Recent Storm Damage Posts
11 Items to Have in Your Home Emergency Kit
After a storm hits and the power goes out, being prepared could make survival over the next few days easier for you and your family. If you know a storm is coming, it’s smart to prepare a home emergency kit. Your survival kit should include a variety of supplies, all of which should help you survive on your own over a few days.
When you’re putting together your home emergency kit, these 11 items are essentials to include to make sure you are prepared for storms and emergencies.
Water should be one of the first and most important items you put in your survival kit. You should include a gallon of water per person for each day you plan to prepare for. If you don’t know how many days to prepare for, you should include enough supplies for at least three days.
You should also have at least three days’ worth of non-perishable food in your emergency kit. Food like canned vegetables, soups, crackers, and granola bars are perfect for adding to your kit.
First Aid Kit
Put together a first aid kit for emergency preparedness. Include items like bandages, ointments, pain relievers, cough drops, and aloe vera cream or gel.
Include a flashlight or several flashlights in your kit. Make sure they have working batteries, so you can have light if your power goes out.
Your emergency kit can also include spare batteries for things like flashlights and cell phones. If you’re including a battery pack or portable charger for cell phones, be sure to charge them before putting them in your survival kit.
Having cash on hand is a smart move, especially during emergencies. You never know when you won’t have access to your bank or your credit cards. Having cash in your home emergency kit ensures you will have money to purchase anything you might need.
Include medications and other medicine in your survival kit. If anyone in your household takes medications, pack a seven-day supply. Make sure you have other medicine like cough syrup, antacids, and fever reducers.
Emergency Contact Information
Keep a list of emergency contacts in your kit as well. Include numbers to family members, close friends, and other emergency numbers.
Put aside a supply of blankets for your home emergency kit. Include enough blankets to keep your entire household warm during the event of a power outage.
Put at least one whistle in your emergency kit too. If you’re in a dire situation, a whistle can help you signal for help from others.
Include a variety of toiletries, such as toilet paper, body and facial wipes, hand sanitizer, toothpaste, and other personal hygiene items. Keep in mind that in an emergency, you may not have access to running water, so pack items that can help you stay clean without needing to run water.
If you need further help putting together a home emergency kit or want to discuss storm preparedness, feel free to reach out to us at SERVPRO! In the case that an emergency does take place, SERVPRO is here to help restore any damage. Contact us for restoration and cleanup services in Fillmore, Cedar City, and the surrounding areas.
How to Prevent Water Damage from the Spring Thaw
As the weather warms, the spring thaw nears closer. Each year, this can pose a threat to homes if proper spring flooding preventative measures aren’t taken, and you’ll want to be sure to take proper actions to prevent home water damage.
Before the spring thaw comes around, be sure to take proper measures to prepare the outside and inside of your home.
Outside Your Home
Clear Ice and Snow around Your House
Clearing three feet of ice and snow from around the sides of your home can prevent water from getting into your home’s foundation. Not only can it protect your foundation, but it can keep water from getting into your basement.
Clear Out Gutters
Although there won’t be any leaves to clear out of your gutters, it’s still smart to clean them out to prevent ice and snow buildup. Your gutters have an important role during the spring thaw: if your gutters are blocked by ice or snow, the gutter water can overflow and cause home water damage.
Inside Your Home
Consider a Sump Pump for Your Basement
Basements are prone to spring flooding, which is why it’s worth considering installing a sump pump if you do not already have one.
Sump pumps that have a battery backup will kick on, pumping water out even if a winter storm causes a power outage. They’re also an excellent preventative measure for spring-thaw flooding.
Unplug & Move Appliances in Your Basement
If you have a refrigerator, laundry machines, or other appliances in the basement of your home, they can pose an incredible threat during a flood.
To protect your appliances and your home from electrically charged water, be sure to unplug all appliances and electronics in your basement during the spring thaw.
