How To Stay Safe During a Flood
Plan ahead by assembling a portable flood preparedness kit
Flood Safety Guidelines
Flooding poses risks to residents of Overland Park, KS, as well as first responders. The following flood safety guidelines are helpful when preparing for flood conditions.
Follow Evacuation Orders
Residents should stay apprised of flooding risks and prepare to evacuate as soon as an order is issued. Plan ahead by assembling a portable flood preparedness kit that includes the following items:
- First aid kit
- Non-perishable food
- Flashlights and batteries
- Sleeping bags
- Jumper cables
If a homeowner plans to stay at home, he or she should gather most of these items and store a home preparedness kit above the anticipated flood level. Stock up on enough food and potable water for several days.
Flood water may contain chemicals, heavy metals and pathogens. People should avoid drinking or making direct contact with this water. One of the most essential flood safety measures involves exercising caution near moving water. A person can easily lose his or her footing in six inches of moving water and vehicles may float in 12 inches of water.
Tips for First Responders
First responders should take additional precautions. Here are three of the best safety tips:
- Avoid electrical components
- Get immunized
- Wear personal protective equipment
Responders can reduce electrocution risks by avoiding downed power lines and making sure that the electricity has been shut off in any flooded structures they enter. Exposure to disease is another preventable risk. The Center for Disease Control recommends a tetanus booster for all disaster relief workers and the Hepatitis B vaccine for medical care providers. Relief workers should wear insulated and watertight electrical hazard boots, hip waders, waterproof work gloves, and eye protection. Respirators may also be necessary.
These flood safety suggestions can help to keep residents and first responders safe. Homeowners should contact a damage mitigation and restoration company if flood waters breach residences located in Overland Park, KS.
3 Steps To Keep Your Pet Safe In a Fire
Notify rescuers that you have pets inside your home with window clings.
Three Ways To Keep Your Pets Safe In the Event of a Fire
In emergencies, pets rely on their owners to protect them from harm. Taking preventative measures and coming up with a pet preparation plan will help pet owners in a fire. Be prepared for a fire emergency at your Prairie Village, KS, home and keep your pets safe by following the steps below.
1. Include Pets In Your Evacuation Plan
When making a plan for you to leave your home in the case of a fire, make sure your pets are a part of the evacuation. Decide who in your household is going to retrieve your pet, and practice escaping with your animals. Determine in advance where they will stay while you have professionals restore your home after the fire.
2. Ensure Pets Are Located In a Fire Emergency
Keep pets near an accessible entryway when you are not home. This will help firefighters locate your pet in the event of a rescue. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with identification tags and that a leash is nearby, further helping officials safely remove your pet from a fire.
Additionally, you can notify rescuers that you have pets inside your home with window clings. The signs let firefighters know how many pets are inside the house, so they can make sure they are keeping all of your animals safe.
3. Protect Important Pet Documents
Store your pet’s vaccination records and any pet ownership documents in a firebox. In the event of a fire, your important paperwork will be kept out of harm’s way and can be retrieved after your home has been deemed safe.
Protecting your pets in a fire emergency is a priority for any pet owner. While you never want to put yourself in danger to rescue your animals, keep pet safety in mind when preparing in advance for a potential home fire.
The 411 on Mold: Important Things To Understand About Spore Growth
Spores are always present.
Four Things To Know About Mold Spores
What is black mold, and why should business owners in Leawood, KS, even have it on their radar? These little microscopic spores are fairly common in society, usually lurking about invisible and harmless. Under the right conditions, though, they prove quite troublesome. Not only do they infest structures, but they spread like wildfire, making a small problem something quite large. Proprietors, therefore, should know what it is and how to prevent it. Here are four things to know about the fungus.
1. They Are Not Contained With Chemicals
If you're thinking of spraying some bleach around the building to handle that pesky mold cleanup, think again. The chemical is a surface cleaner, only useful for eliminating spores on non-porous substances. When water damage occurs, spores can penetrate deep into porous objects.
