Recent Storm Damage Posts

Do You Have a Back-to-School Family Emergency Plan?

8/4/2022 (Permalink)

little girl and father holding hands, we see them from behind, she has a backpack going to school, SERVPRO logo in left corne As your child ages, changes schools, or your family moves, it's smart to update your plan.

No one ever likes to think that an emergency could happen to them, but the reality is that disasters can strike anytime, anywhere, including while your child is at school.

Even if you never end up needing your family emergency plan, it's best to be prepared just in case. Having a solid plan in place will give you everyday peace of mind and, in the event of an emergency, could save lives.

Emergency Contacts

Make a list of 1-3 trusted emergency contacts who can pick up your child from school in the event that you are unable. Be sure to notify these people and get their permission. Review the list with your child to ensure they're comfortable with these people, know how to contact them by phone, and know what their vehicle looks like. Including an emergency card in your child’s backpack could prove useful for ensuring your child has the correct, pertinent information.

Communicate with the School

Ensure your child's school is kept up to date about who is allowed to pick them up. They'll need correct contact information and sometimes require a form of identification for their records. Many schools have materials they distribute to indicate designated pick up areas and other important information.

Drop Off Location

It’s scary, but it could happen. If none of the emergency contacts can be reached by phone or they're unable to pick your child up in a timely manner, alternative transportation may have to be arranged. Be sure to have a designated alternative drop-off spot. This could be a friend or relative's house, or another trusted location. Be sure your child knows the location, their current address, and phone number so that they can accurately tell authorities how to get there safely.

Reevaluate Each Year

As your child ages, changes schools, or your family moves, it's smart to update your plan. 

Although we hope your family never experiences an unexpected disaster, if you do, SERVPRO is available 24/7/365 for emergency service. Learn more here.

Are you Prepared for a Tornado?

1/23/2022 (Permalink)

tornado in a field with trees in Fort Worth, Texas Follow these tips to get your family and your home ready for Texas tornado season.

There is no such thing as guaranteed safety. 

Freak accidents happen, and the most violent tornadoes can level and blow away almost any house and occupants. Extremely violent EF5 tornadoes are very rare. 

Most tornadoes are much weaker and can be survived using these safety ideas. 

Signs of a Tornado

  • Strong, persistent rotation in the cloud base.
     
  • Whirling dust or debris on the ground under a cloud base-tornadoes sometimes have no funnel!

  • Hail or heavy rain followed by either dead calm or a fast, intense wind shift. Many tornadoes are wrapped in heavy precipitation and can't be seen. 

  • Day or night- loud continuous roar or rumble, which doesn't fade in a few seconds like thunder.

  • Night- small bright, blue-green to white flashes at ground level near a thunderstorm (as opposed to silvery lightning up in the clouds). A very strong wind is snapping these mean power lines, maybe a tornado.

  • Night- persistent lowering from the cloud base, illuminated or silhouetted by lightning, especially if it is on the ground or a blue-green-white power flash underneath. 

Prevention and Practice Before the Storm 

Have a tornado plan in place. Know where to take shelter. Practice a family tornado drill. Name a place to meet after a disaster—store protective coverings in or next to your shelter space for flying debris. When a tornado watch is issued, think about the drill and make sure safety supplies are handy. Turn on a local TV, radio, or NOAA weather radio and stay alert for warnings. 

The Storm Hits: Where are You? 

In a house with a basement

  • Avoid windows, get in the basement and under some protection. Know where very heavy objects rest on the floor above and do not go under them. They may fall through a weakened floor and crush you. 

In a house with no basement

  • Avoid windows, go to the lowest floor, small center room under a stairwell, or a small interior hallway with no windows.

  • Crouch as low as possible to the floor, face down, and cover your head with your hands. 

In an office building 

  • Go directly to an enclosed, windowless area in the center of the building. Crouch down and cover your head. Interior stairwells are usually good places to take shelter. Stay off the elevator. 

In a mobile home 

  • Get out! Even if your home is tied down. It is not as safe as an underground shelter or a permanent, sturdy building. 

At school 

  • Follow the drill! Go to the interior hall or room in an orderly as you were told. Crouch low, head down, and protect the back of your head with your arms. Stay away from windows and large open rooms. 

In the open outdoors 

  • If possible, seek shelter in a sturdy building. If not, lie flat and face-down on low ground, protecting the back of your head with your arms. Get as far away from trees and cars as possible. 

In a mall or store 

  • Do not panic; watch for others. Move as quickly as possible to an interior bathroom, storage room, or other small enclosed areas. Crouch face-down and protect your head with your arms. 

In a car or truck 

  • Park the car safely, stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, cover your head. Suppose you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway. Leave your car and lie in the area, covering your head with your hands, avoid seeking shelter under bridges. 

