Recent Posts

Is your house Fall ready?

9/11/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Is your house Fall ready? Prevention is key to how quickly you get back on your feet after a disaster.

Did you feel that?? It was a cool breeze! 

September is almost over!  The crisp air that hits us in the face as we leave our homes for work in the morning.  School buses running up and down the roads carrying our precious cargo. Pumpkin spice everything everywhere you look.  Football, Football, and more Football!!  All of these things translate to fall is upon us, and with fall comes cooler air, cooler air comes bonfires, hoodies, and of course space heaters, heat lamps, heaters and fire places.

I know it’s hard to think about your heater when its 103 here in Texas. However, it is best to think about it now, and make sure it’s working properly instead of when you need it and it catches your house on fire, because there’s a clog and it could have been prevented!  

So, let’s put a plan in motion:

  • Call a HVAC company, have them check out your heater and make sure it’s in tip top shape, after all, that precious cargo the buses are carrying during the day, are being kept warm by this heater at night.
  • Call a Chimney sweep and have your chimney checked for any debris that could have been blown in with those summer storms or birds have been nesting in the top of it.
  • If you use space heaters throughout your home,
    • check the cords, if the cord is frayed, throw it away! A frayed cord can arc and catch fire.
    • Never plug a space heater in near drapes, curtains, stuffed animals
    • Never set a space heater on top of dressers, tables, chairs. Always on the floor!  
    • Always check with your space heater company and ensure there are no recalls on your model. If you have a question, call the manufacture.
  • Do you have a heat lamp?
    • Does your heat lamp touch your house? -  if so MOVE IT!
    • Is your heat lamp where your pets or 4H / FFA projects could knock it over and break it? – if so MOVE IT!
    • Always read manual for heat lamps, to ensure proper usage and placement.

With all of this, we want you to know, we at SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties are here for you if / when something does go awry. If you get a call or heaven forbid wake up and find, that your home is on fire, would you know what to do?  Here’s some things to have ready if tragedy does strike.

  • Have your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy up to date and accessible.
  • Keep all important documents (ie: birth certificates, diplomas, social security cards, shot records, death certificates, vehicles titles with registration forms, land deeds, marriage license, divorce decrees, custody papers, pass ports, just to name a few) in one place – preferable a type of fire safe, so they don’t burn.
  • Have an emergency escape plan for each room in your home!
  • Do fire drills at home, to ensure each person knows what to do
  • Set up a meeting spot outside your home and make sure each person whether adult or child can get to that meeting spot.
  • Make sure, each person makes their way out of the home, they are not to re-enter if a fire is suspected!

You can rest assured that you are ready for what every comes your way, knowing SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties (830) 379-7474 is just around the corner 24 hours a day, ready to make it …like it never happened!

The Hydroxyl Generator asks do you have smell you cant get rid of?

8/11/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The Hydroxyl Generator asks do you have smell you cant get rid of? 5,000 cfm max fan output, 40,000 cubic feet maxi treatment area, 8,000 hour optimum performance bulb life & Permanent washable electrostatic filter

Titan hydroxyl Generator

 SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties have a new gadget to help make the fire process even smoother!  

The Hydroxyl Generator is used to remove odors, eliminate gases and organic pollutants and to clean the air.  The way it works is there is 365 mm to 385 mm UVA rays emitted from the titanium dioxide (T102) photocatalytic lamps pass through a permanent anatase coated (T102) super reactor screen forming electron hole pairs.  That react with water and oxygen in the air to form free electrons and hydroxyl radicals that decompose and eliminate organic and inorganic gases and air pollutants.  

The hydroxyl generator is 100% safe for use in occupied areas; no need to remove people, plants or pets during operation! Its uses titanium dioxide which is also used as a pigment in foods, medicines, sunscreens and toothpaste. Unlike Ozone the hydroxyl generator does not cause bleaching or the breakdown of natural rubber materials. This machine however cannot be used to remove flammable or explosive gases. 

Best practices for this machine:

  • Always remove the sources of the odor before operation
  • For optimum performance, a 60%+ humidity level is best. (if needed, place a bucket of water or a wet town behind the machine to allow more moisture to be pulled into the air stream.)
  • Use air movers to circulate the air for thorough air cleaning.
  • Although purifying an area depends on many variables (pollutant load, temperature, humidity, etc), a general time guideline for purifying a 1000 cu. Ft. area with light to moderate odor is 1-3 hours.

