Recent Storm Damage Posts
Storms Can Cause Unforeseen Damage
Even the best preventative measures can’t always insure success in blocking damage from storms. Especially when a region isn’t accustomed to particular weather events. The departure from the normal, or “long-term” average weather situation can lead to a mess no one is used to. Ice Storms can be bewildering to home and business owners who are located in generally warmer areas.
If a winter storm is on the way, preparations ideas include, but aren’t limited to: stocking up on cold-weather necessities; inspecting, prepping, and cleaning heating sources, like furnaces and fireplaces; turning off all exterior faucets and insulating them; and checking and cleaning gutters. The unpredictability however, still allows for the unforeseen damage that ice storms are known for.
SERVPRO of Natchez is just a call away at 601-304-5554. Our trained technicians are ready to restore your home or business back to where it needs to be!!
“Like it never even happened.”
Roof & Ceiling Collapse After Heavy Rains
Having the SERVPRO of Natchez number 601-304-5554 ready will give your home or business a leg up when there is a storm. Mitigating the damage quickly will save time and money on your storm loss.
Flood waters can carry a lot of bacteria and other contaminates from the roadways. When floods enter a home or business it is important to have a Disaster and Restoration Company ready to respond. Anything that is porous will soak up the contaminated water. These porous items will need to be removed or cut out before the disinfecting process takes place.
It's also important to note that a flooded home or business is a highly resolvable problem. If the restoration and mitigation efforts begin within the first five hours of the appearance of water in the home or water in the business, the chances of a successful restoration and mitigation of the damage is nearly certain. However, if the water cleanup efforts are delayed past the first 24 hours, it becomes increasingly likely that the property will sustain permanent damage.
DO NOT hesitate to call your local Mitigation and Restoration Company if your home or business encounters water damage from a storm. SERVPRO of Natchez is here to help.
Storm Damage Prevention
Do April showers bring May flowers? The rainy season can lead to flooding conditions in Northport and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The following tips will help reduce the impact spring floods have on you and your property!
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.
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.
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.
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 waterline.
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 as soon as you can and contact an electrician to cut the power before you go back in for recovery.
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.
Homeowner's 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 an unfortunate catastrophic flooding event.
Be careful when driving during spring storms, especially when you hear flash flood warnings! Never drive into a 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. Beware of the water on the road!
The Impact of Severe Storms
Expecting a tornado or other major storm? There are several steps you can take to stay safe. After the tornado passes, SERVPRO® of Natchez can help you clean up storm damage and restore your home.
Look for Storm Warning Signs
Tornadoes typically occur when there is a severe thunderstorm in the area. Rain, hailstorms, and lightning strikes are some of the signs of a possible tornado. Some other warning signs of an oncoming tornado include:
- Rumbling or Roaring Sounds in the Air
- Orange or Green Skies
- Rotation of the Clouds
- Very Calm Conditions after a Storm
- Damaged Power Lines or Debris
Staying Informed During a Storm
Local television and radio stations are your best source for updates on how the storm is developing. However, if you hear a tornado siren, you should immediately head to the nearest shelter.
What is the difference between a Tornado Watch, Warning, and Emergency?
- A Tornado Watch means that a storm could be coming in your area soon because of the current weather conditions.
- A Tornado Warning is a sign that one or more tornadoes are in the immediate area. Look for shelter as soon as you see this signal.
- A Tornado Emergency is the final step in the warning process. A tornado has been spotted near a populated location. Move to the safest possible place if you cannot get to a real shelter in time.
Preparing for Severe Storms
Expecting a tornado or other major storm? Knowing the right steps to take BEFORE a major storm comes can protect you, your family, and your property. Storms can be challenging all by themselves, do not let your lack of preparation add onto these already challenging times. SERVPRO of Natchez wants to ease the burden and inform you of several steps you can take to stay safe.
Make a Plan of Action
When a major storm threatens your community, you want to be able to evacuate if need be. In order to do this in a safe and timely manner you must have an action plan in place.
- Ensure everyone in the family is aware of this plan
- Be aware of evacuation routes
- If a tornado comes, know where you and your family will take cover
- Plan for any animals you may have as well
Assemble an Emergency Kit
Having the necessary equipment and food for whenever a power outage may occur is a great step you can take in order to stay safe during a storm. Some important items for an Emergency Kit are:
- First-Aid Kit
- Food & Water
- Battery-powered radio
Stay Informed During the Storm
Local television and radio stations are your best source for updates on how the storm is developing and steps to take to get to safety. However, if you ever hear a tornado siren, you should immediately head to the nearest shelter.
