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Storm Communication Network: Local Resources and Apps

9/5/2023 (Permalink)

rain and storm water Being prepared for potential winter weather is crucial to ensure you are safe at home or work.

Winter storms can bring hazardous conditions, including heavy snowfall, strong winds, and power outages. The Northeast region of the United States is no stranger to these severe weather events, and being prepared is crucial for staying safe and informed. In this blog post, we will discuss the Northeast's winter storm communication network and local resources and apps that can help us stay up-to-date and informed during these weather events.

National Weather Service

The National Weather Service (NWS) is your primary source of weather information during winter storms. They issue a variety of warning products, including winter storm warnings, watches, and advisories. The NWS website has an interactive map that shows the latest storm watches and warnings, enabling you to stay informed of the storm's trajectory and what you can expect in terms of weather conditions.

Local News Outlets

Local news outlets are also an essential resource for staying informed about winter storms. They typically provide up-to-date information on weather conditions, closures, and other related news. Checking in with your local television news station and radio stations in your area can help you stay informed about the storm's impact on your community.

Emergency Management Agencies

Many cities and towns have emergency management agencies that provide information regarding storm preparedness, timely updates, evacuations, and other vital information during winter storms. Residents can sign up for alerts and notifications about storms' developments, traffic and road conditions, power outages, and other public safety information. These agencies are also a great resource for any questions or concerns you may have during a winter storm.

Weather Apps

There are several weather apps that offer real-time winter storm alerts, tracking, and updates. Some of the popular apps include:

  • The Weather Channel
  • AccuWeather
  • WeatherBug
  • Dark Sky

These apps offer a wide array of features, including hour-by-hour forecasts, tracking the storm's path, radar imagery, and alerts if a storm is heading your way. They can help you stay informed of how the storm is affecting your area, whether you are at home or on the go.

Transportation Apps

Transportation apps such as Google Maps, Waze, and Transit can be important resources during a winter storm. They provide information on road conditions and traffic, helping you plan your travel routes or avoid hazardous conditions. Some of these apps can also provide notifications for public transportation changes and delays due to weather conditions.

Being prepared and informed during a winter storm is critical for staying safe and minimizing its impact on our daily lives. The Northeast's winter storm communication network is a vast network of local resources and apps that can help us stay up-to-date and informed about the storm's trajectory, weather conditions, and potential hazards. By utilizing these resources and apps, we can prepare ourselves, plan accordingly, and stay informed during a winter storm.

What to Throw Away After a Fire: A Comprehensive Guide

8/10/2023 (Permalink)

fire damage phone When your belongings suffer from a fire, hire a professional to help salvage your belongings.

Experiencing a fire can be a devastating event, and once the flames are extinguished, the process of recovery and restoration begins. While it is natural to want to salvage as much as possible, there are certain items that should be thrown away after a fire to ensure safety and facilitate the restoration process. In this blog, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on what items should be discarded and why.

Burned or Charred Items

Any items that have been burned or charred beyond recognition should be disposed of. These items are unlikely to be salvageable and can pose health hazards due to smoke residues, chemicals, or structural damage.

Perishable food that has been exposed to flames, smoke, or high heat should be discarded. Even if the packaging appears intact, the food may be contaminated and pose a health risk if consumed.

Opened or Damaged Food Products

Any food items that have been opened or damaged by fire, smoke, or water should be thrown away. Heat and smoke can compromise the integrity of packaging, potentially contaminating the contents.

Medications and cosmetics that have been exposed to fire, heat, or smoke should not be used and should be properly disposed of. These products can be dangerous when their composition has been altered or contaminated.

Fire-Damaged Appliances and Electronics

Appliances and electronics that have been directly affected by fire or intense heat should not be used and need to be discarded. Fire damage can compromise their electrical systems, posing a risk of malfunction or even electrical fires.

Furniture and upholstery that has suffered fire damage, such as charring, melting, or scorching, should be thrown away. These items can release harmful fumes and substances when burned or charred.

