Recent Storm Damage Posts

When the Sump Pump Fails

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

Installation of a new sump pump and the removal of the old obsolete rusty one with a high angle view of the pumps. Your pump needs routine maintenance, such as regular inspections, cleaning, and minor repairs

When the Sump Pump Fails

Flood cleanup equipment, such as a sump pump, tends to be machinery you need, without fail, when an emergency arises at your Hallandale, FL, property. During heavy rains, it's particularly important for the pump to be working, especially if you live in an area where the water table is high, or the soil drains poorly. Your basement or crawl space could be at risk if the pump fails for any reason:

  • Excess water can lead to mold or mildew growth.
  • Basement flooding can negatively impact the home's foundation.
  • Any building materials and belongings could be damaged.


Unfortunately, from time to time, a pump doesn't activate when it should. When this happens, you need another solution.

Prevent Water Damage

Even a small amount of water or moisture in the crawl space can lead to mold growth or standing water that rots the beams or posts of the structure. When your existing pump equipment isn't working appropriately, you can begin by mopping up the water you can reach. If the water is deep, you may need to use a bucket to bail as you wait for water damage professionals to arrive. Remember to move the water at least 20 feet away from the home.

Pump Out More Than Water

When professionals get to your home, they may use a trash pump and a truck mount to tackle the remaining mess. This type of equipment can handle solids and debris that your sump pump may not have handled well. The truck mounting increases the stability of the machinery and makes it easier to transport to flooded locations.

Professional Machinery for Major Disasters

Your pump needs routine maintenance, such as regular inspections, cleaning, and minor repairs. Refer to your owner's manual for the specific maintenance needed. In the event that your pump isn't working correctly or just isn't enough to handle the type of debris in your Hallandale, FL, basement or crawlspace, a trash pump and professional equipment may be the answer.

3 Areas To Check for Hail Damage

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

Missing roof shingles If your roof is shingled, then this is one of the first places to look for hail damage

Types Of Damage That Hail Can Cause

Inclement weather can bring a lot of trouble for your Royal Poinciana, FL, business. When the conditions are right for hail to form, your building may sustain a considerable amount of storm damage. Thunderstorms may be fun to experience from time to time, but the hail damage they can bring can be quite devastating. If you have experienced roof damage from a storm, then you are probably wondering what the extent is and how to identify it. Learn about some common types of damage that hail can cause.

Shingles

If your roof is shingled, then this is one of the first places to look for hail damage. Whether your shingles are composition or single material, they can be damaged by forceful storms. Damaged shingles look different based on their material. If you have asphalt or composition shingles, for example, look for areas that are soft to the touch and black. Wood shingles often split, so look for cracks with sharp edges and an orange-brown color. Storms can also rip shingles off completely, so check for missing shingles.

Insulation

Roof damage can go deeper than the exterior of the building. Hail can puncture your roof and give way to leaks. If the hail is strong enough, it could even puncture your roof's insulation. The hail can create cracks that leak and lead to wet insulation. Wet insulation becomes less efficient as moisture degrades it.

Attics

Hail damage from severe storms can trap water in your building's attic. Water that seeps into your attic can create mold and structural problems. If your roof has been hit by hail and now suffers from water damage, you should contact commercial water damage restoration professionals to mitigate the damage as soon as possible.
After a storm, you may be unsure how to get your business back up and running. Roof damage from hail can feel overwhelming, but taking action quickly can get you back on track quickly and safely.

Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying Storm Shutters

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

A yellow and white two-story house has four windows with white storm shutters Selecting storm shutters that are simple to set up would be a good idea

What Style is Best For Your Home?

The weakest part of your home’s exterior is the windows. Flying debris driven by high winds can shatter a window and let in the rain. Properly installed hurricane shutters can help keep your home safe and dry.
There are several different types available. Homeowners typically consider price and style, but the decision is complex. Following are some questions that may help you decide what style is best for your home.

Can you deploy them when a storm is approaching? You want to be as independent as possible when it comes to putting them in place. Selecting storm shutters that are simple to set up would be a good idea. Don’t assume that help will be available.

Who will deploy them if you aren’t around and a storm is coming? Seasonal homes go through periods when they are unoccupied. If you close your home during hurricane season, do you leave it shuttered for the time you are away? If you don’t and a storm approaches, someone else must do it for you. You want the shuttering process to be as simple as possible.

Is the aesthetic quality of your home important to you? A Colonial-style shutter looks like the decorative vinyl style seen on many homes. The difference that it can cover a window and bolt into position. This a relatively expensive solution. Bahama shutters are awnings that provide shade. When high winds approach, the homeowner can drop the awning to protect the window. This style is more affordable than the Colonial-style.

Is cost a critical factor? The least expensive solution is plywood. It usually requires at least two people who know how to install it. Purchasing the plywood before hurricane season is always a good idea. The problem is that you may need a place to store it between storms.

A shutter will provide excellent protection from high winds and rain. However, it doesn’t guarantee that your home will survive undamaged. It’s good to know that there are hurricane recovery experts nearby in the Hollywood, FL, area. They are Here to Help.