If After the Storm, Damage Has Occurred Contact A Professional
Disaster can strike anytime and SERVPRO® of Natchez is here to help. We are open 24/7 and work to respond quickly to calls to minimize damage, and, in turn, the costs of cleanup and restoration. When you have a flooding or storm emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help. We are part of this community too and we take pride in being a part of Natchez and want to do our part in making it the best it can be!
Why Choose SERVPRO?
24-Hour Emergency Service
Unfortunately, disaster can strike at any time, and when it comes to water damage after a storm, time is of the essence. Every second a structure is exposed to water increases the chances of mold growth. Our SERVPRO of Birmingham team is on-call 24-7, including holidays, to help after a storm. The professionals at SERVPRO are available 24-hours a day and work to provide storm restoration services for both residential properties and commercial buildings. They respond to calls quickly to minimize damage and, in turn, the costs of cleanup and restoration.
Certification and Experience
It is very important to have experienced professionals when dealing with water or fire damage. Look for a company with certifications backed up by real-world experience. The technicians at SERVPRO are all IICRC certified. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) sets high-quality standards for restoration companies. Employees at SERVPRO are constantly learning new techniques through e-Classes and certification training.
Storm damage restoration is a complex process and requires advanced technology. Choosing a restoration company with the proper tools is crucial to minimizing damage. SERVPRO only uses the best technology and equipment, including water removal machines, moisture exposing tools, and deodorization materials. They have access to equipment housed in over 1,700 franchises and even have designated disaster recovery teams.
Locally Owned and Operated
Locally owned companies are more invested in ensuring communities bounce back after major storms. Their clients aren’t just clients—they’re neighbors, friends, and family. SERVPRO is a nationwide franchise, but each franchise is locally owned. This combination gives home and business owners the best of both worlds: the customer care and localized knowledge that comes with a local company and a large corporation's resources.
Familiar with Insurance Requirements
Storm damage restoration can be stressful. However, dealing with insurance providers afterward can be even worse. The best storm restoration companies are familiar with all major insurance providers and provide assistance with the claims process.
Tornadoes in Mississippi can be rampant this time of year because of the ever-changing weather.
Here are some tips for being weather aware:
If you are at home during a tornado:
Go to a windowless interior room on the lowest level of your house. Go to a storm cellar or basement if your house has one. If there is no basement, go to an inner hallway or a smaller room without windows.
Get away from windows.
Go to the center of the room. Stay away from corners because they tend to attract debris.
Get under a heavy piece of sturdy furniture such as a workbench or heavy table or desk and hold on to it.
If you are at work or school during a tornado:
Go to the basement or to an inside hallway at the lowest level.
Avoid places with wide-pan roof such as auditoriums, cafeterias, large hallways or shopping malls.
If you are in a car during a tornado:
Never try to drive faster than a tornado in a car or truck. Tornadoes can change direction quickly and can lift up a car or truck and toss it through the air.
Get out of the car immediately and take shelter in a nearby building.
If there is no time to get indoors, get out of the car and lie in a ditch or low-lying area away from the vehicle. Be aware of the potential for flooding.
As always, if SERVPRO of Natchez can help in any way, give us a call at 601.304.5554.
When a storm hits your town!
Severe weather can take a toll on your home. It's not unusual for storm damage to affect your home, leading to serious problems in the aftermath of the weather. SERVPRO of Natchez provides 24-hour restoration services for weather-related damage to homes.
When a storm strikes, it's important to be aware of the potential problems that can develop. You can't control the weather, but you can control how you respond in the immediate aftermath. Here are three of the issues that could afflict your home after a storm hits:
- Roof Damage: Roofs are susceptible to damage during any major storm, from heavy winds and torrential rains to snowstorms. Moisture can weaken already vulnerable areas of the roof, and strong winds can knock down loose shingles or cause visible damage to them. You may notice a leak in your attic or ceiling if a storm damages your roof.
