What You Need To Know About Floods as a First Responder
Flooded basement after storm in East Greenwich, RI
If you're an aspiring first responder, know that you will be required to attend a lot of flood scenes, especially if you live in a flood plane. For this reason, most emergency teams require responders to undergo rigorous flood training and to obtain certain immunizations. Some of the following vaccinations are required, while others are merely recommended:
- Tetanus, required
- Hepatitis B, required
- Hepatitis A, recommended
- Typhoid, recommended
- Cholera, recommended
- Meningococcal, recommended
- Rabies, recommended
Whether a vaccine is required or recommended, the East Greenwich, RI, flood restoration experts recommend making sure you are up-to-date on all seven of the above vaccines. You never know what illnesses or diseases you may be exposed to on each flood response mission, and you can do your job best if you can respond with peace of mind.
Additional First Responder Requirements
In addition to receiving the required immunizations, there are other requirements you must fulfill before going on your first rescue mission. For one, you need to complete a state-approved emergency responder course. Most courses are about 40 hours and take approximately 30 days to complete.
You also need to obtain your CPR certificate from an accredited organization. Two reputable organizations whose certificates are accepted just about anywhere include the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health.
Once you successfully graduate from the emergency responder course and obtain CPR certification, you can either get your immunizations and start working or go on to take the certification exam for career advancement. There are several reputable organizations that offer this test, the results from which are recognized nationwide.
Of course, your unit will provide you with proper training as well and ensure that you are equipped to respond to a flood call in a safe and effective manner. To learn more about what you need to do to become a first responder, contact your local flood damage control professionals.
Understanding the Basics of Mold
Mold wall damage in a Warwick, RI home
If you notice a dark, fuzzy substance growing in the corner of your living room, you likely have a black mold problem. Mold is a fungus that grows anywhere there is organic matter and water to feed it. When you own a home in Warwick, RI, it is important to understand the basics of mold and how to get rid of it if you find it in your house.
The Mold Growth Trifecta
Anywhere there is a moisture problem, there is the possibility of mold growth. Mold needs three things to really thrive:
- A little extra moisture
- An organic surface to attach to and feed on
- A warm environment, roughly between 78 and 85 degrees
Mold is present everywhere. Patches of mold can form without a warm climate, but it won't multiply as rapidly. The closer the environment comes to matching mold's ideal home, the harder it is to keep black mold under control.
Your Mold Prevention Plan
While mitigation experts can perform mold cleanup, the best plan is prevention. The first strategy is robbing mold of one or more of its preferred environmental factors. Keeping your home cooler decreases humidity. The less humid your home is, the less likely it is to develop a mold problem. Even if you see a mold problem forming, a suddenly cooler, drier atmosphere can slow its growth. Another way to slow down the growth of mold is to keep the surfaces of your home clean. Mold attaches easily to dust, grease and other types of grime. Knowing prevention measures can be helpful if it takes a couple of days for the technicians to arrive to fix the problem or if their process gets delayed in the middle of remediation.
When you understand what causes black mold to grow, it is easier to prevent it. By controlling moisture, dirt and temperature, you are less likely to see mold growing in your home.
How To Cover the Financial Loss of a Fire
Commercial fire loss in Hoxsie, RI
You cannot control for every possibility. No matter what kind of fire safety plan you have or how many inspections and evacuation practices you undergo, your building in Hoxsie, RI, is still at risk for fire damage. You can lessen the financial effects of a fire, though, by purchasing interruption insurance. A business interruption policy can help you keep your business running even while repairs are underway.
You can't experience an interruption in your daily operations without experiencing some kind of financial hit. There are several expenses you can expect when you have to close all or part of your building during the fire restoration process:
- Loss of revenue as the result of slower or halted production
- Ongoing rent and utility costs
- Temporary relocation expenses, including marketing strategies for announcing new location
Without interruption insurance, you are at the mercy of the working capital you already have. When that runs out, you run the risk of not being able to get financing to recover. With a policy that covers these losses, however, you can breathe a little easier.
