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National Preparedness Month Week 3: Teach Your Youth to Prepare for Disasters such as Wildfires, Earthquakes of Flooding Sept 15-21

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

A mother with young son and daughter discussing what to do in an emergency at the kitchen table. Help children know what to do before, during and after a flood, wildfire or earthquake. This will help Riverside children "Be Prepared not Scared."

In recent years, devastating earthquakes, floods and wildfires have highlighted the need to prepare for natural disaster.

However, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), half of Americans have not discussed or developed a family emergency plan.  View the tips below from our friends at FEMA.  Understand the disasters that could hit our Riverside area. 


Earthquakes are the shaking, rolling or sudden shock of the earth’s surface. Earthquakes happen along cracks (called fault lines) in the earth's surface. Earthquakes can be felt over large areas, although they usually last less than one minute. Earthquakes cannot be predicted — although scientists are working on it!  All 50 states and 5 U.S. territories are at some risk for earthquakes. Earthquakes can happen at any time of the year.

What to do before, during and after an Earthquake


  • Build an emergency kit.
  • Make a family communications plan.
  • Know the safe spots in every room – under a sturdy table or against an inside wall.
  • Ask your family to hold earthquake drills – drop, cover, and hold on!


If inside:

  • DROP to the ground.
  • Take COVER under a sturdy table or other heavy  furniture. If there is nothing to get under, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch near an inside wall.
  • HOLD ON until the shaking stops.
  • STAY AWAY from windows, glass, lighting fixtures, or furniture that could fall – like bookcases.
  • Do not use elevators!

If outside:

  • Stay there. 
  • Move away from buildings, streetlights, and wires.
  • Stay out in the open until the shaking stops. Buildings could collapse and hurt you.

If trapped under debris:

  • Cover your mouth with your shirt.
  • Do not scream – you could breathe in dust.
  • Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can find you.


  • Expect aftershocks. They are usually not as strong but can cause damage.
  • Open cabinets carefully. Objects that have moved could fall on you.
  • Wear long pants, long sleeves and shoes to protect your skin from getting scratched by broken objects.
  • Text, don’t talk. Unless there’s a life-threatening  situation, if you have a cell phone, send a text so that you don’t tie up phone lines needed by emergency workers. Plus, texting may work even if cell service is down.

Words to know

  • Seismic Activity

Another word for earthquakes, along with tremors, quakes and shakes

  • Fault Lines

Cracks in the rocks below the earth’s surface

  • Aftershock

A smaller earthquake that follows the main shock or previous earthquake

  • Epicenter

The center, or focus, of an earthquake, from which seismic waves are sent spherically in many directions

  • Seismograph

A machine that measures an earthquake


Each year more than 2,500 people die and 12,600 are injured in home fires in the United States. But unlike other disasters, home fires can be prevented! It’s important to know this: Fire is fast! There is no time to gather anything or make a phone call. In just two minutes, a fire could kill you. In five minutes, a house could be swallowed in flames. Fire is hot! Heat and smoke could be even more dangerous than the flames. Breathing in really hot air could burn your lungs, and fire produces poisonous gases that can make you sleepy and unable to escape. Fire is dark! It can be hard to find your way out of your house in a fire. Fire is deadly! Fire uses up oxygen you need to breathe and produces smoke and poisonous gases that kill.

Every single person in The United States, no matter where they live, or what kind of home they live in is at risk of a home fire.


  • Create a fire escape plan and practice it twice a year.
  • Have smoke alarms in every bedroom and every floor of the house.
  • Remind your parents to test the smoke alarms in your house every month.
  • Find two ways to get out of each room. A window might be a second way if the door is blocked by fire or smoke.
  • Practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.
  • Sleep with your door closed. It helps prevent fires from spreading quickly.


  • Get low and go! Crawl under smoke to an exit. Heavy smoke and deadly gases collect along the ceiling.
  • If you hear a smoke alarm, get out fast! You may only have a few seconds to escape.
  • If smoke is blocking the door, use your second way out of the room or house.
  • Feel the doorknob and door before opening it. If either is hot, leave the door closed and use the second way out.
  • If you see smoke coming around the door, use the second way out.
  • If you do open a door, open it slowly and be ready to shut it quick if there’s smoke.
  • Don’t hide from firefighters! They may look scary with all of their equipment, but they are there to help you.
  • Tell firefighters if there are any pets trapped in the house. Don’t try to get them yourself!
  • If your clothes catch on fire, stop-drop-roll! Stop, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your hands. Then roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out.


  • Don’t go back into any building unless a firefighter or your parents say it is safe


Flooding happens during heavy rains, when rivers overflow, when ocean waves come onshore, when snow melts too fast, or when dams or levees break. This is the most common natural-weather event. Flooding may be only a few inches of water, or it may cover a house to the rooftop. Floods that happen very quickly are called flash floods.

Floods can occur in every single U.S. state. Some floods develop slowly, and some can build in just a few minutes. People who live in low-lying areas – near water or behind a levee or dam – are at even greater risk.

Did you know?  Flooding can change familiar places, like walkways, roads and fields. Avoid walking through water. It might be deeper than you think!


