Storm Preparedness- How you can be ready!
Nature brings Storms!
As hurricane season is slowing approaching and the warms days of summer have already started here in the South – we must get prepared for severe storms. Although our area rarely gets hit with a full-blown hurricane the remnants of a costal hurricane can significantly affect us. The best line of defense is to be prepared.
Protect your property. Cover windows with tape and keep your blinds closed. Secure outdoor items by moving them into a shed or garage or basement. Park cars on higher ground and away from trees. Stock up on essentials buy building an emergency kit to keep in your home and be sure to have an emergency kit available for any injuries. Make sure your phone is charged and you have an external battery back up in case your power is out. It’s also a good idea to have an analog phone if you currently have a LAN line in your home. This will allow communication in the event cell service is lost. Have some extra cash on hand. power outages mean no ATMS or banks are operating. Make sure to have nonperishable foods (don’t forget the manual can opener) and water on hand.
Simple preparedness is key to riding out a major storm. Stay safe and know that you can count on SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties to be there for you!
Fire up the Grill this Summer - Not your House
As we all begin to kick off summer for the Memorial Holiday weekend – it’s is a good time to talk about Burgers – Hotdogs -Grills and safety!
Three out of five households own a gas grill – unfortunately, about 8,900 home fires occur each year as a result of gas grills. If you have a grill master in your home, they may think they have everything under control but its more often an equipment malfunction that causes a fire to happen, more so if you have not done much grilling over the winter months. Propane gas, fire dry air and dry grass can cook up a disaster you were not planning on serving for your weekend cookout.
Simple Precautions can save your home from a fire disaster. Always grill outside and keep the grill away from your house, deck and patio furniture. Check your propane tank hose for leaks. Keep your grill trays cleaned regularly. Always keep your pets and children away from the grill. Remember grills are not an oven, you cannot leave them unattended. Stay safe and enjoy these long awaited summer nights!
Leaves and Mold
Old Leaves n Mold
Many forms of mold grow and live in grass, on rotting logs, compost piles and falling leaves left on the ground and trapped in your gutters. While they do not die with the first frost like several other allergens, they lay dormant during the winter. In the spring, they grow on plants that were killed by the winter's cold temperatures. For those who enjoy composting, the soil-enhancing leaf mold is a welcomed part of fall. Even on their own, fallen leaves will still grow mold. If you are cleaning up this Spring from the leaves of Fall - Wear gloves and a protective mask - this will help protect you from coming in contact with any mold that may be growing from the leaves of Fall! Your allergies will certainly Thank You too!
Are your Ducts in a Row?
Before and After
Do you have your Ducts in a Row? Is Duct Cleaning Necessary?
Air quality in your home is important but unfortunately this is something we probably don’t think about as often as we should! Keeping dust, pollen and pet dander or what I like to call “Magical Fibers of Joy and Love” out of the air you breathe involves more than changing your air filters on a monthly basis. Do you ever think about your air ducts? I sure didn’t until I found myself dusting daily! Who has time for that?? Contaminants collect in the duct system too so that $10 air filter cannot not do it all…Who knew? Listed below are 5 top reasons to Clean Your Ducts.
- Improves your health – poor indoor quality is a risk to your health
- Energy Consumption – clean ductwork helps lower your utility bill, helps your HVAC unit function better and last longer
- Smelly Air – Ever found a dead mouse in your house? Without clean air ducts the smell can linger for months
- Mold – Who wants that? Microbial growth can grow in your duct system without you even knowing it! Especially if your home as been affected by water damage from flooding or foundation cracks.
SO… Who ya gonna call?? News flash ..Ghostbusters can’t handle air ducts… but SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties can!! Call us today at 803-276-0290 or 864-833-4411 to schedule an appointment!
Clean Your Gutters
Clean your Gutters!
Be sure to remove leaves and debris from your gutters on a regular basis. Something as simple as a heavy rainfall or melting snow (not that we get much of the white stuff in South Carolina) can get backed up and cause severe and unnecessary water damage when it has no way to drain from your roof! Clogged gutters and the weight from heavy rainfall can also rot the fascia boards and pull the gutter from the roof structure causing water to enter your home and damage your ceilings, walls and attic space. Overflowing gutters saturates the ground and forms pools of water that penetrate cracks in the concrete and deteriorate the foundation which can result in water damage to basement walls.
Check your gutters regularly - If you need us -SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties is here!