After the storm passes, assess your property for damage and contact your insurance provider. When you are ready to begin repairs, call in the experts at SERVPRO of Southwest Fort Worth. Our highly trained team specializes in storm damage restoration. We can do the clean-up, pack-out, water extraction, drying, reconstruction. We also work with your insurance to ensure a smoother claims process. We’re committed to helping our community. Call us anytime at (871) 557-6895.

Protecting Your Home or Business from Wind Damage

1/23/2022 (Permalink)

tree fallen on power lines and house in Fort Worth, Texas Know how to protect your home or business from wind damage and save time and money.

Many areas in the United States have experienced heavy winds and storms this past year. The intense, powerful winds can cause significant damage to your home. Wind damage can cause a range of destruction to your property, from broken windows and fallen tree branches to severe damage to the roof, garage, or car. It can happen from the strong wind or indirectly from the wind blowing debris into your house.

Wind Damage from Different Types of Storms

Thunderstorms are the most common cause of wind and storm damage. However, winds from hurricanes or tornadoes are more robust and can cause severe damage. It can produce many types of adverse weather such as lightning, hail, tornadoes, straight-line winds, flooding, etc.

Thunderstorms are responsible for wind damage cases in the U.S. However, storm damage repair may be costly for hurricane or tornado wind damage. Billions of dollars are spent on wind damage repair and storm damage restoration each year. Understanding the nature of wind damage can help you limit the amount of damage to your property and save on restoration and repair costs.

It's important to know when and what type of storm is approaching in your area. You'll learn the potential level of damage to expect. These wind damage facts will help you better understand the likely wind damage and how to prevent it. Here are some steps you can take to minimize property damage when severe weather strikes.

Preventing Wind and Storm Damage

Flying Debris

Most wind damage starts with unsecured flying debris. If a storm is approaching your area, make sure any potential debris in your homes, such as patio furniture, toys, garbage cans, and other objects, are secured or brought inside. Secure your doors and windows to help minimize the potential storm damage to the home.

Roof Materials

Roofing material should latch to the deck. Loosely connected shingles will lift from the deck. Siding damage reduces at the construction phase. Fastened siding isn't as likely to lift off a structure in strong wind. Building codes will likely direct the minimum standards for connections. You, your architect, or your contractor may decide to exceed these minimums for a more robust storm-resistant structure.

Roof damage reduces during the construction phase when the roof deck, shingles, or membrane is applied 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 building in a strong wind.

Tree Maintenance

Tree maintenance to remove dead limbs or identify and remove weakened trees will reduce the likelihood of structural damage. Trees, at times, won't shift positions. If it does, it can shift and cause serious injury to the unwary. Roof openings and broken windows are the most common problem. Keep a roll of plastic sheeting that cuts to size and nails over the opening. Your insurance policy will likely cover the cost of an emergency close-up. Fallen trees may cause other severe safety issues, such as downed electrical wires. Contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.

If your home or business sustains wind or storm damage, contact a restoration professional. SERVPRO of Southwest Fort Worth can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions. Our quick response will help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs. Call us 24/7 at (817) 557-6895.

Step-by-Step Lightning Safety

1/23/2022 (Permalink)

Lightning causes around 27 deaths in the U.S. annually, based on statistics gathered by the National Weather Service. Nationally, lightning is one of the leading causes of weather-related deaths. Lightning is the most frequent important weather threat to personal safety during the thunderstorm season. Unfortunately, Texas has observed several lightning fatalities and injuries. Why? The main reason is that people stay outside too long as thunderstorms approach or form nearby.  During the early part of the thunderstorm season, for example, May and June, "dry" thunderstorms are quite common. With these types of thunderstorms, little or no precipitation reaches the ground and, as a result, people are less likely to seek shelter. If thunder is heard, then the storm is close enough for a lightning strike.  DO NOT wait for the rain to start before seeking shelter, and do not leave shelter just because the rain has ended. Did you know?

  • The air near a lightning strike is heated to 50,000 ° F, which is hotter than the surface of the sun!
  • The average flash could light a 100-watt light bulb for more than 3 months.
  • Lightning occurs with all thunderstorms.

It's not raining, is there still danger from being struck by lightning? YES! Lightning often strikes outside of the heavy rain area and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall. Will the rubber soles of my shoes or tires on my car protect me from being struck? NO! However, the steel frame of a hard-topped car provides increased protection if you are not touching metal. Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside the car than outside. To roughly estimate the distance in miles between you and the lightning flash, count the seconds between the lightning and the thunder and divide by 5. When skies darken, or thunderstorms are forecast, look and listen for increasing wind, flashes of lightning, the sound of thunder, and static on your AM radio. While no place is safe from lightning, some places are much safer than others. 

Where you can go…

  1. Get inside a house or large shelter
  2. Do not use a corded telephone during a thunderstorm.  Only use cordless or wireless phones instead.
  3. Remain clear of tall, isolated trees and telephone poles.
  4. Stay away from wire fences, clotheslines, or metal pipes and rails.
  5. If you are caught outside, away from shelter, you need to get to a place of safety as quickly as possible.
  6. Wait 30 minutes after you hear the last rumble of thunder before going outside.