  • Build an emergency kit.
  • Make a family communications plan.
  • Tell an adult if you hear a flood warning on the TV or radio.


  • Listen to authorities and safety officials.
  • If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground.
  • Help your family move important items to an upper floor.
  • Do not walk through moving water. Even 6” of water can make you fall.


  • Stay away from flood water. It could be contaminated, meaning contain dangerous substances.
  • Stay away from moving water. It can knock you off your feet.
  • Stay out of the way of emergency workers so they can do their job easily.

Words to know

  • Flood Watch -A message that flooding is possible and to listen to local radio or TV news and weather for more information. You may receive an alert on a cell phone.
  • Flood Warning- A message that flooding will occur soon, if it hasn’t already, and to move to higher ground or evacuate immediately
  • Flash Flood- A flood that can happen within minutes or hours of heavy rainfall, a dam or levee failure, or city drains overflowing
  • Levee/Dam -A manmade structure to contain or prevent water from moving past a certain point

Riverside it prone to earthquakes, flooding and wildfires.  Teach your kids about these natural disasters so they understand the damage they could cause and what they should do before, during and after a natural disaster.  Be Prepared Not Scared.  Be ready.  Contact SERVPRO of West Riverside City, we are "Faster to Any Disaster". 

National Preparedness Month Week 3: Teach Your Youth to Prepare for Disasters Sept 15-21

9/16/2019 (Permalink)

Mother sitting at the dining table with her two young daughters reviewing emergency plan with them. It's important to teach kids about disasters preparedness. Make it fun, have them help put together an emergency kit. "Be Prepared Not Scared".

The phrase "The better you're prepared, the less you're scared" goes for kids as well as adults.

When talking to kids about disasters, it is important to teach them about disasters, without scaring them. It's a balancing act between the facts and potential impacts of a disaster and empowering them with actions they can take to be safe. Being open about what you are doing as a family to prepare before disasters happens is comforting. When possible, involve kids in activities like putting together the disaster supplies kit.

The best thing you can do for younger children is to create a safe environment around them. You can't really teach an infant or toddler about Drop Cover and Hold in an earthquake, but you can reduce the likelihood they will get hurt from falling book shelves, pictures and other furnishings around them. For more information on reducing earthquake hazards in your home visit our Prepare your Home page

As kids get older

For most kids, you can start introducing safety actions at about 4-years-old. Don't overwhelm them with too much information at once. Teach one safety action such as Drop, Cover and Hold, and follow up with actually doing it so they can demonstrate they understand. Practice with them until you are satisfied they know what to do. As kids get older, you can talk about how a disaster is something that could hurt people or cause damage. Explain that nature sometimes provides "too much of a good thing" -- fire, rain, and wind. Explain how important it is to make a Family Disaster Plan. Teach children:

  • How to call for help
  • When to call each emergency number
  • To call the family contact if separated
  • To keep personal identification information in their possession at all times
  • Let them help with testing smoke detectors or building the family kit.
  • You can get them their own backpack and have them assemble a kit for themselves.
  • When you involve your kids in getting your family ready, you are insuring they understand the family plan and are building life skills that will come in handy as they grow up!
  • Be Prepared, Build a Kit

    Being prepared for an emergency isn't just about staying safe during a disaster. It's about how to stay comfortable, clean, fed, and healthy afterwards – when a storm or disaster may have knocked out electricity.

    If you lost power, how would you eat? The refrigerator can’t keep foods cold. The microwave can’t warm things up. You might not get clean water out of your faucets. How would you find out whether it was safe to play outside? Not from the TV or computer!

    That’s why it’s important for families to work together to build an emergency kit before an emergency strikes. There should be enough food, water, clothing, and supplies to last for at least three days.

    Here are some items you and your family will need:

  • Non-perishable food (such as dried fruit or peanut butter)
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap
  • Paper plates, plastic cups and utensils, paper towels
  • Water – at least a gallon per person, per day
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Flashlights
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Can opener (manual)
  • Local maps
  • Pet supplies
  • Baby supplies (formula, diapers)
  • Additional Emergency Supplies

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

  • Prescription medications
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Glasses and contact lense solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, 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
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
  • 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 vehicles.

  • 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.
  • Vehicle: In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.
  •  SERVPRO of West Riverside city is local and available 24/7, keep our information in your emergency contact list.  We are here to help!

    National Preparedness Month -Week 2: Make a Plan- Life Saving Safety Skills, Sept 8-14

    9/11/2019 (Permalink)

    Owners practicing an evacuation with a white medium size dog sitting in the back of an SUV with back hatch open Remember, during a disaster what’s good for you is good for your pet, get them ready today. If you leave your pets behind, they may be lost/injured.

    National Preparedness Month is recognized each September to promote family and community disaster and emergency planning now and throughout the year. The 2019 theme is "Prepared, Not Scared." 

     Today, we have the ability to predict with more accuracy than ever dangerous tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms, and floods. We know the areas that are prone to earthquakes and areas that are susceptible to wildfires, and we can tell hours in advance whether a tsunami will hit our shores.

     However, in spite of all the capabilities for advance warnings, we are still not quite up to speed at preparing for these disasters. Many really believe that it can’t happen to us.

