Recent Storm Damage Posts
If you're not always prepared, are you prepared at all?
Pay close attention to storm warnings - keep new channels on and weather apps up to date as they issue notifications for your area.
Even though we live a safe distance from the coast, there is a chance of a tropical storm or hurricane making its way to the Chapin, SC. In the event that a powerful storm does make it to the Midlands of South Carolina, the last thing you want to think about is where you put that box of batteries or whether you have enough food for you and your family. The SERVPRO family recommends preparing for situations that might leave you without power, water and even shelter. To prep for any situation and the aftermath review these top tips:
- Put Together an Emergency Kit
Evacuation orders can be issued at any time - If you’re required or even voluntarily choose to leave your home in a hurry, you'll want some necessities handy. Keep the following supplies, recommended by FEMA, in a portable container in the area of your house where you'll take shelter:
- Three days' worth of food (nonperishable)
- Water (at least a gallon per family member)
- Battery powered (or hand crank) flashlights and radio
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Trash bags and duct tape, along with a dust mask
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Regional maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter, or solar charger
- Moist towelettes and any personal sanitation or specific family needs, like pet supplies
- Prescription medication along with some generics in case they’re needed
(For additional recommendations, be sure to check out ready.gov)
We also suggest having smaller versions of your kit stocked with a few necessities like walking shoes, snacks, and a flashlight at work. In general, you'll also need enough cash on hand for five days of basic needs (gas and food), but any amount of ready money will help if ATMs are down.
Once you have your supplies together, it pays to go through them at least once a year too, to weed out expired food and batteries.
- Make an Action Plan
When things get chaotic, you want to make sure that every family member knows what to do. We suggest designating two meeting places (one close by and one a little further away in your neighborhood) and hang a map with the spots marked near your emergency kit.
It also pays to have important contacts written down if the power goes out and there's nowhere to charge your cell phone. Make a mini contact list — ready.gov has templates you can print out — with important numbers that everyone can stow in their wallets. Leave a copy in your emergency kit, too. Establish a plan for checking in with relatives in case local lines get jammed. Text messages will often go through, even when phone lines are clogged.
- Prep Your Home
If the power goes out and you have time, unplug appliances and electronics and turn off air conditioners, whether you stay or go. This will prevent damage when the electricity surges back on. Leave one lamp on so you'll know when the power's back.
How you store food can also make a difference when it comes to salvaging items afterwards, according to the FSIS. If there's a chance of flooding, be sure to store dry goods in waterproof containers high enough that they will be safely out of the way of contaminated water.
Grouping food together in the freezer can help it stay colder longer in the case of a power outage. If you have advanced warning, freeze any items you don't need right away, like leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry to keep them at a safe temperature longer and stock your freezer with as much ice as you can fit. Coolers stocked with ice can also be helpful if the power is out for more than four hours.
Though you'll want to minimize the amount you open and close your refrigerator door once the power goes out, FSIS recommends keeping an appliance thermometer in your fridge and freezer to help you determine if food is safe to eat. The refrigerator temperature should be lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer temperature should be below zero degrees Fahrenheit.
After the Emergency
Coming home after a major disaster can be daunting. Call SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork to help you in the event your home is affected. NEVER enter a home that has been struck by heavy debris or fallen trees.
When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!
As summer approaches we look forward to a lot more fun in the sun! Kids are out of school; vacation season is in full effect and our stress levels seem to be at a low with the sudden increase of vitamin D. We’ve all been through it: you’re packing up to head to the pool or to the lake and you see dark skies on the horizon, or you find yourself outdoors when suddenly a pop-up storm arrives. Do you chance it and get a little soggy, or change your plans and opt for an indoor activity? Summertime thunderstorms are known to wreck plans but they also pose a danger to your family and your home. Ready, a division of the Department of Homeland Security offers a vast amount of insight on storm safety and what to do should you find yourself in the midst of a storm.
- When thunder roars, go indoors! Don’t wait until the storm is directly above you. Storms can move at speeds of well over 50mph.
- Never seek shelter under an isolated tree, tower or utility pole. Lightning likes to strike taller objects. Look for somewhere indoors or even a car. If you cannot find shelter indoors find a group of trees rather than one singular.
- Avoid elevated areas like hills, mountains or ridges.
- Immediately get out of and far away from bodies of water.
- Stay away from things that conduct electricity – including wires and fences.
- Never lie flat on the ground.
- Locate flashlights in case of a power outage – have water and basic food close by in case the power is out for an extended period of time.
If you plan to spend any amount of time outdoors be sure to sign up for a weather app that sends you alerts when a storm or rain are imminent. Don’t cut it close when seeking shelter, give yourself enough time to get yourself and everyone with you to a safe place if you know a storm is approaching.
Are You Covered?
If your home fell victim to a major flood or storm tomorrow, would your insurance cover all of the costs incurred from the damages? Homeowners insurance may help cover certain causes of storm damage, including wind, hail and lightning. However, damage caused by flood and catastrophic storms are typically not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. It's important to read your policy to learn what types of storm damage may or may not be covered.
