Recent Storm Damage Posts

Power Outages

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Power Outages

Extended power outages may impact the whole community and the economy. A power outage is when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly. A power outage may:

  • Disrupt communications, water, and transportation.

  • Close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks, and other services.

  • Cause food spoilage and water contamination.

  • Prevent use of medical devices.

PROTECT YOURSELF DURING A POWER OUTAGE:

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.

  • Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.

  • Do not use a gas stove to heat your home.

  • Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.

  • Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.

  • If safe, go to an alternate location for heat or cooling.

  • Check on neighbors.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A POWER OUTAGE THREATENS: 

Prepare NOW

  • Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity.
  • Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
  • Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
  • Sign up for local alerts and warning systems. Monitor weather reports.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home.
  • Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last.
  • Review the supplies that are available in case of a power outage. Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. Have enough nonperishable food and water.
  • Use a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that you can know the temperature when the power is restored. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
  • Keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and gas tanks full.

https://www.ready.gov/power-outages

Hurricane Season

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Conditions that cause floods include heavy or steady rain for several hours or days that saturates the ground. Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area.

Know the Difference
Flood/Flash Flood Watch—Flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area.
Flood/Flash Flood Warning—Flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.

What to do:

Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical
information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
- Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
- When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
- Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon 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 come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising 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.
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
- Because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov.

via redcross.org

How To Prepare For Hurricane Season

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over ocean water and often move toward land. Threats from hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. The heavy winds of hurricanes can cause damage or destroy homes, buildings, and roads, as well as cause power, water, and gas outages. These effects can injure or kill people, disrupt transportation, and pollute drinking water. Hurricanes cause deaths and injuries primarily from drowning, wind, and wind-borne debris. The impact from hurricanes can extend from the coast to several hundred miles inland. To find your risk, visit FEMA’s “Know Your Risk Map.” Be better prepared for this hurricane season, and learn more at ready.gov/prepare.

  • Stayed informed
  • Plan for evacuation
  • Take action to protect your property from against wind and water damage

For more information check out www.fema.gov

University Tornado Damage 2018

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage University Tornado Damage 2018

As stated in a previous blog we had tornadoes through Alabama and our Large Loss Division has been working around the clock to help a local university get everything back in order. 

As of today they have been working over 40 days  on this job with mitigation services and that includes the 30 plus buildings affected. Part of the cleaning includes 'grounds' work, cleaning up the campus of debris and downed trees. A local roof and tree contractor has assisted in a majority of the large tree cleanup.

We packed up and stored many buildings, also moved those classrooms/offices to other buildings in the city. In the nursing building, we had to remove EVERYTHING from the building and into temp office trailers as well as temp storage so the building can be completely renovated.

Stayed tuned, there's more to come!

Your Time is Precious

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Your Time is Precious

When you need it done right and done fast, call SERVPRO of Birmingham South. Did you know when you hire us for maintenance cleaning, you get around-the-clock restoration services built with you in mind? Quality cleaning and quick response - that is the SERVPRO way.

Can't figure out how to get the job done? Call SERVPRO of Birmingham South for all your emergency restoration needs. When you experience a fire, water or mold damage in your home or facility, you need fast response and the expertise to get the job done right, ensuring you can get back into operation as quickly as possible. Through it all, you expect the most reliable information and the very best service at a fair price. 

American Red Cross Safety Tips

4/3/2018 (Permalink)

Check out www.redcross.org for more information!

TORNADOES Tornadoes can strike without warning and destroy a community in seconds. Before a tornado warning is issued for your area, here are some things you should do:

1. Know your community’s warning system.

2. Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.

3. If you are in a high-rise building and don’t have enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.

4. Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees.

5. Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

 

THUNDERSTORM SAFETY STEPS Thunderstorms injure an average of 300 people every year, and cause about 80 fatalities. Here are the top thunderstorm safety steps you should follow:

1. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.

2. As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.

3. If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.

4. If you are inside, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.

5. If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.

 

FLOODING Heavy rains could fill rivers and streams, bringing flooding to the area. If your neighborhood is threatened with the possibility of flooding, here are some things you should do:

1. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.

2. Stay away from floodwaters.

3. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising 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.

4. Keep children out of the water.

5. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

 

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of tornadoes, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

Winter Storm Events

3/13/2018 (Permalink)

SEVERE WEATHER 101

Winter Weather Basics

A winter storm is an event in which the main types of precipitation are snow, sleet or freezing rain.

