What is a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile?
Prepare your commercial property for a water, fire or mold disaster by creating a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile using our convenient mobile app.
While September is officially National Preparedness Month, it's never a bad time to prepare your business for a disaster emergency. Creating a free SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile is a good first step.
Every business owner or property manager should have a business continuity plan in the event of an emergency. Many businesses close and never reopen after experiencing damage caused by flooding, fires and other disasters. The businesses that return to full operation do so by planning ahead and being prepared. With that in mind SERVPRO of North Hollywood is here to help you get started.
Register Your Account
Start by visiting SERVPRO.com/ready and to create an account. Be sure to list SERVPRO of North Hollywood as your contact should your commercial property experience fire, water or mold damage.
Begin creating Emergency Ready Profiles (ERP) for each property. The ERP stores important details about your property to facilitate a clear plan of action in the event of a disaster. Your ERP includes vital data, including your property's location, access details, utility and emergency contacts.
Once an account has been created, you can manage your SERVPRO Emergency READY profiles on a phone or tablet using apps available from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store by logging in with your account details. This will help you fully complete your profile with the necessary details covered below.
Populate Your Emergency READY Profile
As part of our overall Emergency READY Program, SERVPRO of North Hollywood offers a no cost assessment of your property to help you enter vital information in your Emergency READY Profile.
Whether you do it yourself, or we help you, be as thorough as possible. Include photos with each section of your profile. Make note of the location of water, gas and electricity shut-offs and provide details of any hazardous materials present on site. If you'd like to include anything not specified in a section, you can also add notes on the last step.
Once completed, share your ERP with key stakeholders via email or through the app. You can also email us your ERP to ensure we have it on file.
Should Disaster Occur, Get Help Fast
You can contact SERVPRO of North Hollywood directly through the app. If an ERP exists for the damaged property, some details necessary to submit a fire, water or mold loss pre-populate in the app to facilitate the submission process.
Once you've submitted your information to us, our highly-trained team of restoration specialists springs into action to respond "faster to any size disaster." Review our disaster mitigation tips within the app to guide you on things you can do immediately to mitigate the damage as you wait for us to arrive at the scene.
There are many steps a business owner or property manager should take to be prepared for a disaster. But with a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile, you can feel secure knowing SERVPRO of North Hollywood is ready, willing and able to make commercial property damage from water, fire or mold "Like it never even happened."
Meet the SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team
The Woolsey Fire burned acres of trees and damaged thousands of homes and businesses across Los Angeles and Ventura County.
SERVPRO of North Hollywood takes great pride in the skill of our damage restoration specialists. Our local team is highly-trained and certified in water damage cleanup, fire damage restoration and mold remediation.
Homeowners, business owners and property managers across Los Angeles know that one call to SERVPRO of North Hollywood, 24/7, is all it takes. Because when we say "faster to any size disaster," we mean it.
Some disasters, however, are so big that a single team of local restoration specialists, even one with our training and advanced restoration technology, isn't enough. Major disasters require an emergency response to meet the scale of the damage. Which is where the SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team comes in.
Major Natural Disaster = Major Response
When your home is threatened or damaged by a major natural disaster, such as a hurricane, wildfire or earthquake, our SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team will be ready. With a nationwide network of strategically placed storm response teams, you can feel secure that we're prepared to assist you quickly when disaster strikes.
Our Catastrophic Storm Response Team recently assisted with recovery efforts across the country following California wildfires and Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Matthew.
So when you call SERVPRO of North Hollywood, you not only have access to your local team of skilled restoration specialists but also the resources of more than 1,700 franchises, available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
Other major disasters are more isolated but still large enough to require a dedicated response team.
With our Commercial Large Loss division, we can scale our response to fires or flooding at commercial properties, such as hotels, multi-unit apartment complexes, office buildings or government facilities.
By centralizing communications through a commercial operations manager overseeing professional, temporary labor, we can cut costs, mitigate damage and restore operations quickly and seamlessly.
In short, SERVPRO of North Hollywood is truly capable of taking care of you and your property following any size disaster. And thanks to the SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team, no disaster is too big.
So call us anytime, day or night. We're always here to help.
