Recent Storm Damage Posts

2021 Hurricane Season

5/26/2021 (Permalink)

As we get ready to enter into hurricane season, we want to make sure our community is well prepared and informed of what to do in case the storms get way out of hand. To ensure you and your loved ones are safe during this upcoming storm season, read along for these tips on what to do to be storm safe:

  1. Know Your Risks: One the most important things you can do is understand how susceptible your area is to hurricane weather. Being informed of the likelihood of how a hurricane can affect your area by keeping up to date with weather announcement and local and governments 
  2. Build an Emergency Kit: This one sounds simple, but it is often overlooked. Keeping an emergency kit that is stocked with water, canned foods, non perishables, and comfort items such as blankets and toys could be the difference between a disaster and an inconvenience. 
  3. Review And Gather Documents: Review your policies ahead of time to see what is covered and if flood insurance is available to you. Gather important documents such as insurance policies, IDs, birth certificates, deeds, or even sentimental documents and keep them in a fireproof and waterproof safe. 
  4. Be Informed: Knowing where to go and who to call is key to staying safe. Having an evacuation plan in place in the event of a disaster ensure members of your household know what to do in case home isn’t the safest place to be. Have a planned route and an alternate route to get to a safe place away from the storm.
  5. Strengthen Your Home: Taking a look around your property to see if you are vulnerable in the event of a hurricane is a key factor in minimizing your risk of damage. By looking for vulnerable areas, you’ll be able to address them and fortify and susceptible areas around the home or property.

Implementing these tips will help you face this hurricane season and minimize the risk of your property being a victim of the elements. Keep SERVPRO of Baldwin County in mind for all your storm damage restoration needs. 

Surviving the Flood

5/26/2021 (Permalink)

We live in a world where mother nature has a mind of her own at times, and natural disaster can strike at anytime and can ruin the normal flow of life we once had. The nice furniture, flooring, and decor that once occupied our home, now washed away by water. Whether the flooding that has occurred in your home was because of a pipe bursting, a sewer backup, faulty appliance, a heavy rain or even rising floodwaters, there are important steps you should take in order to keep you and your family safe. 

After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • 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!

You and your family may not even be thinking about flooding, but rather tornado damage or hurricane damage. But with any severe storm or rain there is always a chance of flooding. And even appliances can cause flooding. Here at SERVPRO® of Baldwin County we want you to be as prepared and safe as possible, therefore we put together some do and don'ts to put into practice after you have encountered flooding within your home.

What To Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

 Reminders:

  1. Do not panic, take a breath and understand that although today feels like the worst day ever. Things WILL get better.
  2. Keep safety always at the forefront of your mind (stop the water source, shut all electricity off, etc.)
  3. Call SERVPRO in order to get things clean, dry and back to beautiful as quickly as possible.

 Why SERVPRO?

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • Highly Trained Water Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Water Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Water Inspection, Extraction, and Drying Equipment

Tips for Keeping Your Home Dry During Heavy Rain

4/21/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage can happen to your home in a variety of ways. Many homeowners (including some here in Baldwin County) think that only severe storms and floods or a major appliance malfunction involving your washing machine or dishwasher cause water damage.

But heavy rains are a significant water damage threat, too. These drenching storms frequently happen in our area during the spring and summer months. If your home is not prepared, these storms can cause costly damage.

Water Damage Is Common

Millions of Americans file claims to repair home water damage every year. Insurance industry experts estimate that as many as one out of every 50 homeowners will file a water damage claim this year.

Depending on how many people live in your neighborhood, that can mean someone you know will have to deal with water damage this year.

Homeowners can’t always avoid water damage. For example, severe storms, tornadoes and hurricanes can cause significant damage to many homes in the community. And homeowners can’t avoid these natural disasters.

But sometimes more common problems, namely heavy rains, can cause water damage to your home. Homeowners can avoid this type of damage if they ensure your home is well-maintained.

Getting Ready for Wet Weather

Our teams are prepared to help homeowners repair water damage. We’re experts, and that means we see many of the issues that cause the damage in the first place.

Because we know how the damage happens, we’ve put together some ideas to help you avoid it:

Check your yard. Knowing how your yard drains is vital to protecting your home. If you notice that your yard is draining toward your home, then you might want to connect with a landscaping expert to look for ways to protect your yard.

Choose the right type of landscaping. Many people choose plants and flowers for aesthetic effect. But choosing landscaping items carefully can ensure your home is prepared for heavy rains. Native plants, trees and bushes can be vital in protecting your home from water damage. Talk with landscaping experts in the area or visit a native plant sale for tips and ideas.

Look into sealing your roof. Experts estimate that almost 95% of damage is caused by water finding its way through gaps in your shingles, which can be prevented with this step. It’s definitely worth considering.

If you need help dealing with damage caused by water, fire or any other issue, we’re here to help you restore your home. We have crews who are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about us and how we can help you restore your home to its original state. Serving all of Baldwin County here on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Call us at 251-928-9625

Did a Recent Gulf Coast Storm Cause Flood Damage?

4/21/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here for Help With Flood Damage and Restoration – Crews are Available 24/7 in Baldwin County.

Flood Damage is No Match for SERVPRO – Call Us When You Need Prompt Flood Restoration Services

For emergency services water damage assistance, SERVPRO can be at your Baldwin County property within hours to get to work. Whether you need flooding cleanup or help with a leaking roof from storms, we have the proven methods and all of the best equipment for the job.

We bring industrial-grade equipment to help us achieve our cleanup goals when you call us for flood damage after a storm. Some of this equipment includes:

• Extraction Units – including large truck-mounted or portable units

• Light Wands – also known as carpet wands

• Deep Extraction Tools – including self-propelled extractors and stationary tools

• Pumps – including high-pressure pumps, self-priming trash pumps, and electric submersible pumps

SERVPRO of Baldwin County is available for all your needs regarding flood damage and water damage repairs after a storm. Call us at 251-928-9625.

National Preparedness Month: Week 3

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

September: National Preparedness Month

Week #3 – September 13th-19th, Goal: Educate Yourself About Disasters and Emergencies

Different areas have different threats for natural disasters, along with non-natural disasters. For this week of National Preparedness Month, take the list of disasters you may experience, and visit www.ready.gov/be-informed to learn more about each one. Each of these emergencies are covered in depth through ready.com: household chemical emergencies, hurricanes, landslides & debris flow, nuclear power plants, pandemic, power outages, radiological dispersion device, severe weather, snowstorms & extreme cold, space weather, thunderstorms & lightning, tornadoes, tsunamis, volcanoes, wildfires, active shooter, attacks in public places, avalanches, bioterrorism, chemical emergencies, cybersecurity, drought, earthquakes, explosions, extreme heat, floods, hazardous materials incidents, and home fires.