     Some simple, quick preparations could make the difference between life and death for your family. Here are several steps you can take to be ready for a disaster from our friends at

    What You Should Know About Life Saving Skills

    • Know basic preparedness skills to protect your family and home.
    • Eliminate common electrical and fire hazards around your house and property.
    • Install smoke, carbon monoxide, and natural gas alarms and test them monthly.
    • Teach children what to do when they hear smoke, carbon monoxide, and natural gas alarms.
    • Place natural gas detectors on every level of your home and test them monthly.
    • Know how to turn off utilities like natural gas in your home.
    • Talk to your landlord or building manager about evacuation routes and fire safety.
    • Develop and practice a family communication plan and discuss it with your family.
    • Have emergency supplies in place at home, at work, and in the car.
    • Pay attention to alerts and warnings.
    • Know two ways out of your home in the event of a fire and practice evacuation plans.
    • Set some money aside from your income in case of an emergency.

    Safety Skills

    Learn First Aid & CPR 

    Take a first aid and CPR class. Local American Red Cross chapters can provide information about this type of training. Official certification by the American Red Cross provides, under the “good Samaritan” law, protection for those giving first aid.

    Get more information about the supplies in a first aid kit.

    Learn to Use a Fire Extinguisher

    Make sure you have one or more up-to-date fire extinguisher and be sure everyone knows where they are kept and how to use them. You should have, at a minimum, an ABC type.

    The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that only those trained in the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers consider using them when appropriate. Contact your local fire department for information on training in your area. Get more information about preparedness for a fire emergency.

    Know how to shut-off Utilities

    Natural Gas

    Natural gas leaks and explosions are responsible for a significant number of fires following disasters. It is vital that all household members know how to shut off natural gas.

    Because there are different gas shut-off procedures for different gas meter configurations, it is important to contact your local gas company for any guidance on preparations and response regarding gas appliances and gas service to your home.

    When you learn the proper shut-off procedure for your meter, share the information with everyone in your household. Be sure not to actually turn off the gas when practicing the proper gas shut-off procedures.

    • If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out quickly. Turn off the gas, using the outside main valve, if you can, and call the gas company from a neighbor’s home.
    • Caution: If you turn off the gas for any reason, a qualified professional must turn it back on. NEVER attempt to turn the gas back on yourself.


    Water quickly becomes a precious resource following many disasters. It is vital that all household members learn how to shut off the water at the main house valve. 

    • Before an emergency happens, locate the shut-off valve for the water line that enters your house and label this valve with a tag for easy identification. Make sure all household members know where it is located.
    • Make sure this valve can be completely shut off. Your valve may be rusted open or it may only partially close. If so, replace it.
    • Cracked lines may pollute the water supply to your house. It is wise to shut off your water until you hear from authorities that it is safe for drinking.

    The effects of gravity may drain the water in your hot water heater and toilet tanks unless you trap it in your house by shutting off the main house valve. (This is not the street valve in the cement box at the curb – the street valve is extremely difficult to turn and requires a special tool.)


    Electrical sparks have the potential of igniting natural gas if it is leaking. It is wise to teach all responsible household members where and how to shut off the electricity.

    • Locate you electrical circuit box. For your safety, always shut off all the individual circuits before shutting off the main circuit.


    Plan to Evacuate

    A wide variety of emergencies may cause an evacuation. In some instances you may have a day or two to prepare, while other situations might call for an immediate evacuation. Planning ahead is vital to ensuring that you can evacuate quickly and safely, no matter what the circumstances.

    Before an Evacuation

    • Learn the types of disasters that are likely in your community and the local emergency, evacuation, and shelter plans for each specific disaster.
    • Plan how you will leave and where you will go if you are advised to evacuate.
      • Identify several places you could go in an emergency such as a friend’s home in another town or a motel. Choose destinations in different directions so that you have options during an emergency.
      • If needed, identify a place to stay that will accept pets. Most public shelters allow only service animals.
      • Be familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area.
      • Always follow the instructions of local officials and remember that your evacuation route may be on foot depending on the type of disaster.
    • Develop a family/household communication and re-unification plan so that you can maintain contact and take the best actions for each of you and re-unite if you are separated.
    • Assemble supplies that are ready for evacuation, both a “go-bag” you can carry when you evacuate on foot or public transportation and supplies for traveling by longer distances if you have a personal vehicle. 
    • If you have a car:
      • Keep a full tank of gas in it if an evacuation seems likely. Keep a half tank of gas in it at all times in case of an unexpected need to evacuate. Gas stations may be closed during emergencies and unable to pump gas during power outages. Plan to take one car per family to reduce congestion and delay.
      • Make sure you have a portable emergency kit in the car.
    • If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave if needed. Make arrangements with family, friends or your local government.

    During an Evacuation

    • A list of open shelters can be found during an active disaster in your local area by downloading the FEMA app
    • Listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local evacuation instructions.
    • Take your emergency supply kit.
    • Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
    • Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency now.
    • If time allows:
      • Call or email the out-of-state contact in your family communications plan. Tell them where you are going.
      • Secure your home by closing and locking doors and windows.
      • Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding. If there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.
      • Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
      • Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and a hat.
      • Check with neighbors who may need a ride.
    • Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.
    • Be alert for road hazards such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Do not drive into flooded areas.

