Prepping For Urban Survival

Prepping For Urban Survival

If a disaster strikes in an urban setting, there are certain precautions one may need to take in order to survive comfortably. With limited space and security, creating a well-strategized plan is key in order to survive whatever hurricane-corona-virus-economic-collapse-zombie-ridden-disaster one may encounter in an urban location.

People Planning

In the event a disaster does strike your city or neighborhood, security weakens and your home or apartment may be potentially in danger. To be successfully prepared for any disaster, plan to prepare with friends, family and/or neighbors. Continue reading “Prepping For Urban Survival”

How to Prep Your House for Storms – Part 1

Making sure you prep your house for storms that are either predicted or that can occur at any time is the best defense against wind, water and related storm damages.

 

Without proper winter preparation of your home, you may end up inviting wind, rain and snow inside and then calling a restoration pro to clean it all up.

 

Tip #1: Inspect the windows

 

No, not in the glass itself (you can see that easily and would have already replaced broken windows.) Check the weather stripping, the caulking and edges of the glass. Ensure no air is getting in or out. This is easier to check on a windy day. Hold a tissue paper up to the areas you are inspecting to see if there is any movement. If so, repair that area. Replace the caulking or weather stripping if necessary.

 

 

Tip #2: Get climbing…

 

… up on the roof, that is. But keep it safe! Hire someone if you aren’t able to physically do this yourself or if there is any danger of falling. You (or someone) needs to inspect your roofing materials, areas around chimneys and vents… anywhere that water can intrude and cause problems. Be sure to repair any damage before the weather turns bad.

 

Tip #3: Clean the gutters

 

Dirty, cluttered gutters don’t do their job very well. Rain can easily turn into snow and ice, and debris in the gutters means they clog up and can cause all kinds of problems for your home. When the leaves stop falling, get out the ladder or hire a pro to ensure your gutters are ready for winter.

 

No matter what you do, occasionally water, wind and ice can damage your home. Do the right thing: Call your disaster restoration pro when his services are needed.

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Develop Your ‘Go Bag’

Floodings, fires, high wind as well as various other harmful occasions brought on by harsh climate can occur anywhere, anytime as well as to anybody.

Assuming as well as preparing in advance can provide you assurance.

One fantastic means to intend in advance is to produce an emergency situation readiness package, or as some refer to it as, a go bag, which is a knapsack, little travel suitcase or various other sort of container loaded with important things you could require in case of an emergency situation, specifically if you are left from your residence.

While it holds true chances remain in your support that you might never ever need to leave your residence or transfer on a momentary basis, when it does occur, your fundamental demands will certainly be looked after if you take a crack at bag prepared to … go. Continue reading “Develop Your ‘Go Bag’”

Disaster Recovery Plan Resources

Disaster Recovery Plan Resources

Having a proper evacuation plan can make all the difference in keeping you and your family safe during a hurricane. And, if you run a business, it can also help you get back on track faster after a disaster. Disasters are unpredictable and can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to homes and properties,but the good news is that there are several agencies that offer valuable information and guidance on how to prepare, stay safe, and recover from natural disasters.

Continue reading “Disaster Recovery Plan Resources”

Is Your Business Prepared For A Natural Disaster?

Although we don’t like to think about it, a natural disaster can occur at any time. Further, there’s often little we can do to avoid the disaster if our business is in its path. However, what you can do is create a plan to help your business remain as operational as possible in the midst of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, and recover to full business operations as quickly as possible. Your disaster preparedness plan should include the following.

Continue reading “Is Your Business Prepared For A Natural Disaster?”

How to Prepare Your Home Office During the COVID-19 Outbreak

As the current situation with COVID-19 developing and spreading fast, more and more companies are opting for their employees to work from home so they can comply with the social distancing protocol to help in the battle of spreading the virus. The virus is spreading through people so social distancing is a measure that governments implement to try and slow the virus down and make sure it’s under control.

