Every year parts of the United States, including the east coast, find themselves experiencing the high winds and heavy rain of a hurricane storm surge. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th. Being prepared for these storms is the key to your safety and in reducing damage to your home and business. Here are a few things that you can do to be prepared:
- Have a plan. Having a plan ready for what you need, how to get in contact with relatives and loved ones, and what you will do if evacuations are required. Planning can help to ensure you are ready regardless of if you leave your home or shelter in place during the storm. You can also visit FEMAs website for more information about putting together an emergency plan. (link https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan)
- Have an emergency kit ready. Always make sure to have an emergency kit ready with supplies for sheltering in place or for evacuating the area if told to do so.
- Listen for weather reports and instructions. Paying close attention to the weather reports and instructions from local government can help to keep you and your family safe and prepared for the storm.
- Know how to turn off gas, electric, and water utilities in your home. Turning off the utilities can prevent further damage occurring in the event that you are required to evacuate.
- Property maintenance. Removing dead or damaged branches, repairing damaged gutters, or loose debris in the yard can prevent damage caused by debris becoming projectiles in the wind. Cleaning out clogged gutters can also prevent water damage.
- Stay updated on the storm. Listen for alerts and instructions from local officials on the news and radio. Also be sure to follow the instructions given to better ensure your safety.
- Avoid windows and glass doors during the storm. High winds can create projectiles that can shatter glass and harm occupants in the home.
- Stay inside during the eye of the hurricane. Hurricanes are a large circular storm system that rotate around a central eye. The eye may seem calm as if the storm has passed but the rest of the storm will shortly follow behind it.
- Check-in with family and friends. Check in on loved ones in the affected area and let those that you now outside of the area that you are safe. If land lines are down social media and texting may be more effective ways to make contact.
- Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe. Never attempt to re-enter the area until the area has been cleared as safe.
- Avoid debris and downed power lines.
- Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock a person down, and one foot of fast-moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
- Take inventory of damage to your property. Photograph the damage in order to assist in filing an insurance claim.
- Prevent additional damage from occurring. Tarp or board up damaged roofs and windows. Your insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm has passed.
Free Shredding Event
SERVPRO of Kennett Square/Oxford hosts several FREE shredding events a year. Follow us on Facebook to see a list of our upcoming events!
Why is shredding important?
Shredding is fundamental to protecting your identity.
Discarding bank and credit card statements, medical and utility bills and pay stubbs in the garbage and leaving them on the curb can put you in a vulnerable position. Believe it or not, there are people who will dig through dirty, disgusting, smelly trash to find credit card statements or your social security number.
In fact, in the decision California vs. Greenwood, the United States Supreme Court stated that the "expectation of privacy in trash left for collection in an area accessible to the public is unreasonable."
In other words, when you throw something away, it is available to anyone who is willing to dig through your trash.
The best way to protect your self is by shredding.
What to shred? The short list is anything with a signature, account number, social security or driver's license number, and medical or legal documents
Not sure if items need to be shredded? This is a list of the top 20 items that should be put in the shredder to protect your identity:
Obsolete financial records, including loans
Pre-approved credit card applications.
Personal medical records or physician statements
Correspondence and tax preparation worksheets
Receips for purchases
Credit card statements
Mail and old records
Credit card receipts
Expired credit cards
Mailing labels from magazines
Old driver’s licenses or passports
Expired insurance cards
Any document that contains social security, birth dates, your mother’s maiden name, account numbers or online passwords.
Don't Lose Your Business To Fire Damager
Commercial Fire Damage
Call SERVPRO For Fast, Friendly Fire Remediation Services
The word “fire” strikes fear in the hearts of most people and for good reason. Whether it’s your home or business it can bring life, as you know it, to a screeching halt.
If your business or commercial property caught on fire, don't panic. Instead, call the professionals of SERVPRO® of Kennett Square/Oxford and let us start cleaning up immediately. Acting right now is the key to limiting damages and expediting the restoration process, and choosing our team of industry specialists is the secret to attaining the sophisticated services you deserve. All of our IICRC-certified technicians will work with diligence and determination to get your commercial property back in pristine condition, so call us now at (610) 268-8620 to attain your free estimate.
Knowing which steps to take in the face of a commercial fire can help prevent you from becoming anxious, losing money, and undergoing extensive property damages. To handle fire damage successfully and speedily, implement the following four tips:
1. Call The Insurance Company Immediately.
Be sure that you call your insurance company once the fire is out. This step is important because your insurance agent will work with you to file a claim and determine how much coverage you'll attain for the commercial damages.
