Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

Who cleans up a crime scene? We do!

10/1/2021 (Permalink)

The decontamination of a home or business due to trauma, sewage backups, chemical spills, hoarding or other biohazards can be both dangerous and emotional. Our team are trained to safely and effectively remove hazardous biological substances and take proper procedures for removal and disposal. 

From sewage backups to crime scenes, SERVPRO of Allentown and Western Lehigh County can help you. 

Why chose SERVPRO of Allentown and Western Lehigh County? 

We provide cleanup and recovery services for many biohazard situations. These include the following:

-Sewage backups
-Crime scene residues
-Suicide/death accidents
-Homicide cleanups
-Blood cleanup
-Accident cleanup
-Hoarding scenes
-Animal waste/remains
-Chemical spills
-Tear gas cleanup
-Meth lab cleanup

We are available 24 hours a day—our highly trained technicians are standing by. Call us at 610-776-7774.

The Power of Bubbles!

9/16/2021 (Permalink)

Restoring your belongings is now faster, easier and more effective with the ultrasonic deep cleaning machine. At SERVPRO of Allentown and Western Lehigh County, we have a Morantz SM-200 Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine. 

This machine is used to clean metals, glass, rubber, ceramics, hard plastic and so much more. Now you are probably The answer is by using high-frequency sound waves, which are transmitted through liquid, generating microscopic bubbles to dislodge contaminants. In other words, the power of bubbles. 

Our staff is highly trained to use this machine to restore your personal belongings. 

We use this machine for the following:

  • Window Blinds
  • Contents Restoration
  • Medical
  • Electronics
  • Parts
  • Musical Instruments

We have the equipment and trained staff to help you! We can help you for your next water, fire, mold and biohazard.

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is a Chamber of Commerce member.

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO worker with their dog Our Digital Marketing Manager, Molley attended this event with her dog, Karl!

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is a proud member of the Chamber of Commerce. We take pride in being active in our community, which is why we have been members of the Chamber of Commerce. With this being said, we attend ribbon cutting ceremonies, grand openings and sponsor local events.

We recently sponsored an event to raise money for The Sanctuary at Haafsville, a local animal shelter. The Sanctuary at Haafsville is a volunteer-based organization that keeps animals safe until they find their forever home. They depend on fundraising to help cover the cost of spaying or neuter surgeries, vaccinations, fleas or parasite treatments and heartworm testing. 

At this event, we interacted with our community while handing out waste bag dispensers. 

In addition, we are involved in the Chamber’s committee. We are happy to be active in the Chamber of Commerce and looking forward to attending upcoming events.

Why SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County?

4/2/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has been helping homeowners and businesses since 1967. There are over 1700 franchises nationwide. We offer 24-hour emergency service. Our staff is trained to walk you through the job process and then work quickly to restore your property. 

Our staff consist of technicians, crew leads, production managers, Estimator, Operations Manager, Administrative Assistant and a Digital Marketer and Content Creator. 

Our production team undergo extensive training, including Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) Certified. 

We have specialized equipment to tackle any sized job. We offer services for residential and commercial property. 

We offer the following services: fire, smoke and soot cleanup and restoration, water removal and dehumidification, crime scene, biohazard, vandalism cleanup, Mold mitigation and remediation, contents cleaning, air duct and HVAC cleaning and more. 

Call us today at 610-776-7774!

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County- IICRC Certified!

4/2/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is an IICRC firm. What is an IICRC certified firm? The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. 

As a IICRC Certified firm we present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity. At SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County, we take pride in our work. Our staff has the skills and communication to handle any job. 

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Why SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County?

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

Cleaning Supplies These are some of our specialized cleaning products!

We are family owned and operated. Charles and Donna Doyle purchased their first SERVPRO franchise in 2005.  Since then they own multiple franchises, including locations/territories in Allentown, Philadelphia, Carbon County, Pocono Pines and Mount Holly/Burlington Township. 

Our team includes certified Technicians, Crew Leads and Production Managers. In our office, we have Administrative Assistants and a Digital Marketer and Content Creator to handle the behind the scenes work. 