Continue reading “How to Prepare Your Home Office During the COVID-19 Outbreak”

Hurricane Shutters: What You Need To Know

There are several types of products that qualify as “shutter” protection for your home. Each option meets current Florida Building Code standards, and will also satisfy insurance requirements. They fall into one of the following categories:

  • Manually Installed Aluminum Hurricane Panels
  • Manually Installed Clear Polycarbonate Hurricane Panels
  • Accordion Hurricane Shutters
  • Bahama Hurricane Shutters
  • Colonial Hurricane Shutters
  • Electric or Motorized Roll-Down Hurricane Shutters
  • Manual and Electric Roll-Down Hurricane Screens
  • Hurricane Fabric
  • Impact Resistant Hurricane Windows and Doors

Because each application has Florida Building Code approval, your choice should be based on your lifestyle and which product best fits the specific opening. You should consult with a professional licensed building contractor to determine what the best option is for an opening. Each application needs to be installed according to Florida Building Code specifications to meet the requirements of protection, which will satisfy local building codes and your insurance company.

Manually Installed Aluminum Hurricane Panels

This style is often what is thought of when someone hears the phrase “hurricane shutters”. Aluminum hurricane panels are made from light-weight corrugated aluminum is very strong and can be installed vertically or horizontally to meet the needs of the opening. These panels are put up when there is threat of a storm, and taken down after.

The panels are measured and cut to cover the opening, and can be affixed to the house with a track or secured directly to the structure. The window will be completely covered when installed, and you can’t see out of the window once they are in place.

This is generally the least expensive type of shutter protection. The panels are lightweight, making them easy to carry, but can be awkward when installing over large openings. You will also need a place to store the panels when they are not in use.

Manually Installed Clear Polycarbonate Hurricane Panels

This style is similar to aluminum hurricane panels, but the corrugated panel is a clear polycarbonate. The main benefit of the polycarbonate material is that light can get through the opening, and you can see the conditions outside.

Like aluminum hurricane panels, they are lightweight and strong and can be installed vertically or horizontally to meet the needs of the opening. These panels are put up when there is threat of a storm, and taken down after.

The panels are measured and cut to cover the opening, and can be affixed to the house with a track or secured directly to the structure. The window will be completely covered when installed, and you will be able to see out of the window once they are in place.

The panels are lightweight, making them easy to carry, but can be awkward when installing over large openings. You will also need a place to store the panels when they are not in use.

Accordion Hurricane Shutters

Accordion hurricane shutters will protect windows, sliding glass doors or enclose entire balconies or lanais. They are also a good option for opening that may be hard to secure, such as a rounded window, aquarium type window or corner-meet non-impact sliding glass doors.

They are made from a lightweight aluminum and installed into tracks on the top and bottom that guide the movement of the shutters as well as hold them in place. The top track holds a wheel carriage that adds to ease of movement. These are manually operated.

They are easy to open and close in almost every application. Once the interconnected aluminum panels are closed and locked, your protection is in place. You will not be able to see out of the opening, and light will not pass through.

Accordion hurricane shutters need to be maintained by lubricating and cleaning annually. You won’t need to worry about storage as they are left in place retracted when not in use.

Bahama Hurricane Shutters

Bahama hurricane shutters might just look like decorative shutters that typify the look and feel of a tropical home, however when they are made of material strong enough to withstand hurricane force winds, and installed to meet current building code standards, they serve as viable protection for your home.

They are always in place, and can be lowered and latched with relative ease in the event of a storm. While extended, they can also serve as shade for any opening.

The style is not well-suited for every architectural style. It simply doesn’t work for many homes. There are also some limitations on the maximum size that they are considered to be effective, such as a door.

Colonial Hurricane Shutters

Colonial hurricane shutters are also permanently affixed to the structure, and considered “decorative”. Like Bahama hurricane shutters, when they are made of material strong enough to withstand hurricane force winds, and installed to meet current building code standards, they serve as viable protection for your home. They can also be easily closed in the event of a storm.

Like Bahama hurricane shutters, the style is not well-suited for every architectural style. It simply doesn’t work for many homes. There are also some limitations on the maximum size that they are considered to be effective.

Electric or Motorized Roll-Down Hurricane Shutters

Electric or motorized roll-down hurricane shutters might very well be considered to be the most convenient shutter option. Just a flip of a switch and your protection is in place. In some cases, you can also operate the shutter manually if there is a loss of power.

