Recent Storm Damage Posts

Surviving a Storm During a Pandemic: Safe at Home

10/12/2020 (Permalink)

A satellite view of a hurricane off the eastern U.S. coast When a storm threatens during a pandemic, you need to take extra precautions to keep your family safe while sheltering at home.

In the midst of hurricane season, too many Americans will find themselves facing down a powerful wind storm that could damage their homes and cause flooding and widespread power outages—and potentially, injuries and death. Worse yet, this year Americans are facing a viral pandemic that makes just about every aspect of life more challenging—including preparation for a storm.

Just as you and your family have had to make different decisions about activities during the pandemic, you’ll also need to do some extra preparation in case of a hurricane or other damaging storm. But with a little planning, you can put yourself in a position to weather the storm and its aftermath, safe and sound in your own home.

Basic Shelter-at-Home Preparation

In the event you have to shelter at home, most likely without power, your basic preparations include building up and maintaining two-week supplies of these items:

Other important items you should stock up on in case you need to shelter at home include:

  • flashlights, lanterns, radios and plenty of batteries
  • fully-stocked first aid kit
  • important papers that will prove your identity and document your property ownership and insurance coverage
  • cash and gasoline (for your car and a generator, if you have one)

Additional Shelter-at-Home Preparation During a Pandemic

Beyond doing basic shelter-at-home preparation before a storm, you’ll need to take additional steps during a pandemic to remain safe from exposure to viral pathogens. Have these on hand before the storm hits:

  • A two-week supply of cleaning and disinfecting products
  • Several face masks for each family member—remember, you may not be able to wash your masks

One of the most important things to do if you might be sheltering at home during a viral pandemic? Don’t wait! Stock up on all your supplies well ahead of time. If you delay until shortly before the storm hits, you are likely to encounter both supply shortages and crowded stores—immediately putting you at greater risk of exposure to pathogens.

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Surviving a Storm During a Pandemic: Evacuating your Home

10/12/2020 (Permalink)

An evacuation sign in front of a stormy sky When a storm hits and you need to evacuate your home during a pandemic, take these extra steps to keep your family safe from infection.

Just about every aspect of life changes when you’re in the midst of a pandemic. That includes keeping your family safe if you have to evacuate your home after a hurricane, tornado or other damaging storm. Beyond the planning you should do to prevent and survive storm damage during a typical year, you’ll have to take extra precautions to minimize exposure to a contagious viral pathogen.

Your two primary concerns are where to go and what to bring.

Where to Shelter

Finding a safe place to shelter during a pandemic will be more challenging than it normally would be. Check your local emergency management agency and local authorities for the latest guidelines on sheltering, which should be up to date with your state or local public health executive orders.

Going to a large community shelter, like a school gym, won’t be the ideal option in a pandemic, because of the need to distance from other evacuees—although it may be necessary in a mass evacuation situation. If you must go to a large group shelter, expect these pandemic-related requirements:

  • a health screening upon entry
  • regular wellness checks for symptoms and fever
  • face masks for all individuals
  • more distance between cots and other furniture
  • more frequent hand washing, cleaning and disinfecting
  • an isolation area for individuals with symptoms of infection

You should try to locate a hotel, hostel or campground instead, which will allow you to keep your family separated from others. Start calling for a reservation when the storm is on the way.

You can also ask friends and family who are out of the storm’s path if you can shelter with them. You’ll need to take precautions, though, which may include quarantining in a separate room or area of the house if you or your hosts have symptoms of infection or have been recently exposed to the virus.

What to Bring

The American Red Cross advises homeowners to keep two emergency supply kits in your home when a storm threatens. Your stay-at-home kit will include enough nonperishable food, water, medications, hygiene items and cleaning supplies to supply you and your family for up to two weeks.

Your three-day evacuation kit is similar to your stay-at-home kit, but it must be portable and ready to go in an instant. Include these items:

  • nonperishable, easy-to-eat food
  • water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • all needed medications (bring a two-week supply of these)
  • personal hygiene supplies
  • cleaning and disinfecting products, including hand sanitizer, wipes and tissues
  • three or more face masks for each family member

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Your Winter Storm Preparation Checklist

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

Two people shovel snow in a storm Take some time before a big winter storm hits to gather the supplies you'll need to get through the aftermath.

A severe winter storm can damage your home and property with ice, snow and water damage—but if it knocks power out for a week or more, it can put your life and health at risk, too (not to mention the comfort of you and your family)!

Prepare for a winter storm and power outage by following this checklist.

