How To Operate Your Business During a Power Outage: 3 Tips
One of the most common issues is a loss of power, especially during thunder and wind storms. Dealing with a power outage can be frustrating, but there are a few strategies you can use to continue daily operations when bad weather tries to interrupt them.
1. Be Prepared With a Generator
Having a portable generator on hand can help you keep your business operating during a storm. This can be especially useful when you have a store full of customers. A generator can keep the lights, heat or air conditioner on. If you own a restaurant, a generator can keep your fridge and freezers running to avoid food spoilage.
2. Find Nearby Wi-Fi
If you own a small business, you can move your operations to a nearby café or coffee shop to take advantage of free Wi-Fi services. Consider using the downtime to hold a meeting there or catch up on invoices. You can also contact a storm damage and cleanup service from your laptop if your phone service is down and you do not have access to a cell phone.
3. Connect at Home
If a power outage forces you to temporarily shut down your building, you can save time by working from home and connecting with your employees from there. Have your social media manager work on new infographics and inform your followers of the temporary closure. Your content writers and bloggers can write from home and send you their articles via email. While this is not the most ideal way to operate, it may help you avoid a complete shutdown until the power returns.
Be Ready with the Emergency Ready Profile
Preparation is key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small leak, pipe break or an area flood. The best time to plan for such water events is not when it happens, but before it happens. Facility owners and maintenance staff never plans on a disaster, but now you can plan for it by calling SERVPRO we can ensure you and your business are "Ready for whatever happens", with our Emergency Ready Profile (ERP).
The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including:
1. Emergency Contact Information
2. Shut-off Valve locations
3. Priority Areas
4. Building layout
The ERP is also accessible online using your computer, tablet or smartphone.
Mold Removal Protective Gear
Wearing proper protective gear for removing mold is important to keep you safe. Touching and inhaling mold spores can trigger all sorts of health problems, including respiratory disorders, asthma attacks, infections like sinusitis and pneumonia, allergic reactions, fatigue, and painful inflammation of the joints. The process of cleaning up mold stirs up mold spores and increases the likelihood of mold-related illness. The proper protective gear is necessary in order to protect your health.
Personal Protection When Removing Mold
It is important to wear the following items when removing mold in homes and business.
- Tyvex coveralls with attached hood and booties.
- A disposable hair cover (if not wearing Tyvek coveralls with a hood)
- Disposable shoe coverings (if not wearing Tyvek coveralls with booties)
- A Respirator
The Mold Remediation Process
Every mold infestation is different, from the amount of mold to the types of materials affected. Each scenario requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. After you call the team of SERVPRO the steps listed below illustrate our process for a “typical” mold remediation infestation:
- Emergency Contact
- Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
- Mold Containment
- Air Filtration
- Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
- Cleaning Contents and Belongings
Commercial Mold Removal
Why do I have mold on my premises?
mold in a commercial property can be caused by water damage or water intrusion from various sources such as a roof, window or plumbing leaks. The humidity caused by the presence of moisture combined with the warmth and poor ventilation in a property gives mold the perfect conditions to develop, and it can spread quickly if left unchecked. This can cause damage to internal structures, damage to products in storage and is also a serious health risk for you, your customers and your staff.
Should I Clean Mold Myself?
It may be tempting to clean the mold off of surfaces yourself, however, this will only remove the surface mold. Although an area may look clean of mold the root cause of the infestation and there will be spores within the surface that you will not be able to reach with household cleaning items. The spores that are left will continue to multiply and grow and the surface growth will soon be visible again. A few things you can do in the case of a mold infestation are:
- Turn off your HVAC system if you have one
- Make sure that movement in the area is limited to prevent spores from transferring elsewhere
- Do not touch or disturb the affected areas
- Make sure that you vacate the property
What Will a Mold Removal Team do?
If you have a mold infestation on your premises, you should call the SERVPRO expert mold removal team as soon as possible. They will be able to determine the cause of the mold growth and remove all spores from the property ensuring that it is fully eliminated.
