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5 Essential Items to Have During an Emergency

12/7/2022 (Permalink)

Kit supplies Create an emergency kit for yourself and your family.

How To Prepare For An Emergency

You are reading this article because you want to know what essential items you should have on hand in case of an emergency. That's a good place to start. But it's also important to remember that emergencies don't always happen at convenient times or places—and they affect more than just your home and immediate family. So, think about how you can best prepare for an emergency by creating an emergency kit for yourself and your family, including pets if possible!

Food and Water

Food and water are essential to survival. It's best to store at least 72 hours worth of food and water per person, but if you can afford it, go ahead and stock up on more. This is especially important if you have children or elderly family members as well as pets or other animals—you should be prepared for them too!

Clothing and Bedding

Clothing should be comfortable, versatile and easy to put on. Bring layered clothing that will protect you from the elements, rather than just one or two pieces of clothing that you would need to change into if your home were to become inaccessible due to flooding or fire. Include shoes and socks so that the entire family has something warm with which to walk if necessary. A hat and gloves are also important because they can help keep your head warm in cold temperatures or protect it from sunburn on sunny days when there's no shade available for protection.

First-Aid Supplies

As you plan for an emergency, it’s important to be prepared with the right first-aid supplies. This can include a first-aid kit and other life-saving items such as bandages, tape, scissors, gauze pads and more. A basic kit should contain:

  • Bandages of different sizes
  • Adhesive tape in several widths
  • Scissors for cutting the tape or fabric bandages
  • Sterile pads like gauze dressing pads or sterile eye pad strips (for covering wounds on your face)
  • Nonadherent dressings (these are adhesive dressings that do not stick to skin)

Tools and Emergency Supplies

Have a fire extinguisher and make sure that it is in working order. You can buy an inexpensive one at your local hardware store, or you could get one of the more expensive models that can be used on all kinds of fires.

If there is a fire, you should also have items for getting out of your house if necessary. This might include a flashlight and extra batteries for it, along with rope or string so you can make a rope ladder from the roof to the ground if needed. You may also want to have a first aid kit with some basic supplies like bandages and antibiotic ointment in case someone gets injured during an evacuation due to smoke inhalation or other problems caused by the fire itself (such as burns).

It's also important to keep extra batteries for any electronic devices such as phones or tablets because they may not work after an emergency situation due to power loss or network coverage issues caused by damage done during disasters such as floods or earthquakes."

Special Items

If you have a household member who requires special items during an emergency, be sure to include them in your kit. It’s important to keep medications on hand at all times, but in an emergency situation where there may not be accessible to a pharmacy or doctor, it’s more crucial than ever. In addition to medications for chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes, having basic first aid supplies can make life much easier for those with special needs. If you have someone with limited mobility or sight (for example), the ability to move around independently might be even more important than usual.

Also consider including items that are necessary for children: diapers, formula, and baby food if applicable; blankets; books; games and activities that require little set-up time (think travel versions of popular board games). Make sure these are already packed before any kind of situation arises so everyone can focus on whatever crisis is happening outside their home instead of worrying about making sure they have everything they need inside their house too!"

Create a Disaster Plan

The more prepared you are, the greater chance you have of making it through an emergency unscathed. If you’re part of a larger community—for example, if there is an office or school nearby—you may also want to work together on creating a shared disaster plan.

The goods included in this kit will vary depending on what type of emergency it is that's being faced, but all essentials should be portable and easy to carry around with you if necessary (though not too heavy). Remember: food and water are vital!

If your home were hit by a natural disaster like fire or flooding, how would you take care of yourself? Can someone else take care of themselves? When the electricity goes out during a storm or earthquake, how do you cook food so everyone stays healthy?

A disaster can happen at any time, but you’ll be prepared if you have the right supplies on hand. As we know from experience, being prepared with a plan and supplies is essential to keeping your family safe during an emergency. We hope this article has given you some ideas about what to include in your own emergency kit so that everyone in your household is ready for anything life throws their way!

If your home or business is struck by fire, water, or storm, SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge is here to help you restore your Baton Rouge property back to its preloss condition. 

Why Is There Water Under My Cabinet?

11/15/2022 (Permalink)

Sink leaking The presence of water under the kitchen cabinets is not ideal.

Why Is My Cabinet Under Water?

Water under the kitchen cabinets is not a good sign. It usually means there's a leak in your pipes, and it should be dealt with ASAP to prevent any further damage. If you notice water under the kitchen sink, follow these steps as soon as possible to minimize water damage.

