Miami Florida during Hurricane Irma
Caring For Yourself & Loved Ones
- Let friends and family know you’re safe - Register yourself as safe on the Safe and Well website
- If evacuated, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
- Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions.
- Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding.
Returning Home Safely
- Pay attention to how you and your loved ones are experiencing and handling stress. Promote emotional recovery by following these tips.
- Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.
- Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
- Help people who require additional assistance—infants, elderly people, those without transportation, large families who may need additional help in an emergency situation, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.
Cleaning and Repairing Your Home
- Stay out of any building that has water around it.
- Keep away from loose or dangling power lines. Report them immediately to the power company.
- Follow these tips for inspecting your home’s structure and utilities & systems after a hurricane.
- Take pictures of home damage, both of the buildings and its contents, for insurance purposes.
Ask a Professional to
- Wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots, and be cautious when cleaning up.
- Learn more about how to clean up after a hurricane, including the supplies you’ll need, how to deal with contaminated food and water, and how to repair water damage.
- Don’t just repair your home, build in hurricane-resistant features to help protect against future storms:
- Secure double entry doors at the top and bottom.
- Strengthen garage doors to improve wind resistance, particularly double-wide garage doors.
- Select trees that are not as subject to uprooting to replace any damaged ones. A gardening or landscaping professional can give you excellent advice.
- If your home has been significantly damaged and will require rebuilding parts or all of it, consider building a safe room.
- Ensure roof sheathing is properly installed.
- Ensure end gables are securely fastened to the rest of the roof.
- Fasten the roof to the walls with hurricane straps.
- Elevate your home if it’s near the coast and subject to flooding from storm surge.
Importance of Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms can save lives. In order to protect your family, pets, and yourself from injury or death during a fire, smoke alarms are essential. Below, you’ll find the best tips for ensuring that safety at all times:
- A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home.
- Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
- There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use of both types of alarms in the home.
- When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
- Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.
From Fire to Water Damage
In some fires, the damages caused by the flames turn out to be the least of our customer's concerns. Fires can also trigger damage to residential and commercial properties in ways many would not expect, water damage. This could be a result of the efforts to put out the fire or from the heat itself. Fire can melt and break metal faucets and plumbing due to its extreme temperature, causing profuse leaks and ruptures wherever it crosses a water fixture. Although these do not often release enormous amounts of water, they can cause considerable damage to floors and walls in the surrounding areas. Even though both forms of damage are just as important; the water mitigation needs to be addressed immediately to prevent secondary damage to the structure.
The Latin American Association of Insurance Agencies is an association of insurance professionals whose purpose is to protect the rights of its members for the benefit of the consumer through education, information, networking and active participation in the political environment and community service. SERVPRO of Hollywood/ Hallandale/ Aventura/ North Miami was proud to participate in the 47th LAAIA Annual Convention. It was an event full of surprises and charismatic individuals. There were company merchandise being given away, raffles in numerous booths and several booths even had entertainment available. From Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream stands to music and photo booths. SERVPRO of Hollywood/ Hallandale/ Aventura/ North Miami had such a great time at this year's convention that we look forward to participate once again next year.
Tropical cyclones are rotating low pressure weather systems with thunderstorms but no fronts. When these cyclones reach 74 mph or higher, they become hurricanes. Once the storm becomes categorized a hurricane, they get rated between 1 to 5, depending on the maximum sustained winds. The higher the category, the greater the hurricane's potential for property damage. A six year rotating list of names, update and maintained by the World Meteorological Organization, is used to identify these storms. "Hurricane Season" begins on June 1st and ends on November 30th, although hurricanes have occurred outside the time frame. NOAA's (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) National Hurricane Center predicts and tracks these massive storm systems, which occur, on average, 12 times a year in the Atlantic Basin.
Thunderstorms may seem minor since they are common but they produce lightning and heavy rain which may be dangerous. Even though there are not ways to prevent them, there measures to take before one arrives to minimize damage to your property or self:
- Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan. (In case of outages)
- Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
- Postpone outdoor activities.
- Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
- Get inside a home, building, or hard top automobile. You are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.(the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.)
- Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.
- Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.
