Fire! What Now?
If you have experienced a fire loss then are the first things you need to do:
- *Safely* - Take pictures of the damage.
- Ensure your property is secured.
- If it is a rental property then contact the owner/landlord immediately.
- Call your insurance company.
- Contact family/friends to let them know you are okay.
- Make emergency accommodations.
- Keep all receipts (Insurance dislocation reimbursement.
Steps to follow the first days:
- Notify utility companies of incident.
- Contact your child(ren)'s school of temporary address/unusual stress awareness.
- Contact the local police department to let them know your property is temporarily vacant.
- Allow SERVPRO to help you make it "Like it never even happened."
Replacing Documents and Records:
- Driver's License
- Auto Registration
- Birth/Marriage/Death Certificates
- Social Security/Medicare Cards
- Insurance Policies (Auto/Home)
- Mortgage Papers
- Military Papers (DD-214)
- Debit/Bank Cards
- Banking Information
- Prepaid Burial Contract
- Medical Records
- Investment Documents
Take Care of Yourself and Family After a Fire
Contact your local disaster relief service, such as the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army. They will help you find a place to stay and to find food, clothing, and medicine. Make sure that you have a safe place to live temporarily. Get plenty of rest and ask for help. Do not try to do it all alone.
*Do not eat, drink, or breathe in anything that has been near the flames, smoke, soot, or water used to put out the fire.*
Help Your Pets
Try to leave pets with a family member, friend, or veterinarian if you are visiting or cleaning your property. Keep your pets out of the house until the cleanup is complete to keep them safe.
Security and Safety
DO NOT enter a damaged property unless the fire department says it is safe. Watch for damage caused by the incident. Roofs and floors may be damaged and could fall. The fire department will make sure the utility services (water, electricity, and gas) are safe to use. If they are not safe then firefighters will have your utilities turned off or disconnected before they leave. DO NOT try to turn them back on by yourself. Contact your police department to let them know that you will be away from your property.
Stamp Out Hunger 2022
Heather and her helpers collecting blue bags!
We participated in the National Association of Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger event this year. It is the nation's largest one-day food drive every year. Letter Carriers deliver blue bags to every mailbox and residents were asked to fill the bags with nonperishable food.
We met at the Post Office and helped with the collection of the blue bags. There were also high school community volunteers that went with each adult as their helpers. We drove around different routes in front of the Letter Carrier to collect filled blue bags then delivered them back to the Post Office. Steve Yager, the Regional Coordinator at The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, said the community gave 7,000 pounds of food this year in one day. Awesome job, Hannibal! We will certainly help again next year!
Avoid a Flooded Basement
SERVPRO of Hannibal has been restoring water damage in the area for many years. Our fast emergency response time, equipment, and experience save our customers time and money in most cases.
Here are some tips for protecting your basement from water seepage:
Reseal your basement.
Water in the basement is often caused by cracks in building foundations or floor slabs. If you notice water seepage after heavy rain when you’ve never had a problem, it may mean that your once waterproof cement floors and basement walls have deteriorated. Painting vulnerable areas with water sealant can prevent seepage.
Make sure water drains away from the building.
Seepage is exacerbated by soil that has settled in a way to make water flow toward the building. After a storm, and especially if the ground is already saturated, rainwater that flows towards the building goes down the outside of the foundation wall, potentially through any cracks.
Install a backwater valve.
Though less common than other causes of basement water, sewer backups are messy. Learn more about your sewer responsibilities and install and maintain a backwater valve, which allows sewage to go out, but not come back in.
Electrical Cord Safety
Did you know electrical cords are supposed to be used temporarily? Plus, they shouldn't be used for a major appliance.
Electrical Safety Foundation International offers several extension cord safety tips. Here are just a few:
- Do not overload extension cords or allow them to run through water or snow on the ground.
- Do not substitute extension cords for permanent wiring.
- Do not run through walls, doorways, ceilings or floors. If cord is covered, heat cannot escape, which may result in a fire hazard.
- Do not use an extension cord for more than one appliance.
- Multiple plug outlets must be plugged directly into mounted electrical receptacles; they cannot be chained together.
- Make sure the extension cord or temporary power strip you use is rated for the products to be plugged in, and is marked for either indoor or outdoor use.
- The appliance or tool that you are using the cord with will have a wattage rating on it. Match this up with your extension cord, and do not use a cord that has a lower rating.
- Never use a cord that feels hot or is damaged in any way. Touching even a single exposed strand can give you an electric shock or burn.
- Never use three-prong plugs with outlets that only have two slots for the plug. Do not cut off the ground pin to force a fit. This defeats the purpose of a three-prong plug and could lead to an electrical shock. Never force a plug into an outlet if it doesn’t fit.