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at (830) 379-7474 for all your cleaning, fire damage, water damage and mold mediation needs!

Water Damage repair services

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage repair services Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties for all your water restoration needs, (830) 379-7474.

If you have discovered residential water damage in your home, it's understandable to feel overwhelmed. Once water has negatively impacted the condition of your home, you may wonder what it will take to get the damage repaired. By taking the right actions promptly, you may be able to keep damage to a minimum and prevent mold growth from developing. 

The most important initial step to take when you discover water in your home is to address the source if possible. For example, if there is a burst pipe causing the leak, you need to turn off the main water valve to the home to stop the water from flowing into the structure. In other cases, such as if the flood is caused by a heavy rainstorm, you may not be able to stop the flow of water. As soon as the storm ends, you can begin the water extraction process. This is a process in which water will be professionally extracted by our skilled SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties technicians, in an efficient manner. Then, the drying out process will begin with dehumidifying fans, some materials such as flooring.

Each of these steps is vital to the water damage repair process, and the team at SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties can help you. As a locally owned franchise that specializes in residential water damage repair, you can rest assured that we have what it takes to get the job done to your satisfaction. If you are ready to move forward with your repair process, call us today at (830) 379-7474.

9 Tips for Preparing Your Home for Severe Weather

6/6/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 9 Tips for Preparing Your Home for Severe Weather When you see storm clouds on your horizon, remember SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is here for you 24/7!

Is your home ready to withstand powerful gusts of wind and pounding hail? SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties knows that while damage from strong storms is often inevitable, there are steps you can take to minimize harm to your property and protect your personal safety. You shouldn't wait until severe weather is predicted in your area to act – plan for hailstorms, wind storms and tornadoes by following these steps.

Facts about storms

About 3,000 hailstorms occur annually in the United States, and hail that develops during severe storms can reach softball size. An average of 1,000 tornadoes a year causes $1.1 billion in property damage, 1,500 injuries and 80 deaths. Tornadoes are nature's most violent storms, and while the clear majority of them are weak and short, they can cause significant damage. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), about 2 percent of tornadoes fall under the most violent classification, meaning they can reach wind speeds of 205 miles per hour or more.

Planning ahead

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties recommends that prior to the arrival of a storm, you should take the following steps:

  • Build an emergency kit. Your kit should include:
    A three-day supply (minimum) of water and non-perishable food for each family member, First-aid supplies, Personal hygiene items, Portable radio, Flashlight, Fresh batteries, Basic tools, Work gloves, Portable lanterns, Signaling device (such as an air horn), Prescription medications, Extra car keys, Extra eyeglasses, Cash, Important contact numbers (such as medical centers, insurance agents, utilities, neighbors and family members), Copies of important documents (such as identification, insurance policies, ownership certificates and banking information)
  • Create and practice a plan of action for your family. Discuss where and how you will seek shelter during a storm, ensure that everyone is aware of the location of first-aid kits and fire extinguishers, and choose a place for your family to meet if you get separated. Establish a contact person to communicate with concerned relatives, and ensure that you know where and how to shut off utilities at the main switches or valves in the event of a disaster.
  •  Maintain trees and shrubbery in your yard, removing weak branches and eliminating trees that could fall on your home during a storm. Falling trees and blowing debris in storms often cause fatalities and severe structural damage.
  • Replace rock or gravel landscaping material in your yard with shredded bark, which won't cause damage if it is blown around by strong winds. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers additional information for protecting your property from strong winds.
  • Stay tuned to local radio and TV stations for important weather updates. Tornadoes often accompany thunderstorm warnings, and the sooner you're aware that a storm is on the way, the sooner you can get your family to safety.
  • Identify the safest area of your home, a place where you can take shelter when the storm hits. In most structures, this will be the basement or a small interior room without windows, such as a bathroom. In a high-rise building, seek out a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible. Close interior doors, and put as many walls between you and the storm as possible.
  • Identify escape routes from your home or neighborhood, and note whether you need any additional equipment such as a rope ladder.
  • Secure top-heavy furniture that could topple over, such as bookcases, to the walls. Before a storm arrives, move furniture away from doors and windows, if possible.
  • Stay away from windows and doors when the storm arrives, and keep all exterior doors and windows closed to prevent rain and falling debris damage in your home's interior.