When the Waters Recede in Hollywood Lakes

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is prepared to make your storm damage “Like it never even happened” in Hollywood Lakes.

Have you ever heard the saying, “what you don’t know can’t hurt you”? Sometimes what you don’t know can hurt you in Hollywood Lakes. Too often, after a storm has damaged our property, what we see initially doesn’t tell the whole story. From hidden foundation compromises to the beginning stages of mold growth under a tub, costs can mount quickly and before you know it, you’re in the middle of a spending spree that isn’t recreational. When the waters go down and the damage becomes visible, we often become overwhelmed with the stresses associated with insurance claims and subcontractor costs and errors.  It doesn’t take a psychic to see that you need relief. If or when this happens to you, call SERVPRO of Hollywood/Hallandale/Aventura. In a short amount of time, a friendly crew of professional cleanup and restoration personnel will quickly assess the damage and start the process of making your disaster  “Like it never even happened.”

Help Protect your Property in Hollywood by Boarding Up After Disaster

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

Boarding up your property can help keep more damage from happening after a storm hits in Hollywood.

SERVPRO of Hollywood/Hallandale/Aventura is aware of the horrific damage a storm or hurricane can leave in its wake. Boarding up before or after a storm hits in Hollywood will be beneficial to you and your property.  Unfortunately, during a storm, it is common for windows and doors to break leaving your house or office building susceptible to unwanted guests such as dogs, raccoons, cats, etc. These animals will continue tearing up what is already destroyed along with urinating and defecating, leaving unwanted odors. Boarding up can also help to deter people who might want to take advantage of your disaster by stealing or vandalizing your structure.

Here are a few of the letters you will find on a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) map when facing storms:

  • D = Tropical Depression (wind speed less than 30 MPH)
  • S = Tropical Storm (wind speed between 39 MPH and 73 MPH)
  • H = Hurricane (wind speed between 74 MPH and 110 MPH)
  • M = Major Hurricane (wind speed greater than 100 MPH)

It’s better to be prepared next time winds of this magnitude strike our homes and offices. These tips will help you avoid disaster if possible, but in the event you experience wind damage to your property in Hollywood, please call the professionals at SERVPRO of Hollywood/Hallandale/Aventura at 954-921-8992.

Disability Concerns During Storm Evacuation in Hallandale

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Be Prepared For An Emergency Storm Evacuation In Hallandale, Florida

People with disabilities may need to pack more during an evacuation.

SERVPRO of Hollywood/Hallandale/Aventura has these tips:

Plan for backup if you have your own car. A storm or flood may damage your car.

Before an emergency, check with your healthcare provider to understand these things:

  • Where should I go if I need medical care?
  • Where can I get medical supplies?
  • How I do get accessible transportation?
  • Does the facility have disability ramp access?

Bring with you:

  • Written contact list
  • Medical alert tags/bracelets
  • Copies of medical insurance and Medicare cards
  • List of all medications, dosages, and allergies
  • Style & serial number of medical devices
  • Supply of prescription medications
  • Supply of medical equipment
  • Extra battery for a power wheelchair
  • Any cushions or padding
  • Wheelchairs, canes, braces, etc.

Storm damage makes life more difficult for service animals too.

For people who have service animals in Hallandale:

Pack extra food,  water, & other supplies for the service animal

  • Tell emergency responders that your service animal travels with you
  • Shelters and other buildings may not refuse entry to a service animal

Once you have returned to your home, contact the professionals from SERVPRO of Hollywood/Hallandale/Aventura at 954-921-8992 to address storm damage, water damage, fire damage, or mold damage.

Links:

https://www.ready.gov/individuals-access-functional-needs

Thunderstorms and Lightning In Golden Beach and Royal Poinciana

6/5/2019 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms are beautiful, but they can also be dangerous.  They can cause severe damage to your home and property. Thunderstorms include lightning and can:

  • Include winds over 50 MPH
  • Create hail
  • Cause flash floods
  • Cause tornadoes

In most places, a thunderstorm can happen at any time of the year and at any time of the day.

You cannot prevent a thunderstorm, but you can prepare:

  • Know the risk for thunderstorms in Golden Beach and Royal Poinciana
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system
  • Cut down or trim trees that may fall on your home or office
  • Install surge protectors, lightning rods, or a lightning protection system

SERVPRO of Hollywood/Hallandale/Aventura repeats the warning, “When thunder roars, go indoors”.  You don’t have to wait for the thunder. If there is a thunderstorm warning, go inside. Once there:

  • Unplug appliances
  • Do not use landline phones in office or home
  • Pay attention to alerts and warnings

If you can’t get inside a building:

  • If you are swimming or in a boat, get to land immediately. Find shelter
  • If you are in a car, don’t touch anything metal
  • “Turn around. Don’t Drown”. Avoid flooded roads. 6 inches of moving water can knock you down. One foot of moving water can sweep away your car.

A lightning strike during a thunderstorm can leave a wake of destruction in its path. This can range from minor electrical issues to fire damage. Lightning is also a major cause of injury or death from weather-related dangers.  Most people survive being hit by lightning, but they often have long-term problems.

