Recent Storm Damage Posts

BEFORE A FLOOD

5/19/2021 (Permalink)

Take steps to protect your home, family, and financial security throughout the year, and take extra precautions when flooding is predicted in your area.

Be alert.

  • Monitor your surroundings.
  • Monitor NOAA Weather Radio, local television and radio stations. 

If a flash flood warning is issued for your area: Climb to safety immediately.

  • Flash floods develop quickly. Do not wait until you see rising water.
  • Get out of low areas subject to flooding.
  • If driving, do not drive through flooded roadways!

Assemble disaster supplies:

  • Drinking water – Fill clean containers.
  • Food that requires no refrigeration or cooking.
  • Cash.
  • Medications and first aid supplies.
  • Clothing, toiletries.
  • Battery-powered radio.
  • Flashlights.
  • Extra batteries.
  • Important documents: insurance papers, medical records, bank account numbers.

Be prepared to evacuate.

  • Identify places to go.
  • Identify alternative travel routes that are not prone to flooding.
  • Plan what to do with your pets.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • If told to leave, do so quickly.

Review your Family Disaster Plan.

  • Discuss flood plans with your family.
  • Decide where you will meet if separated.
  • Designate a contact person who can be reached if family members get separated. Make sure every family member has the contact information.

Protect your property.

  • Move valuables and furniture to higher levels.
  • Move hazardous materials (such as paint, oil, pesticides, and cleaning supplies) to higher locations.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch them if you are wet or standing in water.
  • Bring outside possessions indoors or tie them down securely. This includes lawn furniture, garbage cans, and other movable objects.
  • Seal vents to basements to prevent flooding.

DURING A FLOOD

5/19/2021 (Permalink)

Be alert.

  • Monitor your surroundings.
  • Monitor NOAA Weather Radio, local television and radio stations.

Don’t drive unless you have to.
If you must drive, travel with care.

  • Make sure your vehicle has enough fuel.
  • Follow recommended routes. DO NOT sight-see.
  • Avoid disaster areas. Your presence might hamper rescue or other emergency operations and put you at further risk.
  • Watch for washed out roads, earth slides, and downed trees or power lines.
  • Be especially cautious at night, when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
  • If the vehicle stalls, abandon it.
  • If water rises around your car, leave the vehicle immediately. Climb to higher ground as quickly as possible.

NEVER drive through flooded roadways. STOP! 

  • The roadbed may be washed out.
  • You can lose control of your vehicle in only a few inches of water.
  • Your car may float. Vehicles can be swept away by less than 2 feet of water.
  • Do not drive around a barricade. Turn around and go another way!

Get to high ground – Climb to safety!

  • Get out of low areas that may be subject to flooding.
  • Avoid already-flooded areas and do not attempt to cross flowing water.
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires.

Evacuate immediately, if you think you are at risk or are advised to do so!

  • Act quickly. Save yourself, not your belongings.
  • Move to a safe area before access is cut off by rising water.
  • Families should use only one vehicle to avoid getting separated and reduce traffic jams.
  • Shut off water, gas, and electrical services before leaving.
  • Secure your home: lock all doors and windows.
  • If directed to a specific location, go there.

Never try to walk or swim through flowing water.

  • If flowing water is above your ankles, STOP! Turn around and go another way.
  • If it is moving swiftly, water 6 inches deep can knock you off your feet.
  • Be aware that people have been swept away wading through flood waters.
  • NEVER allow children to play around high water, storm drains, creeks, or rivers.

Shut off the electricity at the circuit breakers.
If someone falls in or is trapped in flood water:

  • Do not go after the victim!
  • Use a floatation device. If possible throw the victim something to help them float, such as a spare tire, large ball, or foam ice chest.
  • Call 911. Call for assistance and give the correct location information.

Steps to Take After a Flood

5/19/2021 (Permalink)

Wait until it is safe to return.

  • Monitor NOAA Weather Radio or local television and radio stations.
  • Do not return to flooded areas until authorities indicate it is safe to do so.
  • Do not visit disaster areas following a flood. Your presence may hamper urgent emergency response and rescue operations.

