Recent Storm Damage Posts
5 Preparedness Tips for Flooding
Have sandbags ready on entry points to your building
How to Prepare for the Possibility of Flooding
Storm season can certainly keep you on your toes. When you have a business in Melbourne, FL, it’s good to know how to prepare for the possibility of flooding. Here are five tips to help you be well prepared for anything a storm may send your way.
- Have an Emergency Plan
A big part of preparing for flood damage is simply having a plan of action in place. Evacuation paths should be mapped, and those maps should be posted on every level of your building so that people know where to go in an emergency. Designate emergency responsibilities before the disaster occurs so that people know what is expected of them.
- Waterproof Your Building
Even if your building is flooded during a storm, having a solid building envelope can lower your flood cleanup costs. Have your building inspected regularly to find cracks or spots that are worn so that you can get the necessary repairs.
- Elevate Equipment and Furniture
Electrical equipment and furniture can both be damaged beyond repair during flooding. Elevate furniture, sockets, electrical panels, appliances and all wiring where floodwaters can’t get to them.
- Have Sandbags Ready
A good way to stave off excess water is to put up barriers. Set sandbags near doors, windows and other vulnerable entry points to your building. Barriers may delay the flow of water enough that you can avoid storm damage altogether.
- Update Your Insurance Coverage
It’s a smart idea to check your insurance policies periodically to make sure that all potential problems are covered. If you don’t have a policy that pays for services from storm cleanup experts, you may have to pay for a lot of damage out of pocket the next time a storm heads your way.
Flooding is a common occurrence when there is a storm in your area. By making sure your employees, your building and your insurance is adequately prepared, you can prevent a lot of damage and handle the problems that do occur with relative ease.
Preparing for Storms with the National Preparedness Community
Make a Plan, Build a Kit, and Get Involved. If you need help in Viera call us.
SERVPRO of West Brevard and the National Preparedness Community is where we connect and collaborate on emergency preparedness. Use us to empower yourself to prepare and to coordinate preparedness activities with your family, neighbors, co-workers, and those with whom you may study or worship. We contribute what we can about what we know; ask for what we need; keep doing what is working; communicate about what is not working, and when possible, offer suggestions towards solutions. When we are connected and collaborate, we are more effective and efficient at educating and empowering ourselves to prepare for disasters and emergencies.
The Ready Campaign established four universal building blocks of emergency preparedness:
America’s PrepareAthon! builds on this foundation by encouraging millions of Americans to focus on a simple, specific activity that will increase preparedness.
America’s PrepareAthon!, a new national community-based campaign for action that focuses on increasing emergency preparedness through hazard-specific drills, group discussions and exercises. National PrepareAthon! Days are held every spring and fall. During National Preparedness Month we ask you, your family, community and workplace to take action by planning a National PrepareAthon! Day on or around September 30th. We recommend using digital media tools as a way to promote National Preparedness Month, September 1st-30th.
If you are in Melbourne, Palm Bay, Viera, West Melbourne, Malabar or anywhere in Flagler County and are in need of information on Disaster Assistance, please call us at (386) 447-2202 or see http://www.fema.gov/apply for help.
How to Prepare for Spring Storms
Gulf of Mexico waters are freakishly warm, which could mean explosive springtime storms for Florida and surrounding areas.
“Spring is the first kiss of Summer” -Anonymous
Spring has arrived and the excitement of summer, warm sun rays, and hot days are just around the corner. Although spring represents the end of winter and new beginnings, it also consists of spring showers, thunderstorms, and unpredictable weather, which can cause severe problems if not properly prepared. Since Florida weather already seems irregular, how do you prepare for unexpected spring storms, what do you do in the event of severe weather conditions, and what is needed to stay safe among hazardous conditions following a storm?
Preparing for the unknown can save lives, so we have provided these important preparation steps.
Organize an Emergency Plan
Putting a plan in place can potentially save you and your family’s lives. But one plan may not work for every type of severe weather condition, such as thunderstorms, floods, and tornadoes. For instance, your evacuation plan for a tornado should be different than if a flood occurred and the streets are two feet under water. Each emergency plan prepared needs to include a map of your home, routes to safety, and an emergency shelter or destination. Being prepared for each type of life-threatening weather condition is important in keeping your family safe before and after a disaster.
Go Inside When You Hear Thunder
According to the American Red Cross, lightning strikes are the leading killer. Every year lightning has killed more people than hurricanes or tornadoes. When you hear thunder, loud or soft, go inside! With lightening strikes following thunder, every lightening flash is a potential killer.
Protect Your Electronics
To avoid damaging your electronics during a storm, you should plug all electronics into surge protectors. By doing this, the surge protector protects your electronics from burning up due to voltage strikes. If any electronics are not safeguarded by surge protectors, unplug the devices before a storm.
