The peak of Atlantic hurricane season is here which is why it's important to take some time to reflect on disaster preparedness. As unlikely as it may seem, a disaster can strike at any moment. Whether it's a fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, or blizzard, it's critical to be prepared and have a plan in place.
Unfortunately, pets are sometimes unintentionally left out of their owners' disaster preparedness plans which makes it difficult to know what to do with them during an emergency.
Luckily, you can plan ahead for your pets using these tips:
Listen to your veterinarian
Make sure your pet wears a collar with up to date information on it, get them microchipped, and have them vaccinated. These recommendations will come in handy during a disaster and help you avoid any potential pitfalls, such as being unable to get into a shelter with an unvaccinated pet or losing them during an evacuation. If possible, take your pet's medical records with you and attach their rabies tag to their collar.
Find out which shelters allow pets
Do some research into where you can safely evacuate with your pet during a state of emergency before a disaster occurs. Your local police department can typically give you this information. If not, they'll likely be able to point you in the direction of someone who can. Though unfortunate, it is not true that hotels must accept pets during evacuations, so please keep that in mind while planning ahead.
Prepare a pet disaster kit
In a suitcase or other easily movable storage container, pack food and water bowls, a manual can opener, two weeks' worth of canned food and bottled water per pet, plastic poop bags (for dogs), litter and a small litter box (for cats), and two weeks' worth of any medications your pet may need. You should also pack cleaning items, sturdy leashes and harnesses, toys, and a copy of your pet's medical records. For small animals and cats, have a carrier ready. Use this checklist to prepare.
Create an identification handout and a boarding instruction handout. Have both ready to go at a moment's notice. They should contain important information, such as your pet's name, age, sex, markings, microchip number, allergies, and vaccination status.
If you get separated from your pet, make sure you're safe before you begin your search. If you're in a shelter that houses pets, inform a caretaker and provide them with the identification handout. Once you've been given the OK to leave the shelter and return home, contact animal control and call the microchip company to make sure all information about you and your pet is current.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), July is the peak month for grilling fires, followed by June, May, and August. Annually, U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 10,200 home fires each year involving grills, hibachis, or barbeques. With the summer season fast approaching, David Kurzontkowski of SERVPRO® of Framingham, a fire and water damage cleanup specialist in the Framingham area, urges homeowners to check the readiness of their outdoor cooking equipment – like grills and propane tanks – to help ensure summer cooking fires don’t become house fires.
“The NFPA reports that seven out of every 10 adults in the U.S. has a grill or a smoker,” said Kurzontkowski. “That statistic really highlights the risk that homeowners face of experiencing a home fire caused by grilling and other open flame cooking. It’s important to take some basic safety steps to help ensure you’ll spend your summer enjoying friends and family and not dealing with the aftermath of a grill-related house fire.”
Check for leaks in the gas tank hose before using your grill.
Open gas grill top before lighting the grill.
If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least five minutes before re-lighting it.
Use only charcoal starter fluid or opt for a charcoal chimney or electric starter.
Never add charcoal starter fluid, or any flammable fluid, to the fire.
Dispose of coals in a metal container after the coals have cooled completely.
The damage on Cape Cod was the culmination of two tornado touchdowns in Yarmouth and Harwich along with plenty of straight line wind damage, the NWS reported.
Cape Cod has only experienced 4 reported twister's within the last 70 years, according to the NWS.
Powerful winds almost entirely lifted the roof of a Cape Sands Inn in Yarmouth with fear of it being blown away. The rains accompanying the tornado left many rooms flooded and the owner said one-third of the hotel is now unusable heading into peak tourist season
While Mother Nature is unpredictable, SERPVRO of Framingham is here to stay to help you find your way.
After the 4th of July celebrations has ended, Mother Nature decided to display 'works' of her own. Less than 48 hours later, heavy thunderstorms rolled through Massachusetts, causing flooding, damage, and power outages.
The thunderstorms shook the region that evening and lighting was the cause of a house fire in Marlborough, striking their basement.
