Recent Storm Damage Posts

Hurricane Season is Almost Here

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

Hurricane season is almost in full swing. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an above-normal and active Atlantic hurricane season. NAOO is predicting around 13 to 20 storms that could reach winds up to 39 mph or higher. This information is crucial for our community to know and understand so we can come together to spread awareness and prepare our homes and businesses for potential damage.

How to Prepare according to ready.gov:

  • Make an Emergency plan - make sure everyone in your household understands what to do in case of an emergency. Make sure your business has a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan or continuity plan in place.
  • Know your evacuation zone - follow local emergency instructions and learn your evacuation routes
  • Recognize warnings and alerts - download the FEMA app to received real-time alerts from the National Weather Service
  • Review important documents - check on your insurance policies, and purchase flood insurance if you think your home is at risk for flooding. Gather personal documents.
  • Strengthen your home - clean out your gutters, clear debris from roof, remove outdoor furniture and other items susceptible to heavy wind.
  • Get tech ready - purchase generators, cell phone backup chargers and keep electronics power up before a storm
  • Help your neighborhood - check on senior neighbors and others who may need help buying supplies
  • Gather supplies - make sure you have a fully stocked emergency kit with water, medication, pet supplies, flashlights, etc.

Do You Have a Car Emergency Kit?

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

We talk about emergency preparedness for your home or business all the time, however what many people tend to overlook is having an emergency kit in your car. A lot of people spend many hours in their cars and it’s so important to always be prepared in case of an emergency, like a sudden storm or accident. 

Here is a short list of items that are a must have in your car emergency kit:

  • Jumper cables
  • Spare tire, wheel wrench, tripod jack
  • Multipurpose utility tool or tool kit
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Reflective Triangle
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Non-Perishable Foods like nuts, dried food, candy
  • Water
  • Duct tape
  • Rain Poncho
  • For colder weather: snow brush, warm clothing, blanket

SERVPRO of Chesterfield and SERVPRO of Tri-Cities, Plus wants to make sure that you are prepared in case of a storm or emergency while on the road.

How to Prepare for Heavy Rains

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

The first tropical storm of the season is coming and her name is Elsa. No, Elsa is not a winter storm as the name would be most appropriately chosen for, however, this tropical storm will still bring some destruction such as heavy winds and rain.

Elsa is only expected to hit our area with some heavy rains, but our SERVPRO of Chesterfield and SERVPRO of Tri-Cities, Plus team wants you to prepare before the storm hits. Check out these quick tips below:

  1. Clean out your gutters - heavy rainfall can quickly build up in clogged gutters leaving the potential for water to intrude into your home
  2. Inspect Your roof, especially in older homes - fix any signs of damage, cracks or leaks
  3. Trim branches that could potentially cause damage to your house or property - heavy rains combined with some wind power can cause dead and dying branches and limbs to fall leaving a mess, or worse, a hole in your roof.
  4. Make an Emergency Kit - in case of power outages, make sure you have a container of flashlights, batteries, candles, water bottles, a first-aid kit, and other necessary items.
  5. Check your Insurance Policy - make sure you understand your coverage policy and also keep in mind, flood damage insurance needs to be purchased separately.

In the event of a water damage from a storm, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Chesterfield and SERVPRO of Tri-Cities, Plus at 804-378-2323.

Hurricane Season is Upon Us

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

Hurricane season has officially started and we want to make sure our community is well prepared for what to do in case a storm heads our way. Here are some tips to ensure you and your loved ones are safe during this upcoming storm season:

Know your Risk. Hurricanes are not just a coastal threat. Rain, wind, water, even tornadoes could happen far inland from where a hurricane or tropical storm makes landfall. https://www.weather.gov/wrn/2020-determine-your-risk

Make an Emergency Plan. When a storm is coming to your area, know how to stay in touch with your family and friends, and where you will go if your home becomes unsafe. Include places like your office, daycare, and anywhere you frequent when making your hurricane plan. Have a planned route and an alternate route to get to a safe place away from the storm. http://www.ready.gov/