Smoke Alarms & Fire Extinguisher Safety Tips
Change the batteries in your smoke alarm when you hear a low battery warning, or at least once a year.
Wildfires are becoming a year-round concern across California, including Los Angeles and the surrounding valleys. To reduce the risk of home fire damage, be prepared with these two important fire safety tips.
Smoke Alarms: Test, Change, Replace
Smoke alarms can save lives… but only if they're working properly. According to National Fire Protection Association, nearly three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no working smoke alarms.
To ensure your smoke alarms are always in good functioning order:
Test every smoke alarm in your home at least once a month
Change the batteries when you hear a low battery warning, or at least once a year
Replace old smoke alarms every 10 years
Smoke alarm technology has changed and improved rapidly over the past few years. The best new smoke alarms have dual sensors to detect smoke from both slow-smoldering and fast-flaming fires. Some units can also detect carbon monoxide as well as smoke. And others can be interconnected, to each other or through a hub like Google Nest, so that when one alarms detects smoke, all of the alarms sound.
Most importantly, be sure you and your family have a fire evacuation plan, including fire exits and a meeting place to make sure all of your loved ones are safe and accounted for in the event of a fire emergency.
Fire Extinguishers: Know Your ABCs from Your PASS
Another important first defense against fire damage is fire extinguishers. But as with smoke alarms, fire extinguishers are only helpful if they work.
When you test your smoke alarms each month, you should also visually inspect your fire extinguishers for damage. Make sure the pressure gauge reads in the green or at a pressure level of at least 185 psi. If below, replace the fire extinguisher or have it recharged at your local fire station.
Of course, even a working fire extinguisher is only effective if you know how to use it. Follow the PASS method:
Pull the pin
Aim low at the base of the fire
Squeeze the handle to discharge
Sweep from side to side to extinguish the fire
Also, be sure your home fire extinguishers is classified as multipurpose and suitable for the following three types of materials:
A is for ordinary combustible material, like paper, wood or cloth
B is for flammable liquids such as gas, oil or paint
C is for electrical equipment
Other fire extinguishers are suitable for flammable metals (Class D) and cooking fats and oils (Class K) like those used in restaurants. You may want to have one of these specialized fire extinguishers on hand if you work with such materials in your home.
There are other things you can do to prepare your home for wildfires, but having working smoke alarms and fire extinguishers are two important first steps.
And if you find your home damaged by fire, smoke and soot from wildfires, call SERVPRO of North Hollywood, 24/7, and let our fire restoration specialists cleanup and recover your property "like it never even happened."
4 Common Sources of Home Water Damage
Home water damage is sometimes hidden from view. If you suspect you have hidden water damage, call SERVPRO of North Hollywood anytime, 24/7.
Many homeowners don't even know that their home has suffered water damage. Still others may know, but don't fully realize the damage that even a little water can do.
The sooner water damage is spotted and addressed, the less costly and time consuming the repair and restoration process can be.
So call on SERVPRO of North Hollywood right away, anytime day or night, should you discover water damage in your home caused by any of the following common sources.
Clogged Drains, Sewers & Pipes
Perhaps the most common, and noticeable, source of home water damage is from overflowing sinks and toilets caused by backed up drains, sewer lines or pipes.
A licensed, local plumber can inspect and clear out the clog and get your plumbing working again. But don't forget to have us then inspect your floor and walls for signs of water damage or mold growth!
Also, if the water damage was caused by gray or black water, such as from an overflowing toilet or sewage backup, it is vital to have the affected area professionally and thoroughly cleaned by our team of highly-trained restoration specialists.
Such water often is highly contaminated and requires specialized extraction, cleaning and drying methods to reduce the risk of illness from bacteria, viruses and other microbes left behind by the water.
Leaking or Burst Pipes
Water leaks from worn or improperly installed pipe joints may be visible under sinks or hidden behind walls. If you've recently experienced any unexpectedly high water bills or a noticeable drop in water pressure, you should have a leak detection specialist inspect for hidden water leaks.
And once the source of the water leak is found and resolved, call SERVPRO of North Hollywood to repair and restore water damage to your drywall, insulation or flooring caused by the leak.