Smoke-Damaged documents

Paper documents and books that have been significantly smoke-damaged should be discarded. Smoke residues can infiltrate the pages and continue to release harmful substances, making them unsuitable for use or safe storage.

Items that have been exposed to prolonged water damage, such as excessive soaking or saturation, may become moldy or structurally compromised. These items should be thrown away to prevent further damage or health risks.

It is important to remember that safety should always be the top priority. If you have any doubts about the safety or suitability of any item after a fire, it is best to consult with professionals who specialize in fire damage restoration. They can guide you through the process of assessing and rectifying the damage, helping you make informed decisions about what should be thrown away and what can be salvaged. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a safer and more efficient recovery process after a fire.

How to Prevent Water Damage During Construction

7/28/2023 (Permalink)

Water damage can be a significant concern during construction projects, potentially leading to delays, increased costs, and structural issues. Taking proactive steps to prevent water damage is crucial for the success of any construction endeavor. In this blog post, we'll discuss essential strategies and practical tips to help you safeguard your project from water-related risks, ensuring a smooth construction process and minimizing potential damage.

Plan and Assess

Start by thoroughly evaluating the site's topography, drainage patterns, and potential water sources. Identify areas prone to flooding, standing water, or poor drainage. This information will guide your planning and enable you to implement appropriate preventive measures.

Create a comprehensive water management plan that outlines specific steps and strategies to mitigate water-related risks. Consider factors such as erosion control, sediment containment, dewatering methods, and stormwater management. Engage with experienced professionals, such as civil engineers or environmental consultants, to assist you in developing an effective plan tailored to your project's needs.

Install Effective Drainage Systems

Proper drainage systems are essential to redirect water away from the construction site. Install temporary or permanent drains, trenches, or ditches to channel water away from excavations, foundations, and vulnerable areas. Consider using geotextile fabrics or erosion control blankets to stabilize slopes and prevent erosion.

Protect Openings and Vulnerable Areas

Cover open areas, such as excavations or foundation openings, to prevent rainwater from accumulating inside. Use waterproof tarps, plastic sheets, or temporary roofing structures to shield exposed areas. Ensure that windows, doors, and other openings are adequately sealed to prevent water infiltration.

Implement Erosion and Sediment Control Measures

Erosion and sediment control measures are crucial to prevent soil erosion and the migration of sediments into nearby water bodies. Implement erosion control techniques such as silt fences, sediment basins, and erosion control blankets. Stabilize disturbed areas with vegetation or geosynthetic materials to minimize erosion risks.

Properly Store and Manage Construction Materials

Store construction materials, such as lumber, insulation, or drywall, in a dry and covered area. Protect them from rainwater or moisture, which can lead to damage and mold growth. Utilize plastic wraps or tarps to cover materials stored outdoors.

Maintain Good Housekeeping Practices

Promote a clean and organized construction site to prevent water-related issues. Keep drainage systems clear of debris and sediment buildup. Promptly remove standing water or accumulated rainwater from excavations or low-lying areas. Regularly inspect and clean gutters and downspouts to ensure efficient water flow.

Stay vigilant about weather forecasts and potential storms. Adjust construction activities and implement additional preventive measures when adverse weather conditions are expected. Temporary suspensions or protective measures may be necessary to minimize water damage risks.

Conduct Regular Inspections

Frequent inspections of the construction site are crucial to identify potential water-related risks. Regularly check drainage systems, erosion control measures, temporary seals, and vulnerable areas. Promptly address any issues or vulnerabilities to prevent further damage.

Encourage open communication and collaboration among all stakeholders involved in the construction project. Ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in preventing water damage. Encourage reporting of any water-related concerns promptly.

Preventing water damage during construction is essential for the success and longevity of your project. By implementing proactive measures such as thorough planning, effective drainage systems, erosion control, and regular inspections, you can minimize the risk of water-related issues. Prioritize communication and collaboration among all parties involved to ensure a collective effort in safeguarding the construction site. Remember, investing time and effort in preventing water damage upfront will save you valuable resources, time, and potential headaches in the long run.