Aside from unplugging them, move any appliances and electronics that you can carry out of the basement during spring flooding season. If appliances are too big or heavy to carry upstairs, try elevating them on cement or wood to protect them from floodwaters.
Consider Installing Backwater Valves
Where spring-thaw floods are concerning, you should consider having backwater valves to protect your basement and home from sewage flooding.
If a main swerve backup happens, backwater, or backflow, valves will automatically close to protect your home from flooding. They can be installed in your basement sewer connections to prevent further home water damage.
Home Water Damage Restoration from SERVPRO
Even with your best efforts and preventative measures, home flooding can still happen. At SERVPRO, we can help with home water damage! Our team is eager to assist you, so feel free to contact us to discuss any damage or restoration you may need.
10 Tips to Help You Survive a Winter Power Outage
With winter storms, come winter power outages. While a power outage may not be avoidable, you can stay warm without electricity and survive the outage. Take the recent power outages Texas has been experiencing as an example. Outages can often be unexpected and leave many people in dire situations. But if you take the necessary steps, you can be prepared for power outages caused by winter storms.
1. Stay Warm During Winter Storm Power Outages
When the power goes out, it can get significantly cold very fast. You want to be sure you can stay warm during power outages by taking the necessary precautions.
Keep Doors and Windows Shut
First, you want to have all doors and windows completely shut. If there are any cracks in the doors or windows, use towels to prevent drafts and cold air from coming in.
If you have black blankets or towels, these can also be used to draw extra heat into your house. By hanging them on windows or laying them on the floor where the sun shines, you are insulating the windows and bringing in heat directly from the sun.
Have Blankets on Hand
If you expect a winter storm, be sure to have several blankets on hand. Having enough blankets for your whole family can help you and your family to stay warm without electricity. Be sure to also dress in multiple layers.
2. Avoid Traveling During Winter Storms and Power Outages
If weather conditions are dangerous, such as sleet or freezing rain, it’s never a good idea to travel. Avoiding traveling altogether unless it is absolutely necessary.
If you do have to travel during a winter storm, be prepared. Keep an emergency travel supply kit in your car and make sure you’re not traveling alone. Additionally, be sure someone knows where you are headed so that they can know if you arrive safely.
3. Keep a Non-Electric Heater
If you experience a winter power outage, have a backup non-electric heater installed in your home. Fireplaces and wood stoves are great at keeping you warm, but you need to be careful when using them. Be sure they are cleaned regularly and safely store any fuel for them.
4. Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning while Trying to Stay Warm
If you are using a non-electric heater, be sure to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. To do this, clean out your fireplace or wood stove before lighting it. Also, be sure the area is ventilated so that the fumes produced can leave your home.
5. Keep a Stock of Water and Non-Perishable Foods
Always have a stash of bottled water and non-perishable foods on hand in the event of a winter power outage.
It’s recommended to have three days’ worth of a supply of water on hand for your entire household. This means you should also have three days’ worth of food for everyone, including pets. Keep non-perishable foods in your pantry, such as canned vegetables and soups, granola or fruit bars, crackers, and nuts.
6. Have an Emergency Kit Prepared
Before a storm is expected to hit, take the time to put together an emergency kit. These kits can include first aid, medication, blankets, and flashlights. You can also include candles, extra batteries, pre-charged portable chargers, a small tool kit, and toiletries.
7. Keep Children and Pets Safe
During winter power outages, it’s extremely important to watch out for children and pets. Stay in the same room as them. If for some reason you need to travel in the winter storm and your children are old enough to stay home by themselves, keep emergency supplies for them.
Make sure your children know where emergency phone numbers are in case they need to reach someone. Have any medication they might need accessible and be sure they are dressed in layers.
Be sure to also dress your pets in any clothes you might have for them as well. If you do not have pet clothing, keep your pets wrapped in blankets for warmth.
8. Avoid Using Phones for Non-Emergencies
If you’re in the middle of a power outage, then you have limited cell phone batteries, which is why phones should be used only for emergencies.
