Recent Storm Damage Posts

How to Reduce Pet Stress During a Storm: Evacuation Plan

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

group of animated animals under the words "emergency evac" Follow these simple measures to reduce your pet’s stress.

Plan For Your Pets

Inclement weather or fires can happen with or without notice. Creating an emergency plan can help prevent damage to your home and belongings and protect you and your loved ones - including pets! When putting a plan together, it’s important to plan for their needs as well. 

Make an Evacuation Plan

Remember, if you must evacuate due to an emergency, the area is likely not suitable for your pets either. Your evacuation plan should consider where your pets will be taken, if not kept with you, and how best to transport them. Make a list ahead of time of pet friendly hotels or friends’ houses along your evacuation route and near your final destination. Know that some hotels and shelters do not accept animals. 

You also might want to build an emergency travel kit for your animals. This will save time and worry when you must evacuate. 

Items to include in your pet's emergency kit:

  • A completed Emergency Pet Passport containing important information like your pets’ veterinarian contact info, medical needs, license/chip info, photos, etc.
  • Leash, harness, and carrier with blanket to transport animals
  • A few portions of a suitable non-perishable food, water bowl, bottled water, and can opener
  • Cat litter and pan or bags for excrement
  • Medications
  • Toys

Don’t Have to Evacuate? 

If evacuation is not necessary, there are still some things you can do to reduce your pet’s stress in an uncomfortable situation like a thunderstorm.

Pet Stress Symptoms

Pets may exhibit signs of stress and anxiety that can be alleviated by simple measures. Some of these symptoms include whimpering, hiding, pacing, or shivering. These symptoms may be caused by a variety of factors including pets’ greater sensitivity to sounds and air pressure.

As stress increases, symptoms may become more severe. Follow these simple measures to reduce your pet’s stress:

  • Remain calm as an owner
  • Create a comforting space for them in a smaller room like a closet or under a blanket
  • Close blinds and curtains
  • Keep them in their normal routine, if possible

Read more storm and pet related articles here.

How to Prepare a Business for Storms

4/4/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO crew members cleaning up after a water disaster in a commercial warehouse, wearing orange vests Give us a call at (407) 542-0000 for 24-hour emergency service. Our commercial loss team is standing by to return your business to preloss condition.

3 Ways to Prepare for Storms

While disaster preparedness is not everyone's favorite activity, it can be the difference between a company surviving a storm and one that does not. When a hurricane strikes a small company, as many as 40 percent of these businesses never reopen. So a good plan is critical. Read further for our four top tips to prepare your company.

  1. Buy Insurance. Have the right policy in effect when a storm strikes. Claims payments can replace lost inventory and damaged equipment that is vital to your success. Structuring a policy that makes sense for your company may take a time investment on the front end, but will save valuable time, money and energy given a claim-qualifying event. Business interruption insurance covers some expenses if the damage is severe enough to suspend normal workplace operations. 
  2. Fortify the Building's Exterior. As common sense tells us, a sturdy building will prevail against high winds—like a hurricane or tornado—longer than a weaker builder. A fortified roof system, durable siding, and storm windows will have a better chance of keeping water out and holding up in strong winds.
  3. Make a Disaster Preparedness Checklist. This document will include all the information needed in a storm: important contacts of emergency services in the area, the location of critical equipment, shutoff valves, and emergency supplies, and the phone number of a local storm remediation team for assistance in the recovery. SERVPRO of Oviedo / Winter Springs East offers this information in the form of an Emergency Ready Plans or ERPs. These plans are drawn up by one of our team members to make sure you have access to our emergency services and other important information at a moment's notice.

It's a good idea to consult with experts and bring in professionals to coach employees on what actions to take and not to take in times of stress. Organizations such as FEMA have helpful resources to help with your efforts. 

About SERVPRO of Oviedo / Winter Springs East

We specialize in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a storm, water, or fire event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Give us a call at (407) 542-0000 for 24-hour emergency service. Our commercial loss team is standing by to return your business to preloss condition.

Protect Your Home Against Wind Damage

4/4/2022 (Permalink)

a green truck graphic climbing up a scale graph with the words "we scale our resources" When storms hit anywhere in the United States, our SERVPRO team can scale our resources to handle even the largest storm or flooding disaster.