2. They Feed on Moisture
Black mold reacts to fluid. When the property is dry, it is unlikely to cause problems. Wipe up puddles immediately, avoid leaks and keep the humidity low.
3. They are Decomposers
In nature, the microbes act as a natural decomposers, tasked with breaking down old pieces of wood. It's useful in keeping the cycle of life; however, in a damp building, the spores' actions could lead to foundation and structural issues.
4. They Are Always Present
Spores are always present. They come inside in people's shoes and clothing. They even move through the wind, migrating into the business via the windows, doors and vent system. It's troublesome to owners only if there is a moisture problem. Just be aware that the more exposure, the more spores may inhabit the space.
Try to have mats for people to wipe their shoes. Clean and vacuum the floors regularly, and have the vents cleaned out periodically. You could even look into a UV light for the air handler.
Black mold is around you; it's Mother Nature's helper. The spores become bothersome when water lingers, triggering reproduction. To prevent the fungus from harming your property, business owners should prevent and mitigate water damage.
4 Things To Do When Making a Water Damage Insurance Claim
Water damage in a home in Overland Park, KS.
Water Damage Insurance Claim
If your home has been damaged during or after a storm in Overland Park, KS, then you will likely need to make an insurance claim. If this is not something that you have done before, then the process can be overwhelming. Taking the following steps will help you get through it more easily.
1. Call Your Insurance Agent
One of the first things you should do is contact your insurance agent to start your insurance claim. This will get things moving in the right direction. Some companies have a limit for how long you can wait to make a claim, so the sooner you do this, the better.
2. Read Over Your Policy
Most people don’t have their insurance policies committed to memory. If it has been a while since you’ve looked over yours, take time to do this while you wait for an insurance adjuster to inspect your home. Make sure you know what is covered and what is expected of you.
3. Document the Flood Damage
An insurance adjuster will need to inspect your house, but that doesn’t mean that you have to sit around and wait for them. In the meantime, you can take pictures of damaged areas and belongings to give to the adjuster. It can also be helpful to make a list of affected items and their values. Gather relevant receipts if you have them.
4. Start the Mitigation Process
Water damage from severe weather or a pipe burst can quickly get worse if it is not removed right away, leading to a lengtheir restoration process. A professional remediation company can begin mitigation and repairs even if you are still waiting for an adjuster. They can also help you document the damage if necessary.
Dealing with damage to your home can be stressful, but filing an insurance claim doesn’t need to be difficult. Starting the process as soon as possible and familiarizing yourself with your policy can save you time and energy. Address any damage right away, even if you are still waiting for an adjuster, to make repairs easier.
Understanding Smoke Damage and Insurance
An ozone generator emits ozone gas that physically changes molecules and breaks them down.
Smoke Damage and Insurance
While it may not be visible like soot damage, smoke damage is a strong, lingering issue. If your Prairie Village, KS, business is dealing with the issue, even if the fire was from a neighboring property, your commercial insurance will likely cover it, but it can be a tricky process.
Steps To Take
Once the damage is detected, there are essential steps that need to be taken to improve your chances of the claim being accepted and processed quickly.
Immediately contact your insurance provider. If you wait to report smoke damage, it may delay the claim and result in more downtime.
Have a clear understanding of your unique policy. Look over coverage, exclusions, deductibles and filing requirements.
Document the damage by taking pictures and videos.
Maintain records of any expenses incurred due to the damage.
Contact a professional fire damage restoration company to have the damage assessed and a remediation plan set in motion.
Smoke Cleaning Methods
Since smoke odors are tricky, cleaning smoke requires industrial-grade tools and expertise. When choosing a certified restoration company, you get peace of mind that the air quality in your business will be restored. Three methods used to eliminate odors include:
Thermal Fogging: This is a heated deodorizer that neutralizes odors by attaching to smoke particles and absorbing them. It is an efficient way to ensure hard-to-reach areas are cleaned.
Ozone Generator: Used for decades, this generator emits ozone gas that physically changes molecules and breaks them down.