- Windows Are Vulnerable: A thoroughly sealed and weather-stripped window is unlikely to suffer severe storm damage, but old windows that haven't been catered to recently could develop problems if it rains. For example, the moisture can seep into openings around the window, causing a leak inside the house. Rain can also cause wood to rot and mold to develop in the window's vicinity. Rugs and carpets in the area could also be susceptible to water damage. Windows in the basement are extremely vulnerable if they aren't protected, which leads to flooded basements and potentially damaged property.
- Gutters Can Become Clogged: Gutters aren't immediately obvious problems because you have to inspect them to see if they've become clogged after the storm. Rain can wash all kinds of debris into them, and once they become congested, they no longer filter water away from your home. The result could be water damage to your property, and the gutters could also suffer damage later since the excess weight of debris can cause them to sag.
Storm damage affects more than just the trees around the house. It can also have an impact on your home's foundation. After a major storm, take a close look at your home and investigate for problematic signs. If you discover anything, call the restoration service team at SERVPRO of Natchez at 601.304.5554.
In Mississippi, October usually means a small break from the summer heat, but it also means an uptick in hurricanes. Living along the gulf coast, Mississippi has weathered many hurricanes and will continue too. While Mississippi hasn’t had a direct hit in a few years, it is important to remember a few details about hurricanes. Hurricanes can be hundreds of miles out and still cause dangerous rip currents in the gulf. It is important to stay aware of all hurricanes, they can turn quickly and leave the unprepared not enough time to evacuate or get needed supplies. If a hurricane is heading toward your home or business it important to follow directions from government agencies and be ready to either evacuate or shelter at your home or business. If you choose to shelter make sure you have enough water and food for every person, and don’t forget about food and water for you animals. Also, if your able make sure outdoor furniture is brought inside or tied down.
For more information about what to have supplied and things to do visit, www.fema.gov.
Need-to-Know Information for Mississippi Storms
Are You Covered?
Check your insurance policy and make sure you are covered for all the types of storms that affect your areas. Some insurance policies do not cover flooding and earthquakes. Fortunately hail, windstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes are typically covered by most insurances. We recommend that you check your individual policy and have a good understanding of your level of protection, and purchase additional protection if necessary.
Storms Can Cause Damage
- Hailstorms can cause great amount of damage to the exterior of your home or property. Common types of damage caused by hail are: roof damage, siding damage, shingle damage, window damage and automobile damage
- Thunderstorms can produce many types of damaging weather such as lightning, hail, tornadoes, straight-line winds, flooding and more. The biggest contributors to damaged property are likely hail and wind, which can cause many types of exterior property damage
- Ice storms produce freezing rain that coats everything in its path with a layer of glaze ice. Generally speaking, if a storm causes accumulation of more than a quarter inch on exposed surfaces, the storm can be classified as an ice storm. This type of accumulation can cause broken tree branches, power outages and other hazardous conditions.
- Lightning storms are a major cause of storm damage in many areas around the country. The National Lightning Safety Institute estimates the cost of lightning damage in the $5 to $6 billion dollar per year range. Lightning that hits trees and the ground is a common cause of wildfires, structure fires, property damage and power outages
- Blizzards are severe winter storms that combine heavy snowfall, with high winds and freezing temperatures. The combination of cold, wind and snow damages homes, businesses and automobiles. Heavy snow can produce dangerous conditions, including roof collapse.
- Floods are typically the result of heavy rain and water that rises faster than storm drains can handle. Flash floods driven by quick, violent bursts of rain can flood homes, basements and businesses, causing serious damage to both interiors and exteriors. Flooding is a very dangerous storm phenomenon that results in numerous deaths and extensive property damage each year.
SERVPRO of Natchez is ready for whatever nature throws our way! So when the disaster is over, when can come behind it and clean up the aftermath.
"Like it never even happened."
Storm Evacuation Tips
Before an Evacuation
Plan how you will leave and where you will go if you are advised to evacuate.
- Identify several places you could go in an emergency such as a friend’s home in another town or a motel. Choose destinations in different directions so that you have options during an emergency.
- If needed, identify a place to stay that will accept pets. Most public shelters allow only service animals.
- Be familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area.
- Always follow the instructions of local officials and remember that your evacuation route may be on foot depending on the type of disaster.
During an Evacuation
- A list of open shelters can be found during an active disaster in your local area by downloading the FEMA app
- Listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local evacuation instructions.
- Take your emergency supply kit.
- Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
- Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency now.
- If time allows:
- Call or email the out-of-state contact in your family communications plan. Tell them where you are going.
- Secure your home by closing and locking doors and windows.
- Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding. If there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.
- Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
- Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and a hat.
- Check with neighbors who may need a ride.
- Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.
- Be alert for road hazards such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Do not drive into flooded areas.
After an Evacuation
If you evacuated for the storm, check with local officials both where you’re staying and back home before you travel.
- Residents returning to disaster-affected areas after significant events should expect and prepare for disruptions to daily activities, and remember that returning home before storm debris is cleared is dangerous.
- Let friends and family know before you leave and when you arrive.
- Charge devices and consider getting back-up batteries in case power-outages continue.
- Fill up your gas tank and consider downloading a fuel app to check for outages along your route.
- Bring supplies such as water and non-perishable food for the car ride.
- Avoid downed power or utility lines; they may be live with deadly voltage.
- Stay away and report them immediately to your power or utility company.
- Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system.
Disaster Readiness Kit
When preparing for a storm, it is important to make sure that you have an emergency supply kit on hand. We all know that a supply of non-perishable food and drinking water are essential, but do you know what else should be included in your kit? SERVPRO of Natchez is prepared to help you pick up the pieces after the storm. We want you to be prepared to weather the storm and recovery. In addition to food and water, your disaster readiness kit should include the following items:
- Battery powered or hand-cranked radio
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle (to signal for help)
- Dust mask (to filter contaminated air)
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
- Manual can opener
- Cell phone with battery backups
- Important documents (like birth certificates, social security cards)
- Prescription Medications
If you choose to weather the storm, it is important that you have all necessary items to get you through until help arrives. As part of the network of SERVPRO storm teams, we are always ready to set out as soon as possible to help those affected. We are ready and we want to make sure you are too!
"What Happens Next"
Storms can cause severe damage to your home—potentially even making them unsafe!
What You Should Do After a Flood
Even if you were properly prepared for the flood and weathered the storm until it passed, your home could still have sustained heavy damage. Now that the sky is blue once more, how do you proceed? Here’s a look at what to do after a flood:
Just because the sun is shining, and the flood waters have receded, that doesn’t mean all danger has passed. Exercise caution by doing the following:
- Tune into local alerts and warning systems to stay up-to-date with current information and receive expert, informed advice about the flood. After all, additional flooding could still occur.
- Stay away from rushing water. Moving water only 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet.
- Avoid walking through large areas of standing water, which may be electrically charged by downed power lines. The water could also be hiding broken glass or dangerous animals.
- Unless you are specifically asked for help by the police, fire department, or relief workers, keep out of damaged areas.
- Help emergency workers by staying off the roads in and out of the damaged neighborhood or region.
- If you’re caught in a stalled car during a flash flood, abandon the car and get to higher ground immediately.
- Heed barricades and find an alternate route if you encounter one blocking your way. Crossing bridges even after the water has receded could be dangerous if the structural integrity has been jeopardized.
- Return home only when the authorities permit it. Even then, stay out of the building if it’s surrounded by flood waters and exercise extreme caution when you do enter.
Stay Safe and Healthy
Take care of you and your family as cleanup efforts begin. To stay safe and healthy, remember the following:
- Turn off the home’s electricity at the main breaker box, even if the power is out. Only turn the power on when your home is dry.
- Avoid floodwater, which may be contaminated with sewage, gasoline, or oil.
- Fix damaged sewer systems as soon as possible.
- Don’t drink water from the tap. Listen to news reports to learn when the community’s water is safe to drink again.
Clean and Repair Your Home
- Use the information in the Repairing Your Flooded Home PDF from the Red Cross to learn how to enter your home safely, protect your belongings from future damage, record damage for insurance claims, check for gas leaks, and begin the cleanup process.
- Contact your insurance agent to discuss your claim.
- Hire a professional water damage mitigation company as soon as possible. It’s important that the company is qualified for the services you need. SERPVRO of Natchez is available 24/7 to help when you need it most. Not only are we a local command center, but we also have the resources of 1,600 franchises nationwide—meaning no disaster is too big.
Get Help After a Flood
SERVPRO of Natchez is prepared and ready to help you when you and your family need it the most. We’re here to help you get back on your feet and make it look like it never happened. Call us at 601.304.5554.
