HOW EFFECTIVE IS YOUR HURRICANE PLAN?
Many community associations in Florida have an emergency plan that they will activate as a hurricane approaches. But just how thorough is yours?.
With 119 units, the Esperia at Bonita Bay condominium in Bonita Springs isn't among the largest in the state, but it has a highly structured and detailed hurricane plan. A committee produced the plan, which was approved by the Esperia board in April and distributed to staff and residents.
it's written with military-style precision, featuring an Incident Command System complete with a flow chart of key steps to be taken before, during, and after a major storm.
The document includes many standard features of a hurricane plan, such as:
- Emergency contact information.
- Responsibilities of the board, building management, and residents.
- A list of services that might be unavailable during and after a hurricane. In addition, it includes some features that might be worth adding to formal storm plans by other associations, such as:
- A checklist for managements incident commander
- A checklist of things that residents should do before they evacuate
- A prepared notice advising residents of an impending hurricane and the risks of staying
- A form to be filled out by residents who decide to stay
- Checklist for pre-storm and post_storm communications
- A checklist for the post-storm grounds survey and cleanup
- A checklist for the post-storm inspection of residential units
- What residents should know about the association's insurance coverage and reserve funds. S.B.
By: Common Ground CAI's Magazine for community Association Leaders
Hurricane Florence Spins Up Into A Category 3 Storm, Aiming At U.S. East Coast
Hurricane Florence is expected to hit the southeastern U.S. as "a large and extremely dangerous hurricane," the National Hurricane Center says, after the storm quickly strengthened on Monday. Florence is now predicted to bring "life-threatening impacts" to the U.S. late this week.
Those impacts range from a strong storm surge to flooding from torrential rainfall and hurricane-force winds. Forecasters warn that the predicted track will likely change — but for now, it shows the strong hurricane bearing down on the North Carolina coast, with a potential landfall north of Wilmington.
With each passing flight into the eye of the storm and every new computer model forecast, it has become increasingly unlikely that Florence will turn out to sea and spare the Eastern Seaboard from potentially devastating storm surge, flooding and wind. There’s even some indication that the hurricane will slow or stall out over the Mid-Atlantic later this week, which could lead to a disastrous amount of rain.
Like Hurricane Harvey stalled over Texas in 2017, Florence could linger over the Southeast for several days after landfall. Forecast models suggest more than two feet of rain could fall over the higher elevations of the Carolinas and Virginia, which would generate dangerous flooding downstream. The flooding might be similar to what the Carolinas experienced during Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
Start your storm prep now if you live in the projected path of Hurricane Florence don't wait until last minute.
Why Pick Up Dog Poop? The Dangers of Dog Feces
Why Pick Up Dog Poop?
- " I pay taxes, why should I have to pick up dog poop?"
- " It's like fertilizer-it's good to let is stay there!"
- Dogs are part of nature-letting their poop stay on the ground in natural, too."
Have you heard or even thought of these excuses before? Approximately 40% of dog-owning Americans polled have admitted they don't pick up after their pet. Unfortunately, cleaning up after your dog is your responsibility as a pet owner. Even if you keep your dog contained in your own yard, taking the time to regularly clean up after your dog helps keep your family and community safe. Once you discover the threats dog feces pose to humans and the environment, you won't want to leave the house without a plastic up bag again!
Dog Poop Dangers
Dog poop smells bad and no one likes stepping in it, but it is more than an inconvenience: it is a legitime danger. Dog poop dangers come in several forms.
- It poisons grass and lawns.
- It carries hookworms, ringworms, tapeworms, and more.
- It transmits human diseases, too!
- It pollutes waterways and is in the same EPA category as oil and mine runoff!
Dog Poop is Not Fertilizer
Cow manure is an age-old, and effective, fertilizer, but dog poop is not. Cows are herbivores and their poop is pretty much broken down plant matter. It's sort of like smelly compost. Well, just like you're not supposed to put meat products in your compost bin, a dog's diet makes it poop very poor as a fertilizer. In fact, it is usually pretty toxic to plants. It is very acidic and will kill your grass if left unattended.
Dog Poop Carries Disease
Of course, dog poop can carry worms. This means if your dog visits the park and someone else left dog poop with warm eggs laying on the ground, your pup is vulnerable. Dog poop can carry human-infecting aliments, too, including vicious parasites. Among other things.
Dog Poop Contaminates Water
When the rain washes over dog poop and flows into the drainage system, that contaminated water is carried into local waterways. If you like to hang out at a nearby river or lake, this means the fecal water is mixed in where you enjoy swimming and boating! Studies indicate that about 90%of fecal coliform bacteria, which is used as a measure of water health and quality, is of non-human origin, mostly canine Dog poop is considered so dangerous that it is in the same EPA pollutant category as oil and runoff from abandon mines, and two or three days worth of un-picked up poop from 100 dogs can cause a big enough spike in bacteria levels to necessitate closing waterways within 20 miles to swimming and shell fishing.
