A Disaster Plan for your Pets
Creating a disaster plan is essential to keeping your family members of all species safe!
Most people know they should have a disaster plan in place for their families, but if you are faced with a natural disaster, do you have a disaster plan for your pet? Storms, wildfires and floods happen around the world every day and affect thousands of people and their pets. That’s why everyone should have a plan, not only for yourself, but for your Fur Family. To help you plan for the unimaginable, here are our 9 essentials of disaster prepping for your pet:
- Proper ID. The most important thing you can do for your pet before a disaster occurs is to make sure they have proper ID. This means having a physical tag containing your current info on their collar which they wear at all times, and having them micro-chipped and registered in a national registry such as the free Found Animals Microchip Registry.
- Keep your pet’s vaccinations up to date to reduce their risk of disease and sickness. There are so many unknowns in a disaster. If you are evacuated, your pet may not be able to come with you to shelter and may be held in boarding with other animals whose health status is unknown. If your home is destroyed, your pet may be lost and living outside for a time and subjected to the elements, dirty water supply or worse. Be safe, not sorry, and vaccinate.
- Display a Pet Rescue Sticker. Make sure you have a pet rescue window decal in a place visible to rescue workers.
- Identify Pet-Friendly Emergency Shelters. Not all emergency shelters or hotels allow pets. Before a disaster hits, call your local emergency management office or animal shelter to see if there are places planned for people and pets to stay together in the event of an emergency. Research pet-friendly hotels away from typical disaster zones, or arrange to stay with family or friends outside of your area. Prepare a few options in a range of distances from your home in case of either local or region-wide emergencies.
- Assemble a Pet Emergency Kit. You can buy a compact kit that fits under your seat, a larger bag you can carry on your shoulder, a grab and go bucket with everything your pet could need and add pet-related items to your family’s existing emergency supplies. Your kit should include the following items:
Plan to have at least five days of food, water and portable bowls. Dry food should be in resealable plastic bags. If your pet eats wet food, make sure to buy easy open cans so you don’t need a can opener. Prepare a written feeding schedule.
- Medication and Medical Records
Keep an extra supply of your pet’s regular medication in a waterproof zip lock bag. Also include a copy of your pet’s vaccination record and microchip number.
For cats, include kitty litter and disposable litter boxes. For dogs, pack plastic waste bags and an extra leash and harness. Beds, blankets, toys and clothing are also useful to keep your pet calm and cozy in an emergency situation.
- Store Supplies for a Speedy Exit. Place all of your emergency supplies in a safe, dry, convenient place near your escape route in case you need to leave in a hurry. The safest way to transport a pet in an emergency or disaster is in a carrier or crate, so keep one close to your emergency kit. Frightened pets can be difficult to manage with only a leash and collar.
- When a Disaster Strikes, Don’t Hesitate; Evacuate. Not all disasters come with warning, but if they do, follow emergency response recommendations and evacuate as quickly as possible. Disasters are very stressful on both pets and people, and no one can predict how bad things will get. Don’t wait until the last minute to leave. Use your emergency plan as a tool to supplement first responder instructions.
- Leave with Your Pets. If the area is not safe for you, it’s not safe for your pets. It may not be possible to return for your pets, so take them with you from the start.
- If Your Pet Gets Lost, Check for Found Pet Alerts. If your pets are separated from you, check your cell phone and email for Found Pet Alerts. When a rescue worker finds your lost pet and starts an alert in the Found Animals Registry, you will be contacted via phone calls, text messages, and emails based on your pet’s microchip registrations. These alerts will provide information on your pet’s location. If you cannot access your phone or email, or are unable to retrieve your pets, your emergency contacts and vet will also be notified.
For more information about Pet Disaster Preparedness, please visit the following websites:
- Preparing your Pets for Emergencies,Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Make a Disaster Plan for Pets, Humane Society United States(HSUS)
- Disaster Preparedness, ASPCA
- Pets and Disaster Checklist, American Red Cross
- Saving the Whole Family Brochure, American Veterinary Medical Association
“Like It Never Even Happened” Call Us Today- (863)646-4213
Breaking the Mold
This mold is obvious and visible. It's the mold that isn't so visible that can be the most harmful.
Are You Being Exposed to Mold?
Mold is one of the most dangerous materials we deal with. The danger lies in the fact the mold is often not easy to find. It likes to hide and can be harbored in any cool, damp place inside your home or place of business. Most people only think of showers and bathrooms as harboring mold, but truthfully, it can hide in attics, crawlspaces, closets, even inside the walls or under the floor.
Molds reproduce by forming tiny spores that are not visible to the naked eye. Mold spores are very hardy and can survive under conditions in which mold cannot grow, such as in dry and harsh environments. These spores travel through outdoor and indoor air. When the mold spores land on a surface where moisture is present, mold can then start to grow.
If you think this is something you have been experiencing in your home or place of business, call SERVPRO of Lakeland for an estimate. Don't spend another day suffering inside your own home.
This is the clean environment SERVPRO of Lakeland created to store and clean the salvageable items.