There is also information about what you can do to recover from these disasters. Some of the subjects include how to get involved with the community, citizens corps, community emergency response team, talking to your neighborhood/neighbors about their plans, and lists of organizations active during disasters.  

Other Resources for Your Use:

Parents of Young Children www.ready.gov/kids

Business Owners www.ready.gov/business.

National Preparedness Month: Week 1 & 2

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

Week #1 – September 1st-5th, Goal: Make A Plan.

The goal of this week can be accomplished in 4 simple steps.

Step #1- Put a Plan Together

Different areas of the county are more at risk for different types of natural disasters. Your first step to put together a plan is to assess what disasters are the most heavy in your area, and make a list. Once you have a list, it will then help you with the rest of the steps.

With your list in mind, ask yourself these questions.  

•How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?

•What is my shelter plan?

•What is my evacuation plan?

•What is my household communication plan?

•Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?

This will help you identify anything you may have forgotten, and help you find holes in your plan.

Step #2- Consider Specific Needs in Your Household

You can easily look up lists of items to have on hand in case of an emergency, but this step makes your supplies list specific to your family’s needs. Look at each member, and think of any daily items they may need that is not on the list. This can include the daily care of infants/small children, elderly family members, how each member communicates, pets, or anyone with specialized medical equipment or medicine. Having these items on hand is very important when disaster strikes, and you may not be able to easily obtain them.

Step #3- Fill Out a Family Emergency Plan

https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/create-your-family-emergency-communication-plan.pdf

Above is the Family Emergency Plan that ready.gov has put out to use. Whether you choose to use this one or not, it is a great reference in what information to have!

Step #4- Practice Your Plan with Your Family/Household

Now that you have your plan started, practicing and running over this plan thoroughly will help you identify any other weaknesses. It may also help your family members feel safe and comfortable after discussing this hard topic, especially with small children. Making sure they feel fully prepared and safe is a great way to put their minds at ease!  

Week #2 – September 6th-12th, Goal: Build A Kit  

The goal of an emergency kit is to help your family survive without assistance for at least 3 days.

Basic Kit Items:

•Water (for each person)

•Food (for each person) Hand crank can opener

•Local maps

•Cell phone chargers & a backup, portable battery

•First aid kit

•Whistle

•Dust masks & cloth masks

•Battery operated radio and/or weather radio

•Flashlights

•Extra batteries

•Wipes

•Trash bags

•Wrench & pliers (for cutting off emergency lines)

•Plastic sheeting & duct tape

Additional items to consider including:

•Cash

•Sleeping bag or blanket for each person

•Complete change of clothing for each person (including shoes)

•Fire extinguisher

•Activities for any children

•Soap & hand sanitizer

•Matches (make sure to store in a waterproof container!)

•Personal hygiene products

•Disposable paper products

•Prescription & over the counter medication

•Contact lens solution (if applicable)

•Copies of important family documents, in waterproof container or saved electronically

•If applicable: formula, bottles, diapers, wipes & diaper rash cream

•If applicable: pet food & water

Maintaining Your Home Kit:

Now that your kit is stocked and ready to go, you will need to update it regularly. A good idea is to update the kit each time you take a look at your emergency plan you created last week. This ensures it is kept up to date, and all items are ready to be used at any time. This also gives you the chance to update any specific items. For example: if an infant no longer needs bottles, remove those items from the kit to save room. You may then need to add in some jars of baby food.

Other Kits:

Now that you are on a roll, consider making smaller kits for work, and to keep in your vehicle. These kits should be much smaller and are a lot easier to create.

Your Work Kit should prepare you to stay at work for at least 24 hours. Also include a comfortable pair of walking shoes in this kit, as you may not be wearing comfortable shoes at work when an emergency takes place.

Your Car Kit should always be in all cars you may have. This kit should include jumper cables, flares or reflective triangles, an ice scraper, extra cell phone charger (with car charger), blanket, map and cat litter or sand (to help you gain traction if stuck).

National Preparedness Month

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Disaster Don't Wait, Make your Plan Today 2020 National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, recognized to promote community disaster planning. Preparing yourself, your loved ones, and your property for a disaster is crucial, especially in the unpredictable year of 2020. Ready.gov offers weekly National Preparedness Month themes to help organize your preparations:

Week 1 (September 1st-5th): Make a Plan

Determine lines of communication, designated meeting places in case of separation, and responsibilities for each member of your household.  Depending on the needs of your family, you may require additional planning steps.

Week 2 (September 6th-12th): Build a Kit

Gather supplies for each member of your family.  You kit may include food, clean water, medications, pet foods, communication devices, and batteries.  Keep your kit as compact as possible, and in an easily accessible location, in case evacuation becomes necessary.

Week 3 (September 13th-19th): Prepare for Disaster

On the AL Gulf Coast, one of the most common disasters you may face is a hurricane.  To prepare for such an event, be sure to follow local and national news as it pertains to hurricane tracking, check your insurance coverage, and make sure your disaster preparedness kit is built. If a storm is forecasted to hit in your area, follow the direction of local officials concerning shelter and evacuation orders.

Week 4 (September 20th-26th): Teach Youth About Preparedness

Make sure children’s needs are included in your preparations.  Include their items in your disaster kit, talk with them about protocols and procedures in the event of a disaster situation, and answer any questions they may have.

As a leader in clean up and restoration, SERVPRO of Baldwin County is Here to Help in the event your property is damaged by a hurricane or other disaster situation. Our team is “Faster to Any Size Disaster!”  To learn more about our services, call 251-928-9625.

For more information about National Preparedness Month, visit https://www.ready.gov/september

Hurricane Ready Kit

6/3/2020 (Permalink)

2020 Hurricane Season is here and we want to help you prepare NOW! After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit

To assemble your kit store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

•Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)

•Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)

•Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert

•Flashlight

•First aid kit

•Extra batteries

•Whistle (to signal for help)

•Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)

•Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)

•Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)

•Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)

•Manual can opener (for food)

•Local maps

•Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Source: https://www.ready.gov/kit

Protect your business from a storm

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Have you taken steps to protect your business and employees on the Alabama Gulf Coast?

When we experience a thunderstorm in Baldwin County, it can potentially cause extensive damage to your business. Power outages downed tree limbs, and flooding from rainstorms are all possibilities. SERVPRO of Baldwin County has a few preventative steps you can take to ensure you are able to protect your business when these storms happen.

1. Keep Your Lightning Rod Maintained

A lightning rod is a metal rod mounted on a structure and intended to protect the structure from a lightning strike. If lightning hits the structure, it will preferentially strike the rod and be conducted to ground through a wire, instead of passing through the structure, where it could start a fire or cause electrocution. If your business is located in a tall building that may attract lightning, then maintaining the lightning rod can be essential. Have the rod checked annually for damage and ask your certification professionals to verify that it is up to code. If your business is located in an area where lightning is common, it is wise to have the unit cleaned and inspected at least twice a year.  

