Staying Prepared: Storm Events in Wichita KS
Making a disaster supplies kit to keep in your home in case of a storm event is a great way to stay prepared.
Kansas weather, need I say more? Unpredictable is an understatement. Being prepared for storms is so important, when weather does strike having the items you need on hand will give you a peace of mind. We recommend creating a “disaster supplies kit” to keep stored for in your household in the event of an emergency.
You will want to keep your kit stored in airtight plastic bags or containers. Here are a few items we suggest, that could help keep you safe:
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Water?(one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
- Food?(at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
- Wrench or pliers (to?turn off utilities)
- Manual can opener (for food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
- Whistle (to signal for help)
Keeping these items on hand will keep you prepared for anything. If you have a basement or a bathroom that you go in case of a storm, storing these items there for easy access is recommended. As always, if your home or business is affected by a storm event give SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita a call (316) 684-6700.
SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita 20 Year Anniversary
Happy 20 Year Anniversary to SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita!
The 20-year anniversary of SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita marks an important milestone for the company, and for the franchise owner, Patrick Butler. Patrick moved to America from Ireland in 1989 and spent 11 years working in aircraft before starting his SERVPRO career. When SERVPRO started it was completely operated out of Patrick’s basement, since then they have grown into an 11,000 square foot office, warehouse, and workshop. 20 years ago, Patrick and his neighbor at the time, Craig McIlvain, had the drive and passion to get into business together, and bought a restoration franchise in the Wichita area. Craig partnered with Patrick for about 10 years, from 2001-2011 before selling his half to Patrick.
In 2015 Michael Butler followed in his father’s footsteps in joining the business after going to UNL and obtaining his degree in Political Science & Economics and then working in Lincoln for two years. In 2018 Michael took over as the Marketing Manager and has now stepped in as the General Manager.
2019 was a year that SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita really focused on growth and had their best year ever. In 2020 while a lot of businesses slowed down due to the pandemic the restoration industry really stayed steady and SERVPRO was able to add a new service line to their vast array of services, Covid-19 Cleanings. This service line took off and one SERVPRO franchise was able to get a contract with the Federal Government and worked with them during the pandemic to develop a protocol for all Covid-19 Cleanings. With this new service line SERVPRO started an all-new defensive pathogen cleaning program “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.”
In May of 2021 SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita expanded and bought the Southwest territory in Wichita. In obtaining more territories their goal is to increase sales and become the go-to restoration company in the Wichita area. Their building is located off of Oliver right next to Spirit Aerosystems, they needed this type of square footage to store their equipment as well as being able to store customers contents from fires that need to be in a secure location while they restore their home or business.
SERVPRO franchises are in the business of helping people, this includes helping people that are affected by disasters, and helping other franchises. There is a network of over 1,700 franchises that are willing and able to travel to assist one another, so no job is too big. Recently SERVPRO has added construction into their extensive list of services to provide a more streamlined process for the customer. From start to finish we will make it “Like it never even happened.”
Frozen Pipe Prevention
Keep these tips in mind during the colder weather to prevent frozen pipes.
Even though we have had a pretty warm winter for Kansas so far, when the temperatures do end up dropping, the risk of your pipes freezing and bursting increases. I used to hold off on turning on our heater for as long as possible in the winter, but now that I know burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage during frigid weather and can cause thousands in water damage, no thank you.
The pipes most likely to freeze are usually those in unheated interior spaces such as basements, attics, and garages. But even pipes running through cabinets or exterior walls can freeze. The good news is there are some simple things you can do to keep your water running and your house dry.
- Open your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing especially at night.
- Let water drip from the faucet, running water through the pipe, even at a trickle helps prevent freezing.
- Turn the heat on in your home if you plan to be away during cold weather.
- Keep your garage doors closed.
- Add insulation around pipes to areas that are unheated especially within in the first 2 feet that pipes go from inside to outside.
If the temperature outside drops below freezing, your pipes might be at risk of bursting. SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita is available if disaster strikes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please give us a call (316) 684-6700.
Christmas Tree Fire Safety
SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita is available on Holidays too! (316) 684-6700
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Time for Christmas lights, holiday baking, and a good ole Douglas Fir. Real Christmas trees can pose a fire threat to your home when not properly set up or cared for. According to the NFPA while Christmas tree fires may not be very common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious due to the rate of which it can catch flame and spread. Below are some great tips on where to place your tree in your home and tips on lighting safety.
