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Emergency Preparedness, Ways to be Involved in Your Riverside Community

9/15/2021 (Permalink)

person wearing a green vest with the word CERT CERT members can assist others following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help

Week 3 September 12-18: Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness

There are many great organizations and groups you can join that will allow you to help in your community during disasters, some of these are at no cost. Knowing you are able to help others is empowering and highly rewarding.

CPR

You can make a save a life by learning hands-only CPR.

Why Learn Hands-Only CPR:

  • 80% occur at home – so the life you are most likely to help save is a family member or friend.
  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest is an electrical problem with the heart where it stops beating and pumping blood. That causes the brain to shut down, so the person suddenly collapses and is unconscious.
  • EMS can restart the heart using a defibrillator (AED) and/or medications – but take 5 or more minutes to arrive.
  • Hands-Only CPR can keep the heart and brain alive until EMS takes over.
  • Mouth-to-mouth breathing is not necessary – there is oxygen in the blood.
  • CERT-Community Emergency Response Team

    CERT Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

    Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help.

    CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

    Visit RivCoCERT.org

    You Are the Help Until Help Arrives

    designed by FEMA, are trainings that can be taken online or in-person, where you learn through simple steps how to save a life before a professional arrives.

    Learn five simple steps that may save a life

  • Call 9-1-1
  • Stay Safe
  • Stop the Bleeding
  • Position the Injured
  • Provide Comfort
  • Life-threatening emergencies can happen fast and emergency responders aren’t always nearby.

    You may be able to save a life by taking simple actions immediately.

    You Are the Help Until Help Arrives.

    Click on the links below to learn more about how you can help:

  • An animated interactive video
  • A web-based training program
  • A downloadable instructor guide and student tools to provide in-person training
  • Set up Riverside Alert

    Riverside Alert allows the City of Riverside to provide you with critical information quickly in a variety of situations, such as unexpected road closures, utility outages, missing persons and evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods.

    You will receive time-sensitive messages wherever you specify, such as your home, mobile or business phones, email address, text messages and more. You pick where, you pick how.

    The City of Riverside has launched a mass notification service that allows us to alert you in the case of an emergency. You opt-in to enter your contact information and subscribe to notifications you care about. The information you provide is protected and will not be used for any other purpose.

    How it works

    When we issue a notification about a potential safety hazard or concern, you will receive a message on the voice or text communication methods that you have selected. If requested for the notification, you can confirm that you have received the message and you will not be contacted by any subsequent methods regarding that  particular notification. If you do not confirm, the system will continue to attempt to reach you at all of the contact paths that you have registered.

    Sign up for notifications

    Create an account and add your contact and location information into Riverside Alert. All information you provide will be kept strictly confidential.

    Sign Up Here

    How To Prepare for Disaster on a Budget?

    9/13/2021 (Permalink)

    mother, boy and girl at a table having a discussion Natural disasters don’t wait for a convenient time. Preparing for them shouldn’t wait either.

    National Preparedness Month 

    Week 3 September 12-18: Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness

    Natural disasters don’t wait for a convenient time. Preparing for them shouldn’t wait either.

    If you are on a tight budget, there are several steps you can take that won't cost anything or that you could coordinate with a low budget.  Here are some tips from Ready.gov:

    Alerts

    Start by signing up for alerts, safe-guarding important documents, and taking other low cost and no cost preparedness actions to lessen the impact of disasters and emergencies for you and your family.

    Preparedness Products

    Download or order your free preparedness products to help your family plan and prepare for the next emergency. 

    www.ready.gov/publications

    Evacuation Drills

    Drills aren’t just for your toolbox. Practice emergency drills with your family regularly. Kids already do this at school, why not implement them on a yearly basis at home.

    Have a Communication Plan

    Emergencies can happen anytime, and less than half of American families have a communication plan.

    Ready.gov provides downloadable resources that are free!  Print out a Communications Plan and fill it in with your family.

    Plan ahead:

     www.ready.gov/kids/make-a-plan 

    Prepare with Kids

    Make preparing fun for kids! Go on a scavenger hunt around your house for items you already have to add to your disaster supply kit. Follow this list: www.ready.gov/kit and see how many items you can check off!

    Be aware of disasters in your area

    Know what disasters and hazards could affect your area, how to get emergency alerts, and where you would go if you and your family need to evacuate. Visit: www.ready.gov/be-informed.