Be Prepared - Have a Plan
Warm fires feel nice in the cold weather but remember that a house fire can strike at any time and almost out of nowhere. There many ways to prevent house fires from happening to you but he best way is to be prepared and have a plan! Have your chimney cleaned and inspected yearly before fire season. Never leave your dryer running when you are away from your home and never leave your stove unattended - especially when cooking with oil. Test you smoke detectors monthly. Be aware of electrical problems and faulty outlets. Store any combustible items in a well-ventilated area and in proper containers. We here at SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties specialize in restoring your home to preloss conditions and making any damage "Like it never even happened." We are here for you!
Ambassador Spotlight - Kimberly Kitchens
Mel and Kimberly Kitchens
Kimberly Kitchens was intereviewd by the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce for her service and commitment to her community - get to know your local SERVPRO Ambassador!
"Originally from South Florida. My husband and I were both native Floridians. His family is originally from Augusta. His cousin who is like a brother to him, lives in prosperity on the Lake. Through many vacations on Lake Murray, we came to the realization this was where we knew we wanted to grow old. So, we moved our family up to South Carolina to enjoy Lake Murray."
- Tell us about your family.
"We have been married for 27 years. We have a daughter, Ashlee, 29, who has graced us with two lovely granddaughters that are 2 and 4. Our son Mel III is 24 and is proud to carry on the family name. He has been an integral part of our business for the last 5 years. "
- Share a couple of interesting facts about yourself.
"Growing up in South Florida my husband and I both have a love for the water and being outdoors. We love football, always proud to sport our colors: fans of the Miami hurricanes and the Miami dolphins (in good times and in bad)."
- What do you like about where you work?
"My husband and I are co-owners of the SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens County. Providing restoration services when residences and businesses have water and fire damage. Previously in the transportation industry for 30 years, where we provided a service, we understand the importance of relationships. We have owned our SERVPRO franchise for 7 years and have enjoyed establishing roots in the communities that we serve, taking care of people during their difficult times. We go into our customers' homes and businesses, and they become family and friends. "
- Tell us about your roles with the Chamber.
"Not being from the community, being involved with the Chamber has been a great opportunity to foster relationships business wise and personally, making Laurens County feel like home. And at the same time has educated me about the organizations that service individuals in the Community and allowed me to offer my time and talent to volunteer to help make a difference."
(Kimberly has served as an Ambassador for 6 years, is a Graduate of Leadership Laurens County Class XIX (2014) and has been involved with the Board of Regents ever since, has served on the Events Committee for the past 4 years, serves on the 100 Club Board, and is currently serving on the Chamber Board of Directors. She was awarded Small Business of the Year 2016, Spirit of the Chamber 2015, and Volunteer of the Year 2013.)
- Why you love Laurens County!
" The people. They believe in and support one another. "
- Anything else you would like to share?
"Being a graduate of Leadership Laurens County, I am truly excited to be part of having our Class project come to fruition. I am currently the Vice Chair for the Family Promise of Laurens County, creating a homeless shelter for families in Laurens County."
February is Heart Awareness Month- Love Your Heart
One Love - One Heart
February is all about love and hearts. What better way to remind us to take care of our heart than to celebrate American Heart Month! This month is dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease and increasing knowledge about how to prevent it from happening to you.
Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure is responsible for nearly one and four deaths, and represents the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.
Nearly half of all Americans have at least one risk factor for heart disease, but many don’t recognize the risks or know what to do to minimize the effect on their heart. This is why heart disease is often referred to as a silent killer. There are many risk factors associated with heart disease and some are uncontrollable, but many can be prevented by a healthy diet and lifestyle choices.
Some risk factors for heart disease include a family history, race or ethnicity, age, tobacco use, high cholesterol, obesity caused by an unhealthy diet, physical activity and diabetes.
You can prevent heart disease naturally as there are simple modification that can go a long way in preventing or reversing heart disease. Eat a healthy diet, enjoy foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids – Fish is the best natural source. Incorporate fiber in your diet this helps reduce cholesterol levels. Maintain a healthy weight -this is one of the most powerful defenses against heart disease. Get regular exercise – studies show that exercise also helps manage your stress level that’s a two for one deal! Ditch the bad habits - Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are key risk factors in heart disease.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and getting regular check-ups from your doctor will help you live a long, loving healthy life!
Take care of your heart!
Cold Weather = Frozen Pipes - Are you Prepared?
