6 Important Steps to Creating a Business Continuity Plan
Business continuity planning is a way to help you recover from unexpected disruptions to your operations.
Business continuity planning is an essential element in the risk management process. It's a way to ensure that your business can recover quickly and effectively from unexpected disruptions. There are many factors that should be considered when creating a business continuity plan, which will vary depending on the type and size of your organization. In this blog post, we'll discuss some of the basic steps for developing a continuity plan for your business and how it will help keep your company up and running during times of crisis.
Assemble a Business Continuity Team
Before you begin, it's important to assemble a Business Continuity Team. This team should include members from all departments and levels of your organization. This is because each department has unique needs during an emergency situation and each person on the team will have different responsibilities based on their role within the company.
Prioritize the safety of your employees
Safety is the most important aspect of business continuity planning. A plan that leaves your employees in danger is no plan at all.
In order for your plan to be effective and successful, you need to ensure that everyone involved understands how it will affect them and what they need to do if there's an emergency.
Identify your risks
Identifying your risks is the first step to creating a business continuity plan. Although it may seem like an overwhelming task, it's important to take time and think through all of the potential risks that could impact your business. You should consider:
- What are the possible risks that our business might face?
- What are the possible consequences of each risk?
- How likely is it that these risks will occur? (Consider both external factors and internal conditions.)
- How much money would be lost if these risks were realized?
Determine critical activities needed to run your business
The next step in creating a business continuity plan is to determine what activities are critical for your business. Critical activities are those that, if interrupted or delayed, could cause severe financial loss and/or harm to the business in some form. Critical activities should be listed in order of importance, starting with the most critical activity and working down the list until all of them are identified.
Create a Continuity Plan for each risk
Once you've identified the risks that could affect your business, it's time to create a plan of action for each and every one. The first step is to determine how likely the risk is and how severe its impact would be if it were to occur. Also consider whether there are any steps you can take now (i.e., purchasing insurance) that will reduce or eliminate the likelihood of said event taking place in the future. Then, create a plan of action for each individual risk. This might be time-consuming but will ensure that you are prepared for anything and everything.
Test the plan and update it regularly
The best way to make sure your business continuity plan is up to date is to test it at least once a year. If you make changes to your business or add new technology, then update the plan accordingly. You should also train employees on how they should respond in an emergency and what they need to do if they are affected by an emergency themselves.
Business continuity planning can help you get back on track quickly
Business continuity planning is a way to help you recover from unexpected disruptions to your operations. It's important because it can help prevent problems and save money, as well as ensure that your business continues to run smoothly in spite of any challenges that might arise.
Business continuity planning is a process that takes time and effort to complete, but it's worth the investment. If you want your business to continue operating in an emergency situation, then you need a plan in place. The key is to take it slow and make sure you're doing everything right before moving on to the next step. You'll also want to make sure that everyone involved understands what they need from each other so that when something does happen they know exactly what steps they should take next!
The 4 Most Common Types of Mold
Common Types of Mold are important
Mold growth is a common problem for homeowners. Not only does it make your home smell bad, but it can also cause significant damage to your home.
Mold spores are everywhere. They're in the air, on surfaces, and on your skin. They're even in the food you eat. Mold spores can easily spread throughout a home. When mold spores land on a damp or wet surface, they begin to grow into colonies which are identified by their color and texture.
There are over 100,000 different species of mold, which means there are many types to watch out for. You'll most often see one of these four types in your home:
Stachybotrys atra, also known as black mold, is a type of fungus that thrives on plant-based materials. It has a slimy texture and can be black or dark green in color. This type of mold is known for being difficult to discover because it's usually hidden within walls or ceilings--and once you spot it, you'll want to get rid of it right away!
Stachybotrys atra often grows in homes or businesses that have suffered from some type of water loss such as a leak or a flood. If you see this type of mold in your home, call a professional immediately so they can remove it before it spreads throughout the structure.
Cladosporium is a common type of mold. It appears as black scattered dots at first, then appears green once the patches become larger. It's often found in bathrooms but can also grow on wallboard and insulation.
Aspergillus is a common type of mold that often grows outside. It is often times found growing on food, on leaves, or in soil. Aspergillus can be black with white and yellow spots
Alternaria is a common type of mold that can be found in homes. It's usually brown, grey, or olive-colored and looks like thick strands of hair. It usually thrives outside. but is often found in your attic, basement, or crawl space.
If you see any of these types of mold in your home, call a professional to remove it.
