Recent Storm Damage Posts
Technology Helping with Storms
Free ERP for your business or home!
These days, it is important to be ready for a storm and disaster can strike at a moment’s notice! Technology working hard to let us be aware of danger with more time to prepare before it hits! Technology can also be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters, as well as during or after to stay informed of the situation and in communication with others. From common technology you already use on a day-to-day basis to taking a few extra steps to prepare. Below are a few things that will help you be ready in the event of an emergency or disaster.
Store Information Online
There are many places to store important 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 necessary.
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 first responders if a rescue is needed through Twitter.
Mark Yourself Safe
The American Red Cross offers a Safe & Well check-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 get in contact with before, during, or after a 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® of Birmingham is proud to offer Emergency READY Profiles® (ERP) for free at ready.SERVPRO.com to help prepares you, your property, or your business for an emergency.By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® for your property or business, 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 mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your property or business. Put help in the palm of your hand with the Ready Plan App. Get in touch with SERVPRO® of Lansdale, Warminster, and Blue Bell today for more information on developing an ERP for your property or business!
Are You Prepared for a Power Outage?
You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days. Depending on the nature of the disaster road conditions may prevent help from arriving in a timely manner.
Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages. If the power goes out keep your pipes from freezing by shutting off the valve that allows water to come into your home. Then, open any drain valves and all faucets and let them run until the pipes are empty (it's helpful to identify these valves in advance). Next, flush all toilets and pour denatured alcohol into toilets and sinks to prevent water in the traps from freezing. Do NOT use automotive antifreeze in case there's trouble with your water system; you don't want the antifreeze to contaminate your drinking water. You may, however, use nontoxic antifreeze that's made for winterizing motor homes.
Be prepared for a power outage by keeping necessary items centrally located in your home. Take the time to ensure that everyone in your family is aware of the "kit." Periodically check your kit to see that batteries operate properly. The following is a list of items that are suggested to keep on hand:
1. Flashlights for each family member
2. Battery-operated radio and clock
3. Extra batteries
4. Containers of bottled water
5. Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, powdered milk, baby supplies for infants
6. Non-electric can opener
7. List of important phone numbers
8. First-aid kit
Following a disaster, there may be power outages that could last for several days. Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation. Be sure to include a manual can opener and eating utensils. The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand.
•Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
•Choose foods your family will eat.
•Remember any special dietary needs.
•Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.
•Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.
•Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
•Protein or fruit bars
•Dry cereal or granola
•Non-perishable pasteurized milk
•High energy foods
•Food for infants
These and many other helpful tips are available at ready.gov Here is the link to winter tips for before during and after a winter storm http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather When winter weather strikes the Philadelphia area knowing what to do until SERVPRO of Lansdale, Warminster, and Blue Bell arrives will make a difference. Call us directly at 215-368-4110
Tornadoes are created out of powerful thunderstorms and can cause fatalities and devastation in seconds. They are rotating, funnel-shaped clouds that extend from the thunderstorm itself down to the ground, and generally occur near the trailing edge of the storm. Winds from a tornado have been known to reach 300 miles per hour and can be obscured by rain or low-hanging clouds, developing so rapidly that advance warning is often almost impossible.
A tornado watch means that the present weather conditions are favorable for violent weather. Keep an eye out for these danger signs:
• Dark and greenish sky
• Large, dark, and low-lying clouds
• Loud roar, often described as sounding like a passing train
A tornado warning means that a tornado has been spotted on the ground, or indicated by radar, and you will need to take cover immediately:
• Go to the lowest, most interior area of your home or business immediately, putting as many walls between yourself and the outdoors as you can.
• Stay away from windows, and do not open them.
• Use your arms to protect your head, or cover yourself with a mattress or sleeping bag/pillow.
• Remember where very heavy objects are on the floor above, and stay away from the area directly beneath, in case they fall through.
If you are in a mobile home, evacuate immediately. At school or work, you will need to follow the established drills to protect yourself. In an office building, go to an enclosed and windowless area near the center, away from glass and on the lowest floor possible. Make sure you stay off of elevators, as you could become trapped. Never try to out-drive a tornado; if you are caught in your car, get out of it and go to the nearest building. If you can’t get out, stay in the car with the seat belt on, and put your head down below the windows, covering your head with your hands, coat, or any other cushion. If you can safely get to an area that is much lower than the roadway, leave your car and lie down in that area, covering your head with your hands.
It is important to have a tornado safety plan in place at your home or office, letting your workforce and family know where to quickly take shelter.
When it comes to damages to your home or business by a tornado, hurricane or other severe weather, remember that the team here at SERVPRO of Lansdale, Warminster, and Blue Bell is here to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need us, we will be there right away.