2. Contact A Fire Remediation Expert.
In addition to fire, smoke, and soot damage, your business may also suffer from water damage as a result of the firefighting efforts.
SERVPRO of Kennett Square / Oxford specializes in fire and water damage restoration. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your business to pre-fire condition. Don't ever attempt to handle any of the cleanups, drying, or restoration processes on your own. Doing so could put you in peril of injury and illness.
3. Assemble Your Records.
In addition to contacting a fire remediation expert, make sure that you assemble your business's essential records. You'll want to have this information with you when you start working with your insurance company. To guarantee that you can have all of your files ready in a safe place, make a point to buy a fireproof safe where they can be stored.
4. Get Permission To Reenter The Building.
Always ask the fire department or another local authority whether you can reenter your building. In some cases, a fire can weaken the structural integrity of the commercial property and make it subject to collapse. This is why you need to assure that reentry is safe for you and your employees.
Smoke Alarm Safety
Smoke Alarm Safety
Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury by half. *
The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure that specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.
Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.
Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance. For more on emergency preparedness, contact SERVPRO® of Kennett Square/Oxford Franchise Professionals.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
- Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps,” the battery is low and should be replaces right away.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
*Statistics and tips provided by National Fire Prevention Association
SERVPRO Named to Entrepreneur's Top 10 Franchise List for 7th Consecutive Year
SERVPRO, a cleanup and restoration franchise company, maintains its hold on the top ranking in the Restoration Services Industry
SERVPRO retains top ranking in restoration services category and climbs to #4 ranking overall in the 2016 Franchise 500 rankings.
SERVPRO, maintains its hold on the top ranking in the Restoration Services industry for the 13th consecutive year and moves up to the number four spot overall in the 2016 Franchise 500 rankings from Entrepreneur magazine. This is the seventh consecutive year SERVPRO has been included in the magazine's Top 10 list, standing out in a group of more than 951 franchises that qualified for inclusion in the list.
"This recognition affirms that SERVPRO is a dynamic organization that continues to grow and strives to always provide superior support for its franchisees, and by extension, its customers," said Sue Steen, SERVPRO Industries, Inc., chief executive officer. "The recognition that the company earns year after year in this prestigious list is confirmation of a commitment to excellence that starts at the top and is evident in the service that each franchisee provides to each and every customer."
According to Steen, a number of differentiators set SERVPRO apart from the competition and fuel the attractiveness of the company to both existing franchisees and would-be entrepreneurs looking for a strong business opportunity. Key among these are:
•SERVPRO's strength as a brand with a national footprint, and the ability to create national partnerships with organizations such as the PGA TOUR and the American Red Cross.
•SERVPRO's commitment to being a learning organization, which keeps training and support at the forefront of the company's culture and philosophy of success and helps franchisees plan, track, and deliver best-in-class services to consumers.
•SERVPRO's focus on continued development and support for proprietary software and systems to allow the company's operational capacity to keep pace with an aggressive growth strategy.
"Today, as a mature franchise organization with more than 1,700 locations under a single brand, recognition like this makes it clear we are reaping the rewards of having laid a solid foundation and a framework to handle quick growth. As our brand continues to grow, we will continue our winning strategy of supporting and improving upon our infrastructure and investing resources in training and support."
SERVPRO specializes in fire and water cleanup and restoration services, helping both commercial and residential customers recover from property damage emergencies "Like it never even happened." For more fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit http://www.SERVPROkennettsquareoxford.com
Disaster: Will you be ruined or ready?
Large Commercial Loss
When damage strikes you can be ruined or you can be ready! David Hughes, President of SERVPRO of Kennett Square/Oxford, gave a presentation at the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce about the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile. ERPs are a free service offered to local area businesses that helps them be ready for whatever happens!
Hughes told the audience that by preparing with an ERP, you can minimize the amount of time your business is inactive. Knowing who to call in advance is the key to timely mitigation, and timely mitigation reduces the effects of fire and water damage.
Elements of the ERP include employee and emergency contacts, utility contacts, shut off locations, primary contact information, insurance contacts, property overview and building access information.
SERVPRO of Kennett Square / Oxford is located on Pennsylvania Avenue in Avondale Pennsylvania. The team provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any size disaster. Highly trained technicians respond immediately to residential or commercial emergencies.