An emergency can happen causing a lot of money to fix it. Do not worry, we can work with your insurance to perform the work needed to restore your home. We make your claim stress free and help manage the insurance process and paperwork. 

We understand an emergency might occur at an inconvenient time. That’s why we have 24/7 emergency service! Our professionals are trained to respond quickly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays! Faster to any size disaster!

Does your business need our services? Does your house need our services? No problem! We can provide quality work to residential or commercial properties!

In order to provide quality work, we have to have advanced restoration and cleaning equipment! From air movers to specialized cleaning agents. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County has them!

Need our services? Call us at 610-776-7774!

Our unique 3 C's

10/2/2020 (Permalink)

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, our new defensive pathogen cleaning program, goes way beyond standard janitorial cleaning practices. This is proactive viral pathogen cleaning. With over 50 years of experience in biochemical spill remediation and decontamination, you can trust SERVPRO professionals to bring a higher standard of clean to the places we gather.

So how does it work? It’s grounded in our unique 3 C’s:

  • Consult: Not all businesses are the same, so we’ll tailor a bespoke cleaning program based on the unique needs of each facility.

  • Clean: Based on the agreed plan, an expert deep clean is initiated using our proprietary EPA-Approved Hospital-Grade cleaning solutions and always adhering to the leading level of cleaning and decontamination standards set by the CDC.

  • Certify: You’ll know a business is Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned by the shield posted on their front window. Along with digital emblems and other collateral, this beacon represents their commitment to the comfort and security of their employees, customers and community.

So when you see the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned shield, you can walk in with confidence. Because you’ll know the #1 choice in clean up and restoration was there.

Your local SERVPRO Professional will get the job done right and get it done quickly, because the SERVPRO Advantage includes these benefits:

  • Award-winning training
  • Over 40 years’ experience in the industry
  • More than 100 exclusive cleaning products

How An ERP Can Save Your Property

9/16/2020 (Permalink)

What is an ERP you ask, well it stands for Emergency Ready Profiles.  These are very beneficial to property manager and building engineers in large commercial buildings.  Having a ready plan in place can save your business and building. A trained SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County staff member will walk through the building with you, and fill out all the information needed.  After completion all you have to do is download an App on your phone or tablet, and you will have all the information one click away.  Paper versions are also available.  These ERP's come in handy when an emergency occurs and someone may not be familiar with the building, and needs important information.  It also helps out our SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County crew members when going into an unfamiliar building. Providing them all the information they need to get the job done correctly. Changes and updates can always be made by anyone with access through the App whenever they may be needed.  Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.  We have had the damage, and cost significantly dropped from ERP's being available to a building. Just remember this is all done at no charge to you or your building, and is super helpful!

Vandalism Clean Up

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Although some graffiti may have artistic merit, it is plaguing cities throughout the world. These eyesores can hurt property values, and can be associated with an increase in crime.

According to the Bureau of Justice, graffiti is the most common form of vandalism, and its cleanup is burdening businesses and property owners, while taking a chunk out of municipal budgets. American cities spend an estimated $12 billion on graffiti cleanup each year, not to mention countless law enforcement resources.

Some of the most common graffiti targets include schools, businesses, public transportation vehicles and stations, utilities, shopping malls, and government buildings. 

With everything going on in the world today SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County offers Services where we can completely remove and clean the walls and floors of these buildings for affordable and reasonable prices. We understand you want your building and your city looking clean and respectable because your image is crucial to people returning or coming in your doors for the first time. 

Our experienced staff uses chemicals, pressure washers and heat to remove these unwanted tags to make it look fresh, clean and new. We care about your business and your establishment so do not hesitate to call us!

Educate Yourself On Mitigation

4/2/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County wants everyone to understand what consists of a water damage and understand what it takes to get your property back to normal. 

Full restoration consists of two major phases. The first, mitigation, consists of occasional demolition, cleaning and drying out the structure and belongings. This phase usually takes no more than 3 – 4 days.

