Recent Storm Damage Posts
Recovering After a Tornado
Tornadoes are a terrifying, often devastating, weather event. They can turn houses into dust, and flip lives upside down. Living through a tornado can be traumatizing, and sometimes the aftermath is just as bad. Parts of your home may be destroyed, and the idea of fixing it can be overwhelming. Recovering from a tornado could be a huge task, depending on how bad the damage was. However, there are steps to take toward recovery and people ready to help along the way. There are steps that should be taken right after the storm passes, and other steps to take down the road when it is time for repairs and cleaning.
Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones
The first step is to stay in your safe place until the storm has completely passed. If you are able, try and wait until you get the all clear from local officials. After the storm, check yourself and those with you for any injuries. If someone is hurt, the next step is seeking out first aid. After everyone has been checked and is okay, you should see how bad the damage to your house is. Make sure to watch out for anything that is unstable and likely to fall. If you go outside, look out for any downed power lines. They can be life threatening, so if you see downed power lines stay inside.
Protect Your Property
After you make sure yourself and your loved ones are protected, start protecting your property. You can make temporary repairs in order to prevent further damage. Many insurance companies will reimburse you for the cost, so make sure to keep receipts just in case. In addition to temporary repairs, living expenses may also be reimbursable. If your house is damaged to the point of you having to stay in a hotel, keep the receipts. Your policy may pay you back for the cost of it. Make sure to make a list of anything that was damaged, and don’t throw out damaged belongings. An adjuster will need to assess them for value if your policy covers replacing them. You should also inspect all utility lines and appliances. Any damage could lead to a gas leak or electric shortage. Damaged electric wires may also cause a fire. You may even have to turn off the main valve in order to prevent more harm to your house. Once these steps have been taken, contact your insurance company. From there, they can work with you to see what your policy covers. Most of the time, they will hire services to come out and repair damages.
Clean Up and Repair
SERVPRO has an incredibly fast response time when it comes to disasters. We have equipment and personnel ranging across 1,700 franchises. Our experience and training will allow us to restore your property quickly and efficiently. In addition, we will document the entire process.
What to Do When a Storm Impacts Your Business
When you know that a storm is likely to impact your business, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. However, focusing on storm preparedness before a disaster occurs can help to keep yourself, your staff and your property safe.
- Document the Building’s State Before the Storm
When a building is damaged, it’s often important for property management to provide the business’ insurance company with documentation of the destruction. However, it may also be beneficial to have photographs of your property prior to the incident. By showing an insurance adjuster what the business looked like before it sustained damage, you can help to ensure your claim is accurate.
- Establish a Line of Communication
Storms can come on suddenly, and in the event that the property needs to be evacuated, it’s useful to know how to contact all employees in a timely manner. As part of your storm preparedness plan, you may consider asking all staff members to provide you with a way to reach them quickly before a disaster. Since you may not be present in the building when an emergency occurs, it can also be wise to create a list of tasks that the last person to exit should perform. An example might include making sure all doors and windows are closed.
- Inspect the Property
Inspecting the structure before a storm can help you prevent damage, because leaks or malfunctioning equipment may worsen any problems that do occur. An inspection will also allow you to observe any openings in the building, which can happen when roof shingles are cracked or missing. This may let rain get inside more easily. If you see signs of a problem, you should contact emergency restoration services to prevent additional issues.
As a property manager, storm preparedness can be an important element of your job. Documenting the building before a disaster, establishing a line of communication and inspecting the structure can help you to prepare your business for any situation.
So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are ready to help get things back to "Like it never even happened."
Clogged Drains Can Cause Flood Damage
Our Flood Water Removal Technicians Will Help You Handle the Storm Flood Damage in Your Property.
Floodwater can cause lasting damage when it gets into your property. It rots wood paneling, stains furniture, and causes mold infestation. However, if you engage with SERVPRO technicians immediately after the storm, we can work quickly to get your property back to its former glory.
How much does flood damage restoration cost?
