Building Your Family’s Emergency Kit | SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz
Having a well-stocked emergency kit offers peace of mind in a very stressful situation.
Having an emergency kit that is fully stocked and ready can make such a big difference in your survival during a disaster at your Ulster County home. When a weather emergency strikes, there might not be time to gather your supplies before heading to a basement or other safe space.
Many experts suggest that your emergency kit contain at least 72 hours of provisions and some necessities such as personal hygiene supplies and emergency radios. Keep in mind, that it’s also a smart idea to fill up the gas tanks on your vehicles beforehand, many alerts come with enough time to get to a gas station.
The Basic Emergency Kit:
While every emergency kit should be for your individual needs and considerations, to build a kit with the bare necessities, this is what the American Red Cross recommends:
- At minimum, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
- A three-day supply of non-perishable food per person
- Plenty of portable cell phone and electronics chargers and cords.
- A battery-powered radio for local alerts and a NOAA Weather Radio for national alerts
- Flashlights for each person
- A well-stocked first-aid kit
- Any prescription medications your family members may require
- A surplus of batteries for the flashlights
- Dust masks for filtering debris-filled air
- Paper towels, garbage bags, hand sanitizer and any other personal hygiene supplies
- A non-electric can opener and utensils for food
- Local maps of the area with shelters clearly marked
- Important personal and financial documents sealed in a plastic Ziploc bag
Other Suggestions of Supplies:
The items above are an ideal place to begin, but if you have the space and ability to build out a larger kit, there are some additional items you may want to include:
- Tools such as wrenches, hammers, nails and pliers
- Plywood in case it is necessary to barricade doors or windows
- Duct tape and plastic sheeting in case an impromptu shelter needs building
- Solar-powered chargers for using electronics long-term
- Weather-appropriate spare clothes
- Thin, camping-style blankets, small carry-along pillows
- Unscented bleach, which can be used as a disinfectant or water purifier
- A deck of playing cards, a few board games, pens and paper
- Cash and coins
If you have sustained water or storm damage, SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz is always here to help. Our trained technicians are available 24/7, we’re faster to any size disaster.
Smart fire prevention tips for your New Paltz, Kingston, Saugerties and Highland homes
Fire Prevention Plans can offer security and peace of mind.
Not only can damage from residential fires can be significant, they cause both structural and property damage and put the household in danger. Practicing proper fire prevention techniques in your Ulster County home is essential to staying safe and helps offer a piece of mind.
Residential Fire Numbers: Many consider fires to be an uncommon occurrence, but according to according to FEMA, in 2017 there were over 3,400 fatalities attributed to fires, with 23.0 billion dollars’ worth of losses from over 1.3 million fires that year.
Over half of residential fires are caused by cooking in some manner. Utilizing caution when cooking with open flames can go a long way in residential fire prevention. Make sure children and adults all know how to be safe in the kitchen, what to do in a fire emergency and what to USE should one arise.
Fire Prevention: Because of how quickly fires can grow, preventing them from starting is the most effective method of fire safety. Household objects can quickly turn hazardous if conditions are right, but there are many ways to prevent fire hazards.
Inspection of the smoke detector: Use the smoke detector’s test button to check the batteries once each month. Purchase a new one every 10 years. They’re not expensive and the technology has been upgraded since your last one.
Dryer vents and lint: Have your dryer vent cleaned once a year. An excessive amount of lint can be a fire hazard due to the heat of the dryer. Dispose of dryer lint in the tray after each load as a cautionary measure.
Stay in the kitchen if you’re cooking with an open flame: Just because one uses a flame each day for cooking or fireplaces does not mean that it cannot pose a hazard. Always attend to open flames and never leave the room when one is burning.
Cords, cable and wires: Cords come with a safety coating that protects the wires and lessens the fire risk. When the cables become frayed and worn, the wires become exposed and create a threat. Check cables often and dispose of frayed ones immediately.
Properly store products. Everyday household products can also pose a fire risk. Most cleaners, household chemicals and aerosol cans should be kept away from high heat and incendiary devices. Check their labels to determine the safest way to store them.