Links:

https://www.ready.gov/thunderstorms-lightning

Most Vulnerable Hurricane Locations

1/4/2019 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO, our storm damage experts are prepared to respond immediately to any and all hurricane restoration needs.

As South Florida residents, we understand the massive dangers that hurricanes present. From coastal cities in the Southeast and Southwest parts of Florida to all of the Florida Keys, Floridians are no strangers to major storms throughout history. While storms are largely unpredictable, there are specific regions throughout the country that are more vulnerable to hurricanes than others.

The following are some of the most vulnerable hurricane locations to date:

  • Key West, Florida
  • Miami, Florida
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Cape Hatteras, North Carolina
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • New York City, New York
  • Norfolk, Virginia
  • Savannah, Georgia

While Florida is most often linked to major hurricanes over the years, a great number of east coast cities are also susceptible to storm damage. Many weather forecasters have stated that everyone should brace themselves for increased hurricane activity over the next 20-30 years. As such, hurricane experts emphasize the importance of hurricane preparedness for the coming years.

At SERVPRO, our storm damage experts are prepared to respond immediately to any and all hurricane restoration needs. Contact our office today to speak with our highly trained storm damage specialists!

Taking Hurricane Warnings Seriously

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

When preparing for upcoming storms this hurricane season, be sure to be an active listener of the weather channel and of warnings from the government.

As Hurricane Florence makes its way closer and closer to the United States, South Florida residents are likely thinking back to the scary and devastating memories of last hurricane season. South Florida saw some very dangerous storms and it is easy to forget just how terrifying hurricanes can be. Unfortunately, Florida homeowners (especially those who have lived here their entire lives) are particularly numb to hurricane watches and hurricane warnings. Often opting to ignore evacuation orders and hunker down, these residents are taking a major risk for themselves and their family.

Hurricanes can literally be a matter of life or death and taking them seriously is critical to maintaining safety for you and your loved ones. First of all, it is important to understand the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning. A hurricane watch means that bad weather is forming and is potentially threatening for the area in that watch region. On the other hand, a hurricane warning means that the weather is no longer potentially a threat, but has developed further and has become an immediate danger.

Far too many people mistake a slow hurricane season for being a time to ignore “minor storms”. However, it is important to note that the tail end of every hurricane season is typically the most active and troublesome. Therefore, while South Florida is approaching the end of hurricane season the potential danger could just be getting started. Mandatory evacuations must be taken seriously and followed directly. No matter how much “hurricane experience” you may think you have, it is always best to follow orders from your local government.

When preparing for upcoming storms this hurricane season, be sure to be an active listener of the weather channel and of warnings from government authority. Hurricanes are a serious matter and must be dealt with as such.

Signs of Water Intrusion

8/8/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricane Irma took place August 30th, 2017 – September 13th, 2017, leaving destruction in its path. Many homes and businesses in South Florida were affected by the winds and rain that were brought along with it. Yet, months later there are still reports of damages being found. resulting in mold. At some case there were no signs of water intrusion, but there are things to look for, such as:

  • Cracked, bubbled, or chipped paint
  • Warped laminate flooring
  • Detached baseboards
  • Lifted wallpaper
  • Water stains

As soon as these signs of water intrusion are noticed, it is important to call SERVPRO and allow us to perform an inspection of the home or business to address any issues as soon as possible to return your home or business as to “Like it never even happened.”

Protect Your Home From The Next Storm

8/8/2018 (Permalink)

Florida is known for its beaches, sunshine, and hurricane season. For most Floridians hurricane preparedness is already second nature, but at times it can still be overwhelming. But from each storm a new lesson is learned as to how to prepare our homes better for the next season. Each storm is always unpredictable, which is why you should be prepared for before, and after.

Before the storm hits: It is important to stock up on emergency supplies during the beginning of the year to not be rushing to gather what is needed in June when there are many other people scattering to do the same.

The “off season” is also the best time to look into installing impact-resistant windows to have one less worry when getting ready for the hurricane. Rather than setting up shutters, your home will already be prepared.

Just as it's important to prepare before a storm, being prepared after is equally important. If you evacuate only go home after the storm has hit and when your local governor has declared it safe. Coming too early can turn deadly if you run into flooded roadways and falling trees. 

Report any downed power lines and avoid walking through any flooded walkways or roadways. 

If your roof has suffered damages, use tarps to cover it from further water coming in. If your home has broken windows, use plywood to prevent further water damage.

One last step to better prepare for after the storm is to take a picture of all damages to better assist when making insurance claims. 

9 Hurricane Prep Tips for Your Home’s Exterior

6/22/2018 (Permalink)

No matter how many hurricanes you have gone through as a South Florida resident, it is important to remain vigilant every single hurricane season.

As Florida homeowners, business owners, and residents find themselves right in the middle of hurricane season, it is absolutely critical to establish a plan of action for protecting their properties. South Florida is no stranger to nasty hurricane seasons, but with false alarms and constantly-changing hurricane paths, it can get easy to fall into the trap of failing to prepare properly. A lot of people think that buying extra water and canned goods is enough to get themselves and their families ready, but doing just that puts your home in a very risky position. Focusing on preparing your home’s exterior during hurricane season is extremely important for all Floridians.