Fortunately the homeowners were awake and immediately aware of what happened and were able get help and get to safety.
There was also heavy rainfall and flooding in the Boston area, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). and finally, the thunderstorms subsided at around 9:45 p.m.
Mother Nature is unpredictable, and we never know when an emergency situation will arise or in this case, strike. But SERVPRO of Framingham is there for you 24 hours/7 days a week. No job is too big or too small all that matters is we quickly get the job done.
As we are entering Hurricane season, here are a few things Commercial Property owners should keep in mind. Even if your property is not located in a flood zone, it could still be vulnerable to water damage.
Always opt for flood insurance. Whether your business or property is large or small, on the coast or inland, water will always find a way! According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, more that 20% of flood claims occur outside the high-risk flood zones.
Understand the policy and your risks! It is so important to know exactly what you’re covered for and what will be deemed as out of pocket. Read carefully through the policy now and not during a time of crisis.
Take action. The longer you wait, the more likely there will be damage. Don’t wait for insurance adjusters to arrive. Call SERVPRO of Framingham 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. We’ll take the proper and immediate action to restore your property “Like it never even happened.”
Sump pumps give us the protection in keeping our basements from flooding. However during a heavy storm your sump pump will be working overtime putting it at a greater risk of failing, especially if not monitored properly.
There are many reasons your sump pump might breakdown. Make sure you have a battery backup, if the power goes out during a storm, so will your pump. Is the sump pump the correct size for the basement water it will need to take on? Is it properly installed? Make sure vents are not clogged by debris and that the float switch is situated properly so it will effectively turn on the system.
What if the sump pump fails?
When the sump pump fails, you need to call SERVPRO of Framingham! In the meantime, grab a dormant pump or better yet a wet/dry vacuum, as there is going to be water coming into the basement. If the amount of water is manageable, you can mop it up, deposit it to a bucket, and dump at least 20 feet away from the house. The faster you remove the excess water, the better. Remember the he longer water stands in your basement, the more damage it’s going to cause, providing the perfect environment for mold and mildew to stain walls, and damage furnishings, creating a horrible, musty odor.
What if the power goes out? First call SERVPRO of Framingham! While we are expeditiously on our way, you can remove the water using a hand pump instead. Put the hand pump into the sump pump hole, then attach a garden hose to the threaded discharge end of the hand pump. Run the hose outside the nearest window and drain the water outside. If your hose doesn’t reach 20 feet, you’ll need to let it drain into buckets and then carry it out.
Call SERVPRO of Framingham! 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We use specialized equipment to remove the remaining water that is harder to access. Our technicians will use room measurements, temperature, and relative humidity to determine the number of air movers and dehumidifiers needed to completely dry your home or business.
SERVPRO and Blackstone (NYSE:BX) announced today that private equity funds managed by Blackstone (“Blackstone”) have recapitalized SERVPRO, a leading franchisor of residential and commercial property damage restoration services. Blackstone is acquiring a majority stake in SERVPRO as part of Blackstone’s Core Private Equity strategy, which is designed to hold investments for longer periods of time than traditional private equity. The Isaacson family will be re-investing alongside Blackstone and will continue to be significant shareholders in the business going forward. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 1967 by the Isaacson family, SERVPRO is a leading national franchisor, providing services in both residential and commercial property mitigation, restoration and reconstruction following damage related to water, fire, mold or storm activity. Since its founding, SERVPRO has now grown to over 1,700 franchisees in the United States and Canada.
Rick Isaacson, SERVPRO CEO, said, “We are thrilled about this long-term investment from Blackstone and the strategic benefits its global platform can provide the company, our franchisees, and our customers. SERVPRO was founded over 50 years ago with the vision of becoming the premier cleaning and restoration company, and we believe this partnership with Blackstone is a vital next step towards this goal.”
Peter Wallace, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, said, “We are excited to make this investment and join together with the Isaacsons and the SERVPRO team as long-term growth partners. We believe the additional capital and extensive network of relationships that Blackstone can bring to bear will benefit not only SERVPRO, but its more than 1,700 franchisees and its customers.”