Build an Emergency Kit. Keep an emergency kit stocked with non-perishable food items, water, blankets, essential documents, a battery backup to charge your cell phone, radio, toys, and supplies for your pets. Have enough supplies to last you at least 72 hours. https://www.ready.gov/kit 

Stay Informed. Pay attention to weather forecasts in your area provided by local news outlets or weather apps on your phone. You can turn on Wireless Emergency Alerts on your phone to receive emergency alerts from the National Weather Service. If you live in a mandatory evacuation zone, listen to your local officials, and evacuate immediately if told to do so. https://www.weather.gov/ 

Remember to stay safe and use these tips to help you be more prepared during hurricane season this year. We are a proud partner with the Red Cross and take part in cleaning up damages after a storm. Our team is also an extreme team, meaning we have the tools and trained professionals who can travel across the country to assist with storm damage. SERVPRO of Chesterfield and SERVPRO of Tri-Cities, Plus will respond 24-hours a day to emergency fire and water services.

What To Do Before The Ice Storm Hits

2/17/2021 (Permalink)

What You Need Before the Ice Storm Hits

This past Saturday’s ice storm was one for the books. It was the biggest ice storm to his central Virginia is 20 years, causing massive power outages and hundreds of accidents on the roads. And now a new ice storm system is heading our way again tomorrow. If we’ve learned anything from Saturday, it’s that preparing for no power or heat is a must. Tree limbs can’t hold the weight of the ice and it’s inevitable for more to fall on the power lines, disrupting our comfort at home.

Check out this list of everything you need before the storm hits:

  • Purchase a generator from your local hardware store
  • Make sure you have enough candles, flashlights/lanterns and batteries
  • Stock up on food and water
  • If you have a wood burning fireplace, stock up on wood to keep warm
  • Charge up your cell phones, laptops and other devices and purchase a portable cell phone charger
  • Make sure you know where your main water shut off valves are located in case a pipe bursts
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting
  • Purchase some shake-activated hand warmers to keep you warm

During the storm, stay off the roads to avoid accidents. Make sure you have plenty of blankets and warm layers. It is also a good idea to stuff towels up again doorways to keep the heat inside and avoid leaks and drafts.

September is National Preparedness Month

8/19/2020 (Permalink)

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.

Prevent Water Damage After Rain Storm

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Everyone can enjoy 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 and SERVPRO of Tri-Cities Plus can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions.

Tornado Season

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

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 and SERVPRO of Tri-Cities Plus 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. Our team 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.

Are You Thunderstorm Prepared?

6/22/2020 (Permalink)

According to the Red Cross:

"A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces hail at least 1 inch in diameter or has 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 trees and utility poles, causing widespread power outages."

At SERVPRO of Chesterfield and SERVPRO of Tri-Cities Plus, we want you to understand the potential dangers a thunderstorm can have on your safety and property.

How to Prepare for Thunderstorms

  • Learn about your local community’s emergency warning system for severe thunderstorms
  • Discuss thunderstorm safety and lightning safety with all members of your household
  • 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
  • Consult your local fire department if you are considering installing lightning rods

If your home or business is affected after a storm, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Chesterfield and SERVPRO of Tri-Cities Plus to make it "Like it never even happened."

The Impact of Summer Storms

6/11/2020 (Permalink)

There is always potential for flooding after a thunderstorm dumps a large amount of rain in a short amount of time. Thunderstorms are most common during the summer due to the surplus of moisture in the air as well as rising warm air. These two factors combined together create the potential for increased damage caused by the storm. With their prevalence throughout the summer season, it is important to understand the threats to homes and businesses posed by the lightning and flash flooding brought on by thunderstorms.