Whether it's a stain or water pooling in the cabinet, water under the kitchen cabinets is not a good sign. If you're not sure why there's water under your cabinets, here are four things to keep in mind:

  • Water damage can be expensive to fix. The sooner you deal with a leak, the better—especially if it's coming from pipes located inside an exterior wall. In this case, you may want to call your insurance company as soon as possible and ask them what steps you should take next.
  • Waiting too long could cause more problems than one leaky pipe! 

If you notice water under the kitchen sink, follow these steps as soon as possible to minimize water damage.

  • Shut off the water supply. The first thing to do after noticing water under your cabinet is to turn off the main valve that controls the water supply to your house. Turn it clockwise until it's closed, and then confirm that there is no more running water in your sink or tub before proceeding further.
  • Check for leaks in pipes or fittings. If there are leaks anywhere on your plumbing system, they need to be addressed before anything else can be done with this situation. 

Shut off the water supply.

If you notice water under your cabinet, the first thing to do is shut off the main water supply. This can be done by turning off the main valve on your house or apartment building if it hasn't already been turned off. 

If you're not sure how to find this valve or how to turn it off, call a plumber who can help. If there are multiple shut-off valves under sinks in your home, turn them all off as well — but keep in mind that doing so may temporarily stop other water sources from working properly until they're all turned back on again!

Check for any leaks in the pipes.

If you discover that your pipes are leaking, you may need to call a plumber. Your water bill will be affected by the leaks, so make sure that you have an accurate record of how much water is being used in your house. The next time the plumber comes by for an inspection, ask him or her about ways to prevent future leaks from occurring.

If you can't find the source of the leak, call a plumber.

If you can’t figure out where the leak is coming from, it might be time to call in a professional. The cabinet company or home builder that installed your cabinets may recommend a plumber or contractor, but if not, you’ll have to do some searching on your own.

The first place to look is your insurance company: if you have homeowners' or renters' insurance coverage and the damage was caused by flooding (for example), you may be able to get reimbursed for the cost of repairing or replacing damaged goods like flooring and cabinets. Check with your agent before paying anything out of pocket because they could help you file a claim that could result in savings down the road.

Dry out the cabinet and clean up the area.

If you have a lot of water and your cabinet is still wet, use a wet/dry shop vac to remove as much water as possible. If this doesn't work, check for leaks again. If the leak persists, it's time to call in the professionals.

If you're lucky, the source of the leak will be easy to find and fix. If not, you may have to call a plumber or other contractor to take care of it. If there's water damage under your cabinets, contact your insurance company as soon as possible so they can help cover any costs related to fixing the problem or replacing damaged items like drywall or floorboards if necessary.

How Much Revenue Can I Lose After a Fire Damage?

10/16/2022 (Permalink)

Two men with a shovel and a plastic bag cleaning debris inside a restaurant due to fire damage Fire cleanup in a restaurant.

What Happens If Your Business Slows Due To The Interruption Of a Fire

A fire at your business is the last thing you want to deal with. But you can't help but worry about what will happen if your income slows due to the interruption of a fire. Luckily, there is insurance for that: business income coverage.

Before we get into exactly how much revenue can be lost after fire damage affects your business, let's talk about why this type of coverage exists in the first place. Business income insurance helps keep your cash flow coming in after an unexpected event like a fire damages your building or other property. You may be wondering why this is necessary if you've purchased another kind of commercial property policy (like comprehensive or all-risk). If something happens at one part of my building but not another part (and it doesn't affect all parts), then isn't that covered under these other policies? The answer to that question depends on who owns what aspect of the structure damaged by fire:

What is business income coverage?

Business income coverage is a type of property insurance that pays for the loss of income from a covered event. It also goes by the name business interruption insurance and can help pay for extra expenses that keep your business running in the wake of a disaster.

Business income coverage has two parts: indemnity and expense reimbursement. The indemnity component covers lost profits when your commercial property is damaged or destroyed, while the expense reimbursement component ensures money isn't an obstacle to getting back on track after an incident occurs.

Income coverage and extra expense coverage.

An income loss coverage will help you with the loss of revenue after a fire. The reason why this type of coverage is called an “income” loss coverage is because it will cover your business’s income, not its overhead costs.

An extra expense coverage can help you pay for other expenses that arise because of damage to your property, like additional wages for employees who need to work overtime in order to get everything done on time. If your business has employees, you should definitely consider getting this type of policy as well.

Other ways income coverage can help.

When it comes to income coverage, the best way to know you’re properly insured is to speak with a qualified insurance agent. They can help you understand what your policy covers, and whether it will be enough if your business is damaged in a fire.