SERVPRO of Kennett Square/Oxford is a Gold Circle Partner of the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce, and a Platinum Sponsor of the Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce. This provides financial support for Chamber activities. Network at Noon is the monthly luncheon given for Southern Chamber members and guests on the last Thursday of the month.
For more information about SERVPRO of Kennett Square/Oxford services, contact them at (610) 268-8620.
Community Emergency Response Teams
Official CERT gear and bag
Here at SERVPRO of Kennett Square/ Oxford we believe in the power of sharing knowledge and information on preparedness for disasters that could affect our communities. This past spring our marketing manager, Cliff Masscotte, and marketing representative, Brian Arencibia, signed up to be trained as members of Chester County CERT in order to gain more knowledge on these topics. CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team and is a program that is organized by FEMA and is run by Chester County. The goal of the program is to teach people within the local communities to be prepared to help themselves, their loved ones, and their neighbors in the event of a disaster or unforeseen emergency. The training includes everything from first aid and triage, to basic search and rescue and small fire fighting. Through this training with CERT, Cliff and Brian are more prepared to respond to disasters that might occur, and they also have more knowledge and information to share with the communities that we serve.
SERVPRO helps Longwood Gardens prepare to re-open one of their most popular attractions
SERVPRO of Kennett Square/Oxford recently spent two weeks helping Longwood Gardens, a local botanical garden, prepare to re-open one of their most popular attractions after three years of renovations and revitalization. Longwood Gardens has served the community through its educational programs and promotion of the arts. We were proud to have the opportunity to assist in the post construction cleaning of their newest attractions to create a clean and safe environment for their visitors to enjoy the spectacle of the new fountain gardens. SERVPRO of Kennett Square/ Oxford has worked exclusively with Longwood Gardens for a number of years to assist in maintaining a clean and appealing environment throughout their facilities for the enjoyment of the millions of guests that visit the gardens each year. We look forward to continuing to do our part to serve those that serve our community.
SERVPRO to the rescue!
One of our local universities experienced a sprinkler discharge which affected 2 stories, 2 stairwells, and 6 dorm rooms. Crews were onsite within 30 minutes and worked until approx 11:00pm to extract water and set equipment to help facilitate the drying of the structure.
SERVPRO of Kennett Square/Oxford is ready at a moments notice. Our franchise is actually designated as a Large Loss Response Team. This qualification is obtained through several criteria set forth by our corporate office. Our Commercial Large Loss Division handles any losses estimated to be $50,000 and up. Once the loss hits an estimated $500,000 our Extreme Response Team is then activated. Our Franchise also is designated for Storm Production. We are 1 of 4, out of over 1750 franchises to have this designation. If a hurricane were to hit from South Carolina up to Maine, we would implement a "Storm Event" and activate local franchises to help the surrounding area. So rest assured, whatever the size of the loss, SERVPRO of Kennett Square/Oxford can help to make it "Like It Never Even Happened".
In The Company Of Those Who Care
At SERVPRO of Kennett Square/Oxford, we pride ourselves in giving back to the communities in which we work. I have covered more than a dozen township community events this year, and for each one, SERVPRO of Kennett Square/Oxford has been a sponsor. We also actively seek out opportunities in which to support our first responders, the ones who make a difference in our daily lives, without us even realizing it.
Recently, I approached Pete Mango, Public Information Officer of the Keystone Valley Fire Department about their upcoming Pig Roast on October 1st. I explained to Pete that I was interested in sponsoring the event since it was community related, and it would benefit their building fund as well, to help them renovate their Parkesburg station. After pitching the idea to my CFO/Marketing Manager, I had a check waiting for me the same day.
On October 1st, the day of the event, Brian Arencibia and I arrived at the Pomeroy station and were greeted by several members of the team: Mike Short, Doug Delestienne, Earl Taylor, and Mike Emerson were there to name a few. Chief showed up a few minutes later and instructed us to place our SERVPRO vehicles out in front of the station, which was a great idea. Shortly after that, we all went inside and ate one of the most delicious meals I've ever had.
The day was a success in my eyes. The community was very responsive, and we even had a member from station 8 in Maryland come for dinner. It's a spectacular feeling when people are there to support each other, to grow the community, and to come together in times of need. That is exactly what Keystone Valley Fire Department offers: A chance to be in the company of those who care, and those that make the difference every day. Thank you for everything you do, and stay safe!
SERVPRO of Kennett Square/Oxford