Insurance adjusters use quite a few factors to determine how much your policy is going to pay for your interruption expenses. It starts with the bid from the fire restoration company, specifically the projected timeline for finishing repairs. This tells the adjuster the time span the payout will need to cover. Decisions are also based on how much your business is likely to have made in the time covered. For this estimate, the adjuster needs profit and loss statements, tax returns and projected sales. The more impeccable your records, the closer the estimate is likely to be to what you need to stay afloat.
If your building catches fire, you may experience a loss, but it doesn't have to be permanent. Interruption insurance can help bridge the gap between the day of the fire and the day you get to return to your building.
Safety Tips for You and Your Employees During Storms
Basement flooded after a storm in Hillsgrove, RI
During thunderstorm season in Hillsgrove, RI, it is likely that your employees will be at work when a storm hits at some point. Having an emergency plan and proper maintenance of the property can keep everyone safe until the rain storm passes. Here are some safety tips to use if storms interrupt your workday.
Have an Emergency Kit
Every commercial property should have an emergency kit. You could lose power or be stranded during the storm, so it's important to be prepared. A good emergency kit should contain:
- Bottled water
- Non-perishable snacks
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Battery-operated radio
- First aid kit
- Emergency contact numbers
You may never need to use your kit. It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it, though.
Go to the Emergency Area
Designate an area in the building where employees know to gather if a rain storm hits. Ideally, it will be in an interior part of the building where you can rely on solid walls to provide protection. High winds can throw debris through windows or skylights, so try to steer clear of places with lots of glass during a storm. You can hire storm restoration professionals to replace damaged parts of your building after the storm, but people are irreplaceable.
Maintain External Features
Well-manicured trees and shrubberies are less likely to break and cause problems during a storm. Keep trees trimmed so that they resist winds more readily. Lightning rods were probably installed on your building when it was constructed. They should be inspected on a regular basis and maintained so that, when they are needed, they do the job they were designed to do.
A rain storm may interrupt the day, but with the proper precautions, it doesn't have to disrupt lives. By following these tips, you can keep yourself and your employees safe if a storm is in your area.
How To Remove a Foot or More of Water From Your Basement
Air removers and dehumidifier after water loss in a Warwick, RI business
Your home is often an extension of who you are, that is why it can be so heartbreaking to find flood water in your basement. The beautiful flooring you handpicked has disappeared under a foot of water, and the flooding liquid is lapping against your holiday storage boxes. Of course you are allowed to be upset, but after a few moments of panic, forget about insurance coverage, take a deep breath and use these tips to start removing the basement flood water.
Identify the source of the water
Because the type of flood water does matter. Black water can be dangerous, and you should avoid it at all costs. If you suspect your water is contaminated, call in a professional.
Head to the nearest tool rental outlet to find a submersible pump. Some units come with generators, while others must be connected to a separate power source, so don’t be afraid to ask questions to find the one that fits your needs.
Lower the pump’s suction hose into the basement flood water until it is resting on the floor for at least two feet. Make sure nothing is close enough to the suction end to block the water removal.
Before turning the pump on, position the drainage hose away from the house as far as possible. The best scenario is sending the water directly into the city’s drainage system when possible.
Turn the pump on and wait for the water to disappear. Remember that the diameter of the suction hose will determine the water removal rate, so you may have to be patient as the pump does its work.
Take control of the basement flood water by removing it as quickly as possible. Once the water is gone, you may want to call in family and friends to help you begin the drying and cleaning process. If you have any questions about how to clean the flooded area, call a water specialist in Warwick, RI. The professionals can arm you with information that can help you get your beautiful home back to what it was before the flood.
Essential Elements of an Emergency Fire Plan
Having a fire escape plan in your home can be helpful in a fire emergency
As a homeowner in Warwick, RI, you want to be prepared for anything that comes your way. That's why you should create a fire escape plan with your family. This plan can help you and your loved ones know what to do in the case of an emergency. Use these tips from the American Red Cross to ensure you're ready:
• Know Who To Call: Part of your emergency escape plan should be knowing what to do once you're safely outside. This can include calling emergency responders, your insurance provider and a fire restoration team.
