Recent Storm Damage Posts
Know the Basics in Severe Conditions.
What is a Tornado?
Tornadoes are the most violent of all atmospheric storms. A tornado is a narrow, violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground.
Where to Tornadoes occur?
Tornadoes can occur anywhere, at anytime if the right atmospheric conditions are present. So, anytime you are near a thunderstorm, you need to be prepared and ready for a possible tornado.
How many tornadoes occur in the U.S. each year?
According to Wikipedia, there have been 1,267 preliminary filtered reports of tornadoes in the United States in 2019, of which at least 918 have been confirmed.
What is the difference between a Tornado WATCH and a Tornado WARNING?
A Tornado WATCH means conditions are favorable for tornado activity.
A Tornado WARNING 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 immediately.
Cleanup after a Tornado?
Call the experts in Storm and Tornado cleanup: SERVPRO of Quincy is ready and able to help you and your home and/or business board-up and cleanup after a Tornado.
For more Tornado information, please visit this source: The National Severe Storms Laboratory
SERVPRO® of Quincy wants you to be Prepared for Storms
Summer Storms: Are you Prepared?
After a storm or 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
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water - one gallon of water 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
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and 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
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.
All information available at: READY.GOV
Download the Recommended Supplies List (PDF)
Constant Rain and Flooding, can lead to Mold
Flooding brings more than water problems.
When the flood waters recede...
Flood damaged homes and businesses are very likely to experience mold damage as water and moisture permeates the structure of the building for an extended period of time. Mold organisms are found almost everywhere and only need 3 essential elements to grow: moisture, humidity and a cellulose food source (ie: wood, carpet, drywall). If you have a flood damaged home or business, keep an eye out for discoloration on surfaces and the tell-tale musty odor.
If you notice or suspect mold in your home or business, these are things you can do.
- Control the moisture. After a flood, the water must be extracted and the structure dried properly.
- All porous materials (drywall, carpeting, and ceiling tiles) with mold growth should be discarded.
- Heating and air conditioning filters need to be changed. The system will need to be inspected by a professional and may need to be replaced. Duct work will need to be cleaned.
- Appliances that contain insulation should be discarded as they may harbor mold spores that cannot be seen.
- Non-porous materials and surfaces will need to be professionally cleaned depending on the extent of the damage. Remember, if clean up is not handled appropriately, it is likely that the mold spores will spread.
Avoid the Mold, call for Assistance
Contact SERVPRO of Quincy. We are available 24/7/365. Please call us at 217-223-2993
Keeping Your Pets Warm During Freezing Temperatures
With extremely cold days ahead, it is important to not only keep yourself warm but also your pets. Like us, they can suffer from hypothermia and frost bite. Their paws are in direct contact with the ground and their ears are exposed. However, there are a few things you can do to make sure your furry friend is safe.
Pets living outdoors should have a dry and draft-free house where they can lie down comfortably but also small enough to hold their body heat. It should be raised a few inches off the ground and have cedar shaving or straw. Make sure the entrance is not facing the wind.
Your pet’s food bowls should be switched to plastic. Your pet’s tongue might freeze to the bowl if it is metal.
When using anti-freeze make sure it is out of reach of your pet. Anti-freeze tastes sweet but is deadly to your animal. If they step in it, they might lick it off their paws. There are pet friendly products you can use.
Keep your pets safe in this cold weather.
Different Types of Storm Damage
Hurricane damage sometimes includes severe wind damage. Roof damage in this situation may range from a missing roof, to harsh winds and rains shearing away asphalt tiles. Roof repair of obvious defects usually ensues in the wake of hurricane damage and storm remediation. Correcting roof damage may challenge homeowners after a disaster, since a roof leak may not appear obvious.
How can a roof leak and roof damage escape easy detection in this situation? Wind damage may loosen flashing, eventually causing another roof leak weeks after the storm. Even a subtle roof leak of this nature can produce damp, moldy conditions inside the home. Obtaining fast roof repair may prevent long term interior damage. A wind damage home restoration expert may assist clients in receiving comprehensive roof assessments and roof repair services when hurricane damage afflicts an area. Their expertise helps property owners address storm damage and roof damage more effectively.
Flooding And Recovery
Flood water frequently poses a risk in coastal areas. Yet heavy rains may cause river flooding miles inland also. If the surrounding terrain cannot absorb ground water, runoff contributes to flood water. Even residents of mountainous areas sometimes sustain varying degrees of flood damage if frozen pipes rupture. Flood pump failures contribute to basement flooding and contaminated ground water in some locations, too.