When purchasing a new home policy or when evaluating your current policy it is important to consider the geographic location, weather patterns and flood risk assessments of the area your home or office are located in. You might perceive additional coverage as an unnecessary or excessive cost, but consider the cost to rebuild or repair damage out of pocket. SERVPRO bases its pricing off national average or market rates, you’ll be thankful you spent the extra funds on these types of coverages rather than having to pay out of pocket in a time where your stress levels are at their highest.
Steps to Take Following Storm Damage
Storm damage can occur at any time and can cause an immense amount of harm to your home. Heavy rains can cause flooding and powerful winds can cause roof damage and downed trees on your property. Some post-storm damage can create safety and health hazards as well, so having a strategy to deal with damage will help you to be ready to take steps immediately after the storm.
Take Safety Precautions
Heavy winds and rain can create structural hazards like collapsed roofing material, window damage, collapsed walls or standing water in the basement or home interior. In addition, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials making the perfect environment for mold growth that can cause health issues. Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact SERVPRO immediately to help secure your property and protect it from further water damage. If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family to live while your property is being restored to safe living condition.
Photograph the Damage
If it is safe to move around your property, use your cellphone or a camera to photograph the damage so that you will have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure that you are fully compensated.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance agent to notify them about the damage to your home immediately. The company will send out an adjustor to determine the extent of the damage so that payment for repairs can be made.
Look Into Federal Disaster Assistance
The federal government may have declared the area affected by the storm as a disaster area that is eligible for low-cost loans to help restore your property to normal. You will be required to file documents to receive these loans.
When a storm-related disaster strikes, it may seem overwhelming, but these steps can help you to begin the process of restoring your home, and your life, to normal. At SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork, we provide 24-hour emergency disaster service. We specialize in the stabilization and restoration of homes and businesses that have suffered small or large loss from water, flood, wind, storm, fire and smoke disasters.
Storms in Columbia? No Problem!
SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork excels 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 limits further damage and reduces restoration costs.
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit your Irmo/Chapin property, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We have access to 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 803-749-0178
Winter Weather Safety
The Dutch Fork, SC and surrounding areas don’t experience a great deal of winter weather, but when we do it seems that everyone shuts down. Well everyone but Walmart and Waffle House that is. The first Winter Weather Advisory alerts are delivered to our phones and emails, which we hesitantly believe. Rain begins to fall and the temperatures drop followed by a race to a grocery store that still has milk and bread in stock. All of this just for cold rain! This pattern creates some hesitation when it comes to taking winter weather seriously.
On the rare occasion that we do find ourselves in the midst of a blizzard or ice storm, we’re far from prepared. Driving on snow- or ice-covered roads in the Midlands is a challenge – we simply don’t get enough of it to adapt to such testy conditions. It’s not rare to see a number of cars lined up and down the side of the interstate after a winter weather event, abandoned or involved in collisions – with every tow company in the area busy from dusk til’ dawn you’re thankful it’s not you stranded on I-26.
But what if one of those vehicles IS you? Do you bundle up and trek through the snow and ice for help? What if you have small children or an elderly person with you at the time? You may be forced to remain in the vehicle until conditions clear or it is safe to drive. Keeping a “Winter Weather Kit” made up of the items below in your car is an effective way to ensure that you are prepared.
Disaster Relief Team
One of our SERVPRO Disaster Vehicles all the way from Chapin, SC
Ready For Any Disaster
SERVPRO prides itself on being faster to any size disaster - that includes major storms, tornadoes and hurricanes. SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork is a part of the Disaster Relief Team, an initiative that allows us to mobilize our services and cover areas we would not normally service. Our equipment is designed to allow us the flexibility to be where our customers need us.
Our Commitment to Storm Relief
Just hours after the worst of Florence passed, the technicians of SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork packed up one of our vehicles with a towable generator and our indirect fired heater to begin water damage restoration.
Using all of our resources, SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork was able to serve the residents of Hampstead, NC.
2017 Hurricane Season
2017 Hurricane Season- SERVPRO is ready to help!
The 2017 Hurricane Season is underway and the Atlantic has already experienced 5 systems. Hurricane season begins on June 1st and ends November 31st. The 2017 season has already brought us 4 tropical storms and 1 depression.
It is important to be prepared in the event a hurricane is heading in your direction. These systems bring torrential rains, major flooding and dangerous winds.
Here are a few tips to help you be ready:
1) Sign up for alerts and watch the forecast to determine your risk.
2) Develop an emergency plan for communication and evacuation.
3) Prepare an emergency supply kit.
4) Prepare your home, check with your insurance company regarding your coverage.
5) Prepare an emergency contact list of hospitals, shelters and other resources that may be helpful
Speculations are that the Atlantic will encounter 11-17 named storms, 5-9 hurricanes, and 2-4 major hurricanes. Take the steps needed now to be prepared.