    Here are some tips to help you put together a budget friendly emergency kits

    •  Go to a dollar store.  Here you can find kitchen items, first aid, cleaning supplies, lighting, and water
    • Look for grocery food sales- buy 10 with a discount, canned goods are often on sale and use coupons. 
    • There are many budget grocery stores where you can find many items on your list.
    • Buy in bulk for personal items. 
    • Purchase items when not in high demand
    • Buy throughout the year. 
    • Use what you have at home, soda bottles can be cleaned appropriately and filled with water.
    • Purchase off-brand items.
    • Purchase electronic emergency supplies on eBay or Amazon

    How to Build a Basic Disaster Emergency Supply Kit

    9/9/2021 (Permalink)

    Orange and Greenish clouds and sky with drops of rain, with the words "National Preparedness Month After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for several days

    Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. 

    We've experienced the challenges of gathering supplies during COVID-19 sheltering in place.  Many stores were out of basic necessities such as hand sanitizer, toilet paper, water and N95 masks along with a list of other items.  How can you be prepared in advance?  Week two of National Preparedness Month helps us with building a kit.  We will provide tips with the help of Ready.gov on putting together your kit based on your family's needs. 

    After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own foodwater and other supplies to last for several days. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.

    Week 2 September 5-11: Build A Kit

    Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly. Update your kits and supplies based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control.

    Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Download a printable version to take with you to the store. Once you take a look at the basic items consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for seniors or pets (Check out our next Blog for pets.

    Basic Disaster Supplies Kit

    To assemble your kit store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.

    A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

    • Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
    • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
    • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
    • Flashlight
    • First aid kit
    • Extra batteries
    • Whistle (to signal for help)
    • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
    • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
    • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
    • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
    • Manual can opener (for food)
    • Local maps
    • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

    Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:

    • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
    • Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
    • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
    • Pet food and extra water for your pet
    • Cash or traveler's checks
    • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
    • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
    • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
    • Fire extinguisher
    • Matches in a waterproof container
    • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
    • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
    • Paper and pencil
    • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

    Maintaining Your Kit

    After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed:

    • Keep canned food in a cool, dry place.
    • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers.
    • Replace expired items as needed.
    • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.

    Kit Storage Locations

    Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and cars.

    • Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
    • Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.
    • Car: In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.

    How Can You Prepare Your Pets For a Disaster

    9/8/2021 (Permalink)

    dog with red emergency bag SERVPRO of West Riverside City's mascot Ellie is ready for any disaster!

    Your pets are an important member of your family, so they need to be included in your family’s emergency plan.

    To prepare for the unexpected follow these tips with your pets in mind:

    • Make a plan.
    • Build an emergency kit.
    • Stay informed.

    Make a Plan

    If you have a plan in place for you and your pets, you will likely encounter less difficulty, stress and worry when you need to make a decision during an emergency. If local officials ask you to evacuate, that means your pet should evacuate too. If you leave your pets behind, they may end up lost, injured or worse.

    What can you do right now?

    • Make sure that cats and dogs are wearing collars and identification tags
    • Put your cell phone number on your pet's tag.

    Things to include in your plan:

    • Have an evacuation plan for your pet. Many public shelters and hotels do not allow pets inside. Know a safe place where you can take your pets before disasters and emergencies happen.
    • Develop a buddy system. Plan with neighbors, friends or relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so.
    • Have your pet microchipped. Make sure to keep your address and phone number up-to-date and include contact information for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.
    • Contact your local emergency management office, animal shelter or animal control office to get additional advice and information if you’re unsure how to care for your pet in case of an emergency.

    Here is a list of animal-friendly places handy, and call ahead for a reservation as soon as you think you might have to leave your home.

    Build a Kit for Your Pet

    Just as you do with your family’s emergency supply kit, think first about the basics for survival, such as food and water. Have two kits, one larger kit if you are sheltering in place and one lightweight version for if you need to evacuate.  Review your kits regularly to ensure that their contents, especially foods and medicines, are fresh.