Travel with care.

  • Follow recommended routes. DO NOT sight-see.
  • Watch for washed out roads, earth slides, and downed trees or power lines.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.

If a building was flooded, check for safety before entering.

  • Do not enter a building if it is still flooded or surrounded by floodwater.
  • Check for structural damage. Inspect foundations for cracks or other damage.
  • Turn off any outside gas lines at the meter tank.
  • Do not enter a building that has flooded until local building officials have inspected it for safety.

Use extreme caution when entering buildings.

  • Wear sturdy shoes. The most common injury following a disaster is cut feet.
  • Use ONLY battery-powered lighting. Flammable material may be present.
  • Look for fire hazards (such as damaged gas lines, flooded electrical circuits, or submerged furnaces).
  • Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. If possible turn off the gas at the outside main valve. Call the gas company.
  • Report broken utility lines to appropriate authorities.
  • Check for electrical system damage (sparks, broken or frayed wires, or the smell of burning insulation). Turn off the electricity at the main circuit breaker if you can reach it without stepping in water.
  • Examine walls, floors, doors, windows, and ceilings for risk of collapsing.
  • Watch out for animals that might have entered with the floodwaters.
  • Let the building air out to remove foul odors or escaping gas.

Take pictures of the damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance claims.

Get professional help.

  • Seek necessary medical care. Do not neglect minor wounds or illnesses.
  • Food, clothing, shelter, and first aid are available from the American Red Cross.
  • If the gas has been turned off for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
  • Have an electrician check the electrical system and appliances.
  • Wells should be pumped out and the water tested for purity before drinking.

Flood Safety

5/18/2021 (Permalink)

Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Flooding often occurs following a hurricane, thawing snow, or several days of sustained rain. Flash floods occur suddenly, due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area.

Learn the Difference between a warning and a Watch. 

  • A flood/flash flood WATCH means a flood or flash flood is possible.
  • A flood/flash flood WARNING means flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon. TAKE IMMEDIATE PRECAUTIONS!

Protecting Your Home

Protecting Your Home

  • If you live in a floodplain, elevate and reinforce your home to make damage less likely during a flood.
  • Check with a professional to:
    • Raise your furnace, water heater, and electric panel to floors that are less likely to be flooded. An undamaged water heater may be your best source of fresh water after a flood.
    • Install check valves in plumbing to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home. (As a last resort, when floods threaten, use large corks or stoppers to plug showers, tubs, or basins.)
    • Construct barriers such as levees, berms, and flood walls to stop floodwater from entering the building (if permitted by local building codes).
    • Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage through cracks.
  • Use sand bags when flooding is expected:
    • It takes two people about one hour to fill and place 100 sandbags, creating a wall one foot high and 20 feet long.
    • Make sure you have enough sand, burlap or plastic bags, shovels, strong helpers, and time to place them properly.
    • If a flood is expected, some communities will offer free sandbags to residents. Be sure to watch or listen to the news so you can access these resources.

Preparing For A Hurricane

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

Step 1: Plan

The first thing you need to do when preparing for a hurricane is make a plan outlining the information you will need and the procedures to be followed in case a hurricane hits. Your plan should include:

  • Contact details – family, friends, schools, work places, and emergency services
  • Insurance details – policy, ‘before’ photographs of your property, and claim process information
  • Maps with at least two evacuation routes marked – in high-risk states, hurricane evacuation routes are signposted
  • An inventory of your possessions - use as a reference in case anything is damaged
  • Details of nearby shelters

Discuss your plan with family and friends to ensure everyone knows what to do when a hurricane occurs.


Step 2: Create A Disaster Kit

You should gather supplies into a disaster kit to help you stay safe during a hurricane. Your disaster kit may have to last for several days, so ensure it’s well stocked. Key items are:

  • Food and water to last at least three days for each person and animal
  • Medicines and first aid supplies
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Portable radio and mobile phone
  • Toiletries
  • Maps of the local area
  • Money (cash)
  • Portable generator (if in an area prone to power outages and hurricanes)

If you’re going to be at home when the hurricane hits, fill up all available containers with water beforehand, including sinks and bathtubs. Stock your refrigerator and freezer with water and ice. If the hurricane is severe (Category 3 or higher), water supplies are likely to be down or contaminated for multiple days after the storm.

