Recent Storm Damage Posts

Teaching Your Kids About Preparedness

9/24/2021 (Permalink)

Teaching Your Kids About Preparedness

September has been deemed by the United States government as National Preparedness Month.  The purpose of this month is to become educated and to prepare for disasters and emergencies such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and tropical storms.  Having a plan is essential in easing the traumatic affects disasters impose on you and your family.  The weekly theme for September 19-25th is teaching kids about preparedness. 

It is natural for children to be fearful in the midst of a traumatizing natural disaster, but preventive educational planning can ease their fears and empower them to be an asset when the time comes for the plan to be implemented.

Key questions children should know the answers to in time of an emergency are:

  • Who to call- have a category in the cell phone listed- in case of emergency
  • Where to meet if separated from parents or guardians
  • Where the emergency kit is located
  • What things to avoid

There are numerous tools including games on the Ready.gov site to teach these lessons in a fun manner.  Planning ahead is preparing to succeed.

National Preparedness Month - Are You Tech Ready?

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

National Preparedness Month - Are You Prepared?

September has been designated as National Preparedness Month, bringing awareness for the need to have an effective plan for you, your family and business in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.  Weather emergencies such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and severe thunderstorms can impact you, your family and business, through disruption of power, impassable roads due to flooding or downed trees, loss of essential services such as clean water and access to food.  Additionally, severe property damage can impact safety when the damage makes the building unsafe for habitation.   There can also be loss of communication services when cell towers are damaged.  In a concerted effort by Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) this government entity has compiled numerous resources on their site at ready.gov to inform the public how to be prepared if and when an emergency happens. 

One important category to consider in being emergency ready is planning for your technical equipment including cell phones, computers and laptops.  Several key points to consider when dealing with tech issues are:

  • Text rather than call when attempting to communicate with family and loved ones. Cell towers may be overwhelmed making it easier to communicate via text as texting uses less bandwidth.
  • Back up computers
  • Charge your smartphone, tablets and laptops prior to the storm
  • Have back up power supplies
  • Scan critical documents into your computer and save to a password protected jump drive.
  • Make sure to have a phone charger in your automobile.
  • Find open shelters by texting SHELTER to 43362
  • Sign up for the FEMA app to get weather information

Get additional information at https://www.ready.gov/get-tech-ready

North Carolina Hurricane Preparedness Week

5/13/2021 (Permalink)

Inland Flooding of home from hurricane

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has declared the week of May 9, 2021 through May 15, 2021, Hurricane preparedness week.  Hurricane season is from August to October, but hurricanes have occurred as early as May and as late as November.  The National Weather Service along with North Carolina Department of public safety wants all North Carolinians to fully be prepared in the event that a hurricane hits our state.  They have designated a specific topic area of preparedness for each day of the week during hurricane preparedness week.

Day of The Week

Topics

Sunday

Determine Your Risk

Monday

Develop an Evacuation Plan/Storm Surge

Tuesday

Assemble Disaster Supplies/High Winds

Wednesday

Get an Insurance Checkup/Inland Flooding

Thursday

Strengthen Your Home/Tornadoes

Friday

Help Your Neighbor/Rip Currents

Saturday

Complete a Written Plan

The information for each topic area can be found at https://www.weather.gov/rah/2021nchpw

One important takeaway is that all areas of North Carolina from the coast to the mountains are susceptible to the impacts of a hurricane.  There are five areas of impact, with coast being at risk for storm surge, high winds, and tornadoes. The central part of the state could be impacted from freshwater flooding, high winds and tornadoes and the mountains could be impacted from tornadoes and flash floods due to heavy rain.   Having a plan in place is a key to weathering the impact of a hurricane.  It only takes a few a short amount of time to get informed and to make the necessary preparations.  Remember that failing to plan is planning to fail.

SERVPRO Is there in the time of storm

4/12/2021 (Permalink)

Storm Water Damage in Home

Whenever a massive storm impacts a city, town or state SERVPRO is there to help.  The impact of tornadoes, hurricanes, and major freeze events cause catastrophic damage to homes and businesses, disrupting families and adversely affecting the economy.   With over 1700 franchises nationwide and a national storm team, SERVPRO is positioned to help rebuild communities.  The major winter freeze event that hit the state of Texas is no different.  SERVPRO’s national storm team, along with franchises across the country is on the ground, drying out homes, remediating mold and providing reconstruction services.  

With large amounts of equipment and well-trained project managers, crew-chiefs and technicians SERVPRO is making a significant difference throughout the state.  SERVPRO crews are accustomed to working with insurance carriers and homeowners.  Customer service is paramount, as SERVPRO lives up to its motto, of making it "Like it never even happened." 

Whether it is a large scale storm impacting a large area or a small micro burst impacting a localized area, SERVPRO is here to help. 

