Recent Storm Damage Posts

Are You Prepared for Flash Flooding

7/5/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Are You Prepared for Flash Flooding Call SERVPRO of East Riverside City (951)222-2224

Flash flooding typically occurs around summer time in Riverside, CA. Though these flash floods don't happen too often, any homeowner would really benefit from being prepared in case one does occur in your area. Here are just a few tips to keep in mind that may help prevent flooding on your property:

  • Watch current weather forecasts on TV or the internet
  • Listen to weather reports on the radio or a NOAA weather radio
  • Subscribe to lightning and severe weather notification services
  • Scan the skies 360 degrees around and overhead before leaving a safe location

Tips For Your Property

  • If you live in a flood prone area have an evacuation plan.
  • Store materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber for protection from floodwaters and to make quick repairs after a severe storm.
  • Store materials above flood levels.
  • Secure wanted objects to prevent them from floating away.
  • Learn where to find high ground, which is safe from flooding. In a flash flood seek high ground quickly.
  • Contact an insurance agent to discuss flood insurance coverage. Flood losses are not covered under normal homeowners' insurance policies. Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program. Get coverage early-there is a waiting period before it takes effect.

Keeping on the watch for a flash flood is best way to avoid a headache when one does occur. Despite your best efforts, however, a water loss is still possible for anyone's home. If you experience flooding, whether from a flash flood or some other cause, please call us at SERVPRO of East Riverside City. We will promptly get a technician out to begin restoring your property to it's pre-flood conditions. 

Fire Weather Watch

4/27/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Fire Weather Watch Wildfires move quickly!

Not all storms are wet and windy. Extreme weather can cause wildfires, which is a deadly storm you do not what to risk playing with. Here in Riverside we are used to Red Flag Warning and Fire Weather Watches almost year round.

A Fire Weather Watch is issued when weather conditions could exist in the next 12-72 hours. A Red Flag Warning is the highest alert. During these times extreme caution is urged by all residents, because a simple spark can cause a major wildfire. A Fire Weather Watch is one level below a warning, but fire danger is still high.

The type of weather patterns that can cause a watch or warning include low relative humidity, strong winds, dry fuels, the possibility of dry lightning strikes, or any combination of the above. Here are a few safety tips from CA.gov.

Equipment Use Safety

  • Never mow or trim dry grass on a Red Flag Warning Day. (Mow before 10 a.m. on a day when it’s not hot and windy).
  • Never use lawn mowers in dry vegetation.
  • Spark arresters are required in wild land areas on all portable gasoline powered equipment.

Campfire Safety

  • Before starting a campfire, make sure you have a campfire permit and that they are permitted on the land you are visiting.
  • Afterwards, ensure that your campfire is properly extinguished.

Defensible Space

  • Residents should make sure they have 100 feet of defensible space around structures.
  • Clear dead weeds and vegetation.
  • Remove leaves and needles from gutters.
  • Trim branches 6 feet from the ground.

Vehicle

  • Never pull over in dry grass.
  • Ensure trailer chains don't drag on the ground.
  • Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained.
  • Have proper tire pressure to avoid driving on wheel rim.
  • Never let your brake pads wear too thin.

Other

  • Make sure cigarette butts are properly extinguished.
  • Never burn landscape debris like leaves or branches on NO Burn Days or when it's windy or areas where not allowed.
  • Target shoot only in approved areas, use lead ammunition only, and never at metal targets.
  • Report any suspicious activities to prevent arson.

If your home or office is damaged by a wildfire don't panic call SERVPRO we will make it "Like it never even happened."

Are You Prepared for Power Outage?

4/27/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Are You Prepared for Power Outage? Are You Prepared for Power Outage?

With the heat comes power surges, which can bring the potential for power outages. We’re familiar with the suggestions to limit use of electrical appliance’s during peak hours. However, what can you do to prepare for an outage? Here are a few things to keep in mind before, during, and even after a power outage to keep you and your family safe.

Before

The lights are out. Where is the flashlight? You know you have it somewhere. Is it in the emergency kit? Where is the emergency kit located? Having a preparedness kit is one thing, but keeping it in a location that is easy to access, especially in the dark, and keeping it stocked is another. Here are just a few suggestions that will help you be prepared for a power outage:

  • Regularly restock your emergency kit with flashlights, batteries and first aid supplies.
  • Have alternative charging methods available for your phones or electronic devices. Go to https://www.ready.gov/get-tech-ready for more information.
  • Know where the electrical box is located to re-set the power if needed.
  • If you have an automatic garage door, know where the manual release lever is and how to operate it.
  • If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent, like a medical device, devise a back-up plan.