Hydroxyl Generator: Hydroxyl is gaining popularity because it breaks down particles and turns them into carbon dioxide and water, making it a people-friendly method.
If your business has sustained smoke damage, it is a problem that will linger if not properly treated. Immediately addressing the issue and working with your insurance and a restoration specialist makes it easier to get back to business.
Understanding Commercial Insurance
An insurance policy for your property helps pay for perils that affect your business.
Commercial Insurance: An Overview
If you own commercial property in Overland Park, KS, the chances are that you have a commercial insurance policy. It protects you in the event of a disaster that causes damage to your building or land. However, if you haven't reviewed your policy in a while, it can be good to brush up on what it covers.
Commercial Insurance Definition
An insurance policy for your property helps pay for perils that affect your business. These can include:
- Natural disaster
You may also have other types of coverage, such as commercial liability insurance. They are often bundled together.
Property Insurance Coverage
If your company property experiences a peril, your coverage helps pay for expenses related to the peril. If you have a building that sustains fire damage, for example, you can have several types of damage. The fire itself can cause destruction, but so can heat, smoke, soot and water.
Your insurance policy helps pay for professional restoration services, repair and remodeling of your building, and replacement of assets such as furniture, fixtures, inventory and equipment.
Flood insurance is a separate type of coverage that is not included in commercial insurance policies. It's a good idea to talk to your agent about flood insurance to find out what coverage you require.
Cost of Property Insurance
What you pay for insurance depends on the location of your property, the type of weather your area experiences, and the type of assets and inventory in your building. If your business is in an area known for natural disasters, your premiums are probably higher than those in a location with milder weather.
It's a good idea to shop around for insurance. Different companies offer different policies and discounts. If you haven't reviewed your policy in a while, take the time to call your agent and review your coverage before you need it.
Protect Your Personal Belongings From Fire Damage
Home fire damage in Prairie Village, KS.
Defend Your Personal Property Against Fire
If you are renting, it is still important to practice all of the guidelines for fire safety. This includes having fire alarms strategically located throughout the apartment or home, keeping an eye on open flames when cooking and not storing combustible or flammable items in an unsafe manner. This will keep you safe and protect your property. You should also look into renters insurance, as this covers your personal belongings if they get destroyed in a fire. It will also cover some expenses for a professional cleanup and fire restoration if needed. The cost of this insurance is relatively inexpensive, as you are just paying for the protection of your personal belongings and not for the structure of the apartment.
A Solid Value
People sometimes avoid renters insurance for a couple of reasons. The first is that they think they do not have enough belongings to merit insurance. However, when people add up their belongings it often is more than they think, and more they can afford to lose. The second is they fear the insurance will be too expensive. At the least, you should get a quote from an insurance agent. This type of insurance has many benefits:
- Liability options
- Fire restoration coverage
If you do own a fair amount of things, insurance is essential. It will help you recover from significant fire damage.
A Source of Help
If you do experience a fire in your residence, it is important to call a fire remediation company in Prairie Village, KS, right after the fire trucks depart. Trained and experienced technicians will arrive quickly and begin to work on cleaning up soot and smoke damage. They will have all of the tools to restore your rooms to excellent condition. If you have renters insurance, many of the restoration services will likely be covered. Comprehensive fire protection includes insurance and professional help.
Preventing Mold After a Flood
Mold growth needs to be a top consideration after any kind of water issue.
After a Flood, How to Keep Mold at Bay
Faced with flooding, business owners in Leawood, KS, have another worry to add to the list: mold growth. Since mold spores are always around, the aftermath of excess water provides an ideal environment for it to flourish. Immediately addressing the issue is essential to minimizing its spread.
When mold has moisture, a food source and a warm, humid environment, it can start to grow in 24 to 48 hours. The longer it sits, the increased chances of it spreading to another area. If the issue isn't taken care of, new colonies have the potential to form throughout the property. Below are a few ways to prevent mold growth.
If the outdoor humidity levels are lower, open the building to increase airflow and ventilation.
Remove saturated items, especially absorbent materials, such as ceiling tiles and paper.