Flooding may disrupt municipal water systems. Experts need to assess ground water and evaluate the condition of pipes following flood damage. Hiring a storm restoration firm may allow you to begin your cleanup process even before water restoration occurs. (Cleaning before water restoration often proves essential yet challenging.) By relying upon a trained 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.
Visit https://www.SERVPROquincyil.com/ for more information on storm damage.
How to Protect Your Business During a Thunderstorm: 3 Tips
When thunderstorms march across Quincy, IL they can cause serious damage to your business. Power outages, downed tree limbs and flooding from a torrential rain storm are all possibilities. However, there are several strategies you can use to protect your business and employees from harm when these storms appear.
1. Keep Your Lightning Rod Maintained
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. While trees can add aesthetic beauty to your property, take care to have them trimmed and maintained 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, where they might otherwise become entangled.
3. Have a Flood Plan in Place
A heavy rain storm can cause flooding, which can happen suddenly and cause a considerable amount of damage to your business. Having a flood plan in place can prevent this, especially in the case of mitigation services. Contacting a storm damage and flood cleanup service before the wet season can be a wise choice because if your building should experience flooding, you will have help on hand right away instead of trying to find it during a disaster.
Your SERVPRO of Quincy business can take a pounding during a rain storm that includes wind or hail. Knowing how to protect your employees, customers and property can give you an edge over bad weather, no matter when it might happen.
Hurricane Michael Helpful Tips
You've just been cleared to return to your home or business and find it severely damaged by Hurricane Michael floodwaters.
Provided below is a list of self-mitigation strategies to limit losses until professional help arrives provided by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, Restoration and Certification, a nonprofit standards-setting and credentialing body for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industry.
In order to reduce damages, once floodwaters recede it's important to act quickly. Before you enter your home or business you should check for electrical hazards and structural damage and use proper protective gear like boots, gloves and respirators. Make sure to check for hazardous materials like lead paint and asbestos before starting any construction or repairs. Check out the complete list below.
- Act quickly. The longer the water sits and building materials remain wet, the more severe the damage becomes. Mold can grow within 48-72 hours, so it is best to start removing water and begin drying the structure as soon as possible.
- Ventilate affected areas to prevent mold growth. Mold lives off of moisture and organic materials such as paper or particleboard. You can help prevent damage by opening windows if the weather allows it and maintain moderate temperatures inside the structure.
- Assess damage to items and materials. Clarify the type of water that caused the damage such as rainwater, water from broken pipes, contaminated river water or bacteria-filled sewage when you are salvaging items. The IICRC recommends items that were in contaminated waters such as sewage water or river water be thrown out of disinfected by a professional remediator.
- Take photos. It can be extremely helpful for insurance purposes if you take photos before you begin working, while you are working, and once work is complete. Also, if you are going to throw contaminated items away these items should be documented with photos.
- Expose pockets of saturation. Hidden and concealed pockets of water, such as in layers between building materials, need to be opened for cleaning and drying. For example, wet carpets are typically dried by professionals with industrial fans and dehumidifiers. However, carpet padding acts as a big sponge and should be discarded. Hardwood floors and wooden trim can also be saved if they are dried properly on both sides. Be sure to check out concealed cavities such as behind walls, in mechanical spaces, under cabinets and furniture, and in crawl spaces.
- Conduct a thorough cleaning. Durable, non-porous materials, such as studs and joints, hardwood flooring and vinyl products, can be cleaned with common cleaning products or specialized products with detergents. After a careful and thorough cleaning of salvageable materials, a disinfectant solution may need to be applied in case of harmful bacteria from sewage, river water debris or even standing water that has gone bad. If vacuuming, use a HEPA-filter vacuum to remove allergens, fine dust and spores.
- Confirm drying before reconstruction. In order to prevent dry rot and structural damage, it's important not to reconstruct or cover wood and other wet materials until the moisture content has been adequately reduced. A water restoration professional can confirm proper drying before reconstruction.
For more information, call your local IICRC Certified Firm, SERVPRO of Quincy, at 217-223-2993.
Hurricane season has already begun and several named storms have developed in the Atlantic, Carribean or Gulf of Mexico. For the Atlantic, the season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. On average, there are 12 tropical storms that develop, with an average of six becoming hurricanes, according to the National Weather Service.
Hurricanes can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property damage. The National Weather Service lists the following as potential "hurricane hazards."