Keep an Emergency Kit
Because severe weather can be unpredictable, you need to put together an emergency kit beforehand. When preparing an emergency kit you should include a first aid kit, a 3-5 day supply of water, nonperishable food, personal hygiene items, blankets or sleeping bags, flashlights, a battery-operated radio, and extra batteries. Make a list of important information to have on hand, like your insurance and utility company’s phone numbers. In case you get stuck in severe weather on the road, keep a second emergency kit in your car.
We, at SERVPRO believe that by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail
Safeguarding Your Business From Storm Destruction
Prevent flood water from destroying your business in Indialantic,FL
How to Fortify Your Building
When a major storm event such as a hurricane is barreling towards your business, time is of the essence in preparing your commercial building. Flood water from heavy rains can cause tremendous damage to an unsecured structure and force you to close your doors for weeks or months while you undergo an extensive restoration process. Protect your business in Indialantic, FL, from the devastation of a storm by following a few simple guidelines to fortify your building.
- Watch the weather. One of the most important steps in preventing a flooded building is also one of the simplest – pay attention to your local weather forecasts and take any severe weather or flash flooding alerts seriously. Use the advance warning to enact preventative measures like placing sandbags around the perimeter of your business and moving expensive electronic equipment to a higher level of the building.
- Design an action plan. When a storm is about to hit, every staff member needs to have a specific role in preparing your business to withstand the destruction. Assign tasks to each team member so nobody gets overwhelmed. For example, one person should be in charge of fortifying the building to keep out flood water, another person should take care of backing up important electronic data, and someone else should supervise a final evacuation drill.
- Prepare for restoration. Even a well-prepared business can sustain water damage if a storm is especially severe. That’s why it’s a good idea to have the contact information for a reputable commercial storm damage restoration company on hand in case you need professional assistance in the cleanup and repair process. Enlisting the help of an expert means you can reopen your doors faster than if you try to manage complex reconstruction yourself.
A storm heading towards your commercial building means you need to take immediate action in preventing flood water from destroying your livelihood. By staying calm and taking steps to safeguard your building, you can ensure your business will ultimately withstand the destruction of a severe weather event.
How to Keep Your Business Safe During a Storm
Lightning rods protect your building by safely redirecting the electricity
How to Keep Your Business Safe During a Storm
While a rain storm is generally harmless, it can sometimes turn into an emergency if it becomes more severe. If this happens, it is important to keep both your Melbourne Beach, FL, business and your employees safe. The following tips can help you do this.
1. Maintain Lightning Rods
It is important to regularly maintain and inspect any lightning rods that your building has. Because they help to protect your building from lightning by safely redirecting the electricity, they need to be in good condition and working properly.
2. Avoid Using Desktop Computers
During a thunderstorm, it is best not to use desktop computers or other electronics that need to be plugged in. They can be damaged if they are in use during a power surge, and this can also be a hazard to your safety. If you do need to use these items for work, use wireless alternatives such as laptops or tablets instead.
3. Stay Away From Windows
If there are high winds during a storm, these can pick up lighter items and debris near the building. It is possible that the wind will carry them toward the building and they may end up cracking or shattering a window. For this reason, you should have employees work away from these areas.
4. Trim Trees Close to the Building
Like debris, tree limbs that are close to the windows can damage your building during a rain storm with heavy winds. To prevent this from becoming a problem, you should keep them trimmed and remove any loose limbs.
Even if you think it will pass quietly, you should make sure that your business is prepared for an emergency during a rain storm. Make sure that you and your employees are all clear on what is expected during this situation and how you should respond during severe weather. If the building is damaged during the storm, a cleanup and restoration service will be able to perform repairs to return it to its previous condition.
3 Things You Should Know About Roof Damage Mitigation
Roof damage in Port Malabar, FL
3 Things You Should Know About Roof Damage Mitigation
After a storm in Port Malabar, FL, your house might have some damage that you need to take care of. In some cases, this will include roof damage. Before repairs can begin, however, the restoration company might need to do some mitigation. The following are a few things that you should know about this process.
1. When Do You Need Mitigation?
If you have roof damage that could become worse over time, then mitigation should be done right away. It will likely be required if you have missing shingles, cracks or holes in your roof. After an inspection has been performed, mitigation is the next step. Particularly if the damage is severe, it is important to get it done quickly.
2. Why Do You Need Mitigation?
The purpose of mitigation is to keep any damage to your home from getting worse. There are several things that could happen before repairs begin that could make the process even more complicated and time-consuming. Even small cracks can allow water to get inside the house, which can damage your belongings or the structure of the building. It can contribute to the growth of mold as well. Holes in the roof can allow further wind damage and can even let in small animals. Mitigation will help prevent this.
3. What Happens During Mitigation?
During the mitigation process, the cleanup and restoration company will cover any cracks or holes in the roof to prevent water, wind or debris from creating more problems. This is often done with a tarp, but more severe cases might require the use of wooden boards. Mitigation can sometimes include cleanup and sanitization as well.
