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We Answer the Call

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

Thank you to The Leaven for this article. We are always here to lend a hand.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Like the other Sisters at the Mission House Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sister Mariana Disciple of the Divine Master, PJC, was sound asleep in the early morning of Aug. 15.

“I heard something far away, and I awoke scared,” she said.

It was the fire alarm, ringing at 12:30 a.m.

At first, she was slightly confused. Was someone in the chapel?

The convent of the Fraternity the Poor of Jesus Christ, at 2226 Troup Ave. in Kansas City, Kansas, has a beautiful chapel.

“We use incense,” she said. “Everytime we use incense for adoration and the Mass, [the alarm] goes off. I thought I had to turn it off.”

So, she went downstairs to check the alarm control panel, next to the chapel on the first floor.

“It said: ‘First Floor South,’” she said. She turned it off, but the alarm began to sound again.

“I thought, ‘Something is wrong,’” she said.

She was right. She looked down the first floor hallway and saw hazy smoke. She ran back to the second floor to where the five Poor of Jesus Christ Sisters and one visiting Dominican Sister were beginning to stir.

“Fire, fire!” she said. “Call 911!”

They all quickly donned their habits and fled the building. Sister Mariana, curious as to the fire’s location, opened the basement door — and was nearly overwhelmed by a blast of thick, toxic smoke.

Coughing, she closed the door and made her way outside. As she passed the common room, she saw huge flames outside shooting up from below.

It didn’t take long

While waiting on their neighbor’s lawn, the first three Kansas City, Kansas Fire Department trucks rolled up within three minutes after the Sisters fled the convent.

Then, more trucks arrived . . . and more trucks. The firefighters vigorously attacked the blaze and soon had it subdued. They even rescued the Sisters’ cat Missy, who in a panic ran into the basement.

Once they were certain it was safe, the firefighters allowed the Sisters back inside.

There, they opened all the windows on the second floor to air out the building and tried to get at least a bit of fitful, smoky rest before they began the dreadful task of recovery.

With daybreak, the Sisters headed for the basement, which contained the laundry room and served as the order’s storage space. There, they kept much of what they needed for their ministries to the neighborhood poor and homeless, as well as their own food.

Everything in the basement was destroyed. Black soot coated everything, and the heat melted many of the supplies.

The source of the fire was an overheated ballast (current regulator) in an overhead florescent light, said Leon Roberts, archdiocesan consultant for construction and real estate. It melted and sparked a fire on some plastic and clothes below.

The fire caused about $80,000 worth of damage. An adjuster from Catholic Mutual Group was on the scene within 12 hours and a claim has been filed.

“Our basement is used as a food pantry for families we help,” said Sister Magdalena of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the custodian — or superior — of the community.

“We also go out to the homeless twice a week, and we lost everything we take to them — clothes, personal hygiene products,” she continued. “We lost a freezer and refrigerator, coolers and plastic cups. “We lost the equipment we use to make soup.”

Only in America

Except for Sister Magdalena, all the Sisters of the Fraternity the Poor of Jesus Christ are from Brazil or Paraguay. The fire was a new experience — and not just because they’d never experienced a house fire.

The first surprise was the rapid response of the fire department, with lots of equipment and firefighters. Where the Sisters come from, emergency services are slower.

The second surprise was insurance. Generally, people in the Sisters’ home countries don’t have insurance to aid recovery.

And the third surprise was the commando-like response by volunteer Knights of Columbus and the disaster recovery firm SERVPRO® of Leavenworth and NW Wyandotte County. Professional disaster recovery firms do not exist where the Sisters come from.

“Padre Gilson (the order’s founder) called me,” said Sister Magdalena, and said, ‘So, you’ve got a whole lot of people together to clean up?’

“And I said, ‘No, we have insurance, and there are all these people and a company coming to do the cleaning.’

“He couldn’t believe it. He said, ‘Only in the United States!’”

Volunteer Knights had been doing handyman work at the convent and, when one showed up that morning, he quickly made some calls to brother Knights. Sister Magdalena called others.