    After an Evacuation

    If you evacuated for the storm, check with local officials both where you’re staying and back home before you travel.

    • Residents returning to disaster-affected areas after significant events should expect and prepare for disruptions to daily activities, and remember that returning home before storm debris is cleared is dangerous.
    • Let friends and family know before you leave and when you arrive.
    • Charge devices and consider getting back-up batteries in case power-outages continue.
    • Fill up your gas tank and consider downloading a fuel app to check for outages along your route.
    • Bring supplies such as water and non-perishable food for the car ride.
    • Avoid downed power or utility lines; they may be live with deadly voltage. 
    • Stay away and report them immediately to your power or utility company.
    • Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system.

    SERVPRO of West Riverside City encourages our neighbors to take steps to plan for a disaster, "Be Prepared not Scared" should a natural disaster take place in our Riverside City.  Add our contact information to your emergency list.  We can help ease the stress should you face a loss due to a disaster.  We can make it "Like it never even happened." 

    SERVPRO of West Riverside City

    Contact number: 951-351-8033




    National Preparedness Month -Week 2: Make a Plan to Prepare for Disasters Sept 8-14

    9/9/2019 (Permalink)

    emergency supplies on a table with the words, "Have enough food, water and meds to last for at least 3-7 days." An emergency food storage of canned and nonperishable items, as well as bottled drinking water are essential. Plan ahead!

    The only certain thing about disasters is that nothing is certain about disasters.

    Natural or manmade, a disaster can happen at any time, and your family may not be together when they strike. Having a plan in place can help your family reconnect with one another and maximize their safety. But you have to plan to make a plan, and has the steps that you need to do this.

    Step 1: Answer these questions

    • How will we receive emergency alerts and warnings?
    • What is our shelter plan?
    • What is our evacuation route?
    • What is our family communication plan?

    The discussions that these questions will lead to can build the foundation of your family’s disaster strategy.  What emergency alerts are available? 

    Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are alerts sent at the right time to help keep you safe during an emergency. With WEA, warnings can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm's way, without the need to download an app or subscribe to a service.  These messages are sent by authorized government alerting authorities through your mobile carrier.  What types of alerts will you receive?

    • Extreme weather, and other threatening emergencies in your area
    • AMBER Alerts
    • Presidential Alerts during a national emergency

    Emergency Alert System (EAS) EAS is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, satellite digital audio service and direct broadcast satellite providers, cable television systems, and wireless cable systems to provide the President with a communications capability to address the American people within 10 minutes during a national emergency.

    EAS may also be used by state and local authorities, in cooperation with the broadcast community, to deliver important emergency information, such as weather information, imminent threats, AMBER alerts, and local incident information targeted to specific areas.

    NOAA Weather Radio is an automated 24-hour network of VHF FM weather radio stations in the United States that broadcast weather information directly from a nearby National Weather Service office.  NWR broadcasts official warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  It also broadcasts alerts of non-weather emergencies such as national security, natural, environmental, and public safety through the Emergency Alert System.

    Step 2: Know the needs of your household

    Your family’s daily living needs can dictate parts of your plan. Do you have pets or service animals? Do any family members require special medication or medical equipment? Etc. 

    • Different ages of members within your household
    • Responsibilities for assisting others
    • Locations frequented
    • Dietary needs
    • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
    • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
    • Languages spoken
    • Cultural and religious considerations
    • Pets or service animals
    • Households with school-aged children

    Developing an easy-to-remember plan is also important. After all, an emergency plan is not effective if it isn't remembered.  This is especially true for families with older adults or children to consider. Keep your emergency plan as simple as possible and use places that are very familiar and hard to forget.

    Preparing for extended periods of emergency is also important. Natural disasters may knock out power, pollute drinking water, and make it difficult for first responders to reach you. Best prepare to be in it for the long haul. An emergency food storage of canned and nonperishable items, as well as bottled drinking water are essential, especially for families living in areas with an increased likelihood of natural disasters, including hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, and snow emergencies.

    Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan and Practice

    You have worked hard with your family to create a plan, but it is paramount to have the plan written down and that all of the family members are comfortable with it. There are examples of Family Emergency Plans on website. And make sure to schedule family practices regularly, this will make sure that every member of the family knows the plan or you can find and overcome obstacles that may cause problems.

    Naturally, disasters will be stressful and difficult to endure. However, planning ahead of time will help you stay calmer and allow you to think and act properly during any catastrophe.

    You may not be able to keep disasters from happening, but you can control how you prepare for them. Get that family meeting scheduled today.  

    SERVPRO of West Riverside City is here for your emergency needs when it comes to fire, water, or smoke damage due to a natural disaster.  We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Add our contact information to your emergency list.  We are faster to any disaster.  You can expect an immediate response time, day or night. 

    Call us at 951-351-8033 or visit our website SERVPRO storm-flooding-restoration we are here to help. 

