Emergency Preparedness Information
National Safety Council
Emergency Preparedness: Will You be Ready if Disaster Strikes?
Images of devastation in Texas and Florida caused by hurricanes Harvey and Irma are heartbreaking. Our thoughts are with the victims and first responders.
Get daily hurricane updates from the Federal Emergency Management ?Agency.
What happens if disaster strikes and effects you or your family? First call a reputable damage restoration company like SERVPRO of La Jolla. SERVPRO of La Jolla's expertly trained restoration technicians are trained to take care of water damage and mold mitigation due to flash flooding and heavy rains. We are available to help anywhere in San Diego County - especially La Jolla. Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa and Rancho Penasquitos. SERVPRO La Jolla/Scripps is ready to take on water damage jobs both large and small. In addition, their customers give SERVPRO of La Jolla excellent reviews for their quick, efficient, and high-quality water restoration work and mold mitigation work. Call today for a quick, no-cost estimate at 858.270.5234
September is National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month, held annually in September and sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, reminds us that we need to be ready to respond to natural and man-made disasters – no matter where we live. Disaster can strike at any time, so it's important to have a planned response when you're at work, on vacation or on the road.
The National Safety Council offers some safety tips specific to each of the following emergencies:
Federal agencies, like Ready.gov, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also are valuable resources for emergency preparedness.
When you face a natural or man-made emergency, try to stay informed through radio, TV or the Internet. In some cases, however, cable, electric and cell phone service will be disabled, making communication nearly impossible. The National Safety Council recommends the following general precautions that apply to many disaster situations:
- Make sure to have a family communication plan in place; all members of the family should review and practice the plan
- Have all family members' and other important phone numbers written down or memorized
- Have an emergency kit in your car and at least three days of food and water at home
- Be sure to store all important documents – birth certificates, insurance policies, etc. – in a fire-proof safe or safety deposit box
- Assign one family member the responsibility of learning first aid and CPR
- Know how to shut off utilities
Tips to protect your home from flood damage
Most people think they’re covered for flooding with their homeowners insurance policy. But they’re not!
You must buy a separate flood insurance policy to be covered. If you’re in a flood plain, and you have a mortgage, you likely do have the insurance because mortgage companies require it.
But if you’re not in a flood plain, you’re not required to purchase it. That’s where the gap is. Only 18% of homeowners in low-to-moderate risk areas have flood insurance. Of those that have it, 1 in 5 have made a claim.
Now imagine being one of the 82% without flood insurance. There’s a 20% chance you’ll be flooded. In fact, did you know that flooding is the #1 natural disaster in the U.S. (that’s according to floodsmart.gov.)? Are comfortable with that level of risk?
For more about flood insurance, here are some details we put together to help you decide whether or not you should purchase it.
Regardless of whether or not you purchase insurance, there are some proactive things you can do to be prepared just in case the nightmare does happen:
Put Together an Emergency Kit and Evacuation Plan
If you live in a high-risk area, it’s a good idea to have a “go-bag” ready in case you need to leave quickly. Include:
- A few changes of clothing for you and family members
- Insurance policy numbers
- Phone numbers of your agent
- Your insurance company’s main number
- Essential toiletries
- Money to get you through a few days
It’s also wise to have an evacuation route mapped out and to have a location to which you can go, such as a loved one’s home or hotel. Always follow the direction of local and state authorities if ordered to evacuate. Remember: Your possessions and your home are small comfort if your family is injured or worse.
Preventative measure: If you believe water will begin to accumulate in your home, shut off power at the main electrical panel in your home, says Bill Begal, owner of Begal Enterprises, a Rockville, Md., disaster restoration company. But never stand in water to do so — if the area around the box is already flooded, leave it alone.
In addition, know what to do in the first 24 hours after a flood to avoid additional risks to your health and home.
5 Tips to Help Your Home Stand Up to a Flood
1. Close foundation cracks with mortar and masonry caulk or hydraulic cement, which expands and fills gaps completely and costs only a few dollars. Don’t patch solely with mortar or cement, which may crack again. If water is a recurring problem, be sure to investigate other solutions for issues like wet basements.
2. Invest in a battery-powered sump pump. Sump pumps let you pump water out of your home and can be an excellent defense against flooding — unless they’re powered by electricity and the power is out. Battery-powered sump pumps are a relatively inexpensive ($150-$400) solution.
3. Move expensive items to a safer location. If you have a second floor or an attic, moving furniture, photographs, and artwork to a higher level will protect your possessions in all but the most severe floods. Elevate furnaces and water pumps when they’re installed, if possible, to a height of 12 inches above the highest known flood level for your area, suggests FEMA.
4. Anchor your fuel tanks. Unanchored tanks can float, rupture, and release fuel. Once the power sources of system units like furnaces and water heaters are disabled and the units cooled, you can also wrap them in waterproof tarps to mitigate water damage.
5. Install sewer or septic line check valves. They allow waste to flow only one way. Plan to spend $100 or more per valve to have a pro install them, or do it yourself for $10-$15 each to ensure sewage can’t back up into the standing water in your home. Install at a point in the pipe that’s easy to access for repair.
