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Ten Things I Needed During a Power Outage

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

The number ten in big black bold font inside of a yellow circle background. Top Ten!

What I Needed During a Power Outage

October was full of unpredictable circumstances. The Kincade fire grew at an exponential rate and endangered our neighborhoods. PG&E had to take drastic precautionary measures by shutting off the power lines to around a million residents of both Sonoma, Napa, and Marin county. Fortunately, we had government support through a declaration of National Emergency which led to the dispatching of firefighters from neighboring cities, counties, and states. These brave people contained the fire and prevented major catastrophe.

The outage was an unfortunate circumstance and there were specific items that I wish I had in my possession to make the experience easier. The next time an outage occurs I want to be prepared and share with you the top ten essential items I needed during a power outage.

Top Ten List:

  1. First Aid Kit: Safety first!
  2. Powered Portable Charger(s): Cell phones or laptops are essential for daily living. Having a communication device during an emergency can be a lifesaver. Also, passing the time online when there is no power can make the process easier.
  3. Batteries: AA, AAA, or a backup battery are useful to power items that require them. Such as a flashlight or have in case you possess items that require batteries. Such as a flashlight, clocks, or radios.
  4. Flashlight: A flashlight is important for visibility at night. During a power outage, it can be difficult to move around. While I recommend having a LED flashlight, any normal light is useful to have.
  5. Gas: During the outage, many people had informed me that they were low on gas and therefore confined to their area until the power came back on or until someone can help them get to a gas station with power to be able to transfer gas back to their vehicles. Having a car filled with gas can also be essential for rapidly evacuating during an emergency.
  6. Cooler: The first thing I thought about during the outage was whether my food was going to spoil since our refrigerator was no longer running. Having a cooler could have erased this worry by transferring the food that would’ve spoiled without refrigeration. Of course, having a cooler alone won’t work in the preservation of your food.
  7. Manual Can opener: Can openers can be a huge aid when you need to open your non-perishable foods.
  8. Ice: This is the trickiest item on the list to have since a fire and outage are unpredictable. Ice does not have a long-life span as it melts easily and without refrigeration or a permanent cold environment, ice is a valuable resource that one needs to get an upper-hand when buying since it is the first thing to go at the grocery stores.
  9. Canned Food or Non-perishables: Being that food is a necessity for survival. Having food that does not perish without electricity can determine life or death. Well at least, that you don’t spend the days starving at least. Food includes: bars, nuts, candies, peanut butter, chips, beef jerky and much more.
  10. Bottled Water: The most important resource to have access to during a crisis. Preferably not stored in plastic but only if needed. Just make sure you don’t leave the bottles unattended in the car with sunlight directly hitting them.


This list is intended for short term emergencies and everyone has different needs therefore different priorities. That was my list of ten things I needed during the power outage. Hopefully, it helps. 

Brought to you by SERVPRO® of South San Rafael/Sausalito.

How You Can Help Us Provide A Better Service

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

Two men steam cleaning a dirty carpet with the tagline, We'll make it "Like it never even happened."  SERVPRO® Tagline "Like it never even happened."

At SERVPRO® of South San Rafael/Sausalito our main goal is to provide an outstanding experience for our clients. SERVPRO® began in 1967 as a painting business and has grown into a leader in the restoration cleanup industry. As a locally owned franchise servicing our community, we have a responsibility to uphold this legacy as a premier cleaning and restoration company. Our team consists of people who live in your neighborhoods and with the training and experience to make your damage “Like it never even happened.”

We know choosing the right restoration service provider can be costly and bothersome, however, we want you to know that we take your feedback very seriously and for us to proudly represent the vision of the SERVPRO® Corporation we would appreciate your input and experience.

Contact us either by phone: (707) 479-2900

Or by visiting our social media pages (links below).


11/12/2019 (Permalink)

A big building with the SERVPRO logo and sign displaying the words, "Corporate Headquarters." SERVPRO Corporate Headquarters Building

SERVPRO has had a long history dating back to 1967. Where it was a small painting business located in Sacramento, CA. The owners, Ted and Doris Isaacson decided in 1969 to transform the company into a franchisor of cleanup and restoration specialists leading to the sale of their first franchise. SERVPRO would grow exponentially and in 1979 they acquired 175 Franchises from the Bristol-Meyers Domesticare Division. During this time the owners moved to Gallatin, Tennessee where the headquarters is located today. SERVPRO has grown to around 1,500 franchises nationwide and has been ranked #1 consecutively in the Restoration Services category by Entrepreneur Magazine since 2005.