    Here are some items you may want to include in an emergency kit for your pet:

    • Food. Keep several days’ supply of food in an airtight, waterproof container.
    • Water. Store a water bowl and several days’ supply of water.
    • Medicine. Keep an extra supply of the medicine your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container.
    • First aid kit. Talk to your veterinarian about what is most appropriate for your pet’s emergency medical needs.
    • Collar with ID tag and a harness or leash. Include a backup leash, collar and ID tag. Have copies of your pet’s registration information and other relevant documents in a waterproof container and available electronically.
    • Traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet.
    • Grooming items. Pet shampoo, conditioner and other items, in case your pet needs some cleaning up.
    • Sanitation needs. Include pet litter and litter box (if appropriate), newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach to provide for your pet’s sanitation needs.
    • A picture of you and your pet together. If you become separated from your pet during an emergency, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you in identifying your pet.
    • Familiar items. Put favorite toys, treats or bedding in your kit. Familiar items can help reduce stress for your pet.

    Tips for Large Animals

    If you have pets such as horses, goats or pigs on your property, be sure to prepare before a disaster.

    In addition to the tips above:

    • Ensure all animals have some form of identification.
    • Evacuate animals earlier, whenever possible. Map out primary and secondary routes in advance.
    • Make available vehicles and trailers needed for transporting and supporting each type of animal. Also make available experienced handlers and drivers.
    • Ensure destinations have food, water, veterinary care and handling equipment.
    • If evacuation is not possible, animal owners must decide whether to move large animals to a barn or turn them loose outside.

    Stay Informed

    Being prepared and staying informed of current conditions. Here are some ways you can stay informed:

    • Pay attention to wireless emergency alerts for local alerts and warnings sent by state and local public safety officials.
    • Listen to local officials when told to evacuate or shelter in place.
    • Download the FEMA app and get weather alerts from the National Weather Service, for up to five different locations anywhere in the United States.
    • Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster.

    What Is the First Step You Can Take to Plan for a Natural Disaster in Riverside?

    9/2/2021 (Permalink)

    grandmother, mother and daughter, looking at a laptop Discuss with your household or family how you will communicate if there is an emergency.

    In 2020, 60,714 weather-related events resulted in 585 deaths and 1,708 injuries. Winter weather, tornadoes and floods resulted in the most deaths that year, according to Injury Facts.

    Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area.  Within Riverside, California, we can face many different disasters.  Riverside is prone to earthquakes, wildfires, flooding, strong winds, thunder storms, lightening, and flash flooding.  The most recent disaster affecting all families world wide is our current COVID-19 pandemic.  With this pandemic, sheltering in place was mandated so it was necessary to have enough food and items to sustain families for more than a month. Were you prepared?  Did you have enough of life's necessities to keep you and your family sustained?   

    Ready.Gov has provided steps to make a plan. 

    Week 1 September 1-4: Make A Plan

    Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Make sure to update your plan based on the Centers for Disease Control recommendations due to the coronavirus.

    Creating your Family Emergency Communication Plan starts with one simple question:  "What If"

    • What if something happens and I'm not with my family?
    • Will I be able to reach them?
    • How will I know if they are safe?
    • How can I let them know I'm Ok?

    During a disaster, you will need to send or receive information from your family.

    Communication networks, such as mobile phones and computers, could be unreliable during disasters, and electricity could be disrupted.  Planning in advance will help ensure that all members of your household-including children, pets and people with disabilities, as well as outside caregivers- know how to reach each other and meet up in an emergency. 

    Planning starts with these three steps:

    •  Collect
    • Create a paper copy of the contact information for your family and other important people/offices such as medical facilities, doctors, schools, or service providers
    • Share
    • Make sure everyone carries a copy in his or her back pack, purse, or wallet.  If you complete your Family Emergency Communication Plan online at Create Your Family Emergency Communication Plan you can print it into a wallet sized card.  You should also post a copy in a central location in your home, such as your refrigerator or bulletin board.
    • Practice
    • Have regular household meetings to review and practice your plan. 

    Best way to communicate?

    Text is best!  If you are using a mobile phone, a text message may get through when a phone call will not.  This is because a text message requires much less bandwidth then a phone call.  Text messages may also save and then send automatically as soon as capacity becomes available. 

    Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

    • PrepareToProtect means preparing to protect everyone you love. Start by making a plan before disasters and emergencies strike: www.ready.gov/plan
    • Discuss with your household or family how you will communicate if there is an emergency.
    • Decide and practice your emergency plan with members of your household.
    • Houses, mobile homes, apartments, and high-rise buildings have different evacuation considerations. Make a plan for each: www.ready.gov/plan-for-locations 
    • Involve your entire family, including your children, in planning for disasters and emergencies so they are prepared, not afraid: www.ready.gov/plan

    Keep the number of SERVPRO of West Riverside City in your emergency contact list.  We are available for those unexpected disasters 24 hours a day, 24 days a week.  We are also available during holidays! 