If mitigation is not performed on the roof damage to your house, it could make the restoration process more difficult. When damage worsens, it requires more time and money to repair. Because of this, you should always have mitigation done as soon as you can.
Landlords and Renters: Flood and Water Damage Responsibilities
Water damage in a Melbourne Village, FL residence
When flooding affects apartments and other rented properties, both the landlord and the tenant are affected. Unfortunately, water damage happens quickly and worsens are time passes, so there's no time to figure out who is responsible for what. As a property owner with renters, you must understand what you're responsible for (such as damages you caused) and help your renters understand where their responsibilities lie (such as purchasing renter's insurance.)
In many areas of the country, landlords are not responsible to insure their tenants. Instead, tenants should have their own insurance policies. However, if property owners have been negligent in maintaining their property and flooding is the result, property owners are generally liable for the damage. Other responsibilities include
- Hiring flood damage and repair professionals to correct and/or replace plumbing, wiring, appliances, and structural damages
- Repairing rental units until they are habitable again within a reasonable time (i.e. as quickly as possible)
- Reporting claims to their insurance coverage provider
- Tracking expenses related to the flooding to submit to the insurance provider
As landlords work to fulfill their duties, renters must also work to complete specific tasks on their end.
Renter's insurance is necessary if renters or tenants hope to be reimbursed for furnishings and other personal belongings. For the best outcome, property owners should advise their renters to purchase the insurance coverage. Many providers require a 30-day waiting period, so renters should act quickly. Other responsibilities include
- Complying with safety regulations
- Seeking their own temporary living location
- Contacting their insurance provider with reports of the damage
- Notifying landlords if they choose to cancel the lease and move
- Staying in communication with landlords
If flooding causes significant inconvenience but doesn't force tenants to leave the housing, they may request rent adjustment during the flood cleanup period.
Renters in Melbourne Village, FL, share concerns with property owners when their apartment or rented living space suffers flood damages. It's best that both parties understand their area of responsibility and work together to recover.
3 Flood Response Tips for First Responders
Avoiding walking or driving through quick-moving water
How to Keep Yourself Safe When Responding to a Flood
As a first responder, there are many types of disasters that you will need to respond to in Melbourne Village, FL, including storms and flooding. However, to help others, it's important to protect yourself as well. There are several ways you can keep yourself safe when responding to a flood.
1. Ensure You Have the Correct Immunizations
When a flood occurs in your area, emergency responders are often the first to help people in need. Responding to a flood or another type of disaster, however, can put you at risk for several conditions, especially if you are interacting directly with patients. The CDC requires that all emergency responders receive vaccinations to protect against tetanus and hepatitis B, but there are additional vaccinations that can also be beneficial to receive.
2. Use Appropriate Equipment and Tools
Wearing and using the proper equipment and tools can help to prevent injuries and can make your job as a first responder significantly easier and safer. Wearing protective clothing can help to limit your exposure to potentially harmful materials in and around water. In environments that may contain unsafe chemicals or bacteria, wearing a respirator and goggles can also help to protect you.
3. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Assisting others after a flood has occurred is an important job that can come with various hazards. When there is standing water in a residential area and emergency restoration services have not assessed the area, it's often useful to be cautious of electrical hazards. Avoiding walking or driving through quick-moving water unless you are equipped with the appropriate equipment is also wise. Additionally, it can be useful to avoid exposure to contaminated water if possible.
In order to have an effective flood response as a first responder, it's helpful to focus on your safety. Having the right vaccinations, using appropriate equipment and tools and being aware of potential hazards around you can help you to perform at your best.
Pump Maintenance and Usage
You can check if your sump pump is free of obstructions by pouring a few gallons into the basin
Maintenance and Testing Tips to Keep Your Pump in Working Order
The risk of a basement or crawlspace flood in Indialantic, FL, is high enough that many homeowners choose to equip their homes with pumping equipment to remove any excess water. Review the following maintenance and testing tips to keep your pump in working order.
1. Routine Testing
While the typical sump pump doesn’t need an excessive amount of care or attention, a checkup here and there can prevent the need for professional flooding cleanup later on. Every few months, ensure that the pump has adequate power and can turn on and off. Take a small amount of water and pour it in the basin near the pump to check that the floating bob and level can rise and fall properly to activate the pumping mechanism.
2. Kinds of Blockage
Even functional pumping equipment will fail to remove water from your basement if the water cannot reach the intake. Check the pump’s inlet screen and remove any accumulated dust, silt, or other debris. If the screen has holes or indentations, find a replacement. Foreign material in the pump mechanism can dramatically shorten its lifespan. Also check the outlet pipe to the yard for clogs and damage, as this can also prevent the pump from moving water. Any cracked or rusted pipes or connections should be replaced, preferably with a silicone-based sealant around the joints.