    National Preparedness Month- Week 1: Save Early for Disaster Costs Sept 1-7

    9/4/2019 (Permalink)

    Natural disasters, which occur across all parts of the United States, result in severe damage to natural and built environments, have long-term economic impacts and often lead to loss of life.

    In 2017, more than 25 million Americans were affected by natural disasters, most notably hurricanes in the southeast, and wildfires in the west. It was also the most expensive year on record for natural disasters, with $306.2 billion in damage and 362 deaths.

    From NCSL.Org has joined FEMA during National Preparedness Month to provide strategies to help us prepare for and bounce back from unexpected events. 

    Americans at all income levels have experienced the challenges of rebuilding their lives after a disaster or other emergency. In these stressful circumstances, having access to personal financial, insurance, medical, and other records is crucial for starting the process of recovery quickly and efficiently. Taking the time now to collect and secure these critical records will give you peace of mind and, in the event of an emergency, will ensure that you have the documentation needed to start the recovery process without delay.

    1. Gather financial and critical personal, household, and medical information.
    2. Consider saving money in an emergency savings account that could be used in any crisis. Keep a small amount of cash at home in a safe place. It is important to have small bills on hand because ATM’s and credit cards may not work during a disaster when you need to purchase necessary supplies, fuel or food.
    3. Obtain property (homeowners or renters), health, and life insurance if you do not have them. Review existing policies for the amount and extent of coverage to ensure that what you have in place is what is required for you and your family for all possible hazards. Homeowners insurance does not typically cover flooding, so you may need to purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program.
    4. Scroll down for more helpful financial preparedness tips and download the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) to get started planning today.

    For Organizations 

    Encourage people throughout your organization to be financially prepared. Here are some ideas to promote financial preparedness in your organization:

    • Hold a brown bag meeting or
    • Make a presentation at an existing staff meeting using the Emergency Preparedness Financial First Aid Kit PowerPoint and use the Safeguarding Your Valuables Facilitator Guide to support your discussion.
    • Include financial preparedness information in the staff monthly newsletter.

    At Home

    Using the EFFAK as a guide, or by downloading a secure mobile app on your phone, store important documents either in a safety deposit box, an external drive, on the cloud to make it easy to access during a disaster. 

    Having your financial and medical records and important contact information will be crucial to help you start the recovery process quickly. Take time now to safeguard these critical documents.

    Household Identification

    • Photo ID to prove identity of household members
    • Birth certificate to maintain or re-establish contact with family members
    • Social security card to apply for FEMA disaster assistance
    • Military service
    • Pet ID tags

    Financial and Legal Documentation

    • Housing Payments to identify financial records and obligations
    • Insurance policies to re-establish financial accounts
    • Sources of income to maintain payments and credit
    • Tax statements to provide contact information for financial and legal providers & apply for FEMA disaster assistance

    Medical Information

    • Physician information to provide doctors with health information if medical care is needed
    • Copies of health insurance information to ensure existing care continues uninterrupted
    • Immunization records  
    • Medications     

    Insurance Information

    Having insurance for your home or business property is the best way to ensure you will have the necessary financial resources to help you repair, rebuild, or replace whatever is damaged.  Document and insure your property now.

    Household Contact information

    • Banking Institutions
    • Insurance agent
    • Health professionals     
    • Service providers          
    • Place of worship

    Get your benefits electronically

    A disaster can disrupt mail service for days or weeks. If you depend on Social Security or other regular benefits, switching to electronic payments is a simple, significant way to protect yourself financially before disaster strikes. It also eliminates the risk of stolen checks. The U.S. Department of the Treasury recommends two safer ways to get federal benefits:

    • Direct deposit to a checking or savings account. Federal benefit recipients can sign up by calling (800) 333-1795 or sign up online
    • The Direct Express® prepaid debit card is designed as a safe and easy alternative to paper


    SERVPRO of West Riverside City encourages our neighbors to take steps to be financially prepared should a major earthquake, wildfire, flooding or other natural disaster occur in our area.  Add our contact information to your emergency list.  We can help ease the stress should you face a loss due to a disaster.  We can make it "Like it never even happened."

    SERVPRO Proudly Supports National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

    8/28/2019 (Permalink)

    September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. You can help by sharing information and offering resources to those affected by suicide.

    Suicide is a tragedy that can affect any individual, whether as a person struggling with suicidal idealization and thoughts or as one of a circle of family, friends, and community members who want to help.

    Many resources are available year-round for both victims and their circles, but September is the month we refocus on the supports in our community. Suicide prevention is only effective if the information is made available and shared throughout the Riverside area, and we are reminded each September to do our part to make this happen.

    Now is the time for all members of the community to come together to share information and offer resources to those affected by suicide. Connecting potential victims with treatment options and supporting survivors with the personal and practical services needed to begin the healing process are crucial components of a caring and effective response to these painful and traumatic events.

    Victims and families deal with a broad array of issues in a suicide. Extending a hand to neighbors, friends, family, business partners, and others is the least our community can do to help. When the community comes together in an effort to conquer this challenging set of circumstances it gives cause for hope to those who are directly affected. We are honored to be part of a multifaceted team extending a hand to our neighbors experiencing this type of loss.