How to Dispose of Dog Poop
There are many different ways to dispose of dog poop:
- Use special, biodegradable pick up bags and throw it in the trash.
- Reuse your plastic grocery bags to pick it up.
- Flush it down the toilet (this is okay for dog poop, but some bacteria in cat poop can survive water treatment).
- Hire professional poop removal company.
For More Information
By: Natasha at Pethelpful.com
Natasha's Blog can be found at : www.natashalh.com
Red Cross Offers Tips for a Safe Labor Day Weekend
The Labor Day holiday is fast approaching, signaling the unofficial end of summer and time for that last hurrah of summer fun. The American Red Cross has steps everyone can take to help stay safe over the long holiday weekend.
TRAVEL SAFETY Many families see the holiday weekend as their last chance to travel and celebrate the end of the season. Many will hit the road sometime over the three-day holiday weekend. The Red Cross offers these travel tips to help keep you safe on the highway:
Find out what disasters may occur where you are traveling and how you would get information in the event of a disaster (local radio systems, emergency alert systems).
Pay attention to the weather forecast for your destination.
Buckle up, slow down, and don’t drink and drive. Designate a driver who won’t drink.
Be well rested and alert; give your full attention to the road.
Use caution in work zones.
Observe speed limits.
Make frequent stops.
Be respectful of other motorists.
Clean your vehicle’s lights and windows to help you see, especially at night.
Turn your headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather, and don’t overdrive your headlights.
Carry a Disaster Supplies Kit in your trunk.
Don’t let your vehicle’s gas tank get too low.
If you have car trouble, pull as far as possible off the highway.
Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
RIP CURRENTS If a trip to the beach is part of your weekend plans, remember the possibility of dangerous rip currents which are responsible for deaths on our nation’s beaches every year, and for most of the rescues performed by lifeguards. For your safety, be aware of the dangers of rip currents and remember the following:
If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward shore. If you can't swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these structures.
GRILLING SAFETY Perhaps your plans include an old-fashioned barbecue at home. The Red Cross offers these steps you should follow to use that backyard grill safely:
Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
Never grill indoors – not in your house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to help keep the chef safe.
Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills.
The Red Cross hopes everyone enjoys their Labor Day weekend and stays safe whatever their plans may be. For more information, visit redcross.org/prepare.
Mold can be found almost anywhere, they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. Molds reproduce by making spores that usually cannot be seen without magnification. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. Bacteria can start to grow within hours and mold can start to grow within days. Mold spores can lay dormant for years until an ideal growing condition develops, in which they start to flourish. Especially during the summer, the warm humid conditions are a perfect micro environment for mold growth. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur—particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. It is impossible to eliminate all molds and mold spores in an indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling the moisture. Many types of molds exist. All molds have the potential to cause serious health effects. Molds can produce allergens that can trigger allergic reactions or even asthma attacks in people allergic to it. Others are known to produce potent toxins and/or irritants. Potential health concerns are an important reason to prevent mold growth and to remediate and clean any existing mold growth indoors. The purpose of mold remediation is to remove the mold to prevent human exposure and damage to building materials and furnishings. It is necessary to clean up mold contamination, not just kill it. Dead mold is still allergenic, and some dead molds are still potentially toxic! Applying the appropriate restoration procedures within the first few hours of a water loss can save thousands of dollars in secondary damage. Before the growth of mold becomes visible, there will be a faint musty or earthy smell. In time, mold will appear on the outside of the wall as a stain or discoloration. In a standard situation, SERVPRO® Professionals examine the structure for any visible signs of mold and remove the mold growth and excess spores returning the area back to normal levels. Some situations require the assistance of an Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional (IEP) with specialized equipment and services needed to assess and/or repair the structure. IEPs can test and clear a structure for mold by collecting air and surface samples. Then they can determine whether the mold has been successfully decontaminated. If you suspect a mold problem in your home or business give us a call at 954-748-7887. We handle mold remediation work on a daily basis and know when prompt action is required to prevent further mold growth. If extensive mold growth is present, it may be recommended that occupants leave the affected area until the containment process is safely and successfully completed. SERVPRO® Professionals are trained to control microbial problems in structures by promptly drying wet or damp materials according to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) standards and removing or replacing wet or damp porous materials, like drywall, that have visible mold growth.