3. Other Considerations
Many pumps may need additional lubrication around the bearings. If you notice the pump working at reduced efficiency or hear an unfamiliar noise, it may be time to purchase the appropriate grease or oil for your machine. A trash pump is a specialty pump that can remove water mixed with solid debris. Renting one of these from a local dealer may be necessary if your sump pump fails and water floods your crawlspace.
Maintaining your equipment is the first line of defense against home flooding. By scheduling a few simple pump checks, you can prevent costly damage in the long run.
Sources of Storm Damage and Their Effects
A hurricane or a massive storm isn’t the only cause of destructive moisture in a house. The washing machine, dishwasher or shower could leak. The destruction from these would be less visible than a flooded basement from a nearby river overflowing. Frozen pipes in the winter are a common occurrence, causing burst pipes and water everywhere. Vicious rainstorms have been known to make even the best-built roofs to leak. Window air conditioner units are another common cause of destructive moisture in a home. Some backyard swimming pools could rupture and flood the basement.
Effects of Storm Damage
Some of these causes of water damage are hidden inside the walls and floors of a house. Water stains on the ceiling would give the homeowner a clue that something is wrong. Another way to detect damage is by checking the walls for warped drywall, buckling baseboards and separating moulding. Carpet with wet spots and buckling hardwood floors are another dead giveaway that there is too much moisture inside the house. If a sewer backup is the cause of damage to the house, there will be dangerous organisms loose in the structure in addition to the mold and mildew that comes with water damage.
4 Ways Gutters Keep You Avoiding Water Damage
Clean your gutters regularly to keep your home damage free during a storm.
Sometimes gutters can seem like a bit of a nuisance. Oftentimes, leaves and other debris can collect in the gutters forcing the homeowner to climb a ladder and dig out the clogged gutter. But gutters play an important role for a home. They keep your roof in good condition, protect the home’s foundation, protect any wooden areas of the home, and help to keep the home clean. Here are some of the ways that gutters protect your home.
Keeping Your Gutters in Good Condition
When homeowners suffer leaks inside their home, the cause is often due to issues with the roof. These issues are often the result of either drainage problems from the roof or issues with the shingles. One of the primary purposes of shingles is to protect your home from the elements. Any issues with those shingles could allow water to get underneath the roof and into the home causing costly water damage. If you have clogged, damaged, or missing gutters, the water that falls on the roof will not be directed away from the home resulting in standing water collecting on any flat or low areas of the roof. Subsequently, this can lead to shingle damage which will allow water to seep through the roof and into the home potentially causing significant water damage. The way to avoid this problem is to keep your gutters in good condition. Regularly clean any leaves or other debris out of the gutters as the weight of the debris and collected water could cause damage. Also, make sure that the gutters are not pulling away from the home.
Protect the Foundation
Damage to a building’s foundation is one of the most costly and serious problems a homeowner can face. That’s assuming the damage caused is repairable in the first place. The main way a building’s foundation can be damaged is by water collecting at the base of the home. When the gutters of a building are not properly directing water safely away, the rainwater that falls on the roof flows right off the roof and collects at the base of the building where it can cause problems to the foundation. Over time, this can cause cracking and sinking to the point where the structural integrity of the building is put into question.
The purpose of gutters on a home is to collect the water that runs off the roof and direct it away from the building. This will help to avoid any trouble with the foundation or any wooden parts of the home. It also has the effect of keeping the outside of the home clean. Making sure that your gutters are in good working order will help keep your home from suffering from potentially severe water damage. If you do experience water damage, call on the professionals at SERVPRO to restore your home.
Facing Flood Damage Without Flood Insurance? Know Your Options
Damage roof by storm in Indian Harbor Beach, FL
For many homeowners, flood insurance can easily sound like a perk at best or anxious overkill at worst. That’s until a busted pipe, a rising water table or a flash flood happens. Now you’re looking at two feet of water in your basement and facing a mountain of expense with no way out. Or are you? It turns out Indian Harbor Beach, FL, homeowners without coverage still have options if they know where to look.
What is Flood Damage Insurance?
At its most basic, this is specialized insurance to cover damage to your home caused by excess water. Offered in all 50 states, this insurance is obtained through the federal government's NFIP flood insurance program with help from a local insurance agency. Like any insurance policy, flood coverage involves deductibles and covers specific items like:
- Carpeting and window treatments
- Foundation walls
- Personal items
As with homeowner’s insurance, there are limits to what’s covered and deductibles before coverage is provided.
What Happens If You Don’t Have Flood Coverage?
If the unthinkable happens and you don’t have flood coverage, you’re likely to have to shoulder much of the expense. But there is some help available from federal government grants and low-cost loans. The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers grant money that can substitute for flood insurance. So does the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Best of all, you can apply for FEMA grants if your area is covered under a federal disaster. Also, you can likely get expedited approval and more immediate assistance if your home is uninhabitable.
