Recent Storm Damage Posts

Memorial Day 2019

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

Memorial Day is a time at which we remember those who lost their life’s while serving in the military. Traditionally observed on May 30 but now officially observed on the last Monday in May. This Memorial Days local forecast has a high of 100 and a low of 85 with a 0% chance of rain. If you have any damages to your home during this Memorial Day weekend give us a call. We are a 24/7 emergency response company.   

SERVPRO of Winter Haven is a Florida State licensed Certified Building Contractor, Mold Remediator, and Mold Assessor. We are IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified in Fire/Water/Mold clean-up & restoration. Call us at 863-551-5004, we are always here to help.

2019 Hurricane Season Is Right Around The Corner

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricane season is right around the corner. Are you Prepared? With the catastrophic winds and rains from last years hurricane season, many families and businesses suffered. With families trying to rebuild their homes and companies  putting their businesses back together it’s easy to get sidetracked from the upcoming season. Be prepared! Know where to go and what to do in case of an emergency. Give us a call if your home or business has water, fire or mold damage. We can help!

SERVPRO of Winter Haven is a Florida State licensed Certified Building Contractor, Mold Remediator, and Mold Assessor. We are IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified in Fire/Water/Mold clean-up & restoration. Call us at 863-551-5004, we are always here to help.

Preparing for an Emergency Disaster

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Don’t wait – take the following safety steps with your family today.

Make an emergency supply kit.
Gather supplies like water, medicines, and blankets. You won’t have time to search or shop for these supplies during an emergency, so put your kit together now. Make sure your kit includes:

  • Water for at least 3 days. You’ll need at least 1 gallon of water a day for each person. Don't forget water for your pets, too!
  • Food for at least 3 days. Choose foods that don’t need to be kept cold and that you don't need to cook – like energy bars, peanut butter, crackers, and canned fruit. Don’t forget a can opener!
  • Prescription medicine that you take every day, like heart or diabetes medicine.
  • A first aid kit to treat cuts, burns, and other basic injuries.  (You can also buy first aid kits at many stores.)
  • A battery-powered radio with extra batteries or a hand crank radio.
  • A flashlight and extra batteries.
  • A whistle to call for help.

Keep your emergency supplies together in a backpack, bag, or easy-to-carry container. Use a waterproof container if possible. Store your supplies in a place that’s easy to reach.

These and many other helpful tips are available at ready.gov. SERVPRO of Winter Haven is a Florida State licensed Certified Building Contractor, Mold Re-mediator, and Mold Assessor. We are IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified in Fire/Water/Mold clean-up & restoration. Call us at 863-551-5004, we are always here to help.

Hurricane - What to know before they happen!

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricanes

Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over warm ocean waters and move toward land. Potential threats from hurricanes include powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, tornadoes, and landslides. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The Pacific hurricane season runs May 15 to November 30. Hurricanes:

  • Can happen along any U.S. coast or in any territory in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.
  • Can affect areas more than 100 miles inland.
  • Are most active in September.

IF YOU ARE UNDER A HURRICANE WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

  • Determine how best to protect yourself from high winds and flooding.
    • Evacuate if told to do so.
    • Take refuge in a designated storm shelter, or an interior room for high winds.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.

Prepare NOW

  • Know your area’s risk of hurricane.
  • If you are at risk for flash flooding, watch for warning signs such as heavy rain.
  • Practice going to a safe shelter for high winds. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room in a sturdy building on the lowest level that is not subject to flooding.
  • Based on your location and community plans, make your own plans for evacuation or sheltering in place.
  • Become familiar with your evacuation zone, the evacuation route, and shelter locations.
  • Gather needed supplies for at least three days. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets.
  • Keep important documents in a safe place or create password-protected digital copies.
  • Protect your property. De-clutter drains and gutters. Install check valves in plumbing to prevent backups. Consider hurricane shutters. Review insurance policies.

When a hurricane is 36 hours from arriving

  • Turn on your TV or radio in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include food and water sufficient for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
  • Review your evacuation zone, evacuation route and shelter locations. Plan with your family. You may have to leave quickly so plan ahead.
  • Keep your car in good working condition, and keep the gas tank full; stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.
  • If you have flood insurance, your policy may cover up to $1000 in loss avoidance measures, like sandbags and water pumps, to protect your insured property. You should keep copies of all receipts and a record of the time spent performing the work. They should be submitted to your insurance adjuster when you file a claim to be reimbursed. 

When a hurricane is 18-36 hours from arriving

  • Bookmark your city or county website for quick access to storm updates and emergency instructions.
  • Bring loose, lightweight objects inside that could become projectiles in high winds (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans); anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building.
  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.

When a hurricane is 6-18 hours from arriving

  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Charge your cell phone now so you will have a full battery in case you lose power.

When a hurricane is 6 hours from arriving

  • If you’re not in an area that is recommended for evacuation, plan to stay at home or where you are and let friends and family know where you are.
  • Close storm shutters, and stay away from windows. Flying glass from broken windows could injure you.
  • Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temperature when the power is restored.
  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.

