Southwest Drought Not Expected To End With 2018 Monsoon Season
Unfortunately the monsoon season will not be enough to get us out of our drought.
This year’s monsoon season in the Southwest is expected to be wetter than normal. Unfortunately, weather experts believe that an exceptionally damp season is still unlikely to raise the annual rainfall to average levels.
Many states in the Southern Plains like Colorado, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico have had sparse rainfall since autumn causing drought conditions to worsen.
Experts have stated that winter snowmelt and spring showers generally are able to replenish water supplies, but due to our lack of rainfall through May, it’s unlikely to improve the drought conditions. This year, monsoon moisture is not expected until mid-July, which is later than normal. Although experts believe a developing El Nino weather pattern will increase the monsoon rainfall, it won’t be enough to overcome the deficit of this region.
As far as residents of the Phoenix Metro area, one of the easiest places to save water is in our yards. Its best to focus on landscaping with native plants that do not require allot of water. Also, place mulch around flowers and plants to retain moisture. Finally, use a drip system for your irrigation needs and run it at night to avoid evaporation.
These small changes made by Phoenix area residence, can result in hundreds of thousands of gallons of water saved.
Summer Safety from Heat
Stay safe in the heat.
Summer is here and it’s time to take extra safety precautions for the coming months. Heat affects all people, but especially the young, elderly, and sick.
If you must go out outside in the heat, wear loose fitting, light colored clothing, and apply sunscreen.
Avoid leaving children or animals in parked cars. Temperatures can become deadly in a matter of minutes.
Be aware of heat exhaustion signs such as heavy sweating; weakness; cold pale and clammy skin; nausea or vomiting; and fainting are all signs according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life threatening. Signs of heat stroke are a high body temperature (103°+), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone may have heatstroke, call 911 and move them somewhere cooler. Try to reduce the body temperatures with cool, wet cloths or bath. Extreme heat is a serious danger.
For more information on preparedness and prevention, visit www.cdc.gov or www.ready.gov
The Dangers of Flash Flooding During Monsoon Season
A vehicle can be swept away in as little as 12"-18" of water.
Weather experts predict a wetter than normal monsoon season for this summer for the phoenix metro area. Considering we had little to no rain last summer and a very dry fall and winter, this makes the rain a welcoming site for our dry parched land which is extremely susceptible to wildfires currently.
With these potential large downfalls though, we could see the danger of flash flooding. If you find yourself in heavy rain keep a few safety precautions in mind.
- Never drive into flood waters. Most flash flood deaths occur in vehicles when people feel they might be able outrun the floodwaters.
- A vehicle can be swept away in as little as 12”-18” of flood waters.
- Be alert for rising water.
- Get to high ground immediately.
- Don’t camp in streambeds or washes.
If you find that flooding has affected your home and you have water damage, call us immediately in order to avoid further loss. SERVPRO of Gilbert can help protect your home and get you back to “Like it never even happened".
4 Items To Never Store In The Garage
The garage can be the catch all of our homes.
When it comes to finding space in our homes to store items we often turn to the garage as our catch-all. Often this is a fine option for sporting equipment or tools but there are some items that are best stored somewhere else.
For example paint is one of these items. When paint is stored in a hot garage, especially in warmer temperatures like we have here in Arizona, it can separate and spoil. This can even happen to unopened cans. It’s best to store your paint in a temperature controlled area in the home such as a basement or utility closet.
Another no- no item for storage in the garage is firewood. It can make for quick and convenient retrieval to place your wood in the garage but wood can attract pest that can eventually migrate to your home. Your best option is to stack your firewood on an elevated rack away from the home with a tarp cover.
Canned food can also be tempting to store in the garage when space becomes tight in your home. The USDA recommends storing canned foods in a dry, cool location. If a garage is damp it can cause tin cans to rust. If a garage is too hot, exceeding 85 degrees, you can increase the risk of spoiled food.
Finally, one of the most common item found in the garage is a spare refrigerator. If you are trying to conserve energy this is an awful location to place that fridge. In a non-climate controlled garage where temps can exceed over 100 degrees, a fridge is forced to work overtime to keep cool, causing your utility bills to run high.
Even though the garage can turn into a catch all for all our home items, especially when we are short on space, it’s best to be selective with what items you decide to store in it.
Keeping You Safe From MRSA
MRSA the super bug.
In recent years, super bugs such as MRSA have been making headlines throughout the US and Canada. MRSA, also known as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that has been found in the environment. The CDC estimates there have been roughly 94,000 MRSA infections which resulted in 19,000 deaths. The number of MRSA related deaths out numbers the amount of HIV/AIDS related deaths. Knowing how to protect yourself and your loved ones from getting sick from MRSA is extremely important.
If you come into contact with MRSA you need to contact your doctor immediately. Signs of MRSA include an area of skin that's red, painful, swollen, and/or filled with pus; also if you have inflamed skin that is also feverish or you feel sick, contact your doctor immediately.
