Recent Storm Damage Posts
In the last ten years the U.S. has officially declared 1,000 disasters.
in 2017 we had 3 major natural disasters alone; Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
The goal is to plan now, because the odds are that you will be affected one day.
Here are 6 things to know before one of these disasters strikes!
- Know where your gas shut off valve is located. Shutting off the gas before an emergency can help avoid gas leaks and potential explosions.
- Know where your electrical shut off is. Electrical problems cause an estimated 25,900 house fires each year and this number grows during a disaster.
- Make an emergency communication program. Family members will know where to go, what to do, and how to reconnect.
- Make sure you have insurance, and make sure you know what it covers- flooding? Earthquakes? Etc. Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster. A few inches of water can cause thousands in damage.
- Plan for your pets, most shelters will not accept pets due to public health reasons unless it is a service animal. So search ahead to find a shelter who allows pets.
- Know your evacuation routes. Many communities have them, make sure you know these routes as in a disaster every second counts.
Always remember you can visit www.FEMA.org for more information on disasters and how to plan!
Storm Warning Vs. Storm Watch : What to know!
With spring bringing strong storms into our area it is best to be prepared. Do you know the difference between a watch and a warning? A severe thunderstorm watch means that the potential exists for the development of thunderstorms which may produce large hail or damaging winds. A watch is issued by the SPC (Storm Prediction Center). A severe thunderstorm warning means that a severe thunderstorm is occurring or is imminent based on Doppler radar information or a reliable spooter report. A warning is issued by the local National Weather Service office. You can always tune into your local news channel or always tune to 162.550 on your radio for the weather band here in Delaware. They will issue all Storm warning and watches for your area.
Disaster Recovery Team
SERVPRO has answered your call for help in storm situations. We have developed a specialized storm team and large loss response network to provide the resources you need - management, crews and equipment to get service to your property when other's cant. As the storms roll out, SERVPRO rolls in to help! When localized storms overwhelm local restoration companies, SERVPRO's storm response helps to manage the volume you need served. We are #1 in storm response because of early warning systems, pre-emptive action plans, rapid mobilization, local management and pricing, and dedicated resources available at client's request. While our competitors finish their work and leave the storm area, SERVPRO has Franchise Professionals that live in the area and are locally available long after other companies have moved on. Customer Service Matters!
Storm Preparedness For Pets
Pets are just as important as any family member to most people, so why would you not make them a part of your preparedness planning? There are several things you can do to make sure they stay safe as well during an emergency.
After Hurricane Katrina, "It's estimated that over 15,500 animals were ultimately rescued. Of the 15,500 animals rescued, only 15%-20% were ever reunited with their owners."
Pet Emergency Kit
Food. At least a three day supply in an airtight, waterproof container.
Water. At least three days of water specifically for your pets.
Medicine and medical records.
Important documents. Registration information, adoption papers and vaccination documents.
Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies tag and leash
Crate or pet carrier
A picture of you and your pet together
Familiar items such as treats, toys and bedding can help reduce stress for your pet.
While practicing fire escape or evacuation plans, be sure to include pets. If an evacuation happens, don't leave pets behind as they can be lost or injured.
Microchipping pets is a great way to locate them. Most veterinary clinics and shelters have scanners that will read the microchip information to help find a pet's owner.
Staying Safe From Summer Storms
The potential for severe weather increases in our area during the summer months. Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and runs through November 30th. While it may be difficult to prepare for the unpredictable, there are steps you can take now to help ensure you are ready when disaster strikes.
BEFORE THE STORM
*Build an emergency supply kit and develop a communication plan.
*Unplug any electronic equipment before the storm arrives.
*If you are outdoors, get inside a building.
*Shutter windows and severe outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.
DURING THE STORM
*Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
*Avoid contact with corded phones. Cordless and cellular phones are safe to use.
*Avoid contact with electrical equipment and cords.