If your Ulster County home has suffered damage from a fire, give us a call. We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and here to help 24/7.
Making an Emergency Plan for Your Business | SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz
An Emergency Plan for your business is key for safety and preparedness.
When it comes to emergency preparedness for your business, making a plan is one of the best things you can do. Not only will having one help to keep your staff safe and informed, but it will also help you as a business owner reopen more quickly following a disaster.
A comprehensive emergency plan should be thorough, include information to share with employees and include all the materials you need to get the business reopened in the disaster’s wake. Here is a three-step guide to making your business emergency plan:
- Determine the Most Likely Threats
The first thing to do to prepare your business for an emergency is to understand what types of damages you might be likely to face. If your business is prone to flooding, or if you have a restaurant and are thus more likely to have a fire, these are factors you should consider when making your plan. It is also essential to plan for natural disasters, such as storm damage, fire from lightning strikes or any other severe weather that could cause harm.
- Create an Emergency Response Plan & Share it With Employees
The most beneficial aspect of a disaster plan is that everyone should automatically know what to do if an emergency occurs. Create a plan so employees are aware of where they should go, who they should check in with and what next steps are in all the scenarios you outlined in the step above.
Tip: Schedule workplace emergency drills so employees can rehearse the actions they will take in the case of a real scenario.
- Determine How You Will Get Back to Business
Workplace emergencies can have a big impact on a business, even forcing them to close in almost half of reported cases. It is important to plan how you will get back to business following a disaster by creating a thorough business recovery plan. This should cover topics such as staffing issues, equipment failures and what commercial restoration company to work with to remediate the damages done.
If your business has been hit with emergency damage, we can help! We are fully certified in commercial restoration and can respond quickly when you call. Get in touch today to make us part of your emergency response plan!
We’re here to help, 24/7! Don’t wait if you’ve suffered any kind of damage at your business, we’ll get you back to normal in no time!
How clean are the air ducts in your Ulster County home?
Routine Servicing of your HVAC system and duct work is beneficial!
The fault for pollutants is often pointed at outdoor air, but you might be surprised to learn that indoor air quality can be far worse. By re-circulating air throughout the home, HVAC systems (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) allow the allergens in the air to be spread throughout the home.
Not sure if your ducts need a cleaning? We’ve put together some tips on when you should think about scheduling an appointment:
- Allergies: Air moving through an HVAC system picks up all contaminants along the way, including naturally occurring allergens and pollen. Cleaning the ducts is highly recommended to aid sensitive groups who might have adverse reactions to allergens.
- Rodents: Unfortunately, homes are never completely sealed against rodents and pests that can bring disease and infestation. They seek the same warm and dry shelter for their families as we do. If you’ve seen signs of animal nesting, call an exterminator as well as a certified cleaning services like SERVPRO of Kingston/New Paltz to get rid of all contaminants.
- Mold: Mold can be the culprit in causing some health issues and because it can spread through the air, it can really get into the ducts quickly. If you’ve seen mold growth anywhere in your home, not only should you contact a mold remediation company like SERVPRO, but a duct cleaning should be scheduled as well to help eliminate further spreading of the spores.
- Remodeling: Renovations, even small ones naturally cause dirt and debris to become airborne in your home, and these contaminants can easily find their way into the ducts. The HVAC system will continually cycle this throughout the home, so it’s a good idea to get those filters changed out and the system checked thoroughly.
- High Energy Bill: The Department of Energy has found that 48% of a home’s electricity bill is from the heating and cooling system. If the system is weighed down with debris, dirt, dust and contaminants, it has to work harder to produce the same amount of air, using more energy than usual and therefore raising your utility bill.
- Routine Contaminants: In addition to these scenarios, general household debris, pet dander and dust can all accumulate with time. There are a multitude of natural pollutants that can accumulate over time.
Getting the air ducts cleaned and your HVAC system serviced routinely is important for several reasons. Call SERVPRO of Kingston/New Paltz today to schedule yours!