Causes of water damage include:

  • Bursting or leaking pipes.
  • Issues with the plumbing system.
  • Buildup in areas prone to collecting water, such as crawl spaces, attics and basements.
  • Faulty or malfunctioning household appliances.
  • HVACs (Heating, ventilating and air conditioning units) issues.

If left untreated, water damage can permanently weaken your home's structure or cause you and your family to become ill. Even a little bit of moisture can attract whole colonies of mold or bacteria.

Within 1 to 24 hours – When water damage lasts for 1 to 24 hours, drywall begins to bulge and break, furniture begins to swell and crack, and metal surfaces begin to tarnish. Within 2 hours to 7 days – You will experience growth and spread of mold and mildew.

It is safe to say that a water damage should be taken seriously and not let untreated. If you ever have to experience this, be sure to call SERVPRO!

Educate Yourself on Mold

4/2/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County wants you to understand what mold is and how to spot it to keep you safe so you know to call us for a remediation. 

With that definitionMold Abatement means the ending of mold or removing mold from your home or business. Remediation means the action of remedying something, in particular of reversing or stopping environmental damage. ... We are removing the mold which is remediating the mold situation which is ending it, abatement.

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will carefully inspect your property for visible signs of moldMold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. They use various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources. 

The cleanup process is the same for Level 1 and Level 2 mold remediation and comprises these steps:

  • Repair the water problem. ...
  • Isolate the contaminated area. ...
  • Suppress dust. ...
  • Remove materials. ...
  • Place materials in plastic bags. ...
  • Clean. ...
  • Clean the affected area and egress. ...
  • Visibility test.

50-200 spores – still very low levels; the toxic mold species Stachybotrys and Memnoniella are the only species to be considered an issue at this level. 200-500 spores – the most common species (Penicillium/Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Curvularia) are not an issue and stay within the normal range.

If you think you have seen any of this make sure you call us out for an estimate!

Why Choose Us

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Fires can be very sudden and can happen at any time. Having to evacuate your home because of a fire may be one of the most scary things that can happen to a homeowner. It means that you could be in incredible danger, and it might mean that your home could be completely lost. An evacuation means you have to move quickly and effectively, while making sure that nothing is forgotten. That means having a plan set out ahead of time so you are prepared to go at a moment’s notice. Here at SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County we care about your well being more than just your home being put back together by us after a fire. It is important to us that you take the time out of your day as soon as possible and get together with your loved ones and put a plan in place where you have steps and procedures to get out safely and everyone understands what they must do in case the it does happen. It is better to be safe than sorry and that is why you should chose SERVPRO because we want the best for our customers and hope they never have to experience something worse because there were no precautions.

We Are The Cleaning Professionals

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

Contact us at (610)776-7774


During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County at 610-776-7774


Take these precautions as the Summer season comes to an end!

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

As much fun as summer can be, it has to end at some point. As the trees begin to change and the weather shifts from hot and humid to cool and crisp, it’s time to prepare for the onset of cooler months. Whether you’re not ready for the heat to be gone or are looking forward to unpacking your favorite cold weather clothes, there’s a lot to do to get ready for the changing seasons. To begin inspecting your roof can really help to show if you need repairs before the season changes.  If you have a heavy rainstorm or a foot of snow, can your roof take the burden? Before settling in for another chilly fall and a freezing winter, take a look at your roof for weak spots, cracks in your shingles, granules, and wind damage. If you see anything that looks off or unstable, a roofer may be what your home needs to weather this winter’s storms. Another big step to take is cleaning out your gutters.  As the leaves begin to turn, you know you’re only weeks away from them falling off entirely and stopping up your gutters. Before you find yourself with a big mess on your hands, take the time now to clean out your gutters and drainpipes to prevent the possibility of water damage and clogs. A clean early in the season may not suffice through the winter, but it will make sure you’re prepared for the harsher weather to come. Water damages can be caused by clogged drains; overflowing water to collect on your roof or house and most outside water damage is not covered by insurance!  These are just two big steps on the checklist before colder air moves in.  SERVPRO of Western Lehigh is always here when called upon during the colder seasons.