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is dedicated to helping our neighbors keep their homes and property safe. If you have storm damage or water intrusion in your home or business give the professionals, who are faster to any disaster, SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at (830) 379-7474.

Contaminated Flood Waters Contain Pathogens and Dangerous Debris

6/6/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Contaminated Flood Waters Contain Pathogens and Dangerous Debris If you are in the path of Flooding, Keep your family safe, call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties (830) 379-7474 for your home & possessions.

When we respond to a case of flood damage due to a storm, one of the most frequent questions our technicians get is, "What is black water?", Black water is heavily contaminated water which is not only unsafe to drink but can also be hazardous simply to be around. It can be difficult to judge conditions in black water due to its typical gray, brown, or black coloration, with small particles often hiding potentially far greater hazards lying within. Here are a few things that can be found in a typical sample of black flood water.

Dirt and Soil: Typically, most of the coloration in black water comes from dirt and soil trapped within. Many cases of flood damage result from heavy storms and rain, and these floodwaters often pick up significant amounts of soil before they ever reach a home. Although this dirt may sound harmless, it makes the water much heavier and more difficult to navigate if you get caught in it.

Microorganisms in Black Water: Although the amount and type of organisms in flood can vary depending on its causes and specifics, almost all samples of black water contain very high levels of microorganisms. These may be parasites, bacteria, viruses, mold, or many other types of organism, and they may be able to cause health effects if ingested or absorbed through the skin. Therefore, it is never advised to drink flood waters and to seek medical attention immediately if you have.

Sharp Metal and Glass: It can be very difficult to see sharp objects in a mass of floodwater, but even if you feel you are confident that such materials are not in the water, it is best always to assume they are. Sharp materials, even if they are tiny, often constitute one of the water's greatest risks. If they open a small cut or wound, this spot may go unnoticed by you but later can possibly develop a bad infection. If you have been cut or had black water touch an open wound, immediately disinfect the wound and apply medical aid as needed.

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties deals with flood damage so that you don't have to. If your home has been caught in a flood, call us at (830) 379-7474 for mitigation and restoration services.

5 Signs You May Have Mold in the Home

6/2/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 5 Signs You May Have Mold in the Home Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties for all your cleaning, water damage, fire damage & mold remediation needs!

Most people know that mold in the home can present problems for the health of you and your family. But not everyone knows what to look for. After all, mold in your basement doesn’t always present itself as obviously as green growing on an old loaf of bread. Still, if you wait for more visible signs, you risk deeper, more significant structural damage in your home, resulting in greater removal and restoration costs. More importantly, it allows threats to your respiratory health to grow and fester for longer. If you notice any of these signs of trouble, it may be time to reach out for professional Mold Removal Services.

1. Discoloration on Your Walls

One early sign of mold is discoloration on your walls. This, by itself, may or may not signal that mold is present; other staining on your walls can come from fading paint, water spots, or rubbing against the surface. You can determine whether the discoloration comes from mold in a few ways. The most obvious is textural: if the spot is soft, fuzzy, or fibrous, it has a greater chance of being mold growth. Another comes from where the discoloration occurs. Mold tends to grow more in cool, damp places. A basement and/or near a water heater or water line is the most obvious example.

Finally, if you cannot tell, you can test the sample. Home tests are available, or a professional mold removal service can inspect and test the spots, and the area in general, for the presence of mold. In either case, you want to find out quickly before mold has a chance to spread further into your living environment.

2. Musty Smells

Often, even before you can see mold emerging, you notice a stale, musty smell lingering in the air. It may be subtle at first, but it provides an important signal for potential mold growth in your space. What’s more, because mold spores spread in the air, it can also start clinging to your clothing and other fabrics in the area. One way of figuring out whether that scent comes from mold is to keep track of whether the scent stays away after you address it. Air freshener should help remove the scent from the air, and washing your clothing, shower curtain, or other materials should get rid of it there. If the smell keeps returning, there is a good chance you do have a mold problem. On the other hand, you want to be careful about letting airborne spores spread through your home. Having the air tested can be an important safety precaution to prevent it from advancing into other areas.