- Storm surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm's winds. This hazard is historically the leading cause of hurricane related deaths in the United States. Storm surge and large battering waves can result in large loss of life and cause massive destruction along the coast. Storm surge can travel several miles inland, especially along bays, rivers and estuaries.
- Flooding from heavy rains is the second leading cause of fatalities from landfalling tropical cyclones. Widespread torrential rains associated with these storms often cause flooding hundreds of miles inland. This flooding can persist for several days after a storm has dissipated.
- Winds from a hurricane can destroy buildings and manufactured homes. Signs, roofing material and other items left outside can become flying missiles during hurricanes.
- Tornadoes can accompany landfalling tropical cyclones. These tornadoes typically occur in rain bands well away from the center of the storm.
- Dangerous waves produced by a tropical cyclone's strong winds can pose a significant hazard to coastal residents and mariners. These waves can cause deadly rip currents, significant beach erosion and damage to structures along the coastline, even when the storm is more than 1,000 miles offshore.
Did You Know?
- In 2017, there were 17 named storms.
- Of the 17 storms in 2017, 10 of those became hurricanes.
- Of the 10 hurricanes, six were a category three or above.
- Dating back to 1851, 2017 was the seventh most active season on record and was the most active season since 2005.
Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Plan an evacuation route and your emergency plan, take inventory of your property and take steps to protect your home or business.
Flood Damage Prevention
According to the National Flood Insurance program flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States causing $2.7 billion in losses between 2001 and 2010. Flooding is not covered by most homeowner’s insurance policies so it may be necessary to buy a separate flood policy for your home.
Here are a couple of tips to keep water from entering your home during a heavy rain event:
- Fix foundation leaks that may allow water to enter your home.
- Make sure your roof is secure and protected.
- Clear gutters and drains
If water ever floods your home, getting someone on site as soon as possible is key to keeping the amount of damage to a minimum. SERVPRO of Quincy is ready to respond at any time and also provides a free assessment and estimate.
You Can Be Ruined, Or You Can Be Ready - With the Help of Technology
Technology can now be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters, as well as during or after to stay informed of the situation and in communication with others. From common technology you already use on a day-to-day basis to taking a few extra steps to prepare, the following will help you be ready in the event of an emergency or disaster.
Store Information Online
There are many places to store important information securely online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer a free way to store different types of files, from a Word document to images of important documents. Ready.gov suggests saving an electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records, and information on your pets, if necessary.
Follow the News
Stay informed by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels, and local government on Twitter for the most up-to-date information in a disaster situation. You can also alert first responders if a rescue is needed through Twitter.
Mark Yourself Safe
The American Red Cross offers a Safe & Well check-in site to list yourself as safe or find family and friends in situations where communication is difficult to establish.
Facebook also has a feature called Safety Check that is activated after natural disasters or a crisis. You will receive a notification from Facebook if you're located in the affected area at that time.
Get in Touch
Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in your phone and e-mail for communication with family, friends, business contacts, and others whom you may need to get in contact with before, during, or after a disaster.
Keep a portable charger in your car and home in case of an emergency. You may need to recharge this from time to time, but you can also buy solar-powered chargers as well.
Get an Emergency READY Profile
SERVPRO is proud to offer Emergency READY Profiles (ERP) for free at ready.SERVPRO.com to help prepare you, your property, or your business for an emergency.
By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your property or business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your property or business.
Put help in the palm of your hand with the Ready Plan App. Get in touch with SERVPRO of Quincy today for more information on developing an ERP for your property or business, and SERVPRO of Quincy will be there to help make it "Like it never even happened."
Stories From The Storm
Hurricane Harvey was an extremely destructive Atlantic hurricane, which became the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005. In a four-day period, many areas received more than 40 inches of rain as the system meandered over eastern Texas.
SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team deployed to assist in the cleanup and recovery efforts, responding to losses across Southeast Texas including Houston, Port Arthur, Beaumont, Corpus Christi, Port Aransas, Victoria, and Bryan/College Station.
- With peak accumulations of 51.88 inches, Harvey is the wettest tropical hurricane on record in the contiguous United States
- Economic losses are preliminarily estimated at between $81 to $108 billion, with a large portion of the losses sustained by uninsured homeowners.
- Following the storm, an estimated 550 storm crews were deployed, representing more than 240 SERVPRO Franchises. Those numbers, in addition to area Franchises, placed more than 1,000 crews in storm-affected areas. Crews travelled from as far away as California, Washington, Wisconsin, and New York.