Living in the South doesn’t always mean warmer weather and Old Man Winter is planning a visit to the Carolinas this weekend - bringing artic air that can be brutal to your water pipes. SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties want you to be prepared! The best way to prevent frozen pipes is to protect vulnerable pipes with inexpensive, easy-to-install insulation. There are also last-minute preventative measures you can use in a pinch, and if your pipes should freeze, there are safe ways to thaw them before permanent damage occurs. Use these tips to avoid this messy and costly household disaster.
Insulating Your Pipes
It only takes a small amount of time and money to insulate the most exposed sections of your home’s plumbing system. Insulating foam sheaths are available at most hardware stores and they easily attach to pipes with adhesive strips or pipe clamps. Locating your main water line from the point is emerges from the ground to the point where it enters the heated area of your home should be insulated. Locate your main water shut-off valve and make sure it opens and closes easily. In the event of a broken pipe due to freezing the first thing you’ll want to do is close this valve. Insulate any pipes that reach outside the heated environment of your home.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
If you have uninsulated pipes implement these tricks to prevent a disaster. Run a continuous trickle of water from the water fixture farthest from the water main. If your fixture has separate handles for hot and cold slightly open both valves. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Keep your thermostat set to the same temperature during the day and night.
Using these simple tools can prevent a water disaster in your home but know if this should happen SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties are here to help! Like it never even happened!
7 Fun Things to do after Thanksgiving Dinner
After Thanksgiving dinner, many families usually head to the living room to relax and watch football games on television. Since quality time with friends and family can be hard to find these days, consider spending the time after dinner creating a new family tradition and making memories.
After you have finished eating the turkey this year, enjoy one of these fun activities together.
Have a Game Night
When you invite guests to your house for Thanksgiving this year, ask them to bring their favorite board game.
Be sure that you have games on hand that are appropriate for all ages of kids that will be at your house, including teenagers and preschoolers. After dinner is cleaned up, pull out the games and help everyone find a game to play. You can also do a group game, such as Trivial Pursuit, Charades or Pictionary.
Play touch football in the front yard after Thanksgiving dinner." Divide up your guests into teams, clearly communicate the rules and then have fun playing a friendly game of football together.
You could also play a group game of Hide and Seek or Kick-the-Can. If you have a large area, Capture the Flag can also be a lot of fun.
If you are feeling adventurous, head to a nearby or explore local hiking trails together. You can find hiking trails in your area on www.trails.com. You can also take a family walk or bike ride in your neighborhood. Be sure to have guests to bring walking shoes or bicycles when you invite them to dinner.
Create a Family Scrapbook
Have each adult and child bring a few of their favorite family pictures to Thanksgiving dinner. Provide some cardstock, pattern paper, glue sticks, sticker, pens and scissors. Have each person create a scrapbook page using the pictures and write their memories about the picture on the scrapbook page.
When everyone is finished, add the pages to an album. Be sure to include the date and artist on each scrapbook page. Next year, create more scrapbook pages and add to the album each year.
Write Thankful Letters
Have each guest think of one person that they are especially thankful for this year. Hand out pens and paper and encourage your guests to write the person a letter telling them why they are special.
You can include preschoolers in this activity by having them dictate the letter to an adult or an older child. When each person is done, give them an envelope for their letter and a stamp.
Decorate for the Holidays
Consider decorating for the holidays on Thanksgiving evening to include your guests in the festivities. Some families pick out their Christmas tree together on Thanksgiving to decorate later in the weekend.
Another idea is to make holiday decorations together after dinner. Some simple ideas include paper chains, salt dough ornaments and bead ornaments. When coming up with a project, be sure to include young children who might want to participate and provide alternate crafts if you have guests who celebrate winter holidays other than Christmas.
Consider heading to a soup kitchen or food shelter together as a family to help serve meals to other people.
Another option is to use the time after Thanksgiving dinner for your family to help an elderly neighbor with a special project, such as painting or raking leaves. You can also use the holiday afternoon to organize your own food drive by having each guest to your house bring canned food. Have each guest collect food from their friends and neighbors before Thanksgiving. After dinner, you can take a field trip to the food pantry to deliver the food.
Have a Talent Show
Kids and the grownups took turns performing talents, such as quoting Shakespeare, singing and playing the violin. Someone can be awarded a trophy for the best performance.
When you invite guests to your Thanksgiving dinner, be sure to let them know ahead of time about the talent show. Encourage everyone, including children, to share their talents. Remind everyone to bring any props or costumes they will need for their performance.
Whatever you do with this down time on Thanksgiving, be sure that you spend the time with your family and friends. In addition to have a good time together, you may find yourself starting traditions that everyone looks forward to throughout the year.