NOTE: Water stored in sinks and bathtubs is safe for flushing toilets, washing dishes, and doing laundry. If you intend to use it for drinking, cooking, or brushing teeth, make sure you boil it for 3-5 minutes first.

To save room in your refrigerator, purchase non-perishables and canned foods.

Have one disaster kit prepared for your house and one to take with you should you need to evacuate. If hurricane watches and warnings are frequent in your area, consider storing a kit in your car at all times, so you are able to evacuate the area quickly. Remember to fill up the gas tank of your car if a storm is likely.

Step 3: Establish A Safe Room In Your House

Even if your first choice would be to evacuate the area during a hurricane, bear in mind that this may not always be possible. It is best to identify the room in your house that would offer the most protection if you have to stay.

The ideal safe room should have no windows or external doors and be on a low floor of the building. Store your in-house disaster kit and hurricane plan in this room so it is accessible at all times. If a hurricane approaches, move water and food into this room as well.

Unlike with tornadoes, hurricane safe rooms should not be located in a basement. Hurricanes are frequently accompanied by flooding, so subterranean shelters should be avoided. If possible, have an option in your plan to move to higher floors in case flooding occurs.

Knowing Hurricane Categories

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricane news can be difficult to understand if you do not know the terminology used to describe them. Hurricanes are rated using categories defined by the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, which was developed by the National Hurricane Center.

Five hurricane categories exist, and each one is defined by the wind speeds measured in the storm. The categories are divided based on the levels of destruction a storm will cause.

The categories as explained by the National Hurricane Center are:

Category 1 hurricane (74 to 95 mph): Very dangerous winds will produce some damage:Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding, and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.

Category 2 hurricane (96 to 110 mph): Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage:Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.

Category 3 hurricane (111 to 129 mph): Devastating damage will occur:Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.

Category 4 hurricane (130 to 156 mph): Catastrophic damage will occur:Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

Category 5 hurricane (157 mph and above): Catastrophic damage will occur:A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

You might hear newscasters reference a storm as a Category 6 hurricane. This is not a rating recognized by the Saffir-Simpson scale – it is an informal way of denoting a storm with winds upwards of 185 mph. The increased wind speed for a ‘Category 6’ hurricane does not correspond with an increase in destructiveness, as Category 5 hurricanes already indicate a storm capable of complete destruction.

Hurricane Recovery

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricane recovery after severe storms (Category 3 and above) can take months or even years.

If you have evacuated your property, do not return to the area until you have been advised to do so by emergency services and/or local authorities.

If you remained in your home during the hurricane, proceed with extreme caution when going outside. Wait for at least three hours before leaving to ensure the storm has passed entirely and the area has had time to settle. Keep up to date with National Hurricane Center alerts and local news to know when your area is safe.

Conduct an extensive visual check from your doors and windows to see if there are any hazards in your vicinity. Do not go outside if you can see high flood water or downed powerlines. Instead, alert emergency services that you are trapped and wait.

Once you are safely able to assess the condition of your property, contact your insurers. Describe the damage caused and ask them about next steps for the claiming process, including the timeframe for when an estimator will be able to make it to your property. Have your inventory and ‘before’ photographs from your hurricane plan on hand when they arrive.

What To Do After a Flood.

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

With this post we’d like to delve into how you can help yourself after a flood. Dealing with the aftermath of a catastrophe such as a flood leaves you with water damage and dangerous mold, not to mention emotional trauma! So what steps should you take after a flood?