SERVPRO® did the lion’s share, but Knights from Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa, Ascension in Overland Park, and St. John Paul II Parish in Olathe joined in the cleanup of the basement. Dave Leiker, a member of Holy Trinity and president of the Charities Aid Foundation of the Knights of Columbus, also helped.

“Through the Knights’ emergency disaster aid program, we’re assisting with food and clothing, to give them money to replace those things,” he said.

“I saw it on the news [that morning],” said Paul Goode, sales representative with SERVPRO®. “I said to myself, ‘My brothers in Christ need help,’ so I got in my car and came here.”

Goode is a Knight of Columbus and a member of Immaculate Conception Parish in Louisburg; Dan Thorman, the owner of the company, is a Knight as well and a member of St. Peter Parish in Kansas City, Missouri.

“Once we clean the structure, we’ll come in and [further] assess what needs to be removed,” said Goode. “We’ve done preliminary demolition, and we’ll do a deep clean and assess what needs to be reconstructed.”

by Joe Bollig
joe.bollig@theleaven.org

High Tides: How to minimize damage when your basement floods

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage High Tides: How to minimize damage when your basement floods Go down in to your basement regularly to check everything out. Especially during the rainy season!

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including:

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure

And many more! 

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?
Call Today - SERVPRO Leavenworth & NW Wyandotte Co (913) 772-1818

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to us 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.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques
We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment
Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help (913) 772-1818

Preparing for a Midwestern Winter

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

With winter weather already upon us-one Snowmageddon down, who knows how many to go-and temperatures already holding in the low 30's it is time to look at preventing frozen pipes in your home.  When the weather is averaging 31 degrees it puts exterior pipes like hose bibs and irrigation systems at risk.

For houses without adequate protection the temperature alert threshold is 20 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature un-insulated pipes in unconditioned areas are at risk.

However, pipes can freeze in well insulated houses when the temperatures dip into the teens or below. Extended period of time with temperatures in this range can be dangerous, as heat within enclosed areas of a structure naturally dissipates.

Of course we all have heard the tip to open cabinet doors. It is a simple fix that can save you an immense amount of difficulty. Somehow though we are inclined to think, because it has not happened it will not happen. That is all good and well until it happens.

When pipes freeze hundreds of gallons of water can flow through the walls, behind cabinets and into ceilings. Water damage can cause cabinets to swell, ceilings to collapse, along with damage to furniture and belongings. Water damage also causes soaked carpet and pad. Hardwood and laminate floors can buckle and swell.

As cold spells move across the country make it a habit to open doors to enclosed spaces that contain plumbing. On a side note when you open those doors make sure to remove any hazardous materials to keep them away from children and pets.

If your pipes do freeze make sure to shut the water off at the source, call a plumber to fix the pipe and call SERVPRO of Leavenworth & NW Wyandotte. Here at SERVPRO we have the training and equipment to make water damage in your home “Like it never even happened.”

913-772-1818

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Leavenworth Home

6/14/2018 (Permalink)

Building Services Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Leavenworth Home SERVPRO of Leavenworth & NW Wyandotte Co. is always here to help!

SERVPRO of Leavenworth & NW Wyandotte Co. is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) create the standards for the restoration industry and provide 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 Leavenworth & NW Wyandotte Co.

SERVPRO of Leavenworth & NW Wyandotte Co. 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.

Give us a call today! 913-772-1818

Memorial Day

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Community Memorial Day Honoring those who have served

Did you know?.......Fun Facts & Trivia

  •  There is a National Moment of Remembrance established by Congress which asks all Americans to pause each Memorial Day for one minute at 3pm (the time when most of us are stuffing our faces with hamburgers and hot dogs!)
  • Decoration Day was established in the 19th century to decorate the graves of soldiers who died during the Civil War. Eventually, it became a remembrance of all brave military men and women, and by 1967 the day was legally changed to Memorial Day.
  • The first Decoration Day became extra memorable when James Garfield stepped up to the podium at Arlington National Cemetery in 1868. In the blistering heat, the future President's speech lasted 1 1/2 hours during "a spring day too warm for comfort," observed the New York Times.
  • Bringing attention to Vietnam War POW's and MIA's, the "Rolling Thunder" of motorcycles first arrived in Washington DC during Memorial Day Weekend in 1988. Today, more than a million riders and spectators converge on the capital in what has become the world’s largest single-day motorcycle event.