What Mold Remediation Really Means | SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz
Microbial growth can be a tricky situation to deal with, call the experts at SERVPRO of Kingston/New Paltz to take care of it for you.
If you are learning about mold and what problems it can cause in your home, you might be confused about what mold removal and mold remediation really mean.
While "mold removal" is an often-advertised service, its name is a bit misleading—making mold remediation the more accurate term. Read on to learn what mold remediation really means:
Mold Removal vs. Mold Remediation
In nature, mold serves a useful purpose by helping to break down decaying matter and do its part in the circle of life, but mold growing in your house is not quite as useful to the ecosystem.
Not only is it unsightly, but mold can also lead to a variety of health issues for people and pets. Due to the functional nature of mold, it exists nearly everywhere, waiting to find a spot to land and carry out its job.
Mold spores are microscopic and ever-present, both inside and outside and during every season. They are airborne and can travel through the air, HVAC units, ducts or even hitch a ride on pets or clothing.
Because of the characteristics of mold, “mold removal” is a misnomer—it is impossible to remove all mold from any home or business. Therefore, be wary of companies advertising full mold removal guarantees, as there is no way to stop nature from its process.
What Encourages Mold to Grow?
It might sound like mold should be growing everywhere all of the time because of how prevalent it is, but thankfully it needs specific conditions to begin to grow.
Most importantly, mold thrives on moisture—a single spore can quickly form a colony when there is water present. Even excessive indoor humidity can create an ideal environment for mold, so experts recommend to keep indoor humidity below 50%.
The Mold Remediation Process
Even if you have not seen mold, if you have noticed a musty odor in a damp area of the home, you may have a mold issue on your hands. If you think it’s time to call in the professionals, here is what you can expect from the mold remediation process:
- Get in touch with SERVPRO of Kingston/New Paltz, they have mold remediation experts on staff.
- The trained and certified techs from SERVPRO will perform a full assessment of the extent of the damage.
- In some cases, due to the amount of mold present, there are additional assessments that might be recommended.
- The restoration team will contain the mold.
- Air is filtered to reduce the number of spores.
- Mold and mold-infiltrated materials are removed.
- Structures and belongings are cleaned.
If you think you may have mold in your house, give us a call and we will send our team of mold remediation experts out to do a full inspection. Learn more about our mold remediation process, and get in touch with us today.
Still noticing that smell in your Ulster County home from that grease fire 3 weeks ago?
Fires caused by burned protein can get into more places than you think!
You thought you got the grease and melted things cleaned up when it happened, but there are some little-known facts about food fires that make the smell and potential damage tricky get rid of.
Protein fires usually start from food that is burnt in the kitchen. Think about cooking pan on the stovetop and the grease has caught fire and created a significant problem. Due to the chemical makeup and structure of food proteins, it can make an especially unique restoration challenge and create odor issues that are difficult to mitigate when they burn.
Important things to know regarding protein/food fires:
*Generally, these types of fires leave little visible residue, often confusing to someone who isn’t trained locate and get rid of. The smell is there but hard to pinpoint where it could be coming from.
*They create a significantly more distasteful smell than most other fires. Pungent, noxious, thick and sometimes can cause irritation to sensitive people.
*The nature of the burn causes odor to permeate even more completely than other fires, into everything. Items or belongings you never thought would’ve been affected could have some lingering and unforeseen issues. Sometimes the damage can require a sealing agent or even repainting to completely eradicate the odor. Often, it’s recommended to let a damage restoration company take care of getting the smell out of everything, usually that gives the best results.
*Keep in mind that the damage may require multiple attempts and methods to achieve the best results. Using a certified remediation company can decrease the attempts as they are effective and efficient.
Don’t tackle this issue by yourself, let the trained and certified experts at SERVPRO of Kingston/New Paltz take care of it. There is no damage too small or large and with over 25 years of LOCAL experience, we can tell you that When fire and odors take control of your life, we’ll help take it back!.
Be sure to maintain your HVAC unit at your New Paltz home!
Have your HVAC unit maintained regularly to avoid costly repairs!