  • Keep any eye on the news or listen to the radio to find out when it’s safe to return to your home.
  • As we mentioned before, try your best to avoid stepping in moving water.
  • Don’t give in to the temptation to enter unsafe areas unless you’ve been specifically recruited for help from the police or flood relief organizations. You don’t want to be alone in an area that’s unsafe.
  • When relief workers are attempting to help others affected by the flood do your best to stay out of the way. This is sometimes the best help we can be.
  • Remember that there could be more water to come so stay tuned into your local weather channel so you’re not caught off guard.
  • If you absolutely must walk through an area that’s been flooded the be sure to stay on ground that is firm. Water weakens foundations. Just because it looks safe does not mean it will not collapse.
  • Do not under any circumstance enter a building that is surrounded by flood water.
  • Hopefully you were prepared ahead of time and you stocked up with potable water. If you didn’t, be sure you check with the news to see if your local water source was contaminated or if it is safe to go ahead and drink.
  • Stay out of standing flood waters. Many times this water is contaminated with sewage and can make you very sick or cause infections.
  • As soon as you are able to get into your home again, open every window and get the air circulating. The sooner you get your home drying out the better.
  • Anything that was touched by the water will need to be cleaned and disinfected.
  • If you find that there is real water damage, contents damage, or mold in your home, you may want to open a claim with your insurance company and call the professionals in to handle the dirty work. We at SERVPRO of DeRidder, Leesville & Vinton are experts when it comes to water damage, contents recovery, and mold cleanup. We’d be happy to help alleviate the burden and help you get back on your feet!

What To Do Before a Flood.

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

When the weather is getting bad and you’re watching the news do you know how to differentiate between the different terminologies the news channels and radio stations use? Many do not. Here is a handy guide:

Flood Watch - It’s possible that there may be a flood.

Flash Flood Watch - Keep a close eye on the weather channel. Flash flooding is a real possibility and you may need to quickly get to higher ground.

Flood Warning - A flood is going to occur and you will need to stay ready to evacuate if asked to do so.

Flash Flood Warning - This means a flash flood is definitely coming and you need to get to higher ground.

What if a flood is going to affect your area and maybe even your home? Here are some helpful tips we hope you keep in mind to be prepared before a flood affects you.

  • Make sure you have flood insurance. You may think your homeowner’s policy covers floods.
  • Build your flood preparedness kit. You’ll need potable water, food that will last such as canned items, blankets, flashlights, a first aid kit and a radio. Try to have enough supplies in the kit to last you, your family, and your pets for 72 hours.
  • Get your home in order. Do you have a sump pump? If you do, it’s a good idea to make sure that it’s in good working order. Make sure everything you want kept safe is put up in an area that won’t be affected by the rising waters. Pick up your electrical cords from off the floor and unplug everything before you leave. The last thing you want to step into is electrically charged standing water when you come back to your home.
  • Stay alert to the news. If there’s any talk of flooding you’ll want your family to be safe and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Be sure to listen for any road closures so you can take an alternate route if need be.

What To Do During a Flood.

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

We’d like to talk about what you can do during a flood to keep yourself and your family safe. Here are some important tips to keep in mind to stay safe!

  • Stay up to date on the information coming in from the radio or news.
  • If you didn’t prepare and you have time, try to move your indoor furniture inside and get everything important upstairs if possible.
  • Unplug everything. As we mentioned in the previous post, electrical items and water do not mix.
  • Did you know that even in just 6 inches of moving water you can be caused to fall? If you must move through water try to do so only in still water and check the ground underneath you with a cane or a stick to make sure that it is solid before you move forward.
  • Always be prepared for a flash flood. If you see signs that the water is building quickly get yourself to higher ground. Remember, you don’t need to wait for instructions to get to high ground.
  • Many, many people attempt to drive through flooded areas. This can lead to you and your family being trapped in rising water. Sometimes the flooded road can collapse. Be safe and drive around the high water.
  • If you are driving at night you want to be aware of flooded areas that you may not be able to see due to street lights being out. If you can, try to drive during the daylight.
  • If you were unable to escape the flood waters and your vehicle is stuck try and get yourself out of the car and to dry ground as there is the possibility that your vehicle could be swept away with the fast moving water. Remember, only do this if you know it is safe to do so!
  • If you need to leave your car somewhere, make sure it is not near water as this water will likely rise and make your car unusable.
  • And finally, if you see a barricade please respect it. Barricades are put in place for the protection of you and your loved ones. Turn around and try another way.