Preparing for Inclement Weather

3/19/2021 (Permalink)

Preparing for Inclement Weather - Storm Damage, Flooding and Water Damage

You can’t stop storms from occurring but you can have a plan when inclement weather strikes.   As springtime ushers in warmer weather and the budding of flowers, it is also a time for storms.  Severe weather can come in the form of thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding.  Each of these events can pose a serious threat to human life and property.   An action plan entails:

  • Having a safe place to go in event of a tornado, such as a basement, interior closet, or if caught outside in a low lying ditch. Never stay in a mobile home.  Stay away from windows.
  • Fully charge your cell phone prior to the storm event
  • Have a back-up power source to charge your phone
  • Have a severe weather alert on your cell phone to provides up to the minute storm news
  • Have flashlights and batteries
  • Have an adequate supply of bottled water and nonperishable food.
  • Have a portable radio and a fully charged cell phone.
  • Pull out cash from the bank prior to the event to be able to make purchases if necessary.
  • Fill your car with gas prior to the event.
  • Have provisions for pets

Most importantly stay safe.

Why Choose SERVPRO in the time of Storm?

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

Why Choose SERVPRO in the time of Storm?

The 2020 hurricane season has seen 27 named storms, the second most in recorded history, with the most recent hurricane being named Zeta. Zeta is the most recent hurricane to slam into the Gulf of Mexico and impact Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Zeta has caused six deaths, caused millions of dollars in property damage and left over two million people without power. The impact of this most recent hurricane, like the others before, often leaves local contractors and restoration companies overwhelmed due the massive volume of work required to rebuild their local communities. This is one main reason to choose SERVPRO.

SERVPRO answers the call in storm situations with a specialized storm response team and a large loss response network to provide the resources necessary to mitigate and restore properties left in the wake of the storm. The SERVPRO storm response team is equipped with skilled management, manpower and equipment to get service to those in need when others can’t. The SERVPRO storm response team works side by side with the local franchises in the area to make it "Like it never even happened."

Preventive Maintenance and Storm Damage

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

Storm Damage

Most people can relate to experiencing the powerful impact of a powerful storm that brings wind, driving rain, thunder, lightning and hail.  These powerful storms often leave a path of destruction, evident in downed trees, localized flooding, power outages, wind damaged properties and vehicles.  The immense impact of storms causes millions of dollars each year in property damage.  However, proper preventive maintenance to property can minimize the damage and economic impact of storm damage.  Here are several things that can be proactively done to lessen the impact of storm damage to your property.

  • Have your roof inspected for damage prior to storm season, to correct any issues such loose shingles, damage to chimney flashing or damaged roof vents.
  • Have your siding and windows checked to correct any damage that may have previously occurred through normal wear and tear.
  • Have foundation checked for cracks and have fixed
  • Make sure your sump pump is working correctly
  • Fix landscaping issues that may cause water to flow towards the home
  • Caulk areas that could be access points for wind driven rain
  • Have trees that r leaning, or have dead branches removed

By following these simple tips you can effectively lessen the impact of storm damage to your home.

Three Phases of Water and Damages They Cause

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

Three Phases of Water

Water may possibly be the most powerful element in the universe.  It is comprised of two hydrogen molecules and a single molecule of oxygen.  This tiny molecular structure is essential to all forms of life.  The human body is made up of mostly water and humans can only survive three days without it.  The earth has more water than land.  Water has the ability to exist in three phases: Gas, Liquid and Solid.  Each of these phases is vital to the ecosystem.  Water in each of its phases has the power of creation, as in life sustaining, as well as the power of destruction.  The force of water, as a destructive force, has a direct relationship to homeowners and the restoration industry.

  • Gaseous phase: When water evaporates, the process by which water as a liquid becomes a gas, it has a direct relationship to humidity.  The meteorologist will often discuss the concept of dew point, when the air reaches its saturation point, and rain is produced.  In an internal environment the same thing can occur when windows sweat.  Also, if the internal humidity inside the home is not properly regulated, the conditions conducive for mold growth occur.  This can occur when the HVAC unit is not working properly or there is excessive moisture due to a leak in the home that causes a high rate of evaporation. 
  • Solid: Water in its solid phase can be extremely destructive during a hail storm causing damage to roofs and cars.  Water frozen inside a pipe or sprinkler line will expand and burst the pipe.  When the line thaws out the burst pipe will result in water damage.  When ice backs up underneath the roof shingles, the result will be ice damning which will result in water damage as well.
  • Liquid Phase: The most common form of water is its liquid phase.  In nature heavy rains can cause flooding and water intrusion inside structures when accompanied by wind. 

Although each phase of water can have a destructive impact on property, have no fear- your local SERVPRO franchise is here to make it "Like it never even happened."