After a flood, there’s everything from housing to flood remediation to worry about. For some, a lack of insurance is another strain. If you’re facing flood damage without insurance, try the above tips to get the help you need. And if disaster hasn’t struck, whether you live on a flood plane or not, consider investing in coverage in advance.
The National Flood Insurance Program: Options and Coverage
Thunderstorm damage on a garage in a Melbourne Beach, FL residence
Commercial property owners in Melbourne Beach, FL, can get both building property and personal property coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program offered under FEMA. These commercial insurance policies can protect you from the massive cost of repairing your business after a major storm.
Scope of the Coverage
The NFIP is designed to offer protection in the event that a single flooding incident occurs. Flood insurance typically pays for damages to property that are caused directly by the flood in question. Therefore, a flood policy would not cover:
- Water damage, such as a mold problem, that results from the neglect of the property owner to hire remediation services in a timely manner
- Losses that result from the interruption of business operations
- Sewer backups that were not caused by the flood
- Property located outside the building, such as landscaping, other structures or vehicles
Building Property vs. Personal Property
Your commercial insurance policies through the NFIP can either be building property coverage, personal property coverage or both. Building property insurance covers the actual structure of the building and the equipment or systems that are inherently a part of it. For example, repairs to the fire sprinkler system and the HVAC system are paid for by this policy. It also covers permanently installed or built-in features such as walk-in freezers. Personal property insurance covers the items in the building that are affected by flooding. Appliances, furniture, inventory, carpets, machines and equipment fall under this coverage. Valuable items, such as art, may also be covered to a certain extent, although it is advisable to have an additional policy to insure these items. Personal property insurance can also cover vehicles that don't require a license to operate as long as they are stored in the building.
When storm season in Palm Bay, FL, arrives, you may need both building property and personal property insurance for your business. These commercial insurance policies protect you from the daunting costs of rebuilding after a flood.
5 Things Not To Do During a Hurricane
Hurricanes are hard to completely be certain what path they will take. Even if the Florida weather meteorologists come close to predicting the path, the hurricane can quickly shift or turn at the drop of a dime. Because of the amount of uncertainty hurricanes bring, here are 5 things not do to when riding out a hurricane.
1. Don’t tape windows
It does almost no good, and it is an absolute mess to try and take off.
2. Don’t run generators indoors
The carbon monoxide the generator’s emits can become deadly within minutes. Also you shouldn’t connect a generator into your home’s electric system directly, because it can affect electric lines outside and endanger your neighbors, emergency responders, and /or utility workers.
3. Don’t use charcoal or gas grills indoors
The carbon monoxide and fire risks are too great. The grill’s carbon monoxide can easily build up and poison anyone inside the house, including your pets.
4. Don’t walk or drive in flood waters
The waters can contain snakes, alligators, downed power lines and sewage, which can all be dangerous and deadly. If you drive a vehicle in flood waters that are six inches or more, the waters can cause a car to float.
5. Don’t stay after an evacuation order is given
Rescuers might not come out in the height of the storm, but if they do you are putting your life and their lives in danger. Your life is not worth the same amount as your home or anything in it. A home can be replaced; your life can not.
Hacks for Surviving Hurricane Irma
Living on Florida’s Space Coast, hurricanes have become a familiar part of life, and over the years I have picked up some hurricane hacks that have saved me time and money. Here are several of the tricks I have picked up during my experience through hurricanes.
A dishwasher can act as a waterproof safe. Just take the dishes out to store important documents or non-waterproof valuables.
Freezer Fail Detector
It can be hard to know if your power went out while you were on vacation. If it did, your food might not be safe. Fill a jar halfway with water then freeze and then place it on its side. Put the jar upright before you leave and take note if the water has melted and refrozen at the bottom of the jar to find out.
Use your washing machine as a cooler. Fill it up halfway with ice, and then fill it up with items that need refrigeration.
Strap a headlamp onto a water jug to make a light. You can make several of these, and set them throughout your home.
Stock Up on Crayons
If you have kids, you probably have a ton of crayons lying around — which means you also have a bunch of mini-candles at your disposal if disaster strikes. File this under "good to know" and leave crayons and a paper plate in various drawers around the house.
Covert AAA Batteries to AA batteries in a Pinch
Many more devices take AA batteries than AAA batteries. So in the event of a prolonged power outage, you'll probably find yourself running out of the right size batteries. Fear not, because if you have some AAA batteries, you can easily turn them into AA batteries with just a little foil. I wouldn't recommend doing this out of pure laziness in a nonemergency situation due to the fire hazard potential, but in a pinch it can work.
DIY Air Conditioner
Keep cool without air conditioning. It’s a good idea in the summer to fill up empty two-liters with water and keep them in your freezer. If the power goes out, you can place one frozen two-liter in front of a battery operated fan and sit directly in front of it for a DIY air conditioner.