In this type of summer heat in the Hudson Valley, we are thankful for air conditioning in our homes, but if you haven’t had regular maintenance, your HVAC system could suffer an untimely breakdown, and be costly in repairs and aggravation.
By keeping your AC unit regular maintained as well as having duct cleaning in your home taken care of, you are investing in a future of climate-controlled comfort, improving your home’s indoor air quality and helping your system run more efficiently.
How Can HVAC Cleaning Make My System More Efficient?
A Heating & Ventilation unit that must deal with dust and debris to function properly and pump out air will have to work harder and expend more energy to get the same amount of cool air moved around your home. Considering that about half of your home’s energy usage goes to heating and cooling, helping things run more efficient can make a big difference in your overall bill.
Once the dirt and grime that builds up in your vents and ducts is cleaned out, air can flow more freely through the home, permitting your system to expend less energy to adjust the temperature as well as removing more dust and allergens from the air.
Can That Make My HVAC System Last Longer?
With proper maintenance and cleaning, one can expect an HVAC unit to last 15–20 years—but without proper cleaning and avoiding regular maintenance, that might not be the case. A dirt-saturated HVAC unit is constantly under stress when the system is on, therefore it will deteriorate quicker due to the energy it’s spending.
Also, substances like mold and mildew can build up within your ducts and not only cause irritants in the air but also cause damage to the unit, which will need a professional to address in order to prevent further spread of allergens, mold and mildew throughout the house.
Rodents and pests can also make themselves at home in your ducts, it’s an ideal safe and warm spot for them to set up shop and that could lead to an extreme pest control issue if left undisturbed. Having your ducts cleaned regularly ensures you can identify problems early and before they lead to costly breakdowns instead of waiting until a big problem happens.
By maintaining and keeping your HVAC ducts clean and the system working at it’s ideal levels, you are protecting the investment you have made in your home. Calling a professional to assess if your ducts need cleaning is the surest course of action to be proactive about problems before they become bigger than necessary.
Do you think your air ducts might need to be cleaned? Call SERVPRO of Kingston/New Paltz today to have one of our certified technicians take a look!
Smell something musty in the bathroom of your New Paltz home?
Mold doesn't have to be a scary situation when you've got SERVPRO of Kingston/New Paltz's certified experts on your side.
Perhaps that bathroom exhaust fan has seen better days? Maybe there's a leaking pipe somewhere? Mold has a distinct musty, dirty, damp smell that is unlike other odors.
First things first, mold needs water to start forming, so try to find the source of the leak or where the water could be coming from. Contact a plumbing professional or other service pro to take care of the issue as soon as you can. Meanwhile, give your homeowner’s insurance agent or company a call to see what your policy might cover for the repairs, damages or remediation, if needed.
**Coverage terms vary so it’s important to be clear as to what the specifics are on your homeowner’s insurance policy. ** Insurance agents are a wealth of knowledge, so ask all the questions!
Conditions that can lead to a mold problem in your home always start with a water issue like flooding, an unknown or hidden leak, a burst pipe, ice damming, roofing or gutter failures, sump pumps, refrigerator water lines, etc. If you don’t have a professional take care of the source of leak, the mold will continue to thrive and create a more aggressive situation that is harder to treat and could be costly.
Our Production Technicians see cases of mold throughout every season in Ulster County, it’s not just an issue in the spring or summer temperatures. Mold or microbial growth needs water or consistent moisture and an organic food source to thrive. Though it can be tricky to treat and remove, we have experts in the industry who can walk you through the process and help ease some of the stress. Call SERVPRO of Kingston/New Paltz, our free estimates conducted by our trained and certified professionals will help guide you to getting the problem solved.
Understanding Thunderstorm Damage | SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz
Don't underestimate the power of thunderstorms!
Thunderstorms are not uncommon occurrences during the summer months in the Hudson Valley. However, with these storms comes a chance for storm damage caused by those severe thunderstorms.
How familiar are you with the different types of damage that thunderstorms can cause?Thunderstorm 101
Within the United States, there are typically around 100,000 thunderstorms per year with 10% of those that are considered severe. This is just a small portion of the estimated 16 million thunderstorms each year that occur worldwide.