    951-351-8033

    Riverside, Are You Ready for a Disaster? Prepare Now During National Preparedness Month!

    9/1/2021 (Permalink)

    green background white lettering logo of national emergency preparedness month "Prepare to Protect” - Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.

    "Prepare to Protect”

    Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.

    National Preparedness Month (NPM) is an observance each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. The 2021 theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.”

    Why is it so important to be prepared?  We are facing disasters more frequently.  Not only natural disasters but disaster in our own home or business can happen at anytime. 

    Wildfires-2021 Fire Season Outlook

    While wildfires are a natural part of California’s landscape, the fire season in California and across the West is starting earlier and ending later each year. Climate change is considered a key driver of this trend. Warmer spring and summer temperatures, reduced snowpack, and earlier spring snowmelt create longer and more intense dry seasons that increase moisture stress on vegetation and make forests more susceptible to severe wildfire. The length of fire season is estimated to have increased by 75 days across the Sierras and seems to correspond with an increase in the extent of forest fires across the state. NIFC predicts portions of the Coast Ranges, Sierra, and Cascades in California increasing to above normal fire danger in June and July and continuing through September.

    Hurricanes

    Hurricane Ida just made landfall in Louisiana, it was more powerful than Katrina exactly 16 years ago to date.

    Katrina first made landfall early on August 29, 2005, as a Category 3 storm with maximum winds of about 125 mph near Buras, Louisiana, the National Hurricane Center said. It had been a Category 5 storm in the Gulf of Mexico and weakened significantly before making landfall, but that prior strength meant that it created a very high storm surge.

    Earthquakes

    Earthquaketrack.com provided these statistics as of 8/30/21:

    California, United States has had: (M1.5 or greater)

    • 28 earthquakes in the past 24 hours
    • 224 earthquakes in the past 7 days
    • 885 earthquakes in the past 30 days
    • 11,314 earthquakes in the past 365 days

    *Insurance Information Institute calculations, based on ISO®, a Verisk Analytics® business, data for homeowners insurance claims from 2015-2019

    Insurance Claims

    In additional to natural disasters, there are the disasters that occur at home due to damage caused by fire and water.  These are sobering statistics.  These same causes can also impact your business!

    Homeowners Insurance Claims Frequency*

    • About one in 20 insured homes has a claim each year.  
    • About one in 40 insured homes has a property damage claim related to wind or hail each year.
    • About one in 50 insured homes has a property damage claim caused by water damage or freezing each year.
    • About one in 365 insured homes has a property damage claim related to fire and lightning.
    • About one in 425 insured homes has a property damage claim due to theft each year.
    • About one in 1,440 homeowners policies has a liability claim related to the cost of lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that the policyholder or family members cause to others.

    *Insurance Information Institute calculations, based on ISO®, a Verisk Analytics® business, data for homeowners insurance claims from 2015-2019

    How can we prepare our families and Business'? 

    Ready.gov has provided weekly themes. Review these with you family.  Make everyone aware of yur family or business emergency plan.  Schools hold fire evacuation and earthquake drills.  Each family can plan to do the same.  Ready.gov provides tools and resources to help with your planning.  We will blog about the themes each week!

    Weekly Themes

    Each week in September, the campaign will focus on a different aspect of preparedness for individuals, families and communities.

    Week 1 September 1-4: Make A Plan

    Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Make sure to update your plan based on the Centers for Disease Control recommendations due to the coronavirus.

    Week 2 September 5-11: Build A Kit

    Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home.  Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly. Update your kits and supplies based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control.

    Week 3 September 12-18: Prepare for Disasters

    Limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family.  Know the risk of disasters in your area and check your insurance coverage. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards and act fast if you receive a local warning or alert.

    Week 4 September 19-24: Teach Youth About Preparedness

    Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.

    Please follow us on social media for timely tips and ways to keep your loved ones and business ready for any type of emergency. 