Is Your Home Covered for Damage Caused by Storms?

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

Home Covered?

The hot humid North Carolina summers are synonymous for thunderstorms, which in some cases cause damage to homes and businesses. This leads to the all-important question of whether or not the damage will be covered by insurance. The answer to this important question depends on the type of storm damage and the provisions of the insurance policy as it relates to perils covered.

The typical homeowner’s policy owned by North Carolina policy holders covers damage caused by wind, hail, and lightning. Damages caused by water are far more complicated. When a water intrusion is the result of wind driven rain, there will be coverage. For example, when wind dislodges the roof shingles and water enters the roof causing damage the peril will be covered. However, ponding or overflowed creek or river that causes a water intrusion is considered ground water and is excluded from coverage from homeowner’s policies. Common covered losses are:

  • Wind Damage that results in water damage is a covered loss.
  • Hail, which is water in the form of ice which results in damage is a covered peril.
  • Lightning that results in a power surge that damages electronics or causes a fire, is a covered insurance peril.

When rain water causes flooding which results in water damage, it is not covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy. There are instances where a basement or crawlspace equipped with a sump pump floods and the loss is covered by the policy, but not due to flood but as a result of the sump pump failing due to a power surge caused by a lightning strike that rendered the pump inoperable. Although storms can and do result in flooding, water damage of this sort requires a flood insurance policy. It is important to review your policies and know your coverage, before you experience a loss.

SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County Salutes Carrboro Police Department

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

On May 1, 2020 SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County showed their appreciation to the brave officers of the Carrboro Police Department with a volunteer effort that included a cruiser disinfecting service and lunch from Amante Gourmet Pizzeria.   The police cruiser disinfecting service included a through vacuuming, application of disinfectant and a UV fogging.   Special Thanks to Chief Walter Horton and Lt. James Walker for helping us coordinate the event.  We would also like to thank the staff of Amante Gourmet Pizzeria for their exceptional service and donation of the chocolate brownie tray for the officers.   SERVPRO technicians Alec Hotte, and Bryan Brink disinfected around a dozen cruisers and one SUV belonging to Deputy Chief Enoch of the Carrboro Fire Department.  The event was coordinated by franchise owner Brad Armstrong and Orange County Marketing Rep Jim McNeely.

During this ongoing time of pandemic due to the COVID-19 virus and state and local ordinances of shelter in place which only allow essential services to stay in operation, of which law enforcement and restaurants providing delivery or take out are included, the company, as a fellow essential service provider, felt this would be a great way to say thank you and give back.  

SERVPRO of Orange County Serves Pizza With Purpose to the Hillsborough Police Department

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

LT Thompson of the Hillsborough Police Department and Orange County Marketing Rep Jim McNeely

In an effort to serve the community and show support for the essential service providers in the restaurant industry and first responders, SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County provided pizza from Anna Maria's Pizzeria for the Hillsborough Police Department on April 21, 2020. The Appreciation Lunch was our way of saying thank you to the staff of Anna Maria's and others in the restaurant industry that put themselves in harms way during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to provide food for the local community as the community shelters in place to create social distancing and curb the spread of the virus. We can not thank Police Chief Duane Hampton and his staff of exceptional officers for all they do daily, to keep the local community safe, especially during these unusual and difficult times. As a fellow essential service provider, SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County, recognizes the sacrifices and commitment it takes to keep our local communities functioning. We salute our local heroes as we all work together to flatten the curve.

Local COVID-19 Crisis Doesn't Stop Essential Services at SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

When a toilet overflowed in a commercial building affecting three floors and two businesses, during the Orange County government's order to shelter in place, our clients were able to call and depend on SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County. The shelter in place order closed all businesses except those that provide essential services such as grocery and convenience stores, banks and financial institutions, gas stations, hardware stores, public utilities, healthcare, law enforcement and businesses ensuring business continuity functions such as electricians, HVAC companies, plumbers and restoration companies like SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County. The more than 1800 SERVPRO franchises throughout the nation are considered essential service providers and are available 24/7/365 during this time of uncertainty and change. 

The disaster recovery, emergency mitigation disinfection and restoration services provided by SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County are necessary to protect public health, safety and essential operation of homes and businesses. As your local franchise SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County we are here to help and together we will get through the challenges facing us. 

Coronavirus Preparedness

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has much of the world in a panic, and it is understandable as to why with the death toll rising and the symptoms are in close resemblance to the flu. So, lets discuss the main thing that you can do, prevention.

Practice everyday preventive actions now. Remind everyone in your household or workplace of the importance of practicing everyday preventive actions that can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. 
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (i.e., tables, counter tops, light switches, doorknobs, cabinet handles, desks, keyboards, phones and printers) using a regular detergent and water.  
    • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent and water prior to disinfection. For disinfection a list of products with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - approved emerging viral pathogens claims, maintained but the American Chemistry Council Center for Biocide Chemistries (CBC) is available at Novel Coronavirus (COVD-19) Fighting Products. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty. 