This hurricane season, keep the following tips in minds as you prepare to safeguard and protect your home’s exterior:

  1. Install shutters on all windows and doors throughout your home
  2. Consider replacing your windows with impact-resistant glass
  3. Be mindful of your garage door and potentially brace your door to withstand hurricane-force winds
  4. Purchase a standby generator to power your home (or a few important areas of your home) in the event that your power grid goes down
  5. Spruce up your landscaping in order to remove any and all possible debris
  6. Inspect your home’s downspouts and gutters to make sure there are no blockages which would prevent water from flowing freely
  7. Remove any and all lawn furniture, any type of planters, and grills that may blow in the wind
  8. Secure any outdoor items that cannot be moved inside
  9. Move your vehicles into the garage or close to the home to prevent damage via fallen trees

No matter how many hurricanes you have gone through as a South Florida resident, it is important to remain vigilant every single hurricane season. Far too many Floridians take for granted being lucky and thus feel immune to hurricane damage. When it comes to Florida hurricanes, it is always better to be prepared than to be sorry. Contact SERVPRO today if your home has suffered any storm damage and our team of restoration professionals will be right there to help!

Hurricane Season Preparation Tips

4/27/2018 (Permalink)

If your home has suffered any storm damage, it's critical to fix it now, before hurricane season strikes again. Contact our SERVPRO storm damage team!

Springtime is a wonderful time of year where the temperatures are perfect and spending time outside is ideal. With every spring, however, inevitably comes summer and that means South Florida residents must aware and educated on looming hurricanes. Hurricane season begins on June 1st every year and spans through September, most often reaching its peak in the month of August. As such, springtime is the right time to begin storm preparation. Homeowners in South Florida are no strangers to hurricanes and the storm damage that they can cause. Therefore, having a plan in place is essential to keep you, your loved ones, and your property as safe as possible.

Hurricane forecasts are always frustrating. Early predictions can have the storm heading right towards your area and late forecasts can change the direction completely. As a result, hurricane preparation must involve getting ready for the unexpected. Keep these hurricane season preparation tips in mind this month:

  • Make a realistic evacuation plan and make sure your family understands it
  • Purchase supplies like water, food, clothing, and blankets now and store them in an accessible place
  • Know your insurance coverage and change it if you are not covered for things like flooding
  • Do a full backup of your most important electronic devices
  • Keep extra chargers and batteries with your packed supplies
  • Keep copes of important documents (financial, medical, legal, etc.) in a safe, secure place
  • Check your shutters and generators now to ensure they are functioning properly
  • Communicate with your family so they know the status of your preparation and the steps to take right before the storm hits

It may seem early so start thinking about hurricanes again, but being prepared now will alleviate a ton of stress come hurricane season. Plus, things like stock piling supplies will put you at an advantage when stores start to run out in pre-hurricane panic. If your home has suffered any storm damage, it is critical to fix it now, before hurricane season strikes again. Contact our SERVPRO storm damage and restoration team today to learn more!

Hurricane Irma

3/2/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricane Irma was a category 4 hurricane when it struck the west coast of Florida, leaving a lot of damage along the way. Yet, the real work begun once the hurricane passed. Immediately SERVPRO's technicians rushed to the warehouse, waiting for the calls to come in, and they came in by the bulk. SERVPRO crews were dispatched from various franchises; which came from all over Florida and even out of state. The first week was strictly handling mitigation of the wet materials left behind by Hurricane Irma, but once the second week rolled in, the remediation process took place. This was the case for a majority of the jobs that were called in for several months after. SERVPRO is always prepared to handle any size disaster. 

Warning Differences

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

  • 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: A 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.

After Hurricane

9/11/2017 (Permalink)

Miami Florida during Hurricane Irma

After Hurricane

  • Let friends and family know you’re safe - Register yourself as safe on the Safe and Well website
  • If evacuated, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
  • Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions.
  • Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding.
Caring For Yourself & Loved Ones
  • Pay attention to how you and your loved ones are experiencing and handling stress. Promote emotional recovery by following these tips.
  • Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.
  • Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
  • Help people who require additional assistance—infants, elderly people, those without transportation, large families who may need additional help in an emergency situation, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.
Returning Home Safely
  • Stay out of any building that has water around it.
  • Keep away from loose or dangling power lines. Report them immediately to the power company.
  • Follow these tips for inspecting your home’s structure and utilities & systems after a hurricane.
  • Take pictures of home damage, both of the buildings and its contents, for insurance purposes.
Cleaning and Repairing Your Home
  • Wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots, and be cautious when cleaning up.
  • Learn more about how to clean up after a hurricane, including the supplies you’ll need, how to deal with contaminated food and water, and how to repair water damage.
  • Don’t just repair your home, build in hurricane-resistant features to help protect against future storms:
    • Secure double entry doors at the top and bottom.
    • Strengthen garage doors to improve wind resistance, particularly double-wide garage doors.
    • Select trees that are not as subject to uprooting to replace any damaged ones. A gardening or landscaping professional can give you excellent advice.
    • If your home has been significantly damaged and will require rebuilding parts or all of it, consider building a safe room.
Ask a Professional to
  • Ensure roof sheathing is properly installed.
  • Ensure end gables are securely fastened to the rest of the roof.
  • Fasten the roof to the walls with hurricane straps.
  • Elevate your home if it’s near the coast and subject to flooding from storm surge.