What you can do...

  • Watch for signs of an approaching thunderstorm
  • Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are imminent.  This is your best way to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation
  • REMEMBER if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to a storm to be struck by lightning
  • If possible, move to a sturdy building or hard top automobile
  • If safe shelter is not available, find a low spot away from trees, fences, and poles
  • If boating or swimming, get out of boats and away from the water, get to land, and find shelter immediately

Our team at SERVPRO of Southwest Fort Worth wants everyone in our community to stay safe during major storms. If you need emergency board-up to protect your home or storm damage restoration, give us a call at (817) 557-6895.

Flood Warning vs Flood Watch

1/17/2022 (Permalink)

Flooding in Fort Worth, Texas If your property experiences flood damage after a storm, contact SERVPRO of Southwest Fort Worth at (817) 557-6895.

SERVPRO of Southwest Fort Worth wants you to be prepared in case of severe weather and know what to do if flooding occurs at your Fort Worth home or business. 

A warning means “Take Action Now!” and if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

  • 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.

A watch means “Be Prepared” because flooding is possible within your area. 

  • 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 happen, but it is possible.

Flood Advisory

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 your life and property.

Storm Aftermath: What Next?

1/17/2022 (Permalink)

storm damage sign in front of home in Fort Worth Texas with storm damage SERVPRO of Southwest Fort Worth can help make storm damage "Like it never even happened."

Dealing with repairs and insurance companies after severe weather hits your property can be difficult. Homeowners can use the following tips to help tackle the storm damage caused by hard rains, flooding, or storm-related issues.

Safety First

If you and your family were away from home when the storm hit, do not return until it has been confirmed safe. Contact a storm damage expert like SERVPRO of Southwest Fort Worth; we'll help you determine if your home is safe to return to.

Insurance

You will need to contact your homeowners' insurance adjuster as soon as possible. If your neighborhood has sustained widespread damage, find out if any special teams of insurance agents, relief workers, or contractors are coming to the area. Check your policy to determine what actions you need to take or talk to your agent to make sure you are following the proper procedures. Not following these actions correctly could result in a reduced claim. Inspect your property and make a list of all damages; take photographs of all noted damage if at all possible.

Recording And Documenting

Document your neighbor's damages, as well; this can prevent the insurance provider from downgrading your claim by saying the damage is from your neglect of maintenance or other unrelated issues by giving them away to compare. Keep a record of all the communication you have with your insurance provider and don't do any unnecessary repair work yourself. Hire a trusted storm damage restoration service provider such as SERVPRO of Southwest Fort Worth to handle any repairs.

Be Scam Free

Always check the adjuster's identification. If you are evacuated, ask for money from your claim upfront. If they agree, you will be given a check for an amount deducted from your final settlement. Some providers will automatically offer a partial payment early on during the process. Review it carefully and decline it if you feel uncomfortable with any part of it. Never be afraid to ask questions and to expect an answer that makes sense or seems fair. 

Dealing with a storm's aftermath is stressful, but reacting quickly and effectively will prevent problems down the road.

SERVPRO of Southwest Fort Worth is ready to help 24/7. Call us for your fire or water damage issues at (682) 708-1001.

Check for Roof Damage After a Storm

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

blue water drops coming from the roof of a home in East Fort Worth, Texas Call SERVPRO of Southwest Fort Worth for water damage cleanup and restoration from a leaking roof.

After a significant storm, it's a good idea to inspect your damaged property as quickly as you can. Your home's main line of defense is your roof, and it takes a beating. Pay attention to dings in your gutters or tears in your window screens, which indicate hail damage. You may also see missing shingle tiles from the ground, but those don't always represent a need for whole roof replacement. Usually, the leak is coming from a more minor roof feature.

At SERVPRO of Southwest Fort Worth, we:

  • Find the source of the leak
  • Stop the leak &
  • Clean the water damage.

Find the Leak

During storms in Texas, wind damage can let rain in through your roof. From the inside, look for water stains on your ceiling and walls that indicate the leak.

Common places to see leaky roof damage:

  1. Vents and fans
  2. Chimneys
  3. Window dormers
  4. Vent pipes
  5. Unsecured nails and nail holes

Dealing with Water Damage

  1. Check for discolorations and rotting wood, wet drywall, and insulation.
  2. If you haven't found mold, start drying any wet materials immediately. Complete drying is critical to preventing mold, and it may take longer than you realize. 
  3. If you find mold, remain careful to not spread it during cleanup. Mold grows on wet, damaged materials in as little as 48 hours. A mold remediation professional creates a containment area while working on the water and mold damage. Specialists have monitoring equipment that they use to ensure materials are dry.
  4. For more assistance, call a local construction, restoration, and mold remediation crew like SERVPRO of Southwest Fort Worth at (817) 557-6895.