5 Ways to Burglarproof Your Home While on Vacation
While you're away on vacation, a criminal may take advantage of this time to break and enter. The last thing you need while you're trying to relax is to wonder whether your home is safe. From leaving a timed light on to make it "look like you're home" to having a friend collect newspapers, here are the top five tips to safeguard your home.
1. Get an Alarm System
If you don't already have one, this is an easy way for peace of mind while you're away. Just by doing a bit of research, you can find an alarm system that works for you. Remember that thieves are also experts at their "jobs," and they know how to tell a fake alarm sign from a real one. If you are traveling often, consider installing a security camera near any entrances.
2. Take Care of Your Mail
An overflowing mailbox is a big sign to burglars that no one's been home for a while, making your house an easy target. Ask a friend or a neighbor to help you collect your mail; you can return the favor the next time they are away. Another option is to use USPS's Request Hold Mail Service to halt delivery while you're away.
3. Double-Check Before You Leave
This one might seem obvious, but it is still very important to do. Before you leave, walk around your house and make sure all the windows and doors are locked. It's also a good idea to shut your blinds and curtains so burglars can't see all the valuables you've got inside your house.
4. Let Your Neighbors Know When You'll Be Gone
Not only can your neighbors help keep an eye out for you, but they can also be a huge help with shoveling snow or mowing the lawn if you're gone for quite a while. Another idea is to ask a neighbor to park in your driveway to make it seem like someone is regularly coming home. And remember to look out for your neighbors when they go on vacation so the whole neighborhood will be safer.
5. Simulate Normal Light and Sound Patterns Using Timers
If you've seen Home Alone, one of the most iconic scenes is when Kevin is making a fake party to scare off the burglars. He uses cardboard shadow puppets, loud music, and lighting to make it seem like there are a lot of people inside the house. This is the same kind of idea but a bit simpler. You can buy a timer to turn on a light at night and do the same with a TV or radio.
POPSUGAR / MICHELLE KU
Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives
Is your smoke alarm working? The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has lifesaving information to help you protect yourself and your loved ones!
Smoke alarms are a very important means of preventing home fire fatalities by providing an early warning signal so you have time to escape a fire. Smoke alarms are one of the best safety devices you can buy and install to protect yourself, your family and your home. According to the USFA, working smoke alarms cut the risk of fatality in reported home fires by half.
While fires can start from various sources in the home, experts say cooking is the leading cause of home fire and fire injuries. Here are a few tips for preventing kitchen fires:
• Keep an eye on what you fry;
• Be alert when cooking; and
Keep items (such as kitchen towels) that can catch fire away from cooking areas.
Here are some other helpful tips to ensure your detectors will work always properly:
- Only choose smoke detectors that are recognized by an independent testing laboratory, like UL, and keep the manufacturer's instructions handy.
- Test the smoke alarms in your home monthly using the test button.
- Smoke detectors with non-replaceable ten-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to ten years, If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke detector right away.
- Smoke detectors with any other type of battery need a new battery at least once year. If that alarm chirps, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
- When replacing a battery, follow the manufacturer's list of batteries on the back of the alarm or the manufacturer's instructions. Manufacturer's instructions are specific to the batteries (brand and model) that must be used. The detector may not work properly if a different battery is used.
- Never paint smoke detectors. Paint, stickers, or other decorations could keep the alarm from working properly.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (954) 748-7887
Does Your Broward Home Have A Mold Problem?
In Broward, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.
Does Your Broward Home Have A Mold Problem?
Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 954-748-7887
6 Unexpected Places Mold Can Hide in Your Home
Mold is sneaky. To find it, check in these unusual places that provide mold with the water and food it needs to grow.
It’s not a shock when mold shows up behind drywall after a flood or covers baseboards in damp basements. But mold can surprise you and hide in unexpected places, making it harder to detect and wipe out.
To get rid of mold, think like a fungus and search out these six moist places where mold likes to grow.
Why mold grows there: Brick crevices collect water, dirt, and other organic debris. Rusted chimney caps and faulty flashing lets in rain and snow, encouraging mold to grow.
How to wipe it out: First, replace rusted caps and fix flashing. Then, call a chimney sweep to give your chimney a thorough cleaning. A $200-$300 annual visit from a chimney sweep not only removes mold, but also keeps your chimney free of dangerous creosote and helps it operate at peak efficiency.
2. Refrigerator Drip Pans
Why mold grows there: It’s a rarely noticed place under your fridge that collects moisture and food spills, a perfect environment for mold to grow.
How to wipe it out: Cleaning drips pans should be part of your annual deep cleaning ritual. Spray the pan with a hydrogen peroxide solution (1 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide in 1 cup water). Wipe clean with a rag soaked in white vinegar. Also, clean the floor beneath the pan.