Wind Damage from Different Types of Storms

While thunderstorms are the most common source of wind and storm damage, winds from hurricanes or tornadoes are more severe and may be more costly. Still, thunderstorms are responsible for a lot of damage, such as lightning, hail, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding. Either way, billions of dollars are spent on wind damage repair and storm damage restoration each year. While understanding the nature of wind damage can’t stop them from happening, it can help you limit the amount of damage to your property and save on restoration and repair costs.

What You Need to Know

Flying Debris is a Damage Risk

Flying debris can cause more damage than strong winds themselves. Damage can result from plants or other unsecured structures and objects. If a storm is approaching your area, make sure any potential debris in your homes such as patio furniture, toys, garbage cans are either secured or brought inside. Bonus tip: For severe weather, secure your doors and windows, too.

A Well-Designed Roofing System Does Wonders

Apply roof deck, shingles, or membrane over the decking. A well-designed roofing system will anchor the trusses and decking to the walls and foundation to keep the entire roof from lifting off the structure in a strong wind. Roofing material should latch to the deck.

The construction phase of building a structure is the most influential piece in reducing damage caused by storms. Loosely connected shingles will lift from the deck, so fasten that siding down. Building codes will likely direct the minimum standards for connections. You, your architect, or your contractor may decide to exceed these minimums for a stronger storm-resistant structure.

Monitor and Maintain Your Trees.

Falling trees and tree limbs are another significant type of damage to structures in a windstorm. Maintain your trees by removing dead limbs. In addition, remove the entire tree if it is dead. Healthy trees should have strong enough roots to withstand fairly strong winds, but dead trees will not.

Mitigating Damage After a Storm

What happens after the storm? 

First, close any openings as soon as possible. Roof openings and broken windows are the most common source of water damage in these situations. Keep a roll of plastic sheeting that cuts to size and nail it over the opening. Your insurance policy will likely cover the cost of an emergency close-up, if needed, so contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.

If the damage is too much to handle on your own, contact a restoration professional as soon as you can to help limit and repair damage and respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions.

Faster Response

SERVPRO of Oviedo / Winter Springs East specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Since we are locally owned and operated, we can respond quickly to your area with the right resources. This is extremely important because a fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Resources to Scale Up for Large Disasters

When storms hit anywhere in the United States, our SERVPRO team can scale our resources to handle even the largest storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of over 1900 franchises across the country as well as our elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

3 Ways FEMA Can Save The Day

10/25/2021 (Permalink)

Flood damage in Waverly Tennessee, aerial view of houses partially under water Flood damage.

While the nation struggles to pick up the pieces after Hurricanes Ida and its aftereffects, many may wonder how they might recover from local storms. Although the average storm may not sweep across neighborhoods with the force to wipe out buildings, it can still bring a significant amount of flooding. Below are three ways the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can help during such difficult times.

1. Organized Support

When a catastrophic flood strikes, it affects everyday life. FEMA formulates a method to respond to the crisis effectively. Victims may check online to see whether their specific area will receive support. After the President of the United States declares a specified area a disaster, a person may apply for disaster assistance through a straight-forward system. FEMA can also work with the state(s) involved to form funding before an expected storm. 

2. Damage Inspection

Despite the vast differences in each situation, FEMA responds to disasters that prioritize victims first. Assistance is determined by comparing recorded essential losses and serious needs to the types of assistance available within FEMA programs and services. After registering, an inspector specializing in disasters generally visits within a week. From there, the agency can work with residents to determine the right assistance plan and begin their aid.

3. Covers Unmet Needs

If a victim has insurance, FEMA still recommends filing an insurance claim first. However, insurance may not cover all losses claimed, in which case FEMA assistance may cover those unmet needs. Connecting with as many programs as possible could help a person receive more aid faster, especially if the damage is severe or in case of an unexpected delay.

No matter the extent of the damage, any natural disaster is shocking, challenging and stressful. However, this is the point at which FEMA can step in to help you get your space – and subsequently, your life – back on solid ground.

4 Ways To Prepare Your Business Before a Storm

10/25/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Oviedo / Winter Springs East storm damage logo with green point and lightning cloud inside Have storm damage? Call SERVPRO of Oviedo / Winter Springs East today.

