Preparing for Hurricane Season
Hurricanes can shatter lives as well as damage property. Being prepared can help you, your family or your business minimize the impact of the storm. The best way time to start is before the threat is imminent. Here's what you need to know.
Don't wait until a hurricane watch is issued, because it may already be too late to take certain precautions. Reduce property damage and get through any hurricane emergency with less stress by preparing before the season begins.
1. Plan your evacuation route well ahead of time
If you live on the coast or in a mobile home, you may have to evacuate in the event of a major storm.
While you'll no doubt get instructions from the local government, it's wise to create your evacuation plan well before a disaster strikes. This way, you can know ahead of time about the nearest shelters, take your pets into account in your plan, make sure to take important papers and make a trial run.
2. Keep non-perishable emergency supplies on hand
When a hurricane warning is issued, people run for the stores. As much as possible, get ahead of the rush having the following on hand:
- Extra batteries
- Candles or lamps with fuel
- Matches (keep these dry)
- Materials and tools for emergency home repairs–such as heavy plastic sheeting, plywood, a hammer, etc.
- Prescription drugs
- A three-day supply of drinking water
- Food that you don’t have to refrigerate or cook
- First aid supplies
- A portable NOAA weather radio
- A wrench and other basic tools
- A flashlight
If you need to evacuate, you'll bring these supplies with you. As expiration dates approach (for example, food or batteries), use the items and replenish your emergency stash.
3. Take an inventory of your personal property
Creating a home inventory will help ensure that you have purchased enough insurance to replace your personal possessions. It can also speed the claims process, substantiate losses for income tax purposes and is helpful should you need to apply for disaster aid. In the event you need to evacuate, be sure your home inventory is among the important documents you take with you.
4. Review your insurance policies
This hurricane season insurance checklist can help you to understand your coverage and whether it’s adequate to repair or rebuild your home, if necessary, and to replace your belongings
Keep in mind that your homeowners insurance covers the cost of temporary repairs for hurricane damage, as well as reasonable additional living expenses (ALE) over and above your normal living expenses if you have to relocate (such as the extra expense of getting to work or to school if your temporary home is in a different community).
However, your homeowners policy doesn’t cover flood damage, so you may want to consider looking into flood insurance. If you live by the coast, you may also need a separate policy for protection against wind and wind-blown water damage.
If you have questions about what your current policy will cover or need to augment your current coverage, contact your insurance professional.
5. Take steps to protect your home
Hurricane force winds can turn landscaping materials into missiles that can break windows and doors and much of the property damage associated with hurricanes occurs after the windstorm when rain enters structures through broken windows, doors and openings in the roof.
While retrofitting your home to protect against these possibilities is undoubtedly an expense, you can do it in stages.
- Replace gravel or rock landscaping materials with shredded bark, which is lighter and won't cause as much harm.
- Cut weak branches and trees that could fall on your house and keep shrubbery trimmed.
- Install storm shutters to protect your windows from breakage. Alternately, fit plywood panels to your windows, which can be nailed to window frames when a storm approaches.
- Make sure exterior doors are hurricane proof and have at least three hinges and a deadbolt lock that is at least one-inch long.
- Sliding glass doors should be made of tempered glass and, during a storm, covered with shutters or plywood. These types of doors are more vulnerable to wind damage than most other doors.
- Replace old garage doors and tracks with a door that is approved for both wind pressure and impact protection. Wind coming into your home through an opening this large poses grave problems for the rest of your home—especially your roof.
- Seal the outside wall openings such as vents, outdoor electrical outlets, garden hose bibs and locations where cables or pipes go through the wall. Use a high quality urethane-based caulk to prevent water penetration.
- If you live in a mobile home make sure you know how to secure it against high winds and be sure to review your mobile home insurance policy.
- If you have a boat on a trailer, know how to anchor the trailer to the ground or house—and review your boat insurance policy.
6. Take steps to protect your business
Hurricanes take a toll on businesses, too so be prepared.
- Create an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP). In the event of a hurricane this will help your business quickly recover.
- Keep contact information for employees, suppliers and vendors current so you can check on their well being and communicate next steps for resuming normal business operations.