Preparing for a Flood in your Business
You know that flooding, fire, and extreme weather can happen to a business at any time, and the structures and contents can easily be negatively affected. Staff can become injured or find themselves in dangerous situations, and these are scenarios you will want to be able to prevent or be ready for. You probably have an emergency preparedness plan in place, but when is the last time you looked it over? Updating your business emergency plan is a smart thing to do on a regular basis so that you will always be prepared:
• PROACTIVE MAINTENANCE. Make sure that all areas around your buildings are kept free from flammable materials and that landscaping is trimmed well on a regular basis to prevent fires from spreading if they occur. If you have replaced doors or windows lately, don’t just assume that they are properly sealed. Parking and entrance/exit areas need to always be clear and safe, in case of a disaster. Your emergency plan should include steps that need to be taken ahead of time that will lessen the effect a disaster could have. If there is heavy rainfall during inclement weather, or if the building is near a body of water such as a lake or river, low-lying spaces are going to be in danger. Keeping these areas in good repair before a flooding event occurs will go a long way towards avoiding bigger issues.
• EVACUATION INFORMATION. State law requires that you post an evacuation plan in a visible place for your staff and customers, and this needs to be up-to-date, with any floor plan or grounds changes noted. Make sure that your employees understand it and know how to carefully guide clientele to safe areas should a disaster occur.
• CURRENT CONTACT INFORMATION. Update your phone and email contact info monthly, so that all employees can be effectively alerted to important information whether they are at work or at home, should a disaster event occur.
Our team here at SERVPRO of Lansdale, Warminster, and Blue Bell are ready to help with water and fire damage, and we are proud to be mold remediation experts. Our professional damage restoration company is an important and welcome resource during tough times; we are able to complete all necessary repairs in a timely and efficient manner as well as keep you and your workforce out of harm’s way.
Storm Damage Prevention for Spring
In South Eastern PA, spring is very welcome. After all the gloomy, cold days and nights, it’s great to see the sun again. The surrounding fields are green, and flowers are everywhere! We are all anxious to get outside and have some fun.
Spring also brings with it some stormy weather, so you will want to be prepared for that. Damages to your home and other properties can make you forget the joy that this season brings with it, so let’s talk about some Spring storm damage prevention tips:
Landscaping. A thorough cleaning of your landscaping for your home or business is in order after harsh winter weather. Some plants and trees will have suffered, and some may not have made it at all. Removing dead branches and trees or other large vegetation will prevent damages in a storm from flying debris.
Drainage. Make sure your property enjoys proper drainage; often the ditch system will be full of leaves, branches, and other debris from the winter, and when water starts running, this can present a problem. Floods, even small ones, are very damaging to your property and can become dangerous very quickly.
Roofing. Have a thorough inspection done of your roofing. Loose shingles, cracks, or damage from excessive moisture made by melting snow or ice can weaken your roof’s ability to keep water out. Make these repairs right away; if you need a new roof, don’t put it off!
Doors and windows. Take a good look at all exterior doors and windows to make sure they are in good repair and fit properly. Are they well-sealed against the coming wet weather of Spring? Did they sustain damages from winter? If so, schedule repairs soon before spring storms come.
Gutters. Be sure to have your rain gutters cleaned out to prevent damages to your building through spilling water. When debris and dirt clog your gutters, the water simply has nowhere to go but into your walls when it backs up. Waterlogged walls are a great place for mold to start a colony, and that is certainly something you will want to prevent!
Here at SERVPRO of Lansdale, Warminster, and Blue Bell, we are always ready to help in the event you suffer from Spring storm damages. We handle all sizes of fire or water damage events, and we are experts when it comes to mold and its remediation and prevention.
Storm damage can cause a moldy situation
Mold spores are all around us, so there’s the potential for mold to turn up anywhere on your property, at any time. The bad news is that you can’t truly remove black mold, but mold remediation is the next best thing. Never heard of it? Read on to understand what it means and how it can help your property get back on track.
What Is Mold?
Mold is best described as a type of fungus made up of small organisms. These organisms are found everywhere, thanks to the lightweight, airborne spores they use to reproduce. Believe it or not, mold is only a problem when it finds a moist area in building and starts to grow. Some of mold’s favorite spots in which to grow include:
• Damp basements
As mentioned before, because mold spores are so numerous and moveable, you’ll never truly get rid of all of them and their potential to replicate. But mold cleanup via remediation presents the next best thing.
What Is Mold Remediation?
Rather than trying to eradicate mold, remediation is centered on resetting mold levels to lower levels where it isn’t likely to reproduce. It’s important to understand that while the remediation concept sounds simple, it’s a multi-step process best left to experts. Those experts will:
• Inspect your property to assess black mold damage
• Take steps to contain the mold
• Filter your air
• Remove visible mold
• Clean walls, furniture, etc.
Remediators will also help you understand the source of moisture feeding the mold - a critical step in ensuring that your mold problems won’t be back anytime soon.
Many businesses have learned the hard way that black mold can be a big hassle. It can create musty, unpleasant odors at best and completely ravage your property at worst. While you can’t remove it, remediation is your best option. If your property suffers a water damage from a storm be sure to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Lansdale, Warminster, and Blue Bell to tryout the structure properly so that mold will not grow.
The Difference Between Storm Watch and Storm Warning
The labels of "storm watch" and "storm warning" are used year-round and in different situations across the country. Knowing the difference between a watch and warning — and what actions you should take when they're issued — can help you and your family take appropriate precautions and stay safe.