Leaky Household Appliances
Refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, water heaters and air conditioning units are all potential sources of home water damage.
Over time, even the best appliances experience wear and tear from frequent use. Rubber seals crack, connecting pipes and hoses weaken and deteriorate.
Keep an eye out for damp areas around your appliances and have any leaks repaired quickly before the damage to your floors and subflooring gets worse.
Rain Storm Flooding
No, it doesn't rain very often in sunny Los Angeles. But when it does, your attic, basement or crawl space are all areas at risk for storm water damage.
Installing a sump pump can help mitigate storm flooding damage. Just be sure to have your sump pump tested annually to prepare for the rainy season.
Most importantly, should you discover water damage in your home, don't wait: call SERVPRO of North Hollywood immediately for a fast response, 24/7, to any size disaster.
The sooner we can get to work repairing and restoring your water damaged property, the sooner we can make it "like it never even happened."
Handling the Heat Wave: Coping With High Temps in Los Angeles
There are many ways to beat the heat here in LA. Keep these tips in mind to stay cool safely and prevent property damage from water or fire disasters.
It took its sweet time getting here, but there's no doubt that the summer heat arrived in Los Angeles with a bang. Of course, Southland residents, particularly those living in North Hollywood and the surrounding valley, are used to triple digit temperatures during these dog days of summer.
That said, though we're seldom phased by heat advisories, keep in mind these tips for coping with extreme heat and staying safe during these hottest months of the year.
Avoid Sunburns & Heat Stroke
How quickly can you get a sunburn? It depends on the person, but it can happen in less than 15 minutes of sun exposure. So whether you're headed to the beach, a BBQ or just working around the house, wear sunscreen. Be sure to choose one with at least 30 SPF protection and reapply as directed.
While sunburns can be painful and, over time, lead to serious illnesses such as skin cancer, extreme temperatures can also present a more immediate danger. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are a risk, particularly if you're engaged in physical activity such as playing sports or hard labor like yard work or construction. Be sure to hydrate well, take frequent breaks and seek out shade. Learn to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion and how to treat and prevent it from escalating into a heat emergency.
And if you're looking for a cool place to cool off, check out this list of free air conditioned spots around Los Angeles.
Manage AC & Irrigation Systems
Speaking of air conditioning, summer heat waves always give HVAC systems a serious workout. To prevent your AC unit from going on the fritz when you need it most, adjust it to a higher temperature during the day when you're at work or otherwise away from home. Be sure to check your unit's vents and clean or replace clogged our worn out filters. Or if you have a larger, central air conditioning system, have SERVPRO of North Hollywood inspect and clean your HVAC ducts to keep it running at peak efficiency.
Another thing that may be working overtime during the heat is your irrigation system. While California is no longer technically in a drought, it's always smart to be water wise. Run sprinklers during the coolest part of the day, in the early morning or late at night, to maximize absorption. And keep an eye on your water bill. If you notice any unusual spikes, have your irrigation system inspected for leaks. Such uncontrolled sprinkler leaks can cause flooding damage to your property or sticky, slimy lawn mold.
Prepare for Storms and Flooding
Summer in Los Angeles is usually a very dry heat. However, thanks to El Nino, there's more moisture in the air than normal, and that means the potential for thunderstorms.
LA storms tend to be quick and intense, dumping lots of water on dry surfaces that are ill equipped to soak it up. Valley areas, particularly those recovering from wildfires, are at risk for flooding, which can happen very fast once the rain starts to fall. So be proactive and to prepare your home for rainstorms now while it's dry.
Of course, if you find yourself the victim of property damage from a summer storm, give SERVPRO of North Hollywood a call right away. The sooner we can begin the process of clean up and recovery from flooding damage, the more likely we'll be able to preserve or restore your valued possessions "like it never even happened."
It wouldn't be summer in So Cal without a warning about wildfires. Dry conditions are a fact of life here in Los Angeles, but our wet winter and spring may have even increased the risk for wildfires this summer. Already brush fires forced mandatory evacuations and snarled traffic near the Grapevine.
Don't wait. Take steps now to protect your home or business now and help mitigate the potential for fire, smoke and soot damage to your property.
