Recent Storm Damage Posts

Storm Advice - Tips to Help Kids Who Fear Storms

9/6/2019 (Permalink)

Cartoon of two young children standing under an umbrella during a rain storm As with most children, Mother Nature can sometimes invoke fear and anxiety. Luckily, there are ways to decrease their fear.

As with most children, Mother Nature can sometimes invoke fear and anxiety. It is very common for kids to fear storms. Luckily, there are ways to decrease their fear. It is truly about preparing them with the expectations before it happens. Ideally, this will help them develop coping skills, and in return, decrease their fear and anxiety.

Education is power. Teaching children to face their fears in small steps becomes a survival skill. The more you educate them on storms; children will learn to not always associate storms in a negative way. 

It is possible to change their negative thoughts into positive thoughts. When they hear lightning and thunder, tell them it is movie night or pizza night. The next time they hear lightning and thunder, they will remember a happy experience. Consistency is key!

Focus on safety and prevention especially with younger kids. They need to hear that they are safe. This is especially important with larger storms that could possibly cause a lot of damage if in its path.

It is important to communicate that there are people who help others during a storm. For example, SERVPRO of West Erie County Storm Team is currently active helping others at Hurricane Dorian.

Once the children hear this, it becomes easier for them to associate storms and safety together to decrease the fear. It may take some time for their mind to reprogram, so don't forget to leave the night light on for a good nights' rest! 

If storms in your area leave you with unwanted water or damage, call SERVPRO of West Erie County for help at (814) 806-1987.

Local Disaster Recovery Team Headed To Assist With Hurricane Dorian

9/4/2019 (Permalink)

People wading through hurricane waters We have a specialized group on staff called the “Storm Team” that is prepared to head to wherever the storm’s destination may be.

Many people ask us “How does SERVPRO prepare for a hurricane?” Since we are in the restoration business, we are continually monitoring weather conditions daily.

If there is a hurricane situation that needs our attention, SERVPRO corporate will reach out to us directly. From there, we have a specialized group on staff called the “Storm Team” that is prepared to head to wherever the storm’s destination may be.

This week, we are headed to the southeast coast where Hurricane Dorian is expected to hit. Members of our Storm Team include Estimators, Operation Managers, and Technicians all of whom are ready to go and help anywhere in the country in the event of this type of emergency.

SERVPRO also has semi-trailers, box trucks and pick-up trucks that enable us to move emergency supply materials and our equipment. They are full of dehumidifiers, air movers, generators and cleaning supplies. Everything that is needed to get residents and businesses back to preloss condition, is packed and ready. 

During storm relief, our mission at home does not change. SERVPRO is here and ready to serve the surrounding counties 24/7/365 to mitigate any type of water damage. Whatever it is, our goal is to make it “Like it never even happened.”

No matter how bad the situation may be, you know you can count on SERVPRO to be there. For the latest on Hurricane Dorian’s expected path and strength, visit The Weather Channel’s website here for the most recent updates.

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Storm Season in Girard, PA

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Excessive rain and wind can leave your property vulnerable to water damage from flooding.

Have you ever gone on your weather app to check the weather for the week and there is a 20% chance of rain every single day? The little description might read “Slight chance of scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening.” One minute it can be 75 and sunny and the next minute there is a torrential downpour of rain.

Unfortunately, pop-up thunderstorms are not uncommon in late July and August, and they can leave you feeling confused and unprepared. Typically, excessive rain and wind can leave your property vulnerable to water damage from flooding.

Staying informed about the common causes of storm and water damage can provide peace of mind for when that unexpected heavy rainstorm hits Girard, PA.

What are the Common Types of Damage Caused by Storms?

Flooding: During a strong rainstorm, water can penetrate the roof shingles and leak into you home. Nearby lakes, rivers or even streams can overflow and cause flooding that can wreak havoc on your property. Flooding damage can be invasive and cause damage to the materials inside your home or business. Water can rot wood and cause mold growth that will add up to costly repairs.

Burst Pipes: Most people do not examine the condition of the pipes in their home, nor do they know what a worn-out pipe looks like. It may be worth it to hire an expert to evaluate the condition of the pipes in your home. Additionally, active leak detection systems can be valuable as they can detect and stop leaks from happening.  

Sewer Backup: Although nobody wants to experience any kind of water damage, perhaps the most unwanted kind of water damage is sewer backup. Heavy rains can lead to sewer backup that leave your home full of sewage. The smell alone is bad enough, but this problem can affect the foundation of your home.

Any type of water damage can negatively affect the value of your property. Water damage can have many sources, from loose appliance hoses to natural disasters. Water heaters, plumbing, overflowing toilets, bathtubs, and sinks are additional causes of water damage typically seen in homes and businesses.

Regardless of the source, SERVPRO of West Erie County can handle any size disaster. Our highly trained restoration specialists provide 24/7 Emergency Services. SERVPRO is a trusted leader in the restoration industry and a preferred vendor for many national and local insurance companies. If you need help, call SERVPRO of West Erie County today! (814) 806-1987

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What to Do When the Power Goes Out in Springfield, PA

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

Candles, matches, flashlights, and battery-operated radios are great essentials to have on-hand.

You can lose power for a variety of reasons and often without any warning. Your first thought probably is: “I know I have a flashlight around here somewhere. If only I could find it in the dark!”

Once your power goes out, the first step is to determine the cause. It may be your own breaker or a power outage caused by a storm.

To check, you need to locate your electrical panel and see if one of the switches is turned off. You may have blown a fuse or tripped a breaker and all you need to do is turn it back on and power should be restored.

If not, you can always check out your neighbors to see if their house is fully lit. Power is usually lost in a localized area. If you do not have power, it is likely that your neighbors are also without power.

