Recent Storm Damage Posts
What Is A Storm
What is a storm?
A storm can be defined as anything from dust devils, whirlwinds, high winds, rain, lightning, thunder, ice storm, snow storm, hail, sandstorm, and more. Depending on the severity of the storm and its form, it can cause all sorts of damage.
A storm occurs when there is a disturbance in the atmosphere.
What is a disturbance?
A disturbance is when two opposing forces, like high and low pressures are surrounding one another/combined. The level of disturbance will depend on the level of pressure.
Going back to the damages a storm can cause, what are those damages and how can they occur?
Damages from a storm can be done to the environment, to a home, or both.
Lighting can have contact with a tree or dry grass causing wildfires, or an electrical pole starting an electrical fire, or strike an electrical system in a home causing a house fire.
Too much rain/snow can cause flooding. This could take trees down, block roads, flood basements, or affect other aspects in a home.
High winds can cause power outages affecting street lights, blowing over signs, or power outages in the home.
No matter what type of storm it is, or what type of damage you may have because of it, SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties is ready to help fix it.
The Atlantic Hurricane season does not always affect us. However, it is still good to be prepared for when a hurricane does hit Virginia. Why is that? Hurricanes are very powerful and cause a lot of damage. The hurricane season is also very long. The Atlantic Hurricane season is June – November. That means that for almost half of the year we could possibly be affected by a hurricane!
Since the 1900’s there have been approximately over 37 hurricanes in VA. Instead of continuously naming the hurricanes after the area/year/month it occurred, we started naming the hurricanes. In 1953 Virginia had their first hurricane with a name; the hurricane was named Barbara. The latest hurricane that affected Virginia was named Dorian.
For safety tips on how to prepare for hurricanes check out http://www.hurricaneville.com/safety.html
In our area, every year we can experience a lot of rain, which can lead to thunderstorms. It’s important to be prepared and have a plan in place. Talk with your family and create an emergency plan for thunderstorms, floods, and tornadoes. Think about an emergency shelter and evacuation plan. Below we have a few suggestions to make sure you and your family are ready for whatever happens.
Protect your electronics
Your electronics can get fried if they are not properly protected. Plug electronics into a surge protector to avoid damage during a storm.
Prepare for power outages
Have battery-operated flashlights and lanterns in easy to get to places. Check on these items from time to time to make sure the batteries still work, replace them if necessary. Also, think about keeping the refrigerator and freezer doors shut to keep food from spoiling. If these food items rise above 40 degrees for 2 hours or more, they should be disregarded. Call your local power company to inform them of the outage and to get information regarding when the power should be restored.
Stay away from power lines
Do not go near power lines should they fall to the ground, they can be very hazardous. Call 911 if you see downed power lines.
Go inside when you hear thunder
If you hear thunder, it is likely that lightning is also occurring. Lightning can be dangerous, therefore, make sure to go inside when thunder occurs.
There are many different natural elements which can occur and be harmful when outside during a disaster. Therefore, during a storm, it is important to seek shelter and be safe. If your inside, a good place to be is at the lowest level of your home. If you have a basement or storm cellar you can hang out in until the storm passes.
Keep an emergency kit ready
Consider putting together a kit of things you may want to have on hand during a storm. Items you may want to include would be water, non-perishable food, flashlights, blankets extra batteries, a radio, and a first aid kit. If you have an emergency does strike your home during a thunderstorm, SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier counties is ready to help get your life back to normal.
How to Prepare Your Animals For a Storm
Fluffing my Feathers.
Photo Credits: Rebecca Henenlotter
Animals can't prepare for a disaster themselves Therefore, that job is left within your own hands.
Here are some tips on how to help you if a sticky situation ever arises in your area.
- Keep a list of how many animals you have, their species, and their location (with their favorite hiding spots).
You can google "fire department stickers for pets" and order stickers online or go in person to a store like Petco. The sticker should say something like "in case of an emergency ___ Dogs ___ Cats ___ etc". The sticker is good to put on your house windows, stable, barn, or even car/trailer.
- Create an evacuation kit (specific to each species).
Make sure to label the species on each kit. Let a good friend or family member know where all of these kits are located in case you are out of town during an emergency.
- Create an evacuation plan (with multiple location options)
Let a good friend or family member know what this plan is. It will keep you and your animals safe in case your route is compromised.
- Have the proper equipment to move your animals (crate, cage, trailer, etc)
Make sure to discuss this with your neighbors. As you or your neighbor may have extra equipment that you would be willing to share.
- Have at least a week's worth of food and medication ready (along with the veterinarians information).
Make sure to label the food and medications. As well as which animal should be consuming/taking what.
- Have plenty of water for you and your pets!