2. Maintain All Trees on the Property  High winds can turn tree limbs into projectiles that may shatter your building’s windows and cause serious injury to your customers or employees. Make sure you are maintaining your landscaping so dead branches do not detach and strike people entering your business below. Trimming trees away from your building’s power lines can protect its power source during a thunderstorm 

3. Have a Flood Plan in Place  Having a flood plan in place can possibly prevent flooding in your business, especially in the case of mitigation services. Contacting SERVPRO of Baldwin County before the wet season can be a wise choice because if your building should experience flooding, our team can have help on hand right away.

Protect your Gulf Coast Business from Storm Damage

4/25/2020 (Permalink)

As Baldwin County has been experiencing powerful storms, and 2020 Hurricane Season is nearing, we thought it’d be a good time to go over how to protect your property from water damage. 

A flooded building can wreak havoc on your business operations and day to day life. If you are concerned about flood water, it is important to do what you can now so that your business property is better protected later. Here's how you can protect your property through this storm season.

Preparing Your Building

Before a flood even occurs, you can take steps to seal your building from water. Start by applying a waterproof coating to the exterior walls. Several other steps are also important.

" Install waterproof shields over windows and doors where possible.

" Strengthen walls to stand against the pressure of flood water or flood debris.

" Seal all areas where utilities enter the building.

" Anchor the building if necessary.

Protecting the Lower Levels

Inspect your first floor to ensure there are no areas where flood water can easily enter the premises. Regrade any land that slopes into your property, extend or redirect gutter spouts and repair any cracks in the walls. Move any valuable equipment or furniture to higher ground and create digital backups of any important paper documentation.

Taking Other Safety Measures

Water damage is not the only thing to worry about during flooding. It is also important to properly anchor any fuel tanks to prevent the water from sweeping them away, which can cause the lines to break and fires or explosions to happen. Sewer backflow valves are also important.

Preparing for Restoration

No matter how well you prepare your building for a flood, at least some damage is still likely to occur. Call a well-respected restoration company to help you remove moisture, dry materials and get your property ready to do business again.

Being 100 percent prepared for a natural disaster is practically impossible, but preparing now for a later storm means getting back into the swing of things as quickly as possible after any damage happens.

2020 Hurricane Season

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

How to Prepare for a Hurricane.

This 2020 Hurricane season is estimated to be more active than previous years. It's important to know what to do before it hits to help prevent damage or loss to your property.

List of Supplies

  1. An Emergency Readiness Plan for your family
  2. 3 days worth of water
  3. 3 days of non perishable food for each person or pet
  4. First Aid Kit
  5. Battery Powered Radio or radio alert 
  6. Portable Power bank to charge cell phones
  7. Full Tank of Gas in car
  8. Batteries
  9. Whistle to Signal for Help

How to Prepare Your Home

  • Cover your windows with storm shutter or plywood, or use tape the glass so the broken shards stay together
  • Learn if you are in an area that floods, and how to properly sand bag your home
  • Clean out your rain gutters

If you’ve already experienced flooding or storm damage, don’t hesitate to reach out to SERVPRO of Baldwin County 251-928-9625

Flood Damage Restoration For Your Baldwin County Home

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

As many people on the Alabama Gulf Coast know, flooding can easily disrupt a person’s everyday life and leave your home destroyed. If not appropriately resolved, water often causes severe damage that gets worse over time. Having the ability to restore water-damaged buildings is an invaluable service to both you and your insurance company. 

Restoring water-damaged structures requires the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) training, years of experience, and specialized equipment normally unavailable to your everyday homeowner. 

SERVPRO of Baldwin County can help you understand the technical aspects of your flood damage restoration and provide you with the communication necessary to make the situation far less stressful. 

At SERVPRO of Baldwin County, we use the IICRC’s Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (S500). It presents us with a standard to adhere to when addressing flood damage in your home, with five fundamental principles.

• We provide health and safety procedures for workers and occupants.

• Document all conditions and work procedures.

• Perform damage mitigation to limit losses.

• Implement fast, efficient drying methods.

• Offer both cleaning and repair services.

SERVPRO of Baldwin County technicians provide customers with a quick response, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, to prevent further damage. We address many dangers that exist concerning flood damage restoration that can injure you or even take your life. Our team looks for slip, trip, and fall hazards, chemical and environmental hazards, including hazardous materials, structural, and electrical.

Regardless of how secure you think you are, safety should always be your primary concern when dealing with flood damage restoration in your home. Water itself can be dangerous – often containing biohazards that you cannot recognize without special equipment. Always think about how long water remains in your home and the possibility of mold contamination. 

If you need assistance, call SERVPRO of Baldwin County. We can help you with all types of flood damage, cleaning, and restoration services throughout the Alabama Gulf Coast area. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster– call today 251-928-9625

Are You "Hurricane Ready"?

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

As 2020 Hurricane Season approaches, it is important to be prepared beforehand. Living on the Alabama Gulf Coast can be scary during hurricane season, as we experience several storms during these months. Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over ocean water and often move toward land. Hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents and tornadoes all of which can destroy homes, buildings, and roads. It is important to stay ready so you do not find yourself scrambling to brace for the impact. There is always the potential looming that our area could be hit by a hurricane. Here are a few things to know ahead of a hurricane if one was to head our direction. 

Know the Difference

•Flood/Flash Flood Watch—Flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area.

•Flood/Flash Flood Warning—Flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. 

How to Prepare

•Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).

•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.

•Because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov.

Different Types of Storm Damage

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

There are several types of storm damage including wind, flooding, or even fire. Flooding can cause extensive amounts of damage to your home, and lightning can create fires while high winds can cause many issues to the structure of your home.

Wind
The damage which results from extremely high winds is quite easy to see most of the time. Nowadays, roof shingles are designed better than their predecessors regarding their resistance to wind and the ever-increasing knowledge and standards. There is many times little can be done to prevent damage by wind in conditions that are very extreme. Roofs that are wind-damaged usually appear to be affected only in certain spots. The edges or perimeter of the room are affected by high winds easily, since the edge of a roof is quite prone to lifting.

Hail
Round dings in metal are clear signs of hail damage. Determining whether your roof has suffered damage from a hail storm, however, could be a bit more challenging. After hail hits the roof, it knocks off the protective granules where the hail has hit, and these areas of damage are the sources of leaks in the roof in the future if it is not fixed within a few years’ time.

Snow
Snow causes most of its damage from the weight of it, which immensely increases when ice, rain and sleet are added to it. On an average-sized roof, two feet of snow can weigh the equivalent of thirty-eight thousand pounds or nineteen tons. The obvious sign many times that a roof is about to fail is if it is sagging.