Tips on Frying Turkeys Safely
Deep Frying Turkeys Safely
In recent years deep-frying turkeys has become increasingly popular. The cooking method requires placing the turkey in three gallons or more of oil, heated by propane.
Before you ever get near the deep fryer, The Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department wants you to know that, however you cook your turkey, safety starts with proper thawing. Leaving a turkey out on a counter to thaw can cause Salmonella poisoning.
Turkey (and all meats and fish, really) should be thawed in the refrigerator. Give yourself enough time to properly thaw your turkey. Here are the USDA guidelines for thawing a whole turkey in the refrigerator:
- 4 to 12 pounds: one to three days
- 12 to 16 pounds: three to four days
- 16 to 20 pounds: four to five days
- 20 to 24 pounds: five to six days
Avondale Fire & Medical Department warns that cooking with deep-fat turkey fryers can be very dangerous as they have a high risk of tipping over, overheating, or spilling hot oil. That could lead to fires, burns, or other injuries.
Dangers of Frying a Turkey
Here are five dangers associated with deep frying a turkey, according to the Avondale Fire Department.
- Units can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area.
- An overfilled cooking pot or partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is inserted.
- A small amount of cooking oil coming into contact with the burner can cause a large fire.
- Without thermostat controls, deep fryers have the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion.
- The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles can get dangerously hot, creating severe burn hazards.
Avondale Fire Rescue advises against using a turkey fryer. If you decide to do it anyway, these precautions should be followed.
If You Fry a Turkey, Do So Safely
- Fryers should always be used outdoors, on a solid level surface a safe distance from buildings and flammable materials.
- Never use a fryer on a wooden deck, under a patio cover, in a garage or enclosed space.
- Do not overfill the fryer.
- Never leave the fryer unattended because, without thermostat controls, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
- Never let children or pets near the fryer when in use or after use as the oil can remain hot for hours.
- Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts and wear long sleeves and safety goggles to protect from splatter.
- Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before it is placed in a fryer.
- Keep all-purpose fire extinguishers nearby.
- If a turkey fryer fire occurs, call 911 immediately.
If you run into trouble and need help cleaning up fire damage, please call us at SERVPRO La Jolla. 858.270.5234
California Wildfire History
Raging California Wildfire
Recently, the Thomas fire became California’s largest wildfire on record, burning approximately 300,000 acres.
The massive fire, raged for weeks through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, has claimed just over 1,000 structures and San Diego fire engineer Cory Iverson died fighting the fire in December.
Here’s a look at how the blaze compares with four other major wildfires in the state’s history:
1. Thomas Fire
Burned 300,000 Acres
County: San Diego
Structures destroyed: 2,820
3. Rush fire — 272,200 acres*
Structures destroyed: 0
* 271,911 acres burned in California; 43,666 burned in Nevada
4. Rim fire — 257,314 acres
Structures destroyed: 112
5. Zaca fire — 240,207 acres
County: Santa Barbara
Structures destroyed: 1
Source: LA Times
Commercial HVAC Cleaning
For business owners, it’s possible to overlook certain aspects of your building or office space such as the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC system). When these systems are not properly maintained, they can accumulate dust, pollen, and other debris. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing.” It’s very important to maintain clean ducts in order to maintain a healthy environment for your business.
When these ducts are not given the maintenance that they require, the HVAC system may begin to fail and waste unnecessary energy that can cost you. Keeping your air ducts clean can save you and your business money. HVAC systems may also leak and cause water damage and mold damage that can weaken the structure of your property. These damages can produce odors throughout your business and can be unpleasant for the employees and guests.
Contact SERVPRO La Jolla for the experience, the expertise, and the advanced training that enables us to get your property restored quickly and thoroughly. Remember that maintaining the HVAC system can extend the life of the equipment. Don’t wait to call our experts on commercial air ducts and HVAC cleaning at 858.270.5234.
What you need to know about Mold in the Workplace
Mold can grow virtually anywhere and generally is not a problem. However, issues arise when mold grows indoors.
An OSHA Safety and Health Information Bulletin states that being exposed to mold can result in health problems and can cause significant damage to a workplace.
Scientific research on the health effects of mold exposure is ongoing, but some facts are known. Mold exposure may cause allergic reactions; skin or mucosal infections; asthma attacks; and skin, eyes, nose and throat irritation, according to OSHA.
“If left unchecked, mold can eventually cause structural damage to a wood-framed building, weakening floors and walls as it feeds on moist wooden structural members,” OSHA states. “If you suspect that mold has damaged building integrity, consult a structural engineer or other professional with the appropriate expertise.”
To help prevent mold growth in buildings, be on the lookout for water damage, leaks or excessive moisture, and be sure to clean up all spills immediately.
If you suspect mold in your workplace, ask yourself these questions:
- Is there visible water damage anywhere?
- Are there building materials around that have been wet for more than two days?
- Does the building have pre-existing moisture issues?
- Are workers complaining of musty or moldy smells?