    Instagram- SERVPRO West Riverside        

    Facebook- SERVPRO West Riverside   

    Twitter- SERVPRO West Riverside

    Please check out our Website for more tips on:

    Water Damage

    Fire Damage

    Commercial Damage

    Riverside County Experienced 2 weeks of Summer Thunder Storms and Flash Flood Warning

    8/30/2021 (Permalink)

    dark gray clouds above a house with evening lights on What if Riverside is hit with a random Thunder and Lightening Storm? Are your prepared? Do you know who to call should you experience a water leak?

    Is this common for Riverside County?   Not really!  Spectrum News 1 Reports:

    What You Need To Know

    • Summer thunderstorms are not common in Southern California
    • Summer storms most often occur in the mountains
    • Some rare, tropical-fueled storms bring significant rain
    • Generally, summer thunderstorms don't generate much rainfall for SoCal

    What if Riverside is hit with a random Thunder and Lightening Storm?

    Prepare for Thunderstorms & Lightning

    Know Your Risk

    Know your area’s risk for thunderstorms. In most places they can occur year-round and at any hour. Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) provide emergency alerts.

    Strengthen Your Home

    Cut down or trim trees that may be in danger of falling on your home. Consider buying surge protectors, lightning rods or a lightning protection system to protect your home, appliances and electronic devices.

    Make an Emergency Plan

    Create an emergency plan so that you and your family know what to do, where to go and what you will need to protect yourselves from the effects of a thunderstorm. Identify sturdy buildings close to where you live, work, study and play.

    Stay Safe During Thunderstorms & Lightning

    If you are under a thunderstorm warning:

    • When thunder roars, go indoors! Move from outdoors into a building or car with a roof.
    • Pay attention to alerts and warnings.
    • Avoid using electronic devices connected to an electrical outlet.
    • Avoid running water.
    • Turn Around. Don’t Drown! Do not drive through flooded roadways. Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.

    Riverside County is prone to flash floods and high winds that could make driving challenging. 

    Stay Safe After Thunderstorms & Lightning

    • Pay attention to authorities and weather forecasts for information on whether it is safe to go outside and instructions regarding potential flash flooding.
    • Watch for fallen power lines and trees. Report them immediately.

    Take an Active Role in Your Safety Go to Ready.gov and search for thunderstorm, lightning, or hail. Download the FEMA app to get more information about preparing for thunderstorm, lightning, or hail.

    If you experience water damage from heavy down pour, or wind has damaged your roof.  We are here to help!  24 hours a day 7 days a week. 

    SERVPRO of West Riverside City

    951-351-8033 

    Can you Help Spread the Word to Clear Riverside Shelter?

    8/23/2021 (Permalink)

    gray and white dog standing on green grass I'm a male, 51.10 lbs, white & gray Siberian Husky. Estimated to be about 2 yrs, 2 mo old. I have been at the shelter since 06/08/2! Can I be yours?

    NBC Universal Local is teaming up with hundreds of shelters across the country to host Clear the Shelters

    A nationwide pet adoption drive in August 2021 that helps find loving homes for animals in need. More than 551,000 pets have found their forever homes since 2015.

    SERVPRO would like to share some of the available pups located at Riverside County Department of Animal Services

    There are currently 126 dogs available for adoption.  They come in all sizes, breeds and ages.  Some have good training skills, others need a little more attention in training, any dog can be trained out of bad habits. 

    Our Rescue Cattle Dog

    Take our Cattle dog Ellie, she had so much going against her when we found her at the shelter.  She was just an 8 week old pup found roaming the streets. Due to her biting and hurting the other pups, she was placed in her own kennel and marked aggressive.

    Being a herding dog, she was high energy and needed mental and physical stimulation. On top of that she barked…she barked a lot! 

    Nothing a dog trainer couldn't help with! This dog grew up to be sociable, obedient, loving pup.  We were able to leave her at day camps and she got along great with other doggos.  Addressing her barking was the most challenging.  We attempted several methods to address the barking as suggested from her trainer, until we found the right remedy.  As far as her high energy, walks and play time twice a day helped along with additional hikes & beach days addressed her energy level.  She is the sweetest!

    Visit our social media pages to take a look at some of the pups available at:

    Riverside County Department of Animal Services

    We will post different groups of dogs, by age, breed, and time at the shelter!  Stop by the shelter and see them for yourself.  It will be hard to make a choice, but we are confident you will find one that will perfectly fit your family.