However, should disaster strike, SERVPRO of North Hollywood is just a call away, 24/7, with a fast response to any size disaster. Our team of restoration specialists is highly-trained and ready to assist you in recovering from a water damage or fire damage emergency.
We also offer mold remediation and other specialty cleaning services and are happy to come out and inspect your property if you even suspect you have need of our restoration services.
Los Angeles Summer Safety Tips
Summer days in LA can be fun for the whole family. But don't forget to apply the sunscreen before you hit the beach!
When you think of summer in Los Angeles, you probably think of palm trees, beach days and lots of bright sunshine. And why not? One of the top reasons people choose to live in Southern California is the great weather.
But that doesn't mean it's all sunshine and roses living here in LA. Indeed, these National Weather Service safety tips will help you deal with the hazardous conditions that can interrupt those lazy, hazy days of a Los Angeles summer.
Poor Air Quality
Warm weather naturally draws people outdoors. But whether you're lounging by the pool or hitting the trailhead for a long hike, check the National Weather Service's Air Quality Index (AQI) before you go out.
The AQI forecasts the concentration of ozone and particulate matter in the atmosphere. Even at lower concentrations, exposure to air pollution can create lung irritation and lead to wheezing, coughing and asthma attacks.
A number of factors can degrade air quality, from emissions from vehicles, factories and power plants to natural disasters like wildfires. On days when the air quality is considered unhealthy, you should limit or even avoid strenuous activities such as bike riding, running and hiking. Indeed, on the worst days, just stay inside and enjoy your ac.
A day at the beach offers plenty of fun in the sun but is not without its risks. Even on a sunny, cloudless day, stay vigilant for rip currents, which can be a hazard for even the most experienced swimmers and surfers.
Meanwhile the same heat waves that drive us out to the beach can also drive us back inside thanks to lightning and thunderstorms that cause beach evacuations. So keep one eye on the forecast before heading to the beach and another on the skies while you're there.
Lastly, heat and sun exposure can cause heat related illnesses like sunburns and heat stroke. Protect yourself by staying hydrated, using sunscreen and taking refuge in the shade or indoors if you feel faint or disoriented in the sun.
Officially, California is 100% drought-free for the first time in nearly a decade. But we know that's likely a temporary reprieve and Los Angeles area residents should be aware of the damage that can be caused by prolonged dry spells and prepare now for drought conditions.
The most devastating hazard during dry weather, as most Californians know, is wildfires. Be sure to review the ways you can prepare your home and mitigate the risk of fire damage from a wildfire.
That said, when the rainstorms do come, dry weather can also increase the risk for flooding, especially when the storm follows a wildfire. Likewise, there are several things you can and should do to prepare your home for rainstorms while it's dry.
And remember, SERVPRO of North Hollywood is here 24/7/365 to assist you following a storm damage or fire damage disaster. Our highly-trained team of restoration specialists can help you recover important and cherished belongings and return you to those carefree summer days quickly and efficiently.
Workplace Hazards: Recognizing and Mitigating Risks
To minimize the risk of workplace disasters, be sure your employees are well-trained and properly equipped to handle hazardous tasks and materials.
June is the National Safety Council's National Safety Month. With that in mind, here are some of the most common types of workplace hazards and tips for recognizing and mitigating your risk for injuries and other disruptions to your business.
Simply put, these are unsafe working conditions that can lead to injury. For example, a power cord running through a high traffic area could lead to trips and falls. Spills, machinery with sharp or fast moving parts, loose flooring and unstable ladders can all lead to injured workers or customers if not properly addressed.
Some physical hazards are also less obvious, such as loud noise or extreme temperatures. Be sure your employees are fully trained and properly equipped if their work involves such potential safety risks.
Chemical and Biological Hazards
Your employees can be exposed to any number of toxic substances through the course of their work. From common cleaners and solvents, to paint fumes to flammable materials such as gasoline or propane, a business often must use a number of different chemicals as part of their normal business operations. Be sure all such hazardous chemicals are both properly labeled and stored and learn how to recognize the signs of chemical exposure, such as skin irritation, breathing problems, headaches and dizziness.