Restoring Your Leavenworth Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Leavenworth Kansas commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Leavenworth & NW Wyandotte Co.

SERVPRO of Leavenworth & NW Wyandotte Co. specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. 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.

Don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Leavenworth & NW Wyandotte Co. if you experience a water loss at your commercial property!

913-772-1818

Don't get swept away in this Kansas weather!

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Don't get swept away in this Kansas weather! Be prepared for whatever weather we get in Kansas!

We all know how crazy the weather in Kansas can be in the spring time. There is never a better time to be prepared than before the storm hits! Be sure you know the difference between a watch and a warning.                                              

      Make sure your prepared with these tips from ready.gov

Flood Watch = “Be Aware.” Conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area.

Steps to Take

  • Turn on your TV/radio. You will receive the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Know where to go. You may need to reach higher ground quickly and on foot.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.

Prepare Your Home

  • Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
  • If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve. This helps prevent fires and explosions.

Flood Warning = "Take Action!" Flooding is either happening or will happen shortly.

Steps to Take

  • Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground.
  • Evacuate if directed.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.

After the water recedes and your home has sustained damage don’t forget SERVPRO of Leavenworth is always here to help!

Call us at 913-772-1818

About SERVPRO of Leavenworth & NW Wyandotte Co.

SERVPRO of Leavenworth & NW Wyandotte Co. 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. 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.

Does your Leavenworth home have a mold problem?

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Does your Leavenworth home have a mold problem? In Leavenworth, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

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. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

 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.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today –

SERVPRO of Leavenworth & NW Wyandotte Co. 

913-772-1818

St. Patrick's Day is Almost Here! Enjoy These Fun Facts!

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

General St. Patrick's Day is Almost Here! Enjoy These Fun Facts! Happy St. Patrick's Day from your friends at SERVPRO of Leavenworth & NW Wyandotte Co.

Enjoy these fun facts about St. Patrick’s Day!

FACTS ABOUT IRISH AMERICANS

  • There are 34.7 million U.S. residents with Irish ancestry. This number is more than seven times the population of Ireland itself.
  • Irish is the nation’s second most frequently reported ancestry, ranking behind German.
  • Across the country, 11 percent of residents lay claim to Irish ancestry. That number more than doubles to 23 percent in the state of Massachusetts.
  • Irish is the most common ancestry in 54 U.S. counties, of which 44 are in the Northeast. Middlesex County in Massachusetts tops the list with 348,978 Irish Americans, followed by Norfolk County, MA, which has 203,285.
  • Irish ranks among the top five ancestries in every state except Hawaii and New Mexico. It is the leading ancestry group in Delaware, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
  • There are approximately 144,588 current U.S. residents who were born in Ireland.

 PATRICK’S DAY CELEBRATION

  • Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dish. In 2009, roughly 26.1 billion pounds of beef and 2.3 billion pounds of cabbage were produced in the United States.
  • Irish soda bread gets its name and distinctive character from the use of baking soda rather than yeast as a leavening agent.
  • Lime green chrysanthemums are often requested for St. Patrick’s Day parades and celebrations.

 PATRICK’S DAY PARADE

  • The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in the United States on March 17, 1762, when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City.
  • More than 100 St. Patrick’s Day parades are held across the United States. New York City and Boston are home to the largest celebrations.
  • At the annual New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade, participants march up 5th Avenue from 44th Street to 86th Street. Each year, between 150,000 and 250,000 marchers take part in the parade, which does not allow automobiles or floats.

PLACES TO SPEND ST. PATRICK’S DAY

  • There are seven places in the United States named after the shamrock, the floral emblem of Ireland including Mount Gay-Shamrock, WV; Shamrock, TX; Shamrock Lakes, IN; and Shamrock, OK.
  • Sixteen U.S. places share the name of Ireland’s capital, Dublin. With 44,541 residents, Dublin, CA, is the largest of the nice, followed by Dublin, OH, with 39,310.
  • Other towns with the luck of the Irish include Emerald Isle, North Carolina and Irishtown, Illinois.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from your friends at SERVPRO of Leavenworth & NW Wyandotte Co. 