Ice
The functionality of a lot of gutter and roof systems are affected by the temperatures that fluctuate, making the snow melt then refreeze on the edge of the roof. This makes a dam which the water cannot pass through, meaning that as more snow melts off the roof and trickles down, it gets blocked by an ice dam and makes a puddle. Since roofs were not made to handle standing water, especially as the water line and growing puddle move up the roof, the water can seep through small openings in the roof into your home or attic.

Rain and Flood Damage
Water running out of a typical water drainage basin due to overflowing from a storm can wreak havoc on your property. Streams, creeks, rivers or lakes which overflow, flash floods, a storm surge or a tsunami are all examples of flood damage that are possible.

Flooding can cause damage to your property including your foundation and drywall damage. Most of the time the drywall will need to be removed and replaced. The flooding can also cause mold to grow on the property due to standing or hidden water, such as inside the walls. This should be taken care of as soon as possible, usually by a professional storm damage remediation company, as mold can cause a serious health risk to you and your family.

Call an Expert
At the first sign of damage contact a professional storm damage restoration company. We use specialized equipment and technology to tackle any storm damage to your property. We will be able to restore your property back to normal.

Contact SERVPRO of Baldwin County to restore your commercial or residential storm damage "Like it never even happened."

Business and Personal Preparedness

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Business Preparedness: why and how you should prepare; and personal preparedness: how to pack your Go Bag and sheltering in place. 

Up to 50% of businesses never reopen after being affected by a natural or human-made disaster. Despite this statistic, 62% of businesses don’t have an emergency plan in place!  Your customers expect delivery of their products or services on time, regardless of your situation.  And larger businesses want to insure that their supply chain is not interrupted by a disaster either.  Insurance is only a partial solution.  It does not cover all losses and it will NOT replace customers.  News travels fast and perceptions often differ from reality.  It is up to you to plan now for a disaster to avoid some of these pitfalls.  Many risks cannot be insured, but some risks can be reduced by investing in loss prevention programs, protection systems, and equipment.

According to FEMA’s Business Program Management,” A preparedness policy that is consistent with the mission and vision of the business should be written and disseminated by management. The policy should define roles and responsibilities. It should authorize selected employees to develop the program and keep it current. The policy should also define the goals and objectives of the program. Typical goals of the preparedness program include:

  • Protect the safety of employees, visitors, contractors and others at risk from hazards at the facility. Plan for persons with disabilities and functional needs.
  • Maintain customer service by minimizing interruptions or disruptions of business operations
  • Protect facilities, physical assets and electronic information
  • Prevent environmental contamination
  • Protect the organization’s brand, image and reputation

A word on environmental contamination—many times, smaller businesses without a plan in place will attempt to handle the work on their building on their own.  Depending on the damage and the building in question, it may be safer and more cost effective to hire a professional company to help you.  Why?  Well, for starters, a cleanup company like SERVPRO of Baldwin County has the knowledge of environmental laws and regulations that you may be ignorant of.  Our crew can dispose of potentially hazardous materials in a safe and compliant manner. 

In order to prepare personally for a disaster, you should start by creating a Family Disaster Plan.  To get started, contact your local emergency management office and your local chapter of the American Red Cross. Find out which disasters are likely to occur in your area by using the interactive map.  Meet with your family and plan how you will stay in contact if separated by disaster.  Because many disasters occur with little or no warning, you need to have a plan for what to do before you have instructions from authorities.  Assess your situation.  Decide to stay or change locations.  If you are not in immediate danger, you should stay where you are and get more information before taking your next steps. 

There are 3 types of sheltering, and different types are appropriate for different disasters.  You can shelter in place, shelter for an extended stay, or enter a community shelter.  When you shelter in place, you are sealing a room as a way to protect yourself from contaminants in the air for a short period of time.  You should identify an internal room in your home or work, and store specific items such as snacks and water, a battery-operated radio, a flashlight, and pre-cut plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal off vents and doors and windows.  If you are sheltering for an extended stay, you may need to store enough supplies for 2 weeks.  If you are using a community shelter, you should bring your 3-day disaster supply kit with you.

So what goes in your kit?  Depending on the length of time you will be gone, the time of year of the event, and how many people and pets you have with you, your kit might change.  The items recommended for your basic kit are:

  • 3 day supply of non-perishable food
  • 3 day supply of water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Portable, battery powered radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit and manual.
  • Sanitation and hygiene items (moist towelettes and toilet paper)
  • Matches and waterproof container
  • Whistle
  • Extra clothing (think warmth if in a cold climate)
  • Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils, including a can opener.
  • Photocopies of credit and identification cards
  • Cash and coins
  • Special needs items, such as prescription medications, eyeglasses, and hearing aid batteries.
  • Items for infants and items for pets.

Just as important as putting your supplies together is maintaining them so they are safe when you are ready to use them.

  • Keep canned foods in a cool dry place.
  • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers.
  • Throw out any canned good that becomes swollen, dented, or corroded.
  • Change stored food and water supplies every 6 months.  Write the date on the containers.
  • Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers.
  • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family needs change. 

I recommend keeping a Go Bag in your car, and one in your house, as you will never know where you will be when a disaster hits.  If you need help preparing your home or business for disasters, call us at 251-928-9625.  We can help you create a plan for your building and tag your shut offs when necessary.  And if something does go wrong, call us to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Hurricane Facts

2/13/2020 (Permalink)

  • A hurricane is an intense tropical storm with powerful winds and rain.
  • Other names for a hurricane include cyclone, typhoon and tropical storm.

  • While they are essentially the same thing, the different names usually indicate where the storm took place. Tropical storms that form in the Atlantic or Northeast Pacific (near the United States) are called hurricanes, those that form near in the Northwest Pacific (near Japan) are called typhoons and those that form in the South Pacific or Indian oceans are called cyclones.

  • Hurricanes usually form in tropical areas of the world.

  • Hurricanes develop over warm water and use it as an energy source.

  • Hurricanes lose strength as they move over land.

  • Coastal regions are most at danger from hurricanes.

  • As well as violent winds and heavy rain, hurricanes can also create tornadoes, high waves and widespread flooding.

  • Hurricanes are regions of low atmospheric pressure (also known as a depression).

  • The wind flow of hurricanes in the southern hemisphere is clockwise while the wind flow of hurricanes in the northern hemisphere is counterclockwise.

  • Weather in the eye of a hurricane is usually calm.

  • The eye of a hurricane can be anywhere from 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) in diameter to over 200 miles (320 kilometers) but they are usually around 30 miles (48 kilometers).

  • The winds around the eye of a hurricane are usually the strongest.

  • Hurricanes can be tracked by weather satellites and weather radar closer to land.

  • Hurricanes have led to the death of around 2 million people over the last 200 years.

  • The 1970 Bhola Cyclone that struck Bangladesh killed over 300000 people.

  • In 2005 Hurricane Katrina killed over 1800 people in the United States and caused around $80 billion dollars worth of property damage. The city of New Orleans was hit particularly hard with levee breaches leading to around 80% of the city being flooded.