Limiting the amount of time on your phones can help preserve your battery length. It’s smart to conserve your phone’s battery if you have an emergency and need to reach someone. Be sure to also have pre-charged portable chargers so that you can charge your phone throughout the power outage.
If you need to contact family members to confirm their safety, text them. Texting uses less power and doesn’t congest the network, leaving phone lines open for emergencies.
9. Prevent Further Damage
While your power is out, go around your house to unplug appliances and electronics. You won’t be needing them during the outage. By unplugging them, you’re protecting them from a power surge when your electricity does come back on.
You can keep one lamp plugged in and switched on. Although, the lamp won’t work, when it does flick on, you’ll know the power has come back.
10. Be Prepared to Evacuate
On the off chance that you need to evacuate your home during a winter power outage, there are a handful of things you should turn off or unplug before you evacuate.
Turn Off the Main Breaker and Water Main
Before leaving, be sure to turn off your main breaker. If you have a circuit breaker panel or power supply box, turn that off as well.
You also need to turn off your water main. After doing this, you need to drain any water from the system by opening all taps and flushing toilets in your house several times. Open your drain valve to empty the hot water tank as well.
After flushing toilets and draining sinks and tubs, spray antifreeze into the water left behind to prevent it from freezing over.
Be sure to also unhook major appliances like washing machine hoses and drains. If you haven’t done so already, go through your house and unplug other appliances and electronics as well.
If your home has been hit by a severe winter storm, we can help you with damage restoration. Our team is happy to help you with any needs, so reach out to us to discuss your options. Contact us to learn more about our services or to set an appointment today.
10 Things To Do To Prepare For A Severe Windstorm
Wind Damage Protection
Weather warnings for a windstorm can bring a host of anxieties and apprehensions. The biggest of them is whether your home will be able to withstand the onslaught of harsh winds. Luckily, there are some things you can do to ease those concerns. We’ve come up with several precautions you can take to ensure that your home will make it through the storm with flying colors.
Preparation is half the battle, they say. So, let’s win this war with these 10 tips!
1) A Simple Plan
Whether you plan to ride out the storm and shelter in place at home or leave for somewhere safer, you need a detailed plan for either option.
- If you plan to get out of Dodge, you should have a route mapped out, the safest way to get there, which roads to take, food and supply for the journey, and some spare cash.
- If you plan to wait it out at home, you should make sure you have enough food in your pantry. Dry foods like beans, rice, and lentils are a good source of protein, take up little room to store, and make hearty meals. If you buy tinned food, make sure to check the expiration dates. You’ll also want a fully-stocked first-aid box, pet food if you have pets, toilet paper, and water bottles.
2) Out & About
Inspect the area surrounding your house. If there is any equipment outside that could get swept away in the wind, either bring it inside or secure it to something sturdy. Any trees that are in danger of falling over and damaging the house should be cut down and removed.
3) A Roof Over Your Head
The roof takes a real beating during a windstorm, so make sure the roof of your home is in good condition before the storm arrives. Have it repaired if need be.
4) Add Fuel
Make sure all your cars and generators have full tanks of fuel. In an emergency, if the power fails, a generator can be a lifesaver.
5) All That Glass
Windows and doors with glass can be really vulnerable in a windstorm. These can be especially dangerous if they break towards the inside. Make sure to protect all the windows and glass doors in the house with pre-fitted windstorm shutters.
All electronics, computers, and anything plugged into a power source can short circuit and cause a fire. Additionally, if power lines go down during the windstorm, the appliances can surge when the power is restored. Unplug all appliances, computers, and electronic equipment before a storm comes. It would also be a smart idea to make backups of all important data on these devices.
7) Household Chemicals
Make sure that all household chemicals, like cleaning products, are properly sealed, placed in secure plastic bags, and stored somewhere high and safe, like a tall cabinet.
8) Tune In, Turn Off
Use duct tape on any cracks or spaces around the windows and doors to prevent the winds from entering your home. Turn off the electricity from the main source.