During

In California, we have become accustomed to rolling power outages. Some can last just a few minutes but others can last many hours. These outages can become a cause for concern when it comes to our refrigerated food. Here are a few things to keep in mind when faced with a prolonged power outage:

  • An unopened fridge will keep food cold for about 4 hours. An unopened freezer will keep food at a safe temperature for about 48 hours.
  • If it's hot outside, look for a place that is spacious and has sufficient air conditioning such as the mall, movie theater or other local business that is open to the public.
  • If you have a two-story home, move to the lowest level, drink plenty of water and wear lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fit clothing.
  • Turn-off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power surge that can damage your devices, especially if you do not have them plugged into any surge protectors.
  • Only use generators placed a safe distance away from your residence. Never run a generator inside the home or garage and do not connect it to your homes electrical system.

After

  • Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 F (4 C) or higher for 2 hours or more or that has an odor, unusual color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • If the food in the freezer is colder than 40 F and has ice crystals on it, you can safely refreeze it.
  • Restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries and any other supplies that were used.

For more helpful information check out the full list on https://www.ready.gov/power-outage.

Disaster Preparedness

4/27/2018 (Permalink)

We know that living in California comes with the threat of earthquakes that can happen at anytime. However, only about 20% of all earthquakes are strong enough to be felt by humans. Is your family prepared for a large earthquake? What about flooding? Depending on where you live, you may not think flooding is a real danger. Did you know it only takes 6 inches of fast moving water to knock down an adult? Think of what it could do to your home.

We have all heard time and time again that it is a necessity to prepare an emergency kit for everyone within a given household. Have you taken the time to prepare one? When was the last time you went through your kit?  Due to the unpredictability of disasters it is recommended that you have a kit: in your house; in each vehicle; and even one at your place of employment.

What should you put in an emergency kit?

1. At least 3 days’ supply of food and water

  • 1 gallon of water per person
  • Can opener and basic utensils
  • Canned and packaged or freeze dried foods

2. Health and Medical supplies

  • Minimum of 3 day supply of all medications/prescriptions
  •  Basic first-aid supplies

3. Toiletries and personal care items

  •  Soap, shampoo and sun block
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Baby wipes, toilet paper and paper towels
  • Contact lenses or spare eyeglasses

4. Safety Items

  • Whistle
  • Flashlight
  • Multipurpose tool (Swiss army knife)
  • Emergency blanket (or extra blankets)
  •  Radio – if battery operated includes extra batteries. Preferred to get a solar or hand-crank radio

5. Documents and Identification

  •  Insurance cards, Social Security cards (or copy of these documents)
  • Medical records and immunization cards
  • Family emergency contact information (recommended having a contact outside of the area as phone lines usually will be tied up during a disaster)

6. Extra

  • Cash – electronics may be down so don’t plan on being able to go to the bank or use an ATM or credit cards
  • Batteries
  • Spare car and house keys
  • Regional maps – everything is electronic these days but a paper map won’t lose its battery & doesn’t require and internet connection

Check your home for potential Hazards

Just put up your new flat screen? Have some artwork on the wall that you’ve had since college? A family portrait over the fire places? These are great items that turn your house into a home but in the event of an earthquake they can turn into flying weapons if not properly installed or secured to the wall. Here are a few things to double check, perhaps while doing your spring-cleaning this year.

1. Pictures and mirrors: ensure they are firmly anchored to the wall, avoid hanging anything over beds

2. Bookcase and shelves: bolt shelves to studs and strap bookcases to walls

3. Breakables: store in cabinets that have a latch to prevent these items from flying out

4. Curtains and blinds: good to keep closed at night in avoid flying glass in the event that the windows shatter

5. Appliances: retain with straps and hooks

6. Outdoors: secure furniture and accessories. It is a good habit to close any outdoor umbrellas when not in use.

7. Landscaping: regularly remove any dry debris and create a perimeter around your home in case of a fire.

Even though we hope that a major disaster will never strike we would hate for something to happen and not be prepared. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry.  You may have to put some time and effort into preparing now, but you’ll be glad you did. 

Be Ready for Unexpected Events

4/27/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Be Ready for Unexpected Events For Fire, Water, Mold or Storm Damage call the professionals at SERVPRO of East Riverside City.

Be proactive to protect your home & wallet from costly insurance claims.