Where Should I Place My Tree?
- At least three feet away from any heat source, such as fireplaces, candles, heat vents, or lights.
- Make sure your tree doesn’t block an exit or entrance to a room.
- Be sure to add water daily
- Be sure to shut off lights before leaving your house or going to sleep.
- Use the correct voltage of lights, some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
- Never use lit candles to decorate on or around your tree.
- Always replace worn or broken cords and bulbs as soon as possible.
Almost one third of every home Christmas tree fire is caused due to an electrical problem. Follow these tips to hopefully stay in the clear this Holiday season. Remember that SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita is available 24/7/365 including Holidays. Give us a call at (316) 684-6700.
We’re Hiring for a Production Technician/Crew Chief!
Apply now at https://www.SERVPROofnortheastwichita.com/careers
Does helping people get through tough situations appeal to you?
SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita is looking for people who can help get emergency situations under control. We are a disaster restoration company which works with people every day to bring their home or building back under control after things go wrong. Every day is a new challenge so while you will learn the skills and techniques necessary to tackle emergencies. You will have to apply them in different ways.
This is a job for someone who likes to work independently, who likes to problem solve and work with their hands. There is plenty of opportunities to make as much money as you want, and we have a clear path of development from technicians’ levels 1-4 into crew chief 1-4.
We are a national franchise that is locally owned and operated so we have the leeway of a local company with all the resources, technology, and expertise of a national company. For example, with storms on the rise we often have opportunities to follow major storm events and help people out of state which is coordinated at the national level.
Respond to service calls as needed. Perform services as assigned, following SERVPRO®?production guidelines. Communicate with the crew chief to make sure all customer needs are met. Support crew chief and other production personnel, as needed. Clean and maintain vehicles, equipment, warehouse, and office areas, as needed.
- Inventory and load the work vehicle with equipment, products, and supplies needed for each project
- Maintain a clean and organized vehicle and clean equipment appearance
- Prepare rooms/areas for work activities
- Set up staging area and equipment for each project
- Leave job site with a clean and orderly appearance
- Perform production processes following SERVPRO®?production guidelines per work order per crew chief directions
- Ensure clear two-way communication with crew chief and other technicians (especially regarding customer needs and concerns)
- Perform end-of-day/end-of-job cleanup and breakdown to leave job site with a clean and orderly appearance
- Understand and follow safety and risk management guidelines on the job site, in the office, and while traveling
- Effective oral communication
- Experience in cleaning/restoration preferred
- High school diploma/GED
- IICRC certifications preferred
- Ability to travel locally and out of state as necessary
- Ability to successfully complete a background check subject to applicable law
- Ability to work with technology
- Valid Drivers License
Physical and Work Environment Requirements:
- Ability to regularly lift 50 pounds and ability to lift up to 100 pounds with assistance
- Walking and standing for long periods of time, driving, sitting, climbing,
- Ability to climb ladders and work at ceiling heights
- Ability to work in tight spaces (e.g., crawls spaces under buildings)
- Repetitive pushing/pulling/lifting/carrying objects
Production Technician Pay Rate: $15
Crew Chief Pay Rate: $16-20
To apply please visit https://www.SERVPROofnortheastwichita.com/careers
All employees of a SERVPRO® Franchise are hired by, employed by, and under the sole supervision and control of an independently owned and operated SERVPRO® Franchise. SERVPRO® Franchise employees are not employed by, jointly employed by, agents of, or under the supervision or control of SERVPRO Industries, Inc., the Franchisor, in any manner whatsoever.
Wichita SERVPRO Sends A Firefighter to the First Responder Bowl
Shawn Hayes of the Wichita Fire Department was nominated by SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita and came in second place for the First Responder Bowl.
The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl is a national sponsorship that falls under our First Responder Program. Every year each SERVPRO franchise, which there are over 1,700 of in the U.S and Canada, are invited to nominate a First Responder that they believe has gone above and beyond in their line of duty. The First Responder that is chosen to win is flown out to Dallas, TX to watch the game and be honored at halftime.
SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita nominated Fire Fighter Shawn Hayes of the Wichita Fire Department. The award committee at the Wichita Fire Department sent in some of his truly exceptional dedications, we have included some excerpts below.
