Recent Storm Damage Posts

Trees and Storm Damage

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

Tree limbs hanging over a house Tree branches hanging over a home that could cause damage in the event of a severe storm.

We all take pride in our home and curb appeal – mature trees can bring shade, beautiful landscaping and a sense of tranquility to our homes. We work hard to maintain our landscaped homes, but one storm can blow through and do more damage than one can even fathom. Keeping your trees healthy can potentially avoid damage to your home in the event of a thunderstorm, tornado or hurricane. Keeping your trees trimmed will reduce the amount of damage that your home can incur when a storm strikes.  Overhanging tree branches can fall and cause major roof damage to your home. Make sure to evaluate any branches that are weak or cracked and have them moved to avoid further damage. Grooming back dead and damaged trees can help promote better growth and keep your home safe from damage.

Safety Tips for Thunderstorms

6/24/2020 (Permalink)

Storm moving in on the coast Severe storm moving inland on the coast.

Its that time of year again – Sweet Summertime! Hot humid days can quickly turn into afternoon evening thunderstorms and sometimes without warning. Protecting yourself and family from the dangers of these storms can be done by following these few safety features. 

Know the 30/30 rule. When you see lightening flash, start counting to thirty. If you don’t make it to thirty before hearing thunder, its time to head inside. Avoid using corded and cell phones and any electronics including computers and TV’s. Stay away from doors and windows. Do not shower, wash dishes or laundry during a thunderstorm. Electrical wires and metal pipes in plumbing can conduct lightening.

Being proactive prior to storm season can help reduce damage to your home.  Remove dead or overhanging tree branches that could have the potential to cause damage to your home.  Have a surge protection system in place in your home. This will help prevent lightening damage to your electronic and household items.

Storms are a part of summertime. Being educated and proactive can help you and your family stay safe!

Hurricane Season - Being Prepared

6/22/2020 (Permalink)

Hurricane making landfall A Hurricane making landfall to the coast.

Hurricane Season is upon us and being prepared can help save you and your family stay safe. Make sure everyone in your household knows and understands your hurricane plan and your evacuation route in the event a Hurricane is predicted in your area. Paying close attention to local weather reports can help you better prepare before the storm.  Make sure you have the supplies on hand to secure your home prior to an evacuation. Protecting your windows with plywood boards or storms shutters can help reduce extensive damage. Secure outside furniture and objects that could cause further damage during a hurricane. Have food, water, a first aid kit, cash, and medical prescriptions on hand.  Being called to evacuate can come quickly if you live near the coast or in low lying areas. Being prepared and ready to go can make it easier on you and your family.

Severe Weather Alerts

2/5/2020 (Permalink)

Notice of a Severe Weather Alert Severe Weather Alert - Know the difference

Knowing the difference between a storm warning and a storm watch can help you prepare for the threat of a severe storm that may impact your area.  A Severe Storm Watch simply means to be prepared that a possible severe storm is probable, and you need to be prepared early.  A Severe Storm Warning simply means take action that a storm has been confirmed and could indicate an imminent danger to life or your property.  Take shelter is a substantial building and if you live in a mobile home do not stay in the dwelling. High winds can overturn the home quickly. Always stay tuned to your local weather outlets for updated weather conditions – Stay safe and know that SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties is here if you need us!

Winter Storm Travel

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Motorist traveling the snow-covered highway during a winter storm. Motorist traveling during a winter storm with snowy road conditions.

Winter is approaching quicker than we think so make sure your vehicle is prepared when a winter storm hits.  Now is the time to make certain your tires are properly inflated and have enough tread to be able to maneuver through snowy and slushy roads. Check your tires often during colder weather. Always keep at least a half of tank of fuel in your vehicle during the winter months. You will be glad you did in the event you get stranded on the highway due to a winter storm and vehicle accidents that could delay you for hours and even overnight. Keep blankets, ice scraper, snacks, water, cell phone chargers and any medication you may need. –This is very important during longer traveling trips. Remember the weather can change quickly – stay informed with local weather alerts and your local (DOT) Department of Transportation alerts. Be safe and if you don’t have to travel – Don’t!