9) Get In Touch
In the case of a severe storm, form neighborhood communities beforehand. During the windstorm, keep your portable radio close and keep checking for weather updates. Afterward, check in with your neighbors to make sure everyone is okay. Help out if anyone is running low on supplies. Check in on the elderly.
If you have pets, it’s important to understand that your pet will feel even more anxious and scared than you during a windstorm. Keep toys, treats, and a leash ready to ensure they don’t run and hide somewhere dangerous.
These precautions should ensure minimal damage to your home, and the safety of you and your loved ones during a windstorm. If your property does sustain any damage from the wind, your best bet is to contact Sevpro of Cedar City/Fillmore. We’re the best in the business and will make sure your house is shipshape in no time.
Fighting an After-Flood Smell
This home flooded due to a storm in Cedar City, UT and suffered severe water damage.
Have you ever been inside a building or car that has recently flooded? If so, you know the stench that flood water often leaves behind. The combination of mold growth and sewage loss can create a foul odor.
Before you learn how to expel this smell, there are a few things you should never try to in Cedar City, UT:
• Cover the odor up with other scents
• Ignore it
• Think bleach alone can work
• Keep the doors and windows closed
Don't Try This at Home
Instead, try the following methods:
Call a Professional
The first thing you should do when you notice that musty odor is to call a restoration crew. Mold growth is no small problem. It can cause structural and health issues. A cleanup company has the necessary tools and experience to solve your problem.
Dry While You Wait
In many cases, professionals from a flood water restoration company can come quickly after you call. However, there are a few things you can do while you await their arrival. First, do your best to dry out the affected area.
You can open doors and windows to get air flowing. If the weather doesn't permit you to open your windows, try firing up the dehumidifier instead. Furthermore, you should keep children and pets away from the area.
If your furniture was in the path of the flood, you might wish to start getting the musty smell out of the upholstery. It may seem counterintuitive, but white vinegar can help absorb the odor. Spray some on affected areas and wait for the vinegar smell to dissipate. When it does, you may notice the mold smell has gone with it.
There’s no doubt that the smell of mold growth after flood water affects your home can be sickening. In addition to these measures, be sure to call a professional in Cedar City, UT, to rid your home of mold.
Big Winter Storm Safety Preparation.
Big winter storms can be deadly, even when they are not they can cause a lot of problems as well as health and safety hazards. Here are a few tips that can help you weather the bad weather.
- Obtain alternative power sources such as a generator to keep essential appliances running if the power goes out. Especially if you are dependent upon medical devices that require electricity.
- Maintain an appropriate supply of fuel to run the power source for a few days.
- Charge your phones prior to the arrival of the storm and avoid excessive use of phones if you do not have a way to charge them.
- Obtain or keep extra food on hand that can be prepared even if you cannot use your stove.
- Avoid unnecessary travel prior to roads being cleared of snow.
- Avoid traveling in flooded areas if possible.
- Ensure that you have alternative ways to stay warm if the heating system in your home is not operable due to loss of power.
- Freeze gallon jugs of water that can be put in your fridge to help keep food cold.
- Use some of it in a cooler to keep food cold.
- Have flashlights with fresh batteries or candles and a way to light them.
In Cedar City it often seems as though the wind never stops! This is great if you like to fly kites but it is not always so great for your house and property. Here is a list of things that need to be checked for damage after a strong wind storm.
- Shingles or roof tiles.
- Rain gutters on your house.
- Siding on your house.
- Windows and window shutters if applicable.
If you do experience wind damage and notice missing shingles or roof tiles call SERVPRO of Cedar City to tarp your roof. We tarp roofs as a temporary solution to help in case it rains before a roofer can get to your property. If you didn't know your roof leaked and you do experience rain damage, well, we can help with that too.
SERVPRO of Cedar City is open 24/7/365 for any emergency big or small. Call (435) 251-9241.