For more information on MRSA prevention or if there is MRSA at a location you visit, call a professional Emergency Biohazard Removal Company such as SERVPRO of Gilbert at0480-558-7620.
A Little Bit of Caution Can Go A Long Way
Always use caution when working with ladders.
Often when there is a job to do in our homes we try to tackle it ourselves instead of calling a professional. This can sometimes lead to unexpected injuries. According to the National Safety Council, in 2016, 23.8 million preventable injuries occurred in the home. Minimize your risk of injury, by avoiding some common mistakes.
Avoid falls – Any job that requires a ladder such as gutter cleaning, tree trimming, roof repair, or changing a light bulb, should be attempted with extra caution. To minimize the risk of a fall, always position ladders to firm and level ground. If using an A-frame ladder make sure that it is fully extended before stepping onto it and use a harness or spotter whenever possible. Finally make sure you are using the correct size ladder.
Cuts – Always make sure your tools are properly sharpened and all fasteners are tight before starting a job that will require cutting. Dull saws, pruning scissors, or knives can lead to pressing down harder than normal, which makes it more likely to slip and cut yourself. Consider wearing heavy-duty work gloves as well which can provide additional protection.
Eye Injuries - Our eyes can be extremely vulnerable to debris, dust, and fumes that can be kicked up during a DIY project. You should always wear protection when working with power saws, lawn mowers, sanders, and other mechanical equipment.
Slipping – Minimize your risk of injury from slipping by exercising caution when near ice or puddles. To prevent water from collecting around spas, pools, or irrigation systems, identity any low spots on your property where excess water is pooling and fill with a cement patch, soil, or nonskid mats.
When “DIYing” around the home it is always best to tackle items with extreme caution to avoid injury. If it is a larger job or unfamiliar it is often best to call a professional. When experiencing water damage from faulty pipes or toilet overflow it is best to call a professional restoration and water mitigation company. We here at SERVPRO of Gilbert are highly trained, with state of the art equipment to expertly and safely deal with your water issues.
Tips For Keeping Your Countertops Looking New
The work horse of the kitchen. A little care can make your counter tops beautiful and functional for years to come.
Here at SERVPRO of Gilbert our reconstruction department is no stranger to rebuilding kitchens previously damaged from water, mold or fire. One of the common replacement items we come across in the kitchen are counter tops. With our expertise and multiple vendor options we can get your countertops, weather they are laminate, granite or marble, looking beautiful and functional.
Here are a few tips to keep these workhorses of the kitchen in tip top shape.
- Be aware of excessive weight placed on your counter tops. Placing heavy objects near unsupported edges or joints can cause cracks, ruptures and fractures that are expensive and difficult to repair. It might not be worth standing on your countertops versus grabbing a ladder when wanting to reach a tall shelf.
- Be careful of the cleaning supplies you use. Products that contain bleach or ammonia can cause stone and granite to lose their luster.
- Use a trivet or cutting board under toaster ovens, slow cookers and other heat-generating appliances. Temperature changes can cause some materials to crack.
- Use caution when using acidic foods on marble countertops. Marble countertops are made of calcium carbonate, and are extremely sensitive to acidity. If you spill vinegar, wine, lemon juice or tomato sauce clean immediately with water and then neutralize the stain by sprinkling baking soda on it.
- Watch pooled water, especially mineral-rich hard tap water. If left it can cause a crusty buildup. Always wipe water completely and then dry with a towel.
- Opt for a cutting board instead of cutting directly on the countertop. Fine scratches can disrupt the waterproof sealant on most countertops, making them more susceptible to damage down the road.
If you find yourself needing your kitchen or any other room of your home repaired, our reconstruction experts at SERVPRO of Gilbert can guide you through the process and make it “Like it never even happened."
Safety Tips for A Happy Easter
Happy Easter from SERVPRO of Gilbert
With Easter celebrations around the corner, ensure family and friends have a safe holiday. This requires just a bit of awareness and planning. According to National Safety, Inc. there are several things to consider you might have never thought of before, that can ensure a safe holiday celebration.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Possibly forgo a gift of a live animal. While animals such as bunnies, chicks and ducks may be cute and cuddly, they don’t make good gifts. These animals carry bacteria that can make your child sick as they can carry salmonella and other illnesses. Children are more likely to get sick due to their non-fully developed immune systems. Make it a general rule that when your children touch any type of pet, they wash their hands immediately.
Symptoms of Salmonella can show up one to three days after playing with an infected animal, your child may have fever, diarrhea or stomach pain. Nausea, chills, & headaches are also possible. This usually lasts about a week. Children. Elderly and people with weakened immune systems usually have worst symptoms.
In addition not only is the safety of your child a concern but so is the safety of the pet. If a child doesn’t hold an animal properly, they can potentially hurt the fragile animal by breaking their back or kill the baby animal by mishandling it.
Practice a bit of caution when hiding easter eggs.
- Do not hide the eggs near an electrical outlet or plugs
- Do not hide the eggs in, on, under or around glass
- Keeps eggs at or below eye level of children
- Keep count and track the eggs you hid.