David Kestnbaum, Managing Director at Blackstone, said, “SERVPRO is a high-quality company with a strong management team and great long-term prospects. We look forward to working with SERVPRO and its franchisees to help fuel the business’ next phase of growth. As one of the largest owners of residential, office, retail, hotel, and industrial real estate in the world, Blackstone has unique expertise and insights into a broad array of properties that are relevant to SERVPRO.”
Harris Williams is acting as financial advisor to SERVPRO with respect to the transaction and Bass, Berry & Sims PLC is acting as SERVPRO’s legal counsel. Jefferies, Credit Suisse, and Deutsche Bank Securities provided debt financing for the transaction and served as financial advisors to Blackstone. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is acting as Blackstone’s legal counsel.
Many homeowners dream of waterfront property, the smell of salty sea air and to be greeted by the ocean when the wake up every morning. As idyllic as it may sound there is another side to living on the coast. During 2018 coastal communities experienced record number of high tide flooding. Sidewalks and streets were frequently flooded mainly due to El Nino conditions. The projected increase in high tide flooding in 2018 may be as much as 60 percent higher across U.S. coastlines as compared to typical flooding about 20 years ago, according to NOAA scientists. These predictions are part of NOAA’s 2017 State of High Tide Flooding and 2018 Outlook, a report produced by NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services every year since 2014.
The report finds that during the 2017 meteorological year (May 2017-April 2018), the U.S. average number of high tide flooding days was the highest measured at 98 NOAA tide gauges. More than a quarter of the coastal locations tied or broke their individual records for high tide flood days.
The top five cities that saw the highest number of flood days across the U.S. and broke records include Boston; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Sandy Hook, New Jersey; Sabine Pass, Texas; and Galveston, Texas. These cities faced the brunt of an active nor’easter and hurricane seasons and sea level rise, which has made these and other less extreme events more impactful.
SERVPRO of Framingham specializes in Water Remediation, if you ever experience a flood or water damage call us 24/7 508-370-4400.
As severe thunderstorms rolled through MetroWest, a lightning strike caused some damage to a Massachusetts home after it made a tree topple over onto the property's living room.
Then a bolt of lightning struck around 3 a.m. The explosion woke them all up, but no one was hurt.
Windows in the back of the home were blown out and a large tree was torn apart.
Debris from the tree could also be seen scattered across the home's yard and porch.
In the backyard, pieces of a giant tree were turned into shrapnel... the trunk ripped up by the roots. The cover of a cable box in the front yard was also in pieces with its underground wires fried and exposed.
SERVPRO of Framingham's Reconstruction Team can put your home back together after a storm, flood, mold or fire..."Like it never even happened."
As a business owner, you must protect your property. You likely have insurance that covers you in case of theft, fire or other serious property damage, but not all policies cover flood damage. Even if you don't live in an area prone to flooding, one burst pipe is all it takes to create a big problem.
Have Digital Backups of Any Paper Files
No matter how well you prepare, your paper files are at risk if storm damage is a possibility. If you don't already have digital copies of your important paperwork, now is the time to create these backups. Doing so can save you days' worth of headaches during the restoration process.
- Property deeds - Insurance policies - Inventory lists - Employee information - Company handbooks and policies - Client or customer information
Create Sandbags to Protect Your Building
Placing sandbags at the doors and windows can protect your property from up to two feet of storm water. After filling each bag with sand, fold the top over and place the bag with the folded top down. Create one layer at a time, and limit their placement to three layers, unless you intend to create a pyramid or are leaning the bags against doors and windows. Remember, sandbags are a temporary solution and aren't likely to protect the building from larger floods.
Move What You Can
Consider your furniture and whether you have higher ground in your building. If you have a second story, move as much furniture and equipment to the higher floor as possible. If you have enough notice and a second property that is on higher ground, consider moving furniture and equipment to a new building entirely.
While you aren't likely to get away from flooding with no damage at all, following these steps will help you protect much of your property. Less time spent cleaning up means more time getting back into the swing of doing business.