
Water Damage Tips - What To Do Until Help Arrives
A break in a small pipe like this can lead to a big problem. Call SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest 402-408-0134. We are here to help 24x7.
Winter has officially arrived in Omaha and it has brought sub-zero temperatures to prove it. The deep-freeze typically ushers in a high volume of frozen pipes, sometimes leaving property owners waiting days instead of hours for help to clean up their property.
At times like these, we receive several calls seeking advice on what to do until help arrives. The answer depends on whether the water is clean or contaminated. Generally speaking, water from a supply line is considered clean, while water from drains is considered contaminated. There are exceptions to this general guideline.
If you are unsure of the classification of water affecting your property, consult your water damage experts at SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest at 402-408-0134 and we will help as best we can.
CLEAN Water Damage Tips
- Shut off the source of the water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible my mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
- Place aluminum foid or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
- Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.
- Hang draperies with coated hangars to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
- Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
- Enter affected areas of electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
- Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.
- Leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
- Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
CONTAMINATED Water Damage Tips
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.
- Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
- Turn on HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
- Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.
- Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.
The most important thing to remember is that if you have any questions or require help; call the professionals at SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest at 402-408-0134. We are here to help 24x7.
Home Heating Fire Safety in Omaha
SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest cleaned up after this Omaha-Area heating fire.
The change in season means an increase in the use of supplemental home heating, and an increase in home heating fires. An October 2013 report from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) using date from 2007-2011 reveals some sobering statistics:
- Space heaters accounted for 33% of home heating fires and 81% of home heating deaths.
- The leading factor contributing in home heating fires was failure to clean (primarily creosote) from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.
- The leading factor contributing to ignition in 53% of fatal home heating fires was having flammable items too close to heating equipment.
With these statistics in mind, here are some tips for safe home heating:
- Always use protective screens to keep sparks and embers inside the firebox.
- Ensure the air inlet is free from debris and obstructions.
- Keep combustible decorations or furniture away from heat source.
- Burn only seasoned wood, never rubbish or scraps of treated lumber.
- Check the iron and steel components for cracks or degradation from the fire's heat and replace those that are bad.
- Close a dollar bill in the door at various spots around the frame. If you can pull it out easily the gaskets are won and should be changed.
- Set woodstoves on hearth rugs made of spark resistant material.
- Plug heaters directly into a wall socket and not into extension cords.
- Unplug heaters when they are not in use.
- Do not place heaters in walkways or in locations where they could be easily knocked over and ensure heaters are equipped with a tip-over switch.
- Keep clothing, furniture, draperies, paper and other items at least three feet away from the space heater.
- Use only electric heaters equipped with a thermostat or an automatic shut off switch.
- Do not hide cords under rugs or carpets. Placing anything on top of the cord could cause the cord to overheat, and can cause a fire.
- Leave appropriate and recommended amount of space surrounding a space heater.
The trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest hope you have a safe and happy Christmas season.
If you have questions or need help, please call us 24x7 at 402-408-0134