Biological hazards include substances such as mold, bacteria and fungi, animal and human waste, blood and other bodily fluids and even insect bites and stings. Proper training in the handling of hazardous materials is essential, as are well-equipped first aid kits and emergency response procedures.
Some biological hazards can also create serious damage to your property. You can rely on SERVPRO of North Hollywood to properly clean up biohazard and sewage, trauma and crime scene damage, as well as other specialized commercial cleaning services, to help get your business back up and running quickly following such as disaster.
Ergonomic and Work Organization Hazards
Any job task that requires repetitive or awkward movement or heavy lifting can strain the body and lead to muscular or skeletal injuries. These hazards are often overlooked because they tend to develop over time rather than instantly. As with any other type of hazard, be sure your employees are trained to recognize the signs of ergonomic stress and are properly educated and equipped to manage the risks.
Work organization hazards relate to the working environment, including interpersonal relationships, sexual harassment, stress from overwork or deadlines and even workplace violence. To reduce work organization hazards, it is important to foster an atmosphere where employees are empowered to come forward and bring to management's attention anything that may be causing a toxic working environment.
Successful companies recognize the importance of workplace safety and strive to create a healthy environment for employees and customers alike. And SERVPRO of North Hollywood is here to help, 24/7, to handle hazardous situations. Call us any time, day or night, for a fast response to commercial water damage, fire damage or mold disasters.
Preparing for Storms During El Niño
Rainstorms in LA may increase in intensity during El Niño. The best way to mitigate storm damage is to prepare for rain while it's dry.
Do you know the difference between El Niño and La Niña? Roughly translated, El Niño means "The Little Boy" or "Christ Child" while La Niña means "The Little Girl."
More importantly, whether the Pacific Ocean's conditions are in the El Niño, La Niña or a neutral phase can impact the frequency and intensity of storms, and the risk of storm damage in Los Angeles and across Southern California.
How Does El Niño Affect LA Weather?
During an El Niño phase, weaker surface winds lead to a rise in the Pacific Ocean's surface temperature. The warmer the temperature of the ocean, the more the atmosphere above it moves.
The effect is an increase in instability and a higher risk for more intense storms and rains, particularly over the southern part of the United States, including Los Angeles and So Cal in general.
The shift to a weak El Niño phase happened earlier this year and likely contributed to our wet winter and spring. That rainfall may have increased the risk for summer wildfires, although that's a separate issue altogether.
But El Niño conditions also typically last 9 to 12 months, so the potential remains for intense rainstorms throughout this summer and into next fall and winter.
Preparing for El Niño Storms
Because rainstorms an infrequent concern to property owners in Los Angeles and the surrounding area, many people don't think about preparing for a storm until it arrives, and by then it may be too late.
Should rainstorms cause flooding or water damage to your home or business, be sure to call SERVPRO of North Hollywood right away. We can begin assisting you in your clean up and recovery efforts immediately.
In the meantime, the best time to prepare your home or business for rainstorms is when it is dry. Here are five simple steps you can take right now to mitigate the potential for water damage from intense storms:
Check for and repair leaks in your roof, around windows and doors and in your basement or crawl space
Clean out your gutters and downspouts to maximize the flow of water away from your building
Install a sump pump, or if you already have one, get it tested by a local plumber
If you live near areas affected by wildfires, prepare for potential mudslides by having sandbags on hand, restocking first aid kits and, if necessary, creating or reviewing your evacuation plan
Consider investing in a generator; this is particularly important for businesses to minimize downtime should you lose power during a storm
Last, but not least, add (818) 754-0050 to your speed dial. And should disaster strike, call SERVPRO of North Hollywood. We're here 24/7 with the fastest response to any size storm disaster.
After the Wildfire: Storm Damage Dangers
When used properly, sandbags can be an effective defense against storm damage from flooding and land or mudslides.
Wildfires have become a year round concern for property owners in Los Angeles and across Southern California. But there are a few things homeowners can do to prepare your home for wildfires. Likewise, business owners and property managers can take steps to mitigate the risk of wildfire damage to your commercial property.
But even once the fire is out and the smoke and soot is cleaned up, property owners should remain vigilant. Indeed, the greatest risk for storm damage often occurs in areas ravaged by fire. The storm damage dangers usually come in two forms: mudslides and floods.