    SERVPRO of West Riverside City offers compassionate and professional services if you are in need of assistance after a suicide-related tragedy. Our office staff, managers, and technicians are prompt, discreet, and sensitive as we help at this difficult time. Crew members assigned to your home or business train thoroughly in all aspects of trauma scene abatement, providing thorough cleanup always with the utmost respect for you, your family, and others impacted by the crisis.

    Aug 26 National Dog Day, How Can Riverside Residents Help

    8/26/2019 (Permalink)

    We Rescued Ellie when she was 9 weeks old, she was found roaming the streets by herself. Rescues are some of the best pets!!!

    About National Dog Day, from our friends at

    National Dog Day has two goals: to honor dogs, and to rescue dogs from homelessness and abuse. It's an opportunity for us to recognize and appreciate the value and importance of dogs in our lives.

    This day is intended to honor dogs for all that they do for us. In addition to giving love and companionship, dogs help us out in countless ways:

    • They are watchdogs for our safety.
    • They lead the blind.
    • Dogs aid in search and rescue,
    • They seek out bombs and drugs.

    The second goal of National Dog Day is to rescue dogs in need. On occasion, dogs need us to save them from homelessness and abuse. The goal of the National Dog Day foundation is to rescue 10,000 dogs a year. Lend a hand to help a dog in need today, or any day.

    Check out our local shelter in Riverside:




    0-15 Days


    16-30 Days


    31 Days and Over


    Senior Adoption Rates

    50% Off

    Active Duty and Veteran Adoption Rates


    Department of Animal Services Mission, Vision and Values


    Working together to improve Riverside County for people and animals


    Promoting an environment of responsible pet ownership through progressive animal welfare initiatives, community outreach, and humane education in a culture of compassion, creativity, and integrity.

    Core Values

    We believe the character of our organization is best reflected in the strong dedication of each of us to strive to meet the highest standards of performance and compassion on behalf of the animals and people we serve.

    As stewards of those who cannot speak for themselves, we recognize society has entrusted us with a great responsibility. Our community's expectations and trust give us the courage to perform our duties with transparency, honor, empathy and compassion.

    We meet this vision by our shared commitment to:

    • Demonstrating respect, sensitivity and understanding toward all people and animals.
    • Improving Riverside County through education, humane sheltering, responsible pet placement, progressive law enforcement, and reduction of pet overpopulation.
    • Using adoption, education, and veterinary medical programs as an alternative to euthanasia.
    • Seeking lifetime homes for the pets we place.
    • Providing the tools, environment, and information to foster a safe and healthy workplace with an emphasis on teamwork.
    • Collaborating to improve Riverside County for its people and animals.

    National Dog Day celebrates all dogs, mixed breed and pure. Their mission is to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year and acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. 

    Dogs are amazing, courageous, sensitive and sentient beings that deserve compassion and respect. Please consider bringing what was once considered "unwanted love", into your heart and home on National Dog Day!"

    To see the dogs up for adoption at the Riverside Shelter click the link below: lists 20 ways to celebrate:

    1. Adopt a dog from your local shelter
    2. Have a safety check of your home to be sure it's safe for your dog and others
    3. Donate blankets, food and toys to animal welfare organization
    4. Organize a peaceful demonstration in front of your community pet store that sells puppies
    5. Write your congressman and ask that he/she support the ban on puppy mills and gas chambers in your state
    6. Sent a dog related gift to a friend or family member
    7. Have a National Dog Day party and invite your friends and their dogs
    8. Spend the day taking photos of your dog and then enter their photo contest
    9. Buy an official National Dog Day Tee and sport it proudly
    10. Assist and ill or elderly neighbor by walking their dog
    11. Have a portrait painted of your dog to suspend the fleeting magic of dogdom
    12. Buy your dog a fun new dog toy…or two…or five
    13. Give your dog some fun exercise by taking him/her to a doggy play resort
    14. Brush your dog to eliminate excess fur
    15. Give your dog a massage or holistic spa treatment
    16. Teach your dog a new trick
    17. Buy your dog a fashionable collar or leash
    18. Hire a professional pet photographer for a fun photo shoot
    19. Take your dog to the beach
    20. Say "Because Dogs" all day , every time someone says hello

    SERVPRO of West Riverside City is a strong believer in rescuing dogs from our local shelters rather than shopping for one elsewhere.  Our Mascot Ellie, a Cattle dog mix, was rescued from Inland Valley Humane Society.  She has been a loyal, happy dog that we have owned for 8 years.  She was found roaming the streets at just 8 weeks on her own.  We fell in love with her when we first met her and new she would be a great addition to our family.  She loves coming to work and is on her best behavior when in the office.  

    August means Back to School for kids!

    8/21/2019 (Permalink)

    August is here and that means it's time to head back to school!

    Running a public or private Riverside school leaves you with many plates to balance, not the least of which is the upkeep and maintenance of the facilities to provide a safe and functional learning space for students. Disasters and water loss incidents can occur with little warning, but many of these situations can spread more quickly than custodial staff can manage, leading to either inadequate cleaning of the mess that has occurred or new areas becoming unnecessarily damaged from spreading water that your janitorial crew cannot prevent.