There are a few things that can affect the amount you can recover after a fire damages your business. Let's look at some of them:

  • The amount of damage to the business. If your business is severely damaged, it will cost more to repair or rebuild and open again than if it was only slightly damaged.
  • The amount of time your business is closed due to fire damage. If you must close down for several months while repairs are being completed and new equipment installed, you'll lose money that could be used towards paying off debt or investing in other areas of your company.
  • The type of insurance coverage you have on hand at the time of fire loss (or other disasters). If other insurance policies cover certain types of losses related to fires—such as liability claims from injuries caused by smoke inhalation—it may be possible for those policies' limits to exceed what's offered through commercial property insurance alone.

How much revenue can be lost?

The damage from a fire may affect your business in two ways: the immediate loss of revenue and the long-term loss of revenue.

The immediate loss of revenue occurs when your business is unable to operate due to fire damage. For example, if you are a restaurant and your building has sustained significant damage from smoke or water infiltration, you will likely be unable to open for business until repairs are made and inspections completed. The loss during this period may be temporary or permanent depending on the extent of damage sustained by your property and other factors related to the situation at hand (elements such as insurance coverage).

Business income insurance helps keep your income coming in after fire damage.

There's a type of commercial property insurance that can help you recover the revenue you lose after fire damage. It's called business income insurance, and it's designed to cover the losses your business sustains when you're unable to sell goods and services due to an insured property loss.

Business income insurance covers your costs for things like:

  • Lost profits, including lost revenue from sales (some policies will reimburse you for the cost of goods sold)
  • Additional advertising expenses caused by the interruption in your business operations (e.g., newspaper ads)
  • Extra wages paid to employees who were unable to work because of the fire

Remember that it's important to get business income insurance. In the event of a fire, this insurance can help you keep your business running and make sure you're protected against losses like this in the future. We hope you found this article helpful as well!

4 Ways a Board Up Secures Your Home After a Fire

8/29/2022 (Permalink)

Board up window Secure your home after a fire

Four Techniques for Securing Your Home After a Fire

Your home in Monticello, LA, is particularly vulnerable right after a fire. The flames have likely caused structural damage to your home, and fire fighting efforts often bust down doors, crash in windows and even blast holes into your roof. Once the fire crew has departed, you are left with a home that is exposed to the elements, leaving open the possibility of further damage. A board up might be your best option to secure your home. It protects the house from multiple dangers.


1. The weather - An emergency board up makes sure a sudden rainstorm doesn't soak your home. The boards will cover openings and prevent water from entering. In some cases, the restoration crew will put a tarp over a roof to give better weather protection.


2. Criminals - A damaged home can be seen by some people as an invitation to take a look inside. They are more likely to enter a house that has easy access. A professional board up will makes things more difficult for thieves and vandals to get into your home after a fire.


3. Animals - Animals seek out shelter in homes even in the best of times. The damage from a fire allows animals such as squirrels, bats, rats and birds to take up residence in your home. These critters can even cause additional damage to your property if you do not take appropriate action after fire damage.


4. The curious - Children and even curious adults sometimes see a vacant home after a fire as a place to explore. This could create liability issues for your property. Since a home after a fire is likely to be full of hazards, you definitely do not want people roaming around inside it.
A professional fire restoration company will be experienced in securing your home after a fire. The workers will be able to install a board up safely. This will keep your home secure until the damage is fixed and your home is restored.

Smoke Damage in Commercial Buildings Usually Requires Professional Help

8/20/2022 (Permalink)

Collage of a before and after of a store damaged by fire Smoke cleanup services in Baker, LA

Fires are by nature a destructive event. Probably worse than the fire itself is the smoke damage, which will spread much further than the burn damage. A small fire in Baker, LA, can release an incredible amount of smoke, which tends to get into every nook and cranny.
If the damage is extremely isolated and there’s no soot damage, you may be able to clean it yourself. Once a sooty residue is left behind or the damage has gone beyond a single room, you’ll certainly need the best professional smoke cleaning available.

Very Small Cleanups Are Possible In-House

A tiny fire, such as something burning on a stove that’s quickly extinguished, can be handled by your employees. There are a few cleaners that will work:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Vinegar
  • Tri-sodium phosphate (TSP)
  • Bleach

The best bet is usually TSP and water. Mix 1 tablespoon of TSP into a gallon of water and wipe off the smoke damage. You can add a cup of bleach for the best smoke cleaning, but don’t use bleach on items that aren’t colorfast, such as fabrics and drywall.