Electric or motorized roll-down shutters are a popular solution for lanai area of a home. They can be installed to easily enclose the entire lanai. Some people like the ability to leave patio furniture in place during a storm, which is easy to do with this shutter option. They also come in handy for everyday use by adding noise reduction, security and privacy when they are down.

They are always in place, affixed to the top of the opening and contained in a small box. This may be a deterrent to homeowners who don’t want to have this housing visible, especially on the front of the home.

Manual and Electric Roll-Down Hurricane Screens

Manual and electric roll-down hurricane screens are newer to the market, but most manufacturers have obtained Florida Building Code approval through stringent testing. The screen will stop flying debris from impacting your opening during a storm. These must be installed by a certified professional contractor.

They function much like a composite electric, motorized or manual roll-down shutter with a noted exception that you can have full visibility from the inside to the outside. The screen itself is a very dense, tightly woven material that not only withstands the force of hurricane winds of 130 mph, but also repels water in the same way that a composite shutter would.

They are a great solution for protection in large or unusually configured areas. They deploy with relative ease, and have the added benefit of use for privacy, shade and rain protection during mild storms.

Hurricane Fabric

Hurricane fabric is also called hurricane netting or hurricane curtains depending on the manufacturer. The function and installation is basically the same as long as it meets the same Florida Building Code approval requirements.

Hurricane fabric is a PVC coated woven fabric panel that has been tested and approved to block wind, rain and flying debris. You can see through the fabric from the inside, and it is also a great solution for protection in large or unusually configured areas.

The fabric comes in a variety of colors. It can be affixed to the structure of your home with straps, buckles (such as around columns) and grommets (such as around a window area). All methods of installation allow for easy access to exit your home quickly.

Impact Resistant Hurricane Windows and Doors

Impact resistant hurricane windows and doors are not considered “shutters”. They are an alternative to shutters that offer full-time protection against the elements, intruders, UV rays and noise. This is generally going to be the most expensive option in hurricane protection.

The benefit of total home replacement of windows and doors with impact resistant products is that you never have to think about it again. Once installed by a qualified, licensed professional your protection is in place 24-7-365.

If your windows and doors need to be replaced, you might give serious consideration to replacing them with impact resistant hurricane windows and doors. The cost of replacing a window or door with a non-impact product and then adding a shutter to meet current codes is very close to replacing the opening with an impact product.

The bottom line…

You have a spectrum of options ranging from the least expensive shutter panels to replacing your windows and doors with impact resistant hurricane windows and doors. So how do you determine what is best for you?

Consider this:

Typically the least expensive option will be the most labor intensive and conversely, the most expensive options will be the most worry-free. So when narrowing your budget vs. expense, consider this:

The front of your home generally has the highest priority aesthetically. You want protection in place that doesn’t detract from the architecture.

The back of your home will take the next level of priority, and typically will be the most expensive area to protect due to the fact that you generally see the most glass in the back. Most people want to preserve the view, and possibly enclose the lanai to be able to leave furniture out at all times. You can generally save a great deal on the back of the home with shutters vs. impact-resistant doors and windows.

The sides of your home usually are the last priority because they rally aren’t seen by you and sometimes, not even your neighbor. Although they can’t be seen, it is still vital to protect the openings as they are vulnerable.

The least expensive hurricane panels might be a good option. You can always upgrade in the future to a more expensive shutter option, or choose to replace the windows with an impact product.

Ultimately…

You want to make sure that you choose products that fit your lifestyle, and hire a qualified contractor for the installation.

If your commercial or residential property has been damaged by strong winds or a big storm, there is a series of steps you should follow to mitigate the damage and get help right away.

  • Contact the Regency DRT team for a damage assessment. If you have insurance, you must act quickly to minimize any damage to your property as required by your policy.
  • Call your insurance company to report the damages and review your policy and coverage. (Keep in mind Regency DRT does not advise or make recommendations on your insurance coverage.) We do work with all insurance companies to assist you in working with the insurance adjuster.
  • Report safety hazards especially downed power lines.
  • Stay away from areas that are flooding as the water could be charged with an electrical current. There is also the possibility of potential dangers under the water like any nails or other sharp objects.

Act Fast!