As a local owned franchise at SERVPRO of South San Rafael/Sausalito, we have a long history of being a leader and pioneer of the restoration industry. Which means that we have a responsibility to the consumers to carry this legacy by helping you with minimizing or mitigating any damage done to your home or workplace. For services, contact us at the local level by phone: (415) 479-2900.

Stay Strong Marin!

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

This is an extremely stressful time. Once again, we are experiencing the horror of a massive fire. The Kincade fire began its destruction five days ago and has expanded to 75,000 acres of land. We are fortunate and thankful to the Firefighters and other first responder teams who have been working tirelessly to contain the fire and keep us from harms way. Their efforts have prevented fatalities as of this moment. Preparation has also come with a cost however I live in Marin County and the majority of us have had our power shut off for four days now without any notification as to when the power may turn on. PG&E is working to restore the power by monitoring the wind patterns to see if we may be at risk by faulty power lines. Without power our food storage was the first thing to go. Ice was scarce and many people that relied on refrigeration have had to eat out. Businesses outside of Marin have been busy with people, locals and evacuees from Geyserville and Windsor. Businesses have also had to shut down due to the lack of power leaving those without work as well.

We are being kept in the dark and we can only hope that this fire is extinguished as soon and safely as possible. When this happens, we will need to restore and rebuild what we lost. If you need assistance during that process of getting back into everyday life, then contact a professional here at SERVPRO South San Rafael/Sausalito and we will be glad to help. Until then, take care, be safe, and avoid long outside exposure for the time being.  

Tel: (415) 479-2900

5 Safety Tips for your Fire Escape Plan

10/22/2019 (Permalink)

Green sign on a ceiling with a big white arrow pointing to the left and a stick figure entering a doorway on the right. Be safe and prepared with an exit strategy.

October is Fire Prevention Month and our team at SERVPRO San Rafael/Sausalito have followed these safety tips shared by the National Fire Protection Association through this year’s National Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!”

Please be safe and follow these tips so that you and your family can escape the fire safely.

  1. It is important to know the layout of your home. Make an escape plan by drawing a map that shows all your windows and doors, which could potentially be your exit strategy.

Fact: One-third of American households who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire becomes life threatening. Unfortunately, the time available could be as little as one to two minutes, according to Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy.

  1. Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows leading outside can be easily opened.

Fact: A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. Make sure to close all doors behind you when exiting a room. Also, check to make sure a door is not hot, that can be an indicator of a fire on the other side.

  1. Have an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole or mailbox) a safe distance from the home where everyone should meet.

Fact: Escape planning and practice can help reduce the time to get everyone out. It is best to call the Fire Department when outside your home.

  1. Practice your escape plan during the day and night with everyone in your home at least twice a year using different ways out. Be extra mindful to teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.

Fact: While 71% of Americans have an escape plan in case of a fire, only 47% of those have practiced it.

  1. If the smoke alarm sounds, your first thought should be to get out. Never go back inside for people or pets.

Fact: Only 8% said that their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out. Smoke inhalation is also very dangerous. If you need to go through smoke, get low and go under the smoke till you reach your way out.

For more information or resources regarding fire, electrical, or related hazards, please feel free to visit the National Fire Protection Association at

5 Steps to Water Damage Prevention

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage is one of the toughest problems anyone can face. No matter what the quantity of water it can cause major damage to your home, your wallet and even your health. Water is one of the most powerful elements in nature and its effects can be felt long after the water is removed. It also can encourage mold growth in carpets, baseboard and even walls which can put your family's health in danger. The following five tips can help save your family and your home from this serious problem.

1. Protect your home. One of the most common causes of water damage is Mother Nature. Severe storms and high winds can compromise a home's structure and allow water to seep in. Check the outside of your home for places where water can get in. These areas include places such as the roof, gutters and foundation. Make it a point to regularly check all of these areas and address any cracks, warps or suspicious areas immediately.

