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Workplace Tornado Preparedness

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

a large tornado forming in road ahead If you have any damage from a storm or hail, reach out to SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta Counties. We are your local restoration team.

It’s one of the most fearsome and least predictable natural disasters, and anyone who has lived through one can tell you why. The tornado has a unique gift for wrecking communities, carving a path of rampant, unfeeling destruction through city buildings and country fields alike.

In March 2021, Coweta County residents experienced just this, in a terribly unfortunate recent example of just how destructive and powerful a tornado can be. The tornado was an EF-4 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, the second-highest classification we have for these deadly storms.

The mile-wide storm ran through Newnan with winds of up to 170 miles per hour damaging homes, businesses, even the local high school. Seventy homes were totally destroyed, and another 1,700 were damaged.

As a local business owner, this is a scenario you never want to have to consider. But as the March 2021 tornado reminded us, you must be prepared for storm scenarios that could impact your business, your livelihood, and the lives of your employees.

Be Prepared

One of the most important things you can do as a business owner is develop a disaster preparedness plan. This includes a focus on awareness, evacuation routes, important data backups and emergency kits. This kind of plan is required by OSHA, and indeed not having one established could leave you open to lawsuits on top of the heartache of damage done to your business and potential injury to your employees.

Set a Safe Place

You and your teams need to know where to go in the event of a tornadic event. The safest place, of course, is an underground shelter or safe room. But if that’s not available (and for many businesses, it isn’t), a small, windowless room on the lowest floor available will make do. If your building isn’t sturdy, instruct employees to meet at the nearest building that will meet these requirements.

Inform and Reinforce

Make sure your teams know how they can keep up with weather alerts, and that they know the differences between watches and warnings. Provide training on the signs of tornadoes, possible weather situations that could cause them and seasonal awareness. Schedule and practice tornado drills regularly to reinforce the information and give them a chance to put your plan into action in a moment without real-life stress.

We sincerely hope you never have to deal with a tornado as a business owner, but should it occur, we are available 247 to help. Click or call SERVPRO today to find out how we can help.

Increased Wildfire Risk in Tornado-Affected Areas

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

a large forest fire engulfed in flames If your home has been damaged by storms or fires, SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta Counties is here to help restore your property to its original state.

If you’re local to the area, you’re likely well aware of the events of March 26, and that date will probably hold significance to you for quite some time, if not forever.

That week, a group of at least seven destructive tornadoes ripped through the American South, and on that particular date the most destructive and violent of the storms, an F-4 on the Fujita scale, tore a path through the Newnan area.

Lives were lost, and homes and properties all over were destroyed or damaged to incredible degrees.

The area will be in several phases of recovery for months, and in some cases years—houses, schools and businesses will be rebuilt and restored from damage, much of which we at SERVPRO will be assisting with.

In times of disaster recovery, our focus is typically restoring our “normal” processes and places, aka the things we do and places we go most. This is only natural, and it makes good sense.

But one thing that doesn’t often receive focus after a tornado event is the increased risk of wildfires in areas that have been damaged by tornadoes.

While scientists are still researching and learning new things about fires in tornado areas, including the synergistic behavior of fire and wind, one thing is clear: Areas in which trees have broken, been pulled up and been otherwise damaged in tornadoes are more susceptible to wildfires, and there is more fuel available for wildfires because of broken bits of debris from homes and buildings in places they wouldn’t normally be.

These bits of debris, as well as fine, flammable fuels like small branches, tend to gather together and create bundles ready to burn hotter and consume even more fuel.

With this in mind, it’s even more important to think about fire safety if you live in an area that’s been affected by tornadoes. Whether it’s cooking outdoors, camping, gathering around a fire pit or even disposing of smoking materials, it’s imperative to treat fire with the respect it requires and use utmost caution anytime flammable materials are involved. With an increased risk of wildfire in our area, we must exercise an increased concern for fire safety.

If your home has been damaged by storms or fires of any cause, SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta Counties is here to help restore your property to its original state or better. Click or call today so we can get started.

Should Your Employees Be Certified in First Aid and CPR?

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

No one wants to imagine a medical emergency in the workplace, but unfortunately they do happen. Being prepared means more than having an office first-aid kit on hand — it means having designated employees who are trained to respond to a variety of emergency situations.

Training employees on what to do in an emergency can mean all the difference if the worst happens. Even short of such crises, emergency-response training comes with other advantages, from increased employee engagement to compliance with Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requirements.

