Flood Preparedness-Part 2
Knowledge is power! The more you prepare beforehand the more confident you will feel making decisions if you ever encounter a flood.
In our last post we touched on some of the ways you can prepare yourself and home for a flood. Now let’s talk about what to do if you’re ever caught in a flood.
- Tune into NOAA Weather Radio, EAS, or a local alerting system for emergency instructions.
- If you are told to evacuate do so immediately. First responders will usually aid in directing evacuating traffic. If so, do not drive around barricades, follow the route they have set up.
- Do not attempt to drive through, walk, or swim through flood waters. It’s force can be stronger than it appears. As the popular saying goes “Turn around, don’t drown!”.
- Stay off bridges as the rushing water under it could wash the bridge away without warning.
- If you find yourself in your vehicle and trapped in rapidly moving water stay inside. If water is rising inside then you should seek refuge on the roof.
- If you are in a building go to the highest level. However, never climb into a closed attic you could become trapped by rising water. If absolutely necessary seek refuge on the roof. You should signal for help once there.
Being caught in the chaos of a natural disaster can be scary. It is important to remain as calm as possible so you can make rational lifesaving decisions.
SERVPRO of Vero Beach
Flood Preparedness-Part 1
It is important to make sure you are prepared for anything. A checklist will help keep you organized and ensure that you have everything you need.
Spring is just around the corner and just as the saying “April showers bring May flowers.” insinuates, rain is on its way! This month we will begin a series to discuss all things flood. We will cover from how to prepare to what steps to take after a flood has occurred.
Flooding is common during the spring months because of melting snow and increased rain showers. Here are a few things you can do to prepare this month for the coming spring showers.
- Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center to find out if you live in a flood zone.
- Come up with and practice an evacuation plan including: flash flood response, evacuations routes, and shelter plans.
- Talk with your insurance adjuster about obtaining or renewing a flood insurance policy.
- Keep important documents and items (such as an extra supply of RX medication, charging devices, extra batteries, etc.) in a water proof container.
- Check to make sure your drains and gutters are clean and free of debris.
Check back next week to find out what you can do to ensure you are safe DURING a flood.
Fire Extinguisher Clean-Up
Fire extinguishers can be made of different dousing agents. It's important to know which one you have so you can safely clean the residue left behind.
Fire extinguishers can be a quick and effective tool for most cases of minor fire break outs. It’s important to know how to clean up any residue left after the fire has been completely extinguished. The first step is to check the label on your extinguisher to identify which chemical was used as the dousing agent. After identifying the dousing agent, we recommend the following steps:
- Dry Chemical
- Potassium bicarbonate or sodium bicarbonate – Safe to remove with a vacuum. It is recommended to wear a mask, goggles, and gloves to prevent inhalation or an allergic reaction.
- Mono Ammonium Phosphate – Wipe residue with a cloth using a 1:1 solution of baking soda and warm water. Finish by drying and sanitizing, as needed.
- Wet Chemical
- Clean with hot, soapy water rinsing frequently. Finish by drying and sanitizing as needed. It is recommended to wear a mask, goggles, and gloves to prevent an allergic reaction to the chemicals.
- Air Pressure
- Water or CO2- Typically does not leave behind a residue. If moisture is left behind dry the area thoroughly.
If ever in doubt, SERVPRO of Vero Beach provides professional clean up services for fires of any size. Just give us a call at (772) 770-0501 anytime, day or night!
Prevention of Car Battery Explosions
The soot on the wall was caused by a car battery explosion.
Today we are going to take a dive into a unique situation. This is a fire job we encountered caused by a car battery that exploded. That’s right, a car battery! This is actually more common than you may think, but there are ways to easily prevent it. Let’s start by gaining an understanding of the mechanics of a car battery.
Most car batteries are 12-volt lead-acid batteries, which have been built in pretty much the same fashion same since the 1930’s. Within the outer polymer case there are six two-volt chambers, also called cells. Each cell contains a grid of lead plates submerged in electrolyte (sulfuric acid). There are vents located at the top of the battery to vent gasses formed during charging cycles. Hydrogen gas is generated during the charging cycle and accumulates in a space above the sulfuric acid, prior to venting.
Hydrogen gas is easily ignited by a flame or spark and has a wide range of explosive limits in air. This leads us into the first of the three most common causes for car battery explosions, an internal spark. As a battery ages it begins to lose electrolyte. This leaves the top of the lead plates exposed to air inside the battery case. This can lead to the plates warping over time. When you put a demand of the battery for power, let’s say by starting and engine, the heavy demand can cause the warped plates to flex and touch which thus creating a spark. Replacement of electrolyte through proper battery maintenance is the recommended way to prevent this.
The second cause of explosion is caused by improper jump-starting. This happens when you attach the jumper cables to another car’s good battery first then attach it to the dead battery. This practice causes sparking. It is best to connect the jumper cables to the dead battery first, then connect it to the good battery. It is also important to note that you should never touch the jumper cables together as this may also create a spark.