The cost of storm flood damage to property varies from case to case, depending on its intensity. When looking for restoration services near you, it is essential to note that the cheapest option is not the best. Quality matters, and you need to rely on the professionals to do an excellent flood damage remediation and restoration job.
At SERVPRO, our pricing system is straightforward and guarantees every client a friendly price. We have a team of certified price-estimators who follow a standardized process of assessing the restoration cost.
What should I do after my home floods?
- Follow the authority’s instructions.
- Keep off from any electrical cords and switch off the main electricity supply.
- Keep your kids from moving flood water.
- Avoid consuming foodstuffs that came into contact with the water.
Can you remove the mud on my driveway?
Our technicians have access to top of the line equipment and tools for effective cleaning. Since flood water can carry dirt and debris to your doorstep and into your property, we can use a diesel-powered power washer to clean the mud on your driveway and sidewalk. However, the equipment's pressure might not be sufficient to break the bound of the dirt. Therefore, we can add detergent to enhance the cleaning power of the machine.
How long does the drying process take?
The drying process in water cleanup and restoration can take several days. With the help of our advanced equipment and tools, we can dry your property thoroughly. We can place several axial air movers in the affected area to facilitate drying. The equipment removes moisture in affected surfaces and turns it into airborne water vapor. We remove the water vapor from the air using your home’s HVAC system and low grain dehumidifiers. The dehumidifier converts water vapor into liquid and extracts it from the property.
If flood damage occurs in your property, act fast. The longer the contaminated water stands in your property, the more damage it can cause. Call SERVPRO today and we’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”
How SERVPRO Handles Storms
Storms have become stronger and more severe over the years. However, thanks to the technology available today we know a storm is coming and we prepare the best we can and it still isn’t enough. Neighborhoods, cities, towns and even states are displaced by storms.
When a storm event occurs all resources are stretched to the breaking point including shelter, food, and water. These are just the basics of necessities that are hard to take care immediately following a devastated storm. We at SERVPRO have teams all over the country who are called Storm Teams. These Storm Teams have the equipment, manpower and knowledge to hit the ground running to help clean up and restore after a disaster.
Our corporate office does a great job of dispatching our Storm Teams to the right place so that we can help communities get back on their feet. SERVPRO works with the people, insurance companies and authorities to get the area back to normal as quickly as possible.
When you see the next storm headed to a city rest assured SERVPRO is ready to respond where we are needed.
Signs of Storm Damage to Your Home
After a storm rolls through, it is important to inspect your house for damage the storm may have caused. Listed below are areas you should be looking at.
- Roof: Look for shingles that have discoloration, tearing, or even holes in them. These can all be signs that your roof has been damaged. Another sign is if there are leaks in your roof or your ceiling.
- Gutters: After a hail storm, looking for dents or dings can also give you a better picture of what the storm did to the rest of your home. Your gutters can also give you insight to whether you have roof damage. Check to see if there are granules from the asphalt shingles in your gutter.
- Windows: Look at each of the windows on your homes and note any signs of shattered or broken window and frame damage. This is especially important after a hail storm or a strong wind storm.
- Exterior: Not only is it important to look at the siding of your home to check for damage, it is also important that you check all appliances. Inspect your AC/HVAC unit as well as items such as an outdoor grill.
After your inspection, if you notice any signs of storm damage follow up by checking the area for signs of mold, mildew, pests or other secondary damage. Our team is able to put an emergency roof tarp to prevent any further damage. Call SERVPRO and we’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”
High Winds Can Be Powerful
What are damaging winds?
Damaging winds are often called “straight-line” winds to differentiate the damage they cause from tornado damage. Strong thunderstorm winds can come from a number of different processes. Most thunderstorm winds that cause damage at the ground are a result of outflow generated by a thunderstorm downdraft. Damaging winds are classified as those exceeding 50-60 mph.
Straight-line wind is a term used to define any thunderstorm wind that is not associated with rotation, and is used mainly to differentiate from tornadic winds.
A downdraft is a small-scale column of air that rapidly sinks toward the ground.