Food and Water

  • Water (at least a three-day supply of one gallon per person, per day)
  • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable, high-energy, easy-to-prepare foods)
  • Baby formula and food, if needed
  • Pet food, if needed

Heating and Lighting

  • Flashlights, lanterns and extra batteries
  • Candles
  • Extra blankets
  • Generator and gas to run for 24+ hours (never use inside your home!)
  • Alternate supplies for heating methods, such as fireplaces or wood- or coal-burning stoves
  • Fire extinguisher

Venturing Out

  • Fully fueled vehicles
  • Extra cash

Electronics

  • Fully charged cell phones, tablets, etc.
  • Phone chargers to use in your car
  • Fully charged power bank for your phone
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Extra batteries

Shovels and Tools

  • Shovels and tools for clearing snow and ice
  • Sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery
  • Fully fueled snow blower

Medical and Personal Hygiene

  • Medications (at least a seven-day supply)
  • First aid kit
  • Medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, etc.)
  • Medical information and medical insurance card
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Baby diapers and wipes, if needed

Important information

  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Copies of personal documents, such as passports and Social Security cards
  • Phone numbers of your insurance company and agent

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

4 Kinds of Floodwater Hazards

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

A home's interior staircase flooded with brown storm water After a flood, be aware of the serious risks to your health and safety that remain in the waters.

When many people think of floods, they think of damage to their home or property. But, floodwaters can also pose serious health and safety risks to you and your family. Beware these four kinds of hazards after a flood.

Electrical Hazards

Strong winds that accompany storms can knock down power lines. If downed lines are present, you may be at risk for electrocution when walking or driving through flooded areas. If you see downed power lines near your home, do not walk near or through floodwater. Instead, get to a safe place and call local authorities to report the situation.

If your electrical system has sustained damage, don’t turn on light switches or use electrical appliances or items in your home. If you’re uncertain whether it’s safe to use, call a professional to inspect your home’s electrical system.

Chemicals and Waste

Chemicals and sewage can contaminate floodwaters and cause gastrointestinal issues, infections, rashes and other illnesses, according to the CDC. After a flood, do not bathe, drink or cook with your home’s water supply until it’s been tested or determined that it’s safe for use.

Sharp Debris

Floodwater can carry sharp objects or other dangerous debris that may be hard to spot, so avoid walking or driving through floodwater. Protect yourself when entering your home by wearing rubber boots, gloves and eye protection during cleanup.

Insects and Animals

Floodwaters can contain or attract wild animals, such as snakes and rodents, so be cautious when walking through the water and keep an eye out for wild animals.

Flooded areas are a literal breeding ground for mosquitoes, so eliminate standing water as soon as possible by draining or emptying water that may have collected in buckets, gutters, pools or other containers.

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Stay Safe During Post-Flood Cleanup

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

A flooded basement You'll be eager to get back into your home and tackle the cleanup after a flood, but you must take precautions to stay safe and healthy.

After a flood and once the floodwater has receded enough to return to your home to start cleanup, you are at risk of injury and infection from contaminants, such as chemicals and waste, in the water.

Take these precautions as you clean up after a flood.

  • Wait: Don’t return home after a flood until local authorities say it is safe to do so. If you’re unsure whether it’s safe to return home or have concerns during post-flood cleanup, contact local authorities and professionals for advice or an inspection.
  • Wash your hands: Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water—especially before you eat or drink—to minimize the risk of contracting an infection or illnesses.
  • Wash your clothes: Clean and disinfect clothing by washing any items that have come in contact with floodwater in hot water and laundry detergent. Wash the clothes you wore during cleanup separately from other items that weren’t exposed to floodwater.
  • Care for wounds: Take care of any wounds, even minor ones, during flood cleanup. If you have an existing wound, avoid exposing the cut to floodwater. Wear gloves and clean all wounds frequently with fresh, clean water and soap. Change wound dressings often.
  • Prevent infection: Keep an eye on existing wounds. If you spot any redness or swelling, or if you experience any other signs of an infection (such as a high fever or pain), seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you sustain a wound during cleanup, especially from a dirty object, seek medical attention.

Naturally, you will be relieved to be back in your home and restore your home after a flood, but be aware of the hazards lurking in the floodwater. Consider calling an experienced and highly trained disaster remediation company like SERVPRO of West Hartford to handle your home cleanup and restoration.

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Make a Disaster Plan for Your Pets

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

A golden retriever holds a first aid kit in its mouth Is your beloved pet ready for a disaster? If you have to evacuate your home, be prepared to take your pet with you ... safely and comfortably.

Having to evacuate in the face of a hurricane, flood, wildfire or other natural disaster is disorienting enough for people. If you own a pet (or pets), you know they are an important part of your family. You need to plan for their safe evacuation, too.

Even if you expect to evacuate for only one day, plan for the worst-case scenario. In unpredictable circumstances, pets can be trapped, escape, be exposed to life-threatening hazards or even starve.

Determine Where Your Pets Can Stay

Once you know evacuation is a possibility, identify a place where you can stay with your dog or cat.

  • Check with hotels to see which ones allow animals.
  • Ask family and friends whether they’re willing to host you and your pets.
  • Contact your local emergency-response agencies to learn which shelters allow animals and what their requirements are (such as medical records).
  • Consider boarding and kennel facilities and veterinary offices for emergency housing.

If you’re away from home, make a plan with a trusted neighbor or friend who can evacuate your pets if necessary. Make sure they know where to find your pet and its supplies.

Pack a Pet Go-Bag

The ASPCA Disaster Preparedness recommends you stock these items in a pet go-bag.