Tornado 101

2/13/2020 (Permalink)

What is a tornado?

A tornado is a narrow, violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground. Because wind is invisible, it is hard to see a tornado unless it forms a condensation funnel made up of water droplets, dust and debris. Tornadoes are the most violent of all atmospheric storms.

Where do tornadoes occur?

Tornadoes occur in many parts of the world, including Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. Even New Zealand reports about 20 tornadoes each year. Two of the highest concentrations of tornadoes outside the U.S. are Argentina and Bangladesh.

How many tornadoes occur in the U.S. each year?

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.

Where is tornado alley?

Tornado Alley is a nickname invented by the media for a broad area of relatively high tornado occurrence in the central U.S. Various Tornado Alley maps look different because tornado occurrence can be measured many ways: by all tornadoes, tornado county-segments, strong and violent tornadoes only, and databases with different time periods. Please remember, violent or killer tornadoes do happen outside “Tornado Alley” every year.

When are tornadoes most likely?

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.

What is the difference between a Tornado WATCH and a Tornado WARNING?

Tornado WATCH is issued by the NOAA Storm Prediction Center . Meteorologists who watch the weather 24/7 across the entire U.S. for weather conditions that are favorable for tornadoes. A watch can cover parts of a state or several states. Watch and prepare for severe weather and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio to know when warnings are issued.

Tornado WARNING is issued by your local NOAA National Weather Service Forecast Office, meteorologists who watch the weather 24/7 over a designated area. This means a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar and there is a serious threat to life and property to those in the path of the tornado. ACT now to find safe shelter! A warning can cover parts of counties or several counties in the path of danger.

Content Credit: nssl.noaa.gov

Types of Storm Damage

2/12/2020 (Permalink)

Here are a few quick tips to consider should storm damage hit your home or commercial property.

Wind Damage Restoration
Hurricanes often cause severe wind damage. Your roof is particularly susceptible. Roof damage from strong winds may lift roof shingles, cause cracks, or remove part or all of the roof. Harsh winds and rains can shear away asphalt tiles. Flying debris can also cause cracks and holes in your roof and siding. Correcting roof damage may challenge homeowners and business owners after a disaster, especially because a roof leak may not be obvious.

Roof Leaks

Why are many roof leaks and roof damage hard to detect? The storm may loosen flashing without creating a problem that’s easily visible to the eye. Loose flashing can cause another roof leak even weeks after the initial storm damage. A small roof leak can produce damp, moldy conditions inside your home or business. You best bet is to secure roof repair immediately after the wind damage. Doing so can prevent long term interior damage. A wind damage restoration expert, like the professionals at SERVPRO of Baldwin County, will help assure the homeowner or business owner receives a comprehensive roof assessment and roof repair services when hurricane or wind damage hits.

Flood Damage & Recovery
If your home or business is near water or in a low-lying area, flood water damage is a risk. Heavy rains and flooding may cause water damage many miles from the coast or from any large body of water. If the land around your home or business cannot absorb the additional water flooding may happen. Even homes and businesses at higher elevations can sustain flood damage if frozen pipes break. Flood pump failures contribute to basement flooding and contaminated ground water too.

Flooding may also disrupt your municipal water system. Experts need to assess ground water and evaluate the condition of pipes following flood damage. Hiring a storm restoration professional, like SERVPRO of Baldwin County may allow you to begin your cleanup process even before water restoration occurs. And don’t forget-- cleaning before water restoration often proves essential yet challenging.

By relying upon a trained water damage restoration specialist, you'll usually obtain faster storm remediation. These experts may suggest ways to help mitigate flood water damage in the future, for instance, by requesting backup flood pump installation.

Hail Damage & Recovery
Hail may be the most overlooked cause of major storm damage. Hail can damage not just your roof but also your siding, exterior walls, and any detached sheds or outbuildings. You may think you’ve survived a hail storm but do know that hail damage is difficult to identify. Again, you’re wise to hire a storm damage restoration professional to inspect your roof, exterior walls, and outbuildings for damage. Dark spots on your roof are areas where the roofing granules have been knocked away. These weakened spots can lead to other more extensive problems such as leaks and cracks. Cracked and chipped siding is also a sign of hail damage.

Impact Damage & Recovery
In a major storm practically anything can become a creator of damage to your home or business. Think about trees. Your home may survive storm damage only to have a tree on your property succumb to the wind, hail, or rain and fall onto your house. A neighbor’s outdoor lawn furniture can become wind-blown projectiles. Extreme wind pressure turns regular outdoor items into tools of destruction. After storm damage, the professionals at SERVPRO of Baldwin County do a walk around to look for the signs of these types of unusual damage.

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of Baldwin County has specialized training and experience in fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, water damage, and natural disaster cleanup. Our staff is highly trained in building services and property damage restoration. We study IICRC standards and best practices in cleaning and restoration. 

When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

It’s that time of the year. Summer comes with rain. Rain comes with thunder storms and lightning. Lightning is a leading cause of injury and death from weather-related hazards. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms. Thunderstorms are dangerous storms that include lightning and can:

  • Include powerful winds over 50 MPH;
  • Create hail; and
  • Cause flash flooding and tornadoes.

IF YOU ARE UNDER A THUNDERSTORM WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

  • When thunder roars, go indoors!
  • Move from outdoors into a building or car.
  • Pay attention to alerts and warnings.
  • Unplug appliances.
  • Do not use landline phones.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A THUNDERSTORM THREATENS

WHAT TO DO NOW: Prepare

  • Know your area’s risk for thunderstorms. In most places, they can occur year-round and at any hour.
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • Identify nearby, sturdy buildings close to where you live, work, study, and play.
  • Cut down or trim trees that may be in danger of falling on your home.
  • Consider buying surge protectors, lightning rods, or a lightning protection system to protect your home, appliances, and electronic devices.

We Have the Resources to Handle Storms and Disasters

Have Storm or Flood Damage?
Call SERVPRO of Baldwin County today at 251-928-9625

Prepare for 2019 Hurricane Season

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

There were 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and two major hurricanes in 2018.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will officially go in the books as being a bit “above normal.”

Of course, if a hurricane hit where you live, it was far from an average year. Just ask the folks in the Florida panhandle and the Carolinas. With its 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and two major hurricanes, 2018 matched the early predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.

The agency forecast 10 to 16 named storms, including five to nine hurricanes, and one to four major hurricanes with Category 3 strength or higher, back in May before the season started.

An average six-month Atlantic season typically produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes. including three major hurricanes. The 2018 season was defined by two powerful storms that formed in its second half - Hurricanes Florence and Michael.