A macroburst is an outward burst of strong winds at or near the surface with horizontal dimensions larger than 4 km (2.5 mi) and occurs when a strong downdraft reaches the surface. To visualize this process, imagine the way water comes out of a faucet and hits the bottom of a sink. The column of water is the downdraft and the outward spray at the bottom of the sink is the macroburst. Macroburst winds may begin over a smaller area and then spread out over a wider area, sometimes producing damage similar to a tornado. Although usually associated with thunderstorms, macrobursts can occur with showers too weak to produce thunder.
Wintery Stormy Weather
Here in Livingston, Demopolis, Butler, we get excited when we have even the slightest "threat" of snow. What we usually experience is some flurries, then heavy freezing. So many homeowners are unaware of how to handle a situation in which their pipes freeze in these winter storms.
A heavy winter freeze when your home is unprepared can lead to pipes freezing, cracking and then severe water damage in your home. As bipolar as mother nature is in Alabama, within a few days of this water damage to your home, microbial growth can begin if the right conditions are in place.
Homeowners also sometimes forget safety precautions when it comes to indoor wood fires, space heaters, and gas logs. One in six home fires during the winter months (December, January, February) are caused by home heating elements. Be sure to check your smoke alarms regularly. Be sure to treat space heaters and fires with EXTRA caution.
Know that SERVPRO of Livingston/Demopolis/Butler is always here to help.
Call us for water and fire damages at 334-287-1144.
When Storms Hit & Cause Floods
SERVPRO of Livingston/Demopolis/Butler 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.
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.
We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists
As a leader in storm and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of Livingston/Demopolis/Butler has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition. Our restoration process puts an emphasis on scientific drying techniques, progress monitoring and documentation.
- Water Damage Restoration Technician
- Applied Structural Drying Technicians
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit Livingston, Demopolis, or Butler, 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 334-287-1144
Storm - Steps Before & After
Insurance companies encourage you to take precautions and be ready to take action following a major storm. Your safety and swift recovery are the top priorities for both you and your insurance company. Here are some tips to help you stay safe and return to regular daily life after a catastrophic event.
What should I do before a disaster strikes?
- Call or visit your insurance agent prior to a storm to discuss your policy.
- Keep the name, address, insurance policy and claims reporting telephone number of your insurer and agent in a safe and easily accessible place.
- Take inventory of your household items, especially valuables. Photograph and videotape items for verification and keep in a safe place such as a safety deposit box, and/or send copies of records to a trusted relative or friend who lives another state.
- Read your insurance policy and know what YOUR responsibilities are. Know what is and isn't covered, such as flooding, and know your general/specific policy limits and deductibles.
A storm has hit and my house is damaged. Now what?
- Find out the time limit on filing claims and notify your insurance agent in writing of the damage as soon as possible.
- If there are holes in your roof or your windows are broken, be sure to cover them as quickly as possible so that wind and rain do not cause further damage.
- Save receipts of what you spend and submit them to your insurance company for reimbursement.
- Don't throw away any damaged items until an adjuster visits your home.
- Photograph or videotape the damage for your records and the insurance company. Make a copy of your home inventory for your adjuster.
What kind of questions do I ask my insurance company?
- Does my claim exceed my deductible? Make sure you know the amount of your deductible. In many coastal areas, deductibles may range from 1 to 5 percent of your home's value.
- Will I need to obtain estimates for repairs or replacements? Before an estimate can be reimbursed, some companies may require an estimate to be approved first.
- How much insurance is enough? Check if your policy pays replacement cost or actual cash value for a covered loss. If you have increased the value of your property, be sure to increase the protection for your property.
- Does my policy provide reimbursement for additional living expenses when a property is determined to be uninhabitable due to damage? If you must evacuate the area, notify your insurance company and verify your insurance policy for coverage for temporary lodging. This provision helps pay for living expenses, restaurant food, overnight parking, and laundry services.
What should my insurance company be doing?
- Once you have made a claim, the company will send you the necessary claim forms. Properly fill the forms out to avoid delays.