5 Reasons Why Driving Through Flooded Streets Is a Bad Idea

6/16/2023 (Permalink)

Driving through flooded streets may seem like a harmless decision, but it can be incredibly dangerous. Floodwaters can be deceptive, and even a small amount of water can be enough to sweep your car off the road or cause significant damage to your vehicle. In this blog post, we will discuss the reasons why you shouldn't drive through flooded streets.

Risk of drowning

One of the most significant risks associated with driving through flooded streets is the risk of drowning. Floodwaters can be deeper than they appear, and even a few inches of water can be enough to sweep your car away. If your car becomes submerged in water, you may become trapped and unable to escape, leading to a potentially fatal outcome. Turn around, don’t drown!

Damage to your car

Driving through flooded streets can also cause significant damage to your car. Floodwaters can damage your vehicle's electrical system, engine, transmission, and other vital components, leading to costly repairs or even rendering your car unusable.

Health hazards

Floodwaters can be contaminated with various harmful substances, including sewage, chemicals, and bacteria, posing a risk to your health. Exposure to these contaminants can lead to skin irritation, respiratory problems, and other health issues.

Road hazards

Flooded streets can be littered with debris, such as tree branches, rocks, and other objects, making it difficult to see the road ahead. Driving through flooded streets can increase the risk of accidents, including collisions with other vehicles or stationary objects.

Legal consequences

Driving through flooded streets is illegal in many areas, and if caught, you may face legal consequences such as fines, points on your license, or even a criminal record. It is essential to follow local laws and regulations to avoid these consequences.

Stay Safe: Why You Should Avoid Driving Through Flooded Streets

In conclusion, driving through flooded streets can be incredibly dangerous and should be avoided. The risk of drowning, damage to your car, health hazards, road hazards, and legal consequences are all compelling reasons to stay off flooded roads. It is important to follow local laws and regulations and use common sense when making decisions about driving during flood events. If you must drive, it is essential to take precautions and avoid flooded areas whenever possible. Remember, it's always better to err on the side of caution and stay safe.

Unseen Intruders: The Top 3 Hidden Places Where Mold Can Lurk in Your Home

5/25/2023 (Permalink)

mold and drywall damage Mold can be found within your home, seek professional help for your mold remediation.

Mold growth can be a sneaky intruder in our homes, often hiding in places that are not immediately visible. Detecting and addressing mold in hidden areas is crucial to prevent its spread and protect the health of the occupants. In this blog, we will explore the top three hidden places where mold can be found.

Behind Walls and Wallpaper

Mold can thrive in the dark, damp spaces behind walls and wallpaper. This can occur when there is a leaky pipe, condensation buildup, or water intrusion from the outside. Mold can grow on the backside of walls and wallpaper, and if left undetected, it can spread and cause structural damage. Keep an eye out for any signs of water damage, musty odors, or peeling wallpaper, as these can be indications of mold growth behind walls.

Underneath Flooring

Another common hidden place for mold growth is underneath flooring materials, such as carpets, laminate, or vinyl flooring. If there has been a water leak, spill, or high humidity in an area, moisture can seep into the sub flooring or under the flooring material, providing the ideal conditions for mold growth. Mold can thrive in the dark and damp spaces underneath flooring, and it may not be noticeable until there are visible signs of damage or a musty smell.

Inside HVAC Systems

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems can also be a breeding ground for mold growth. Mold can thrive in the dark, moist environments of air ducts, air handlers, and cooling coils if there is excess moisture, poor ventilation, or a buildup of dust and debris. Mold spores can then be circulated throughout the property via the HVAC system, leading to widespread contamination. Regular HVAC maintenance, including cleaning and inspection, can help prevent mold growth in these hidden areas.