3. Cold or Allergy Symptoms

Seasonal allergies are common, and can present themselves in any family.But some of the same symptoms—runny noses, scratchy throats, headaches, and the like—can be signs of mold present in the air in your home.If the symptoms linger longer than normal, or if they come up in times of the year you would not expect, you may want to look into it. Most of the time these symptoms do not become larger health problems, but the symptoms can be frustrating and prevent you or your family from feeling or working your best. And if anyone in the home suffers from asthma, mold spores can exacerbate the problem and bring on shortness of breath and even full-fledged asthma attacks. If you start to see symptoms or breathing difficulties develop in yourself or your family members, have a professional test the areas potentially affected.

4. Soft, Soggy, or Damp Materials

Because mold grows better in cool, damp places, you find a softer, damper feel to materials that it has infiltrated. If you touch cardboard or wood and find it squishy or softer than you would expect those materials to be, there is a good chance that mold has worked its way in. This kind of damage can be troubling in two ways. First, the more mold works into the materials, the weaker those materials become. Deep mold damage can disrupt the structural integrity of your home. Similar to termite damage, mold seeping into your woodwork can create problems that remain invisible until too much has been done to remedy it. Second, when mold works into porous structural parts, it can be difficult or impossible to remediate in a way that allows you to save those elements rather than replacing them. Merely cleaning these surfaces with antibacterial cleaning materials will not remove the problem; you need to work with a professional mold removal service to truly get rid of this level of mold in your home.

5. You See It!

Sometimes you can see mold growing and do not need to do any kind of analysis or deeper investigation. If you see black and white specks on the wall or ceiling, or gathered around appliances that run water, you have mold. It may also appear just as a black or white or orange mass of crystalline structure gathered in those places. If you look with a magnifying glass, you will usually see spores or fibers present on the substance. This is clear evidence of mold present in your home, and something you need to address right away before it can spread.

Get Rid of Indoor Mold

If you see any of these signs of mold invading your home, trying to take care of it on your own is usually a mistake. Wiping surfaces by itself might remove the mold from those surfaces, but it has the side effect of pushing mold into the air where it can do more damage if inhaled. And for all of that, the mold will likely return to the surface you wiped down to begin with! We take a thorough, professional approach to removing mold from the surfaces, structures, and air in your home. When you think mold may be present in your home,Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties (830) 379-7474 for all of your professional mold removal needs.


Water Damage – How Much Is Too Much

6/2/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage – How Much Is Too Much Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties (8.0)379-7474 for all your cleaning, water damage, fire & mold mediation needs!

Everyone has had water in their facility where it shouldn’t be.  It’s always a mess, but how much is too much?  When water damage occurs, when do you handle it with your own staff and when should you call in a professional water restoration company?

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC) sets national standards for how to properly handle water damage in 7 steps:

  1. Turn the water off first. It is no use to start cleaning up the mess until you have fixed the problem.  So fix the leak, call the plumber, call the city, wait for the seepage to stop; whatever you need to do to stop the problem is your first step.
  2. Determine the path that the water traveled. Find out where the water started and where it went.  This isn’t always easy.  Water can travel through walls, behind cabinets, through building materials of all kinds.  Only when you know where it traveled can you dry out all the areas affected.  Missing some areas means problems later.  Your trusted restoration company has several types of moisture meters (costing from $600 into the thousands) that will determine where the water traveled. Find out more about the cost of water damage restoration here.
  3. Protect the contents. Many times, furniture is also affected by the water.  For example, wet legs from chairs or furniture can release stain into carpet and other flooring and cause permanent damage.  Get everything up and out of the water right away.
  4. Remove the surface water. It seems that it is always more than you think.  A simple toilet supply line can leak between 700 to 1,400 gallons of water in 24 hours!  Be prepared with enough staff and equipment to vacuum it up in a reasonable time.
  5. Dealing with carpet pad. In most cases, remove and discard the pad from the affected areas.  It is inexpensive to replace and very hard to dry.  Take it out, dry what is left and replace it.
  6. Prevent mold growth. Treat the wet area with an antimicrobial solution once the surface water has been removed (staff must have the proper certification).  Spray this on hard surfaces and under carpet and then draw it through the carpet with a vacuum.  Then be sure to dry the area within 3 days or less.  Mold takes time to grow so time is on your side, but if the area isn’t dried quickly it will grow and cause further problems.
  7. Balance the moisture evaporation. This part can be tricky without the proper test equipment owned by a restoration company.  In a nutshell, when you start a fan on an area to dry it, you put moisture in the air.  This requires a dehumidifier(s) to wring the moisture out of the air at the same rate that you are putting it in with the fan.  Without the proper balance you can cause secondary damage to walls and other building materials. Qualified restoration companies are experts in this process and should be hired if you feel the amount of water is too large to dry in a single day. Waiting too long to call them results in a host of other problems you don’t need in the future.