Damage Caused by Flooding

When a flood strikes your home or business, water levels can rise quickly and inflict a significant amount of damage. The flood water can carry mud and sediment, therefore contaminating the water and whatever it touches in your home or business. From this water damage, mold can grow and spread if the affected area is not remediated quickly. Flood water commonly affects drywall, flooring, and electrical systems such as cooling and heating systems, so it will be crucial to assess these areas for damage after a flood. On a larger scale, flood water can move houses or buildings off of their foundation, so be sure to watch for signs of that as well.

Damage Caused by Lightning

Lightning can cause both physical and electrical damage to homes and businesses if the building is directly hit by lightning during a thunderstorm. Lightning can burn through roofs, rip shingles or gutters from the building, and even tear into attics. In terms of electrical damage, lightning can increase the risk of an electrical fire igniting. Electronic appliances inside of your home, such as computers and refrigerators, can be harmed or destroyed if left plugged into an outlet during a thunderstorm.

What to Do After the Storm

Immediately following the storm, survey your home or building for any visible indicators of lightning or water damage. This includes making sure that electrical breakers, outlets, and light switches are still functioning, checking plumbing systems for any leakage, and looking for any visible signs of water damage to items within the house or building. While cleaning up any damage, be sure to turn off all water and electrical systems so that when the electricity is restored, the water and electricity do not react with one another, which would result in further damage.

If your home or business has been affected with damage after a thunderstorm, call SERVPRO of Chesterfield and SERVPRO of Tri-Cities Plus to professionally handle the damages at 804-378-2323.

Are You Hurricane Prepared?

5/8/2020 (Permalink)

Is Your Home Hurricane Ready?

If you plan to ride out a hurricane in your home, make sure it is in good repair and up to local hurricane building code specifications. Have the proper plywood, steel or aluminum panels to board up the windows and doors. Remember, the garage door is the most vulnerable part of the home, so it must be able to withstand high winds.

Who's Around You?

Many Americans rely on their neighbors after a disaster, but there are also many ways you can help your neighbors before a hurricane approaches. Learn about all the different actions you and your neighbors can take to prepare and recover from the hazards associated with hurricanes. Start the conversation now with these Neighbor Helping Neighbor strategies but remember you may need to adjust your preparedness plans based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials.

Be Flood Smart

4/17/2020 (Permalink)

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, or near a river there is always the potential for flood damage. Floodsmart.gov reports, in the last five years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods.

Just 1 inch of water can cause $25,000 of damage to your home.

According to the American Red Cross (ARC), floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year that any other weather-related disaster. The ARC offers the following 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 sweet 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 rising rapidly around you, get out of the car and quickly 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 does strike your home or business, contact the SERVPRO of Chesterfield and SERVPRO of Tri-Cities Plus at (804)-378-2323.

Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO team is prepared to handle any size disaster.

Thunderstorm Safety and Preparedness

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

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.

Be Prepared

  • 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 Preparedness Kit

  • Water—one gallon per person, per day
  • Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare
  • Flashlight
  • 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

Final Step

Call SERVPRO of Chesterfield and SERVPRO of Tri-Cities Plus at 804.378.2323 if your home or business experiences damages from a storm. We have the resources to handle any size disaster.

Is Your Home Ready for the Storm?

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

This time of the year is known for surprising thunderstorms that can appear quickly and sometimes, without us being aware. That's why it's important to prepare your home and take the necessary precautions before heavy rains or winds damage your property.

Follow These Suggested Tips:

  • Check gutters - make sure your downspouts drain away from the home's foundation and clear the gutters for debris blockage
  • Clear limb and trim trees - loose limbs can puncture your home's exterior
  • Secure furniture - patio furniture and other large items in your yard are at risk of flying away and damaging your home's exterior
  • Stock a basic emergency kit - water, food, battery radio, flashlight, first-aid kit

If your home experiences a water damage after a storm hits, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Chesterfield and SERVPRO of Tri-Cities Plus at 804.378.2323.

Never too Early to Be Prepared

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

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.

Never Too Early to Prepare for Nasty Winter Weather

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

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

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

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.