When your house has been water damaged, there is no time to lounge around and wait for a good time to start the cleanup process. We at Regency DRT have more than twenty years of experience to handle every type of water damage dilemma you might face. Some of the services we provide include water extraction and pump-outs, complete structural drying, dehumidification, mold and sewage remediation, water damage cleanup due to frozen pipes and broken pipes, and off-site personal property cleaning.

Please contact us for more information on how we can help you. Even if you aren’t interested in our services at this time, we are happy to offer any advice and information on how to recover from water damage.

 

 

24/7 Emergency And Professional Storm Damage Cleanup And Restoration – Call (888) 221-5791!

 

Home Tips: Installing a Carbon Monoxide Detector

CO detectors are safety devices placed in homes to save lives during emergencies. Therefore, it is imperative to install the CO detectors appropriately to realize the best outcomes and early detection. Henceforth, homeowners can follow these tips to detect gas leaking early and improve overall safety.

Basics of carbon monoxide gas

Understanding the general properties of CO gas enhances the need for a homeowner to ensure proper placement and potential risks. CO is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas that is rather difficult to detect without the use of a detector. Therefore, it is commonly referred to as a ‘silent killer’ and poisoning manifest as dizziness, nausea, headache, and other non-specific symptoms.

CO gas is released from the incomplete burning of fuel. The incomplete burning might arise from faulty appliances, and accumulation occurs indoors, especially in poorly ventilated rooms. A high concentration of CO gas is life-threatening and fatal. The gas is lighter than air to some degree and distributes evenly.

Studies on proper placement of CO detectors indicate any point in a room is useful in detection. However, for early detection of small concentrations, there are general rules homeowners should follow.

How do carbon monoxide detectors work?

For a CO detector, the critical part is the alarm sensor. The sensor determines the concentration of CO gas in the room. The three types of CO sensors include colorimetric, metal-oxide, and electrochemical have differing mechanisms of detection. Placement does not affect the operation of the CO detector directly, but positioning mitigates early detection. Alarm triggers for CO detectors are similar since they detect elevated concentrations of CO in the air around the alarm.

Correct placing a CO detector

There are general guidelines to follow on areas homeowners should place the detector. Firstly, homeowners should ensure all rooms with appliances such as gas cookers, fireplace, furnace, open-fire, and boiler have a CO detector. Additionally, the garage and any other rooms with cars with a running engine should have a sensor. Living rooms and sleeping areas should each have a CO detector in place.

Moreover, homeowners should always check the laws and codes on the CO detector installation. For a multi-story apartment, should install the detectors on each floor, including the attic and basement. Homeowners should place the CO detectors in rooms that have a flue.

The number of detectors to install depends on the dimension of the house and the number of fuel-burning devices. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) advises homeowners to invest at least a CO detector on each level of a home. Additionally, NFPA recommends a central section placement of the CO detectors outside the sleeping areas and in other regions as required by local codes and law. The gas is toxic, and thus, it imperative that one should install the appropriate number of the detectors that a home might require.

Correct mounting of CO detectors

Homeowners must read the manual guide of the CO detector on locations and height specified by the manufacturer. Rooms with appliances that use fuel such as cookers and boiler, or open fire areas, one should mount the detector 6 inches from the ceiling. Mounting should be higher than either the door or window height unless stated by the manufacturer. Additionally, homeowners must mount CO detectors 3 to 10 feet horizontally from the possible source.

Rooms with an open fire or without any fuel-burning appliances should have the CO detectors near the breathing areas. Moreover, a room with a sloped ceiling will have mounting on the high region of the ceiling. The device should be at the breathing level or at the knee level to consider kids and pets.

Areas to avoid mounting a CO alarm

Homeowners should not place CO detectors close to water heaters, furnaces, or cooking appliances since the device might give false alarms. Other areas to avoid include, next to doors or windows, above sinks, and humid places like bathrooms. Additionally, avoid mounting the CO detector in dusty places since the dust might interfere with the device sensor. Likewise, homeowners should install the detectors away from obstructing furniture and enclosed spaces such as behind curtains and cabinets.

Homeowners must ensure that mounting of the devices is not close to fans, air vents, or any other ventilation opening since ventilation decreases CO gas concentration below detection. Furthermore, other areas to avoid mounting include outdoor locations and zones’ operational temperature of the CO detector is not guaranteed. Place the device away from the reach of children to prevent damaging and tampering.