Hurricanes

8/2/2017 (Permalink)

Tropical cyclones are rotating low pressure weather systems with thunderstorms but no fronts. When these cyclones reach 74 mph or higher, they become hurricanes. Once the storm becomes categorized a hurricane, they get rated between 1 to 5, depending on the maximum sustained winds. The higher the category, the greater the hurricane's potential for property damage. A six year rotating list of names, update and maintained by the World Meteorological Organization, is used to identify these storms. "Hurricane Season" begins on June 1st and ends on November 30th, although hurricanes have occurred outside the time frame. NOAA's (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) National Hurricane Center predicts and tracks these massive storm systems, which occur, on average, 12 times a year in the Atlantic Basin. 

Thunderstorms

8/2/2017 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms may seem minor since they are common but they produce lightning and heavy rain which may be dangerous. Even though there are not ways to prevent them, there measures to take before one arrives to minimize damage to your property or self:

  • Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan. (In case of outages) 
  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  • Postpone outdoor activities.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • Get inside a home, building, or hard top automobile. You are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.(the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.)
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.

Tornadoes

8/2/2017 (Permalink)

Although uncommon, tornadoes are storms to be kept on our personal radars at all times. A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground and is often visible as a funnel cloud. Tornadoes cause extensive damage to structures and disrupt transportation, power, water, gas, communications, and other services in its direct path and in neighboring areas. The extent of destruction caused by tornadoes depends on the tornado’s intensity, size, path, time of day, and amount of time it is on the ground. Tornadoes can strike in any season and at any time in the day, but occur most often in the spring and summer months. If a tornado was to form over a body of water then it is referred to as a waterspout, yet has the same features. 

Three Actions to Take Now to Prepare for Hurricane Season

10/10/2016 (Permalink)

Today we released the 2016 National Preparedness Report, an important guidepost in our work to build a stronger, more resilient America. The findings of this year’s report are significant. This vital information is analyzed to gauge the progress that community partners—including all levels of government, private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, communities, and individuals—are making to prepare for a wide array of threats and hazards. We should be prepared for all hazards, from hurricanes and tornadoes to earthquakes and terrorist attacks.

The good news is that this year’s report shows an increase in community resilience over the past three years. This matters because we know that the more resilient communities are before a disaster hits, the faster and stronger they’ll bounce back if disaster strikes. The bad news is that this year’s report also shows that the percentage of Americans who have developed and discussed a household emergency plan with their families has fallen for two years in a row. We must avoid becoming complacent in taking deliberate steps to be prepared for the unexpected.

Being prepared for disasters is a shared responsibility among all of us. And today, as we mark the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season, I want to encourage everyone – families, communities and businesses - to take action now to prepare.

We’ve been lucky over the past several years. The United States has not had a significant impact from a hurricane or tropical storm since Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012. But luck isn’t a strategy when it comes to being ready. As we’ve seen too many times before, all it takes is one major hurricane or tropical storm to devastate a community, neighborhood, or family.

When a hurricane hits, it can bring high winds, heavy rainfall, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and even tornadoes. Storm surge produced by hurricanes poses the greatest threat to life and property along the coast. The destructive power of storm surge can travel several miles inland, and large battering waves can result in loss of life, buildings destroyed and road and bridge damage along coastal areas. That’s why if you live in an area where hurricanes are a threat, you need to know where you’d go before the danger arrives and makes evacuation impossible.

We are not powerless against the threat of these disasters. Here are three simple steps you should take today to prepare:

Know your evacuation zone. Evacuation zones are areas that may be impacted by hurricane flooding. Many communities have designated evacuation zones and routes to get citizens to safety. This information can often be found on the websites of your state, county, or town emergency management offices. If a hurricane threatens your community and local officials say it's time to evacuate, don't wait.
Download the FEMA app. With the FEMA smartphone app you’ll have all the information you need to know what to do before, during, and after a hurricane. You can also receive weather alerts in your area from NOAA’s National Weather Service, find lifesaving safety tips, and have access to disaster resources should you need them. You can download the app from the Apple App store or the Google Play store. The FEMA app is also available in Spanish.
Make a plan and build a kit. When a hurricane hits, communications systems can go out, transportation can be limited, and it could be days before emergency responders are able to reach your community if you need help. Making a plan - and practicing that plan - helps to ensure you and your family are safe and ready for these challenges. Your plan should include:
Family communication plan: Talk with your family members about how you will contact one another in an emergency. Know how you will check in with family members in different locations, how you will care for children or members with access and functional needs, and how your family will get in touch if cell phone, internet, or landlines don’t work.
Emergency Supply Kit: A ‘go kit’ is a bag that contains basic items you and your family may need, during an emergency. Kits should contain non-perishable food, water, and other supplies, such as flashlights, local maps, and a battery-powered radio, to last you and your family for at least 72 hours. Visit Ready.gov for a complete list of items.
Pets: Many local shelters do not permit pets, but laws require them to accept service animals. Know what you will do with your pet if you need to evacuate.
We want everyone to enjoy the summer without having to worry about what to do when severe weather threatens. The best way to do that is to prepare now and know what you’re going to do in the event of a hurricane. Planning ahead gives you more options and better control over situations that could become chaotic at the last moment if you’re not ready. To learn more about how to prepare for a hurricane visit ready.gov/hurricanes.