Florence got its start on Sept. 1 as a tropical storm that formed just off the coast of West Africa.On its nearly two-week trek across the Atlantic, Florence strengthened to a Category 4 storm before making landfall near Wrightsville Beach, NC, as a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph.The rain from the system soaked the region, dumping nearly 40 inches of rain in Elizabethtown, NC, causing widespread flooding that took weeks to recede.At least 55 deaths were attributed to the storm. Property damage and economic losses in North and South Carolina approached $18 billion.

Hurricane Michael took a different path, forming Oct. 7 near the Yucatan Peninsula, where the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico meet.Four days later, Michael made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in the Florida Panhandle. The storm’s 155 mph winds made Michael the strongest storm to hit the continental U.S. since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. More than one million people, across four states, were left without power due to Michael.

The storm killed at least 43 people in Florida and 10 more in Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. Of those, 21 were in Florida’s Bay County, where the hurricane made landfall, nearly wiping out Mexico Beach. Michael caused more than $14 billion in damages.

http://www.wsfa.com/2018/11/29/atlantic-hurricane-season-year-florence-michael/

How can you be prepared?

Speak with your insurance agent regarding your coverage. Flood insurance and Hurricane/Wind insurance may not be included in your Homeowners policy. 

Speak with your insurance agent regarding what amount will allow you the ability to rebuild your home. A lower premium is not always best if it does not cover the costs to rebuild. It's important to have enough coverage!

Review your policies before Hurricane season (reminder: it starts June 1st!) with your insurance agent. There is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance goes into effect. Some  times, insurers will not adjust your coverage after a storm is forecast. 

See this post for information on how you can prepare your family in case of evacuation due to flooding.

Floods

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

Floods

Failing to evacuate flooded areas, entering flood waters, or remaining after a flood has passed can result in injury or death. Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Floods may:

  • Result from rain, snow, coastal storms, storm surges, and overflows of dams and other water systems.

  • Develop slowly or quickly – Flash floods can come with no warning.

  • Cause outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings, and create landslides.

 IF YOU ARE UNDER A FLOOD WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

         (Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.)

  • Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water.

  • Determine how best to protect yourself based on the type of flooding.

    • Evacuate if told to do so.

    • Move to higher ground or a higher floor.

    • Stay where you are.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A FLOOD THREATENS

Prepare NOW

  • Know types of flood risk in your area. Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center for information.

  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.

  • If flash flooding is a risk in your location, then monitor potential signs, such as heavy rain.

  • Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response.

  • Gather supplies in case you have to leave immediately, or if services are cut off. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets. Obtain extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment.

  • Purchase or renew a flood insurance policy. It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to go into effect and can protect the life you've built. Homeowner’s policies do not cover flooding. Get flood coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

  • Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies.

  • Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.

    https://www.ready.gov/floods

Thunderstorms & Lightning

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

Lightning is a leading cause of injury and death from weather-related hazards. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms. Thunderstorms are dangerous storms that include lightning and can:

  • Include powerful winds over 50 MPH;

  • Create hail; and

  • Cause flash flooding and tornadoes.

IF YOU ARE UNDER A THUNDERSTORM WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

  • When thunder roars, go indoors!

  • Move from outdoors into a building or car.

  • Pay attention to alerts and warnings.

  • Unplug appliances.

  • Do not use landline phones.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A THUNDERSTORM THREATENS

Prepare NOW

  • Know your area’s risk for thunderstorms. In most places, they can occur year-round and at any hour.

  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.

  • Identify nearby, sturdy buildings close to where you live, work, study, and play.

  • Cut down or trim trees that may be in danger of falling on your home.

  • Consider buying surge protectors, lightning rods, or a lightning protection system to protect your home, appliances, and electronic devices.

    https://www.ready.gov/thunderstorms-lightning

Tornado Safety Tips

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

Tornadoes

Tornadoes are violent: they can completely destroy well-made structures, uproot trees and hurl objects through the air like deadly missiles. Although severe tornadoes are most common in the Plains States, they can happen anywhere. Learn what to do to keep your loved ones safe.

Top Tips

  • Identify a safe place in your home where household members and pets will gather during a tornado: a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.
  • In a high-rise building, pick a hallway in the center of the building. You may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. 
  • In a mobile home, choose a safe place in a nearby sturdy building. If your mobile home park has a designated shelter, make it your safe place. No mobile home, however it is configured, is safe in a tornado.

Know the difference!

A tornado WATCH means a tornado is possible. A tornado WARNING means a tornado is already occurring or will occur soon. GO TO YOUR SAFE PLACE IMMEDIATELY.

https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/tornado.html

Floods: During and After

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

Survive DURING

  • Depending on where you are, and the impact and the warning time of flooding, go to the safe location that you previously identified.
  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Never drive around barricades. Local responders use them to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.
  • Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown!
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water. Fast-moving water can wash bridges away without warning.
  • If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, then stay inside. If water is rising inside the vehicle, then seek refuge on the roof.
  • If trapped in a building, then go to its highest level. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising floodwater. Go on the roof only if necessary. Once there, signal for help.

Be Safe AFTER

  • Listen to authorities for information and instructions. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Avoid driving, except in emergencies.
  • Snakes and other animals may be in your house. Wear heavy gloves and boots during clean up.
  • Be aware of the risk of electrocution. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off the electricity to prevent electric shock.
  • Avoid wading in floodwater, which can contain dangerous debris and be contaminated. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery ONLY outdoors and away from windows.

https://www.ready.gov/floods

Weather Alerts: What They Mean

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

  1. The National Weather Service defines a severe thunderstorm as any storm that produces one or more of the following elements:
  • A tornado.
  • Damaging winds or speeds of 58 mph (50 knots) or greater.
  • Hail 1 inch in diameter or larger.

Know these definitions so you are prepared for any storm:

  • Hurricane Watch
    Winds greater than 74 mph may hit the area within 36 hours.
  • Hurricane Warning
    Winds greater than 74 mph probably will to hit the area within 24 hours.
  • Tropical Storm Watch
    Winds from 39 to 73 mph may hit the area within 36 hours.
  • Tropical Storm Warning
    Winds from 39 to 73 mph probably will to hit the area within 24 hours. Usually issued for areas to either side of the Hurricane Warning area.
  • Tornado Watch
    Conditions are ripe for tornadoes within the watch area. Tornadoes associated with hurricanes and tropical storms are typically a very significant cause of death and damage.
  • Tornado Warning
    A tornado has actually been spotted visually or on radar. Usually issued for a county. If a tornado WARNING is issued where you live, GET TO THE MIDDLE OF THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STRONG BUILDING IMMEDIATELY!!! 
  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch
    Conditions are ripe for severe thunderstorms within the watch area.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning
    There is a severe thunderstorm in or heading for the warned area. Treat this like a tornado warning!!
  • Flash Flood Watch
    Flash floods are likely to occur in the near future. Be alert for rising water and be prepared to have to move to high ground.
  • Flash Flood Warning
    Flash floods are occurring or expected to occur in the near future. If this happens, get to high ground immediately, and GET AWAY FROM VEHICLES... it only takes 18 inches of water to sweep a car or truck away!
  • High Wind Advisory
    Windy conditions may occur in the advisory area. This usually makes for unsafe conditions while driving, especially in (but not limited to) large vehicles. Also, avoid boating anywhere in the advisory area.
  • High Wind Warning
    Very strong winds are expected or already are occurring that present a significant danger while driving, boating and other outdoor activities. Often issued near tropical storms and hurricanes.
  • Special Marine Warning
    Warnings of interest to boaters, usually because of rough conditions, squall lines, waterspouts,
  • Hurricane or Tropical Storm Statement
    Statements issued periodically by the National Hurricane Center with an overview of the current situation.