Providing first-aid training and the opportunity to become certified in CPR are ways of engaging your employees and showing that you take their health and well-being seriously.

While that display of dedication may be able to improve employee satisfaction with your organization, it can also help build camaraderie and morale. 

It’s also a skill your employees can take with them, whether home to their families or into their communities.

What Are Fire Tornadoes?

7/25/2021 (Permalink)

a dark sky with fire twirling in distance If your home or business has sustained fire damage from a fire, SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta Counties is here to restore the damage.

Remember when you were a kid and you would argue with your friends about who would win in a fight between Superman and Batman? Somebody would pick each side and pretend to be their favorite hero—“I’ve got Kryptonite, dude; no way you’re beating me.”

And eventually some genius would get the brilliant idea to combine the two comic book legends into one unbeatable, unstoppable force—and SuperBatman was born.

Our minds are fascinated by the thought of combining some of the most powerful things we can think of, to imagine new limits of what might be possible. It’s probably for this reason that the term “fire tornado” has such mystique. Each of those scenarios separately are enough to make one shudder, but combine them and the concept becomes truly magnificent.

A fire tornado, also called a pyrogenetic tornado, is defined by the U.S. Forest Service as a “spinning vortex column of ascending hot air and gases rising from a fire and carrying aloft smoke, debris, and flame,” which means essentially what it sounds like it means—it’s a SuperBatman-level event, equal parts epic and rare.

The difference between a fire tornado and a regular tornado is that while tornadoes form from the sky downward to the earth, fire tornadoes form on the ground and climb skyward.

In fact, it may be more accurate to think of the event as a tornadic fire—it’s the heat of the fire that causes the tornado, as hot air flows upward, air rushes in from the sides to fill the space and wind shear from different directions creates the rotation.

We are still learning about fire tornadoes, and learning to distinguish different types of events that might also be called fire whirls or firestorms. But the research we have shows they’re incredibly powerful. A fire tornado recorded in 2018 spun with the force of an EF-3 tornado, and its vortex reached an astonishing height of 17,000 feet.

They don’t always have to be massive, though. The conditions necessary for a fire tornado have been reproduced in small laboratory fires, and it’s possible you could even see one in your backyard bonfire. (No need to worry about that one reaching to the heavens.)

Fire is incredibly powerful, powerful enough to create its own localized weather system complete with cyclones and ice clouds (yeah, we didn’t even get into that part). Fire tornadoes, fascinating though they may be, are one more reminder to us that we must always respect the danger of fire in any shape or size.

If your home or business has sustained fire damage from a blaze of any nature, SERVPRO is here to restore the damage and remove soot and smoky smells. Get in touch today to get the pros on your side.

What Is the Difference Between a Thunderstorm and a Severe Thunderstorm?

7/20/2021 (Permalink)

multiple lighting strikes coming out of dark stormy clouds If your home or business has been impacted by a recent storm, SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta Counties is here to help you get back on your feet.

We’ve all gotten the alerts on our phones before: “The National Weather Service has issued a Thunderstorm Warning.” And then a few hours later, a modified message: “The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning.”

What changed that made this storm be upgraded to severe? What is the difference between these two categories and how serious does it mean this storm is?

The 2 Major Differences Between a Thunderstorm and a Severe Thunderstorm

Hail Damage. A thunderstorm brings rain, thunder and lightning. But one element of a storm that is required for it to be classified as severe is hail that is at least one inch in diameter.

Hail can become as large as a grapefruit and can fall at incredibly speed, so the opportunity for it to cause damage is very high. To prepare for a storm that is going to have hail, ensure all people and pets have sturdy shelter, move your vehicle to a covered area, and repair or replace any loose shingles on your roof.

High Winds. Thunderstorms can generate strong winds that can cause damage to your property, especially if there are loose outdoor items that haven’t been secured such as lawn furniture, patio umbrellas and children’s toys. However, for the storm to be considered a severe thunderstorm, there must be a sustained straight-line wind measurement of 58 miles per hour or more.

Some storms can bring wind gusts of more than 100 miles per hour, which can cause serious damage to permanent structures. These types of winds can topple trees, flip mobile homes, rip off a roof of a home and more. The most important thing to do in a storm of this magnitude is to find shelter as soon as possible.

While some storms pass through with little to no damage, others don’t and can leave behind them a dangerous and overwhelming amount of debris. If your home or business has been impacted by a recent storm, we are here to help you get back on your feet. Call us today to see how we can help.