- 20 local Franchises were impacted.
Flood Tips and Action Steps
After a Flood
Safety First (For businesses and home owners)
- Account that all employees or family members are safe by establishing evacuation plans in advance, identifying areas outside the building that are designated meeting places. Assign select individuals to keep a list of their assigned team's names and contact numbers in order to account for their whereabouts.
- If water enters the building and evacuation becomes impossible, move to an upper floor, and wait for rescuers.
- While evacuating, avoid attempting to drive through floods or rising water, nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are auto-related.
- Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- Do not walk through moving water. Even six inches of moving water can make you fall.
- Use no open flames (there may be gas escaping from ruptured mains.)
- Avoid floodwaters. Water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged. If the water has entered the structure through the flooding of a creek, stream or river, or if it has filtered through insulation during its intrusion, it is considered to be black water and could be hazardous to your health. Avoid contact with contaminated items as much as possible.
- Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
- Listen for news reports to learn if the community's water supply is safe to drink.
- Return only when authorities indicate it is safe.
Secure the Property
- Contact local emergency officials.
- Secure main entrances to building.
- Alert security company and Alarm company of the situation.
Stabilize the Property
- Open basement or low-level windows to equalize water pressure on the building's foundation and walls.
- Begin water damage mitigation steps only if local emergency officials deem the structure safe to enter.
- Notify your insurance agent or Risk Manager to determine insurance policy guidelines and steps to take.
- Take the greatest caution while entering your home, and wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing when dealing with flooded areas. Wear protective clothing at all times.
- Take photos or video to record conditions of collections and structure. Make sure images clearly record damage.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Remove any paintings, art objects, documents and other sensitive materials to a safe, dry place.
- Place fans at 45-degree angles to walls and move large furniture away from walls to create the best air circulation.
- Appoint a media liaison to report conditions and need for help/volunteers. You may have to limit access to collections.
- Do not enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
- Do not attempt to operate any electrical equipment while standing in wet or damp locations.
- Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.
- Do not leave oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
- Do no use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
- Do no turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
- Do not turn on heat unless required for human comfort.
- Do not move objects or collections without documenting their condition.
- Throw away all foods - even canned goods - that have come into contact with flood waters.
- If your home has a crawlspace, be aware excess moisture in this area can often foster mold growth.
Be Prepared: Tsunamis
Did you know tsunamis can hit any U.S. coast? While they are more likely to hit states on the Pacific coastline or in the Caribbean, it is good to know what to do if a tsunami does strike where you live, or even where you may vacation.
Ready.gov says "tsunamis, also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called "tidal waves"), are a series of enormous waves created by an underwater disturbance such as an earthquake, landslide, volcanic eruption, or meteorite." Areas within a mile of the coast and less than 25 feet above sea level have a greater risk of being hit.
As with any emergency, be sure you have a plan. Know the evacuation plan and move inland or to higher ground and avoid the beach. "The first wave may not be the last or the largest," according to the National Weather Service.
After a tsunami, do not return to the affected area until officials deem it safe. While drowning is the most common hazard, there are many aftereffects such as flooding and contaminated drinking water.
For more information on preparing for a tsunami, visit ready.gov/tsunamis.
Hurricane Season 2017
Hurricane season is currently underway. For the Atlantic, the season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season began in mid-May and also ends November 30.
Hurricanes can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property-threatening hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds, and tornadoes. While the primary threat is in coastal areas, many inland areas can also be affected by these hazards, as well as by secondary events such as power outages as a result of high winds and landslides due to rainfall.
Preparation is the best protections against the dangers of a hurricane. Plan an evacuation route and your emergency plan, take inventory of your property, and take steps to protect your home or business.
DID YOU KNOW?
- About 40% of hurricanes hit Florida.
- 2004's Hurricane Ivan produced 127 tornadoes in nine different states over a five-day period.
- To identify these storms, the World Meteorological Organization maintains a six-year rotating list of names.
For more information and preparation tips, visit the READY campaign website at www.ready.gov/hurricanes.
When Disaster Strikes
When a storm or disaster strikes, SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team is poised and "Ready for whatever happens." With a network of more than 1,700 Franchises, the SERVPRO System strives to be faster to any size disaster. Strategically located throughout the United States, SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms and highest flood waters. Providing experience, manpower, equipment and other resources, the Disaster Recovery Team assists SERVPRO of Quincy in storm and disaster situations. SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team has responded to hundreds of disaster events. In the aftermath of a disaster, there is only one objective: to help you make it "Like it never even happened."