It is very important to have things ready for yourself as well because if you are not okay you won't be able to help your animals
- YOUR ANIMALS RELY ON YOU. PLEASE BE PREPARED!
Winter Storm Weather Ready
- Always have your vehicle checked (car battery, fluids), install good winter tires, and fill your car with gas prior to a storm
- Have plenty of Salt or kitty litter for your walkway/driveway
- Emergency ready radio flashlights, extra batteries, candles, and matches in case of an outage due to the storm
- Canned food and bottled water that is saved in case of emergencies
- Extra Blankets, gloves, and hats
- If you have animals, have extra supply for them too
- Caulk weather strip doors or windowsills to keep cold air out
- If you have a fireplace, keep extra wood on hand
- Make sure your family knows what to do, where to go, where supplies are located in case of an emergency.
- Pay attention to the local weather
- If you do not have to leave your house, then don’t
- If you have to drive, a highway will always be safer than a back road
- If you have to drive, let someone know where you are going and your eta
- Eat regularly because it will help your body produce its own heat
- Keep your body hydrated with anything but caffeine or alcohol. Both Caffeine and alcohol will actually dehydrate the body.
- Save on your electric bill by closing the door to any unused room, lowering the heat at night, covering any cracks or windows
- Wear layers and keep dry
- Cards, board games, books for entertainment/bonding time
- Stretch before you go outside and shovel; and don’t over exert yourself
- Clear off your sidewalk, car, and driveway
- Keep updated with your local news
- Try to avoid the roads until you know for certain they are clear
- Once the storm is over, enjoy the snow and go sledding
Storm Sweet Storm
After visiting your family for the holidays, and long travel time, you can't help but be excited to get home and unwind. After all, the saying goes "home sweet home."
However, some are not so lucky to come home and relax. With the weather constantly changing from warm to cold, and ice to rain, some are missing the crazy weather, but are coming home to the storm's damages.
With the weather we have been having so far this winter we have seen pipes freeze, pipes freeze and burst, flooded basements, even molded rooms and water damage from houses being left unattended for a handful or more days.
If you come home, are ready to relax, and see that your house has been damaged, don't fret. Call SERVPRO, because we are here to help, we know just what to do, and we will quickly clean up and fix the terrible aftermath of that storm!
Extended power outages may impact the whole community and the economy. A power outage is when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly. A power outage may:
Disrupt communications, water, and transportation.
Close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks, and other services.
Cause food spoilage and water contamination.
Prevent use of medical devices.
PROTECT YOURSELF DURING A POWER OUTAGE:
Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.
Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
Do not use a gas stove to heat your home.
Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.
Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.
If safe, go to an alternate location for heat or cooling.
Check on neighbors.
HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A POWER OUTAGE THREATENS:
- Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity.
- Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
- Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
- Sign up for local alerts and warning systems. Monitor weather reports.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home.
- Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last.
- Review the supplies that are available in case of a power outage. Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. Have enough nonperishable food and water.
- Use a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that you can know the temperature when the power is restored. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
- Keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and gas tanks full.
Time is money
When you need it done right and done fast, call SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties. Did you know when you hire us for maintenance cleaning, you get around-the-clock restoration services built with you in mind? Quality cleaning and quick response - that is the SERVPRO way.
Can't figure out how to get the job done? Call SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier Counties for all your emergency restoration needs. When you experience a fire, water or mold damage in your home or facility, you need fast response and the expertise to get the job done right, ensuring you can get back into operation as quickly as possible. Through it all, you expect the most reliable information and the very best service at a fair price.
American Red Cross safety tips
Check out www.redcross.org for more information!
TORNADOES Tornadoes can strike without warning and destroy a community in seconds. Before a tornado warning is issued for your area, here are some things you should do:
1. Know your community’s warning system.
2. Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.
3. If you are in a high-rise building and don’t have enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.
4. Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees.
5. Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.
THUNDERSTORM SAFETY STEPS Thunderstorms injure an average of 300 people every year, and cause about 80 fatalities. Here are the top thunderstorm safety steps you should follow:
1. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.
2. As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.
3. If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.
4. If you are inside, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.
5. If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.
FLOODING Heavy rains could fill rivers and streams, bringing flooding to the area. If your neighborhood is threatened with the possibility of flooding, here are some things you should do:
1. 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.
2. Stay away from floodwaters.
3. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
4. Keep children out of the water.
5. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of tornadoes, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States.
There is always potential for flood damage no matter where you live. According to the American Red Cross floods cause more damage in the United States every year than any other weather related disaster. The American Red Cross offers these flood safety tips:
-Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
-If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are riding rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
-Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
If a flood occurs and affects you, call SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier counties. Even minor floods have potential to cause major damage. We are faster to ANY size disaster. Let us help you get your life back in order.