    Educational institutions can depend on their local technicians at SERVPRO of West Riverside City for fast, thorough service in the event of fire, water or mold damage. With 24-hour emergency response, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals provide mitigation, cleanup and restoration services to reduce recovery costs and to help ensure minimal interruption to your curriculum. SERVPRO of West Riverside City also provides expert cleaning for emergencies or special needs exceeding routine janitorial capabilities, including stain removal, upholstery and drapery dry cleaning, indoor air quality and vandalism cleanup. Our Franchise Professionals are trained to clean and sanitize building materials, surfaces and contents following restoration industry standards, using professional cleaning products and EPA registered cleaners and disinfectants.

    Types of Facilities:

  • Early Childhood - Preschool and Nursery Schools
  • Primary - Elementary and Middle Schools
  • Secondary - High school and Academies
  • Higher Education - College and Universities
  • Athletics - Gymnasium, Sports Complex and Stadiums
  • When our professionals arrive at your school, we can get to work on inspecting the damage to determine the best approach to remove the moisture and restore the effects. In some situations, extraction might be a necessary inclusion to the restoration process.

    Drying is critical to prevent the spread of the damage to new areas and to protect the structural integrity of saturated materials. Throughout this drying process with dehumidifiers and our air movers, we can monitor our progress with the use of moisture detection equipment and thermal imagery cameras. These tools can identify moisture pockets that require attention and focused efforts. This technology can help us to maximize our drying efforts to provide the most efficient and effective approach to eliminating the moisture and dampness from a recent water loss incident.

    To restore and reopen our Riverside schools, SERVPRO technicians start by spraying down the standing water and every surface that might have been affected with a strong, anti-bacterial agent. Spraying reduces the risk to property and protects both our restoration teams and school workers. After the chemical has time to take effect, our teams begin removing the water using pumps and extraction wands. Together, these devices can draw out nearly all standing water from a facility.

    As we finish removing the water, other technicians begin wiping down everything the water covered or touched. In classrooms and other common areas, this means cleaning desks and chairs with the same agents and examining furniture for signs of damage. Depending on the severity, our teams may recommend disposal if restoration is not cost-effective.

    For cafeterias and kitchens, cleaning is even more important. Although we do not disassemble ovens or freezer units, we do wipe down every visible surface and crawl under appliances when possible to ensure everything is ready to support the student population once more.

    Our goal after a loss at SERVPRO is to help every school and other commercial facilities reopen to support our local population. If you need our services, call us today at (951) 351-8003 to schedule a visit and start the restoration process. We are here for you.

    Feel free to ask about our vandalism and bio-hazard cleanup services!

    Back-to-School Tips for our Riverside Residents

    8/15/2019 (Permalink)

    School is back in session, there things that parents can do for themselves and their kids to ensure a smooth transition into the school year!

    With a well-rounded summer vacation ending, parents spend a lot of time getting their kids ready for school. New school supplies, haircuts, and special end-of-summer outings all play into the back-to-school routine. There are some other things that parents can do for themselves and their kids to ensure a smooth transition into the school year, too. Take a look below at few ways to get this year off to a great start in your house.

    Set up a bedtime and wake-up routine in advance. If possible, it’s best to establish bedtimes and wake-up times two weeks in advance of the start of school. By the time the first school bell rings, kids will already be on the right sleeping schedule and it will be one less worry for your family.

    Get to know new teachers. There will be open houses, orientations, and other meet-and-greet options at the beginning of the school year, but none will give you the chance to spend some quality time getting to know your kids’ teachers. Try to find a few minutes before or after school to connect one-on-one with the teachers. At the very least, send an introductory email that includes how you can help during the school year, however big or small.

    Plan healthy lunches and snacks. The better you plan out the meals in your home, the healthier choices you will make for your kids. When you pack protein-rich snacks and lunches, balanced with fruits, vegetables, and other wholesome items, you ensure that your children will have the energy and brainpower to make it through their school days.

    Organize clothing. Of course you will need to donate or otherwise get rid of the clothing that your kids have outgrown, but you should also take the time to carefully organize what is left. From there, decide what items you may need more of before school begins.

    Set up a staging area. Find a central spot to store everything related to school, including backpacks, upcoming outfits, and a dry erase calendar with family schedules. Try to keep this area free of clutter and other non-school items so that you can find what you need, when you need it—and quickly. Have the kids help you stock it with school-related items and keep it clean and functional. Find some inspiration here.

    Update medical records. Most schools will let you know if your shot records are out of date, but why not go beyond that? Make sure teachers and administrators have a complete list of any medical concerns regarding your kids, including allergies. You will also want to be sure that all emergency contacts are up to date.

    Talk to your kids about bullying. Research shows that one in three kids experience bullying at some point in their school career—and in the increasingly digital world, the consequences can be extreme. Make sure your kids understand the right way to treat their peers, and when to speak up if they see someone else being bullied. Also make sure they know when to come to you if they feel they are being bullied.