What To Do Before a Flood

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

When the weather is getting bad and you’re watching the news do you know how to differentiate between the different terminologies the news channels and radio stations use? Many do not. Here is a handy guide:

Flood Watch - It’s possible that there may be a flood.

Flash Flood Watch - Keep a close eye on the weather channel. Flash flooding is a real possibility and you may need to quickly get to higher ground.

Flood Warning - A flood is going to occur and you will need to stay ready to evacuate if asked to do so.

Flash Flood Warning - This means a flash flood is definitely coming and you need to get to higher ground.

What if a flood is going to affect your area and maybe even your home? Here are some helpful tips we hope you keep in mind to be prepared before a flood affects you.

  • Make sure you have flood insurance. You may think your homeowner’s policy covers floods. You’ll want to double check that. Here’s some information you may find useful.
  • Build your flood preparedness kit. You’ll need potable water, food that will last such as canned items, blankets, flashlights, a first aid kit and a radio. Try to have enough supplies in the kit to last you, your family, and your pets for 72 hours.
  • Get your home in order. Do you have a sump pump? If you do, it’s a good idea to make sure that it’s in good working order. Make sure everything you want kept safe is put up in an area that won’t be affected by the rising waters. Pick up your electrical cords from off the floor and unplug everything before you leave. The last thing you want to step into is electrically charged standing water when you come back to your home.
  • Stay alert to the news. If there’s any talk of flooding you’ll want your family to be safe and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Be sure to listen for any road closures so you can take an alternate route if need be.

What To Do After a Flood

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

With this post we’d like to delve into how you can help yourself after a flood. Dealing with the aftermath of a catastrophe such as a flood leaves you with water damage and dangerous mold, not to mention emotional trauma! So what steps should you take after a flood?

  • Keep any eye on the news or listen to the radio to find out when it’s safe to return to your home.
  • As we mentioned before, try your best to avoid stepping in moving water.
  • Don’t give in to the temptation to enter unsafe areas unless you’ve been specifically recruited for help from the police or flood relief organizations. You don’t want to be alone in an area that’s unsafe.
  • When relief workers are attempting to help others affected by the flood do your best to stay out of the way. This is sometimes the best help we can be.
  • Remember that there could be more water to come so stay tuned into your local weather channel so you’re not caught off guard.
  • If you absolutely must walk through an area that’s been flooded the be sure to stay on ground that is firm. Water weakens foundations. Just because it looks safe does not mean it will not collapse.
  • Do not under any circumstance enter a building that is surrounded by flood water.
  • Hopefully you were prepared ahead of time and you stocked up with potable water. If you didn’t, be sure you check with the news to see if your local water source was contaminated or if it is safe to go ahead and drink.
  • Stay out of standing flood waters. Many times this water is contaminated with sewage and can make you very sick or cause infections.
  • As soon as you are able to get into your home again, open every window and get the air circulating. The sooner you get your home drying out the better.
  • Anything that was touched by the water will need to be cleaned and disinfected.
  • If you find that there is real water damage, contents damage, or mold in your home, you may want to open a claim with your insurance company and call the professionals in to handle the dirty work. We at Delta Disaster Services of Southern Colorado are experts when it comes to water damage, contents recovery, and mold cleanup. We’d be happy to help alleviate the burden and help you get back on your feet!

The Dangers of Standing Flood Water from a Storm

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Storms and hurricanes devastate different regions every year. Unfortunately, some of the biggest dangers caused by storms can occur after the storm has already passed. In addition to a lack of supplies and road closures, the standing flood water resulting from storms can cause serious health risks. Here are some of the most severe problems floods can bring.