Are Your Items Safe In Storage?
It seems like every week here at SERVPRO of Lakeland provides our team an opportunity to work on something unique.
We complete countless numbers of commercial and residential jobs each week and each one is individually unique.
Homes and places of business are always at the forefront of our minds and most receive regular attention and maintenance. We see them everyday as we show up to work or return home after a long day.
But what about the personal belongings we don't keep at home or work?
Shipping containers, storage units, garages, attics and basements all provide extra space to store contents, but they can also provide a damp, dark space for mold spores to thrive.
Last week we had a customer whose belongings were being stored and then shipped across the country. Unfortunately, between the time sitting in storage and the cross country journey, a bulk of this customers items had been badly damaged by weather, moisture, and mold.
It is jobs like these that give SERVPRO of Lakeland new and unique opportunites to show what we can do. We were able to lead a coordinated effort with the insurance carrier and the customer to begin the process of making them whole again.
Mold doesn't confine itself to just the easy to clean, easy to remember items. For any mold damage you may experience, call SERVPRO of Lakeland today, (863)646-4213.
Safety Precautions Following Residential Water Loss
This is a good picture showing both a "Do" and a "Don't." Don't try to go it alone with a vaccum. DO call SERVPRO of Lakeland today!
When disaster strikes in your home, it is essential to be safe when dealing with damaged items in your household.
The effects of water damage in a residential home can both be controlled OR worsened depending on the actions taken. Here are a few tips on how to safely control the situation before help arrives:
- Remove any undamaged items away from the contaminated area
- Prop up any upholstery items to avoid further damage
- Place aluminum foil or blocks of wood under wood furniture to prevent damage to personal items
- Stay out of rooms that have sagging and wet walls
- Attempt to remove water using personal vacuum or hepa-vac
- Leave any paper items on wet surfaces such as books or magazines
- use any electrical outlets or appliances In the affected water area
- Leave standing water alone for an extended period of time as it could cause mold to grow
If there are any further questions, concerns or if you have water damage, call SERVPRO of Lakeland. (863)646-4213.
The aftermath of a commercial kitchen grease fire.
Grease Fire Do's and Dont's
There are many different ways a fire can break out, one of the most dangerous being a grease fire. If you lack experience putting out a grease fire, know that you do not treat it the same as you would a "standard" fire. There are certain things that you must do and things you absolutely must NOT do. Please consider the following:
- Turn off the stove or heat source
- Smother the fire with the pot lid. Without oxygen, the fire cannot survive.
- Use baking soda to douse the flames. Flour and other items will not work
- Use a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher
- call 911
- Try to put out the flames using water. It will splash the grease, causing the fire to spread
- Move the item. This could also cause splashing, spreading and could potentially burn you
- Try to use anything other than baking soda. It will not help
What To Do During a Flood Event
Flood waters won't stop SERVPRO of Lakeland
Rains are coming...
Spring showers can often lead to flooding conditions in North Alabama. These tips will help reduce the impact spring floods that my happen on your property.
Watch for Pooling Water
Look for places around your property where water pools, and channel it away from buildings. Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and they are directing water as intended.
Maintain Sump Pump
If you have a sump pump, check to be sure it is operational before water starts rising. Consider a back-up generator to ensure your pump works when you need it most. Contact your insurance agent to add coverage in case your sump pump fails.
Raise Storage Goods
Use shelving and/or pallets to keep storage items off the floor to reduce the impact of small floods. In many situations, raising boxes just a few inches will be enough to keep storage goods above the water line.
Cut Power if Necessary
As rising water approaches the level of electrical outlets, you risk having a live current flow through all the water. Cut the power if you can safely do so without standing in water. Otherwise, evacuate and contact an electrician to cut the power before you go back in for recovery.
Keep Storm Drains Clear
If you see water pooling around a storm drain, the drain may be clogged with debris. Clearing the debris will help keep the water flowing away from your neighborhood.
Be Aware on the Road
Be careful when driving during spring storms, especially when you hear flash flood warnings. Never drive into fully submerged roadway. The water surface will be at the same level as the pavement you can see. This view can deceive you into thinking the water is shallow because you cannot see how the road dips under the surface.
When a flood happens, you need to act fast to dry out any wet items, particularly structural materials like walls and flooring. Call SERVPRO® of Lakeland (863)646-4213 to extract water and mitigate any mold growth. Our franchise professionals have the training and experience to make flood damage “Like it never even happened.”
Fighting Fire with Fire.. Remediation
Kitchen fire in Lakeland, FL
Recently, SERVPRO of Lakeland got a call from a friend of our family. She informed us that her neighbors had a fire in their home the night before and needed some help getting it cleaned up. Upon arriving to the scene of the incident, we realized it was going to be a large undertaking, including cleaning many contents, inventorying and disposing of contents, and removing most of the interior walls and fixtures of the house. The smoke damage and odor was so bad that the homeowners were just lucky to be out safe and have some of their belongings determined to be salvageable. We started working on the house immediately and have been working on cleaning contents and removing smoke odor for almost two weeks now. Make sure to stay tuned to our “before and after pictures” page to see the work we can do if fire and smoke damage affects your home or business. Also, check our YouTube page in the coming months, as we plan to have video from just after the fire, the middle of the cleaning process, and the finished result of what their home looks like when they move back in, so if this type of fire disaster ever happens to you, you will know what to expect from the process.