A simple evaluation of your ability to respond to water damage today will provide you with an appropriate response when it happens.  Do you have enough equipment to vacuum water readily available to all buildings?  Do you have large fans available too?  Can this affected area be cleaned and dried in one day?  If not, call in help.

Secondary damage and mold growth caused by not drying water damaged building materials has resulted in thousands of lawsuits across the county.  Your best defense is to plan ahead of time and be prepared to call in help from a qualified restoration company if conditions warrant.  It will save a host of problems in the future.  Water damage happens in every facility.  Be ready.

Building Safety Month Week 1!

5/22/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Building Safety Month Week 1! May is Building safety month

May is building safety month.

Building safety month is a public awareness campaign to help individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures.  The campaign reinforces the need for the adoption of modern, model building codes, a strong and efficient system of code enforcement and a well-trained, professional workforce to maintain the system.

Week 1 - Mentoring the Next Generation of Building professionals 

  • Meeting the Need for Trained Building Professionals

    The construction industry is experiencing a mass retirement of skilled professionals; one study indicates that over the next 15 years the industry will experience a loss of 80 percent of the existing skilled workforce. Employers are seeking qualified building trade professionals to fill the positions of retiring employees and will be vying to hire the best of the best to reinforce their decreasing workforce. Trained professionals are needed in the building industry to prevent a major job shortage in the workforce.

    In addition to learning about construction, engineering and architecture, the future workforce needs to become knowledgeable about the building codes to ensure the very best, resilient buildings. ICC and industry partners are providing training and mentoring about the latest design, technology and innovations in the codes through high schools, colleges and career training programs.

  • High School Technical Training Program (HSTTP)

    ICC has created the High School Technical Training Program (HSTTP) to provide schools with a framework to help students understand how codes and regulations are used in the design and construction of residential, commercial, federal and military facilities. Schools participating in the HSTTP provide students with up-to-date code knowledge and technical code training that fits hand in hand with practical training leading to a skilled workforce.

  • Become a Disaster Smart Leader

    The Disaster Smart program promotes understanding of resilience policy fundamentals that include building codes, beyond-code mitigation, incentive-aligned relief programs, public-private initiatives, and smart disaster finance. These provide a path to increased public safety, more disaster-resistant structures, and preservation of a community’s workforce in a post-disaster climate.



Building Safety Month week 2!

5/22/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Building Safety Month week 2! Week 2 of Building safety!

May is building safety month.

Building safety month is a public awareness campaign to help individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures.  The campaign reinforces the need for the adoption of modern, model building codes, a strong and efficient system of code enforcement and a well-trained, professional workforce to maintain the system.

Week 2 - Building Design solutions for all ages 

  • Data from the United States Census Bureau show that there are 76.4 million baby boomers. These 76.4 million baby boomers represent close to one-quarter of the estimated U.S. population of 320 million.

Many baby boomers are nearing or entering their retirement years and making decisions about where they will live when they retire. According to a survey conducted by AARP, 89 percent of the 50-and-older population like their current homes and intend to remain in them for as long as possible. But aging in place is not just about the home.  The aging of the population will affect every interior environment—private, commercial and public.  For example,

    • Hospitality – restaurants, hotels and motels will need to be accessible
    • Workplace – offices, retail stores and other work spaces will need to provide adequate lighting, seating, technology, task areas and quiet places for older workers
    • Healthcare – increased need for outpatient and in-home care, accommodation for caretakers and caregivers
    • Retail – stores will need to be accessible and accommodate individuals using assistive devices
    • Multi-housing/multi-use – growing demand for livable communities and urban complexes with easy access to health care, entertainment, shopping, etc.