Lightning Safety for Outdoor Workers

7/20/2021 (Permalink)

multiple lighting strikes coming out of dark stormy clouds SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta Counties is here to help with any damage done by thunderstorms, whether it be from water, fire or lightning.

Lightning as an occupational hazard is often an afterthought, but it shouldn’t be. An average of 47 of all occupations require outdoor work at some point in the day.

That means almost half the American workforce is outside for some period of time every day, and many fields require a much higher percentage of outdoor time. When thunderstorms arise, those workers are at elevated risk of lightning strikes and other dangers.

Safety Best Practices for Outdoor Work

OSHA and NOAA recommend several broad safety practices for business who have workers outdoors. These include:

Being informed by NOAA weather reports. Employers and supervisors should be aware of reported and upcoming weather events before sending workers outside. Weather.gov and local outlets will make weather updates as inclement weather comes toward the area. Employers should consider rescheduling events, jobs or activities outdoors if thunderstorms are headed in. Darkening clouds and increased wind speeds can also be indicators of dangers weather afoot.

Seeking shelter in buildings. Workers should be informed before heading to outdoor jobs what nearby buildings they should seek out for shelter if they hear thunder or see lightning. These buildings should be fully enclosed and outfitted with plumbing and electricity. Once inside, workers should remain indoors at least a half hour after the last peal of thunder before returning to work. Remember, the fact that you’re not getting rained on doesn’t mean you’re not in danger—lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from the nearest rainfall.

Using vehicles as a second option. If safe buildings aren’t accessible, workers should be guided to hard-top vehicles with all windows rolled up, where they should remain for the duration of the storm and 30 minutes after thunder stops.

Practicing phone safety. Corded phones are still used in many buildings, but they shouldn’t be used in a building during a thunderstorm except in emergency situations. Cell phones are safe to use.

Business owners and supervisors should also have an emergency action plan for storms in place, with written protocols for lightning safety outlining company storm procedures. Lightning and storm safety training should also be implemented, so that workers know where to go in emergencies and what to expect regarding communication when storms approach.

We’re here to help with any damage done by thunderstorms, whether it be from water, fire or lightning. Call or click today to experience the SERVPRO difference.

How Georgia Can Prepare for Thunderstorms This Summer

6/30/2021 (Permalink)

multiple lighting strikes coming out of dark stormy clouds If you have been impacted by a recent storm, contact SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta Counties.

Between the alerts that pop up on your phone and the forecast updates on the news, this is the time of year when we typically start to see more storm activity. Some pass through without causing much reason to be concerned, and others can leave behind a trail of destruction from high winds, hail, flooding and even tornadoes.

The most common threats for Georgia when it comes to severe thunderstorms are damaging straight-line winds and large hail. So preparing for these storms starts with preparing well for the most likely hazards.

2 Weather Elements to Consider When Organizing Your Severe Weather Plan

Strong winds. When you receive a notice that you’re under a severe thunderstorm watch, this means that strong winds, hail, lightning and flash flooding are possible in your area within the next six hours. When the watch turns into a warning, this means that the imminence of the threat has increased and you need to find a safe shelter immediately. This also means that you need to secure any loose items that could be sent flying into a permanent structure or vehicle or taken away with the wind.

Hail. Because of how fast hail can fall (up to 72 miles per hour), the damage that it can do is unprecedented. It can cause large branches to break, put holes in roofs, create major dents in a car—some hail can even bust a windshield—and cause significant harm to pets, people or livestock exposed to the conditions. Especially for those who live in areas prone to hail, the who, how, where and what should happen prior to, during and after a hail storm should be included in an emergency preparedness plan that everyone who lives in the household should have access to.

Although preparation is important, damage can still happen and it can happen on a large scale. If you have been impacted by a recent storm, call us 247 to discuss how we can help. Our team will arrive quickly and will assess the property to determine the plan of action that can get your home or business back to pre-storm condition.

Types of Water Damage to Look Out for in Your Home | SERVPRO® of Troup-Coweta Counties

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

burst pipe Trust the water damage restoration experts at SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta Counties.

Being vigilant about water damage is such an important habit for homeowners to get into, simply because of how many homes experience water damage every year and the extensive levels of damage it causes.

There are many different causes of water damage, all which will cause slightly different issues—but at its core, checking for water damage often and treating it quickly remain the most important things. While some types of water damage are typically covered by insurance, others are not, so catching it early to mitigate the damage is a must.