- Do not hide eggs in pre-existing holes in the ground.
- Do not hide eggs in any foliage that has thorns or look potentially dangerous and poisonous.
- Do not hide eggs in any animal’s home, food bowl or play area.
- Do not place eggs where pesticides or poisons have been placed.
- Throw away eggs that have cracks or damage.
Be aware of the possible bacteria and eggs. Eggs are potentially hazardous food as they are in the same category as meat, poultry, fish and milk. In other words, they are capable of supporting rapid growth of disease causing bacteria like salmonella.
- Before boiling eggs for Easter decorating/ painting, they must be kept refrigerated until time to boil. Never leave eggs in any form at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Don’t eat or cook with cracked eggs or eggs that have been un-refrigerated for more than two hours.
- For eggs used as decoration and table center pieces should be discarded and not eaten.
- When you boil eggs, use only clean, unbroken and cracked eggs. Set the water to boil at (185-190 degrees F) and boil for at least 12 minutes. Add a tablespoon of salt to make egg peeling a breeze!
- Cool you eggs in cold water or just in the air.
- Cleanliness of hands, workspace and utensils is important between cooking, cooling and dyeing.
- Wash hands regularly, along with utensils and counter tops that have been in contact with any raw food before handling
Adhere to proper cooking temps when cooking Easter dinner. Fully cooked hams may be heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit at an oven temperature of 325 degrees Fahrenheit before serving. It also may be served cold. Fresh (raw) hams should be cooked to internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lamb and beef should be cooked at least 145 degrees F, in an oven set no lower than 325 degrees F. Ground meats, on the other hand, should cook to 160 degrees F; steaks and chops to 145 degrees F.
Keep your furry friends safe!
- Keep Easter basket grass and foil candy wrappers away from pets.
- Did you know that all parts of the Lilly flower family are toxic to felines? Yep, keep those Lilly’s away!
- Chocolate is not good either. They cause accelerated heart rate, constriction of arteries, increased heart rate and central nervous system/ cardiac muscle stimulation. These effects can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, hyperactivity. Cardiac failure, seizures, coma and death can result if chocolate ingestion is not found within four to six hours and treated appropriately.
From our SERVPRO family to yours, have a Happy Easter!
Damage From Water Should Be Cleaned By Certified Professionals
SERVPRO of Gilbert will apply antibacterial, antiviral and anti fungal agents which will inhibit bacterial and viral growth.
The amount of damage water can cause is amazing, and often underestimated by homeowners. Excess moisture is bad enough, but when a home is flooded or hit with a plumbing disaster (like a burst pipe), the situation can quickly get out of hand. There’s a reason why these incidents are among the most expensive problems a homeowner can face. Contaminated water not only creates immediate structural problems, it can leave serious biological threats behind after it has been removed.
Floods, sewage backflows, and other sources of contaminated fluid usually cause the worst damage. Dirty water is filled with all kinds of deadly substances, ranging from chemical residues to animal feces to parasites. Bacteria, viruses and fungi grow explosively in contaminated fluid, and severe health risks, like salmonella and hepatitis, are common in flood waters.
This problem is compounded by the composition of most homes, which are filled with organic materials. Drywall, wood and the matter that is trapped in carpet fibers are just a few examples, and they can give pathogens room to grow. Within 48 hours, mold may begin creeping behind the walls and releasing spores, and any organic materials that have been soaked through by contaminated fluid will usually have to be destroyed.
SERVPRO of Gilbert will dry the home quickly and apply antibacterial, antiviral, and anti fungal agents to all surfaces that had contact with the water. This ensures the family can return to a safe home, and not one harboring a collection of deadly pathogens.
Are You Ready When Disaster Strikes?
Are you prepared for the next storm?
When a storm or disaster strikes, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team is primed for whatever happens.” With a network of more than 1,700 Franchises, the SERVPRO system strives to be rapid to assist with any kind of disaster. Strategically located throughout the United States, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team is IICRC certified, trained and equipped to handle the largest storms and highest flood waters. Providing experience, manpower equipment, and other resources, the Disaster Recovery Team has responded to hundreds of disaster events. In the aftermath of a disaster, there is only one objective, to help you make it “Like it never even happened”.
How can I be prepared?
It isn’t possible to be 100% prepared for a disaster, but we suggest building an Emergency Kit for starters so, you can be prepared at your home or business with an Emergency Kit. Ready.gov suggests you have enough supplies to last for at least three days. Below are some suggested items to include in y our kit:
- 3-day supply of non-perishable foods
- Water (one + gallon per person per day)
- First-aid kit
- Prescription medication
- Sleeping bag or blankets
- Fire Extinguisher
- Hygiene products
- Extra batteries
- Cell Phone Charger
- Change of clothes
- Matches in waterproof container
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Whistle to signal for help
- Pet supplies
- Infant formula and diapers
- Important documents such as insurance policies, IDs, and bank records in a plastic container
You can also keep a condensed emergency kit in your vehicle as well. For a more extensive list, check out Ready.gov.