Here to help with all you mold remediation needs!

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County we care about your health and your family’s health. We are providing great tips in keeping an eye out on Mold. A common sign of Mold is having allergic reactions to it. When being at home isn’t so pleasant by sneezing, having sore eyes and running nose or nasal congestion all the time and then stepping out the house and not having an any of these symptoms you could be having mold in your home. The second sign is the odor of Mold. If you smell humid, damp or like decaying wood, it is the odor of Mold and is another big sign that you are experiencing Mold. Another important and visual indication is seeing mold. Mold will start off small but will eventually grow into bigger patches with very different colors of black and white are the most common colors sometimes in most extreme case color may vary from gray-brown and gray-green or even orange, pink or purple. This sign maybe ignores at times because it is not present now but when water leaks and past flooding happen, in the home one would need to keep an eye out on mold growth, but if you have had these events in your home most likely you have mold growing. Condensation is the tell-tale sign of mold; condensation happens when a high amount of moisture or humidity present in the house. Condensation is the breeding grown of mold if this problem is ignored most likely you have mold in the home.  At the first sign of any mold issue, contact SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County right away for service!

Responding At All Hours!

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is always ready at a moments notice to respond to any call that comes in.  Availability is are main priority, because disasters don't have a schedule, nor do they wait for a confident time.  That's why we offer our services 24/7 365 days a year.  If your water heater decides to burst in the middle of the night, you better believe we will respond and have a crew out in no time.  Some company's may make you wait till the morning, that's only going to cause more damage and cost more on your pocket.  SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County 24/7 answering service will make sure your call is directed to the correct person to have a crew shipped out to your damages.  Even if you are not facing an emergency our phones are always on if you need to set up an appointment for someone to come out and help you.  

SERVPRO has been a growing company for over 50 years

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County we want you to know that when you're calling us you are making the right decision. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County has been a growing company since 1967 and we continue to grow and become a better company to serve you and all of your remediation/restoration needs. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is the newest addition to the SERVPRO franchises with a crew right in your area to be there when you need it most. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is apart of an expanding franchise with a new sales staff and our joint franchises in Society Hill and Burlington County/Mt. Holly we are bringing our services closer to you now more than ever. Fall is right around the corner, and the cold bitter winter weather isn't too far behind, knowing who to call when it's 2 am and your basement is flooded will make the inconvenience a breeze when you pick up the phone and call SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County.

We Do It Right The First Time!!

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

When you call SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County we know you expect the work to be done correctly the first time.  We also hold our crew to the same standards.  You are most likely going through some tough times and the quality of work we perform can really affect that in either way.  The quicker and more efficient we are at cleaning up the job, the more likely the customer will feel relief and gratitude.  On the other hand if we continue to make more work of a situation and the process drags on the customer is going to continue to worry and the relief they thought was coming now looks farther away.  This is why SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County makes sure your stress free and that you know the job will be completed and done correctly the first time.  Our customers deserve to know this to ease there mind in troubling times

Gusty Winds Can Lead to Tumbling Trees and Costly Numbers

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

With fall approaching the trees and leaves are  changing and everything looks festive and pretty. But strong winds can lead to trees giving out and falling, and if you find yourself with a tree through your living room and pipes burst in the basement from the crash it could be a bad day with no end in sight. At SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County we want you to know that we can be there for you to help when it seems like the sky is falling. We can have a crew out to help clean up the damages from the fall and soak up the water in the basement. We also do a great job of restoring as much as we can and have contracting crews that can put your home back together. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is here for whatever whenever and with it getting cold out, you can count on us to be there. 

IICRC Certified Firm

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

We are an IICRC Certified Firm.

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Identifying Mold & Mold Removal From Homes

10/3/2018 (Permalink)

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. 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. Not only will we remove the mold, but with our special eco friendly chemicals we will make sure it's not going to be growing back anytime soon.  Letting a mold problem go unattended to can be a dangerous health hazard over time.  This is why SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is the place to call if you are dealing with any of these issues. 