3. Front-Loading Washing Machines
Why mold grows there: The gasket around the door on front-loading washing machines often stays wet because the door is usually closed when not in use. Add some lint to the moisture, and mold happily munches and multiplies.
How to wipe it out: Wipe the gasket and glass dry before you shut the door. If you spot mold, run a hot water wash with some chlorine bleach (no clothes), which will kill the fungi.
4. Window Sashes and Seals
Why mold grows there: Condensation provides the moisture mold loves; dirt and dust supply food.
How to wipe it out: After heavy rains, open windows and wipe moisture from the bottoms of sashes and window sills. If seals between panes are failing, you’ll have to repair or replace window sashes to prevent condensation. Regularly clean windows to deprive mold of food.
Why mold grows there: When you stack dishes that are a little wet and a little cruddy, mold has the perfect environment to grow — especially if you don’t use those dishes every day.
How to wipe it out: Run moldy dishes through the dishwasher, and wipe cabinets with a vinegar-soaked rag. Completely dry dishes before you store them.
6. Air Conditioners
Why mold grows there: Air conditioning units trap dust and pollen (a good meal for mold) and grab moisture from the air. If you don’t run your AC unit at least every 24 hours in warm weather, humidity in your house climbs and mold may grow in AC ducts and drain pans, and on coils.
How to wipe it out: If mold grows in your central air conditioning unit, you’ll have to hire a mold remediation pro to clean out the system ($400-$1,000). If mold shows up in a window AC unit, remove the front plate, clean the blower with a HEPA filter vacuum, and flush out the coils and clean the drain pan with a 1:1 solution of bleach and water.
Of course, prevention is the best remedy. Run your AC for at least 10 minutes every day to keep air circulating when it’s hot and humid outside, and keep the humidity in your home below 55%.
If You See Signs of Mold,
Call Us Today – (954) 748-7887
As July 4th fast approaches, NFPA offers critical fire and electrical safety reminders about fireworks, grilling, swimming and boating
With the Fourth of July fast approaching and the summer months upon us, indulging in barbecues, holiday parties and swimming often top the list of activities to enjoy during the summer season. To help everyone do so safely, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is reminding people about potential summer fire and electrical hazards, and providing tips and recommendations to minimize them.
“By knowing where potential fire and electrical hazards exist during the summer months and taking the needed steps to prevent them, people can enjoy activities such as grilling, swimming and celebrating the Fourth of July while keeping their families, guests and homes safe,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of NFPA’s Outreach and Advocacy Division.
Following are NFPA’s summer-related safety statistics and tips:
NFPA recommends that revelers refrain from using consumer fireworks and attend public fireworks displays put on by trained professionals.
Fireworks annually cause devastating burns, injuries, fires, and even death, making them too dangerous to be used safely by consumers. On Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for nearly half of all reported U.S. fires, more than any other cause of fire.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) 2017 Fireworks Annual Report, fireworks were involved in an estimated 11,100 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during calendar year 2016. There were an estimated 900 emergency department-treated injuries associated with sparklers and 400 with bottle rockets. Sparklers were the most common type of fireworks causing injury to pre-schoolers, and 400 of the 900 sparkler injuries were related to children under five years old. Young adults 20 to 24 years of age had the highest estimated rate of emergency department-treated, fireworks-related injuries in 2016.
Grilling fire safety
All types of grills pose a risk for fires and burn injuries. According to NFPA statistics, July is the peak month for grilling fires followed by May, June and August. Roughly 9,600 home grill fires were reported per year. The leading causes were a failure to clean, using the grill too close to something that could burn or having things that could catch fire too close to the grill, and unattended grill use. Leaks were the leading cause of gas grill fires. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, 73 percent of consumers grill on the Fourth of July and 58 percent grill on Labor Day.
The following are tips for grillers:
- The grill should be placed well away the home or deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. The grill should also be a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic. Keep children and pets away from the grill area. Have a three-foot (1 meter) “kid-free zone” around the grill.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease and fat buildup from the grates and trays below.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
Electric Shock Drowning (ESD)
Electric Shock Drowning happens when marina or onboard electrical systems leak electric current into the water. The current then passes through the body and causes paralysis. When this happens, a person can no longer swim and ultimately drowns. Here are tips for swimmers and boat owners:
Tips for swimmers
- Never swim near a marina, dock or boatyard, or near a boat while it’s running.
- Obey all “no swimming” signs on docks.
Tips for boat owners
- Avoid entering the water when launching or loading a boat. Docks or boats can leak electricity into the water causing water electrification.
- Each year, and after a major storm that affects the boat, have the boat’s electrical system inspected by a qualified marine electrician to be sure it meets the required codes of your area, including the American Boat & Yacht Council. Make the necessary repairs if recommended.
For more information, visit www.nfpa.org.