Why can winter storms be so dangerous?

Most deaths from winter storms are not directly related to the storm itself.

  • People die in traffic accidents on icy roads.
  • People die of heart attacks while shoveling snow.
  • People die of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold.

Everyone is potentially at risk during winter storms. The actual threat to you depends on your specific situation. Recent observations show that:

  • Of injuries related to ice and snow:
    • About 70% occur in automobiles.
    • About 25% are people caught out in the storm.
    • Majority are males over 40 years old.
  • Of injuries related to exposure to cold:
    • 50% are people over 60 years old.
    • Over 75% are males.
    • About 20% occur in the home.
https://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/winter/

We have had some pretty warm days here in Alabama the last few weeks but that doesn't mean the cold weather is over. Make sure you take all the precautions to keep your home or business prepared for the cold days and nights. Call us if you need us! 205-664-6770

NOAA Storm Data

3/2/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage NOAA Storm Data

The Storm Events Database contains the records used to create the official NOAA Storm Data publication, documenting: 

  1. The occurrence of storms and other significant weather phenomena having sufficient intensity to cause loss of life, injuries, significant property damage, and/or disruption to commerce;
  2. Rare, unusual, weather phenomena that generate media attention, such as snow flurries in South Florida or the San Diego coastal area; and
  3. Other significant meteorological events, such as record maximum or minimum temperatures or precipitation that occur in connection with another event.


The database currently contains data from January 1950 to November 2017, as entered by NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS). Due to changes in the data collection and processing procedures over time, there are unique periods of record available depending on the event type. NCEI has performed data reformatting and standardization of event types but has not changed any data values for locations, fatalities, injuries, damage, narratives and any other event specific information. Please refer to the Database Details page for more information. 

You can register your email address with NCEI to receive future information regarding access system downtime, data issues, new features and general news about the Storm Events Database. 

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information Storm Events Database:

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/

Hurricane Season

9/29/2017 (Permalink)

These last couple of months the United States has been hit with a few hurricanes including Harvey in the Houston, Texas area and Irma hitting the Florida Keys. 


SERVPRO Corporate has four storm teams and SERVPRO of Birmingham is one of them, as "Storm Team Wilson." We cover eight states including Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Indiana. When disaster strikes one of those states and the local SERVPRO's get inundated, Storm Team Wilson gets activated sending franchises or "teams" from all over the United States to come in and assist.  For Hurricane Harvey all four storm teams were activated and for Hurricane Irma we had two teams involved, one covering the south part of Florida and the other covering the north part.  Unfortunately, a lot of people were affected by these two hurricanes and these jobs are still being taken care of and will be for a long time to get their houses and lives back in order. We are thankful that we can be of assistance in these difficult times. 

Flood Facts

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Flood Facts

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 Birmingham.  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. 

What's the difference?

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

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/

Severe Weather Tips

4/3/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Severe Weather Tips

Since SERVPRO partners with the American Red Cross we love sharing their tips on different occasions. 

Check out www.redcross.org for more information!

 

TORNADOES Tornadoes can strike without warning and destroy a community in seconds. Before a tornado warning is issued for your area, here are some things you should do:

1. Know your community’s warning system.

2. Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.

3. If you are in a high-rise building and don’t have enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.

4. Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees.

5. Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

 

THUNDERSTORM SAFETY STEPS Thunderstorms injure an average of 300 people every year, and cause about 80 fatalities. Here are the top thunderstorm safety steps you should follow:

1. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.

2. As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.

3. If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.

4. If you are inside, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.

5. If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.

 

FLOODING Heavy rains could fill rivers and streams, bringing flooding to the area. If your neighborhood is threatened with the possibility of flooding, here are some things you should do:

1. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.

2. Stay away from floodwaters.

3. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising 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.

4. Keep children out of the water.

5. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

 

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of tornadoes, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

Protect your property during an Ice Storm

3/31/2017 (Permalink)

Whether there is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, or sleet and snow; all of these can cause property damage. You can't control Mother Nature but you can be prepared so here are some tips to help you:

-Check for tree limbs and branches that might have fallen.

-Roofs, pipes and gutters should all be inspected and make sure they are in proper working order. Clear gutters from debris, a damming effect could cause roof damage or interior water problems. Downspouts should be facing away from the home or building.