Building Safety Month Week 3!

5/22/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Building Safety Month Week 3! Building safety Month - Week 3!

May is building safety month.

Building safety month is a public awareness campaign to help individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures.  The campaign reinforces the need for the adoption of modern, model building codes, a strong and efficient system of code enforcement and a well-trained, professional workforce to maintain the system.

Prepare Your Family

Making sure your family is prepared for any natural disaster is important. Below are some of the steps you can take to prepare your family and protect your home from natural disasters. Your actions can ensure that no matter what Mother Nature brings, you, your family and your community will be resilient.

Here are a few tips to follow from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes – (FLASH®) when preparing your family for any emergency.

  • Develop a family disaster plan that includes a list of food and water supplies needed for each member of your family and supplies for your pets. Make copies of important documents like insurance policies, the deed to your home, and other personal papers, important phone numbers and a home inventory. Create a checklist of important things to do before, during and after a disaster.
  • Review your evacuation route and emergency shelter locations with your family. Options for evacuation would include staying with friends and relatives, seeking commercial lodging, or staying in a mass care facility operated by disaster relief groups in conjunction with local authorities.
  • Taking shelter is critical in times of disaster. Sheltering in place is appropriate when conditions require that you seek protection in your home, place of employment, or other location where you are when disaster strikes.

Review your plan regularly. If you make changes that affect the information in your disaster plan, update it immediately.

Visit America’s PrepareAthon! to learn more about how to prepare for earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and winter storms. Help prepare your family and community by Taking Action to Prepare.

Protect Your Home

The power of these natural disasters can be overwhelming. While you can't necessarily stop natural disasters from happening, there are steps you can take to increase your home's chance of survival, even in the face of the worst Mother Nature can dish out.

Build to Code

Although you have little control over the occurrence of hazards in your community, mitigation efforts such as building code adoption and enforcement is one of the strongest strategies jurisdictions can take to protect a community against the effects of natural hazards. Mitigation increases occupant health and safety during a disaster, protects the local tax base, ensures continuity of essential services, and supports more rapid recovery from disasters.

The development and widespread adoption of building codes is beneficial in that it has created a uniform regulatory environment in which design professionals and contractors are held to a set of standards adopted by and applicable to the jurisdiction in which they work. More importantly, building codes provide you, your family, and your community protection in the event of a natural disaster.

What are Building Codes?

Building regulation in the United States began in the late 1800s when major cities began to adopt and enforce building codes in response to large fires in densely populated urban areas. The primary intent of early building codes was to reduce the fire risk, but over time, their scope has broadened. Today, building codes are sets of regulations that address structural integrity, fire resistance, safe exits, lighting, ventilation, and construction materials. They specify the minimum requirements to safeguard the health, safety, and general welfare of building occupants.

To learn more about building codes, check out FEMA’s Building Codes Toolkit. 

The International Code Council (ICC) family of codes covers all aspects of construction. Documents summarizing the hazard-resistant provisions of the International Codes are available at FEMA’s Building Code Resources Page. This page also includes other guidance documents on codes and standards.


If the earthquake occurs in a populated area, it may cause deaths, injuries and extensive property damage. Here are some helpful tips to prepare your family and protect your home.

  • Plan and hold earthquake drills for your family. To learn more about planned earthquake drills in your area, visit
  • Identify two ways to escape from every room in the home.
  • Keep a flashlight and sturdy shoes by each person's bed.
  • Select a safe location away from the home where your family can meet after evacuating.
  • Have an earthquake kit containing water, food, medicines and other necessities for at least three days
  • Make sure your home is securely anchored to its foundation
  • Strap water heaters, appliances and TVs to wall studs.
  • Anchor bookshelves, heavy furniture, appliances and televisions to wall studs.
  • Secure pictures, mirrors and ornaments to the wall with appropriate fasteners.
  • Know where and how to shut off electricity, gas, and water services.