Prepare Now for Spring Severe Weather
According to the National Weather Service, March marks the start of the spring severe weather season.
Date published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reveals that severe weather events are becoming more frequent and more devastating. NOAA reports that the period from 1981-2021 saw an annual average of 7.4-billion-dollar weather and climate events (adjusted to today’s costs). When they looked at only the five most recent years (2017-2021), the annual average grew to 17.2 events. Last year alone (2021) delivered 20 “billion-dollar” weather or climate events.
Whenever you have warm, moist air colliding with cool, dry air, you have the conditions for creating a thunderstorm, along with the possibility of lightning strikes, flood, hail, high winds, rip currents, and even wildfires and tornadoes. The problem is, you can’t prevent these severe weather events and you can’t predict very far in advance when and where they will hit. The only sensible approach is to take steps in advance to protect your family and property.
We urge area home and business owners to check out state and federal resources online for tips on planning and preparing for a severe weather emergency now, as the spring severe weather season arrives. One such resource is the National Center for Environmental Health of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which offers suggestions for creating an emergency kit and preparing family members for severe weather emergencies at https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/features/springweather/index.html
Each year SERVPRO of Hannibal professionals respond to scenes of weather-related mayhem, helping families and business owners recover from flooding, fire, wind damage and more.
#1 for the 19th Consecutive Year
We are proud to announce that we have been named #1 in the cleaning and restoration industry for the 19th consecutive year by Entrepreneur magazine. SERVPRO is built on the foundation of outstanding customer service and industry-leading training. We pride ourselves on rushing in when others are running out – whether that is in response to a natural disaster such as a flood or tornado; cleaning up after a home or business water or fire loss; or helping clean and sanitize spaces from unseen threats like COVID-19.
We are so thankful for our team of quality people who focus on excellent service, fairness, and mutual respect!
If you have a water or fire loss at your home or business then you can trust the heroes at SERVPRO of Hannibal to make it "Like it never even happened."
How to Locate a Bathtub or Shower Leak
A shower or bathtub leak can sometimes be hard to spot as there are a variety of places for leaks to emerge from in these areas. Below are some ways to identify a bathtub or shower leak.
Check the Common Sources First
Before tearing into the tile work or uprooting your tub, it pays to investigate the more apparent areas first. After a shower, inspect familiar sources such as the:
- Showerhead face
- The O-ring between the showerhead and arm
- Faucet handles and the surrounding areas
- Caulking at the base or surrounding of a shower/tub combination.
Leak issues are generally noticeable in these spaces and can be detected by sight after running water through your shower.
Have a Professional Inspect Your Shower Pan
A shower pan leak is another usual spot for an issue. These leaks can start from the pan being too old and faulty, or merely due to a new one being installed incorrectly. It pays to have someone inspect this space as a potential cause for any shower leak.
TORCH Award 2021
Owners Les and Cindy Smith along with office staff accept the TORCH award.
We are proud to be a winner of a 2021 BBB TORCH Award. SERVPRO of Hannibal specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after damage. Our franchise was established in 2007. "As an owner of a small business, it is an honor to accept this award on behalf of our amazing staff,” owner Les Smith said. TORCH Awards honor businesses demonstrating high ethics in their treatment of customers, employees and suppliers. Three Quincy-area businesses are receiving TORCH Awards in 2021. “BBB TORCH Awards recognize companies committed to exceptional standards and high ethics,” said Don O’Brien, BBB Quincy regional director. “These organizations have truly joined BBB’s mission of advancing marketplace trust in an exemplary way, and they are role models for others in the community.”
4 Tips to Prevent Water Damage
- Be careful where you plant.
Some plants and trees, like weeping willows, have invasive roots. If you’re not careful then they’ll grow right into your sprinkler system, drainage field, pipes, and septic tanks. Plan before you plant to keep roots away from any water lines.
- Clean out gutters.
When it rains, a clogged gutter can send water spilling into your home’s foundation, through the roof, or down to your basement. Make sure your gutters are clean. If they are too high then get a professional to check them to be safe.
- Use a drain snake instead of unclogging chemicals.
These chemicals can eat away at your pipes. If you rely on them a lot then you could be setting yourself up for leaks. Owning a drain snake is an excellent solution to clear away clogs. They are pretty inexpensive, and you can get them at your local hardware store. They can cut through most any clog without damaging pipes.
- Never pour grease down your sink.
It doesn’t matter if you flush it with hot or cold water; grease can still cling to your pipes and could cause some severe damage and blockage. The safest thing to do is pour your grease in an empty can. Once it hardens then you can toss it in the trash.