Freezing Temperatures and Risk of Pipes Freezing
As the temperature starts dropping outside here in Mississippi, you should protect your inside pipes by keeping them warm and water running.
Here are a few things you can do:
Let the cold-water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe even just a trickle helps prevent pipes from freezing.
Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during day and night.
Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
Keep garage doors closed, especially if there are water supply lines in the garage.
If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
If you have a water loss Call SERVPRO of Natchez at 601.304.5554. We are always here to help!
Tornado's can Happen Any Time!
Tornadoes are a destructive weather occurrence that is measured by the Enhanced Fujita Scale. While they vary in strength, tornadoes can destroy buildings, lift railroad cars and create other damage to surrounding areas. Tornadoes are columns of air that begin to rotate slowly and pick up speed until they are violently spinning funnels though it may not be visible until it reaches the ground and picks up debris.
No one knows exactly how tornadoes form, but a supercell thunderstorm is required. Supercell thunderstorms differ from traditional thunderstorms in that they have strong updrafts of rotating air. Other necessary factors for tornado formation may include strong wind changes, moisture in the air or temperature differences between downdrafts and the surrounding air.
Funnel Cloud or Tornado?
Many people confuse funnel clouds with tornadoes, but they are different. Tornadoes start as funnel-shaped clouds that extend down from a thunderstorm’s cloud base. A funnel cloud is comprised of tiny moisture droplets that are visible as it rotates. However, some funnel clouds lack moisture and are invisible. Once funnel clouds reach the ground, they become tornadoes.
The path of destruction created by tornadoes ranges from 100 yards to more than 2.6 miles. They typically travel from southwest to northeast with speeds between 30 and 70 mph. Tornadoes can last for a few seconds or more than an hour, but typically don’t last more than 10 minutes.
Tornadoes can form anywhere in the U.S. but are most common in the deep south and between the Appalachian and the Rocky Mountains. They occur most in April, May, and June, but can occur at any time of the year. Did you know that the deep south generally has more tornadoes than the plains do? The key difference is the deep south tornadoes are short lived and not very strong, the plains tornadoes are long lived and often the huge monster tornadoes of nightmares.
Tornado formation requires the convergence of three air layers. The ground layer consists of warm, moist air with strong winds from the South. Another layer is in the upper atmosphere and consists of cold air with winds coming from the west or southwest. The third layer is in the middle and consists of hot, dry air, which allows the lower layer to heat up. This creates instability that is exacerbated when the upper layer begins to move east. The result is that all the layers begin to lift, which creates thunderstorms and strong updrafts. The interaction between the updrafts and surrounding winds can cause the rotation to develop, which is a tornado.
If a tornado has affected your home or business give SERVPRO of Natchez a call at 601.304.5554. Our team of trained technicians are ready at a moments notice to assist you in putting your life back to normal.
Weather Alerts: What They Mean
- The National Weather Service defines a severe thunderstorm as any storm that produces one or more of the following elements:
- A tornado.
- Damaging winds or speeds of 58 mph (50 knots) or greater.
- Hail 1 inch in diameter or larger.
Know these definitions so you are prepared for any storm:
- Hurricane Watch
Winds greater than 74 mph may hit the area within 36 hours.
- Hurricane Warning
Winds greater than 74 mph probably will to hit the area within 24 hours.
- Tropical Storm Watch
Winds from 39 to 73 mph may hit the area within 36 hours.
- Tropical Storm Warning
Winds from 39 to 73 mph probably will to hit the area within 24 hours. Usually issued for areas to either side of the Hurricane Warning area.
- Tornado Watch
Conditions are ripe for tornadoes within the watch area. Tornadoes associated with hurricanes and tropical storms are typically a very significant cause of death and damage.
- Tornado Warning
A tornado has actually been spotted visually or on radar. Usually issued for a county. If a tornado WARNING is issued where you live, GET TO THE MIDDLE OF THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STRONG BUILDING IMMEDIATELY!!!
- Severe Thunderstorm Watch
Conditions are ripe for severe thunderstorms within the watch area.
- Severe Thunderstorm Warning
There is a severe thunderstorm in or heading for the warned area. Treat this like a tornado warning!!
- Flash Flood Watch
Flash floods are likely to occur in the near future. Be alert for rising water and be prepared to have to move to high ground.