Did you know that weather-related damage makes up over 50% of homeowner insurance claims? Fire damage is the most expensive of weather related damage. Water damage caused by weather is less common than water damage un-related to weather, such as a leak in the water heater or bathtub overflow; which makes up about 1 in 5 claims.

These emergencies can happen without warning and to anyone. Here are the most common homeowner insurance claims and what you can do to mitigate the damage or even prevent it completely.

Wind Damage

The roof of any structure is the most susceptible to be damaged by wind. Check the stability of your roof often; it will be worth the money to get a professional roofer to inspect it for you, especially if you’re unsure of when the last inspection occurred. 

Be aware of potential hazards that could fall during strong winds such as tree limbs or large trees. Have any trees near your home trimmed regularly and remove any dead trees whose roots may be unstable under pressure. Bring in patio furniture or any other outdoor items that could become projectiles during strong winds. 

Water Damage

Do not dismiss the potential for a flood to strike your area. It can happen to anyone, anywhere and at any time. You can easily prevent flooding from heavy rain by making sure your yard and driveway slope away from your home.

The main cause for water damage in the home is not caused by weather. Regularly check the caulking around bathroom fixtures. Look for cracks or wear in water lines. If your home was constructed more than 30 years ago, it is worth your time and money to get the pipes inspected for any cracks or potential leaks.  

All homeowners should know where the water shut-off valve is in their home. If you’re not sure where this is, you can get help from SERVPRO’s ERP program, check the ERP blog for more information. http://www.SERVPROeastriversidecity.com/blog#11885

Examine the caulking around exterior drains, gutters and windows to make sure they are tight and not weathered or cracked. Regularly clean storm drains and gutters and make any necessary repairs so they can drain safely and away from the foundation of your home.

Fire Damage

Majority of fires in the home begin in the kitchen. Keep the area around the stove clean and free of grease or food splatter. The laundry room is the next danger area. Keep dryer vents clean and have your air vents checked regularly. Fires are also commonly started by faulty wiring; this is true for new and old homes.

Though rare, lightning is the cause of an estimated $451 millions dollars in property damage each year.

Although there is not much you can do to prevent lightning from striking your home you can keep some safety tips in mind if it happens. It is best to call the fire department right away even if you do not see any signs of damage. Make sure to call from a cell phone as the electricity from another potential lightning strike can travel through a land line, causing serious or even fatal injuries. Stay away from electrical items and metal doors or window frames as they can conduct electricity. Also avoid using running water until you're sure it's safe to do so. Remember: water conducts electricity. If lightning strikes your home, the water supply line may become electrified. 

If you find yourself dealing with any of these property damage issues call SERVPRO of East Riverside City. We can help you through the whole process and even let you know if it's worth filing an insurance claim.

Be Flood Smart

4/27/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Be Flood Smart Be flood smart

Southern California is not known for flooding. But just because you have not experienced a flood or live in an area that is at risk doesn't necessarily mean that you never will. The lack of rain in Southern California actually increases the risk of flooding. According to Floodsmart.gov “more than 20% of flood insurance claims come from people outside of mapped high-risk flood areas.” 

On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the United States alone! A 2,000 square foot home that has experienced 12 feet of water damage could cost more than $50,000 to repair. So what can you do to protect yourself and your home from flood damage?

Know your area 

Again, just because you do not live in a high-risk area for flooding does not mean that you will not experience flooding during heavy rains. However, it would benefit you to know whether or not you reside in a high-risk area as this will have an impact on your mortgage and homeowners insurance. You can check your area on https://msc.fema.gov/ .

Safety Tips

  • Stay away from floodwaters. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off your feet. Do not try to enter or cross a flowing stream of water that is above your ankles. Either stay where you are or try to find another way.
  • If you are driving and come to a flooded road, turn around and go another way – do not try to cross! Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water. If you get stuck in rapidly rising water, stop the car, get out and move to higher ground if possible.
  • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and can be tempted to play in the it. It’s not just the risk of being swept away but also getting ill from contaminates within the water itself.
  • Always have emergency kits prepared in the house, as well as one in each vehicle, that do not contain perishable food items. Also have three gallons of water per person, a battery operated or hand-cranked radio, extra batteries, and personal hygiene and first aid necessities.

Be prepared with an ERP

SERVPRO of East Riverside would love to help you minimize damage to your office or business with an Emergency READY Profile or ERP. This comprehensive document contains critical information about your business including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations and priority areas. The ERP minimizes business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your specific facility. Call SERVPRO of East Riverside to set up an appointment so you can develop an Emergency READY Profile before you need one.