“It is with great pleasure we nominate Firefighter Shawn Hayes for the F1rst Responder Bowl. Firefighter Hayes has clearly distinguished himself as an exceptional member of the Wichita fire Department; willing to go above and beyond the standard expected in his duties.? He has constantly, and without fail, demonstrated what it is to truly be a member of Wichita’s Bravest. He serves not only the community but also those he works alongside, with the highest esteem. Firefighter Hayes consistently has a positive and enthusiastic attitude which is contagious and often emulated by his peers. His commitment to bettering himself and representing the WFD in high regard is infectious and makes others also want to improve.
Firefighter Hayes is a critical member of Rescue Company 1 where he has excelled and is highly relied upon and respected by his superiors. One admirable example would be his commitment to the Technical Rescue Team and his desire to improve himself and his fellow crew members on multiple levels. In 2020, the Special Operations Division began the extensive and strenuous task of revamping and improving certain areas and disciplines within the team. One of those areas was a complete overhaul of the dive program under the direction of Battalion Chief Winton. Due to the extremely dangerous nature of “black water diving,” it was necessary to bring the Rescue Company up to speed on the latest techniques and equipment. Firefighter Hayes volunteered for this daunting task without hesitation. In 2021, he began training to be a dive master and quickly obtained his Dive Master certification through PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructor).? He then quickly began studying to obtain his Dive Instructor Certification through Dive Rescue International for Public Safety. This is an extremely high-intensity program that includes hundreds of hours of pre-work before attending the classes. In addition, he trains new dive team members to obtain their First Responder Dive Certifications per NFPA standards, maintains dive equipment, and helps with training including working on new standard operating procedures all Rescue dive members adhere to. Firefighter Hayes provides continuing education hours to current dive team members and commands dive operations at alarm scenes.
Firefighter Hayes is no stranger to rescues both in water and on land.? Firefighter Hayes was involved in a swift-water rescue where it was reported there was a person inside a submerged vehicle in the middle of the river.? Firefighter Hayes geared up in full swift-water gear with his equipment and proceeded out to the vehicle in frigid water, where he found an occupant in the driver’s seat. He proceeded to remove the occupant from the car then drag and swam the patient to the river bank where emergency crew members were staged.? The patient, who was on leave from the military, was transported to the hospital in critical condition. With the quick actions from Firefighter Hayes, the patient was able to make a full recovery, returning to active duty within days of being submerged in ice-cold water.
Firefighter Hayes’ career is definitely not limited to the water though, his career has involved multiple civilian rescues from fires as well.? Some of his rescues include an intentionally set mobile home fire in which the citizen was suffering a mental health crisis and was attempting suicide.? Upon entry, Firefighter Hayes encountered heavy smoke conditions but managed to find the patient who was coherent but screaming at and fighting the crew.? Firefighter Hayes and his Lieutenant were able to rescue the patient from the structure. The citizen survived despite her injuries.
?Firefighter Hayes’ most intense rescue occurred in 2020.? As a member of Rescue 1, Hayes responded first due to a house fire with a report of people trapped.? On arrival Engine 4 reported heavy fire showing from the home and an aggressive search of the structure was immediately performed.? On entry, Hayes described conditions as “thick dirty smoke, zero visibility with high heat conditions.”? Firefighter Hayes made contact with a victim approximately 10 feet inside the bedroom door.? He reported he had a victim, then began to drag her to the exit as Engine 4 was keeping the fire in check to protect the search crew and victim.? Once the victim was outside the house, Firefighter Hayes and the members of Rescue 1 began life-saving measures until the patient could be transferred by EMS.? Following the transfer of the patient to EMS, he and the members of Rescue 1 reentered the structure to finish their primary search for additional victims. ?The efforts resulted in the patient surviving her injuries.?
In February 2021, Firefighter Hayes was again involved in the rescue of a citizen from a house fire.? An occupant reported there was someone inside but would not give specific information as to where in the structure the victim was located.? Firefighter Hayes and the crew of Rescue 1 assumed search and began working to locate the victim.? The home was an excessive storage house with thick smoke throughout.? Since the fire was located in the front room, Firefighter Hayes along with members of Rescue 1, had to overcome extreme conditions to begin their search of the bedrooms.? Hayes found the victim inside a bedroom and was able to drag her to safety.? Unfortunately, the victim passed away from her injuries despite the all-out effort given by Rescue 1 crew.? Firefighter Hayes was directly involved in the success of a wind-driven fire March 29, 2021, during off-duty hours, when a fire broke out in a duplex near his home. Hayes responded to the alarm and assisted E16 by pulling a 5” supply line and stretching it over 200’ to a hydrant. He utilized his leadership skills by encouraging several civilians to assist him in this task. Firefighter Hayes then assisted the on-scene Battalion Chief in the command vehicle by keeping track of assigned units during the fire.?