Survive DURING

  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Do not drive around barricades.
  • If sheltering during high winds, go to a storm shelter, or a small, interior, windowless room or hallway on the lowest floor that is not subject to flooding.
  • If trapped in a building by flooding, go to the highest level of the building. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising flood water.
  • Listen for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery outdoors ONLY and away from windows.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown! Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water.

Be Safe AFTER

  • Listen to authorities for information and special instructions.
  • Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing and work with someone else.
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock.
  • Avoid wading in flood water, which can contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends.
  • Document any property damage with photographs. Contact your insurance company for assistance.

Flood Tips

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Flood Tips Flooding

Intense tropical squalls & thunderstorms happen often in Florida, and can produce flash floods. Here are some tips to get you through the emergency.

Advance Preparation

Prepare in advance with a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP). Our convenient mobile app stores all your utility and emergency response information in one place, so you can access this information from your smartphone or computer.

Watch for Pooling Water 

Look for places around your property where water pools, and channel it away from buildings. Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and they are directing water as intended.

Maintain Sump Pump 

If you have a sump pump, check to be sure it is operational before water starts rising. Consider a back-up generator to ensure your pump works when you need it most. Contact your insurance agent to add coverage in case your sump pump fails. 

Raise Storage Goods 

Use shelving and/or pallets to keep storage items off the floor to reduce the impact of small floods. In many situations, raising boxes just a few inches will be enough to keep storage goods above the water line. 

Cut Power if Necessary 

As rising water approaches the level of electrical outlets, you risk having a live current flow through all the water. Cut the power if you can safely do so without standing in water. Otherwise, evacuate and contact an electrician to cut the power before you go back in for recovery.

Keep Storm Drains Clear

If you see water pooling around a storm drain, the drain may be clogged with debris. Clearing the debris will help keep the water flowing away from your neighborhood.

Consider Flood Insurance 

Homeowners insurance will not cover floods; you must purchase a separate policy for flood protection. When all else fails, flood insurance will provide you the means to respond to a catastrophic flooding event.

Be Aware on the Road 

Be careful when driving during spring storms, especially when you hear flash flood warnings. Never drive into fully submerged roadway. The water surface will be at the same level as the pavement you can see. This view can deceive you into thinking the water is shallow because you cannot see how the road dips under the surface. 

Act Fast 

When a flood happens, you need to act fast to dry out any wet items, particularly structural materials like walls and flooring.

 SERVPRO of Winter Haven is a Florida State licensed Certified Building Contractor, Mold Remediator, and Mold Assessor. We are IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified in Fire/Water/Mold clean-up & restoration. Call us at 863-551-5004, we are always here to help.

Hurricane Preparedness/Be Ready

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

The two keys to weather safety is to PREPARE for the risks and to ACT on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials.

Before a Hurricane:

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Know your surroundings
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone.
  • Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground.
  • Make plans to secure your property
  • Cover all of your home's windows
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Reinforce your garage
  • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Determine how and where to secure your boat.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.
  • If in a high-rise building, when high winds are present, be prepared to take shelter on a lower floor because wind conditions increase with height, and in a small interior room without windows.
  • Consider building a safe room. 

SERVPRO of Winter Haven is a Florida State licensed Certified Building Contractor, Mold Remediator, and Mold Assessor. We are IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified in Fire/Water/Mold clean-up & restoration. Call us at 863-551-5004, we are always here to help.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch vs Warning

5/23/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Severe Thunderstorm Watch vs Warning http://www.spc.noaa.gov

With the upcoming hurricane season and tropical weather, it is always important to keep up on what’s happening in your area. One of the biggest questions asked is, what is the difference between a severe thunderstorm watch and a severe thunderstorm warning? A Severe thunderstorm watch is issued by the SPC (Storm Prediction Center) and means that there is potential for the development of thunderstorms that can produce large hail or damaging winds. When a severe thunderstorm is in progress or has developed and is shown on your local news radar it is called a severe thunderstorm warning.

 SERVPRO of Winter Haven is a Florida State licensed Certified Building Contractor, Mold Remediator, and Mold Assessor. We are IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified in Fire/Water/Mold clean-up & restoration. Call us at 863-551-5004, we are always here to help.

Storm Story

4/27/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Story Hurricane Charley | Phillip's Natural World 1.0.2

I remember when I was around 10-11 years old, Hurricane Charley went right over central Florida. My family went over to my aunt’s house in Winter Haven to hunker down. As the storm passed over the trees were bending, the wind was howling and then suddenly, the wooden privacy fence in the back yard flew up and it was gone. All at once the wind and the rain calmed and you can see blue skies and sunshine. For a minuet everything was peaceful, then about 3 minuets later the battering wind and rain started right back up. The eye of Hurricane Charley had gone right over us. It will be an experience that I will never forget. Remembering back to 2004 when Florida was hit by not only Charley but 3 other powerful hurricanes that year, makes you want to get a plan together and have can goods, water, flashlights, spare batteries and a safe place to bare the storm. It also makes you think of who you would call if you have damages to your home. I know who I would call SERVPRO, they are always here to help. – Liz