Summer Safety Tips
Summer is a time to enjoy Brevard’s beautiful beaches and the great outdoors, but it is important to stay safe.
While these summer months are full of barbecues, beach days, boating and fishing, keeping safety in mind isn’t always at the top of your to-do list. These summer safety tips should be applied to ensure you and your family is safe all summer long.
- When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluid designed for barbecue grills. Do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
- When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hose for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
- It only takes 10 minutes for a baby’s skin to burn, but sunscreen isn’t safe for infants under 6 months. Keep babies out of the sun!
- Only broad-spectrum sunscreens of SPF 15+ can protect skin from UVA &UVB rays. Don’t use any sunscreen less than SPF 15+.
- The sun’s rays are their strongest from 10AM-4PM. Be sure to limit your time in the sun during this time and wear sunscreen.
- Sunscreen is only 1 level of defense against the sun. Protect yourself by adding wide-brimmed hats, protective clothing and sunglasses for more coverage.
- Wear a life vest (PFD). Even if you’re a strong swimmer, at least bring one on the boat with you. Children, ages of 12 and under, must be wearing a life vest at all times. NOTE: 90% of drowning victims were not wearing a life vest.
- Never drink alcohol and pilot a boat; it is illegal and is the leading cause in deadly boating accidents.
- Maintain a safe speed; be aware of other boaters and swimmers. Know the right of way while on the water. Also be familiar with the waters you are navigating.
- Fishing hooks are very sharp and need to be handled with care to avoid injury. Before casting, it is important that you should look around you and stay unobstructed to avoid hurting other people with your hook.
- It is always advised that you avoid fishing alone. Always be with a friend, as when emergency strikes, there can be someone who can call for help.
Hurricane season has begun and it is important to take steps to prepare early this year. As Floridians, we think why? Hurricane season comes every year and it is as common to us as the changing of seasons. But this year may be different. Professionals are expecting a season unlike the last 10 seasons Florida has seen. This season is projected to be above-normal, meaning warmer waters, more activity, and higher level storms. Last year, Hurricane Matthew woke some of us, Floridians up, and reminded us how strong and dangerous hurricanes can be.
Knowledge and preparation is key, especially knowing that this season may be more active than those of the past.
Start a Hurricane Kit
Prevent your family from potential stress and chaotic, and start gathering supplies that will be useful when affected by a storm or forced to evacuate. First make a list of the supplies specific to your family’s needs. For example if you have children that needs diapers and bottles or elderly relatives that live with you that may have medications they cannot go without. Be detailed when creating this list. Keep this list in your hurricane kit, and when a hurricane approaches, you can focus on gathering these items and won’t worry about forgetting anything essential.
After the specific supply list, gather supplies you and your family will need if your home loose power for a few days. Some recommended items include:
- Non-perishable food (enough to last at least 3 days)
- Water (enough to last at least 3 days)
- First-aid kit (include any prescription medication you may need)
- Personal hygiene items and sanitation items
- Flashlights (have extra batteries on hand)
- Battery operated radio (again, have extra batteries)
- Waterproof container with cash and important documents
- Manual can opener
- Lighter or matches
- Books, magazines, games for recreation
- Special needs items: pet supplies and baby supplies if applicable
- Cooler and ice packs
- A plan for evacuation and for if family members are separated
Once you collect all the supplies, put everything is a bag or box and label it your Hurricane Kit.
Protecting Your Home from Flooding
Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States and can cause extensive damage. Between 2001 and 2010, flooding caused a total $2.7 billion worth of damage. It’s important to remember that your homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover flooding so if you want to protect yourself financially, you will need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. The best way to avoid one of these issues is to take preventative measures so, if you do suffer from a flood, you suffer as little damage as possible.
You may think that a flood will not occur at your home but everyone is in a flood zone, no matter where you live. Flooding occurs in all 50 states of the United States. In fact, 20 percent of flood claims come from areas where the flood risk is considered low. Because of this, it is important that you are prepared should a flood occur at your home.
Tips for Protecting Yourself
No matter where you live, it is a good idea to have a bag ready to easily pack in case you are forced to evacuate due to a storm. If a major storm hits and water begins to collect around or in your home, you may need to make a quick getaway. Items that should be included in case you have to quickly evacuate include a change of clothes, your insurance policy numbers, the phone number of your insurance agent, your insurance company’s main number, essential toiletries, and cash for emergencies. If you return to find damage to your home, you should immediately contact the professionals at SERVPRO to come restore the house. Remember, when you are dealing with water damage, every minute counts.
Prior to your evacuation, you should have already mapped out your evacuation route and know where you are evacuating to. This is not only so you know where you are going but also because if a mass evacuation occurs such as for a hurricane, finding a hotel or other lodging could become quite difficult. Make sure you always follow any evacuation orders by emergency personnel. These decisions are made for your own safety.