Communicating during a power outage is important to keep everyone as safe as possible.

You can call your utility company and report the loss of power, but be aware many other customers will likely be reporting the same issue and it will be difficult to get through. They are probably already aware of the problem and working to fix it as fast as they can.

Always keep a battery-operated radio on-hand, as well as extra batteries to keep up with the latest news and weather reports. Candles, matches, and flashlights are also important to provide light. 

Be conscious of your phone battery, as you will not be able to charge it using an electrical outlet when it runs out of battery.

In an emergency, you can always use your car to listen to the radio and charge your phone. Make sure your car is in an open area or open the garage door before running it for a period of time. Carbon monoxide fumes can be fatal in an enclosed space.

To protect your appliances, it is best to turn them off. This way, when the power does return, the surge of electrical energy will not damage your computer or television. Additionally, if you were using a stove burner or iron, it can be easy to forget it when the power comes back on.

If the outage is likely to last a prolonged period of time, it is best to stay comfortable and hydrated. Especially in the summer months, your house will likely heat up quickly due to the lack of air conditioning or fans. Stay as cool and safe as possible at all times!

When the power goes out, it can lead to a variety of headaches for homeowners. If you need help with storm or water restoration, call SERVPRO of West Erie County! We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Call us at (814) 806 1987

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Summer Storm Safety for Erie Residents

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Late July through early August is peak season for summer weather and temperatures. Unfortunately, this also means thunderstorm season.

As we reach the end of July and early August, it’s the peak season for summer weather and temperatures. As much as summer is about barbecues, family vacations, and sunshine, it is also the season of thunderstorms.

We usually welcome summer storms for a much-needed change in temperature and cool breeze. Although they are typically harmless, there are still some summer storm safety tips to be aware of for your family, home, and business.

Lightning: Lightening results in 55-60 deaths and about 300 injuries each year.

If you are ever outside and hear a buzzing sound or you have a feeling of “tingly hair,” lightening is near. To reduce the risk of being hit by lightning, crouch down on the balls of your feet and keep your head down and ears covered. This will help protect you, but do not rely on this method to stay safe. Find shelter as soon as the sensation passes.

It’s a wide-spread myth that cars will keep you safe from lightning due to the rubber tires. Click here to find out what actually happens to your car when lightning strikes.

Prepare Ahead of Time: Stock up on essentials for your home in the case a severe storm hits without warning. Here is checklist of a few items you might want to have in your emergency kit:

  • Non-perishable food: Think crackers, peanut butter, canned food or pasta. Make sure to have a hand-held can opener in case the power goes out!
  • Bottled Water
  • Flashlights and batteries in case the ones in the flashlight run out.
  • First Aid Kit
  • A backup copy of important documents: In today’s world, it is very easy to keep an electronic copy of all your important documents on your phone or laptop. If not, make sure to keep a copy in a waterproof container.
  • Devise a storm safety plan: Make sure your children know what to do and where to go in the case of severe weather. Designate a safe meeting place in the home such as the basement or bathroom.

Exterior Maintenance: To minimize damage done to your home or property, keep on top of yard maintenance. Trim trees and large shrubbery around your home.

Secure loose items in your yard that could potentially be picked up and thrown across your yard such as trashcans, trampolines, pool floats, or furniture cushions.  

Braving the Storm:  In the northeast region, it is not uncommon to log onto social media and see pictures or videos of people chasing the storm. For your safety, do not try to do this! Additionally, try to safe away from windows or glass doors and avoid taking a shower or bath.

After the Storm: Do not try to drive through flooded areas as you can have no way of predicting how deep the water may get. Stay up to date on the latest weather information through weather radio or local television stations.

If you find yourself in need of help from flooding, water damage, or roof damage, call SERVPRO of West Erie County. We will arrive as quickly as possible and begin to assist you. If you have any questions or need help, call (814) 806 1987

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Tackle Storms and Severe Weather with Technology

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

Technology can be a vital tool in preparing for a storm, keeping you informed, and helping you communicate with others

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pokémon Go…the number of social media apps and ways to stay connected are endless. Although catching Pokémon and going live on Facebook are fun ways to stay entertained, technology can help keep you safe during a storm!

Technology can be a vital tool in preparing for a storm, keeping you informed, and helping you communicate with others.  Below are some common technology tips, as well as some new ones you may want to check out!

  • Follow the news and stay informed! You can download free apps onto your phone or tablet such as The Weather Channel or Erie News Now to stay up to date with the newest information! Additionally, you can alert first responders to an emergency situation through Twitter. Subscribe through an organization’s alert page such as FEMA.
  • Store an extra copy of important information online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox make it even easier to store important information such as insurance policies, medical records, identification documents, and even information about pets living in the home. This ensures information will be accessible to you should your home or business flood or catch fire. Your phone goes with you everywhere you go!
  • Let family know you’re safe through The American Red Cross app or website. It can give family members peace of mind to know you are safe. You can also check-in on Facebook.
  • Always keep a back-up charger in your car! You never know when you may need to charge your phone and keeping a back-up charger in your car guarantees you will never be left with a dead phone.
  • Create an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your business. The Emergency Ready Profile will be created for you by a SERVPRO worker free of charge. It will provide important facility details such as valve shut-off locations for water, electric, and gas and priority contact information. It will be available to you on your smartphone or tablet any time, day or night.

Being prepared for a storm can offer peace of mind. Technology is one of the quickest and easiest ways to stay informed about the weather and what is happening in your community. You have access to multiple sources of information and ways to communicate in the palm of your hand.  

Should you need emergency services during or after a storm, do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO of West Erie County at (814) 806 – 1987

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