Firefighter Hayes is also involved in multiple fire schools including Wichita Hands-on Training and Labette County Fire School. His non-wavering commitment to serving others and selflessness, doing so with integrity and honor, sets him apart. ?Firefighter Hayes’ distinguished and exemplary actions are why he is being nominated for the F1rst Responder Bowl.
Firefighter Hayes came in second place, and we are so proud! SERVPRO Corporate is awarding him a trophy and providing tickets and a hotel room for him to attend the bowl game and enjoy himself. SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita will be partnering with the Wichita Fire Department to put on a celebration to acknowledge this amazing award. Here at SERVPRO being involved with our local First Responders is extremely important to us and we are so excited to have a local Firefighter represent Wichita at the bowl game.
SERVPRO Stove and Oven Safety
Fires in your oven can create a smoky smell in your home, call SERVPRO for odor removal services (316) 684-6700.
As the Holidays approach, yes, I said Holidays, can you believe it?! More and more people are cooking on their stoves for their families and the office potluck. Here at SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita we have seen our fair share of stove fires and thought what a better way to be there for you now, then to give you some tips on oven safety, so you don’t have to call us later.
Before each use, do an oven safety check.
- Be sure you do not smell gas leaking from a gas stove. If you do, open a window, and leave the room.
- Make sure there is nothing in the oven. An oven should never be used for storage.
- Make sure that there are no food particles or grease residue on the stove top.
- Position your oven racks before pre-heating to prevent scalding.
Be sure to follow safety guidelines when using stove top burners.
- Use the back burners as much as possible
- Make sure the pot fits on the burner properly and isn’t too large or too small.
- If you take the pot off the burner, be sure to shut it off and not leave it on.
- If the burner is hot make sure the pot is not empty.
- Make sure the handle of the pots are not in a position that they can be easily hit.
These are just a few tips in the oven safety world, of course be careful and never leave your stove unattended. If you do experience a fire in your home, please give SERVPRO a call, we will work hard to restore your items before recommending replacement. We also offer odor removal and deodorization due to smoke from fires in your home or business. We are 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so you can call us when you need us (316) 684-6700.
Cash and Zoey love tagging along to our events!
Here at SERVPRO our dogs are like family, and we all have a special place in our hearts for the dogs that might not have their special home yet. That is why we love supporting the Kansas Humane Society and their amazing event, Woofstock.
Woofstock is the Kansas Humane Societies largest individual fundraiser that helps them provide care for over 16,000 animals every year. This event is family-friendly and dog-friendly, and they always have wonderful live music, food trucks, vendors, freebies, and games. My favorite event each year is the costume contest, there is just something about seeing a dog dressed as a taco that brings me joy. This year was the 25th anniversary and they went all out. It’s amazing to see the time and thought that goes into these events.
SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita is happy to have been a sponsor and we can’t wait for next year!
Add Us On Social Media!!
Follow us on Facebook for daily tips!
SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita is on a variety of social media sites. We post to educate the local Wichita area about fire, water, mold, and general cleaning. Following us is easy, free, and might help save you in the future. We often share educational tips daily to help your home or business.
The great thing about following us is if you don’t have time to call you can send us a message on these platforms and ask questions about any water, fire, or mold issues you might have. We also post our crew members so you can see the team behind the green and get to know our staff. If you like to have a laugh, we post funny videos and photos and never shy away from a good joke or two.
We want to be your friend, family, and emergency contact.
You can find us on:
Linked In: @SERVPRO-of-northeast-wichita
Tik Tok: @SERVPRO_of_wichita8798
How Does It Look To Recover From Storm Damage?
Contact SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita a call when a storm cause a water loss and we will be there to help and get you back to preloss conditions.
For 20 years SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita has been working on homes during large storm events helping people recover from water damage in their homes and businesses. Doing remediation and mitigation for so long gives us a huge well of experience to work from but many people who have not had this issue have no idea what goes into recovering from water damage caused by an intense storm.
So we have decided to break down how the water mitigation process looks from our side to maybe give you some insight on what it takes to make it “Like it never even happened.” We are going to walk through a fictional water loss where a sump pump failed causing the basement to flood.