Although uncommon, tornadoes are storms to be kept on our personal radars at all times. A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground and is often visible as a funnel cloud. Tornadoes cause extensive damage to structures and disrupt transportation, power, water, gas, communications, and other services in its direct path and in neighboring areas. The extent of destruction caused by tornadoes depends on the tornado’s intensity, size, path, time of day, and amount of time it is on the ground. Tornadoes can strike in any season and at any time in the day, but occur most often in the spring and summer months. If a tornado was to form over a body of water then it is referred to as a waterspout, yet has the same features.
Mold growth may begin 48-72 hours after a surface has been exposed to high levels of moisture. The key to mold prevention is the removal of these scenarios that cause or lead to excess moisture. Water leaks, high humidity, and condensation all may lead to mold growth. Therefore, if you have a roof leak, fix it. If there are high humidity levels, invest in a dehumidifier to control the environment. If you experience a flood or leak, have it properly dried with the corresponding equipment to verify there is no humidity left behind. Also, make sure there is proper ventilation in areas such as bathrooms, laundry, and attics. Another key component in controlling the environment within your home or office is to maintain the AC at 78°, whether or not you are in town to prevent humidity levels from accumulating.
There is a sense of tranquility to candles, but we need to keep in mind that they are an open flame and a potential fire hazard. There are several things to keep in mind to properly monitor a burning candle, as stated by the National Candle Association:
- Never touch or move a burning candle. Never move a votive or container candle when the wax is liquefied.
- Don’t burn a candle all the way down. For a margin of safety, discontinue burning a candle when 2 inches of wax remains (1/2 inch if in a container).
- Place burning candles at least three inches apart from one another. This is to make sure they don’t melt one another, or create their own drafts that will cause the candles to burn improperly.
- Extinguish a candle if the flame becomes too high or flickers repeatedly. Let the candle cool, trim the wick, and check for unwanted drafts before re-lighting.
- Always keep the candle within your sight. If you are going to leave the room, be sure to first blow out all candles.
- Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room. Don’t burn too many candles in a small room or in a “tight” home where air exchange is limited.
- Never use a candle as a night light.
- Be very careful if using candles during a power outage. Flashlights and other battery-powered lights are safer sources of light during a power failure. Never use a candle during a power outage to look for things in a closet, or when fueling equipment – such as a lantern or kerosene heater.
- Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire. Keep burning candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, etc.
- Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. Do not place lighted candles where they can be knocked over by children, pets or anyone else.
Some of these points may seem obvious at first but it is better " to be safe than sorry." All preventative measures should be considered when dealing with an open flame, no matter how small it is.
How to Eliminate Mold from Your Bathroom
Bathroom mold is ugly, disgusting, and unhealthy. And, unfortunately, it often seems an ever-present nuisance that even the most fastidious home owners must deal with. However, mold doesn't have to greet you every morning as you step into the shower. These preventative measures and cleaning tips will help you get rid of the mold and mildew that collects in showers, baths and sinks.
Do Your Drains Drain?
First, make sure that you have good drainage in your sink, tub or shower. If the water does not drain as quickly as you run water, you have a present (or building) problem. When water doesn't drain properly, it stands, creating an environment that is moist for longer periods of time. These types of environments are those in which mold thrives. Use a bleach solution, a chemical specially formulated to unclog drains, or call a plumber if the drain stoppage is particularly bad. It will be impossible to maintain a clean bathroom without properly working drains.
When you go to clean your bathroom, make sure that you remove all products first. Use a quality cleaning product and spray or wipe on all stained, soiled, damp, and moldy areas with a sponge - brushes can scratch surfaces, reducing their life and appearance. Use an old toothbrush to clean around faucets, drains, and in crevices. For moldy showers, it's possible to use a mild solution of bleach to kill mold and prevent its immediate regrowth. However, never mix bleach with any other cleaning solution, as this could produce toxic fumes.
Before putting the products back, wipe them with a moistened cloth that contains some of the same cleaning solution. This will deter mold by removing any already present around the bases of bottles and jars, kill germs, and prevent the already sanitized surface from being re-contaminated with mold and bacteria.