- Flash Flood Warning
Flash floods are occurring or expected to occur in the near future. If this happens, get to high ground immediately, and GET AWAY FROM VEHICLES... it only takes 18 inches of water to sweep a car or truck away!
- High Wind Advisory
Windy conditions may occur in the advisory area. This usually makes for unsafe conditions while driving, especially in (but not limited to) large vehicles. Also, avoid boating anywhere in the advisory area.
- High Wind Warning
Very strong winds are expected or already are occurring that present a significant danger while driving, boating and other outdoor activities. Often issued near tropical storms and hurricanes.
- Special Marine Warning
Warnings of interest to boaters, usually because of rough conditions, squall lines, waterspouts,
- Hurricane or Tropical Storm Statement
Statements issued periodically by the National Hurricane Center with an overview of the current situation.
Prepare for 2018 Hurricane Season
In 2017, the US saw damage from 3 major hurricanes and 4 storms.
Extreme hurricanes and wildfires made 2017 the most costly U.S. disaster year on record. Each year, weather events cause catastrophic damage in the US. In 2017 alone, "the disasters caused $306 billion in total damage in 2017, with 16 events that caused more than $1 billion in damage each. The bulk of the damage, at $265 billion, came from hurricanes."
According to many researchers, the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season is expected to be above average as well. One of the costliest aspects of hurricane season is not just the wind, but the widespread flooding. In addition to storm surge, slow moving systems cause the accumulation of rain in creeks and rivers to back up even in areas which may be "low risk".
How can you be prepared?
Speak with your insurance agent regarding your coverage. Flood insurance and Hurricane/Wind insurance may not be included in your Homeowners policy.
Speak with your insurance agent regarding what amount will allow you the ability to rebuild your home. A lower premium is not always best if it does not cover the costs to rebuild. It's important to have enough coverage!
Review your policies before Hurricane season (reminder: it starts June 1st!) with your insurance agent. There is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance goes into effect. Some times, insurers will not adjust your coverage after a storm is forecast.
Flooding Can Happen Anywhere
Flooding can happen anywhere.
There is often a misconception that if you are not 'in a flood zone,' or more accurately, if you are in a low risk community that your home or business will not flood. While your home or business may be in a low risk area, just because you haven't experienced a flood doesn't mean you won't in the future. The NFIP released that 20% of all paid claims were for low-risk policies. We frequently find that because of this misconception many home and business owners do not carry flood insurance. If you do not have flood insurance, the out of pocket costs associated with flood damage can be substantial.
Flood water is considered category 3 or black water. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding, or any type of natural disaster. This water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. The restoration should only be handled by professionals.
According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), the following are the most common flood hazards in the United States:
- 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
NOAA also said that, "Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding."
With every catastrophic storm, you can rest assured that there will be a catastrophic storm response. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
Tornado Season and Storm Cleanup
Know the signs of a tornado before it hits!
Tornadoes can strike quickly, and oftentimes, without much warning. According to NSSL, “A tornado is a narrow, violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground.” Tornadoes are often hard to see unless a funnel forms because wind is invisible. Tornadoes can be difficult to see unless dust and debris are gathered within the condensation. If you cannot see the funnel, debris clouds can often mark their location. Made up of water droplets, dust, and debris, tornadoes are the most violent of all atmospheric storms.
How long is tornado season exactly? In the Southeast, tornado season lasts from March through May; however tornadoes can occur through early fall. Tornadoes often follow behind severe thunderstorms and hurricanes. Unfortunately, Baldwin County is no stranger to either.
Before the Storm
Know the Signs:
- Whirling cloud of debris
- Very still air and lack of wind, especially following severe thunderstorm or hail
- Dark, greenish sky
- Low-lying wall cloud
- Debris being thrown from the sky
- Bright flashes near the ground, especially at night
During the Storm
During the storm, it is always best to find shelter. It is never a good option to be outside during the threat of severe weather such as tornadoes. Head to a storm shelter or sturdy building if possible. If a storm shelter is available, make this your first option. If it’s not, head to a sturdy building with a basement. If you do not have access to a basement or storm shelter head to a sturdy building, moving to the center away from windows and exterior doors. Stay in the shelter until the storm passes.