If you do have to evacuate, it is a good idea to shut off the power to your home at the main electrical panel. This will ensure that you do not have any electrical situations should flooding occur in the home. When dealing with electricity, always make sure you are not standing in water as this could cause severe injury.
Tips for Protecting Your Home
There is always a chance that water damage can occur in your home. Oftentimes the situation is unavoidable. But there are certain precautions you can take to limit the risk of such an event occurring.
Fix Any Leaks
If you have any leaks in your roof or cracks in the foundation of your home, make sure to take care of those immediately. These can weaken the structure of your home. If you have leaks in your roof, water could get into your attic and walls creating damage to items and creating health hazards such as mold and mildew.
If you are replacing your roof, a good preventative step is to add protection to your roof. You can do this by having a rubber roof underlayment installed. This underlayment will act as a waterproof barrier that is placed under the shingles to protect the roof from any water that may threaten to get through.
Clean Gutters and Drains
The purpose of your gutters is to carry water away from the home and protect it from potential water damage. However, if your gutters are clogged with leaves and debris, it can block the exit for the water causing it to collect. This can cause damage to your roof and leaks into your house. Also, check any storm drains on the street for the same issue.
Battery-powered Sump Pump
The inclusion of a sump pump allows you to pump water out of your home. This can work as a great defense against flooding in your home. If a storm hits and you lose power, a sump pump run by electricity will fail to work. But if you have battery-powered sump pump, the pump will continue to run, ridding your home of excess water.
No matter where you live, flooding can occur in your home. But by taking safety precautions, you can avoid substantial damage that could cost you thousands of dollars. Taking preventative steps will ensure that you, your family, and your home are safe. If you do suffer flooding and need restoration services, call on the professionals at SERVPRO.
Tips for Dealing with Flood Damage
Flood damage doesn’t just make your home uncomfortable, it can also cause additional problems if not handled properly. If you suffer from flood damage, or any kind of water damage, it’s important that you contact the professionals at SERVPRO to clean up as more dangers can be caused if it’s not done correctly. These are some of the steps that must be taken to avoid these problems following water damage.
Only Use Emergency Generators Outside
Emergency generators release exhaust and fumes that can make the house uncomfortable. To avoid exposing yourself and your family to these gases, these generators should only be run outside and far away from the home where they won’t cause any problems for the occupants of the home. Also, keep the generator away from any openings such as windows and doors as this gives the fumes another opportunity to enter the house and cause trouble for those inside.
Remove Water Soaked Porous Materials
Any porous materials such as wallboard, insulation, carpeting, wood paneling, or wallpaper have the potential to develop mildew or mold when they get wet. Mold and mildew can be difficult to get rid of and can force the homeowner to order an expensive restoration. To avoid the potential of these issues water damaged porous materials must be removed quickly after being damaged before the mold or mildew has the ablility to develop.
Disinfect and Test Flooded Drinking Water Wells
If you have a drinking water well that has been flooded, it many have been contaminated with waterborne pathogens and should be disinfected and tested. First you should disinfect the well water with bleach. Then, several days later, test the water to ensure that it’s safe to drink. If it has been contaminated, the water shouldn’t be used for drinking or cooking. There is a four-step process that will guide you to getting your well back into service.
Refrain from Using Plumbing
After a flood occurs in a home, the septic system needs some time to properly dry out. During that time, you should refrain from using the home’s plumbing such as toilets, sinks, showers, or doing laundry. This will help to prevent any sewage backups inside or outside the home which could result in the existence of bacteria, viruses, and other germs.
Flooded Heating and Air Conditioning
Heating and air conditioning systems that have been exposed to flood water could be damaged causing either repair or replacement. Natural gas furnaces, space heaters, and boilers contain gas valves and controls that could corrode if they’re exposed to flood water. Propane systems should be dealt with the same as natural gas-fired equipment except that propane systems have a gas pressure regulator which is used to sense outside pressure. This regulator is a small vent that’s in the body of the machine and should remain unobstructed at all times. Debris from flood water could cause a dangerous malfunction or corrosion. If you’re using electric heat, it should be unplugged and allowed to dry while a heat pump should be cleaned, dried, and disinfected before being used again. If your heating system needs to be repaired or replaced following a flood, make sure to check for asbestos that may be a result of the damage.
A home that has suffered flood damage can be very uncomfortable to live in until it has been properly restored. While property has likely been damaged and possibly ruined, there is also the possibility of bacteria and viruses that could cause serious health problems for those in the building. If you’ve suffered flood damage in your home, you should immediately call on the professionals at SERVPRO to remediate the problem.
Palm Bay Storm Series: What To Do After a Flash Flood
Pay attention to local radio and TV for information about the weather.
Storm Series: What To Do After a Flash Flood
If a Palm Bay flash flood has hit your business or home, you are probably wondering what to do. There are a few things that you should do right after a flash flood:
• Pay attention to local radio and TV for information about the weather. Even after water has receded, there might be danger of flooding. News outlets will let you know when it is safe to go outside or return.