What Happens If Your Tree Falls on Your Neighbor's House?

8/25/2015 (Permalink)

In most cases, if your tree falls on your neighbor’s property, they will need to make a claim on their home’s insurance policy. If you were notified the tree needed to be removed before it actually fell and caused damage, you would then need to file a liability claim on your insurance

SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County can handle emergency tree removal safely and quickly. We ensure that your property is secure by performing any tarp and board-up services needed. Remember After any storm damage or water damage situation in Durham, your primary focus should be safety first:

•   Is it safe to stay in the house?

•   Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.

•  Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.

•  Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

As a trusted leader in the water damage restoration industry, SERVPRO of South Durham & Orange County has highly trained technicians that are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. We provide 24-hour emergency service and have the training and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs. "Like it never happened". Contact us for more information.

A Tree Fell on Your Home During the Storm, Now what?

8/24/2015 (Permalink)

Tree Removal and Storm Cleamup Durham, NC

Late summer is upon us which means hurricane season for the Atlantic. The first major storm, Hurricane Danny” of the season already has Durham weather forecasters on alert.

A common occurrence during tropical storms is trees falling on and damaging your property. Don’t wait until it happens. Be prepared for this type of storm emergency. Here are 5 steps to take for emergency tree removal in Durham, NC.

  1. Trees that are old or diseased can easily succumb to flooding and windy storms. Go ahead and remove hazardous trees before a storm approaches.
  2. In the event a tree does fall on your property, first make sure everyone is okay. Leave your home if you feel unsafe inside the property.
  3.  Look to see if there are any wires or power lines hanging and if they are call the police and the power company.
  4.  Call your insurance company and if you can safely do say take pictures.
  5. Contact your local mitigations and emergency storm cleanup provider in Durham, NC. They will place a tarp on the roof if needed. They will also carry out any board up services required and cleanup any water inside the home. Boarding up parts of the home that have structural damage will help with your insurance claim and also deter any vandals while you are away from your home.

*TIP: The nature of emergency situations do not allow you to check licenses or BBB reports. It’s best to have a trusted restoration and storm cleanup company in mind before things like this happen. Contact SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County to receive a free Emergency Readiness Plan. This plan will organize all the necessary steps and information you will need in the event of storm damage, water damage, fire damage, and cleanup.

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of South Durham & Orange County has highly trained technicians that are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. We provide 24-hour emergency service and have the training and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs. "Like it never happened" Contact us for more information.

3 Quick Tips To Help Prevent Lightning Fire Damage: SERVPRO of South Durham & Orange County

7/6/2015 (Permalink)

3 Quick Tips To Help Prevent Lightning Fire Damage: SERVPRO of South Durham & Orange County

SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County has cleaned up our fair share of fire damage caused by lightning.

Lightning strikes the earth's surface about 100 times every second and it can reach temperatures 5 times hotter than the surface of the sun. About 10-20% of those strikes have the potential to cause a fire.

Thunderstorms and lightning strikes have been causing quite a bit of damage in the Durham area. We are experts in fire damage cleanup, and we believe in safety first. Below we've provided 3 tips to help prevent fire damage caused by lighting.

1. Avoid using water during a thunderstorm. Taking showers, washing dishes, even washing your hands could put you and the structure you are occupying at danger. Water, especially water that contains minerals can be great for conducting electricity. Definitely do not go swimming. Lightning regularly strikes water and swimming during a thunderstorm is one of the most dangerous things you can do.  

2. In recent years the cost fire damage cleanup caused by lightning has gone up. This is mainly because the average household owns more electronic equipment. During a thunderstorm be sure to unplug things like computers and televisions. Also, do not use landline phones during a storm. A surge protector is also a good idea. They do not always protect against large direct lightning currents. But, the device does attempt to limit the voltage supplied to an electrical device by either blocking or by shorting to ground any unwanted voltages above a safe threshold. 

TIP: Check your homeowner's insurance policy. Not all policies cover electronic items lost or damaged during lightning and thunderstorms.

3. Invest in a professionally installed lightning protection system. Lightning rods create a network of low resistance paths for lightning currents  to travel. Using them can help you direct the lightening towards the ground and cause less damage to the building structure. 

FUN FACT:The Empire State Building is a lightning rod for it's surrounding area. It is struck by lightning an average of 23 times per year. For more information on lightning protection systems keep reading our blog!

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of South Durham & Orange County has highly trained technicians that are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. We provide 24-hour emergency service and have the training and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs. "Like It Never Happened" Contact us for more information.