-Clean your chimneys and exhaust systems from debris.

-Test your gas lines for leaks.

-Inspect your property for proper drainage.

-Protect pipes from freezing by allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If any pipes are under cabinets leave the cabinets open. Make sure exterior pipes are properly insulated.

-If there are any outdoor faucets, you might want to shut the water off.

-Make sure all exterior doors and windows have sufficient weather stripping.

 

Do you have an ERP for your business? Ask your SERVPRO of Birmingham Sales and Marketing Representative! 

Be Prepared!

3/7/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Be Prepared! You can purchase a Red Cross Emergency Kit!

SERVPRO teams up with the American Red Cross and they made a list of items you need in case of an emergency! Always be prepared!

 

Be Red Cross Ready!


Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.




At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:


 



  • Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)

  • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).

  • Flashlight

  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio

  • Extra batteriesFirst aid kit [Avail

  • First aid kit

  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items

  • Multi-purpose tool

  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items

  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)

  • Cell phone with chargers

  • Family and emergency contact information

  • Extra cash

  • Emergency blanket

  • Map(s) of the area





Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:

  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)

  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)

  • Games and activities for children

  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)

  • Two-way radios

  • Extra set of car keys and house keys

  • Manual can opener





Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:

  • Whistle

  • N95 or surgical masks

  • Matches

  • Rain gear

  • Towels

  • Work gloves

  • Tools/supplies for securing your home

  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes

  • Plastic sheeting

  • Duct tape

  • Scissors

  • Household liquid bleach

  • Entertainment items

  • Blankets or sleeping bags


For more information check out redcross.org



When Storms or Floods hit Birmingham, SERVPRO is ready!

9/22/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage When Storms or Floods hit Birmingham, SERVPRO is ready! SERVPRO of Birmingham provides 24-hour emergency service.

SERVPRO of Birmingham specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

 

We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists

As a leader in storm and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of Birmingham has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition. Our restoration process puts an emphasis on scientific drying techniques, progress monitoring and documentation.

  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technicians

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Birmingham, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 205-664-6770

Tornado Need to Know

4/21/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Tornado Need to Know

Tornadoes are known to cause widespread damage throughout the United States, especially in the Southern Plains and SouthEast. But how much do we truly know about these destructive entities that tear through our homes and businesses?

Here are a couple of quick facts about tornadoes:

  • The average tornado travels Southwest to Northeast but have been known to move in any direction.

  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3pm and 9pm but can occur at any time.

  • Dr. T. Theodore Fujita devised the F0-F5 Scale for tornadoes in 1971.

  • In 2006 the National Weather Service unveiled the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF Scale).

  • A tornado normally appears transparent until it picks dust and mud from the ground.

  • The USA averages around 1,200 tornadoes every year, more than any other country.

  • In the southern hemisphere tornadoes usually rotate in a clockwise direction. In the northern hemisphere tornadoes usually rotate in a counterclockwise direction.

Signs of Danger

  • Dark, green tinted sky

  • Large hail

  • Low-lying rotating cloud

  • Loud roar similar to a freight train

We are in the peak of tornado season here in Alabama and encourage everyone to be weather aware. Have a family plan in the event of a tornado warning. Know where your safe areas are wherever you are.


Source: Stormaware.mo.gov/tornado-facts-history

Disaster Recovery

3/30/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Disaster Recovery

SERVPRO of Birmingham not only covers all of Jefferson and Shelby Counties but is also 1 of 4 national SERVPRO storm teams. As a storm team we organize and manage efforts in 8 states if a wide-spread disaster were to strike. The 8 states we cover are Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Missouri, and Florida. During these catastrophic events, Storm Team Wilson would mobilize in the area bringing a large number of crews, equipment, and resources to customers affected. The storm team is managed from one office in Pelham, AL where we receive customer information, organize that information and respond to that customer quickly and professionally. We recruit crews starting with the closest to the affected area and move outward in concentric circles to ensure we are “faster to any size disaster.” As a SERVPRO national response team we respond to disasters as large as Hurricane Sandy and Irene to local flooding or freeze events.

Tornado Facts

3/24/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Tornado Facts

We are in the middle of tornado season here in Alabama with our main threat being tornado and wind damage. Here are a couple of things from ready.gov to help be prepared in the event of severe weather.

To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.

Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.

Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.

If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of a small interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.