Back-to-School is a Great Time to Practice Emergency Readiness

The backpacks are packed, the buses are running, and your mornings have gotten back into the back-to-school groove. As the lazy, carefree days of summer come to an end and everyone gets swept back up into their own routines, it’s a good time to think about emergency readiness. Schedule a family meeting to make sure everyone in the household is on the same page when it comes to family safety and what to do in the case of an unexpected event. Here are some things to keep in mind as your family gets back in the swing of homework and school activities.

 

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Twelve Quick Tips for Fireproofing Your Kitchen

fireproofing your kitchen

Kitchens are the hearts of the home. They’re the place where morning coffee is brewed, family meals are prepared and birthday cakes and holiday cookies are baked. Kitchens are also the place where half of all house fires that require fire restoration start. In order to make sure that all your kitchen memories are happy ones, it’s important to take steps to fireproof your kitchen to keep your family safe and prevent fire damage to your home. It only takes a few minutes, and an ounce of prevention now can save you loads of trouble and stress with fire restoration down the line.

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Six Ways to Reduce Stress When a Weather Disaster Occurs


Your home or business has been damaged by a storm or weather disaster. You thought it would never happen to you, but it did. In the aftermath, it’s hard to feel like things will ever be right again. It’s only natural to feel anxiety and stress in the face of the damage. You’re overwhelmed. You want things to get back to normal, and you don’t know where to start.
Here’s a list of six things you can do to take care of yourself and those around you while you head down the path back to normalcy. You’ll be there before you know it. 

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Ice Dam Damage From Winter Weather

Ice and icicles are a part of winter, and they can be beautiful as they catch the sun or create interesting formations. However, winter weather damage from snow and ice accumulating on your roof or hanging off your gutters and eaves is downright dangerous and can cause major damage to your roof. Winter storm damage can even result in leaks coming into your home, through ceilings, walls and insulation.
In order to avert disaster, it’s important to know how winter weather and storms can damage your home. Snow and ice that build up on the eaves of your home cause a barrier between the warmth of the interior of your home and the cold air around it. This causes the insulated snow between the layers to melt, and that water flows down to your eaves and gutters where it freezes again, forming ice dams.
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Furnace Maintenance: Don't Take Your Furnace For Granted

Winter has us firmly in its grip now and the new year is off to a frigid start. Unless we can escape to warmer climes, bundling up and dreaming of spring are our only options. With the thermometer plunging to record lows, it’s certainly no time to take your furnace for granted, and furnace maintenance is key. 
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Top 10 Holiday Safety Tips | Hays + Sons


Lights and decorations add to the festivity of the holiday season. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a tree trimmed with twinkling lights, stockings hung over the fireplace and maybe even some over-the-top lights on the exterior of your house (ala Clark Griswold.) Continue reading “Top 10 Holiday Safety Tips | Hays + Sons”

My Basement Flooded… Now What?

With unpredictable winter weather ahead, the opportunities for water-related disasters are plenty– pipes can freeze and burst, rain and melting snow can raise groundwater levels, sewers can back up, or tiny cracks in your foundation can allow water to seep through the walls as the snow builds up along the side of your house. Continue reading “My Basement Flooded… Now What?”

Top Five Tips to Avoid Frozen Pipes

 
Well, it’s that time of year again. Time to cover the outdoor furniture, rake up the remaining leaves, pull out the parkas and snow shovels, and start thinking about eating some turkey and pumpkin pie!
We don’t know what Mother Nature has in store for us this winter, but it’s bound to dip below freezing sooner or later, so it’s also time to think about how your pipes will do in the colder weather and make sure you don’t come home to any unexpected and unpleasant surprises. Pipes that aren’t properly insulated can freeze and burst, causing damage and flooding. The good news is that this is usually avoidable, and an ounce of prevention now can prevent pounds of pain later! Continue reading “Top Five Tips to Avoid Frozen Pipes”

September is Disaster Preparedness Month

Remember the blizzard of 2014 when nearly 12 inches of snow fell in less than 24 hours, and grounded many people to their homes? For nearly a week, time stood still, some lost power and we learned about being prepared.
It’s true that disasters don’t happen everyday, but given Indiana’s seasonal climate, it’s not impossible to experience flooding, tornados and even massive snowstorms like the blizzard of 2014. Therefore, being prepared pays.Blizzard
September is National Disaster Preparedness Month, and a good time to share our five tips for preparing your family and home for disasters. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but we hope these tips will get you thinking about what’s most important when it comes to protecting your most valuable assets.

Develop your plan, know the risks

Your first goal in disaster preparedness includes making a plan, developing roles and responsibilities for each family member, and not forgetting pets. It’s also a great time to check your insurance policy, and have home maintenance completed. However, perhaps the most important step is taking action. The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes features a disaster risk map that can identify the most likely perils for your state.

Identify vulnerability, make home improvements

When disaster strikes, you want to ensure your home is airtight. After all, a safe home not only decreases vulnerabilities and saves money, but it also protects against the unthinkable.
It’s easy to assume nothing will happen, but disasters such as floods, tornados and snowstorms that are common in Indiana can quickly become a nightmare. Consequently, we always recommend a home assessment, and making improvements before it’s too late. Consider installing storm doors and shutters, building a safe room or inspecting to your roof.  As well, it’s always wise to devise a plan for what might happen should you lose power. For instance, do you have a back-up generator? Enough water? Batteries? Given Indiana’s seasons, these small, yet mighty protections could be safeguarding you and your family against possible property damage.

Make a kit

Being prepared, and ensuring your family’s safety is essential. This means along with developing an emergency plan, you also should organize a kit consisting of water, food, medicines and first aid, a battery-powered or hand-cranking radio, extra batteries, a flashlight, whistle, cellphone and cash.  Although this is a basic list, additional items to include can be found on Ready.gov. We cannot stress the importance of being proactive.

Create an inventory, be organized

Although it seems tedious, taking inventory and making a catalog of your personal property is necessary. Think of it this way: When a disaster of any kind strikes, you want to establish normalcy. This critical step could help in getting fair insurance reimbursements and simplifying the recovery process. Also, if disaster aid is needed, your catalog will make your application process seamless.

Practice makes perfect

Our final step includes implementing your emergency plan with a simulation exercise. By this, we mean addressing emergency communications, planning your exit strategy, and determining how to turn off utilities. Addressing these tasks not only identifies weak areas, but it’s also helpful in starting conversations about disaster preparedness.
When it comes to preparing your home and family for a disaster, being informed, prepared and proactive goes a long way in weathering the so-called storm. Disaster preparation takes time, and it’s true that plans don’t materialize overnight. But, taking initiative now during the calm before can offer you peace of mind later. Don’t wait. Act now.
For more tips on preparing your family and home for disasters, visit the American Red Cross and the Centers For Disease Control.

How much can be saved after a disaster? – Personal Property Restoration

It is rare that someone has previous exposure to recovering their lives from water, fire, or storm damage. People frequently overlook one of the largest areas of restoration because they are inexperienced. This area is personal property restoration, otherwise known as contents restoration.
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