Winter Storm Preparedness

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

House covered in Snow after a Winter Storm Winter Storm of a home

Throughout the US most states have proclaimed the week of December 2 through December 8th as Winter Preparedness Week.  State agencies along with the National Weather Service encourages everyone to prepare for severe winter by checking supplies and safety plans before the real weather hits.

Residents should prepare for winter weather now during the milder temperatures while winter emergency supplies are in low demand.  Shovels, battery-powered radio, extra batteries, water and nonperishable foods should be a part of your household emergency kit. Insulate pipes and allow faucets to drip a little during freeze warnings. This will prevent any busted pipes and water damage to your home.  Chimneys should be cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional prior to burning any fires in your fireplace. Chimneys can be filled with highly flammable layers of creosote so having your fireplace inspected is imperative to avoid a potential house fire.

Being prepared can save you and your family from any unneeded stress over the cold winter months.  

Peak Hurricane Season- Are You Prepared?!

9/4/2019 (Permalink)

The eye of Hurrican Dorian from the International Space Station more than 200 miles above the earth. The Eye of Hurricane Dorian - heading towards the mainland of the United States

Although Hurricane season began June 1 we are now in peak season of the potential of a Hurricane. As we are all watching Hurricane Dorian slide up the coast and praying for all those in his path – we need to all be reminded that being prepared is the best way you can ride the storm out.

Plan your evacuation route and pay close attention to news sources and local government officials. Check locations of the nearest shelters and make sure if you have pets, they will be welcome. 

Keep non-perishable emergency supplies on hand – don’t wait for the warning pick up a few supplies each time you do your weekly shopping. Keep a supply of batteries, candles, supplies to protect your home, drinking water, first aid kit and food items that do not need to be cooked or kept refrigerated.

Review your insurance policies and make sure you keep copies of your policy with you. Take all necessary steps to protect your home.  Cover windows and glass doors and make sure all weak branches are cut to avoid any further damage to your home.

Most importantly keep your family safe and know you can count on SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties to be there for you!

Are You Tornado Ready –

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

Tornado

Tornadoes can be a devastating act of nature. These storms can reach winds of 300 mph and can level homes, business and entire towns in within minutes. Your best defense is to be ready and know what to do if a tornado should strike. Discuss a plan with your family and practice it.  Set up a means of communication and make sure each family member stays in contact with each other and know the closest evacuation center.  Make sure you have an emergency kit that includes food, water and medical supplies in the event of injuries. Stay informed – pay close attention to weather alerts - it’s always a good idea to have a weather radio on hand. The most important is to find shelter – if you are in a structure, find the most interior room of your home and stay away from windows and doors. Put as many walls as possible between you and the storm. Following these safety tips can help protect you and your family in the event a Tornado should strike.

Summer Thunderstorms – Safety Tips and Preparedness

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Summer Storms

Summertime thunderstorms can come out of know where and sometimes with very little warning but there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself and your family when one hits. Keep an eye on the sky and have weather alerts activated on your phone. Find a sturdy building or your car and stay away from trees and powerlines. If you’re in a group stay about 15 feet away from each other. Stay out of water so if you’re enjoying a swim in the pool get out as water is a great conductor of electricity. If you are inside the same rules apply – do not shower or take a bath – avoid water all together. Stay away from windows and doors and avoid using electric equipment like your computer or appliances.

Thunderstorms are a part of summer – so be extra aware of the weather and stay safe!

Storm Preparedness- How you can be ready!

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

Nature brings Storms!

As hurricane season is slowing approaching and the warms days of summer have already started here in the South – we must get prepared for severe storms.  Although our area rarely gets hit with a full-blown hurricane the remnants of a costal hurricane can significantly affect us. The best line of defense is to be prepared.   

Protect your property. Cover windows with tape and keep your blinds closed. Secure outdoor items by moving them into a shed or garage or basement.  Park cars on higher ground and away from trees. Stock up on essentials buy building an emergency kit to keep in your home and be sure to have an emergency kit available for any injuries. Make sure your phone is charged and you have an external battery back up in case your power is out. It’s also a good idea to have an analog phone if you currently have a LAN line in your home. This will allow communication in the event cell service is lost. Have some extra cash on hand. power outages mean no ATMS or banks are operating. Make sure to have nonperishable foods (don’t forget the manual can opener) and water on hand.