- Is anyone reporting health problems that could be associated with mold?
OSHA recommends a number of tips to help prevent mold in your workplace, including:
- Repair any plumbing problems immediately.
- Keep your building’s humidity level below 70 percent.
- Regularly inspect your building’s HVAC system.
- Ensure adequate drainage is around your building.
- Keep vents for moisture-creating appliances on the outside of the building.
Call SERVPRO La Jolla or SERVPRO Scripps Ranch Mira Mesa Rancho Penasquitos if you need help with possible mold in the workplace.
Source : www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com
Pipe Burst Safety
Severe cold can inflict major damage to your home, and burst pipes can be the worst of all. The last few years have taught many people some harsh lessons about winter damage. If your pipes freeze and burst, you must take immediate action to limit the damage.
Visualize this: 250 gallons of water. It’s not something you want flooding your home, is it? Well, it’s about what one 1/8-inch crack in a house’s water pipe can leak in 24 hours. Burst pipes aren’t rare — they damage literally millions of homes each year. The best way to avoid the issue is to be prepared. If the worst happens anyway and a pipe bursts, you’ll need to move fast to safely halt further damage and ensure your home is properly repaired.
Know What to Do
- Assess the amount of water and probable location of the leak — it may be necessary to turn off the electricity to your home to avoid electrocution. Never touch a wet outlet, switch, or appliance.
- Turn off the house’s main water valve.
- If the leaked water is warm, it may be necessary to turn off the water valve to the water heater.
- If appropriate to the situation, place an appropriately sized container under the leak to catch the water.
- Turn on the faucets throughout the house to drain the water left in the system.
- Call a plumber immediately to help repair or replace the pipe.
- Call a water remediation company (e.g., SERVPRO®) immediately. This is important as it affects your insurance claim and helps prevent mold from growing in your wall space, under your floor, or between the floor and ceiling between stories. Your homeowners insurance policy may cover costs you incur with the remediation company.
- Take photos of the burst pipe and of all the damage to the house’s structure and your personal property for your insurance claim.
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
Contact SERVPRO La Jolla or SERVPRO Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa, Rancho Penasquitos any time of the day for emergency services.
San Diego Chamber of Commerce Mixer
SERVPRO La Jolla has recently become a member of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. Below is an excerpt from the San Diego Chamber of Commerce website describing the organization along with their mission statement.
The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce is the leading political advocate for business, and the nexus of connections and collaboration amongst businesses in the San Diego and Baja region. For more than 145 years, the Chamber has been critical in driving our region forward. Through political advocacy on the city, county, and state level we have fought to make San Diego a place where businesses can succeed and grow while creating jobs, supporting infrastructure and ensuring that neighborhoods thrive. We hope you join us in our mission to make San Diego the best place to do business in California.
It is the mission of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce to be the leading, most effective advocate and voice for business policy and connections in the San Diego-Baja region.
Farmers Insurance Open 2018
SERVPRO has extended its sponsorship with the PGA Tour through the 2020 season, retaining its designation as the official cleanup and restoration company of both the PGA Tour and the Champions.
SERVPRO La Jolla was in attendance, among many other SERVPRO franchisees from the SERVPRO family.
SERVPRO La Jolla is very proud to be a part of the SERVPRO family, especially during amazing events like these. This sponsorship allows us to showcase our capabilities not only to the communities where PGA events are held, but also to the huge television and online audience that follows the exciting tour. Both individual property owners and commercial facility owners will have the opportunity to learn about SERVPRO and the services offered as they enjoy watching the world’s best players compete on the world’s most beautiful golf courses, in our very own home town, La Jolla.
Sue Steen, SERVPRO Industries, Inc., Chief Executive Officer, reveals that SERVPRO will have a presence at several PGA Tour tournaments in 2018, including The Players Championship and The TOUR Championship. “In addition, we plan to be involved with First Responder events throughout the PGA Tour year,” said Steen.
Thomas Fire continues to burn
"This fire is a beast and you're gonna kill it,” Martin Johnson, Santa Barbara County fire division chief, told fire crews. “I have no doubt."
As firefighters continue to gain a handle on the fire — which is the fifth-largest in state history — California fire officials offered a hint as to what may have ignited the Thomas and other destructive blazes that tore across Southern California last week.
It likely will take months for fire officials to determine the cause of the fires, but state officials have notified Southern California Edison that the utility’s equipment is under investigation. Power lines downed by high winds have been the cause of major brush fires in the past. The far smaller Skirball fire in Los Angeles was started by a cooking fire at a homeless encampment, officials said this week. But investigations into other fires are expanding, according to SCE.
“The investigations now include locations beyond those identified last week as the apparent origin of these fires,” the power company said in a statement. “SCE believes the investigations now include the possible role of its facilities.”
As a precaution last week, the utility shut off power temporarily to parts of Riverside County during high winds.
As of Tuesday, Edison said it was finishing restoring equipment damaged in the Liberty, Rye and Creek fires — replacing more than 300 poles with 200 more waiting. LA Times, Joseph Serna