National Preparedness Month: Safety Skills

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Save yourself and others by getting certified in First Aid & CPR!

Learn First Aid & CPR 

Take a first aid and CPR class. Local American Red Cross chapters can provide information about this type of training. Official certification by the American Red Cross provides, under the “good Samaritan” law, protection for those giving first aid.

Get more information about the supplies in a first aid kit.

Learn to Use a Fire Extinguisher

Make sure you have one or more up-to-date fire extinguisher and be sure everyone knows where they are kept and how to use them. You should have, at a minimum, an ABC type.

The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that only those trained in the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers consider using them when appropriate. Contact your local fire department for information on training in your area. Get more information about preparedness for a fire emergency.

Know how to shut-off Utilities

Natural Gas

Natural gas leaks and explosions are responsible for a significant number of fires following disasters. It is vital that all household members know how to shut off natural gas.

Because there are different gas shut-off procedures for different gas meter configurations, it is important to contact your local gas company for any guidance on preparations and response regarding gas appliances and gas service to your home.

When you learn the proper shut-off procedure for your meter, share the information with everyone in your household. Be sure not to actually turn off the gas when practicing the proper gas shut-off procedures.

  • If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out quickly. Turn off the gas, using the outside main valve, if you can, and call the gas company from a neighbor’s home.

  • Caution: If you turn off the gas for any reason, a qualified professional must turn it back on. NEVER attempt to turn the gas back on yourself.


Water quickly becomes a precious resource following many disasters. It is vital that all household members learn how to shut off the water at the main house valve. 

  • Before an emergency happens, locate the shut-off valve for the water line that enters your house and label this valve with a tag for easy identification. Make sure all household members know where it is located.

  • Make sure this valve can be completely shut off. Your valve may be rusted open or it may only partially close. If so, replace it.

  • Cracked lines may pollute the water supply to your house. It is wise to shut off your water until you hear from authorities that it is safe for drinking.

The effects of gravity may drain the water in your hot water heater and toilet tanks unless you trap it in your house by shutting off the main house valve. (This is not the street valve in the cement box at the curb – the street valve is extremely difficult to turn and requires a special tool.)


Electrical sparks have the potential of igniting natural gas if it is leaking. It is wise to teach all responsible household members where and how to shut off the electricity.

  • Locate you electrical circuit box. For your safety, always shut off all the individual circuits before shutting off the main circuit.


National Preparedness Month: Evacuation

9/7/2018 (Permalink)

Plan for evacuation in your community!

Plan to Evacuate

A wide variety of emergencies may cause an evacuation. In some instances you may have a day or two to prepare, while other situations might call for an immediate evacuation. Planning ahead is vital to ensuring that you can evacuate quickly and safely, no matter what the circumstances.

Before an Evacuation

  • Learn the types of disasters that are likely in your community and the local emergency, evacuation, and shelter plans for each specific disaster.
  • Plan how you will leave and where you will go if you are advised to evacuate.
    • Identify several places you could go in an emergency such as a friend’s home in another town or a motel. Choose destinations in different directions so that you have options during an emergency.
    • If needed, identify a place to stay that will accept pets. Most public shelters allow only service animals.
    • Be familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area.
    • Always follow the instructions of local officials and remember that your evacuation route may be on foot depending on the type of disaster.
  • Develop a family/household communication and re-unification plan so that you can maintain contact and take the best actions for each of you and re-unite if you are separated.
  • Assemble supplies that are ready for evacuation, both a “go-bag” you can carry when you evacuate on foot or public transportation and supplies for traveling by longer distances if you have a personal vehicle. 
  • If you have a car:
    • Keep a full tank of gas in it if an evacuation seems likely. Keep a half tank of gas in it at all times in case of an unexpected need to evacuate. Gas stations may be closed during emergencies and unable to pump gas during power outages. Plan to take one car per family to reduce congestion and delay.
    • Make sure you have a portable emergency kit in the car.
  • If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave if needed. Make arrangements with family, friends or your local government.