If you see any of the four most common types of mold in your home, it's time to call a professional. Mold can cause significant property damage and even more expensive repairs if left untreated. If you have any doubts about whether or not you have a mold problem, don't hesitate to contact our SERVPRO of Scarsdale/Mount Vernon team today!
If you're worried about mold in your home, it's important to take action immediately. Mold can cause significant property damage if it grows unchecked for too long. If you see any of these types of mold growing on surfaces in your home or office building, call professionals who know how to get rid of them safely.
Emergency Kit Necessities
We hope this article has given you some ideas for what to include in your own emergency kit.
Severe weather can be unpredictable events and it can be difficult to say how severe they will be. They can cause severe flooding, property damage, and even death. It's important to be prepared for a storm so that you're ready if one hits your area. This article will discuss some of the most important aspects of your emergency kit.
Flashlights are an important tool for finding your way around in the dark. They can also be used to signal for help or to find things you've lost.
Batteries are a must for any emergency kit. In addition to flashlights, radios and other electronic devices will also need them. You may also want to consider storing backup chargers for your cell phone in your kit too so that you can keep your devices charged up when power is out.
Battery Powered Radio
A battery-powered radio is another crucial piece to your emergency kit. You'll want to listen to local news updates and emergency broadcasts, as well as your local radio station for updates. If you have access to NOAA weather radio, that's another resource that can be useful during a hurricane. And if you live in an area with a fire department that uses a paging system in emergencies like these, you can use this resource as well.
Non-perishable Food and Water
Ensure you have enough nonperishable food and water to sustain you and your family for at least three days. This should give you enough time for things to calm down after the storm has passed.
Water is best stored in sealed containers with tight lids so that it doesn't evaporate or spill out. Food should be kept in cool, dry locations where there is little risk of being exposed to high temperatures or direct sunlight (so no leaving your emergency kit outside).
Please remember that pets need food as well! Be sure to include pet supplies like food, bowls, and leashes for them as well.
Blankets are one of the most important items in an emergency kit. They can be used for sleeping or as a blanket, but you may also want to include them if you live in a cold climate.
Make sure you have enough blankets for everyone in your family or group before putting together an emergency kit!
Portable Phone Chargers
If you are without power and would like to charge your phone, it's important to have a battery-powered charger on hand. Ideally, this should be a portable power bank or car charger, which can charge your phone while you are away from home.
Prescription medications are a must. Make sure to have enough medication for at least 3 days, and make sure you have a copy of your prescription in case your pharmacy doesn’t have the one you need. Make sure the medications are in their original containers with labels intact, that they haven’t expired, and that they are properly stored in airtight containers (they can lose potency quickly when exposed to heat and humidity). If possible, also include a list of all current medications (with dosages) and instructions on how to take each medication.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is an essential part of any emergency kit. It should be easy to carry, so don't forget to pack it in your go bag.
It's important that the first aid kit be well stocked with supplies that will help you treat minor injuries and illnesses until professional medical assistance can be reached. The following items are recommended:
- Bandages (various sizes)
- Gauze pads and rolls
- Disinfectant wipes or spray bottles (baby wipes are great for cleaning wounds)
- Antiseptic ointment - e.g., Neosporin or bacitracin
- Sterile gauze sponges or cotton balls
- Emergency tape/bandage strips
- Tweezers - for removing splinters and other small objects
Whether you're in the path of a storm or not, it's important to be prepared for emergency situations. In case of a hurricane, flood, or another natural disaster that causes damage to your home and access to shops is cut off for more than 48 hours, you'll want to have an emergency kit on hand.
We hope this article has given you some ideas for what to include in your own emergency kit. If a storm comes through and damages your Scarsdale home, give SERVPRO of Scarsdale/Mount Vernon a call! We will help you get back on your feet quickly.
The Best Fire-Extinguishing Method
Know how to put out a fire with a fire extinguisher
The Best Fire-Extinguishing Method
Although fire extinguishers are designed to put out fires, it is important that you know how to use them effectively. Knowing which type of fire extinguisher will work best for your situation is also important. Below you will find the most common types of fire extinguishers, as well as instructions on how they can be used.
Know the Fire Type
While it’s easy to think of fire extinguishers as a catchall solution for all types of fires, they are actually only effective for certain types of fires. So knowing the type of fire you are dealing with is critical.
Fire Extinguisher Class A
Extinguisher Class A is used for ordinary combustibles, such as paper and wood. This is the most common type of fire extinguisher and can be found in a majority of homes.