Heavy Cleaning Requires Certified Cleanup Specialists
Smoke is a really nasty substance. It’s oily and acidic and the tiny particles can get places that aren’t protected, including inside electronics and appliances. It can contain toxic elements and it’ll leave stains on many surfaces. Specialized equipment and solvents are needed for significant damage.
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the national organization that certifies select local restoration experts in Baker, LA. Companies that meet the standards have technicians who must attend a smoke cleanup and restoration course and pass an exam.
Soot is very sticky and can be impossible to clean without dangerous cleaning agents restricted to those who are trained to use them. Furniture and clothing can often be saved by using IICRC approved methods to remove soot damage. The more absorbent materials are, the harder they are to clean, so expert help is essential. SERVPRO eliminates smoke damage and leaves your business “Like it never even happened.”

3 Steps for Mold Remediation

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the mold walls with a spatula. Black mold and other species of fungi can damage your Baton Rouge, LA, home

Steps For Mold Remediation

When water damage to your Baton Rouge, LA, home leads to black mold growth, you may not know where to begin when it comes to cleanup efforts. Mold may spread quickly if you choose a do-it-yourself process that fails to contain spores, which may make the problem worse later on. Calling in a professional mold removal service can help resolve this issue, and there are several steps its technicians may take to do so.

1. Inspection
When a mold cleanup crew arrives at your home, the technicians will likely assess the situation by inspecting any affected areas and gauging whether the problem has spread. The techs may also take steps to identify what kind of mold they must remove. Black mold is quite common after a flood or other types of water damage, and they may seal off the area to prevent spores from spreading.

2. Removal
Because removing mold can cause spores to break free and travel through your home’s heating and cooling system, the mold technicians may use a spray called an encapsulant to trap the mold where it grows. Once the fungi are contained, the technicians will likely use specialized techniques to remove it and treat surrounding areas as well, especially if they were affected by any moisture issues.

3. Air Cleaning
A mold remediation and removal service can do more than remove the visible mold in your home, such as cleaning the air to reduce the number of mold spores. Special vacuums and air exchange machines help them to accomplish this, which reduces the risk that airborne spores will travel to another area in your home and grow there. Because mold needs only humidity and moisture to grow, it can take hold in your bathroom, kitchen or laundry room.
Black mold and other species of fungi can damage your Baton Rouge, LA, home after a flood or other water event. Knowing when to call in a professional mold removal service and understanding the steps necessary can offer you peace of mind for the future.

The Pros and Cons of Using Drain Cleaners

7/30/2022 (Permalink)

Drain cleaner ads, water pipe detergent with clear pipes section in 3d illustration The pros and cons of using drain cleaners.

The Pros and Cons of Using Drain Cleaners

When water begins to drain slowly, it is a sign of trouble. Without some plan of action, the problem usually gets worse until you are faced with a clogged drain. It is one of the more common plumbing issues you are likely to encounter in Monticello, LA. You have a few broad options for clearing the drain:

  • Hiring a plumbing contractor
  • Using mechanical means such as a drain snake or manually clearing the pipe
  • Pouring a drain cleaner down the drain

Depending on the problem, the first option might be overkill and could cost a bit of money. The second option requires a little bit of knowledge and a few tools, but it often works fine. The third option seems quick and easy, but is it really good for your pipes and your overall plumbing system?

The Dangers of Drain Cleaners
In some circumstances, using chemicals to clear a clogged drain might be appropriate. However, they should be used sparingly and it is a good idea to be aware of their disadvantages. In some instances, especially with fats, oils, and grease (FOG), the chemicals may clear the clog only to have it move further down the plumbing, where it could cause another blockage. Harsh chemicals can also be harmful to the environment, as they end up in lakes, rivers, and streams. Also, the use of a chemical drain cleaner poses a small risk to the user, as inhaling the vapors and getting it on your skin can cause irritation.

The Benefits of Water Damage Mitigation
If a plumbing problem causes water damage to your home, the services of a water remediation company may be beneficial. Trained technicians can handle everything from a water spill caused by a clogged drain to a large sewage backup. Sewage cleaning requires special skills and equipment that most homeowners do not have. Quickly taking care of water damage, whatever its source, prevents expensive damage to your home and removes unsanitary conditions.

How Does One File a Flood Claim Safely and Accurately?

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Filling out a form Complete your flood claim as thoroughly as possible

If your house in Zachary, LA, ever becomes flooded, you need to complete your flood claim as thoroughly as possible. Taking proper stock of the damage your home has suffered means an insurer is less likely to issue a denial.