  • Collar with ID tag, contact number and rabies tag
  • A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
  • 3 to 7 days worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (replace every two months)
  • Bottled water, at least seven days worth for each person and pet
  • Pet feeding dishes
  • Extra harness and leash (harnesses are recommended for safety)
  • Copies of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (replace every two months)
  • Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
  • Litter and paper towels
  • Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
  • Disposable garbage bags for cleanup
  • Flashlight
  • Blanket (for comforting an anxious pet)
  • Recent photos of your pets (in case you need to make a lost poster)
  • A photo of you and your pet together to document ownership
  • Your pet’s favorite toy, treats and bedding
  • If your pet has been microchipped, make sure your contact info is up to date

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Prepare Your Pool for a Storm

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

An in-ground swimming pool. Minimize storm damage to your swimming pool by knowing what precautions to take and what to do after the storm ends.

Your in- or above-ground swimming pool is not just a place of fun and relaxation, it’s also a big investment. Here are ways to protect your pool from storm damage cleanup from a hurricane or other powerful storm.

Keep the Water In Your Pool

Draining your swimming pool or spa before a storm hits will not keep it from overflowing and flooding your property. Properly built or installed pools should be equipped with overflows that will drain excess water. Additionally, the water in your pool will protect your pool's finish from the effects of flying debris.

You may want to lower the water level slightly, no more than 1 to 2 feet. Otherwise, the hydrostatic pressure can cause the pool to "float" or "pop" out of the ground, according to the Official Broward (Florida) County Hurricane Preparedness Guide.

Prepare Your Pool Equipment

The most significant storm damage to your pool can occur to its pump and motor.

  • Turn off the circuit breaker to the pool equipment (pump, motor, lighting, chlorinators, etc.).
  • If possible, remove the motor and move it inside, away from water and flooding.
  • If you can’t remove the motor, tightly wrap it with plastic and secure it with strapping tape or rope.

If you have time, remove all loose items from the pool area, including filter housings, filter lid, etc.

What to Do After the Storm

Once the storm has passed, do a few essential tasks—basic clean-up and water conditioning—to get the recovery started. You'll want to:

  • Resist draining the pool.
  • Clean debris from the pool to keep it from staining.
  • Balance water pH and super chlorinate (or shock your pool). Run the filter until the water becomes clear.
  • Don't allow anyone to use your pool right before or after super chlorination.
  • Inspect your pool pump and motor for damage. Let the motor dry for at least 24 hours.
  • If you couldn't remove your equipment before the storm and it was underwater, have a professional check it.
  • When electricity has returned, call a licensed, insured pool repair company to inspect your pool and equipment thoroughly.

If your home or business suffers damage from a natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

Avoid Electrical Hazards After a Storm

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Downed electrical wires lie on a road. Downed power lines pose a silent, deadly threat after a storm. Take extreme caution during post-storm cleanup or evacuation.

The winds and rains of hurricanes and other powerful storms can do vast damage to property: flooding, tearing off roofs, breaking windows, tossing cars. Once the storm has passed, though, the danger remains, because of another kind of storm damage: downed power lines. Take this hazard seriously, because an energized power line is a silent threat that can take your life!

If you see downed power lines, stay away and never try to move them. Even if the power is out, don’t assume it’s safe to touch a downed line, because power lines can become re-energized at any time. Always assume that the line is live and that electrocution dangers exist.

Because power poles may be shared by utility, cable, and telephone companies, downed electrical lines can energize these other lines as well. In fact, when everything around the downed lines is wet from the storm, even normally non-conductive materials can become a path for electricity, including:

  • metal security fences
  • metal buildings, poles and mail boxes
  • standing water
  • trees, branches and pieces of wood

Cleanup Risks

After a strong windstorm, your yard and neighborhood will likely be covered with tree branches and litter. Power lines often get tangled in branches, posing a serious hazard for anyone trimming branches with a chainsaw.

Piles of debris can also be hidden dangers. A lawn chair, piece of metal siding or ladder could be touching a fence or tree limb that is energized.

Be careful and take a good look around your surroundings before attempting any storm cleanup. And have someone with you who can call for help if you come in contact with energized lines.

Driving After a Storm

If you need to drive during or immediately after a storm (to evacuate, for example), be extremely cautious. Watch for downed power lines, tree limbs and obstructions in the road. Never drive over a downed line with your car!

If your car does make contact with a downed wire, the vehicle could become energized. Stay in your car and roll your window down to shout for help or use a cell phone to dial 911.

But if your car has made contact with an energized wire and catches on fire, you must get out of the car. Take extreme caution: the way you exit the car will determine whether you live to tell about it. Your car’s rubber tires insulate it from the ground, but if you step out while touching part of the vehicle, you will complete the circuit and be electrocuted.

  • Remove loose clothing items. Open the car’s door and stand on the floorboard.
  • Don’t hang on to any part of the car as you prepare to jump, including the door handle.
  • Jump away from the vehicle as far as possible, keeping both feet together. Shuffle away from the car without picking up your feet.

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of West Hartford has specialized training and experience in natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation, fire restoration services and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of West Hartford (860.206.6141) any time.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

If your home or business suffers damage from a storm or other natural disaster, call SERVPRO of West Hartford today at 860.206.6141