*Avoid contact with plumbing. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
*Stay away from windows and doors.
AFTER THE STORM
*Never drive through a flooded roadway.
*Stay away from storm damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk.
*Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
Storm Damage and Cleanup
Devastating storms are something that are inevitable, they will happen, the question is when and how severe they will be. SERVPRO Of Dover Middletown is part of national initiative through SERVPRO corporate called STORM TEAM. Storm team allows SERVPRO'S from across the nation to gather on a affected area that has been hit with a devastating storm or nation tragedy (i.e. Hurricane Sandy, 9/11, hurricane Katrina, etc. ) Once a team of SERVPRO's have been dispatched to an affected area we are able to communicate with a local branch and come up with a game plan on how to handle the issues once the storm has subsided. We are able to provide mitigation services for families and business that have been affected from tear outs to water removal, and then we are able to communicate with the customers and the local branch in order to set up restorative plans for put back work. This is just one of the major tasks that most of our SERVPRO franchises offer.
Preparing your business for a storm.
Severe weather conditions seem to make the national news on a regular basis. With the possibility of additional weather events including higher than average flood water, commercial property owners who prepare in advance can better protect their business and their customers. Ensure your assets remain safe from water damage by taking steps before you are faced with a hazardous situation.
Consider Flood Insurance
Insurance companies typically view flooding as rainwater that hits the ground in quantities. Many types of standard insurance policies do not cover rain-related damage. Flooding can devastate a business, leaving substantial cleanup costs and destruction in its wake. For companies that are not in a flood plain, flood insurance may be a cost-effective option.
Address Building Weaknesses
Flood waters move swiftly, and a flooded building can be dangerous. It may not be possible to take preventative action once the water begins entering the building. Consider what can be done in advance to protect items in key areas of the building:
Clear storm drains and gutters of debris.
Remove valuable items from the basement and store them elsewhere.
If there are fuel tanks, make sure they are securely anchored and up to code specifications.
Purchase a sump pump.
Safeguard Business Critical Data
Keep backup copies of crucial documents such as insurance policies, vendor information and emergency contact numbers. If possible, store them off-site to avoid water damage. Otherwise, put them in an area that is least likely to be impacted by flood water, such as a second floor or in a waterproof safe. Keeping the data safe can help restore business quickly.
Create an Emergency Plan
Disaster recovery planning can protect employees and guests during an extreme weather event. Flood water rises quickly, so having a documented plan in place beforehand can ensure everyone knows what to do in the event of a flooded building. Keep the contact information for water damage restoration technicians up-to-date. Address building and employee readiness and make sure there is a detailed evacuation route that can take people away from danger in flood conditions.
What to do after a Hurricane.
Hurricanes have devastated countless families and homes in Delaware in the past. Storm damage to a home from a hurricane is a stressful experience for a homeowner in many ways and can even be worse when they are not sure what steps to take afterward. In the event of your home becoming damaged by a storm, take the following steps:
1. Take Photos and Document the Damage
It is important that all storm damage to your home is well documented to make your insurance claims process much easier. Take as many photos of all areas affected and make sure to compile a list of all damaged items as well.
2. Perform Emergency Repairs
After sustaining damage, prioritize the repairs that have to be made to the property. Your focus in doing so should be to ensure that additional damage does not occur. Some examples of these emergency repairs include covering broken windows with plastic or securing tarps to your roof to prevent rainwater from entering. Any permanent repairs should be placed on hold until your insurance claims adjuster is able to review the damage. Until your adjuster is aware of the full extent of the damage and has all materials accounted for, you should refrain from throwing out any damaged items.
3. File a Claim Quickly
It is important to know that insurance companies sometimes work on a first-come, first-serve basis, especially if overwhelmed by many claims during a hurricane season. Because of this, you should work to get the process started and file a claim as soon as you are aware of the damage. After contacting your insurance provider, provide your claims adjuster with photos, an inventory of affected items, and fill them in on the extent of the damage. Your adjuster will come to your property, further assess the damage, and work to determine the payout amount your insurance will cover.
