Recent Storm Damage Posts
Plan Ahead and Build an Emergency Kit
Be Prepared at your home or business with an Emergency Kit. https://www.ready.gov/ suggests you have enough supplies to last for at least three days. Below are some suggested items to include in your kit.
- 3-day Supply of non-perishable food
- Water-One gallon per person per day
- First-aid kit
- Prescription Medication
- Sleeping bags and blankets
- Fire Extinguisher
- Hygiene products
- Extra Batteries
- Cell phone charger
- Change of clothes
- Matches in weatherproof container
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Whistle to signal for help
- Pet supplies
- Infant supplies
- Important documents in weatherproof container (insurance documents, bank records, IDs)
You can also keep a condensed Emergency Kit in your vehicle as well. For a more extensive kit go to ready.gov/
Winter Weather Worries
Winter weather and temperatures falling below freezing can bring about home water damage issues such as frozen pipes and ice dams. These damages are costly to repair and in most instances can be prevented.
Frozen pipes are not only those exposed to the cold weather, such as outdoor pipes, but also pipes in cold areas like basements, attics, garages and kitchen cabinets. A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your home if not properly and quickly fixed.
According to The American Red Cross here are some tips to prevent pipes from freezing:
- Drain water completely from swimming pool, sprinkler system and outside hoses.
- Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air near plumbing.
- In extreme cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
- Keep your heat set at the same temperature day and night. The temperature should not be set below 55°f
Ice dams can cause major damage during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof's shingles and into the structure's interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall. Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, (source Travelers.com) check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along ceiling of exterior walls in your home. These are indicators that ice dams have occurred and water has penetrated the roof membrane. Remove the ice dam quickly to prevent major water damage to your homes exterior and interior. Using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melt can be used to alleviate the ice dam problem.
If winter weather causes water damage to your property, SERVPRO has trained professional technicians ready to restore your property.
Be prepared for any type of storm
Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets, or seniors.
After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
If your home has water damage due to a storm, call SERVPRO of Northwest Bergen to help we offer storm damage cleanup and restoration visit Storm Damage Cleanup Services.
Winter Weather Worries
Winter weather can bring about more issues than just slippery roads and a sidewalk to shovel. If you live where temperatures sink below freezing level, you are also at risk for frozen pipes, which can create a major disaster at your home or business property. Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold ares such as basements, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly. to prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take, according to The American Red Cross:
- Be sure to completely drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses.
- Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air circulate near the plumbing.
- When weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
- Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night. If you have any water damage caused by a burst pipe call SERVPRO at 1-800-497-7179.
Are You Winter Weather READY?
Are you prepared for the coming cold weather? Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not ready for it. from heavy rain and freezing temperatures to damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather.To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits.
- Check property for downed tree limbs and branches.
- Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to help ensure they are in proper working order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your foundation. Clear gutters of debris, leaves and other obstructions can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage and interior water damage problems.
- Inspect handrails and stairwells as well as entryways to address and correct potential slippery surfaces.
- Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under cabinets, leave the doors open allowing warm air inside the cabinet. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucets to ensure it drains.
- Call SERVPRO about completing an Emergency Ready Profile for your business or downloading the READY Plan APP.
Is Your Home Ready for a Storm?
Weather can have a huge impact on your home if you are not properly prepared. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious damage. While you cannot control weather, you can take steps to be prepared, and help take the sting out of winter weather.
- Check your property for downed tree limbs and branches.
- Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper working order. Obstructions can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
- Inspect property for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
- Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under cabinets, leave the doors open allowing warm air inside. If you have outdoor faucets, turn off the water at the main valve.
- Ask SERVPRO about completing an Emergency READY Profile for your business. The ERP is a no cost assessment of your facility, and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.
After the Storm
Water Restoration after Storms
After any water damage situation, like a storm your primary focus should be safety first:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether you home or business is near a coastline, along a city street, in the mountains, near a river or even in a desert--there is always a potential for flood damage.
Floodsmart.gov reports, in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods.
If a flood does strike your home or business, contact the Professionals at SERVPRO, even minor floods can lead to major damage when not treated quickly and properly, and cleanup is often an overwhelming task. SERVPRO can handle any size disaster.
Flooding can happen fast. Just because you haven't experienced a flood doesn't mean you won't in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities.
The American Red Cross recommends having the following list of items packed and ready to go in the event of an emergency or evacuation due to flooding.
- Water-3+ day supply; one gallon per day per person
- Food-3+day supply of non-perishable, easy to prepare food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries (all sizes)
- First Aid Kit
- Medications (7 day supply) and medical items (hearing aids, glasses, contacts, syringes, canes)
- Multi-purpose tool, supplies to secure your home
- Personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication lists, deed/lease to home, insurance policies, birth certificates)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Baby supplies, pet supplies
- Extra car and house keys
- Extra clothing for both warm, cold and rainy weather-sturdy footwear
- Insect repellent and sunscreen
- Camera for photos of damage
Severe Weather Safety
Severe weather can happen any time, and anywhere. According to NOAA.gov each year, we cope with an average of
- 10,000 severe thunderstorms
- 5,000 floods or flash floods
- 1,300 tornadoes
- 2 land falling deadly hurricanes
Approximately 98% of all presidential declared disasters are weather related, and cause nearly $15 billion dollars in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather events, taking action, and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist others during weather disasters.
Know Your Risk: The First step to becoming weather ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you work and live. Check the weather forecast regularly, learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio especially if you live in a heavily impacted weather area.
Take Action: 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 documents 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, family and friends via social media. Your story will inspire others to do the same.
Watch vs Warning: Do you know the difference?
Watch: Conditions are favorable for severe weather and it is possible. Remain alert for possible further warnings.
Warning: Severe weather has been spotted or indicated by radar. Take Cover!
You Can Be Ruined, OR You Can Be READY!
With the Help of Technology
Technology can be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters. The following are tips to help you be ready and use technology in the event of an emergency disaster.
Store Information Online
There are many places to store information securely online. Services like Google Drive, and Dropbox offer a free way to store different types of files, from a Word document to images of important documents. Ready.gov suggests saving an electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records and information on your pets if neccessary.
Follow the News
Stay informed by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels, and local government on Twitter for the most up-to-date information in a disaster situation. You can also alert responders if a rescue is needed through Twitter.
Mark Yourself Safe
The American Red Cross offers a Safe & Well Chick-in site to list yourself as safe or find family and friends in situations where communication is difficult to establish.
Facebook also has a feature called Safety Check that is activated after natural disasters or a crisis. You will receive a notification from Facebook if you're located in the affected area at that time.
Get in Touch
Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in your phone and e-mail for communication with family, friends, business contacts and others whom you may need to contact before, during and after a disaster. SERVPRO has the READY Plan APP, download the APP and be READY for any fire, water or mold disaster.
Keep a portable charger in your car and home in case of an emergency. You may need to recharge this from time to time, but you can also buy solar-powered chargers as well.
Get an Emergency READY Profile
SERVPRO offers an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for free to help you prepare you, your property or your business for an emergency. By having an ERP done in advance you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely and cost effective mitigation. Call our office for more information regarding your ERP Profile for your property or business.
source: Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Issue 2