After the Storm
SERVPRO of Natchez specializes in storm damage cleanup. After the storm, SERVPRO can restore your home, business, and personal property back to preloss conditions. We have the tools, resources, and training to make any loss “Like it never even happened.”
Cleaning up after a storm doesn’t have to be hard, and choosing a company doesn’t have to be, either. SERVPRO of Natchez is locally owned and operated, so we are part of this community too. When you have a flooding or storm emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help. We take pride in being a part of this community and want to do our part in making it the best it can be.
If you experience a storm and need professional and trained help please call our office at 601.304.5554.
Advice during Wintery Weather
We rarely see cold winters in the Natchez, Mississippi area. When we do, there is a good chance we as homeowners have a brief panic and do not know what to do. SERVPRO of Natchez cannot fix your frozen or busted pipe, BUT we can clear up your standing water and start the dry out process in your home as quickly as we possibly can. We turned to some of our Northern Franchises that deal with freezing climates frequently to provide our county with some advice and knowledge during Winter Storm Grayson.
Owner David Moore of SERVPRO of Natchez explains that a burst pipe is commonly a result from a frozen pipe thawing to quickly. As daylight brings warmer temperatures, the pipe’s atmosphere potentially changes to quickly causing the burst. Advice? Leave your cabinet doors open and do not worry about cranking the heat up. Leaving a faucet or two in different parts of your home will keep the water moving through pipes and make it more difficult to freeze. Some advice from a plumber "Now is not the time for conserving energy. If you have a basement that you don't really use but there is a thermostat down there, you gotta turn that up. You don't want any of your zones lower than 68 degrees on days like today."
Financially, the higher heating charges will be less expensive than a water damage. Use a hair dryer on an exposed pipe that may potentially be frozen, using slow, low heat will unfreeze the pipe at a slow pace.
If your home or commercial business does suffer an emergency pipe burst, call 601.304.5554 SERVPRO of Natchez is always “Here to Help” in any way that we can and as quickly as we can.
Staying Safe During Flooding
Picture is of a flooded neighborhood.
Because of our location as a gulf state, Mississippi residents are especially prone to damage caused by floods. Flooding can be common during the hurricane season but unusual weather patterns can also bring unexpected flooding of the type we have witnessed in our state over the last few years.
If your home has flooded, it is important to conduct a list of safety checks before returning inside. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has produced an in-depth document outlining these safety steps. They include:
- Checking the roof for dips across the surface
- Checking external walls to determine if they are no longer plum
- Checking the foundation from the outside to see if it has been damaged
- Making sure electricity and gas have been shut off
Once inside, there can be multiple safety hazards and threats. The presence of mold is a real possibility and a valid concern for your personal safety. If you have an older home, there is also the risk of lead or asbestos contamination. Flood water contains multiple health hazards and just because the visible water is gone, it doesn’t mean the contaminants are no longer a threat.
That burning desire to check your home after major water damage is natural but even a few minutes inside could be bad for your health. At SERVPRO® of Natchez, we provide emergency water disaster services. We have given our mitigation specialists extensive training for safely entering this type of dangerous environment and for getting the remediation process started. It is our hope you never have to experience this type of natural disaster or other types of water damages but if you do, we are a phone call away at 601.304.5554 and are always ready to help.
Tips to Help with Post Hurricane Chaos
With the recent storms in Texas, everyone is thinking about what has happened, and what could happen. Everyone tries to be prepared for before and during the storm, but very few people get far enough to think about what to do AFTER a storm.
Here are a few tips from the American Red Cross to help with post-hurricane chaos.
- Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.
- Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
- If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
- Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
- Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
- Stay out of any building that has water around it.
- Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.
- Use flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles.
- Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
- Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
- Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
- Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
- Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
What's the Difference
Lately there has been flooding all over the United States: if you are unfamiliar with the difference between a flash flood warning, flood warning, and flood advisory; then read below!
What is the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service?
Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.
Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.
Flood Watch: Be Prepared:A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.
Flood Advisory: Be Aware: An Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.
Information from http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov/
Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States.
There is always potential for flood damage no matter where you live. According to the American Red Cross floods cause more damage in the United States every year than any other weather related disaster. The American Red Cross offers these flood safety tips:
-Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
-If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are riding rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
-Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
If a flood occurs and affects you, call SERVPRO of Natchez. Even minor floods have potential to cause major damage. We are faster to ANY size disaster. Let us help you get your life back in order.