• Establish Safety Tactics: When escaping from the house, your family may need to leave in a unique fashion. For example, if anyone's clothing catches on fire, they may need to stop, drop and roll. If the house is filled with smoke, people may need to crawl out of the house.
• Think of Alternate Routes: Everyone knows how to exit the front door of your house, but this typical escape route might not be available during a fire. You and all of your family members should have at least two ways to get out of every room in the house. Don't forget going out a window may be necessary.
• Pick Out a Meeting Spot: During a fire, your family may have to leave the house from different points. Your fire escape plan should include a meeting spot that is a safe distance from the house.
• Establish Emergency Communication: In some unique cases, someone may not be able to make it to the family meeting spot. Everyone should know to talk with the emergency responders about who hasn't shown up outside of the home yet.
Creating a fire escape plan with your whole family can ensure everyone knows what to do if a fire breaks out. Once you have this plan created, you should practice it at least twice a year.
For more on Warwick click here.
The Dangers of Driving Through Flooded Streets
Flooded streets can be dangerous after strong rain and flooding
Storms with heavy rainfall can cause dangerous and disastrous situations. When these disasters occur in Warwick, RI, it can be a frightening time; homes may be damaged and furniture destroyed, and flooded roads can make it difficult to travel. In most cases, carpets, furniture, and walls can be repaired by calling a restoration specialist. However, when considering whether or not to drive down a flooded street, you must take extra precautions to ensure your safety.
What Are the Dangers?
Travelers often drive through floods without knowing the risks. One of the most dangerous situations is possible car floating when on a street that is flooded. It only takes one foot of water for vehicles to float. Once an automobile begins to do so, control of the car is often lost, which can result in injuries. Many other dangers lurk in the waters:
• Underneath the water, the road could have collapsed, causing giant holes.
• Power lines that have fallen in the water are a hazard, as water carries the electrical current.
• Rushing water can carry objects down the road.
When attempting to drive back to your home or leave it in search of safety, remember that the water on a flooded street is dangerous and unpredictable. It is always better to stop and turn around when you are approaching flooded roads.
What Can You Do?
If you are traveling and faced with flooded travel conditions, make sure you check the vehicle’s brakes. When brakes are submerged in flood waters, you may lose the ability to stop the vehicle. The travel tips below may be able to help you in an emergency:
• Do not travel if the water reaches your exhaust, as water can get into your engine.
• To keep water out of the engine, drive at 2 mph and work up to 4 mph.
• If the waters become too extreme, call 911 or try to safely find your way to higher ground.
A flooded street is dangerous, and your vehicle could be washed away or stranded. Always take precautions when attempting to travel in flooded conditions. Come up with a safety plan with family in case this situation arises.
For more on Warwick click here.
The Cause of Mold Odor and Its Implications
Commercial business infested with Mold Damage
One does not simply walk into mold odor pervading a room without wondering why the scent exists. The fungus spreads its musty odor as it reproduces itself over whatever nearby environments suit it. You are likely smelling a mycotoxin compound creating that strange scent. Understanding what mold odor is helps with understanding the need for treatment of any outbreaks in Warwick, RI.
Mold Varies in Scent and Style
By releasing microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs), mold creates a plethora of scents. These vary based on the type of mold or interactions with the surrounding environment. The mold odor is modified by a few external variables:
• Source of water that the mold is growing from
• Exposure to sunlight or artificial light
Each mold species carries a unique scent. Some smell like wet socks while others smell like dying wood. A strange odor lurking in areas where water passes through likely means mold. Mold can even be hiding in the walls if they have been damaged by water.
How Mold Spreads Its Smell
Only while growing, mold emits MVOCs. They are the waste of mold created alongside mycotoxin byproducts. The scent of mold means that it is actively growing and spreading. This is problematic to your business since cleanup becomes more costly and time-consuming as the mold latches onto anything moist.