Prepare for 2018 Hurricane Season

4/24/2018 (Permalink)

In 2017, we traveled to areas affected by named storms & hurricane along the US coast. This photo shows mitigation efforts on a residential project.

In 2017, the US saw damage from 3 major hurricanes and 4 storms.

Extreme hurricanes and wildfires made 2017 the most costly U.S. disaster year on record. Each year, weather events cause catastrophic damage in the US. In 2017 alone, "the disasters caused $306 billion in total damage in 2017, with 16 events that caused more than $1 billion in damage each. The bulk of the damage, at $265 billion, came from hurricanes." (source)

According to many researchers, the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season is expected to be above average as well. One of the costliest aspects of hurricane season is not just the wind, but the widespread flooding. In addition to storm surge, slow moving systems cause the accumulation of rain in creeks and rivers to back up even in areas which may be "low risk". 

How can you be prepared?

Speak with your insurance agent regarding your coverage. Flood insurance and Hurricane/Wind insurance may not be included in your Homeowners policy. 

Speak with your insurance agent regarding what amount will allow you the ability to rebuild your home. A lower premium is not always best if it does not cover the costs to rebuild. It's important to have enough coverage!

Review your policies before Hurricane season (reminder: it starts June 1st!) with your insurance agent. There is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance goes into effect. Some  times, insurers will not adjust your coverage after a storm is forecast. 

See this post for information on how you can prepare your family in case of evacuation due to flooding.

Preparing for a Flood

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Baldwin County teams provided relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Flooding can happen fast and in many environments. Hurricanes are not the only weather event that bring widespread flooding, but they are certainly the costliest. Additionally, according to this article, "2017 was the costliest year ever for weather and climate disasters in the United States, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration announced Monday, totaling $306 billion. The previous record year, 2005, saw $215 billion in disasters." (source)

With modern technology, we can receive early warnings that a hurricane is tracking towards our area; however, we cannot determine the flooding that may come as result. As we near 2018 hurricane season, it is prudent to be prepared for potential flooding. The American Red Cross recommends having the following list of items packed and ready to go in the event of an evacuation due to flooding:

  • Water - 3+ day supply; one gallon per person per day
  • Food - 3+ day supply of non-perishable, easy to prepare food
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio if possible)
  • Extra Batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Medications (7 day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation/personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the aea
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Rain gear
  • Insect repellent and sunscreeen
  • Camera for photos of damage

Remember: when catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO of Baldwin County is here to help. We can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile or respond to any size damage to begin cleanup and restoration. In the event of a storm, call the cleanup team that is FASTER TO ANY SIZE DISASTER. When the storms roll out, we roll in. 

CONTACT:

251-928-9625

251-943-6244

office@SERVPRObaldwincounty.com 

Flooding Can Happen Anywhere

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

This photo shows drying being completed at a residential loss in Florida caused by flooding due to Hurricane Irma.

Flooding can happen anywhere.

There is often a misconception that if you are not 'in a flood zone,' or more accurately, if you are in a low risk community that your home or business will not flood. While your home or business may be in a low risk area, just because you haven't experienced a flood doesn't mean you won't in the future. The NFIP released that 20% of all paid claims were for low-risk policies. We frequently find that because of this misconception many home and business owners do not carry flood insurance. If you do not have flood insurance, the out of pocket costs associated with flood damage can be substantial.

Flood water is considered category 3 or black water. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding, or any type of natural disaster. This water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. The restoration should only be handled by professionals. 

According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), the following are the most common flood hazards in the United States:

  • Flash flooding
  • River flooding
  • Storm surge and coastal inundation from tropical and non-tropical systems
  • Burn scars/debris flows (caused by wildfires)
  • Ice/debris jams
  • Snowmelt
  • Dry wash (caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)
  • Dam breaks/levee failure

NOAA also said that, "Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding." 

With every catastrophic storm, you can rest assured that there will be a catastrophic storm response. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, SERVPRO of Baldwin County is prepared for the unpredictable.

CONTACT:

251-928-9625

251-943-6244

office@SERVPRObaldwincounty.com 

SERVPRO of Baldwin County Storm Response

3/28/2018 (Permalink)

This photo was taken during mitigation. This Houston facility was flooded during Hurricane Harvey. This building received 2-3 feet of flood water.

SERVPRO of Baldwin County is a dedicated member of SERVPRO's National Storm Team. The SERVPRO National Storm Team mobilizes to areas affected by catastrophic flooding, tornadoes, and other disasters. This helps the local franchises service their customers by providing a fast response. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost. Furthermore, it is essential in reducing costs due to secondary damage and time out of the home or business. No matter the size of the catastrophe, you can rest assured that SERVPRO is here to help.

SERVPRO of Baldwin County

Our team traveled to multiple storms last year. In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey caused catastrophic damage to the Gulf Coast and parts of inland Texas.  Our team mobilized 8 crews and 2 project managers to help the local franchises during the months of August and September. We were very grateful for the opportunity to help the fantastic Houston area franchises, Team Stone, and their residential and commercial customers. 

Hurricane Irma

3/28/2018 (Permalink)

This photo was taken during mitigation at a commercial facility in Florida following Hurricane Irma. This building was flooded with 4 ft of water.

Shortly following Hurricane Harvey's devastation in Texas, Hurricane Irma swept through Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas.


Damage from Hurricanes

The damage that results from hurricanes is often multi-faceted. Flooding generally follows a hurricane due to both heavy rains and storm surge. Additionally, hurricane force winds and tornadoes cause significant wind damage.

Per ABC News, "Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused between $150 billion and $200 billion in damage to Texas and Florida, comparable to the costs from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005, according to a preliminary estimate from Moody's Analytics on Monday." 

Hurricane Irma Commercial Loss

SERVPRO of Baldwin County serviced a commercial client whose facility was affected by 4 ft of flood water due to Hurricane Irma. Due to lack of power for the first few days, multiple generators had to be brought in so that drying equipment could be placed. Servicing commercial clients can some times bring unique challenges because there are usually multiple parties involved. We were hired by both the tenant and the facility owner to handle the contents and structure. Due to separate parties, the claims had to be treated separately. We devoted one team to handle to the contents and another to handle the structure. The contents were inventoried; restorable items were moved into storage containers for the client while non-restorable items were disposed. In regards to the structure, mitigation was performed thoroughly and quickly to prevent loss of business interruption for both the tenant and facility owner. 