Fire Extinguisher Class B
Extinguisher Class B is used for flammable liquids, such as gas or oil. It's important to know that you should never use water on this type of fire because it will spread the liquid further. Instead, use foam or dry chemical extinguishers designed specifically for class B fires.
Fire Extinguisher Class C
Extinguisher Class C is used for electrical fires (including fires caused by lightning strikes). This type of extinguisher contains a conductive material that makes it safe to use around electricity without shocking yourself when discharged onto an electrical source or wire that has shorted out due to an electrical malfunction or lightning strike nearby your home
Fire Extinguisher Class D
A D-class fire extinguisher is used on fires involving combustible metals, such as lithium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium. It also works on fires involving flammable metals like zinc and aluminum.
A common mistake that people make with these types of fires is trying to smother them with a blanket or similar object. This will only make the situation worse; covering the material can cause it to explode violently and propel shrapnel at you or others nearby. Instead of attempting to prevent oxygen from reaching your metal fire by cutting off its air supply (which doesn't really work anyway), spray it down with an appropriate amount of water using a hose or bucket until all visible flames have been extinguished. Once you've killed off the flames in your metal fire's immediate vicinity, check for any embers still burning before leaving; if there are any leftovers they can reignite once exposed again so stay vigilant!
Fire Extinguisher Class K
Class K fire extinguishers are designed for use on grease fires. They should not be used on electrical fires or burning liquids. The best way to put out a kitchen grease fire is by smothering it with baking soda and water, which you can find in the cabinet above your stove.
If you are ever faced with a fire, having the right tools to extinguish it is important for your safety. You should know how to use a fire extinguisher correctly.
A fire can be caused by many things: electrical issues, smoking materials, and kitchen accidents are just some examples of ways that a fire starts. When you see smoke or notice flames in the home, keep calm and assess the situation. If there’s an exit nearby, get out immediately while calling 911 from a safe distance away from the house. If there isn't an exit nearby, make sure everyone knows what they're supposed to do if there's an emergency (i.e., get low on their hands so as not to cause burns when crawling under furniture).
If your home catches on fire, regardless of the reason, SERVPRO of Scarsdale/Mount Vernon can help restore your Scarsdale property to its original, preloss condition. Give us a call!
Peeling Paint: Why and What to Do
Humidity can peel the paint off your ceiling and walls
Peeling Paint: Why and What to Do
Peeling paint is a common problem in Scarsdale homes and businesses. It’s unsightly and can be difficult to fix. So why does peeling paint happen? If you’re wondering why your paint is pooling, here are some reasons that this might be happening:
Places You May Notice Peeling Paint
You may notice your paint peeling in various spots, including the following:
- Walls and ceilings
- Molding (corners)
Fix the Problem Quickly
Not fixing the peeling paint might cost you more in the long run. Peeling paint, as you may have guessed, is not a good look. But it's also more than just an aesthetic issue—a peeling paint job is also prone to rust and mildew growth, which can lead to structural damage in the long term. That's the last thing you want for your home!
Once you've determined that there are no structural issues holding your paint back from sticking properly, it's time to address the problem head-on. Fix the source of the problem first, and then fix the paint issue.
Possible Sources of Peeling Paint
A water leak might be your source. If you have a water leak in your home (or if there was a plumbing problem before you purchased it), the moisture could be causing peeling paint. You should call a plumber to repair any leaks and check the foundation of your home to make sure it’s not damaged.
If you're noticing paint peeling off your walls and ceiling, it's possible that the problem is caused by a water leak. Invisible leaks can lead to visible problems if they're not taken care of quickly and effectively. For example, invisible leaks can lead to mold and mildew growth, as well as particleboard disintegration, and peeling paint.
Humidity could be another problem. The humidity level in your house may also have an effect on whether or not paint will peel off, especially if it's very low in temperature for an extended period of time (as this can cause condensation). In order for paint to adhere properly, humidity levels need to be above 50 percent. Otherwise, moisture can get trapped between the wall and its surface coating which causes peeling over time due.
It's important for homeowners to act quickly when they notice paint peeling off their walls and ceilings—especially if there are any other signs of moisture damage in the home (for example discolored carpeting or floors).
It’s easy for us humans to tell ourselves that we don’t have enough money for home repairs like these, but when something goes wrong with our homes it becomes an emergency situation that requires immediate action! Often these emergency situations are more costly than fixing the problem at the first, small sign of a problem.
Hopefully, we’ve given you a few ideas on why your paint is peeling and how to fix it. If you have any water damage in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Scarsdale/Mount Vernon. We will be glad to assist in mitigating and restoring your home back to its original condition.
