October 06, 2016 // Franchising.com // Gallatin, TN – As Hurricane Matthew continues to gain momentum moving northwest through the Caribbean, SERVPRO® urges residents in the storm’s path to remember the importance of disaster preparedness. 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 and your property 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:
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.
Establish a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for Your Business. SERVPRO® developed the SERVPRO®Emergency READY Program to help business owners create an Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) for their facility, at no charge. The business owner works with SERVPRO® to gather and document information that will become critical if a disaster strikes. Once the ERP is created, business owners have access to their information 24/7 online and by using SERVPRO’s free smartphone app.
“The most important thing right now is for citizens in Matthew’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.”
SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team mobilizes from across the country, as needed, to support large storm events. SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team has responded to large loss and storm events across the country, including: 2016 Louisiana Flooding, 2016 Houston Flooding, 2015 Siberian Express, 2014 Mid-Atlantic Flooding, 2014 Polar Vortex, 2013 Colorado Floods, 2013 Alberta, Canada Floods, 2012 Hurricane Sandy, 2012 Hurricane Isaac, 2011 Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, 2011 North Dakota Floods, 2010 Tennessee Floods, 2010 New England Floods, 2009 California Wildfires and 2008 Hurricane Ike.
For more emergency preparedness resources, residents and business owners can contact their local SERVPRO®Franchise to receive free resources like emergency supply checklists, emergency contact cards, and more tips on emergency planning. Additional information is also available at www.ready.gov.
Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO® Franchise System is a leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services, and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO's professional services network of more than 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events. 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.