National Weather Service alerts
The National Weather Service (NWS) keeps an eye on forecasts and climate data around the country. When it detects a potentially serious weather pattern, the NWS will notify local meteorologists in the area. Since you may not always be near a radio or television, you can stay up-to-date on weather changes by following your local news stations on social media, downloading the NWS app or signing up for text alerts from the NWS.
When you hear news that a storm watch or storm warning has been issued, keep in mind that the term being used describes both the immediacy and level of force of the storm.
What does "storm watch" mean?
A storm watch means that severe weather hasn't occurred yet, but upcoming weather conditions are expected to produce potentially dangerous weather, such as heavy rain, hail or strong gusts of wind. Because conditions can change quickly, the NWS wants to give you as much time as possible to safeguard your personal property and take shelter.
What does "storm warning" mean?
A storm warning indicates that meteorologists have already observed severe conditions. If you hear that a storm warning has been issued, it means potentially dangerous weather is imminent in or near your location. Depending on the type of weather warning, take appropriate action as quickly and safely as possible.
Types of storm watches and warnings
• Severe Thunderstorms. A thunderstorm watch, which can be in effect for several hours, means weather conditions exist where severe thunderstorms can easily develop. A thunderstorm warning means current storm conditions can turn worse, including heavy rain and strong winds. Whether a watch or a warning, it's best to stay inside and away from windows.
• Tornadoes. April, May and June are the most active months of the year for tornadoes to occur. A tornado watch means severe weather, such as large hail or winds over 58 mph, has the potential to turn into tornadic activity. A tornado warning indicates that either a strong weather rotation could produce a tornado at any moment or that a funnel cloud has already been spotted. In either situation, you should seek shelterimmediately and pay attention to local news updates.
• Flash Floods. A flash flood watch signals that even if there isn't any standing water in your immediate area, you should be ready for those conditions to change at any moment. Flash flood watches can turn to warnings quickly, meaning that flooding of nearby bodies of water is imminent or already happening. In either case, move to higher ground as safely as possible, and stay out of the flood's path — for instance, don't try to drive your vehicle through large areas of pooling water.
• Tropical Storms. The NWS tries to issue tropical storm watches as early as possible to allow enough time for emergency prep, including the possibility of evacuation. If you hear a warning, though, a tropical storm is expected within the next 36 hours, and you should take shelter immediately.
• Hurricanes. Whether there is a tropical storm expected to strengthen into a hurricane, or one that's already formed, a watch means a hurricane has the potential to impact your area. You should gather emergency supplies and be prepared to act quickly. Warnings are typically issued up to three days in advance — if one is issued, take direction from local authorities on whether to take shelter or to leave the area immediately.
• Winter Storm. A winter storm watch is usually issued at least 24 hours in advance of the storm. It lets you know that while hazardous weather conditions are likely, the exact areas and timing may not be known yet. If a watch is upgraded to a winter storm warning, try to avoid traveling, as visibility and road conditions can become unsafe.
No matter the type of watches or warnings that may come your way, it's important to properly prepare for storm conditions in advance. Also, be sure to review your policies with your insurance agent so you know what's covered in case of storm damage.
Storm Damage to your Property
Dealing with repairs and insurance companies after severe weather hits your property can be difficult. Homeowners can use the following tips to help tackle the storm damage caused by hard rains, flooding, or storm-related issues.
If you and your family were away from home when the storm hit, do not return until it has been confirmed safe. Contact a storm damage expert like SERVPRO of Lansdale; we’ll help you determine if your home is safe to return to.
You will need to contact your homeowners’ insurance adjuster as soon as possible. If your neighborhood has sustained widespread damage, find out if any special teams of insurance agents, relief workers, or contractors are coming to the area. Check your policy to find out what actions you need to take or talk to your agent to make sure you are following the proper procedures. Not following these actions correctly could result in a reduced claim. Inspect your property and make a list of all damages; take photographs of all noted damage if at all possible.
RECORDING AND DOCUMENTING
Document your neighbor’s damages, as well; this can prevent the insurance provider from downgrading your claim by saying the damage is from your neglect of maintenance or other unrelated issues by giving them a way to compare. Keep a record of all the communication you have with your insurance provider, and don’t do any unnecessary repair work yourself. Hire a trusted storm damage restoration service provider such as SERVPRO of Lansdale to handle any repairs.
BE SCAM FREE
Always check the adjuster’s identification. If you are evacuated, ask for money from your claim upfront. If they agree, you will be given a check for an amount that will be deducted from your final settlement. Some providers will automatically offer a partial payment early on during the process. Review it carefully and decline it if you feel uncomfortable with any part of it. Never be afraid to ask questions and to expect an answer that makes sense or seems fair.
Dealing with a storm's aftermath is stressful, but reacting properly will be an immense help and can prevent problems down the road.
The SERVPRO of Lansdale Team is ready to help 24/7. Call us for your fire or water damage issues at 215-368-4110.
courtesy of LinkedIn
Storm Causes Fallen Tree in Hatfield
Fallen tree caused damage to the roof. A temporary tarp can help to prevent further interior damage to the home.
SERVPRO of Lansdale specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition. This includes emergency tarp and board up services.
Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit Hatfield, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 215-368-4110