    How to Locate Hidden Water Leaks Before They Cause Severe Water Damage

    8/18/2021 (Permalink)

    man in white t-shirt with clear glass to his ear and a wall Vigilance is the best prevention for water damage. Knowing where to look and what to look for can detect many leaks before they get out of control

    Finding water can sometimes be difficult. Water often travels the path of least resistance, which means water coming in from one area might enter your home in another area.

    The water damage mitigation and restoration experts at SERVPRO of West Riverside City are the leading water damage restoration professionals in the Riverside area. A water leak that remains undetected and continues to leak for more than a short time can cause serious property damage. When homeowners or property managers suspect the presence of a water leak, there are several ways to detect the leak before it can do more damage.

    SERVPRO of West Riverside City is sharing five tips on how to detect water leaks. Once the leaks are detected, homeowners can either fix the leak as a DIY project if the issue is easily resolved, or they can bring in a qualified, bonded and insured plumber to repair the leak. If the leak is inadequately repaired and not restored to professional standards, the problem could arise again in the future, causing another water damage disaster.

    To repair the water-damaged areas of the home, the homeowner should secure the assistance of trained water damage restoration professionals who can safely, efficiently, and properly perform the restoration process. Water leaks that have persisted unnoticed for weeks, months, or even years can cause damage that compromises the structural integrity of the home. Rotted flooring, floor joists, or support beams require special expertise to repair or replace.

    Long-term water leaks can also create serious health hazards. An undetected water leak can create a perfect environment for the growth of mold and mildew. In just a few days or weeks, a massive mold infestation can erupt, requiring extensive and expensive mold mitigation. A simple leak that could have been repaired for less than a $100 plumbing bill or for a few dollars in parts from the hardware store ends up costing thousands of dollars to remedy.

    Here are the five important hidden water leak detection tips that can save the vigilant homeowner time, money, and stress.

    Water leak detection tip #1: Monitor the monthly water bill.

    Riverside Public Utilities is proud to serve a city of over 300,000 residents with high-quality water. Monitoring water usage does not require physically reading the meter by the road or sidewalk. Riverside residents can find all the information they need on their monthly water bill. Simply compare last month’s usage with the current month’s usage.

    What constitutes a spike in water consumption?

    • Standard bath: 27 gallons
    • Ten-minute shower: 20 gallons
    • Leaky faucet: five gallons per day or 150-300 gallons per month
    • Broken or cracked pipe: As much as 500 gallons per hour
    • Garden hose left running at an outside faucet (5/8”): 1,000 gallons per hour

    An extra bath or two or a long, hot shower after a hard day at work will not show up as a spike in the water usage total or the amount of the water bill. Watering the garden or yard a few times a week or leaving the outside faucet on all night will significantly increase the water bill.

    A higher water bill with no known increase in usage signals a problem. At this point, the homeowner may need to run a water usage check at the meter. Make sure all the water in the home is turned off. If the installed meter has a leak indicator, watch for movement. Otherwise, take a meter reading and check back in an hour or two.

    Water leak detection tip #2: Conduct a faucet inspection.

    A worn rubber washer under the faucet handle is responsible for a portion of the one trillion gallons of water wasted due to household water leaks. The fix for the leak is simple: replace the rubber washer.

    Water leak detection tip #3. Perform the toilet tank dye test.

    Hundreds of gallons of water can be wasted by a leaking toilet. Remove the tank lid and add some food coloring or a dye tab. If the water in the bowl is still clear after thirty minutes, the system is leak-free. Replacing the flapper takes care of most leaks.

    Having to jiggle the handle to stop the toilet from running may indicate that the flush bar and chain are sticking. The remedy may be adjusting the nut that holds the mechanism in place. In other cases, the handle may be so corroded it must be replaced. Plumbing can be intimidating to some homeowners, so do not hesitate to call a qualified plumber to address these simple maintenance issues. The cost of the repairs is worth the peace of mind and the money saved by stopping the leak.

    Water leak detection tip #4: Perform a visual inspection of ceilings and walls.

    Stains and discoloration on walls and ceilings can go unnoticed for quite a while because the evidence and damage occur so gradually. An infrequent guest may walk into the home and instantly spot the stain, discoloration, bubbled paint or wallpaper, or warping. When dusting or vacuuming, take a few seconds to inspect the walls and ceilings.