 

After the Storm: How to Check Your Property for Damage

10/7/2016 (Permalink)

Conduct a Storm Damage Inspection

The beauty of spring is often tempered by powerful storms, with heavy rains, strong winds and destructive hail. Through it all, your home protects you from the elements, so be sure to check it for damage afterward.

Even if you have no reason to suspect that damage occurred, check your home and its surroundings (once it’s safe to do so, of course). It’s important to identify problems, make emergency repairs and determine if an insurance claim is necessary.

Here’s a handy list of things to check after a storm from the National Storm Damage Center:

Roof

Your roof might be the area of your home most vulnerable to damage in a storm, because so many things can impact it. Whether you’ve had high winds and downed tree branches or just a simple hailstorm, look for these indicators of damage:

  • Holes in the roof 
  • Split seams
  • Missing shingles
  • Leaks in your roof or ceiling

Building Exteriors

While siding, stucco and brick all are durable, they also are susceptible to storm damage. In some instances, homeowners don’t notice until it’s too late to file a claim, so check carefully for:

  • Cracking, chipping or dings and dents on siding. Even if there doesn’t appear to be damage at first, check again at a different time of day. You may see something you missed when the lighting is different.
  • Holes in stucco. This is a serious problem, even when small, so look closely. If you find holes, have a professional conduct a full property inspection.
  • Damaged brick and tuck pointing. While brick typically holds up well, a check can identify any problem areas.
  • Detached or damaged trim, gutters, etc.

Driveways and Walkways

Concrete can chip, crack and split, not only reducing the lifespan of your driveway or walkway, but potentially creating a safety issue.

Trees

Fallen trees and limbs cause more than $1 billion in damage each year, according to the National Storm Damage Center. Keep in mind that property owners generally are responsible for removing trees and limbs that have fallen on their property, even if it is a tree from a neighbor’s yard. Your insurance policy may help to cover the cost of removal and repairs, depending on the coverage you have and the circumstances of the incident. (There are exceptions to this, depending on the maintenance of the tree, so check with your insurance agent.)

General Tips

  • Severe storms often will knock down power lines. If this happens on your property, rope off 30 feet in each direction around the line and do not touch it. Call 911 and the power company immediately.
  • Be sure to do a full check of your property, including things such as your air-conditioning unit, fences, vent caps, etc. And don’t forget to check your vehicles if they were not garaged at the time of the storm.
  • Don’t forget the crawl space. “Most people don’t ever look down there,” according to J. Szczesny, owner of 4 Seasons Home Inspections in Seattle and a Certified Master Inspector. “You need to be sure no water is getting in, and, if it is, make sure it is removed quickly via a sump pump or underground drainage system.”
  • Take pictures of all damage from different angles. You want to document as much as possible.

Finally, knowing the details of your homeowners coverage, your limits and your deductibles can help you during the insurance claims process. It’s a great idea to examine your policy and know what your homeowners insurance covers now, before the storm.

 

Storms

9/14/2016 (Permalink)

Storms

Storms, a natural phenomenon caused by violent atmospheric disturbances occurring over land and water, represent a major potential threat to the entire population of the earth because of their prevalence, the size of areas devastated and the scale of the resulting damage.

There are several different types of storms distinguished by the strength and characteristics of atmospheric disturbances. These are tropical cyclones (typhoons and hurricanes), extra tropical cyclones (winter storms and blizzards), monsoon type storms, tornadoes and thunderstorms.

Certain violent winds, which affect limited areas and the names of which vary from country to country (for example, Bora, Chinook, Faehn, etc.) can be regarded as storms and calI for special preventive, protective and intervention measures.

The different types of storms, their frequency, the seasons during which they occur and the areas usually threatened can be established with some precision but their occurrence and trajectory cannot, until they are already developing. The preventive and protective measures are decisive in such cases and the establishment of meteorological institutes and observatories in each country is necessary to enable the risks to be predicted and the political authorities, firms and population to be warned and advised accordingly.

Preventive and protective measures
The damaging effects of different types of storms are generalIy known to the authorities and inhabitants of the various regions and areas at risk. It is recommended that, if need be, new arrivals’ and tourists contact the public services to find out about the likely risk of a storm in the season when they usually occur and the preventive measures and instructions relevant to such situations.

