Disaster Preparedness For Your Home
Fire Damage, Water Damage Storm Damage, Mold Damage, Sewage Backup. These are just a few types of disasters that can affect your home.
National Preparedness Month is a great time to evaluate and elevate your level of preparedness. Our years of experience helping the Omaha community to recover from disasters large and small have proven the value of preparedness. Preparedness is vital to being better able to recover from most forms of loss and allow for peace of mind before anything even happens.
SERVPRO of Omaha SW encourages you to review the following links to find no-cost ways to be better prepared:
• Family Emergency Plan
• Family Communication Plans
• Wallet-sized Communication Cards
• Emergency Supply Checklist (BASIC)
• Build An Emergency Kit
If you or your family are affected by a disaster such as fire, water, mold or sewage; call the trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest at 402-408-0134. Our experienced crews are always here to help.
Disaster Preparedness For Your Business
Whether your business experiences a large fire damage, water damage, or a small sewage backup, preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following the disaster.
The recent fire at Pettit’s Pastry in Omaha is just one example of the need to be prepared. According to the Omaha World Herald article, several business were affected and fortunately, a few of them are able to conduct business from alternate locations.
Since September is National Preparedness Month, it is a great time to consider your level of disaster preparedness at your business. As a trusted partner in the Omaha business community, we would like to share a few free disaster preparedness tools for your business.
Ready.gov is a great resource for all aspects of preparedness, from planning to implementing an effective disaster plan.
SERVPRO of Omaha SW offers a no-cost Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) as an important part of your preparedness planning.
Don't wait until disaster strikes. Call SERVPRO of Omaha SW to establish your ERP today.
If your business is affected by a disaster, from fire damage to water damage, call the trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest at 402-408-0134. Our experienced crews are always here to help.
Record Rainfall Causes Flooded Basements in Omaha, NE
Heavy rains cause local flooding in the Omaha Metro.
Heavy rains are causing water damage from flooded basements in many parts of the Omaha Metropolitan area. This article in the Omaha World Herald featured our owner, Pat Nosal commenting on the storm event. Over 6 inches of rain has fallen by mid-afternoon on Monday, while the a light rain continued.
Heavy rains frequently cause water seepage into basements, which is not usually covered by standard homeowners insurance. Keep gutters clear and downspouts running away from your foundation to guard against basement flooding.
It is also a good idea to check your foundation for low spots, particularly after a heavy rain. Sometimes, gutters overflow during a heavy rain and cause the ground to sink. These low spots collect rainwater near your foundation and can lead to water seeping into the basement.
If your Omaha-area home or business needs water damage cleanup, call the trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest at 402-408-0134; we are always here to help.
Severe Weather Preparedness in Omaha, NE
Recent heavy rains and severe storms in the Omaha area are cause to be mindful of severe weather preparedness.
As 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 or from Midland USA or at 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 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 the Red Cross Preparedness website 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 trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest at 402-408-0134. We are always here to help.
Spring Rain Can Mean Flood Pain in Omaha
SERVPRO of Omaha SW helped restore this Omaha basement with over 8" of water. The homeowner was grateful for our crews fast response and hard work.
The Omaha Metro typically sees periods of heavy rain in the spring months. In fact, 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 cleanup. 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 typically 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 help 24x7. Call us at 402-408-0134.
Smoke Odor in Omaha From Weekend Fires
This picture was taken from 36th street and Hwy 370 (while we wre waiting at a red light, of course). The smoke was visible from several miles away.
Two separate fires on Sunday sent a large plume of smoke billowing over the Omaha Metro area on Sunday afternoon and evening. By Monday morning, a haze fell low over much of the area and my north Bellevue neighborhood had a pungent smoke odor. I had my car vents on "outside air", pulling the stench into my car as I drove to work this morning. Fortunately, I work for a company that can help get rid of the odor in my car.
We have fielded a few calls already from home and business owners asking for assistance in deodorizing their properties.
If your home or business has experienced smoke damage or you would like our help with the smoke odor, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Omaha SW at 402-408-0134. Our experienced crews are always here to help.