Thunderstorms require three components to form—moisture, rising air, and a “lifting” mechanism caused by either hills or mountains that force air to rise, or where warm/cold or wet/dry air bump together, causing a rising motion. This is why you often hear meteorologists reference when cold and warm fronts are about to intersect, creating dangerous conditions.
The lifetime of a thunderstorm includes three stages, including the formation, the mature phase and the dissipation. The mature phase is when most danger and damage occur.Damage From Thunderstorms
Thunderstorms can create many different dangerous situations that can occur during a thunderstorm, but debris flying around due to high winds is among the most dangerous to both property and humans.
Wind speeds can gust in a severe thunderstorm up to and over 57.5 mph. That is enough to cause damage to your property.
If you have anything in your yard that’s not secured, including things like bikes or trash cans, those items can become projectiles quickly, causing damage to houses and personal injuries.
Thunderstorms can also produce the following damage besides wind damage:
Lightning damage. When lightning strikes a building, electricity moves through the wiring of the home. This can lead to appliances blowing out, along with an increased risk of fire.
Tornado damage. Consider this—the average storm has winds around 60 mph. The wind in a tornado can gust upward of 200 mph, which can wreak some serious havoc.
Hail damage. Did you know that according to NOAA, the cost of hail damage can reach $1 billion a year?
Flood damage. During storms, a lot of rain often falls in a small amount of time. This can make it impossible for the water to soak into the earth, leaving pools of water everywhere. This flash flooding can have dangerous consequences.
If a thunderstorm has resulted in damage to your home or business, know that the team at SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz is available 24⁄7 to help with cleanup and restoration.
Summer Grilling Fire Hazards and Tips to Avoid Them | SERVPRO® of Kingston/New Paltz
Be prepared with these grilling safety tips to help avoid a dangerous situation.
It’s important to be aware of what conditions can cause a grill fire—and how to prevent one—so you can stay safe while having summer fun in Ulster County.
Grill fires are not only dangerous to people and animals, they can cause serious damage to your deck and home. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association reports that grills were involved in over 10,000 home fires in a four-year span, with July being the most popular time for these incidents. May, June and August were all a close tie in those scary statistics.
What Causes Grill Fires?
While there is a fire risk anytime someone is cooking either indoors or out, because of the open flame and direct contact, grills pose a unique risk for flare-ups. Common causes of grill fires include:
*Leaving grills unattended
*Uncleaned grill grates
*Grilling near combustible materials- heat can really radiate, you’d be surprised how far!
*Burner tubes blocked due to debris or insects
*Overfilled grease pans
How to Prevent Grill Fires
The easiest way to avoid accumulating damage from a grill fire is by being familiar with and taking steps to prevent one from happening in the first place.
Here are a few ways you can care for your grill and prevent fires:
- It’s easy to forget they’re in there but you need to clean your drip pans frequently. Cleaning your grill helps prevent grease fires and flare-ups. Under the cooking grids and burners, every grill is equipped with a drip tray. When these trays become full and reach high temperatures, grease fires can occur. Check your pans or trays every time you use the grill to ensure they are not getting overfilled. If you let the grease cool, it’s easier to scrape off and then clean with soap and water.
- Coated, sauced, gristle-covered cooking grates need to be scraped down. These dried-on bits harbor bacteria that can affect the taste and outcome of your meal, but they can also cause dangerous fires. After preheating your grill, use a grill brush to scrape off grates—and scrape again after cooking. It is also advised to frequently give grates a scrub with soap and water while the grill is cool. There are lots of great choices of grill scrapers out there no matter what type you like, it’s an important tool to have on hand whenever you’re grilling!
- ALWAYS Keep safety supplies nearby. Baking soda quickly cuts off oxygen the fire needs. Keep baking soda and a fire extinguisher nearby each time you grill to smother any flames.
Tip: Never use water to put out a grease fire, as it can cause the flames to spread.
SERVPRO of Kingston/New Paltz is here to help, 24/7 for emergencies! N matter the type of fire damage, we’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”