What Should I do if My Roof is Damaged in a Fire?
We recommend asking your insurance company if they offer money for tarp-overs and temporary repairs after storms or fires before you commit to paying.
What Should I Do If My Roof Is Burned Down?
After a fire, your roof is likely the last thing on your mind. But if you don’t repair it immediately, water damage can cause more problems for your home down the line.
It’s always best to seek professional help when repairing a roof after a fire or other natural disaster. SERVPRO of Scarsdale/Mount Vernon has been helping families just like yours recover from fire damage for years, and we want to help you too!
Start With Assessing the Roof
When it comes to figuring out what to do first after a fire, we recommend beginning with your roof. The damage may be hard to see from street level, but heavy rains will reveal weak spots in the roof that need to be repaired.
The most important thing is to have your roof inspected by a professional who can tell you if repairs are necessary or if a new shingle installation is required. It's also important that you protect your property from further damage while waiting for repair work on the damaged area of the home's exterior and interior walls/ceilings/floors by putting up tarps over these areas until they're fixed as well!
Tarping Your Roof
A quick tarp-over is an affordable solution for repairing a roof after a fire. A professional roofer can cover the entire roof with a sturdy tarp and make sure it doesn’t come loose during inclement weather. The tarp will keep out the elements and prevent further damage. It should be replaced as soon as possible, but it will offer temporary protection in the meantime.
Talk With Your Insurance
We recommend asking your insurance company if they offer money for tarp-overs and temporary repairs after storms or fires before you commit to paying for them out of pocket. If your insurance company doesn’t provide money for tarp-overs and temporary repairs, you should ask if they will reimburse for them. If not, consider asking the fire department if they can help out. If neither of them is able to pay for it, then consider getting a quote from a roofing company. You may find that paying a roofing company will be cheaper than replacing the entire roof yourself.
When you’re ready, call SERVPRO of Scarsdale/Mount Vernon at (914) 699-5181 and we will help guide you through the rest of the cleanup process! We offer professional fire cleanup services to help with any home or business that has been damaged by fire.
We are your first point of contact when disaster strikes and can be there within minutes. Our trained technicians use the most advanced tools and techniques available to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.
So, if you’re ready to get started on the rest of the cleanup process, give us a call at 914-699-5181. We’d be happy to help guide you through it!
3 Ways a Restoration Response Team Streamlines Business Insurance Claims
Severe water damage in Yonkers, NY.
3 Ways a Restoration Response Team Streamlines Business Insurance Claims
When fire, flooding and storm damage causes problems for you and your Yonkers, NY, business, one of your main concerns may be how to handle the insurance claim and where to begin. Between itemizing the damage and the paperwork, you may feel overwhelmed. However, working with an emergency disaster response team like SERVPRO can streamline this process, from pretesting to filing.
1. Pretest Assistance
Once you have the chance to survey the damage inside your business, it can seem insurmountable. Working with a disaster response company can help you to better understand the extent of the issue with pretesting, which gauges whether certain areas can be fixed or if they are likely a total loss. Overall, this can lower claims expenses and may even help you file an insurance claim more quickly.
2. 24/7 Support
Disaster can strike anytime day or night, but because SERVPRO locations are locally owned and operated, the response time is usually swift. This can reduce the need for insurance claims, such as with flooding, as the restoration technicians can drain standing water and provide mitigation solutions for areas that may degrade over time and cause secondary damage, such as mold growth.
3. Preferred Vendor Status
Working with an insurance agent after your business suffers damage can be daunting, especially if you have never filed a commercial claim before. SERVPRO may serve as a bridge between your company and the agent, as the franchise is well known as a preferred vendor and can boost your confidence during the process. The presence of a certified disaster response team may also benefit the agent, who may feel more comfortable working with a preferred restoration vendor.
Fire, flooding and severe storms can cause a variety of damage to your Yonkers, NY, business and require you to file an insurance claim. Working with a SERVPRO disaster response team, from the pretesting phase to filing, may help you weather the storm with greater peace of mind.
4 Possible Sources of Sewage in Your Home
A clogged pipe can result in sewage backup in your home.
4 Possible Sources of Sewage in Your Home
Your home's plumbing system brings in clean water and discreetly clears away the used and dirty water. Occasionally, pipes break, and sometimes those pipes are in the process of taking away contaminated water. When this happens, professional sewage cleaning is a necessity. A number of situations in your home in Secor Gardens, NY, could result in a black water spill.