Mold can be found in various hidden places in our homes, and early detection is key to preventing its spread. Regular inspections, vigilant monitoring of any signs of water damage or musty odors, and proper maintenance of HVAC systems and flooring materials can help identify hidden mold growth. If you suspect mold in hidden areas, it's essential to hire a qualified mold remediation professional to assess and safely address the issue. Taking proactive measures to detect and address mold in hidden places can help maintain a healthy indoor environment and protect your home and well-being.

Understanding Fire Sprinklers: How They Work and Why They're Important

5/10/2023 (Permalink)

A commercial fire sprinkler. Fire sprinklers are an important part of any building's fire safety plan.

As a property owner, it's important to understand the importance of fire sprinklers and how they work to protect your building and its occupants in case of a fire emergency. In this blog, we'll discuss the basics of fire sprinklers and why they're so crucial for fire safety.

How do fire sprinklers work?

Fire sprinklers are a key component of a building's fire suppression system. They work by releasing water when the temperature in the room reaches a certain level, usually around 155-165 degrees Fahrenheit. When the sprinkler head reaches this temperature, a small glass bulb within the sprinkler head breaks, allowing water to flow out and douse the flames.

Contrary to popular belief, fire sprinklers do not all activate at once, only the sprinkler head closest to the fire will be triggered. This means that a small fire can be extinguished quickly, preventing it from becoming a larger, more dangerous blaze.

Why are fire sprinklers important?

The main goal of a fire sprinkler system is to prevent the spread of fire, which can save lives and property. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), buildings with fire sprinkler systems experience an average of 60% fewer deaths and 70% fewer property losses than buildings without them. This highlights the importance of having a well-maintained fire sprinkler system in your building.

Another key benefit of fire sprinklers is that they can help to reduce the amount of water used by firefighters in the event of a fire. Since the sprinklers start working right away, firefighters may not need to use as much water to extinguish the fire. This can prevent water damage to your property and reduce the overall cost of repairs.

Maintaining Your Fire Sprinklers

To ensure that your fire sprinkler system is functioning properly, it's important to have it inspected and tested regularly. NFPA recommends that you have your system inspected by a licensed professional at least once a year.

During the inspection, the technician will check the water supply, the sprinkler heads, and the control valves to make sure that everything is in good working order. Any issues should be addressed immediately to prevent any potential problems during an emergency.

Fire sprinklers are an important part of any building's fire safety plan. They work by quickly extinguishing small fires, preventing them from spreading and causing more damage. They can also reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities during a fire. As a property owner, it's important to maintain your fire sprinkler system and have it inspected regularly to ensure that it's functioning properly. By doing so, you can help to keep your building and its occupants safe in the event of a fire emergency.

Basement Flooding After a Storm

3/11/2023 (Permalink)

roof inspection If you experience flooding, give SERVPRO a call after the storm clears.

Water in the basement is a serious problem. It's not just that your furniture and other belongings will get wet, you could be dealing with mold, structural damage to your home, or even an outbreak of termites. If you find yourself dealing with flooding, here are some steps you can take to mitigate the damage and get back on track:

Contact the Professionals

If your basement is flooded, immediately contact the professionals. If you have a sump pump, call a professional to make sure it's working properly and that there are no clogs or other issues preventing it from draining water away from your home. If not, call someone who can install one for you.

If you're not sure whether or not to call in the professionals and want some advice on how best to handle flooding in general, give SERVPRO of Berlin/Williamstown a call today.

Run a sump pump

If you have a sump pump, turn it on and leave it running continuously until the water recedes. If this is your first time using a sump pump, check with a professional before installing one yourself. A professional can help ensure that your system is properly set up and maintained.

Once the flood waters have receded, inspect all areas of your basement for damage, especially electrical outlets and other devices that may have been submerged in water during high tide or storm surge events.

Clear sewer lines

If you don't have a sump pump, find out where your main sewer line is and clear a channel along its length so that water can flow more freely in that direction. This will help prevent backups caused by debris blocking the pipe.