2. Check your pipes. Another common source of water damage is the plumbing in and outside your home. Visually inspect taps, faucets, pipes and hoses for cracks, leaks and other problems. Don't forget to pay special attention to appliances that are plumbed into your water system such as dishwashers and refrigerators with ice makers. It only takes a few minutes to check these connections and those few minutes could save you a lot of time down the road.

3. Inspect your bathroom. Bathrooms are, by their very nature, a place where water needs to be checked. The grout, caulking and sealant around sinks and tubs can deteriorate over time. Replacing these sealants takes very little time and costs only a few dollars but this small chore can help you keep on top of any potential problems and allows you t nip them in the bud.

4. Ventilation is the key. Many homes are now fitted with ventilation fans in rooms like the kitchen and bathroom This helps keep steam, humidity and water in general from building up and causing a problem. If your home already has these fans, then don't forget to use them regularly. If not, many home improvement stores offer kits for installation and many even offer to have professionals come out to fit it for a reasonable price.

5. Keep an eye on tiles. Tiles floors and walls are coming throughout many homes. They can also provide a way for water to get in and trapped between the tile and the wall or floor those tiles are meant to protect. Inspect the tiles around dishwashers, washing machines, sinks, tubs and other appliances or fixtures where there is a lot of water. If you see any warping or discoloration, replace the tiles and check the floor or wall beneath them for damage.

By completing these routine inspections and tasks, you can help to prevent serious water damage inside your home.

Article Source: 

Fixing Flood Damage

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

Floods are caused by heavy rains caused by strong storms and downpours. But flood damage left behind after the heavy downpour is great and very expensive to mitigate. At a moments notice, floods can cause extreme damage to buildings and objects. It is a terrifying disaster which results into loss of of lives and destruction of property amounting to millions. Fixing flood damage is problematic and expensive. Damages resulting from natural occurrences can be restored by an insurance company. Only if you have got special flood insurance coverage that is insured separately from a home owners insurance policy.

How do we fix flood damage? There are various methods and options that are helpful when executed correctly. Firstly, flood damage may lead to development of mold spores and mildew. These molds are dangerous and toxic to our respiratory system and it needs the services from a well regarded flood company. It is not advisable to deal with molds by yourself because of health risks they are attached with. Ensure that all wetted areas of your room are cleaned up to dryness. Disinfect all the affected areas to prevent the rapture of water and air borne diseases. This is because flood water contains pathogens and harmful disease causing bacteria.

Secondly, household items can be damaged completely by floods and it needs quick response in drying them up. The most affected parts are the kitchen items, bedding, crouches and the carpets among others. This should be left to the professionals since most of these wetted items are contaminated with pathogens and mud. Let the experts fix the damage by cleaning up the upholstery and removing mud off the households. All books and anything materialistic must be dried properly to avoid crumpling. In case of carpets, let the experts measure the level of damage and if it is critical then buying new one is the best resolution.

Thirdly, upholding the safety of your health above anything is essential. The essence of the flood experts is to offer the optimal solutions to problems caused by floods. Destruction of electrical appliances is another flood damage that should never be handled carelessly. Flood damage is diverse and vehicles are not left behind. Anything electrical should be left to the technicians for servicing so as to avoid electrocution. If you have special flood insurance coverage, then flood-damaged vehicles can be compensated. Never handle flood damaged electrical devices on your own.

Fourthly, flood damage leaves at least everything in your house wet and what results is the development of bacteria and other harmful viruses. Make sure that you have dried the items well including the floor. The floor should be thoroughly cleaned. For concrete floors, it is a good idea to scrub it with bleach before coating with an oil-based paint. The same applies to plywood floors where the paint is used to destroy all bacteria existence. In addition to this, you can crank up air conditioning with enough house ventilation. A dehumidifier is also helpful in cases of extremely humid air. All affected walls must be replaced to seal out the development of molds.

Article Source: 

Summer Fire Safety: How to Have a Controlled Camp Fire

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

Whether it is at a festival or other tourist event, camping can be a cheap way to enjoy a relaxing holiday in the summer time. Normally most camping sites don't allow camp fires due to health and safety, however if you can show you are prepared and will have a controlled camp fire, many camping site operators when asked may allow you to have a one in a fire pit.