2016 East Tennessee Wildfires:
One of the largest in the history of Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains wildfires burned more than 17,000 acres and about 2,500 structures in November 2016. The 12 crews that were dispatched worked a total of 78 jobs, where they mitigated over $1 million in damages.
2016 Hurricane Matthew:
Following the East Coast from Florida up to North Carolina, this hurricane caused major flooding, primarily as rivers rose in Eastern North Carolina. SERVPRO had 169 crews dispatched. These crews took on more than 1,050 jobs and over $7.5 million in damages.
2016 Louisiana Flooding:
Catastrophic flooding occurred in Southern Louisiana where rainfall measured 20 inches or more total, falling at a rate of more than 2-3 inches per hour in some places. This caused rivers and inland waterways to rise to record levels. The Disaster Recovery Team responded to over 830 jobs with 185 crews.
2016 Houston, TX Flooding:
In April, a nearly stationary mesoscale convective system developed over Houston, resulting in widespread rainfall rates of 2-4 inches per hour. This was a historic flooding event for Harris County, which saw a total of nearly 18 inches of accumulated rainfall. The Storm Team dispatched 81 crews to over 360 jobs, mitigating over $3 million in damages.
2015 Siberian Express:
Record sub-zero temperatures caused major problems for a large portion of the country stretching from Florida to Maine. The Midwest also experienced record-breaking low temperatures, resulting in frozen pipes and ice dams causing major problems for residents. The Storm Team dispatched a total of 257 crews from 108 Franchises to assist local SERVPRO Franchises in completing nearly 2,000 jobs.
2014 Mid-Atlantic Flooding:
Rainfall rates up to 2 inches per hour caused major flash flooding stretching from Northeast Ohio all the way to Portland, Maine. Eastern Michigan and Baltimore, Maryland, were also impacted, creating over 1,381 jobs for the Storm Team to produce. A total of 82 SERVPRO Franchises and 173 crews mitigated over $4.3 million in damages while assisting the local Franchises.
2014 Polar Vortex:
Record low temperatures caused by a break in the North Pole's polar vortex resulted in an unprecedented freezing event, spanning from east of the Rocky Mountains to as far south as central Florida, affecting all or part of 39 states and 70% of the SERVPRO Franchise System.
2013 Colorado Floods:
Heavy rainfall, with amounts up to 17 inches in some areas, resulted in widespread flooding in Fort Collins, Boulder, and surrounding Colorado mountain communities. The Disaster Recovery Team responded with 109 crews from 48 Franchises to assist the local SERVPRO Franchises in the emergency response.
2012 Hurricane Sandy:
Affecting more than 20 states, Sandy left widespread damage and flooding from Florida stretching the entire eastern seaboard to Maine. The Disaster Recovery Team placed nearly 1,000 crews in affected areas, representing over 300 SERVPRO Franchises from across the country. Teams traveled from as far as Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington.
When a fire or water damage puts the things that matter most on the line, you need the very best help on the line as well. That's why knowing the easiest ways to contact SERVPRO of Quincy is so important. Just go to http://www.SERVPROquincyil.com/ on your mobile phone or cal 217-223-2993 to get the team that's faster to any size disaster. We're a leader in giving control back to homeowners, property managers, and even entire communities after the ravaging effects of water or fire. So whether you're responsible for 1,000 square feet or 100,000 - be ready for the worst with the very best: Your trusted, local SERVPRO of Quincy Professionals.
Be Storm Smart Storm Ready
Severe weather can happen any time, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms*:
- 10,000 severe thunderstorms
- 5,000 floods or flash floods
- 1,000 tornadoes
- 2 landfalling deadly hurricanes
Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year an nearly $15 billion in damage.* Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.
Know Your Risk. The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.
Take Action. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.
Be an Example. Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.
Build An Emergency Supply Kit
- Water (one gallon per person per day)
- Food ( non-perishable 3-day supply)
- Manual can opener
- Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust masks or bandanas
- Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Hygiene items
- Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification an bank account information
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
Contact SERVPRO of Quincy at 217-223-2993 for more readiness tips and tools, including SERVPRO's Emergency READY Profile® (ERP). Having an ERP in place for your facility can help minimize business interruption in the event of a disaster.
TOOLS TO KEEP YOU SAFE
One of the best precautions you can take is to purchase a good quality weather radio. A weather radio is designed to alert you to potentially dangerous weather situations, like an approaching tornado. It allows you to warned ahead of storms, providing you time to seek shelter. A weather radio is the most reliable source for weather alerts.