SERVPRO team will carry out a preliminary assessment of the problem to ascertain the severity of the infestation and the underlying cause. There is a protocal we must follow to properly address the severity of the damage. The first step is to contact a certified Environmentalist who can test the area and report the specifics of the spore counts, the risks and the step-by-step remediation. S/He will then ensure that there is no cross contamination within the premises.
SERVPRO is trained to perform the step-by-step remediation, Mold isn’t always visible to the human eye so our experts will use special equipment to clean areas that are affected or that have high moisture levels that will encourage future mold growth.
Once the assessment and containment of the mold are complete, SERVPRO team will then remove the mold at the source ensuring that there are no mold spores present within the premises to safeguard against further infestation. Finally, the team will remove the underlying cause of the infestation by repairing the affected area to stop the further intrusion of water.
If left untreated mold can cause serious structural damage to your commercial property such as brickwork and drywall which could lead to more serious issues that will take longer and cost more to correct in addition to the loss of business while the premises are being treated and repaired.
Destroy Odors with DEODORIZATION!
Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke, and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems. As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard-to-reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors. With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IIRC), SERVPRO Franchise Professionals provide specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the sources of the odor. If you or a customer suffer a fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact SERVPRO Whether its fire, water, or mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we'll help make it "Like it never even happened."
Other Odors that may require DEODORIZATION:
- Cigarette Smoke
- Pet Odors
Build an Emergency Kit
Be Prepared at your home or business with an Emergency Kit. Ready. gov suggests you have enough supplies to last for at least three days. Below are some suggested items to include in your kit:
- 3 day supply of non-perishable foods
- Water (one+ gallon per person per day)
- First-aid kit
- Prescription medication
- Sleeping bag or blankets
- Fire extinguisher
- Hygiene products
- Extra batteries
- Cell phone charger
- Change of clothes
- Matches in waterproof container
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Whistle to signal for help
- Pet supplies
- Infant formula and diapers
- Important documents such as insurance policies, IDs, and bank records in a plastic container
- You can also keep a condensed emergency kit in your vehicle as well.
For a more extensive list, go check out Ready.gov.
You Can Be Ruined Or You Can Be Ready with the Help of Technology
Technology can now be a vital tool in preparing for water damages or other disasters, as well as during or after to stay informed of the situation and in communication with others. From common technology you already use on a day-to-day basis to taking a few extra steps to prepare, the following will help you be ready in the event of a water damage or other disaster.
Store Information Online
There are many places to store important information securely online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer free ways to store different types of files, from a word document to images of important documents. Ready.gov suggests saving an electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records, and information on your pets if necessary.
Follow the News
Stay informed by following agencies such as FEMA. local news channels, and local government on Twitter for the most up-to-date information in a disaster situation. You can also alert first responders if a rescue is needed through Twitter.
The Do's And Dont's!!
Fire & Smoke Damage
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
- Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
- If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
- Wash both sides of leaves on house plants.
- Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or of the HVAC system.
- Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
- Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
- Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
- Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electric shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
- Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.
Inspection and Damage Assessment
Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view.
Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.
Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.
FROM THE ORDINARY...
Fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment. In fact over 100,000 kinds of fungi have been identified. Even though some forms of mold can add value to our lives, other forms can be harmful. Excessive amounts of mold, different types of mold, and/or exposure to molds may present health concerns for some people.
TO THE UNHEALTHY...
Intrusion of water into your home or place of business can result in mold growth. water intrusions can result from storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long-standing leaks, and poor humidity control. When water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. If the humidity and moisture levels in a water-damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply.
handle water damages every day and we know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth. If there is an ongoing problem in the building, be alert for:
- The presence of visible mold.
- Strong musty odors, which may indicate mold is present.
- Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
- Excessive humidity.
These conditions may require the expertise of a qualified Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional to inspect the building for mold growth and water damage problems.