Archived Storm Damage Blog Posts
Resilience and Recovery After a Tornado
When storms strike, SERVPRO of Carrollton is here to help in your recovery process. Call us if you experience any damage.
The devastating EF-4 tornado that ripped through our area in March is still fresh in the minds of everyone in Troup County, and its effects can be seen everywhere you look.
It will be a long time before things fully return to normal, especially for the residents who lost their homes and business owners whose buildings were destroyed and damaged heavily.
But the community has banded together in beautiful ways, and people have been glad to give time and resources to help one another in times of crisis and need. Even outside help, like the 10-week, half-million dollar cleanup investment by Home Depot Foundation, has made an impact in the recovery in Newnan, Lagrange and surrounding areas.
Rebuilding for the Future
There are ways we can rebuild and use federal disaster funding to create a city that is more prepared for these kinds of events in the future and more resilient when they occur. There are many applications and sides to this kind of sweeping process.
Some of them are political and governmental, but some are practical and educational. Let’s look at a very broad overview of some ways we can rebuild with the future in mind.
Realism and Education
How many times have we heard a meteorologist predict a storm and blown it off as an afterthought? Anyone who was impacted by March’s tornado will certainly carry a fresh perspective on the importance of paying attention and heeding local warnings, but we would all do well to stop assuming we will be exempted from potential harm in storms.
Did you know that, though the federal government gives disaster assistance, it only funds about 20% of the recovery for what you lose in a flood, versus approximately 85% recovery from flood insurance? Yet a huge number of people choose not to carry flood insurance, in some cases because their insurance companies are not accurately reflecting their flood plain status due to outdated resources.
And did you know that modern, storm-resilient construction only costs about 10% more than traditional construction? But many builders require you to opt in if you want it done, rather than offering it as a base option, because they want to hand you a lower bid.
Thinking resilience-first can save you a lot of money and hassle in the future, and even increase the value of your home should you sell it in the future.
Part of building a storm-resilient city requires that we take our own safety seriously and educate ourselves on risks and prevention methods. We can’t prevent storms, but we can inch ourselves forward toward communities that are safer, more prepared and more durable when they come.
When storms strike, SERVPRO is here to help in your recovery process, and we have a restoration-first methodology that means you get to keep more of what you value. Click or call today to find out how we can serve you.
Dangers of Extreme Cold
It is important to be aware of the effect extremely cold temperatures can have on you.
While your home can get damaged due to winter weather and extreme cold, your personal health is also at risk.
Thirty-five people died due to extreme cold in 2019.
It is important to be aware of the effect extremely cold temperatures can have on you. The two main conditions to be aware of are frostbite and hypothermia.
Frostbite is caused when your skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Physical symptoms are white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm, or waxy numbness.
Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature, caused from long exposure to cold weather. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. If someone’s body temperature is below 95°F, seek medical attention immediately.
To avoid these conditions, stay indoors if possible. If not, dress warm in layers and try to keep dry.
Tips for Preparing Your Business for an Emergency Situation
If your business is damaged due to a disaster or an emergency, SERVPRO of Carrollton is here for you.
If you own your own business, you understand the importance of planning ahead to set yourself up for success—but have you considered the need to plan ahead for an emergency scenario? The frequency with which disasters occur continues to rise, and being prepared for any scenario is the best defense business owners have against them.
Understanding how to prepare your business can help you recover far more quickly after an emergency and get your doors reopened faster after a disaster.
How to Prepare Your Business for an Emergency
Review the details of your insurance policy. The average commercial insurance policy provides many standard coverages, but it also leaves quite a bit of scenarios out, requiring business owners to purchase additional coverage for situations such as floods, income interruption and gaps in your policy. It is smart to review your insurance policy through the lens of disaster preparedness planning to learn about any gaps in coverage you may have.
Make sure your documents are backed up and stored well. Having the right documentation on hand after a disaster will make the recovery process much easier, but have you considered the correct way to store them? Many files are digital now, so you should make sure you have a cloud backup or hard copy in case your computer gets damaged in a disaster. If you have physical documents you may need, make copies of those and store them securely in a secondary location.
Be sure you have an evacuation plan. If a flood or other natural disaster is incoming, officials will normally recommend a rapid evacuation so that everyone can get to safety. Be sure you have an evacuation plan that includes well-marked evacuation routes and a headcount system to make sure everyone is accounted for, and make certain that you have rehearsed often with staff. This serves to reduce panic in the moment as well as your overall liability, and equips everyone to move to safety calmly and quickly in an emergency.