- Review your business insurance policies in order to understand what's covered.
For more information please check out this article. https://www.iii.org/article/preparing-hurricane
Stay Alert During Hurricane Season
Our team here at SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia have taken the time to research and bring you ways to stay alert during this hurricane season. These hurricane can bring in numerous losses. Being aware of what is going on may not keep you from having a loss but to be better prepared when it happens. Monitor the storm using your local news station for important updates. Hurricane tracking systems are advanced enough that you should know days ahead of time if a hurricane is coming your way. Watch local news stations, or listen to local radio stations to keep track of its progress.
- Have a storm radio on hand so that you can still listen to updates even if electricity and the cell towers go down.
Sign up for text alerts to be updated regularly on your phone.
Many communities have text/email systems in place that will alert you of emergency situations, including severe weather like hurricanes. Do an internet search of your town, city, and county with the word “alerts” to find out if these measures are available in your area.
- If you're a student, your college or university likely has an alert system you can sign up for.
- Some communities will send out severe weather warnings even if you don’t sign up for them. For instance, governments can use Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) to push notifications to WEA-enabled devices and they may update you on emergency weather conditions. But it’s always a good idea to sign up and make sure you’re covered.
Use an app or website to constantly monitor the storm's progress.
With a weather app or website that has radar, you can watch the storm's progress in real time as it approaches. Plus, you should get weather service alerts for your area, as long as you allow the app or website to use your location.
Water Damage Loss Recovery
Water damage can originate from a variety of sources, and damages may be widespread. Broken pipes, sewage backup, leaks from appliances, bad weather, and roof leakage are all common sources of water damage. Even an upstairs neighbor’s leaky washing machine can cause water damage and mold growth in your home. Water can damage your personal property and the contents of your home, leaving you with extensive damage to mitigate. Such damages may include destruction of wood floors, tiles, wooden frames, drywall, or sub-flooring, and these damages can sometimes be difficult to detect before they become extensive.
Water-related disasters can strike at any time, often suddenly or unexpectedly. Due to the nature of water damage, the effects usually take some amount of time to show up. Issues like separation and splitting of wood and other types of finishes or furnishings may not show up until much later, and mold growth may not be initially apparent.
Get Assistance Right Away!
Proper emergency response is critical in the first 24 hours following a water loss. Damaged items should be removed immediately, and the process of drying out those items should begin as soon as possible. Wet carpet needs to be completely pulled in order to eliminate conditions that could lead to mold growth or further damage. Simply using a blower to dry carpet from an uplifted corner isn’t enough; often, the padding may also be soaked and in need of replacement.
How water loss is handled in these first moments after the damage appears is a critical factor that can have a big impact on the outcome of your property damage claim, so it’s imperative to have an experienced and properly trained professional by your side to guide you through the steps.
Since water losses are the most frequent type of insurance losses, and that's why SERVPRO has paired with numerous insurance companies across the U.S. to help the process run more efficiently. At SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia, we can help you navigate the complex and highly-technical world of water damage losses and ensure you are completely taken care of after your loss.
Contact us about your water damage loss recovery today. (334) 371-7378
Red Cross Helps With Flooding
Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Flooding often occurs following a hurricane, thawing snow, or several days of sustained rain. Flash floods occur suddenly, due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area. Learn what to do to keep your loved ones safe!
Red Cross has put together a checklist to help you with flooding. This includes before the flood, during and even after the flood.
They have a simple website that is easy for navigation and can help you find shelters and even apps to keep you update on everything that is going on in your area. Once all of the rain has stopped and the water in your home or business has subsided you can call us here at SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia to come in and evaluate the situation and get you back in to your home in a timely manner.
Let's Minimize Your Down Time
One of the biggest challenges a business faces when dealing with an unfortunate structural damage issue is business interruption. How does the office continuing operating? What happens to inventory on-hand and supply orders? Is the business able to continue servicing customers? These concerns are stressful not only for owners and executives, but also the employees counting on their jobs. At SERVPRO® of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia it is our primary focus to minimize or eliminate business interruption issues so that our clients are able to continue their normal business functions for their clients and staff. Beside cleaning or drying services, SERVPRO® of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia is able to assist with furniture and equipment relocation, computer and machinery restoration, document restoration and long term storage if needed. When damage affects your business, trust SERVPRO® of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia to keep your operations running and to make your loss “Like it never even happened.”