Ensure the effectiveness of the device

Homeowners should contact local authorities before purchasing a CO detector to ensure they get a current device. Furthermore, the CO detector must meet the standards set by Underwriters Laboratories. The alarms should be tested regularly, at least monthly, and batteries tested weekly. Homeowners should clean the CO alarms as per the manufacture with a clean cloth and renew cells at least annually.

Natural Disaster Preparedness With Pets

Sometimes natural disasters come at us with such little notice, but there are things you can do to prepare your pets before the disaster is even predicted! Read on to learn more about pet emergency care in a disaster.

 

 

Who to contact
There are plenty of people and organizations that should be contacted before the event of a natural disaster. First of all, local animal shelters can provide you with the best safety tips for your area. They may not be available to take your pets in, but they can tell you where to take them if you cannot take care of them. Being informed about what your community does for pets in these instances is the first step to being prepared for a disaster.

 

Evacuate pets when you evacuate the family
This may seem obvious, but in the event of a natural disaster, you may put everything else besides you and your family to the back of your mind. Don’t say “we will go back and get him/her” because it is quite likely that you will forget, or it will be too late; if you leave your pet behind, he/she could get injured, lost, or worse.

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                     

Research pet-friendly shelters

Research pet friendly shelters ahead of time so you know where you can take your pet, and where you can’t. The most important thing to be aware of is that Red Cross disaster shelters do not allow pets. If you need to go to one of these, plan ahead and find a different shelter for your pets. It would be useful to contact hotels, boarding facilities, and veterinarians beforehand to determine if they take pets during emergencies. You can also find friends, relatives, or others outside the area that may take care of your pet until your family gets back on its feet.

 

Prepare a disaster kit for pets
This should include pet supplies, such as medications and medical records, a pet first aid kit, sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carrier to transport pets safely and ensure that your animal can’t escape. You may also want to include current photos of your pet in case you lose them. Also in the kit should be food, portable water, bowls, cat litter/pan, and a can opener. Make sure this kit is easily accessible and everyone in your household knows where it is located.

 

 

What to do if your pet gets lost
It is a very scary situation if you lose a pet during a natural disaster. The first thing you can do is contact the local animal shelters, police station, and veterinarians to see if they took in a pet like yours. If you have no luck, try contacting boarding facilities or any other location that you think your pet might end up. That is why it is handy to keep photos of your pet in the disaster kit, so people are familiar with what they should keep their eyes open for. It is helpful to get your pet micro chipped ahead of time, and make she he/she wears a collar and identification tags.

Natural disasters are scary, and they can be even scarier for our pets. That is why it’s so important to be prepared for a disaster even when it is not likely to happen. Remember, all your pet has is you. The best thing you can do is be prepared!

 

Protecting Important Documents

It’s natural. It’s human nature. You don’t really think about this very often.

What are we talking about? Water, fire and smoke damage.

When you do think about what may happen to your home, and then take action to prepare, what you do is usually minor and easy to do… such as turning off your outside water supply when winter approaches and testing smoke alarms and replacing fire extinguishers on a regular basis.

Yet there is one very important action you should take right now in preparation for the unthinkable. That’s right, protecting your important documents, such as your birth certificates, marriage license, financial papers, insurance policies and social security cards.

Most homeowners keep all their important papers and documents in what they consider a safe place, such as in an organized folder in a home office or secure location where they know exactly where everything is. Unfortunately, that’s not really very safe when there is flooding or fire and
smoke. Others might utilize a water and fire proof safe, which is a great idea.

Yet there is something additional you can do to 100% guarantee your important documents are safe no matter what happens.

Scan them and put them on the “cloud.”

You may already do this, and if so, congratulations. No matter what happens to your home, your documents are safe and can be accessed from any device connected to the internet.

But if you don’t, get a cloud-based storage account that has plenty of storage space for your needs and start scanning those documents. Keep them organized in online folders, and make sure those in your family who should have access to them have username and passwords they can use in an emergency. You should still keep the originals as safe as you can, of course.

And when the unthinkable happens, when you do have a fire, flood or mold damage, don’t forget there is professional assistance for you: Call your disaster restoration pro for help.

Continue reading “Protecting Important Documents”