First Notice of Loss
The first step of a water loss for us is getting the phone call from the customer and this is where we take down all the necessary information from the customer. You can imagine that information like the customer’s name, address, contact information is taken down but some more specific questions are:
- Is this a finished basement?
- How many rooms are affected?
- Has the sump pump been replaced or repaired? (has the source been stopped)
- How much content is in the basement?
- What kind of flooring is in the basement?
- Are you planning on filing an insurance claim?
Once we collect that information, we try to schedule a time for work to begin as soon as possible our goal is to be on-site within 4 hours although we normally are there within 1. Typically, either an estimator goes out to give the customer the scope of work and an estimate of cost or we send out a crew to get started immediately. In this example, the customer has filed an insurance claim and wants us to start immediately.
Arriving at the Customers Home
Our crew, normally 2-3 people, arrives at the customer’s house in one of our beautiful green work trucks with everything we need to get to work! Our crew chief will walk the loss with the customer using our tools of the trade to help us evaluate what has been affected. Oftentimes people don’t realize how much carpet has been affected or even that water can soak up into drywall from the floor.
Once our crew chief has the entire loss scoped out, they explain the process to the customer and get documents signed so the work can begin. The work normally follows this process:
- Bring down our portable water extractor to begin extracting
- As one technician extracts the other technicians move and block furniture to protect the carpet and furniture from damage
- Even after all the flooring has been extracted the floor will still be wet
- In basements with carpet, we will pull back the carpet and remove the pad since this scenario is a Category 2 loss
- Before laying the carpet back down we will spray the backside of the carpet and the concrete with an antimicrobial that kills bacteria, helps prevent mold, and stops odor.
- We also spray the top side of the carpet
- Normally this process requires us to move all the furniture to one side of the room and then the other side to get all the pad if the whole room is affected.
- At this point, our crew chief has entered the dimensions and affected rates of each room into our program DryBook which calculates exactly how many air movers and dehumidifiers we need to most efficiently dry the customer’s home.
- We set equipment as needed to dry down the floors and walls
At this point, the work is down for the day. Sometimes baseboards, doors need to be detached or drywall needs to be demo’d but that is a case by case basis. The job is not complete yet though because the drying equipment needs time which is normally around 3 days.
After Day 1
So now the first day of work has been completed, excess water has been extracted, antimicrobial has sanitized the flooring, and drying equipment has been running steadily. Our crew chief will talk to the customer before leaving and setting up a time to come back tomorrow to check on the drying. On average it takes about three days to dry out a customers home which looks like:
- Day 1 Monday-Tuesday
- Day 2 Tuesday – Wednesday
- Day 3 Wednesday -Thursday
So we will come back Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to take readings of your atmosphere, the moisture content of the walls and floors, and to make sure the equipment is operating efficiently. Often when our employee is checking a job they will move equipment around to focus on the wettest areas and even remove equipment as more materials dry.
Every day they are recording their readings into DryBook for both the home’s moisture content and atmospheric readings. As those become better and better the home is drying until we have reached the point where everything in the home is within dry standard and all the equipment has been removed.
Once Everything is Dry
Now that everything is dry the big question is what is next? Well throughout this process we have thoroughly documented the loss and the process of drying the customer’s home down. We have before pictures, mitigation pictures, and post-mitigation pictures as well as all the readings our technicians took and the measurements of everything we removed in DryBook.
We create an estimate based on all that information and share that with the customer and the insurance company. With most insurance companies we have agreements on pricing and procedure in place so the customer does not need to worry about anything about our process and insurance paying.
In this scenario, the only thing we removed was the carpet pad so now the pad needs to be replaced and the carpet needs to be re-stretched onto the tack strip. We have contractors who can do that for the customer or if the customer has their own preference (say for example they buy their own pad and the store offers free installation). Once the carpet is put back we often come back to do a carpet cleaning to put a ribbon on the whole process.
At this point, the process has been completed. Insurance has covered our bill, the customer has paid their deductible, and has been made whole. Normally we have multiple projects like these going on at a time as well as fire, mold, biohazard, and duct cleaning.
If you experience flooding in your basement from a storm, broken pipe, or anything else the best thing to do is to give us a call first. We can come out, evaluate what needs to happen, give you a price and help you and your insurance company figure out whether filing a claim is the right move for you. Our 24/7 emergency line is (316) 684-6700 and is always answered by one of our knowledgeable managers.