You can also hire a plumber to check for cracks or other issues with the pipes in your basement floor or walls, which may be causing them to leak.

Foundation Cracks

If you find that the water has risen above the floorboards and into your basement, check for structural damage to your foundation by looking for cracks in the walls and floor. If there is structural damage, contact a professional to assess the situation and recommend a course of action.

Once you've assessed the damage, it's time to contact your insurance agent. They will be able to get an estimate for repairs and help you understand what is covered by your policy. It's important that you know what your insurance covers before calling them, they won't waste time trying to figure out whether or not something is covered and can instead focus on getting things fixed as quickly as possible.

If you are experiencing flooding in your basement, there are a few things that you should do as soon as possible. First and foremost, contact a professional. They will be able to assess the situation and determine whether or not there is structural damage to your home.

Flooding is a serious problem, if your basement floods or if you have any other type of water damage in your home, there are things you can do to clean up quickly and efficiently so that life can go on as normal again soon after the event occurs.

How to prevent a grease fire

2/10/2023 (Permalink)

clean stove top Preventing a grease fire is important to ensure your stove is clean and free of debris

Many people think they don't have to worry about grease fires because they're usually caused by cooking. Any items that contains grease can catch fire if it gets too hot, including candles and even your clothing dryer vent! So as we enter the warm weather months, take a minute to evaluate your home's safety and prepare yourself for something unexpected.

Grease fires are the most common fires.

Grease fires are one of the most common types of home fires. They usually start in the kitchen when you're cooking with oil and fat at high temperatures, but a house fire can also be caused from candles or clogged dryer vents.

Grease fires can happen anywhere there's fat drippings, mostly on your stovetop or inside your oven but could also happen on your outside grill.

Never underestimate a fire

It's easy to underestimate the power of a grease fire. They can cause a lot of property damage, much more than you might expect. And that's not to mention the injuries and fatalities caused by burns and smoke inhalation. A grease fire is just bigger and faster than it looks.

If you have an open flame or heat source near anything containing oil (like french fries), then there's always the potential for disaster, and fast! The flames from your stovetop may only be small at first, but as soon as they reach an open container of cooking oil or fat...BOOM! Your kitchen goes up in flames faster than you can say "I'm going to need some new cabinets."

Handling a Grease Fire

Don't panic. A quick, calm response will help you avoid or minimize damage from an out-of-control blaze. Don't try to put out the flames with water or other liquids (including baking soda). The water can cause splattering and spread the fire more quickly than it would otherwise have done so, making matters worse rather than better! Don't use any kind of metal pot lid--it won't do anything except make your pan harder to clean later on! Turn off the heat source. .If you're cooking on a stovetop, turn off the burner and remove any pots or pans from it. Leave immediately if possible. Let the firefighter handle the job.

What happens after SERVPRO is called?

Once you call SERVPRO, we will respond to your home. Our technicians have the training and equipment needed to put out a grease fire safely and effectively. If you are unable to put out a grease fire yourself, call 911 before calling SERVPRO of Berlin/Williamstown.

If you've never dealt with a grease fire before, or if it's been a while, it can be hard to know what to do. Maybe you're worried about ruining your dinner or favorite pan--or maybe you're worried about something worse! Fortunately, there are some easy ways to put out a grease fire that will give you the best chance of saving your meal and yourself. Give SERVPRO of Berlin/Williamstown a call at the first sign of fire damage in your home.

3 Effects of Water Damage

1/20/2023 (Permalink)

Water leaking from a roof into a bucket. It is important to know the long-term effects of water damage.

Water damage can strike at any time and in the most unexpected places. Whether it's from a leaking pipe or a broken appliance, water damage is always serious and should be addressed as soon as possible. In fact, if you don't get the problem fixed quickly and correctly, there are three long-term effects of water damage that can occur: mold growth, rotting wood, and structural damage to your home or business.