If your business is damaged due to a disaster or an emergency, we are here for you. You can contact us any time to learn more about commercial restoration and how we can help.
Lightning Safety for Outdoor Workers
If you have any damage from a storm and/or water, call SERVPRO of Carrollton. We are your local restoration team.
Lightning as an occupational hazard is often an afterthought, but it shouldn’t be. An average of 47 of all occupations require outdoor work at some point in the day.
That means almost half the American workforce is outside for some period of time every day, and many fields require a much higher percentage of outdoor time. When thunderstorms arise, those workers are at elevated risk of lightning strikes and other dangers.
Safety Best Practices for Outdoor Work
OSHA and NOAA recommend several broad safety practices for business who have workers outdoors. These include:
Being informed by NOAA weather reports. Employers and supervisors should be aware of reported and upcoming weather events before sending workers outside. Weather.gov and local outlets will make weather updates as inclement weather comes toward the area. Employers should consider rescheduling events, jobs or activities outdoors if thunderstorms are headed in. Darkening clouds and increased wind speeds can also be indicators of dangers weather afoot.
Seeking shelter in buildings. Workers should be informed before heading to outdoor jobs what nearby buildings they should seek out for shelter if they hear thunder or see lightning. These buildings should be fully enclosed and outfitted with plumbing and electricity. Once inside, workers should remain indoors at least a half hour after the last peal of thunder before returning to work. Remember, the fact that you’re not getting rained on doesn’t mean you’re not in danger—lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from the nearest rainfall.
Using vehicles as a second option. If safe buildings aren’t accessible, workers should be guided to hard-top vehicles with all windows rolled up, where they should remain for the duration of the storm and 30 minutes after thunder stops.
Practicing phone safety. Corded phones are still used in many buildings, but they shouldn’t be used in a building during a thunderstorm except in emergency situations. Cell phones are safe to use.
Business owners and supervisors should also have an emergency action plan for storms in place, with written protocols for lightning safety outlining company storm procedures. Lightning and storm safety training should also be implemented, so that workers know where to go in emergencies and what to expect regarding communication when storms approach.
We’re here to help with any damage done by thunderstorms, whether it be from water, fire or lightning. Call or click today to experience the SERVPRO difference.
Why Preparing for a Disaster Makes Good Business Sense
There are many things that business owners must think about throughout their day-to-day operations, and for many of them, adding something extra onto this task list may seem impossible.
While this is understandable, when it comes to preparing for a disaster, it is imperative that business owners make the time to consider it. Many businesses do not get the chance to recover from a disaster, and while you can’t plan for everything, it is important to prepare for what you can.
Not only will disaster planning help you and your employees stay safer in advance of and during a disaster, but it also makes good businesses sense. Disaster recovery can be too difficult for businesses who have not prepared, rendering them unable to reopen. However, by thinking ahead and utilizing your resources, you can reduce the likelihood that this scenario will happen to you.
How Disaster Preparedness Helps a Business’ Bottom Line
You can quickly pursue restoration to prevent further damage. When you know which commercial restoration company you will work with, you are at an advantage, as you can immediately place the call to them once you discover damage at your business. This gets you in the queue faster, so you can receive a rapid response and prevent more damage from occurring in the meantime.
You can utilize your resources efficiently. After a disaster is declared, the Small Business Administration provides loans for business owners to help with the cost of recovery. If you know about these options in advance, you can apply right away when the time comes to receive these funds as quickly as possible.
You can lessen the time of closure. It is to be expected that you will have to close your doors for at least a bit while you have the damage restored and prepare to resume operations again, but by planning ahead, you can significantly reduce this time. By making your recovery as efficient as possible, you can get your doors reopened quickly so you can continue to do what you love.
If your business is damaged in a disaster, we are here to help you. Contact us about commercial restoration 24⁄7 to learn more or to report damages to your business after a disaster.
Hurricane Season is Here
It may seem early, but hurricane season is currently underway. For the Atlantic, the season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season began in mid-May and also ends November 30.
Hurricanes can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property threatening hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds, and tornadoes. While the primary threat is in coastal areas, many inland areas can also be affected by these hazards, as well as by secondary events such as power outages as a result of high winds and landslides due to rainfall.
Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Plan an evacuation route and your emergency plan, take inventory of your property, and take steps to protect your home or business. For more information and preparation tips, visit the Ready campaign website at www.ready.gov/hurricanes.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 6