- Your company will send out an adjuster to inspect your home. Make a list of structural damage to your home that you would like to show the adjuster.
- Once you and your insurance company agree on the terms of your settlement, state laws require that your payment is sent promptly.
- Damage to trees, shrubs and other plants during a hurricane or windstorm are not covered under a standard homeowners policy. However, insurance may pay to remove the debris from a fallen tree if it caused damage to a structure covered by insurance.
Call SERVPRO of Livingston/Demopolis/Butler at 334-287-1144 for all your storm damage needs!
Facts About Tornadoes!
Every household should have an emergency plan in place before a disaster happens. And part of that plan should include a stocked, ready to go, emergency preparedness kit.
An emergency preparedness kit is usually needed for you to survive for at least 72 hours. Make sure to keep an emergency kit at home and in your vehicle. Most items are easy to find and inexpensive:
Water – 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days
Food – Non-perishable food for at least 3 days
Manual can opener for food
Hand crank radio or battery powered radio
First aid kit
Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Infant formula, diapers, wipes, bottles
The most powerful Tornadoes occur in the United States.
A typical tornado only lasts for a few minutes.
Every tornado has its own color, sound and shape.
You need to step on the pedal of a car pass 70 miles per hour to outrun the fastest tornadoes.
The chances that a tornado is a F5, the highest classification for a tornado on the F-scale, is less than 0.1%
Tornadoes have been reported in every state in the US and also in every season.
A Tornado can occur at any time, but most often between 3pm and 9pm.
The direction in which a tornado twists depends a lot upon which hemisphere you're in. In general, most tornadoes in the northern hemisphere rotate cyclonically, or counter-clockwise. Only around five percent of tornadoes in the northern hemisphere rotate clockwise, or anti-cyclonically.
Remember to call SERVPRO of Livingston/Demopolis/Butler at 334-287-1144for all of your needs.
Do You Know What to do Before the Storm?
Preparing for a storm can be intimidating, let us give you some tips to make the process a lot easier for you.
Before The Storm:
- Build an emergency supply kit and make a family communication plan.
- Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
- Postpone outdoor activities.
- Remember the 30/30 Lighting Safety Rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lighting, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.
- Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
- Get inside a home, building, or hard top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lighting strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
- Remember, rubbed-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lighting. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
- Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.
- Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.
If you have experienced storm damage please give SERVPRO of Livingston/Demopolis/Butler at 334-287-1144 where we can make it "Like it never even happened."
Severe Storm Damage
If your area is expecting a tornado or other major storm, there are several steps you can take to stay safe. After the tornado passes, SERVPRO of Livingston/Demopolis/Butler can help you clean up any storm damage and restore your home.
Look for Storm Warning Signs
Tornadoes typically occur when there is a severe thunderstorm in the area. Rain, hailstorms and lightning strikes are some of the signs of a possible tornado. Some other warning signs of an oncoming tornado include:
* Orange or Green Skies
* Rumbling or Roaring Sounds in the Air
* Very Calm Conditions after a Storm
* Damaged Power Lines or Debris
* Rotation of the Clouds
Staying Informed During a Storm
Local television and radio stations are your best source for updates on how the storm is developing. However, if you hear a tornado siren, you should immediately head to the nearest shelter.
What is the difference between a Tornado Watch, Warning and Emergency?
* A Tornado Watch means that a storm could be coming in your area soon because of the current weather conditions.
* A Tornado Warning is a sign that one or more tornadoes are in the immediate area. Look for shelter as soon as you see this signal.
- A Tornado Emergency is the final step in the warning process. A tornado has been spotted near a populated location. Move to the safest possible place if you cannot get to a real shelter in time.
Locally Owned Company with National Storm Resources
SERVPRO of Livingston/Demopolis/Butler is locally owned and operated, so we are part of this community too. When you have a flooding or storm emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help. We take pride in being a part of the Livingston, Demopolis, and Butler communities and we want to do our part in making it the best it can be.
Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States.