Tornado Season and Storm Cleanup

6/1/2017 (Permalink)

Know the signs of a tornado before it hits!

Tornadoes can strike quickly, and oftentimes, without much warning. According to NSSL, “A tornado is a narrow, violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground.” Tornadoes are often hard to see unless a funnel forms because wind is invisible. Tornadoes can be difficult to see unless dust and debris are gathered within the condensation. If you cannot see the funnel, debris clouds can often mark their location. Made up of water droplets, dust, and debris, tornadoes are the most violent of all atmospheric storms.

How long is tornado season exactly? In the Southeast, tornado season lasts from March through May; however tornadoes can occur through early fall. Tornadoes often follow behind severe thunderstorms and hurricanes. Unfortunately, Baldwin County is no stranger to either.

Before the Storm  

Know the Signs:

  1. Whirling cloud of debris
  2. Very still air and lack of wind, especially following severe thunderstorm or hail
  3. Dark, greenish sky
  4. Low-lying wall cloud
  5. Debris being thrown from the sky
  6. Bright flashes near the ground, especially at night

During the Storm

During the storm, it is always best to find shelter. It is never a good option to be outside during the threat of severe weather such as tornadoes. Head to a storm shelter or sturdy building if possible. If a storm shelter is available, make this your first option. If it’s not, head to a sturdy building with a basement. Basements are not very common in Baldwin County. If you do not have access to a basement or storm shelter head to a sturdy building, moving to the center away from windows and exterior doors. Stay in the shelter until the storm passes.

After the Storm

SERVPRO of Baldwin County specializes in storm damage cleanup. After the storm, SERVPRO can restore your home, business, and personal property back to preloss conditions. We have the tools, resources, and training to make any loss “Like it never even happened.” Cleaning up after a storm doesn’t have to be hard, and choosing a company doesn’t have to be, either. Call SERVPRO of Baldwin County: 251-928-9625 / 251-943-6244. SERVPRO of Baldwin County 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 this community and want to do our part in making it the best it can be.

Warm Gulf Waters – Higher Severe Weather Risk?

4/18/2017 (Permalink)

CAPE Relation to Number of Tornadoes

More tornadoes?

This winter, the average sea surface temperature of the Gulf of Mexico never fell below 73 degrees for the first time on record. Scientists have found that when the Gulf of Mexico tends to be warmer than normal, there is more energy for severe storms and tornadoes to form than when the Gulf is cooler.

One of the best predictors of storm activity is a variable known as convective available potential energy, or CAPE, which essentially measures the amount of energy available to rapidly lift a parcel vertically through the atmosphere. Values of 2,500 joules/kg are generally considered high enough to provide ample energy for severe storms to form.

A study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters in December found that the warmer the Gulf of Mexico sea surface temperatures, the more hail and tornadoes occur during March through May over the southern U.S.

Hurricanes

The implications of the warm water for hurricane season are less clear. Warmer than normal water temperatures can make tropical storms and hurricanes more intense, but wind shear and atmospheric moisture levels often play more important roles in hurricane formation.

 

Be Ready: Weather Alert Definitions

3/28/2017 (Permalink)

Weather Alert Definitions

The National Weather Service defines a severe thunderstorm as any storm that produces one or more of the following elements:

  • A tornado.
  • Damaging winds or speeds of 58 mph (50 knots) or greater.
  • Hail 1 inch in diameter or larger.

Know these definitions so you are prepared for any storm:

  • Hurricane Watch
    Winds greater than 74 mph may hit the area within 36 hours.
  • Hurricane Warning
    Winds greater than 74 mph probably will to hit the area within 24 hours.
  • Tropical Storm Watch
    Winds from 39 to 73 mph may hit the area within 36 hours.
  • Tropical Storm Warning
    Winds from 39 to 73 mph probably will to hit the area within 24 hours. Usually issued for areas to either side of the Hurricane Warning area.
  • Tornado Watch
    Conditions are ripe for tornadoes within the watch area. Tornadoes associated with hurricanes and tropical storms are typically a very significant cause of death and damage.
  • Tornado Warning
    A tornado has actually been spotted visually or on radar. Usually issued for a county. If a tornado WARNING is issued where you live, GET TO THE MIDDLE OF THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STRONG BUILDING IMMEDIATELY!!! 
  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch
    Conditions are ripe for severe thunderstorms within the watch area.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning
    There is a severe thunderstorm in or heading for the warned area. Treat this like a tornado warning!!
  • Flash Flood Watch
    Flash floods are likely to occur in the near future. Be alert for rising water and be prepared to have to move to high ground.
  • Flash Flood Warning
    Flash floods are occurring or expected to occur in the near future. If this happens, get to high ground immediately, and GET AWAY FROM VEHICLES... it only takes 18 inches of water to sweep a car or truck away!
  • High Wind Advisory
    Windy conditions may occur in the advisory area. This usually makes for unsafe conditions while driving, especially in (but not limited to) large vehicles. Also, avoid boating anywhere in the advisory area.
  • High Wind Warning
    Very strong winds are expected or already are occurring that present a significant danger while driving, boating and other outdoor activities. Often issued near tropical storms and hurricanes.
  • Special Marine Warning
    Warnings of interest to boaters, usually because of rough conditions, squall lines, waterspouts,
  • Hurricane or Tropical Storm Statement
    Statements issued periodically by the National Hurricane Center with an overview of the current situation.

Be Prepared for an Emergency. Be Red Cross Ready!

3/28/2017 (Permalink)

Red Cross Ready
Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.

At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:

  • Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).
  • 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 and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area
Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:
  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Two-way radios
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Manual can opener
Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:
  • Whistle
  • N95 or surgical masks
  • Matches
  • Rain gear
  • Towels
  • Work gloves
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Household liquid bleach
  • Entertainment items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags

Getting prepared may sound difficult or time consuming but – with a little help from the Red Cross – its actually very doable. Some of these items can be found here

Speed is Key

3/28/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage in Baton Rouge, LA

When your home or business has a water damage, it is essential to call a company that has the capacity to handle your damage and one that can provide you with IMMEDIATE response. At SERVPRO of Baldwin County, we pride ourselves on capacity and fast response.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes:

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

Have A Water Damage Emergency? Call SERVPRO of Baldwin County Today - 251-943-6244

When Storms or Floods hit Baldwin County, SERVPRO is ready!

3/23/2017 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Baldwin County, AL

SERVPRO of Baldwin County 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.


Faster Response


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.


Resources to Handle Floods and Storms


When storms hit Baldwin County, 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 251-943-6244