At the community level the damage caused by storms can be avoided, or at least limited, by:

Permanently monitoring weather conditions and appraising the atmospheric turbulences that could affect the national territory or particular areas.
Co-operating with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) of the United Nations (UN) to strengthen technical and technological assistance and to implement appropriate measures against destructive natural phenomena.
Establishing construction regulations requiring more resistant structures and prohibiting building on areas particularly at risk because of exposure to violent winds, etc.
Determining the probable outcome of a particular event and issuing information bulletins (alarms, protective measures) to the authorities and the general public.
Establishing weIl-equipped management and rescue teams trained in the preventive, assistance and rescue measures needed to respond to the different types of storms likely to strike a built-up area or region.
Training the population, and those in charge of security in companies, in the principles and application of preventive, protective and behavior measures, with a view to reducing the damage caused by a storm.
Storm Damage Cleanup and Restoration

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Storm and flood damage require specialized restoration techniques and equipment. When a storm hits your Hollywood home, you need the company with storm damage experience and expertise. SERVPRO of Hollywood / Hallandale / Aventura can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions.

Do You Have Flood or Storm Damage?

Call Us Today (954) 921-8992

Why Choose SERVPRO of Hollywood / Hallandale / Aventura?

We're Faster to Any Size Disaster

We’re dedicated to responding immediately to water and storm damage emergencies. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost.

Learn More

We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists

We specialize in flooding and storm damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. We have extensive water damage and storm restoration training that allows us to get your home back to normal quickly.

Water Damage Restoration Technician
Applied Structural Drying Technicians
Learn More

We Have the Resources to Handle Storms and Disasters

We can scale our resources to handle any size storm or disaster. We can access resources from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country.

Learn More

Locally Owned Company with National Storm Resources

We live and work in this community too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Hollywood / Hallandale / Aventura is close by and ready to respond to storm and disaster events. We are proud to be an active member of the Hollywood community and want to do our part to make our community the best it can be.

Earthquake

9/14/2016 (Permalink)

Earthquakes

Introduction
The term "earthquake" or seismic tremor is a good description of the natural phenomenon which suddenly strikes an area causing damage that varies according to the intensity of the quake and local geological conditions. Close to the epicenter of the quake, the damage is direct, resulting in immediate destruction, such as collapsed buildings and other infrastructure, and indirect or secondary, resulting, for example, in fires, landslides, ruptured water and gas mains, interruption of electricity supplies, floods, etc..

It should be noted that the main quake is regularly followed by after-tremors, which may occur a few hours, days or even months later and which can be as violent as the initial earthquake. These can cause considerable additional damage which, unless protective measures are taken by the political authorities and their intervening bodies, can result in numerous victims.

Seismic waves (usually known by their Japanese name, "Tsunamis" or tidal waves) are caused by severe underwater earthquakes, or by collapsing sea or lake beds which often result from an earthquake or volcanic eruption. The waves produced spread in all directions at high speed (several hundred kilometers an hour) and, even after having travelled several hundred kilometers from their underwater epicenter, may become very high (tens of meters) when they reach shallow coastal waters or narrow bays. They thus give rise to major dangers for the exposed population and coastal infrastructure, such as hotel resorts, port installations and buildings on the coast.

Preventive and protective measures
Because man has no control over earthquakes they must be considered as unavoidable events.

The damage they cause can, therefore, only be limited by taking long-term security measures to avoid the collapse of homes and important infrastructure, such as, for example dams, nuclear power stations, reservoirs of toxic or inflammable materials, power lines, communication networks, bridges, etc. It is the same for tsunamis. It is clear that such long-term security measures will be adapted to the major dangers that threaten different regions. This is notably the case for areas subject to high tectonic pressure or situated over geological faults, the main causes of high seismic activity (for example the areas situated around the Pacific Ocean and the Mediterranean).

It is up to the governments of the states at risk to establish local seismic building standards ensuring that buildings are resistant to earthquakes, having a solid base and foundations with shock absorbers or dampers that can reduce the effects of seismic tremors. Building should also be flexible and resistant to horizontal and vertical tensions. However, the recent earthquakes in Kobe and Los Angeles have shown that full protection from earthquakes does not exist.

It should be noted that states with civil protection shelters for use in wartime have at their disposal an additional safety measure to protect their citizens in case of an earthquake and, more particularly, from the aftershocks.

Logically, precautions against tsunamis can only consist in the establishment of an observation and warning system along the coasts which have been shown in the past to be subject to this type of disaster.

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Storm and flood damage require specialized restoration techniques and equipment. When a storm hits your Hollywood home, you need the company with storm damage experience and expertise. SERVPRO of Hollywood / Hallandale / Aventura can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions.

Do You Have Flood or Storm Damage?

Call Us Today (954) 921-8992

Why Choose SERVPRO of Hollywood / Hallandale / Aventura?

We're Faster to Any Size Disaster

We’re dedicated to responding immediately to water and storm damage emergencies. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost.

Learn More

We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists

We specialize in flooding and storm damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. We have extensive water damage and storm restoration training that allows us to get your home back to normal quickly.

Water Damage Restoration Technician
Applied Structural Drying Technicians
Learn More

We Have the Resources to Handle Storms and Disasters

We can scale our resources to handle any size storm or disaster. We can access resources from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country.

Learn More

Locally Owned Company with National Storm Resources

We live and work in this community too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Hollywood / Hallandale / Aventura is close by and ready to respond to storm and disaster events. We are proud to be an active member of the Hollywood community and want to do our part to make our community the best it can be.