Weather radios have made many advancements over the years and are very affordable. Most basic weather radios average around $30 and can be programmed to only alert you for the weather alerts you choose.
When shopping for a weather radio, look for the following key features.
- Reviewable alerts (you can scroll through alerts and turn off the siren for alerts you do not wish to hear).
- Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) alert programming (alerts when specific counties are threatened, ensuring you only receive alerts for your country).
- Ease of programming.
If you need help programming your weather radio, you can always contact your local National Weather Service Office or for additional information, including county codes for your state, visit the NOAA Weather Radio website at www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr.
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency messages sent by authorized government alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service. Alerts received at the right time can help keep you safe during an emergency. With WEA, alerts can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm's way, without need to download an app or subscribe to a service. WEA may share:
- Extreme weather warnings.
- Local emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action.
- AMBER Alerts.
- Presidential Alerts during a national emergency.
A WEA will look like a text message. The WEA message will typically show the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert, The message will be no more than 90 characters.
Visit www.ctia.org/wea learn more about Wireless Emergency Alerts, including how to determine of your mobile device is WEA-capable.
Shocking Facts about Lightning
Lightning is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities. Though the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are only around 1 in 500,000, some factors can put you at greater risk for being struck. Here are a few lightning safety tips.
Be Aware. Check the forecast before participating in outdoor activities. If it calls for thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity, or make sure adequate safe shelter is available.
Go indoors. Remember the phrase, "When thunder roars, go indoors." Find a safe, enclosed shelter when you hear thunder. Safe shelters include homes, offices, shipping centers, and hard-top vehicles with the windows rolled up.
Avoid windows, doors, porches, and concrete. Do not lie on concrete floors and avoid leaning on concrete walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.
Avoid Water. Do not bathe, shower, wash dishes, or have any other contact with water during a thunderstorm because lightning can travel through a building's plumbing.
Avoid electronic equipment. Do not use computers, laptops, game systems, washers, dryers, stoves, or anything connected to an electrical outlet. Lightning can travel through electrical systems, radio and television reception systems, and any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring. Equip homes and offices with whole-house surge protectors to protect appliances.
Tips provided by the Centers for Disease Control; cdc.gov.
Flooding Can Happen Anywhere
According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), "Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding." NOAA lists the most common flood hazards in the United States as:
- 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
- Dry Wash (Caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)
- Dam Breaks/Levee Failure
Just because you haven't experienced a flood doesn't mean you won't in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the U.S., and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP).
Flooding can happen fast in many environments. 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
- 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 area
- 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 sunscreen
- Camera for photos of damage
When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO of Quincy can help. We can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP), or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get you back in business as soon as possible. SERVPRO of Quincy can make it "Like it never even happened."
Tips for being prepared for a power outage
After an emergency you may you may need to survive on your own while you wait for help to arrive. It's important to have enough food, water and other supplies to last up to 72 hours. An emergency supplies kit should the following items:
- Water - one gallon per person per day for drinking and sanitation
- Ready-to-eat food, canned juices, comfort/stress foods
- Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and a NOAA weather radio with extra batteries for both
- Flashlights and extra batteries (candles can cause fires)
- First aid kit
- Non-prescription drugs such as pain reliever, anti-diarrhea medication, antacid and laxatives
- Prescription medications, contact lenses and supplies and denture needs
- Whistle to signal for help
- Infant formula if you have an infant
- Water and pet food if you have pets
- Moist towels, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Dust mask or cotton t-shirt to filter the air
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Aluminum foil
- A jacket or coat, hat and gloves
- A complete change of clothing including long pants, long sleeve shirt, and sturdy shoes stored in a waterproof container
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
- Rain gear
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
- Cash or traveler's checks
- Paper towels
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Signal flare
- Paper and pencil
- Personal hygiene items
- Disinfectant and household chlorine bleach
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, passports, identification, bank account numbers, credit card account numbers and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. Also include emergency contact numbers.
- Books, games, puzzles and other activities to pass time
- Alternate charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power
In the case of a power outage emergency, please be familiar with where the manual release lever is for your garage door opener and know how to operate it. Also, keep your car's gas tank full - gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps. Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power "surge" that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.
You can find more helpful tips on how to be prepared for a power outage by visiting https://www.ready.gov/power-outages. When severe weather strikes, knowing what to do until SERVPRO of Quincy arrives will make a difference. Call us directly at 217-223-2993.