SERVPRO Encourages Gulf Coast Residents to Be Ready

GALLATIN, Tenn. (Grassroots Newswire) August 24, 2012 - As Tropical Storm Isaac continues to gain momentum moving northwest through the Caribbean, SERVPRO urges residents in the storm’s path to remember the importance of disaster preparedness. In its seventh year as a coalition member with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Ready Campaign, SERVPRO Franchises across the country share the benefits of being prepared for natural disasters, like tropical storms and hurricanes.

The key to disaster preparedness is having an emergency plan in place before disaster strikes. Following a few simple steps can go a long way to protect your family in the event of a weather-related disaster.

Build a basic emergency supply kit. A basic kit should be stocked to supply you and each of your family members with water and food for at least three days. Consider including food for pets, as well as any necessary medications in your kit. Recommended emergency supply kit items include:

  • Water (one gallon/person per day)
  • Three day non-perishable Food supply
  • Manual Can Opener
  • Battery-operated Radio, preferably a NOAA Weather radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust Masks or bandanas
  • Local Maps
  • Important Documents, such as copies of Insurance Policies, identification and Bank Account information
  • Matches (in a waterproof container)

Make a Family Emergency Plan. You may not be home or with family when disaster strikes. Plan in advance where you will meet and how you will contact each other. Visit ready.gov to access a Family Emergency Plan template to assist in your planning.

Stay Informed. Learn the elevation level of your property. This will help you know how your property could be affected by heavy rainfall and whether it is prone to flooding. Know your community evacuation routes and determine where you would go and how you would get there if evacuation becomes necessary. Finally, listen to local authorities for direction.

Prepare your Property. In the event of a hurricane or severe storm, you may need to prepare your home for impact. You can do this by covering all of the windows in your home. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with plywood. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking. Keep trees and shrubs around your home trimmed to make them more wind resistant. Clear any debris from gutters and downspouts. Secure all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and any other items not secured.

"The most important thing right now is for citizens in Isaac’s path to stay informed and listen to their local authorities," said Don Turner, Director of SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team. "Though we can’t change the path of the storm, we can change how prepared we are to weather it. Taking the steps to be prepared can go a long way toward keeping loved ones safe in a disaster situation."

For more emergency preparedness resources, citizens across the country can contact their local SERVPRO Franchise to receive free resources like emergency supply checklists, emergency contact cards, and more tips on emergency planning. More information is also available at www.ready.gov.

About SERVPRO

Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO Franchise System is a national leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO's professional services network of more than 1,600 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss situations. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.

The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team has responded to large loss and storm events across the country, including: 2011 Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, 2011 North Dakota Floods, 2010 Tennessee Floods, the 2010 New England Floods, the 2009 California Wildfires and 2008 Hurricane Ike.

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