There is always potential for flood damage no matter where you live. According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the United States every year than any other weather related disaster. The American Red Cross offers these flood safety tips:
-Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
-If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are riding rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
-Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
If a flood occurs and affects you, call SERVPRO of Livingston/Demopolis/Butler. Even minor floods have potential to cause major damage. We are faster to ANY size disaster. Let us help you get your life back in order.
What's the difference?
Lately there has been flooding all over the United States: if you are unfamiliar with the difference between a flash flood warning, flood warning, and flood advisory; then read below!
What is the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service?
Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.
Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.
Flood Watch: Be Prepared: A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.
Flood Advisory: Be Aware! A Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.
Information from http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov/
Severe Weather Tips
Since SERVPRO partners with the American Red Cross we love sharing their tips on different occasions.
Check out www.redcross.org for more information!
Tornadoes can strike without warning and destroy a community in seconds. Before a tornado warning is issued for your area, here are some things you should do:
1. Know your community’s warning system.
2. Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.
3. If you are in a high-rise building and don’t have enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.
4. Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees.
5. Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.
THUNDERSTORM SAFETY STEPS
Thunderstorms injure an average of 300 people every year, and cause about 80 fatalities. Here are the top thunderstorm safety steps you should follow:
1. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.
2. As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.
3. If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.
4. If you are inside, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.
5. If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.
Heavy rains could fill rivers and streams, bringing flooding to the area. If your neighborhood is threatened with the possibility of flooding, here are some things you should do:
1. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
2. Stay away from floodwaters.
3. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
4. Keep children out of the water.
5. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
Protect Your Property During an Ice Storm
Whether there is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, or sleet and snow; all of these can cause property damage. You can't control Mother Nature but you can be prepared so here are some tips to help you:
-Check for tree limbs and branches that might be at risk of falling.
-Roofs, pipes and gutters should all be inspected and make sure they are in proper working order. Clear gutters from debris, a damming effect could cause roof damage or interior water problems. Downspouts should be facing away from the home or building.
-Clean your chimneys and exhaust systems from debris.
-Test your gas lines for leaks.
-Inspect your property for proper drainage.
-Protect pipes from freezing by allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If any pipes are under cabinets leave the cabinets open. Make sure exterior pipes are properly insulated.
-If there are any outdoor faucets, you might want to shut the water off.
-Make sure all exterior doors and windows have sufficient weather stripping.
Do you have an ERP for your business? Call SERVPRO of Livingston/Demopolis/Butler and speak with a Sales and Marketing Representative today!
How to Prepare for Spring Weather Hazards
Spring weather often arrives early in Alabama and is a welcome change from the cold winter months. However, there are spring weather hazards that can quickly arise. You are not powerless to inclement weather that produces tornadoes, flooding, and lightning. Make sure that your family has a plan in place for these types of inclement weather to ensure everyone’s safety.
Knowing your risk is a key part of ensuring you are prepared for weather hazards that arise. Always ensure that you are checking your local weather forecast before leaving home. You can also follow weather patterns and possible threats by downloading apps such as Accuweather or Yahoo Weather.
Planning for weather hazards, such as tornadoes, floods, or lightning strikes to your home is an essential part of preparedness. Assemble an emergency kit with non-perishable food items, water, and basic first aid supplies to ensure that your family is taken care of in case of emergency. Also ensure that your family has an emergency plan in case of evacuation, loss of power, or fire. You can visit ready.gov for a free template to create your plan.
If you find yourself with damage to your home from spring weather hazards, SERVPRO is here to help. From water damage to fire damage, you can count on our highly skilled project managers and staff to restore your property and ensure that it is back to normal as quickly as possible.
Tornado Season Readiness
Cold weather is upon us at the moment, but tornado season here in Alabama is quickly approaching. Here are a couple of things from ready.gov to help be prepared in the event of severe weather.
To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.
Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.
If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.
Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of a small interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
If your home is affected by severe weather, call SERVPRO of Livingston/Demopolis/Butler 24/7 at 334-287-1144.