• Assess the utilities, and switch off the electricity if you see broken or frayed wires, see sparks, or smell any smoke or burning insulation. If you need to go through water to get to a circuit breaker or fuse box, talk to an electrician regarding what to do. If you have damaged sewage and water lines, immediately contact a licensed plumber. If you can smell propane or natural gas, leave the area right away and contact your Fire Department.
• Make sure not to drink well water or tap water until it has declared free of contamination and safe for drinking. Do not even use it to wash your hands, wash dishes, make ice, or prepare food. If you have an undamaged water heater or any melted ice cubes, you can use these instead. If you do not, and you really need water, the best solution is to boil water for a minimum of 1 minute, and then cool it down and store it in clean containers.
• Use bleach, as it will kill some bacteria. Mix eight drops of regular liquid household bleach with a gallon of water, and let it sit for half an hour before using it.
• Be protective, keeping an eye on all children and pets.
• Stay away from flood-ravaged areas.
• Pay attention to barricades that have been put up to protect you. Also, stay off of roadways, to avoid hazards and to enable emergency workers to have easier access to victims.
• Avoid moving water. Six inches of this water is enough to knock you down, and a couple of feet can actually move vehicles. This water is more dangerous than it appears.
• If you absolutely have to travel through a Palm Bay flood damaged area, be extremely careful. Wait until there is no moving water, be sure to wear sturdy shoes, and gauge firmness and depth of ground before taking every step. Watch out for contaminated water, hidden animals, electrical hazards, hazardous debris, eroded walkways and roads, and other types of danger associated with traveling. Do not enter any building that is surrounded by flood water, until it has been declared safe so that you can be sure that it will not collapse due to weakened structures.
• When you are in the process of cleaning and repairing, make sure to get the help you need. Call SERVPRO if you need restoration services for items that have been damaged by water. Once the water has receded, meticulously clean and disinfect every what item, so that you can protect everyone there from potential contamination. Make sure that you wear protective clothing, such as boots and rubber gloves, while you are doing your cleaning. If you have a lot of water damage, you may need mold remediation, upholstery cleaning, and carpet cleaning to restore your home.
• Any food items that have come into contact with flood water should be disposed of, including canned goods, baby bottles, bottled water, and even plastic utensils.
• Make sure to only hire reputable and professional contractors for any repair and clean up needs. Be wary of potential scammers.
• If your basement is flooded, drain only about a third per day, as overly rapid water removal may cause structural damage or collapse.
• Talk to your insurance agent about Palm Bay flash flood recovery claims, as the typical homeowner's insurance policy will not cover this damage.
• Pay attention to your radio or TV, as you may see helpful information about assistance that is available in your region.
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.
Water damage Melbourne - flood waters penetrate a home
Reduce the amount of water damage that occurs after a flood.
What is Melbourne Water Damage Mitigation?
Water mitigation or Melbourne water removal generally means reducing the amount of water damage that occurs after a flood or a substantial pipe leak. Water mitigation prevents more damage by taking rapid, smart actions and is always necessary after plumbing fails or when flood waters penetrate a home or business.
Tips To Mitigate Water Damage Melbourne Before and After a Flood
Move Valuables To Higher Locations
Place valuable (and often irreplaceable) items like family heirlooms, family photo albums, personal tapes, medical records and so forth on higher ground or even higher floors. Leaving this type of property in a basement, for example, is a disaster waiting to happen.
The same applies to hazardous materials. Always put substances such as oil, cleaning supplies, paint and other toxic materials well above ground level.
Check Your Sump Pump
Clean out your home or business's sump pump and pit. Next, test it out by pouring water into the pit. For additional protection, it's wise to have a spare submersible sump pump.
Use Permanent Grids To Cover Basement Floor Drains
Put a partially inflated inner tube around the drain. Next, cover it with a piece of plywood that's slightly larger than the tube. Secure the plywood and ball in the drain in place. Expect some seepage.
Prepare Appliances For Flooding
Turn off appliances at the fuse box or breaker panel and place large appliances like washer-dryers and freezers on top of cement blocks or wood planks to keep their motors above water. If high water is near and these type of appliances can't be readily moved, wrap them up in polyethylene film using cord or rope. Even if water still gets in, the silt buildup will be greatly mitigated and Melbourne water removal will be ten times easier.
Get Snow Away From Your Home's Foundation
If the ground around your home is sloped 1 inch per foot, move any snow at least three to five feet to mitigate flooding if and when the snow melts.
Keep Water Out of Window Wells
Considering that windows can't sustain much pressure, build dams around them and shape the ground so that water drains away from the house avoiding water damage restoration.
Gather Supplies In Case of a Electricity Outage
Round up essentials like non-perishable food, bottled water, a battery-powered radio and flashlight, and batteries before a flood happens.