SERVPRO of Lakeland specializes in: water remediation, flood mitigation, carpet cleaning, tile and grout cleaning, mold removal, fire damage, and smoke clean up, disaster restoration, storm response, and air duct cleaning. SERVPRO of Lakeland has been serving Lakeland and Polk County residents for over 40 years. We are licensed and insured and have an A+ rating with the better business bureau in restoration and cleaning. SERVPRO of Lakeland (863)646-4213.
A new season has just arrived in Lakeland, FL and it offers an opportunity to refresh your restaurant. Winter months normally mean windows stay shut, and dirt and grime from boots and heavy shoes gets tracked onto the floor. Similar to how people look forward to spring cleaning at home, you can do the same for your restaurant. SERVPRO of Lakeland offers plenty of services that can help your business start the season fresh!
Clean Your Air Ducts and HVAC
Your air ducts and HVAC unit work hard throughout the winter to keep your customers and employees warm. The ventilation system should be properly cleaned in the spring to make sure the air quality in your restaurant is not poor. If it has not been serviced for some time, your air could be circulating dust, pollen, odors and dirt and debris. Our technicians and equipment can clean out your system and make sure everyone breathes easier in the new season.
Checking the hoods in the kitchen is usually a twice a year job, so what better time to start than for spring cleaning. Cleaning the pilots lights (if it is gas) is also a good idea. Just make sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions. Empty and sanitize the ice machine, and wipe down walls, ceilings and dry storage areas. SERVPRO of Lakeland offers great commercial cleaning options as well, so give us a call if there are items you want professionals to fix.
Rugs and Carpets
If your restaurant uses rugs or carpet, springtime is a great time to freshen them as well. If the furniture in your restaurant does not often move, tracks from normal foot traffic can start to wear down your rugs or carpets. When they become matted, these items also hold in an abundance of dust and debris that is carried in on shoes. A proper cleaning will get rid of the smells and the dust!
SERVPRO of Lakeland is only a phone call away if you need a professional to help freshen up your restaurant for spring. Get in contact today! (863)646-4213.
SERVPRO's Basic Steps for Water Removal
SERVPRO's Water Removal Process Can Help to Prevent Secondary Damage
SERVPRO observes a relatively simple process for our water removal jobs. Although many underlying concepts and intricacies complicate matters, our process is, at heart, only composed of three essential steps. First, we use water extractors to remove volumes of standing water that can be pumped out of the home. After this comes the drying phase, where we use carefully-positioned air movers to pick water up off of surfaces and get it into the air. Finally, to ensure that the now-saturated air does not cause additional water damage, we use dehumidifiers to chemically or thermally catch water droplets from the air and collect them into removable storage bins.
The first step, water extraction, worries homeowners the most but it is, in fact, one of the easiest steps in water removal jobs. While huge volumes of standing water can appear daunting and do indeed need heavy equipment to take care of properly, our industrial grade extractors can usually clear an area in a matter of hours.
Drying is perhaps the longest step of the project and is often done in tandem with dehumidification. SERVPRO technicians move in heavy-duty air movers to create powerful air flows in an area, catching water on all surfaces and bringing it into the air. This is an all-encompassing step, where we simultaneously dry out all materials including carpet, fabric, wood, laminate, and other common household elements.
Dehumidification may be done alongside drying, but is always done immediately after it at the latest. If the airborne water droplets are not dealt with quickly, they can cause additional problems throughout the home such as oxidation and reintroduction to surfaces. Dehumidifiers attract and collect water back into a liquid form, this time in easily-handled buckets that can easily be removed and handled.
SERVPRO of Lakeland is a local company with national resources backing up every water removal job we take. Call us 24/7 for our help with water removal and restoration at (863) 646-4213.
Fire and Smoke Damage Inside the HVAC
The ductwork can hide harmul particulants in the air.
Where there's smoke, there's a headache..
Following a fire, SERVPRO of Lakeland Professionals pay careful attention to the HVAC system and ductwork to prevent the spread of soot and to eradicate a potential source of lingering smoke odor. If the system was operational at the time the fire occurred, chances are good that the system, including air registers and HVAC units, should be thoroughly cleaned to prevent continued circulation of soot and odor-causing particles that may have contaminated the system.
Depending on the size of the fire and the methods used to extinguish it, the duct system may also have been compromised by water. In as little as 24-48 hours, this moisture can provide the catalyst for mold and mildew growth inside the duct system, further degrading indoor air quality. If the duct system has been contaminated with water, your SERVPRO of Lakeland Professional can help locate the moisture and remove it before serious air quality problems can develop.
Contact SERVPRO of Lakeland at (863)646-4213 to learn more about air duct system cleaning following a fire damage and the value of maintaining clean air duct systems year-round