What Types of Water Damage to Look Out For

Water damage due to leaks. Leaks can occur for a variety of reasons, often causing sneaky damages that are not immediately evident unless you keep a careful eye out for them. Leaks can be caused by roofing issues, problems with plumbing pipes or faulty appliances, but in any case, they can cause damage to your walls, your subfloor and the structural elements of your home. If you notice discoloration of walls or ceilings, softening of floor joists or drywall, or a musty smell, you may have a leak on your hands.

Water damage due to weather. Weather-related damages, such as those from flash flooding, regular flooding or storms, can typically come about suddenly and cause serious amounts of damage in a short period of time. This type of damage can seep in through the walls or find its way in through small openings, and because of contamination issues, can be extremely concerning.

Water damage due to burst pipes. Burst pipes are a dramatic sort of water damage as they can cause serious issues in a short amount of time. Being able to cut off your water main and electricity source in case of a burst pipe is a must, as that can seriously reduce the overall damage that is caused to your home. Burst pipes are common in the winter due to the freezing and thawing of water can occur, but can be prevented in many scenarios.

If you sustain water damage of any type to your home, we are here to help. You can get in touch with us at any time to learn more about your options.

Handling a Flood in Your Zenith Home | SERVPRO® of Troup-Coweta Counties

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

water damage wood floors Trust the water damage restoration experts at SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta Counties.

The idea of dealing with a flood in your home can be overwhelming. After all, your home is where your family gathers for meals and events and where you store priceless heirlooms that matter most. It’s also where the people and pets you love to live.

But millions of American homes flood each year. Water damage claims are common in the United States. In fact, they’re the most common type of claims homeowners file each year.

If a flood impacts your family, there are things you can do to begin the restoration process as quickly as possible and minimize the possible damage.

Advice From the Experts

Here’s what you should do immediately after your home floods.

If you can, find and stop the source of flooding. Not every flood can be stopped at the source. (Those that result from a natural disaster usually can’t.) But if your flooding results from something you can control, shut off the water immediately. If you can, identify the source. For example, if it’s a pipe or water heater, you may know immediately where the water is coming from.

Turn off your utilities. Water and electricity don’t mix and can cause a danger to your family. If there’s standing water in your house for any reason, turn off your power until it’s safe to turn things back on.

Leave your home. Depending on the source (like a sewer backup or burst pipe), you may need to leave your home until an expert lets you know it’s safe to return.

Document the damage. You’ll need to know what has been damaged before you get in touch with your insurance provider.

Get in touch with your insurance provider. If your home has been damaged by water, then you need to let your insurance provider know that the problem has happened so they can begin the process of getting your claim filed.

If you have water damage in your home due to a burst pipe or another cause, you can count on us for restoration assistance. We have teams who are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services.

Helping Newnan Homeowners After Fire Damage l SERVPRO® of Troup-Coweta Counties

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

Residential Fire Damage Trust the fire damage restoration experts at SERVPR of Troup-Coweta Counties.

No one wants to think about being affected by a house fire. But it’s smart to know what steps you need to take if it happens.

If you’re one of the one in 50 American homeowners who suffer a house fire this year, there are steps you can take after the fire happens to make the restoration process easier for you and your family.

You’ll want to do things like calling the police for a police report, making a list of your damaged valuables and being sure the utilities to your home are turned off. Finding a place to stay that’s safe and calling your insurance agent should be high on the list, too.

You’ll also want to start the fire damage restoration process quickly. That’s where it’s important to have a local partner you can trust, with a team that will restore your home in a way that’s high-quality, economical, and logical.

You Can Rely on Our Team

Here’s why Newnan residents know we’re equipped to help them deal with the restoration process:

We have a restoration-first mentality. By working with you to meet your needs, we can help you find ways to save money on repairs. And in some cases approaching a job from a restoration mindset, rather than replacement, can help you save money on your homeowners insurance premiums in the future.

We’re here to help at any time. Getting started early on restoration efforts can make a difference. That’s why our team is here to help you when you need our services. All you have to do is call us, and someone will be there to help. Our team is available 247 for emergencies.

We can help with the entire restoration process. House fires can damage your walls, your furniture’s upholstery, your property and your belongings. Other issues homeowners deal with after a fire include smoke and water damage related to fighting the fire. Our team of experts has the tools needed to do your restoration work the right way.

We are a locally owned business. Because we’re a SERVPRO location, we can use the training, resources, and equipment you would find at a large, growing company combined with the advantage of being a partner right here in our community.

If you have fire damage in your home, you can count on us for restoration assistance. Our team is always ready to meet your needs and help you restore your home. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services.