Staying Safe

When conducting your assessment, it’s crucial that you minimize danger:

Always wear protection such as respirators, knee-high boots, and rubber gloves. You never want to risk exposing yourself to mold caused by the flooding.
Beware of potential electrical damage. Use only battery-powered sources for illumination to avert a nasty shock.
As much as possible, avoid entering floodwater. It may have become contaminated with gasoline or raw sewage.
Keep an eye out for critters. Snakes or insects might have washed into your home, so beware.

Remember that remaining out of harm’s way always comes first.

Making Your Claim
First, notify your insurer to begin the flood claim process. Next, take stock of the damage. This is the most important aspect of your insurance claim, as you need proof behind every piece of observable devastation. Maintain a detailed inventory of everything and take extensive photos. Never throw anything away, just in case you need to provide evidence.
Deploy action before an adjuster gets in touch; you can significantly speed up the claims process by handling matters ahead of time. Arrange your home so the adjuster may easily view every element of destruction. Also, post your contact information in a clearly visible spot so the adjuster can get in touch if questions arise. Once you have completed a Proof of Loss and received payment, you will then be free to reach out to a home repair expert that can return your residence to its previous state, making it look "Like it never even happened."
Inventorying a flood claim can be a challenge, but keep in mind that handling the matter properly means safety as well as proper compensation for any costs you have unfortunately incurred.

What Factors Impact the Speed of Mold Growth After Water Damage?

7/13/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall due to humidity Water damage can lead to mold growth if not attended quickly.

What Elements Affect the Rate of Mold Growth After Water Damage?

If your commercial building has sustained water damage of any type in Baker, LA, it's important to act as quickly as safely possible. Mold can begin to appear within 24-48 hours after the water event occurred. Since you can't possibly tackle everything at once, the important question is: does mold grow at the same rate on every surface? Knowing what factors impact the rate of mold growth will help you to establish a plan for having the mold cleaned up. Keep in mind that with so many types of mold, it's important to leave mold clean up to a trained mold removal and remediation specialist who knows how to safely assess the extent of damage that has occurred.


1. Building Material Composition
Different types of materials are more or less susceptible to rapid mold growth depending on their composition. Natural building materials provide a nutrient source that promotes the growth and spread of mold. Porous materials such as drywall and insulation can also provide food sources for mold since they trap moisture and dust.


2. Water Activity
If you've had a flood, whether due to a natural disaster or a burst pipe, it's pretty obvious that since your space has water damage, there's a good environment for mold growth. However, even high humidity levels can cause mold to grow in your building. Mold prevention in these spaces usually involves running a dehumidifier and checking for places where water may be penetrating the building, such as around windows, under doors, and around pipes.


3. Temperature
Mold will grow the most rapidly at its ideal temperature, which is about 77 degrees Fahrenheit, though certain types can still grow at temperatures as low as 19 degrees. By maintaining a consistent temperature and humidity level, you can prevent mold-friendly environments.
There are a few factors that contribute to the speed at which mold grows even after water damage has occurred. Acting quickly can help to mitigate major problems for your business.

How to Properly Dry Important Documents After Water Damage

6/26/2022 (Permalink)

Wet documents Wet documents can be salvaged with the help of water damage restoration experts.

How to Dry Important Documents Properly After Water Damage

Water damage can hit businesses hard. Not only can it require repairs to the building, but also poses issues if important documents seep in moisture. Luckily, wet documents can be salvaged with the help of water damage restoration experts. Here are a few techniques the document drying process consists of in the event your Baton Rouge, LA, business be impacted by water.

1. Freezing Wet Documents
After any flooding event, locate any wet papers of value and get them to a freezer. Taking swift action here will prevent the growth of mold and stop rapid deterioration of the paper. Once you have the document frozen, restoration experts can transport them to a facility with state-of-the-art technology that allows these items to be restored to their prior condition. A specialized vaccuum-dry freezer is used to draw out any moisture from the paper, a method which is commonly used for restoring some museum archive items.

2. Gamma Irradiation
Depending on how much moisture an item retained and the contamination level of the water it had contact with, it's a possibility that molding or bacterial growth has occurred. To alleviate this, experts rely on a process known as gamma irradiation. This entails using powerful radiation to destroy any microorganisms and sterilize the item at hand.

3. Digitize Documents
With proper freezing and radiation, most items plagued by water damage can be restored. But to provide extra peace of mind, digital copies of impacted documents are often created. This gives relief to many business owners who don't have to compromise their documentation again in the event of future water or fire damage.
While it may seem that any papers that get caught in water are a lost cause, wet documents can be dried and saved. Immediate freezing helps preserve them before undergoing gamma irradiation and digitizing to complete the restoration process.