Check out this story on the Omaha World Herald website to read more about the fires.
Electrical Safety in the Office and at Home.
No one ever wants to deal with the aftermath of a fire, so take these precautions to prevent dealing with a devastating loss.
Consumer electronic products are more prevalent than ever. Research indicates that the average household owns more than twenty-five consumer electronic products. With all of today’s technology, it can prove challenging to safely maintain power to all of our electronic devices. Electrical outlets are easy to overload and as a result, may become hazardous. While adding a power strip or extension cord seems like an easy solution to a lack of electrical outlets, the wiring in some buildings often isn’t capable of supporting too many high-powered electronic appliances.
Older office buildings and homes, in particular, often suffer from lack of electrical outlets. The temptation is to simply add a power strip or plug in an extension cord from across the room. Even in newer office buildings and homes, it can be all too easy to overload a single outlet with power hungry machines such as computers, printers, scanners and monitors.
When an employee or resident overloads an electrical outlet, that means more current is running through the outlet than it can handle. This causes the outlet to overheat, which may lead to an electrical fire. According to a 2008 National Fire Protection Association study, electrical distribution and lighting equipment are involved in more than 24,000 home structure fires per year. These fires resulted in an average of 320 deaths per year and an estimated $700 million in property damage per year.
If an electrical fire should occur, get safely away from the fire and call your fire department. If you choose to use an extinguisher on the fire, never let the fire get between you and a safe exit, and never let use water to extinguish an electrical fire. Class C fire extinguishers use a non-conductive extinguishing agent and should not cause electrical shock.
To help prevent this and other electrical hazards, refer to the list below (provided by Electrical Safety Foundation International).
- If you must use a power strip, use a name brand product from a reputable retailer. Low-quality or counterfeit power strips may contain wiring that isn’t adequate to carry the load.
- Place power strips where there is plenty of air circulation to disperse the heat.
- Never attempt to plug grounded (three-pronged) cords into an ungrounded (two-pronged) outlet.
- Do not bind, kink or know electrical cords.
National Preparedness Month: Plan to Stay in Business
photo by ready.gov
As a business owner or manager, you are a leader in your community and have the opportunity to set an example for your employees, customers, and community to follow.
This year, for National Preparedness Month during the month of September, join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types, and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared.
Disasters not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities, including businesses of all sizes. As an employer in your community, having a business continuity plan can help protect your company, its employees, and its infrastructure, and maximizes your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster.
Ready Business askes companies to take three simple steps:
- Plan to stay in business
- Encourage your employees to become Ready;
- Protect your investment
Tips to help Businesses be Ready
Ready Business, an extension of Ready Campaign, helps business owners and managers of small and medium-sized businesses prepare their employees, operations and assets in the event of an emergency. At Ready.gov/business, companies can find vital information on how to get started preparing their and addressing their unique needs during an emergency.
- Update and Distribute Emergency Contact Information to your Employees. Additionally, you can create and distribute a list of important emergency numbers in the areas you do business.
- Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company’s emergency plans.
- Conduct Office Evacuation/Shelter-in-Place Exercises and Drills. Once completed, evaluate how well they worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.
- Put Emergency Items on Display. Showcase an Emergency Supply Kit in your break room or other high-traffic locations and encourage employees to get their own Emergency Supply Kits for their homes.
Carbon Monoxide - A Silent Killer
You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels, it can kill a person in minutes. Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, etc. burn incompletely.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, hundreds of people die accidentally every year from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning as a result of improperly used or malfunctioning fuel burning appliances. Even more die from CO produced by idling cars.
The EPA says prevention is the key to avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning. Protect yourself with these tips:
- Have fuel-burning appliances, like oil and gas furnaces, gas or kerosene heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves, inspected by a trained professional at the beginning of every heating season.
- Install audible CO detectors; in homes, place them outside of each sleeping area.
- Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi or generator in an enclosed area, like a garage. Even if the door is open, the CO may not be properly ventilated.
- Do not idle a car inside a garage.
- Before using a fireplace, make sure the flue is open of proper ventilation.
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