Begin extracting any standing water.
If safe to do so, use fans and a dehumidifier to increase evaporation speed and reduce moisture in the air.
While those steps may help minimize it from spreading, getting the right help is essential for proper cleanup and avoiding future issues. This is especially important if the excess water came from a sewage backup or natural flooding. This type of water will also have bacteria and other contaminants that require additional safety measures for cleanup. When choosing a certified water and mold damage company, you get peace of mind that they will adhere to industry standards, have the tools and techniques to restore your business, and use an array of methods to clean and salvage as much as possible.
Although it may be easy to focus on all the extra water, mold growth needs to be a top consideration after any kind of water issue. Acting fast and finding the right expert to handle it makes it faster and easier to get back to & "Like it never even happened."
3 Ways To Keep Your Employees Safe During Mold Removal
Reduce the risk of spreading mold spores by sealing off the affected area
Three Tips for Keeping Your Employees Safe During Mold Removal
When you discover a mold problem in your Overland Park, KS, business, you may be alarmed about its possible dangers and how to protect your employees while you make arrangements for mold removal. Fortunately, there are several actions you can take before, during, and after the mitigation and removal process that may help to keep your workers safe.
1. Alert and Evacuate Your Employees
Once you discover mold growth at your business, you can reduce the risk of danger to your workers by letting them know about the situation and ensuring that everyone in the area leaves until the mold is removed. Consider moving your workers to a safer space within the building so they can continue their jobs there or, if possible, allow them to work from home until it is safe to return.
2. Seal Off the Area
Before help arrives, you can reduce the risk of spreading mold spores by sealing off the affected area. This may be especially effective with black mold, which tends to grow quickly once it finds moisture and humidity. Close the doors but keep any windows inside the room open, and turn off your ventilation system so that spores cannot travel through the ducts. If you discover a moisture problem in the area, use ceiling fans to keep air circulating while you wait for assistance.
3. Ask About Aftercare Options
Once a mold removal and restoration service arrive, the technicians will likely use commercial-grade equipment to manage the issue and use equipment that may reduce the number of spores in the building. Consider asking the technicians about how you can prevent mold from returning and lower that risk, such as learning about how to handle moisture problems and how to perform mold checks.
Protecting your Overland Park, KS, business, and employees from mold can be a challenge, but you do not have to face the problem alone. A mold removal service can guide you through all the stages of cleanup and help you understand how to lower the risk of future fungi invasions.
Landscaping and Water Damage
Keep your gutters clean.
Water Damage and Landscaping
Many homeowners in Prairie Village, KS, are unaware of the relationship between problematic landscaping practices and flood water entering the home. Protect yourself against unnecessary basement or outside flooding by implementing a few simple yard management strategies.
1. Roofing and Gutters
Most homes constructed according to typical building codes will have correctly sloped roofs and gutters that divert rainwater away from the house. However, if the slope and porosity of the soil immediately surrounding your house are causing issues, it may be beneficial to extend the reach of your gutter downspouts with some inexpensive attachments. These flexible hoses will deposit the water farther into your hard, which can prevent water from pooling around your foundation during a rain storm.
For some yards, simply redirecting the gutters may not be enough. Outside flooding problems from other properties may cause unintended water flow to your residence. In these cases, extra landscaping design may be required. A drainage ditch with a large perforated PVC pipe at the bottom can solve a number of flooding issues and divert unwanted water into the storm drain. Such a solution provides immediate results and can be implemented by any homeowner with a few inexpensive materials from a local hardware store.
Another tip for the homeowner wanting to improve rain drainage involves the type of ground cover. Short grasses in silt or clay soils tend to provide little protection against erosion. Over time, these materials will dissolve in rain water and flow away from the property, exacerbating flooding problems. Using gravel or heavy mulches can improve drainage in problem areas that naturally get exposed to heavy rainfall, while preventing the soil beneath from washing away.
While the above tips can reduce the risk of interior and outside flooding, they are not a replacement for a qualified flood restoration service in the event that a significant amount of water enters your home.