Tornadoes ~ Are you Prepared?

3/13/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Tornadoes ~ Are you Prepared? Tornado Season is Almost Upon Us! Be Prepared!

This page explains what actions to take when you receive a tornado watch or warning alert from the National Weather Service for your local area and what to do before, during, and after a tornado.

Know your risk

What

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground and is often—although not always—visible as a funnel cloud. Lightning and hail are common in thunderstorms that produce tornadoes. Tornadoes cause extensive damage to structures and disrupt transportation, power, water, gas, communications, and other services in its direct path and in neighboring areas. Related thunderstorms can cause heavy rains, flash flooding, and hail

Where

About 1,200 tornadoes hit the United States every year and every state is at risk. Most tornadoes in the United States occur east of the Rocky Mountains with concentrations in the central and southern plains, the Gulf Coast and Florida.

When

Tornadoes can strike in any season, but occur most often in the spring and summer months. They can occur at all hours of the day and night, but are most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Before a Tornado

  • Identify safe rooms built to FEMA criteria or ICC500 storm shelters or other potential protective locations in sturdy buildings near your home, work, and other locations you frequent so you have a plan for where you will go quickly for safety when there is a Warning or an approaching tornado.
  • For schools, malls, and other buildings with long-span roofs or open space plans, or many occupants, ask the building manager to identify the best available refuge.
  • Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.
  • Look for the following danger signs:
  • Dark, often greenish sky
    • Large hail
    • A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
    • Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
  • If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

Tornado Facts

The extent of destruction caused by tornadoes depends on the tornado’s intensity, size, path, time of day, and amount of time it is on the ground. Wind from tornadoes can reach more than 300 miles per hour, and damage paths can be more than 1 mile wide and 50 miles long. Wind from tornadoes can destroy buildings and trees, transform debris into deadly projectiles, and roll vehicles.

  • They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.
  • They may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.
  • The average tornado moves Southwest to Northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.
  • Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.
  • Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.

Know the Terms

Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a tornado hazard:

  • Tornado Watch - Tornadoes are possible. When there is a Watch, move to be near enough to a shelter or sturdy building to be able to get there quickly in a few minutes if there is a Warning or if you see signs of a tornado approaching. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.
  • Tornado Warning - A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately.

During a Tornado

If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately!  Most injuries associated with high winds are from flying debris, so remember to protect your head.

If you are in school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building pre-identified best available refuge then:       

  • Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe room built to FEMA criteria, or a small interior windowless room on the lowest level, below ground in a basement, or storm cellar, is best. (Closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body as best you can e.g., with a heavy coat or blankets, pillows. .
  • In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
  • Do not open windows.
  • A sturdy structure (e.g. residence, small building) , school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building)

A manufactured home or office then:            

  • Get out immediately and go to a pre-identified location such as the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, do not offer protection from tornadoes.

The outside with no shelter then:

  • If you are not in a sturdy building, there is no single research-based recommendation for what last-resort action to take because many factors can affect your decision. Possible actions include:
  • Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park.
  • Take cover in a stationary vehicle. Put the seat belt on and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.
  • In all situations:
  • Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
  • Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for protection in a sturdy building. .
  • Outdoor areas are not protected from flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

After a Tornado

  • If you are trapped, do not move about or kick up dust. Tap on a pipe or wall or use a whistle, if you have one, so that rescuers can locate you.
  • Listen to local officials for updates and instructions.
  • Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
  • Watch out for debris and downed power lines.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings and homes until local authorities indicate it is safe.
  • Use extreme caution during post-disaster clean-up of buildings and around debris. Do not attempt to remove heavy debris by yourself. Wear protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, work gloves, and sturdy, thick-soled shoes during clean-up.
  • Photograph the damage to your property in order to assist in filing an insurance claim.
  • Do what you can to prevent further damage to your property, (e.g., putting a tarp on a damaged roof), as insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm.
  • If your home is without power, use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns rather than candles to prevent accidental fires.

Kansas weather can be unpredictable! Be informed & stay safe!

If tragedy strikes remember, SERVPRO of Leavenworth & NW Wyandotte Co. is always here to help!

913-772-1818