Treatment of Mold Scent
A HEPA air filtration device filters out spores from the air to stop the spread of the fungus. The device also filters out MVOCs. By filtering the particles, the mold smell can be contained to a single area and potentially mitigated until the mold itself can be treated.
Treatment of the Actual Mold
Mold remediation will clear the environment of any mycotoxin or MVOC causing strange scents. A professional mold cleanup crew utilizes machines to clean and dehumidify all of the areas where mold resides. The musty odor is a problem beyond just the smell, and your business depends on its immediately treatment to stop the infestation from becoming overwhelming.
For more on Warwick click here.
Home & building owners can take steps to prevent mold
Mold growing in attic of Greenwich Home
Intrusion of water into your building can result in mold growth. Water intrusions can result from storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long-standing leaks and poor humidity control. When water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth.
If the humidity and moisture levels in a water-damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply. Organic materials found inside a building, such as wood, paper, drywall and insulation, provide food sources for mold to flourish. Excessive mold growth can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a health threat.
SERVPRO handles water damages every day and know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth. Mold is more likely to spread when an environment has been subject to moisture for a long period of time. If your property has sustained a recent water damage, it is vital to remove excess water and dry the structure promptly. If there is an ongoing moisture problem in the building, it is important to be alert for:
- The presence of visible mold.
- Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present.
- Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
- Excessive humidity.
To control mold growth in your business, I offer you the following tips:
- Repair leaky plumbing and leaks in the foundation of your building
- Reduce moisture with increased surface temperatures or reduced humidity levels in the air. To increase surface temperatures, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce humidity, repair leaks, increase ventilation if outside air is cold and dry or use a dehumidifier.
- Keep heating, ventilation and air conditioning drip pans clean, flowing properly and unobstructed
- Maintain indoor humidity below 50 percent
- Perform regular inspections and maintenance on buildings and heating and air conditioning equipment
- Clean and dry wet or damp spots within 1-2 days
- Provide adequate drainage around the foundation of your building. Regularly maintain roof gutters, and ensure that water does not collect near the foundation
- Insulate windows, walls, pipes, roofs, exterior, floors and other cold surfaces to reduce condensation
- Watch your utility bills; an unusually high water bill could signal an interior leaking problem
If you are sure or suspect that there is mold in your building, call
SERVPRO of East Greenwich/Warwick immediately at (401) 737-0602. The longer you wait to call, the mold growth with continue to spread, resulting in a greater chance of unrecoverable property. SERVPRO professionals have the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects of mold damage.
Help! A Pipe Bust and Flooded the House
Warwick home after a pipe break and flooded the home
Flood water can appear in minutes from bursting pipes or overflowing toilets. If it happens to you, the first step you should take is to turn the water off at the water main. The next step is to call a water cleanup and restoration team to come and assess the situation. Although you may be a do-it-yourself type of person in Warwick, RI, when it comes to water damage, an expert should evaluate the wet area to check for structural weakness, mold, and secondary damage. The professional can also determine if the flood water contains dangerous chemicals or is contaminated.
Factors to Consider
The water cleanup and restoration team can determine how to properly manage the water removal once they crew assess the site and fix the broken pipe. Factors that can determine the extent of cleanup required can include:
• Amount of damage
• Water classification
• Time water has been sitting
• Presence of mold
After assessing the situation, the cleanup professionals can also inform you about secondary damage and what items, if any, can be saved from the bursting pipes deluge.
Repairs to Undertake
Once the area is clean and sanitized, repairs and restoration can begin. If the water was unsoiled or simply contained some household cleaning supplies, the steps needed to repair the area may not be extensive. However, if the flooding water is filled with dangerous chemicals or sewage, the restoration team may need to replace drywall, flooring, baseboards. Furniture and personal items soaking in the chemical filled water will also typically be lost and need to be discarded. The area may also require extensive decontamination because of possible dangerous sewer impurities.
Return to Normal
The length of time required for repairs often depends on the type of water flooding your home. If the bursting pipes water is clean, it may only take three to five days to restore your property to normal. However, dirty water flood areas can take between two and three weeks to decontaminate, sanitize, and restore.
For more on Warwick click here.