If a camp site already has a pit make sure you clear out all of the debris before lighting your own one, left over debris can be dangerous as plastics or other toxic materials could be in the debris. A safe pit should be at least 3-4 meters of bare ground surrounded with stones. Having such a large bare area massively reduces the risk of grass fires and makes the whole process much more controlled.

Before even lighting or collecting wood, you must make sure you are correctly prepared with a fire proof bar or stick; A bucket of water or extinguisher and a clear plan of action is needed in case it becomes out of control.

Things you need to think about before lighting are, where a phone is in case you require the fire department, are all exits away from the fire clear, is there any object located around the pit at risk of being ignited. If you ever have any doubt about the proximity of surrounding objects check beforehand. It is not uncommon for trees or plastic structures around fires to become damaged and in some cases ignite during large camp fires.

Only when you are 100% sure that you have negated all potential risks can you light the kindling. After it is ignited you must always keep watch for pieces that fallout. These should either be pushed back into the middle of the pit, with a fire proof bar or doused in water if it is too close to the to get near. A high number of grass and forest fires around the world are caused by ignited wood falling onto dry grass or leaves.

After you are finished with the pit, you should make sure all embers are away from the pit edge. This stops any risk of the embers igniting the grass or leaves surrounding the fire pit. If you have a bucket of water dousing the fire is a good idea. You should supervise until it is cool, normally this can take 1-2 hours to cool down, during this time it is a good idea to check the fire every 5-10 minutes to make sure it does not reignite.

If you treat camp fires with the respect they deserve they are a really nice way to spend a cool summer's night, above all make sure you are prepared and follow all instructions made by the camp site operators.

Article Source:

Summer Fire Safety - BBQ Preparation

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

The sun is out and it's time to barbecue, whether you plan to resurrect your old BBQ from the shed or purchase a shiny new one. However, it is important to remember the risk that fire can pose; so before you start grilling, take note of this important BBQ fire safety advice.

Fire Safety is Key

Before you even light the flames on your BBQ you need to think about a number of factors. Where are you going to place it? Which fuel are you using (natural gas, charcoal or propane)? How will you extinguish the flames in an emergency?

Where you place your BBQ is really important. Ideally it has to be in a clear space, with no overhanging branches or nearby debris which could potentially catch fire. You should also try and place it out of the wind so there's no danger of flames being blown on to the chef. It's also key to ensure that the unit is on solid ground with no risk of tipping or rolling.

Which fuel are you using in your BBQ? Charcoal fires are the most common to cook on during the summer and are located in fire pits, barbecue units and disposable barbecues. Make sure that you only use enough charcoal to cover the base of the BBQ and that you only light it when the coals are cold. Keep excess charcoal in a safe place away from the fire.

If you use a natural gas or propane fuel source there are a number of other factors to consider. Always use a new gas cylinder every summer as cold temperatures during the winter months can damage the casing and remember to change the gas fuel source outdoors or in a very well-ventilated area. Before you light your BBQ for the first time take some time to check the gas set-up for leaks - you can do this by brushing soapy water around the joints of the pipe work, if you see any bubbles this indicates a gas leak.

Prepare a bucket of cold water or sand and keep this close to the barbecue during its use. If the flames are out of control (and you can't simply turn off the gas supply) don't hesitate to douse the flames - even if it means your food will be ruined - as fire safety is always paramount. Enjoy having fun in the sun and remember to stay safe when using fire outside to cook delicious food.

Article Source:

We Specialize in Water Damage!

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of South San Rafael/Sausalito, we specialize in water damage restoration. If you have recently experienced a water damage loss due to a recent storm or flood, we can help. We understand the stress that comes when your home or business has been affected by a flood or storm.

Here is some top reason why you should choose SERVPRO of South San Rafael/Sausalito to restore your property when tragedies strike your home or business.

  • Prevent further structural damage or mold
  • We have the right tools
  • Fixing water damages yourself can be dangerous and exhausting
  • Prevent water damages to your home and belonging
  • We can get rid of bad odors
  • 24 Hour Emergency Service
  • Experience and certified technicians

A water damage can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of South San Rafael/Sausalito and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

Call us today 415-479-2900!