How about your sink?
It's the busiest room in the house. If home is where the heart is then your heart is really in the kitchen because its the heart of any home.
We take running water for granted and we take perfectly functioning plumbing for granted almost all of the time. Do you know when you think about plumbing? When it's no longer functioning perfectly.
The kitchen sink get used throughout the day and we see a lot of failures with the kitchen sink. Remember to treat you faucet with respect and never over pack the cabinet under the sink with cleaners, garbage pails or dish racks. These items can knock into your plumbing and create a leak.
We think about this stuff because we live it everyday. A perfectly functioning kitchen sink is not appreciated enough, but the moment it's no longer perfect you can call SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia at (334) 371-7378 to dry it up.
Fire Content Restoration
From furniture to antiques to artwork and appliances, SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia will treat your treasures with the care they deserve. While some items can be cleaned on-site, in many cases we'll need to inventory, pack out and transport the contents of your property to our state-of-the-art facility to ensure the best care possible.
- Contents may need to be cleaned off-site
- Contents inventory
- Determine replacement and restoration
- Ozone treatment
- Odor removal
- We arrive on-site and inventory all of your personal belongings.
- We carefully pack all salvageable items to transport to our secure warehouse and cleaning facility.
- Non-salvageable contents are inventoried and discarded.
We have trained professionals to help you establish replacement values versus restoration costs. We are also available for pricing of non-salvageable inventory items.
- Thorough cleaning
- Proper handling of all electronics
- Photographs and artwork
- Soft goods
- Dry Cleaning
- Odor Removal
Fire Safety Tips
SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia has browsed the internet looking for tips to help our clients better prepare for a fire in their homes. We found this list of tips from the American Red Cross website. We hope they help. If you have any questions call our office at (334) 371-7378
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
- Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
- If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.
- We partner with the American Red Cross and also our local fire departments so fire prevention is VERY important to us! These tips are from REDCROSS.ORG
What to do in the Event of a Thunderstorm
SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia has been involved in emergency storm assistance for many years now and during that time has actively worked with local insurance companies and emergency management teams to assist people in extremely difficult and dangerous situations. With severe weather season fast approaching our area, it is important to be reminded of some basic safety tips in order to stay prepared and alert during our ever changing weather patterns.
From the Alabama Division of Emergency Management:
“When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!”
- Before a thunderstorm arrives, know the key warning signs: dark clouds, lightning, and thunder
- Get informed with a weather radio or by watching the news
- Have an emergency kit on hand that includes flashlights, battery operated weather radio, first aid kit, food and water, and essential medicines
- Stay inside and sheltered. If outside, move indoors or into a vehicle. Get out of water immediately. If trapped outside, make yourself as small as possible in a low lying area
- Make sure to wait at least 30 minutes after the storm has passed before going outside
In addition, in order to be prepared for a tornado:
- Have a family tornado plan in place and practice a family tornado drill
- Watch for weather signs like dark greenish skies, large hail, dark low clouds and load roaring sounds
- Put as many walls and floors between you and the tornado as possible
- Flying debris is the greatest danger during a tornado
- If in a mobile home – GET OUT! Find a neighbor, underground shelter, or permanent structure for safety
As a trusted leader in emergency response for our area, SERVPRO of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia is committed to helping our community be prepared for weather emergencies. As a 24 hour emergency response partner, SERVPRO is dedicated to providing immediate and professional services to you and your family should the need arise during this severe weather season.
We are Local!
When it comes to water damage look no further than your LOCAL SERVPRO® of Greenville/Troy/Andalusia.
Why SERVPRO? Because, we are your neighbors!
We service the local area and are not an out-of-town restoration company. We can get to you faster, you probably have passed our building in Greenville, and you can trust us to put your home in our hands. Some of the areas we service are listed below:
We are proud to serve our local communities, call us today at 334-371-7378. We are here to help 365- 24/7. When you call, we answer. We want to make you water and fire damages "Like it never even happened."