    Water leak detection tip #5: Be aware of underground water leaks.

    Outdoor water leaks may require expensive repairs. A broken pipe can add hundreds of dollars to a monthly water bill. Soft spots, darkened areas, and the smell of water may indicate a major outdoor water leak. If an area of the lawn is moist after many days of dry weather, the cause may be a water leak. Look for unexplained puddles or water flows next to the driveway or along the curb. If an outdoor water leak is suspected, contact the local water company for assistance. If the leak is outside of their coverage area, they can recommend a plumber.

    Vigilance is the best prevention for severe water damage. Knowing where to look and what to look for can detect many leaks before they get out of control and cause a water damage disaster and a potential mold infestation.

    Trust the water damage restoration experts at SERVPRO of West Riverside City  for water, fire, storm, and commercial damage restoration. For more information about water damage restoration in Riverside, contact the office by phone at (951) 351-8033 or by email at office@SERVPROwestriverside.com

    We Are in the Midst of Wild Fire Season- Are You Ready?

    8/16/2021 (Permalink)

    wildfire in the background with text outlining current statistics More than 9,700 personnel continue to fight 11 major wildfires/complexes in California.

    More than 9,700 personnel continue to fight 11 major wildfires/complexes in California.

    We all have a responsibility to prevent wildfires through proper maintenance and use of campfires, vehicles, outdoor equipment and more.

    Recognize Warnings and Alerts

    • Have several ways to receive alerts. Download the FEMA app and receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide. Sign up for community alerts in your area and be aware of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA)- which requires no-sign up.
    • Sign up for email updates and follow the latest guidelines about coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your local authorities to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 
    • Pay attention to air quality alerts.

    Make an Emergency Plan

    • Make sure everyone in your household knows and understands what to do if you need to quickly evacuate.  

    Review Important Documents

    Strengthen your Home

    • Use fire-resistant materials to build, renovate or make repairs.
    • Find an outdoor water source with a hose that can reach any area of your property.
    • Create a fire-resistant zone that is free of leaves, debris or flammable materials for at least 30 feet from your home.
    • Designate a room that can be closed off from outside air. Close all doors and windows. Set up a portable air cleaner to keep indoor pollution levels low when smoky conditions exist.

    Know your Evacuation Zone

    • You may have to evacuate quickly due to a wildfire. Learn your evacuation routes, practice with household, pets, and identify where you will go.
    • If you must evacuate to a public shelter, try to bring items that can help protect you and others in the shelter from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer, cleaning materials, and two masks per person. Children under 2 years old and people who have trouble breathing should not wear masks. 
    • Follow the instructions from local authorities. They will provide the latest recommendations based on the threat to your community and appropriate safety measures.

    Gather Supplies

    • Have enough supplies for your household, include medication, disinfectant supplies, maskspet supplies in your go bag or car trunk. Being prepared allows you to address smaller medical issues at home, alleviating the burden on urgent care centers and hospitals.
    • Being prepared allows you to avoid unnecessary excursions and to address minor medical issues at home, alleviating the burden on urgent care centers and hospitals.
    • Remember that not everyone can afford to respond by stocking up on necessities. For those who can afford it, making essential purchases and slowly building up supplies in advance will allow for longer time periods between shopping trips. This helps to protect those who are unable to procure essentials in advance of the pandemic and must shop more frequently. In addition, consider avoiding WIC-labeled products so that those who rely on these products can access them.
    • If you already have one at home, set aside a respirator, like an N95 respirator, to keep smoke particles out of the air you breathe. Respirators are not meant to fit children. Due to COVID-19, it may be difficult to find respirators. While cloth masks, surgical masks, and dust masks provide protection from exposure to COVID-19, they will not protect you from smoke inhalation. To ensure that healthcare workers have access to N95 respirators, it is best to limit your exposure to smoke rather than buy respirators.
    • Be cautious when carrying flammable or combustible household products that can cause fires or explosions if handled wrong, such as aerosols, cooking oils, rubbing alcohol, and hand sanitizer.
    • If you already have an N95 mask, use this to protect yourself from smoke inhalation. N95 masks also protect against the spread of COVID-19, however they should be reserved for healthcare workers. If are in a public cleaner air space or shelter, use a mask to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 
    • Keep your cell phone charged when wildfires could be in your area. Purchase backup charging devices to power electronics.