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Post Holiday Cleaning

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

Did a relative who can remain nameless spill their cabernet all over your carpet during that inevitable political discussion that y’all all agreed to avoid? Did little Johnny or Susie go too literal and make a gravy train across the floor? Did one of the teenagers not look up from their smart phone long enough to receive the cranberry sauce making its way around the table? Whatever your mess might be, holiday related or not, SERVPRO is ready to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Get your flooring clean in-time for another round of holiday hosting or gift your sweetie by letting them put their feet up while SERVPRO does the cleaning. Call our office today to get your appointment with us before we book up.

Holiday Turkey Frying Tips

11/16/2017 (Permalink)

General Holiday Turkey Frying Tips Explosion caused by turkey fryer

With Thanksgiving less than a week away, I’m sure most of you have already started planning and prepping for the big feast. Every Thanksgiving meal revolves around the turkey and there are numerous tried-and- true recipes out there, but if I had my pick a juicy fried turkey is where it’s at.

Here are some tips so your Thanksgiving festivities don’t end disastrous:

  1. Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages, and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.
  2. Make sure the turkey is fully thawed and dry before cooking. Water that mixes into the hot oil can cause flare-ups.
  3. Never operate a fryer outdoors in the rain or snow.
  4. Place the fryer on a level surface and avoid moving it once it's in use.
  5. Leave two feet between the tank and the burner when using a propane-powered fryer.
  6. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid overfilling. Oil can ignite when it makes contact with the burner.
  7. Choose a smaller turkey for frying. A bird that's 8 to 10 pounds is best; pass on turkeys over 12 pounds.
  8. Never leave fryers unattended.
  9. Purchase a fryer with temperature controls, and watch the oil temperature carefully. Cooking oil that is heated beyond its smoke point can catch fire. If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the fryer off.
  10. Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner on.
  11. Wear goggles to shield your eyes, use oven mitts to protect your hands and arms, and keep a grease-rated fire extinguisher close by.
  12. Skip the stuffing when frying turkey, and avoid water-based marinades.
  13. Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.
  14. Once finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner; place it on a level surface and cover to let the oil cool overnight before disposing.
  15. Do not pour oil down the sink drain or disposal.
  16. Opt for an oil-less fryer. This uses infrared heat, rather than oil, to cook the turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Tax Holiday on Emergency Preparedness Supplies?

4/21/2016 (Permalink)

In this season of severe weather, the Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is raising awareness of the Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday, April 23-25. Now is the time to stock up on all your disaster supplies and save in the process. You can find the information below at

http://comptroller.texas.gov/taxinfo/taxpubs/ tx98_1017.html.

You can purchase certain emergency preparation supplies tax free during the 2016 Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday. There is no limit on the number of qualifying items you can purchase, and you do not need to issue an exemption certificate to claim the exemption. This year’s holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 23, and ends at midnight on Monday, April 25.

These emergency preparation supplies qualify for tax exemption if purchased for a price:

Less than $3000:

  • Portable generators

Less than $300:

  • Hurricane shutters
  • Emergency ladders

Less than $75:

  • Batteries, single or multipack (AAA cell, AA cell, C cell, D cell, 6 volt or 9 volt)
  • First aid kits
  • Fuel containers
  • Ground anchor systems and tie-down kits
  • Hatchets
  • Axes
  • Mobile telephone batteries and mobile telephone chargers
  • Nonelectric coolers and ice chests for food storage
  • Nonelectric can openers
  • Portable self-powered light sources (hand cranked flashlights)
  • Portable self-powered radios, including two-way and weather band radios
  • Reusable and artificial ice products
  • Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Tarps and other plastic sheeting

These supplies do not qualify for tax exemption:

  • Batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles
  • Camping stoves
  • Camping supplies
  • Chainsaws
  • Plywood
  • Extension ladders
  • Stepladders
  • Tents
  • Repair or replacement parts for emergency preparation supplies
  • Services performed on, or related to, emergency preparation supplies

Additional Charges Affect Purchase Price Delivery, shipping, handling and transportation charges are part of the sales price. If the emergency preparation supply being purchased is taxable, the delivery charge is also taxable. Consider these charges when determining whether an emergency preparation supply can be purchased tax free during the holiday.

For example, you purchase a rescue ladder for $299 with a $10 delivery charge, for a total sales price of $309. Because the total sales price of the ladder is more than $300, tax is due on the $309 sales price.

For more information, contact us at comptroller.texas.gov/taxhelp, or call 1-800-252-5555. Pub. 98-1017 March 2016

Preparedness Cliche'? By: Jennifer Davis

2/8/2016 (Permalink)

With the establishment of FEMA and their preparedness initiatives, we have easy access to a lot of information we need to assist in preparation for potential disasters at the individual, local and national levels. However, results of a 2013 SUNYIT/Zogby Analytics Poll show only 36% of the respondents indicated that they have an emergency plan in place . In a survey done by FEMA in 2015, the results (1) show the same trend, that only 40% are prepared . With all the readily available information on the (2) process, why is our culture holding steady at a low level of preparedness?

Is it because we’re accustomed to the government stepping in? Is it because we just don’t know how or where to start? Maybe it’s on our ‘To-Do’ list among many things that are assigned a higher priority. Perhaps the words ‘preparedness’ and ‘disaster readiness’ have been thrown around so much they’ve become cliche’ and just don’t mean enough to cause people to take action. It could be a mixture of all of these things.

Regardless of our perception or priority of preparing in advance for possible emergencies, the importance of the process remains critical. Not only are there monetary advantages of having a plan, but the positive impact on post-disaster well-being is significant.

Response time matters. At an individual level, if a family is prepared in advance for a water leak, for example, quickly turning the water supply off will reduce the area effected. This lowers the cost of clean up and potentially the time it takes to get things back to normal. The steps to teach able bodied members of the home how to do this is minimal and the benefits are well worth the time.

State of mind matters. Having a practiced plan in place significantly reduces stress at any level of crisis. This also becomes very important when kids are involved; when they see others handle emergencies with a rational state of mind it will put them at ease. When children are included in the planning process they feel more empowered and know better how to handle the situation rather than sit there and feel helpless. This applies to adults as well. During a crisis, most people experience anxiety which impedes clear, logical thinking and can lead to mental shutdown depending on the severity of the situation. With written plans to reference or the plan has been practiced enough, the process becomes methodical and limits the required critical thinking necessary to get through the initial moments after a crisis. Without the pressure of guessing what to do, anxiety is reduced, allowing one to more calmly take steps to handle the crisis.

Recovery matters. Steps taken in advance of a disaster can improve the recovery process and make it less difficult. Medications, for example, should be a part of anyone’s plan who requires them daily. Having an extra month’s supply on hand can reduce the chance of severe illness or death resulting from not being able to take the daily regimen.

These are just a few reasons why taking time in advance to think things through and draw up plans can prove to be so beneficial. The decision to prioritize the task is the first step and from there, taking more small steps goes a long way. For more information about how to start, see the Red Cross and

FEMA sites below.

http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/be-red-cross-ready

http://www.ready.gov

http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnzogby/2013/05/16/americans-neither-worried-nor-prepared-incase-of-a-disaster-sunyit-zogby-analytics-poll/#8ba6f3a7cf6e

http://www.fema.gov/news-release/2015/04/28/sixty-percent-americans-not-practicingdisaster-fema-urges-everyone-prepare.