Recent Storm Damage Posts
September is National Preparedness Month
September is almost here! It is recognized as National Preparedness Month to remind everyone that “we must all take action, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and also where we visit,” (ready.gov).
With the recent flooding in Louisiana in mind, the last thing you want to worry about is how to communicate and what to do during a disaster like this horrific event that killed hundreds and left many families without homes.
What you can do:
- Make A Family Plan – you may not be together with your family during a disaster.
- Set up emergency alerts from local officials
- Discuss family plans for disasters and plan where to go for safety.
- Collect information on paper including, phone numbers, emails, social media, medical facilities, doctors, service providers, school
- Decide on safe, familiar places where your family can go for protection and if you have pets think about animal-friendly locations
- Take Action – ensure you can go for at least 3 days without electricity, water service, access to supermarket, or other local services
- Prepare a disaster supply kit (water, food, battery-powered radio, flashlight, first aid kit, whistle, local maps)
- Bookmark weather.gov to stay informed on severe weather
- Learn about wireless emergency alerts, messages that will be sent to your phone during an emergency
Consider the following disasters that can occur at any time: Learn more about hazards which can affect your community and ways you can take action to prepare.
- Earthquakes – can occur suddenly and be deadly. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.
- Floods - Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States and can happen anywhere.
- Hurricanes - have the power to cause widespread devastation, and can affect both coastal and inland areas.
- Tornadoes - are one of nature’s most violent storms, and can cause death, injury, and destruction within seconds.
- Wildfires - can occur anywhere and can destroy homes, businesses, infrastructure, natural resources, and agriculture.
Severe Weather - Tornado Season
Luckily, in the Chesterfield, VA we do not experience the potential threats that tornadoes can have as often as other parts of the country. These places include the upper Mid-west, the northern and southern plains and the Gulf coast.
Tornado season usually refers to the time of year the U.S. sees the most tornadoes. The peak “tornado season” for the Southern Plains is during May into early June. On the Gulf coast, it is earlier during the spring. In the northern plains and upper Midwest, tornado season is in June or July. But, remember, tornadoes can happen at any time of year. Tornadoes can also happen at any time of day or night, but most tornadoes occur between 4–9 p.m.
However, it is always a good idea to be prepared in case a disaster strikes. About 1,200 tornadoes hit the U.S. yearly. Since official tornado records only date back to 1950, we do not know the actual average number of tornadoes that occur each year. Plus, tornado spotting and reporting methods have changed a lot over the last several decades.
SERVPRO of Chesterfield will respond 24-hours a day to emergency fire and water services. We are a proud partner with the Red Cross and take part in cleaning up damages after a storm. SERVPRO of Chesterfield is also an extreme team, meaning we can travel across the country to assist with a storm damage or very large loss. We have the tools and the people who have experience in water, storm, fire damage restoration and we are always here to help.
A list of questions and answers about tornadoes can be found here
How to Prevent Water Damage from Rain
Everyone loves the occasional summer thunderstorm - but it could cause major problems if rain water seeps into your home. One of the most common sources of water damage in a home is from rain water. It can enter through leaks in your roof, seeping in from the foundation, or even flooding into your basement. It is important to take the necessary steps to prevent water damage in your home such as:
Checking for proper drainage:
- inspect your roof thoroughly for structural damage or holes
- clear your gutters from leaves and other debris that could block the flow of water from draining into the yard
Install or Check Sump Pumps:
- sump pump are very effective for keeping rainwater out of your house
- have a professional check your sump pump to insure it is working properly once a year
Check sealant inside and outside foundation
- make sure the tar sealant covering the inner and outer sides of the foundation are intact
Inspect the slope of your lawn
- grading is the slope of your lawn and it should always slope away from your home to redirect the rainwater from flooding around the foundations
When you are dealing with storm, flood, and water damage, immediate action is crucial. You should choose the company with storm damage experience and expertise that has the resources and equipment to handle the job. SERVPRO of Chesterfield can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions.
Thunderstorm Safety & How to Prepare
Last night's severe thunderstorms inspired us here at SERVPRO of Chesterfield to share some thunderstorm safety information and give some tips on how to prepare for a storm.
Did you know SERVPRO of Chesterfield is a proud partner with the American Red Cross? According to the Red Cross, A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes. Heavy rain from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding, and high winds can damage homes and blow down tree and utility poles - causing widespread power outages.
WATCH vs. WARNING
Watch: Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area
Warning: Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property.
- Learn about your local community’s emergency warning system for severe thunderstorms
- Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm This should be away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail
- Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe thunderstorm
- Make trees and shrubbery more wind resistant by keeping them trimmed and removing damaged branches
- Protect your animals by ensuring that any outside buildings that house them are protected in the same way as your home
Make Prepardeness Kit
- Water—one gallon per person, per day
- Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation & personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family & emergency contact information
- Extra cash
Call SERVPRO of Chesterfield at 804.378.2323 if your home or business experiences damages from a storm. We have the resources to handle any size disaster.
There's a reason they say we are "Faster to any Disaster!"
For more information, visit the Red Cross website: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/thunderstorm
Never Too Early to Prepare for Nasty Winter Weather
Before Winter Storms and Extreme Cold
To prepare for a winter storm you should do the following:
Before winter approaches, add the following supplies to your emergency kit:
- Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products.
- Sand to improve traction.
- Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
- Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
- Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
- Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
- A NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the NWS for all hazards. You may also sign up in advance to receive notifications from your local emergency services.
Download FEMA’s Be Smart. Know Your Alerts and Warnings for a summary of notifications at:www.ready.gov/prepare. Free smart phone apps, such as those available from FEMA and the American Red Cross, provide information about finding shelters, providing first aid, and seeking assistance for recovery.
- Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
- Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
Prepare Your Home
Tips for Preparing your Home for Winter Weather
- Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes.
- Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or non-insulated areas of your home.
- Consider shutting off outdoor faucets. Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space and turn it to "off."
- If you follow the previous step, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shut off.
- Ensure gutters are clean and secure. Leaves and debris accumulate, causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage.
- Proper maintenance of your furnace can help reduce the risk of puffbacks.