Finally, a lack of proper mechanical safety practices may cause a battery to explode. For example, you may be tempted to set a wrench or other metal tool down on the battery because of its convenient flat surface. If the wrench were to make contact with both the positive and negative terminals this would cause hundreds of amps to run through it. This is sufficient enough to weld the wrench to the terminals of the battery, rapidly making the wrench red hot and untouchable. The heat generated can transfer to the battery creating overpressure which can lead an explosion. To avoid this be cautious not to let anything come in contact with the battery that was not designed to do so.
Thankfully there are lots of easy ways to avoid a car battery explosion! Please know if, in the rare occasion, your car battery explodes you call us at (772) 770-0501 and we will make it “Like it never even happened.”
Do's and Don'ts Guideline After a Storm
On February 5 we celebrated National Weatherperson’s Day. National Weatherperson’s day celebrates all individuals in the fields of meteorology, broadcast meteorology, forecasting, volunteer storm spotters/observers, and any others that work in the weather field.
At SERVPRO of Vero Beach, we have a special appreciation for our local Weatherpersons. We monitor the weather closely throughout the year to stay in the know about any potential storms in the horizon. While most storms are minor and cause no harm there are some that, despite proper preparation, can cause unexpected damage to your property. Should this ever happen to you, these are some of the do’s and don’ts after calling our office while you wait for a storm team to arrive:
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
- Gather loose items from floors.
- Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
- Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
At SERVPRO of Vero Beach we understand that damages resulting from a storm can be very stressful. By following the steps listed above you are helping expedite the remediation process thus reducing the risk of further damage to your property.
SERVPRO of Vero Beach
Blessed to be a Blessing
Here at SERVPRO of Vero Beach we teamed up with The Buggy Bunch once again and had the privilege of sponsoring a family for Christmas as a Christmas Angel. The Buggy Bunch hand-picked families that they closely work with on a monthly basis and chose ones that were well deserving. We received a Christmas wish list from our family and we bought them toys, clothes hygiene products and more essentials. We wrapped each gift up in beautiful wrapping paper and delivered them to the Buggy Bunch office before Christmas. The mother thanked us and the Buggy Bunch for everything believing that her kids will now have a good Christmas. She said that she has a hope and a future to look forward to. Just hearing that makes it all worth it! We are blessed to be a blessing.
Clean as a Whistle | Power Washing
Pressure washing is one of those things that is needed more often than we think but we don’t realize it until an area is partially washed and it is compared with an unwashed area. Then the grime, dirt and mess glaringly stare back at you.
You can pay for someone to pressure wash your home or you can purchase a pressure washer and do it yourself. While there are pros and cons to each, if you choose to DIY, make sure you keep your safety in mind. It can be a dangerous task to pressure wash if the spray is aimed in the wrong direction. The force can cause a potential laceration, bruise or puncture.
Why pressure wash?
Pressure washing regularly is beneficial because it prevents future damage, protects your family’s health from mold and mildew and holds your property value.
We highly recommend staying up-to- date on pressure washing, especially since its such an easy thing to do.
Why SERVPRO? Because we love giving back to our community! We love being a helping hand for those who need it. This week we had the opportunity to partner up with the local Buggy Bunch and Pies for a Purpose. The Buggy Bunch's mission is to build relationships with the moms and families and to help equip them with programs and services. Pies For a Purpose raises money to support family programming and donates hundreds of pies to charitable organizations.
Through the organization Pies For a Purpose we bought 30 pies and met up with the Buggy Bunch ladies to deliver them to the Hibiscus Children's Center. At the center they maintain a safe shelter for children who are abused, abandoned and neglected in our city.
We enjoyed contributing for Thanksgiving and look forward to partnering with more organizations in the near future.
Stay by the Fire as Florida Temperatures Drop
Warm Fires on Chilly Nights
Vero Beach and surrounding areas have finally dropped in temperature, from hot and muggy summer days we've entered into cooler and crisp mornings. This is a rare occasion so you will most definitely see all Floridians bundled up in sweaters and boots. Now is the great time to have social events outside by the fire, where you won't be pestered by mosquitoes and bugs alike.
Fire pits are so much fun to gather around and sing songs, make s’mores and keep warm but along with fun always comes safety!
Light a fire only in open spaces- keep clear from nearby buildings and foliage.
Always keep a close eye on all children, make sure they keep a safe distance from the flames.
Don’t pour gas on a fire. There are so many unfortunate stories that stem from doing this.
Be safe and have fun & enjoy this cooler weather!
Storm Approaches : Sold Out Generators
Why SERVPRO? We care about our community, our customers, and fulfilling their needs. We desire to give our community tips and safety procedures, even from our website!
Today, we are going to discuss the importance of having a generator. Before a storm strikes, which happens often in Florida, you want to always be prepared well beforehand. One way is to invest in a generator. Once you lose power, you realize how many things you use on a moment to moment basis, and then all of a sudden you can’t use any of it…that is, unless you have a generator.
Why use a generator?
First of all, a generator is portable power, so it can make your appliances, lights and electricity run. It provides power to your fridge and freezer, which is very important because food can spoil within hours if it is no longer being cooled. Generators can also be important if you work from home, as many people do nowadays. Smaller generators are also very handy for power tools and even camping if there are no available nearby outlets.
We hope you look into purchasing a generator from your local hardware store.
Call SERVPRO of Vero Beach at (772) 770- 0501.