    Ask your kids about their concerns. The start of school is exciting, but can also bring some anxiety—especially when it comes to the unknown. Take a few minutes to ask your kids what they are most looking forward to during the school year, and what things may be worrying them. By giving them a forum to express their concerns, you can help them work through any worries in advance of school starting and clear up any issues that could lead to a bumpy start to the year.

    by SPARK

    SERVPRO of West Riverside City also wants to remind Riverside residents that Safety Awareness is always important.  Now, the kids may be plugging in flat irons and forget to turn them off.  Some may be back onto the morning coffee, and leave the coffee pot powered on all day when they leave the house.  Additionally, you may want to consider pulling out the cell phone charger from the wall when you are not charging the cell phone.  Did you ever happen to feel how hot it gets plugged into the wall when it is not charging a cell phone?  Also, please check smoke detector batteries, and have at least one extra set of batteries in the home--ready to go, so there is no "down time" without batteries in the smoke detector.  Please have a family plan for emergency exit, and consider a minimum of two exits.  Have all persons in the household agree to a designated meeting spot outside the home in advance.

    Have a wonderful school year and don’t hesitate to contact SERVPRO of West Riverside if you need our help.  You can reach us at 951-351-8033.

    Why Your Riverside Business Should Have an ERP

    8/12/2019 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO can expertly help you devise an effective Emergency Readiness Plan for your business in the West Riverside area.

    Benjamin Franklin wisely said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” It’s advice that can easily apply to a business. Water damage, fire damage, storm damage and other disasters can ravage corporations. A staggering 50 percent of these companies are too crippled to reopen. So how are the other 50 percent able to rebound? They have a readiness plan.

    An ERP (Emergency Readiness Plan) is a method of planning for emergencies long before they occur. It’s a carefully devised, well-rehearsed strategy that guides you and your employees to take decisive action during a catastrophe. Here are some things to consider while putting your ERP into place:


    Encourage your employees to formulate as many disaster scenarios as they can. One of the worst fires occurred in November 2018 with the Woolsey Fire and Camp Fire.  Studying such tragedies can help you more effectively plot possible situations.


    It is necessary to create an ERP that protects anyone in the building. The Department of Homeland Security refers to this as “Protective Actions for Life Safety,” including:

    • Fire Drills -- Rehearsals for action during a fire.
    • Sheltering -- Sheltering staff during a natural disaster.
    • Sheltering in Place -- Sheltering staff during a man-made emergency.
    • Lockdown -- Eluding an active shooter.


    Stabilizing an incident means preventing further damage on the scene. This can be accomplished by training your employees in various rescue procedures including:

    • First Aid and CPR
    • Proper Use of Fire Extinguishers


    Without guidance during an evacuation, people may blindly panic. Consider adding an evacuation team to your ERP:

    • Assign employees to guide evacuees out of the building.
    • Appoint helpers to assist persons with disabilities.
    • If an exit is blocked by a hazard such as a collapsed ceiling, make sure the evacuation team is trained to redirect employees to an alternate exit.

    SERVPRO of West Riverside City, is a fast, reliable, proactive provider of emergency cleaning and restoration services for fire and water damage. SERVPRO can expertly help you devise an effective Emergency Readiness Plan for your business in the West Riverside area.

    The SERVPRO Ready Plan information will give you the security of emergency preparedness. The information can be downloaded into the Ready Plan app to instantly share with SERVPRO, so that the damage can be intercepted. We’ll make it “like it never happened.”

    Here is some good information from our friends at Ready.Gov

    Prepare NOW

  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • Know your community’s evacuation plans and find several ways to leave the area. Drive the evacuation routes and find shelter locations. Have a plan for pets and livestock.
  • Gather emergency supplies, including N95 respirator masks that filter out particles in the air you breathe. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including and updated asthma action plan and medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets.
  • 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.
  • Keep important documents in a fireproof, safe place. Create password-protected digital copies.
  • 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.
  • Review insurance coverage to make sure it is enough to replace your property.
  • Pay attention to air quality alerts.
  • Survive DURING

  • Evacuate immediately if authorities tell you to do so.
  • If trapped, then call 911 and give your location, but be aware that emergency response could be delayed or impossible. Turn on lights to help rescuers find you.
  • Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Use an N95 masks to keep harmful particles out of the air you breathe.
  • If you are not ordered to evacuate but smoky conditions exist, stay inside in a safe location or go to a community building where smoke levels are lower.
  • Be Safe AFTER

  • Listen to authorities to find out when it is safe to return, and whether water is safe to drink.
  • Avoid hot ash, charred trees, smoldering debris, and live embers. The ground may contain heat pockets that can burn you or spark another fire. Consider the danger to pets and livestock.
  • Send text messages or use social media to reach out to family and friends. Phone systems are often busy following a disaster. Make calls only in emergencies.
  • Wear a NIOSH certified-respirator dust mask and wet debris down to minimize breathing dust particles.
  • Document property damage with photographs. Conduct an inventory and contact your insurance company for assistance.
  • Wildfires dramatically change landscape and ground conditions, which can lead to increased risk of flooding due to heavy rains, flash flooding and mudflows. Flood risk remains significantly higher until vegetation is restored—up to 5 years after a wildfire. Consider purchasing flood insurance to protect the life you've built and to assure financial protection from future flooding.