Even if it's been several years since wildfires last burned the slopes near your home, the potential risk for mudslides can remain. It doesn't require much time or precipitation to start a "debris flow." An intense rainstorm can start moving rock, earth and other debris within minutes. Mudslides move very fast, leaving little time for a homeowner to react and respond.
If you live in the hills, the most important thing you can do to prepare for the kind of storms that could start a mudslide is to have an emergency kit and an evacuation plan. Sign up for emergency alerts from Los Angeles County and always heed the orders of first responders if required to evacuate.
There are also improvements you can make around your property to protect your home from mudslides, such as planting trees and shrubs or building channels and barriers to deflect runoff. Always follow the recommendations of a qualified geotechnical engineer to maximize the efficacy without putting neighboring properties at risk.
Lastly, review your home insurance policy. The National Flood Insurance Program may cover damage from debris flow as well as flooding. And SERVPRO of North Hollywood works directly with all major insurance carriers, reducing your stress should your property experience storm or water damage covered by your policy.
Meanwhile lower lying areas, such as the foothills of the Verdugo Mountains and the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, also share storm damage risk following wildfires in the form of flooding.
The decreased vegetation in burned out areas means that less of the rainwater gets soaked up by thirsty trees and shrubs. With little to nothing to absorb it, the rainwater naturally flows downhill and, during intense storms, can rush with surprising speed and force.
Like property owners in the hills, the best way to prepare for storm floods is to have emergency supplies and an evacuation plan. Meanwhile there are plenty of things you can do around your home to mitigate flood damage risk, including cleaning out gutters, inspecting for leaks and installing a sump pump in your basement or crawl space.
If you live in a flood risk area, talk to an insurance agent about The National Flood Insurance Program. You may even qualify for reduced premiums based on your location, income and any flood mitigation steps taken to protect your home or business location.
Should the worst happen and your property suffers water damage from a storm, be sure to call SERVPRO of North Hollywood right away. We're here 24/7 to respond immediately to any size disaster and clean up and restore your property "Like it never even happened."
How Can Your Business Prepare for Wildfire Season?
Prepare for wildfire season by ensuring employees know the location of all emergency exits and that they are well labeled and easy to find.
Like winter on Game of Thrones, summer inevitably comes to Los Angeles. And with it comes the hot and dry weather that is perfect for barbecues, beach days and, unfortunately, wildfires.
Preparing your business or commercial property is similar to preparing your home for wildfire season, but with a few subtle differences.
Have a Wildfire Evacuation Plan
Be sure all of your employees know the location of all emergency exits. Post your fire evacuation plan in multiple locations where it can be easily accessed in the case of a fire.
Select employees may also be trained on the use of fire extinguishers and other fire suppression equipment.
Lastly, have an emergency contact list handy, both to contact employees who go missing during an emergency evacuation and to contact your employees' loved ones, if necessary.
Manage Flammable Materials and Areas
You can reduce the risk of fire damage to your building and other structures by creating and maintaining a defensible space around your property.
However, some businesses also store significant quantities of flammable chemicals, such as fuels, paints or cleaning solvents, as part of their usual course of business. It's important to properly label, store and catalog the location and quantity of any hazardous materials to help firefighters and other first responders stay safe and effectively protect your property. A chemical safety plan, including specialized fire suppression equipment on site, may be necessary to help mitigate the potential for an even bigger disaster.
Create a Business Continuity Plan
In the event a fire emergency damages your business or otherwise requires you to shut down operations, you will want to refer to a business continuity plan. The plan should detail how your business will operate while recovering from a disaster. It should include contingencies for management structure, computer and data backups, and payroll, as well as repairing or restoring property damaged by fire, soot and smoke.
Be sure to also review or revise your commercial insurance plan so you know what it does, and does not, cover.
Wildfire season in Los Angeles is a fact of life for homeowners, property managers and business owners alike. While there are steps you can take to limit the damage, if you do experience a fire damage loss, call SERVPRO of North Hollywood right away. We're here 24/7 to respond immediately to any size disaster. We'll also work tirelessly to repair and restore your property and get your business up and running again as quickly as possible.