Molds are one of the most common long-term effects of water damage. The growth of mold may occur in as little as 24 hours after a flood and can spread quickly. Mold can obstruct visibility by residing above ceilings, behind walls, beneath floors, behind cabinets, and in other places where you cannot see it. It can damage your property in the long term if left untreated.

Rotting Wood

The deterioration of wood often occurs after a water loss. Moisture can cause wood to rot, crack or warp, and even swell. In addition to rotting wood, mold will begin to grow and spread.

The first step in mitigating the damage is to dry out the wood. If moisture remains in the wood, it can cause mold to grow later on. You should also clean up any standing water and remove any damaged items that may have been affected by water damage.

If the damage is extensive, you may need to remove and replace the affected wood. If you are not sure how to do this yourself, seek professional help.

Structural damage

When a home or business is damaged by water loss, there can be some long-term effects. One of the most common problems is structural damage. If the foundation is not properly sealed, water can erode it, causing flaws and compromising the structure of the house. If insulation becomes wet, it can reduce how well a home's thermal envelope works. This means that more heat will escape through your home's walls and windows compared to what would have happened if they weren't damaged.

Act Quickly

You should call SERVPRO of Berlin/Williamstown as soon as you discover the problem. Our team can help you mitigate and restore your property after a water loss, and they have the tools and expertise necessary. 

In conclusion, it is important to know the long-term effects of water damage. The most important thing is to prevent it from happening in the first place. If you do have a problem, don’t try and fix it yourself; call a professional as soon as possible!

Preparing Your Home for a Hurricane

12/9/2022 (Permalink)

Documents in plastic containers Protect importan documents in plastic containers

How To Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Season

Due to the location of New Jersey, NJ hurricanes do not usually hit the state straight on. However, it is not impossible, and the state has been hit over 100 times in its history. Hurricane season is a scary time of year. You may be wondering how to prepare your home for hurricane season. 

How To Prepare

The best way to prepare your home for a hurricane is to get it ready ahead of time. Even if you live in the Northeast, you should have a go bag in case of emergency. You can never be too prepared!

In addition, make sure all doors are closed and locked, especially those leading outside. If possible, tape up windows or buy plastic sheeting that can be used as temporary protection against flying debris and rain.

It’s also important to put any essential items on high shelves or in closets where they won’t get wet from flooding caused by broken pipes or heavy wind; these include medications, flashlights with extra batteries, and radios with backup power sources.

Gather Supplies

As you prepare your home for hurricane season, it's important to gather supplies that will help you weather the storm. Having adequate food and water on hand is essential, as well as flashlights, batteries (and a way to recharge them), and a first aid kit. The amount of food and water you need depends on how long your power may be out:

  • For an overnight power outage: enough for two days
  • For an extended outage lasting multiple days: at least three days' worth of basic needs

Make an Emergency Plan

An emergency plan should include a list of emergency contact numbers, including the numbers for your local police department, fire department, and hospital. Your plan should also include information about where you keep important papers like insurance policies and banking records. This way, you can easily access this information if you have to leave your home quickly.

You should update your plans regularly as well. If there is an event that may force evacuation or cause major damage to your area, make sure that everyone in the household knows what to do immediately upon hearing the news.

Finally, don't forget about pets! They need food and water just like people do during an emergency situation—but they can't be counted on to remember these things when they're scared or hungry! If possible, bring pets inside during a hurricane warning; otherwise bring along cages/leashes so that animals can be safely secured outdoors until after the storm passes by.

Prepare To Either Evacuate or Stay at Home.

If you decide to evacuate, make sure to have a plan in place. If you decide to stay at home, make sure that you have a plan in place.

If you are staying at home, secure your property as much as possible by boarding up windows and doors and removing anything that could become airborne during high winds (limbs, debris).


If you're in a hurricane warning area, it's important to prepare for the worst. Even if you don't live in an evacuation zone, you should still be prepared for the possibility of an evacuation or power outage. Gather supplies and make sure that your home is secure before the storm hits. You can also create an emergency plan with your family so there's no confusion during difficult times!