Health Dangers

Standing flood water is teeming with health risks. The CDC has a section detailing all of the possible diseases that become more likely in the event of a storm disaster, including Norovirus and the West Nile Virus. Bacterial infections and diseases become a greater possibility because flood water can infect everything it touches. This can include anything from articles of clothing to the toys that children play with. For this reason, it is incredibly important not to drink or eat anything that has been contaminated by standing flood water, and to always wash hands as often as possible- especially before meals. In addition, open wounds pose a far greater risk of becoming infected as a result of storm waters. If at all possible, keep open wounds out of the water or cover with waterproof bandages. 

Physical Hazards

Disease isn't the only invisible hazard that can exist within standing water. Murky water can conceal dangerous insects or even threatening animals beneath the surface. Much of this depends on the location of the storm, but it's not unheard of for alligators to make use of a new habitat resulting from a storm. In addition, much of the physical damage caused by a storm is still present in the water. This can include broken glass or sharp metal which might be impossible to see before it causes injury. On top of that, storms frequently cause damage to power lines. These can lead to a risk of electrocution in standing water. Flood water itself poses the possibility of causing drowning, whether people are in their cars or trying to swim across.

Storm Preparation Tips

6/22/2019 (Permalink)

When storms come, be prepared.

Disruptive and damaging storms have been pummeling various parts of the country for the last several months, and Central Louisiana has had its fair share.

However, now, while the skies are clear and the sun is shining, consider the following tips to prepare so that you and your home are not caught unawares in the event of additional storms:

  1. Be aware of weather forecasts and listen to emergency warnings.

  2. Get surge protectors to keep electronics in your home from being ruined by lightning.

  3. Trim trees, and remove dead or broken branches. These can be dangerous projectiles during a severe storm.

  4. Secure outdoor objects such as chairs and tables.

  5. Have an emergency kit ready - with ready-to-eat food, water, flashlight, batteries, etc.

  6. Learn first aid and have a first aid kit on hand.

  7. Pick a safe place in the house that's away from windows.

  8. Prepare your family and make sure everyone is on the same page.

Should storms strike and disrupt your home, and you require restoration services, please call SERVPRO of DeRidder, Leesville & Vinton to help put it back to pre-storm condition.

Preparing for a Hurricane Watch vs. a Hurricane Warning

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricane Safety Week

Knowing the difference between a hurricane watch and warning can help you and your family better prepare for what’s to come.  A hurricane watch is an indicator to “be prepared” because there’s a possibility that severe weather conditions are coming. This would be a good time to take inventory of your supplies, get important documents organized and ready, have cash on hand, and fill up your cars with gas. Make sure to stay tuned to the weather updates in case a “watch” turns into a “warning”. A hurricane warning tells you to “take action”.  Secure and protect your home, and if you are evacuating, make sure to leave as soon as you can to give yourself time. For more tips on how to prepare for a hurricane, go to the “hurricane section” on our blog page.

Foods to Stock up on in Case of an Emergency

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

A big part of preparing for an emergency is making sure that you have enough food in case of a disaster. The key to having a good emergency stockpile is not about doubling up on your groceries for the week, but instead buying the right kind of food. While the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends keeping a 2-week food supply, other sources would advise keeping a 2-3 month supply.  At the very least, you should have a basic food supply enough for 3 days. Focusing on foods with a long storage life and buying in bulk can help you get the most out of your food supply. Here’s a list of foods you should add to your list:

  1. Canned meat
  2. Canned vegetables
  3. Canned soups
  4. Nuts
  5. Granola Bars
  6. Peanut Butter
  7. Multivitamins
  8. Beef Jerky
  9. Powdered Milk
  10. Dry pasta
  11. Instant Coffee and Tea
  12. Water – 1 gallon per person per day

6 Common Mistakes Before a Severe Storm

3/16/2018 (Permalink)

There are several guides available on how to protect your property from storms, including the "Storm" section on our blog page. Some things to consider as well are the common mistakes to avoid during a severe storm. Just as we like to practice an "always be prepared" mentality at SERVPRO, we hope to inform our clients on how to stay safe for times such as these. Here are some of the common mistakes to avoid:

  1. Underestimating a storm warning/watch. There's a reason why there's a National Weather Service, and these should not be taken lightly. Make sure to keep up with updates as these constantly change.
  2. Not evacuating or not evacuating in time. If you are able to evacuate, do so. Make sure to give yourself enough time before the storm hits.
  3. Not protecting your home. This includes securing any outdoor furniture, trimming trees, and any other objects that can potentially fly into your home in strong winds. For a full list of home safety tips, go here.
  4. Not having enough food and supplies. FEMA recommends preparing 2 weeks worth of food and supplies just to be on the safe side.
  5. Not preparing documents and medical needs. In case you’ll need to evacuate, make sure to gather all your important documents. It can be a headache trying to scamable and look for paperwork during a storm. Make sure to stock up on prescriptions, and plan for battery backup for medical equipment if applicable.
  6. Not having an Emergency Ready Profile ready. Do you know where your shut off valves are? Do you have a list of contacts in case of an emergency? Do you have a point-of-contact water/fire damage restoration person? Sometimes having this information beforehand makes all the difference in a severe storm.  

George Allen, Sr. once said, “Winning is the science of being totally prepared.” Preparing for a severe storm isn’t any different.  Give SERVPRO of DeRidder, Leesville & Vinton a call today to see how we can help you create an Emergency Ready Profile.

Storm Safety

3/13/2018 (Permalink)

It's March again in Central Louisiana, and the sun is finally out. If you've lived in Louisiana long enough, then you'd notice that the weather changes all the time. As pictured on the side, we're expecting a little bit of sunshine in the beginning of the week but may encounter thunderstorms toward the weekend. With that being said, it's always good to be prepared from stormy weather. Here are some tips that Louisianians and non-Louisianians can follow to stay safe from severe storms:

  1. Be aware of weather forecasts and listen to emergency warnings.
  2. Unplug electronics in your home to keep lightning from ruining them.
  3. Trim trees and remove dead or broken branches. These can be dangerous projectiles during a severe storm.
  4. Secure outdoor objects such as chairs and tables.
  5. Bring any outdoor pets inside. 
  6. Have an emergency kit ready - ready-to-eat food, water, flashlight, batteries, etc.
  7. Learn first aid and have a first aid kit on hand.
  8. Pick a safe place in the house that's away from windows.
  9. Prepare your family and make sure everyone is on the same page.

Rainy February

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

February can be a very rainy month in Louisiana and with this stormy weather, it is important that we take the right steps to keep us, our families, and our homes safe.

Here are some ways you can prepare for the rainy weather and potential storms:

  1. Stock up on non-perishable food and beverage items in case the power goes out.
  2. Any outdoor pets should be inside.
  3. Keep flashlights, batteries, matches, and candles handy (always keep an eye on burning candles to avoid possible fires).
  4. Clean and fix gutters, as these can easily get backed up and cause roof damage.
  5. Inspect your roof for potential areas of leaks.
  6. Check for gaps in your doors and windows. Fill in these gaps to prevent leaks.
  7. Clear out any dead branches that could potentially strike and damage your home.
  8. If there is a chance of flooding, move any furniture upstairs and keep electronics off the floor.
  9. Be aware of cracks in your ceiling that can indicate a roof leak.
  10. Apply a waterproof sealer to your deck to fight heavy rainfall.

New Year and new records

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

Snowy Days

Hello friends; so what do you think about the winter that we are experiencing? 

This winter is making records all across the country. Even residents up north are seeing some amazing snow amounts and wind gusts that are shutting down airports. To them it is just another winter but "not so" down in the south where it is normally mild with an occasional cold day. Not only are we seeing below freezing temperatures, but the wind is blowing those temperatures into the single digits. The Technicians at SERVPRO of DeRidder, Leesville and Vinton are seeing a record number of frozen pipes. If the temperature is going to get down to freezing during then night, remember to leave your water dripping in the faucets. They've also seen house fires, so please pay attention to those space heaters and if you are not sure that it is safe to use Don't use it