4. Secure Safe Lodging
Safety should be the number one priority at all times for you and all inhabitants of the home. If the home is uninhabitable, or unsafe for any reason, we strongly recommend finding a safe place to stay while repairs are being made to the home. Keep in mind that if your damage is part of a covered claim, the loss of use coverage in a standard insurance policy will typically help pay for your family's lodging. Ask your claims adjuster if you are covered by your policy.
SERVPRO of Dover Middletown is a professional storm damage company that specializes in water damage, fire damage, and mold damage. Our emergency services are available 24/7 to assist you at SERVPRO of Dover Middletown. Contact us anytime for services.
When Disaster Strikes-Quick Response is needed
When a disaster strikes, it is imperative to respond quickly in order to prevent further damages and complications. Fires, mold infestations and floods from broken pipes, overflows or heavy storms – all such disasters must be dealt with in a timely manner. If not handled immediately you could experience on or more of these issues:
- If water-damaged structures and contents are not dried out quickly and correctly, Growth can begin to grow within the first 24 to 48 hours after the disaster.
- Excessive water can cause: rusting in metals, corrosion in electronic components, cracking, splitting or warping of furniture items, color bleeding or transfer in fabrics, furniture stains and secondary damage to upholstery, drapery, clothing, wallpaper, photos and papers.
- Fire or smoke damaged properties can also experience irreversible damage, regardless of the size of the fire. Soot residue is highly acidic and can pit or corrode the metal in doorknobs, plumbing fixtures, light fixtures, etc. It can also etch glass in windows, mirrors and cabinets, causing them to look soiled and cloudy. Moreover, plastics, appliances, fabrics and vinyl windows can become discolored.
- The safety and security of the home can be compromised. Windows and doors may become weak and function improperly, wet materials may collapse and electrical installations and components can be a hazard when they come in contact with water. Slips and falls are also potential dangers.
If you’re not sure how to act after experiencing water, fire or growth problems in your home or business, contact SERVPRO of Dover Middletown. We have a team of restoration professionals ready 24/7/365 to help you.
Being Prepared for Storms
Storms can happen anytime, anywhere. Each year, Americas cope with an average of the following intense storms:
- 10,000 severe thunderstorms
- 5,000 floods or flash floods
- 1,000 tornadoes
- 2 land falling deadly hurricanes
Approximately 98% of all presidentially declared disaster are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.
Know Your Risk.
The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.
Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.
Be an Example.
Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire other to do the same.
Share your experience with neighbors, friends, and family and help them build a plan as well!
Thunderstorm Watches and Warnings. What to know.
Thunderstorm producing Lightning.
With summer and soon fall bringing strong storms into our area it is best to be prepared for these situations. Do you know the difference between a watch and a warning? A severe thunderstorm watch means that the potential exists for the development of thunderstorms which may produce large hail and/or damaging winds. A watch is issued by the SPC (Storm Prediction Center). A severe thunderstorm warning means that a severe thunderstorm is occurring or is imminent based on Doppler radar information or a reliable spooter report. A warning is issued by the local National Weather Service office. Make sure that your family and yourself are prepared and have a plan in place for all watches and warnings! You never know when it may come in handy or save your lives!
Hurricane Preparedness Week 5/15-5/21
It's that time of year again! Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 15-21, 2016. Here are some tips from FEMA to Prepare your home and/or your business. At your home cover all of your home's windows with precut plywood to protect them from high winds. Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down. Keep all trees and shrubs well trimmed so they are more wind resistant. Turn off propane tanks. Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes. In your business make sure you carefully assess how your company functions, both internally and externally, to determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating. Identify operations critical to survival and recovery. Plan what you will do if your building, is not accessible. For more great tips please visit: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/hurricane_preparedness.html