During an Evacuation

  • A list of open shelters can be found during an active disaster in your local area by downloading the FEMA app
  • Listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local evacuation instructions.
  • Take your emergency supply kit.
  • Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
  • Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency now.
  • If time allows:
    • Call or email the out-of-state contact in your family communications plan. Tell them where you are going.
    • Secure your home by closing and locking doors and windows.
    • Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding. If there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.
    • Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
    • Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and a hat.
    • Check with neighbors who may need a ride.
  • Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.
  • Be alert for road hazards such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Do not drive into flooded areas.

After an Evacuation

If you evacuated for the storm, check with local officials both where you’re staying and back home before you travel.

  • Residents returning to disaster-affected areas after significant events should expect and prepare for disruptions to daily activities, and remember that returning home before storm debris is cleared is dangerous.

  • Let friends and family know before you leave and when you arrive.

  • Charge devices and consider getting back-up batteries in case power-outages continue.

  • Fill up your gas tank and consider downloading a fuel app to check for outages along your route.

  • Bring supplies such as water and non-perishable food for the car ride.

  • Avoid downed power or utility lines; they may be live with deadly voltage. 

  • Stay away and report them immediately to your power or utility company.

  • Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system.


National Preparedness Month:Emergency Alerts

9/6/2018 (Permalink)

Don't wait until after the emergency, prepare now!

Public safety officials use timely and reliable systems to alert you and your family in the event of natural or man-made disasters.

Wireless Emergency Alerts

During an emergency, alert and warning officials need to provide the public with life-saving information quickly. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs), made available through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) infrastructure, are just one of the ways public safety officials can quickly and effectively alert and warn the public about serious emergencies.

What you need to know about WEAs:

  • WEAs can be sent by state and local public safety officials, the National Weather Service, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the President of the United States
  • WEAs can be issued for three alert categories – imminent threat, AMBER, and presidential
  • WEAs look like text messages, but are designed to get your attention and alert you with a unique sound and vibration, both repeated twice
  • WEAs are no more than 90 characters, and will include the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, as well as the agency issuing the alert
  • WEAs are not affected by network congestion and will not disrupt texts, calls, or data sessions that are in progress
  • Mobile users are not charged for receiving WEAs and there is no need to subscribe
  • To ensure your device is WEA-capable, check with your service provider

Visit the FEMA Media Library and download these tools:

Emergency Alert System

  • The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), is a modernization and integration of the nation's existing and future alert and warning systems, technologies, and infrastructure.
  • The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, satellite digital audio service and direct broadcast satellite providers, cable television systems, and wireless cable systems to provide the President with a communications capability to address the American people within 10 minutes during a national emergency.
  • EAS may also be used by state and local authorities, in cooperation with the broadcast community, to deliver important emergency information, such as weather information, imminent threats, AMBER alerts, and local incident information targeted to specific areas.
  • The President has sole responsibility for determining when the national-level EAS will be activated. FEMA is responsible for national-level EAS tests and exercises.
  • EAS is also used when all other means of alerting the public are unavailable, providing an added layer of resiliency to the suite of available emergency communication tools.

Emergency Alert System fact sheet  

NOAA Weather Radio

NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information from the nearest National Weather Service office.

  • NWR broadcasts official warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • It also broadcasts alerts of non-weather emergencies such as national security, natural, environmental, and public safety through the Emergency Alert System.


National Preparedness Month: Make a Plan

8/31/2018 (Permalink)

Make and practice your plan.

Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area.  Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

Step 1: Put together a plan by discussing these 4 questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?

  2. What is my shelter plan?

  3. What is my evacuation route?

  4. What is my family/household communication plan?

Step 2:  Consider specific needs in your household.

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance.  Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:

  • Different ages of members within your household

  • Responsibilities for assisting others

  • Locations frequented

  • Dietary needs

  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment

  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment

  • Languages spoken

  • Cultural and religious considerations

  • Pets or service animals

  • Households with school-aged children

Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan

Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use them as a guide to create your own.

Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household