Minimize the Effects of a Storm on Your Business

During a storm, you can experience damage to your commercial building in Geneva, FL. Flood water, rain and wind can all cause problems for your property. Because of this, it is important to be prepared before a storm occurs. Here are four ways that you can help to prevent or minimize the effects of a storm on your business.

  1. Inspect for Damage

If there is any existing damage to your building, it may get worse after a storm. Cracks in the exterior can allow rain inside the walls, resulting in water damage that you might not notice right away. Damaged roofs can contribute to leaks. These can allow mold to form and spread and may weaken the structure of the building as well.

  1. Check Doors and Windows

In order to prevent flood water from entering the building, you should make sure that all doors and windows are properly sealed. Ensure that these have not been damaged and that they will prevent moisture from getting inside.

  1. Examine the Exterior

You may be more concerned with the inside of your building, but don’t forget to inspect the outside of the property as well. If there are smaller objects outside, you may want to move them to a storage area to prevent them from being picked up by the wind. Make sure that gutters and drains are cleaned to keep water from backing up, and trim any tree branches located near windows.

  1. Back Up Important Files and Data

Damage to the building is not the only way that a storm can affect your business. If you end up with a flooded building, your electronics and equipment can be damaged. If you do not back up important files on these devices, then you may lose them.

The best way to keep storms and flood water from damaging your building is to perform regular maintenance. This will ensure that your property is in good condition during an emergency. If you do have any damage, you can contact a cleanup and restoration service to perform necessary repairs.

5 Pitfalls to Avoid Following a Flood

8/10/2021 (Permalink)

Consider wearing a respirator mask until you have had your house professionally checked for mold Consider wearing a respirator mask until you have had your house professionally checked for mold.

5 Pitfalls to Avoid Following a Flood

If a storm strikes in Chuluota, FL, your home may become susceptible to damage caused by floodwater. Should you experience such a calamity, keeping in mind the below precautions will help maximize a safe and cost-effective return to normalcy.

1. Prevent Electric Shock
Water conducts electricity, making wading through flooded houses particularly perilous. Reduce exposure to electrified water by wearing knee-high rubber boots. Always avoid removing cords or plugs with wet hands and only do so by pulling on the plug, not the cord. Additionally, never flip a circuit breaker before your place has been certified dry.

2. Look Out for Mold and Mildew
If flooding necessitates vacating your home, you may uncover a nasty surprise upon your return. Mold can begin growing within a day or two following a flood, especially when there is humidity. Consider wearing a respirator mask until you have had your house professionally checked for mold.

3. Beware of Contamination
Flood water relentlessly knocks over anything in its path and can therefore easily become compromised. Avoid touching any water in a flooded home that you are not certain is free from raw sewage or other hazardous substances.

4. Never Jump the Gun on Buying Furniture
Purchasing a new sofa or bed may feel like a step toward normalcy, but acquiring new items too soon may become costly. You never want to pay for storage while still managing the expense of cleaning up water damage.

5. Don’t Wait to Contact Your Insurance
Immediately check with your home insurance carrier regarding the proper steps toward assessing flood damage. The faster you do so, the sooner you will be able to employ a flood restoration service that can get your residence looking “Like it never even happened.”
Uncontrollable flood water can wreak havoc, but heeding the above warnings will help assure your safety, limit expenses, and speed up the restoration process.

Exploring the 3 Contaminated Water Types

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

Have water damage after a storm? SERVPRO of Oviedo / Winter Springs East is here to help! Have water damage after a storm? SERVPRO of Oviedo / Winter Springs East is here to help!

Contaminated water in Oviedo, FL, is something that no one wants to deal with, but it happens, so you want to ensure that you are informed. This guide helps you take the right steps to restore your home following a flood or bad water situation. 

Clean Water

Also referred to as white water, this type is considered clean and not harmful to people or your pets. The one exception to this rule would be if detergent got into the water. You may experience a flood of this water type due to situations, such as the following:

  • Overflowing sink
  • Toilet overflow or backup
  • Damaged or broken water supply line
  • Faucet damage or a severe leak

It is important to note that while this is initially considered harmless in most cases, it can progress to contamination within 48 hours, so prompt action to clean it up is often imperative. 