1. Toilet Overflow. While this might seem minor, any time water from a toilet that contains urine or feces overflows it is a serious situation. The water potentially contains harmful bacteria and microbes that are detrimental to human health. Plus, the water can contaminate flooring and other materials.
2. Clogged Pipe. A discharge line that is obstructed could result in a sewage backup, spilling out contaminated water into an area of the home. As with all other types of spills requiring professional sewage cleaning, a water damage mitigation team should be called. Trained technicians will work safely and quickly to remove the dirty water and clean and sanitize the home.
3. Pipe Burst. Older pipes tend to weaken with age. After forty or fifty years of use, many piping materials are at or near the end of their lifespan. This is especially true of galvanized steel piping. If the pipe that breaks is carrying used water, the spill should be considered potentially harmful to human health.
Though this situation has nothing to do with the plumbing system, it is still an issue important to homeowners. Outside water coming into a home from overflowing streams or lakes or heavy rains is often contaminated with germs, chemicals, and other substances. As such, it should be treated with the highest level of concern.
No matter what the source of the spill, sewage cleaning is best handled by a professional company. It will have the appropriate equipment and training to deal with the situation safely and efficiently.
Coping With Water Damage
Drying up the area that was damaged by water in a Mount Vernon, NY home
How Do You Deal With Water Damage
Water damage in Mount Vernon, NY, can happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Whether the result of a storm, broken pipes, or a washing machine malfunction, you’re suddenly facing a big water cleanup task. When you’re preparing to address the mess, consider the following:
- Cleanup and Repairs
Keep It Safe
One of the first steps you should take is shutting off power in the affected areas since water and electricity are a dangerous, potentially deadly, mix.
If you need to go into the damaged space, consider the source of the water; if there’s any chance of contamination, such as from stormwater or an overflowing toilet, wear protective clothing and wash hands thoroughly after handling anything that has been in the water.
Assess the Damage
If the damage is significant, you may want to contact your insurance company to find out whether or not you have coverage. Keep in mind that water damage is different from flood damage, and insurance companies adjust differently for the two. If you are covered, an adjuster will likely want to take pictures of the damage to help evaluate your claim. You may want to take your own pictures as well in order to have a record of what has happened.
Cleaning Up and Making Repairs
It is important to act fast when you have standing water, as mold and bacteria can begin to grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours. Even if the damage was caused by clean water, the longer it stands, the better the chance of contamination.
In most cases, you should contact a restoration professional to come out and evaluate the situation. These people have the knowledge, experience and equipment to deal with the problem safely and efficiently. They can advise you about the extent of your damages and the need for any repairs, whether fixing broken pipes or replacing damaged wallboard.
Water damage can be frustrating and overwhelming, but following these steps can help you manage the problem as efficiently as possible so that you can get your home and your life back to normal.
How to Safely Clean and Disinfect After Sewer Damage
Sewer damage in Scarsdale, NY
Types Of Contaminated Water
A flooded toilet is always inconvenient, but it can also be dangerous. A toilet flood is usually caused by a clog or a block in the drain that isn't allowing things to flow out correctly. There are three types of contaminated water that you may encounter when you have a toilet backup, and the category of contamination will help you to know how dangerous it is for people in your home.
1. Clean Water
Clean water is water that floods into your home from a broken water line. This is not true sewer cleanup, because the water is not contaminated with any type of sewage. As long as it hasn't mixed with other contaminants, you can clean up this water with towels, a mop, or a shop vacuum.
2. Gray Water
Gray water has urine in it. A sewer backup can cause your toilet to overflow into your bathroom, and the bacteria present make this a more dangerous cleanup process. Make sure that pets and small children can't get to the overflow by closing doors. Open windows to ventilate the area, if possible, and wear personal protective equipment if you attempt to do any cleaning yourself. You should dispose of anything you use for cleaning afterwards.
3. Black Water
Black water is the most dangerous level of sewer cleanup that you're likely to encounter because of a toilet backup. This contains water with feces and anything that comes from beyond the toilet trap. If you must clean, wear gloves, a mask, goggles, and boots. Shovel debris into heavy plastic bags and dispose of them immediately. Use bleach to prevent the spread of infection. However, this type of sewer backup is especially toxic, and it is best to leave the cleanup to a professional.
While it is possible to do some of the cleanup yourself with some of the less severe categories, it's always best to contact a local sewage cleanup and restoration expert in Scarsdale, NY. You want to be very sure that your home is properly disinfected and that there won't be any future complications from sewer cleanup that wasn't thorough enough.