Floods

9/14/2016 (Permalink)

Floods

Floods generally occur as a result of bad weather ( for example : storms, cyclones, tornadoes or thunderstorms, heavy or persistent rain), melting snow or ice, or the sudden discharge of water.

These events lead to a rise in the water level of major riverbeds or to an accumulation of flow water, to the resurgence of underground rivers or to thaws in low-lying areas adjoining stream banks or river estuaries. In mountainous areas, landslides, earthquakes, and avalanches can cause the overflowing or rupture of hydraulic dams or cause unstable blockages at certain points on rivers, and thus threaten or destroy people and the infrastructure located in the lower parts of valleys.

Bursting or overflowing of hydraulic dams, as well as seismic/tidal waves are special cases which require specific protective measures.

Damage caused by floods can vary greatly according to the nature of the phenomenon at the origin of the flood. They can affect whole regions or certain limited sectors. Moreover, their impact will vary according to whether the event is sudden and violent or a steady but relatively slow rise of flood waters which will inundate a vast area, especially plains situated near or at the mouth of rivers.

The danger is obviously highest in mountainous areas or steep valleys where depressions will be totally levelled or momentarily drowned then covered in debris carried by the flood water (rocks, sand, gravel); this will result in the destruction or burial of all or some of the dwellings, of the economic infrastructure and of vital installations (energy grids, communications and drinking water). This also happens when torrential rainstorms occur in arid regions and deserts where the water cannot penetrate the impermeable soil and, depending on the topography, runs off as surface water destroying homes and settlements over a wide area.

AIl types of floods have grave consequences, mainly because of their secondary effects. Localized flood, or one involving a small rise in water level can lead to large-scale damage, to the interruption or destruction of communication routes (road, rail, etc.) or the loss of infrastructure and damage to the environment (economy, supplies, crops).

Preventive and protective measures
As opposed to other natural phenomenon (landslides) or the causes of certain floods (tidal waves, bad weather), the risk of flood from rising water levels is predictable, although it is difficult to know when it will occur. It is therefore possible to determine the areas at risk.. This is also true in the case of hydraulic dam bursts or overflows since their consequences can be calculated from the volume of water held, the slope and topography of the valley, and the absorptive capacity of the rivers located below.

Long-term preventive and protective measures will essentially consist in regulating the layout of the areas at risk by legislation calling for a systematic appraisal of potential natural dangers, and taking these into account when defining areas that can be built on, and when granting planning permission. These preventive measures will, as far as possible, be completed by an obligation to replant and maintain forests and vegetation, and by the control of upland water streams and rivers. To this end, it can only be recommended that a national hydrological or geological institute responsible for studying these problems and coordinating preventive measures be set up.

At the community level general preventive measures can be summarized as follows:

- Permanent monitoring of the risk of flooding (establishment of a network to measure the water levels of streams/rivers).

- Setting up one or several information and flood warning centers for the population especially with regard to large capacity hydraulic dams.

- Issuing regulations banning building, residing in, and access to identified risk zones and implementing specific protective systems such as alarm signals.

- Building and developing infrastructure that will prevent, avoid or limit floods and protect the population.

- Planning the evacuation of the population likely to be at risk, and instructing them on how to behave in case of a flood.

- Forming well trained and equipped management and rescue teams.

- Lowering water levels in hydraulic dams and increasing the flow of rivers ) preventive measures.

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Equipment
When your Hollywood home has water damage from flooding or leaks, we have the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. The water removal and water cleanup process is completed by our highly-trained technicians who will document the drying process. This validates that your property has been dried properly and thoroughly.

Please follow the tips outlined in our Water Damage Tips—Until Help Arrives Guide to protect yourself and your property.

Have Water or Flood Damage?

Call Us Today – (954) 921-8992

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

We live and work in this community too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Hollywood / Hallandale / Aventura is close by and ready to respond to your flood or water damage emergency. We are proud to be an active member of the Hollywood community and want to do our part to make our community the best it can be.

We are proud to serve our local communities:

Hollywood, FLAventura, FLGolden Beach, FLRoyal Poinciana, FLHallandale, FLHollywood Lakes, FL
Why Choose SERVPRO of Hollywood / Hallandale / Aventura?

We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster

Immediate action is crucial when dealing with water damage. With over 1,650 U.S. and Canadian Franchise locations, we are strategically positioned to be faster to any size water emergency, so Hollywood residents can expect an immediate response, day or night.

Learn More

We’re Highly Trained Water Damage Specialists

We are water damage specialists who get started promptly to get your property dry and back to pre-water-damage condition. Using advanced water removal and drying equipment and scientific drying principles to get your property dried quickly, we document the drying process to validate your home or business is ready. Learn about our water damage training and certificates.

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We Use Advanced Drying Equipment and Techniques

We invest in the latest technology and equipment because it helps us restore your home more quickly and to minimize cost. This equipment allows us to detect hidden moisture and extract standing water quickly and efficiently. We also utilize professional-strength cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing products to cleaning and sanitize the affected water damage area for your comfort and safety.

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Our Water Damage Restoration Process

Since every flood and water damage scenario is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. However, the overall water restoration process remains the same. The steps below detail our restoration process for the typical water-damaged property.