Contaminated Water

This type of wastewater may flow from your washing machine, dishwasher, or bathroom fixtures. It usually does not hurt people or pets, but it can contain impurities that can pose a danger to them. Some of the impurities that may be present include cleaning agents, food residue, and household chemicals. Within 48 hours, the associated mold and bacteria growth can transform into black water.

Sewer Water or Outside Flood Water

Sewer water is referred to as black water, and since it contains sewage, it is considered the most dangerous form of adulterated water. You should not attempt to go into an area with it without the proper protection.

Understanding clean water, contaminated water, black water, and the supply line that brings the water to your home can make it easier for you to take the appropriate action should you end up with unwanted water in your home. The faster you act, the more you reduce the potential negative issues, such as destruction of your belongings and mold growth. 

Water Damage 101

4/30/2021 (Permalink)

Be aware of all water types! Be aware of all water types!

Unexpected water in your Geneva, FL, home where it shouldn’t be isn’t something that should be overlooked. Whether the water damage appears to be minimal or a lot, understanding the type of water and damage is important to ensure proper cleanup and restoration.

Types of Water

Any kind of water needs to be immediately addressed to ensure further damage doesn’t occur. Before grabbing the mop and bucket or wet vacuum, it is vital to understand the type of water that is being dealt with. They are three categories of water:

Clean Water: As its name suggests, this type poses no threat. This damage occurs when a water supply line leaks, a sink or bathtub without contaminants overflows, melting snow, or rainwater infiltrates the home.
Gray Water: Once water mixes with chemicals or minimal biological contaminants, it moves to this category. Sources may include a leaking dishwasher, urine-only toilet overflow, or water condensation.
Black Water: This is unsanitary water full of bacteria and microorganisms harmful to humans and animals. If there was a recent flood, it could mean those rising water included sewage and other debris.

Types of Damage
When assessing water damage to determine repairs, understanding the types is important.

Class 1: The least harmful kind, it typically means that a minimal amount was absorbed in the affected areas. It is usually easy to clean.
Class 2: Known for quick evaporation rates, it can quickly absorb into carpeting and other porous materials. This damage typically requires more extensive repairs.
Class 3: If a sprinkler or pipe bursts, it can rapidly drench floors, walls, furniture, and other belongings. The rapid rate of evaporation requires quick action and water remediation measures to ensure the damage doesn’t spread or promote mold growth.
Class 4: Excessive flooding means massive saturation of integral home components. Consulting a water damage and remediation expert is the best bet containing the situation and ensuring further damage doesn’t happen.

While there are many levels of water damage, quick action in all situations is key to getting your home back to normal.

4 Tips for Preparing Your Company for a Storm

4/20/2021 (Permalink)

disaster preparedness checklist Make a disaster preparedness checklist for your Florida company.

Getting Your Company Storm Ready

While disaster preparedness is not everyone's favorite activity, it can be the difference between a company surviving a storm and one that does not. When a hurricane strikes a small company, as many as 40 percent of these businesses never reopen. That's why a good plan is critical. What, though, is the best approach when you do not have infinite time and resources? Here are four top tips for getting your company ready.

1. Get Insurance. Having the right policy in effect when a storm strikes can be a lifesaver. It's a good idea to spend some time structuring a policy that makes sense for your company. Business interruption insurance can cover some of the expenses if the damage is so severe that normal operations are suspended. Claims payments can replace lost inventory and damaged equipment that is vital to your success.

2. Fortify the Building's Exterior. A strong and built building to withstand high winds can survive a hurricane or tornado where a weaker builder will not. A fortified roof system will have a better chance of keeping water out. Durable siding is a crucial aspect of business preparedness, as are windows built to hold up in strong winds.

3. Make a Disaster Preparedness Checklist. This document will include all the information needed in a storm: important contacts of emergency services in Chuluota, FL, the location of critical equipment, shutoff valves, and emergency supplies, and the phone number of a local storm remediation team for assistance in the recovery.

4. Spend Time on Planning. The more time your company spends on planning, the better its disaster preparedness will be. It's a good idea to consult with experts and bring in professionals to coach employees on what actions to take and not to take in times of stress. Organizations such as FEMA have helpful resources to help with your efforts.