Simple preparedness is key to riding out a major storm. Stay safe and know that you can count on SERVPRO of Newberry and Laurens Counties to be there for you!

Southern Homes Particularly Vulnerable During Cold Temperatures

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

For those of us south of the Mason Dixon line we count on traditionally mild winters. Houses are often built on slab foundations and frequently have water pipes running through the attic, an especially vulnerable location.

Southern homeowners should be aware that pipes in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls are all subject to freezing and bursting. If these pipes don’t have insulation or heat to protect them, a strong overnight freeze can cause trouble.

Homeowners in the south need to be alert to the damages of freezing and bursting water pipes when the outdoor temperature threatens to drop to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Although 20 degrees Fahrenheit is well below the freezing temperature of water, two factors make this the critical outdoor temperature:

  1. The temperature of an unheated portion of a house is almost always at least a few degrees above the outdoor temperature.
    For example, an insulated attic may be at 37 degrees or 38 degrees Fahrenheit when the outdoor temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
     
  2. Water “supercools” several degrees below freezing before any ice begins to form.
    In research tests at the University of Illinois, water pipes placed in an unheated, insulated attic consistently started forming ice when the outdoor temperature dipped just below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The 20 degrees Fahrenheit threshold is primarily for homes in the south and other areas where freezing may occur only once or twice a season.

These suggestions for homeowners in southern states will help them prevent freezing pipe damage:

  • Pipes in attics and crawl spaces should be protected with insulation or heat. Pipe insulation is available in fiberglass or foam sleeves. Home centers and hardware stores have sleeves providing one-eighth-of-an-inch to five-eighths-of an inch of insulation; specialty dealers have products that provide up to two inches of insulation. (Check the Yellow Pages under “Insulation” or “Plumbing Supplies” for sources.)
  • Heating cables and tapes are effective in freeze protection. Select a heating cable with the Underwriters Laboratories label and a built-in thermostat that turns the heat on when needed (without a thermostat, the cable has to be plugged in each time and might be forgotten). Follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely.
  • Doors on cabinets under kitchen and bathroom sinks should be left open during cold spells to allow the warmer air of the room to circulate around the pipes.
  • Exterior pipes should be drained or enclosed in two-inch fiberglass insulation sleeves.
  • Pipes leading to the exterior should be shut off and drained at the start of the winter. If these exterior faucets do not have a shut-off valve inside the house, have one installed by a plumber.
  • Hoses should be removed and stored inside during the winter.
  • Let faucets drip slowly to keep water flowing through pipes that are vulnerable to freezing. Ice might still form in the pipes, but an open faucet allows water to escape before the pressure builds to where a pipe can burst. If the dripping stops, it may mean that ice is blocking the pipe; keep the faucet open, since the pipe still needs pressure relief.

Information contains in this blog was provided with the help of our friends at Farm Bureau Insurance.

 If you should need assistance your friends at SERVPRO are here to help.

Tornado Basics

10/23/2017 (Permalink)

Strong winds also came with tornado warnings in Cheraw. Chris Jackson took this photo in Chesterfield County.

Tornado Basics

Tornadoes have caused a lot of destruction in many towns across the United States. South Carolina averages 14 tornadoes per year, resulting in an average of 1 fatalities. Counties in a high risk tornado area include Bamberg County, SC, Saluda County, SC and Richland County, SC. The largest tornado on record occurred on 04/08/1957, measuring a 4 on the Fujita-Pearson scale. Although, we cannot prevent a tornado, we can be more knowledgeable of what a tornado is and the signs of a tornado coming.

 Tornadoes are considered nature’s most fierce storms and is formed from a violently narrow rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground. Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A tornadoes location may be marked by a cloud of debris even if the funnel is not visible.  

 Tornadoes may cause devastating fatalities and damage to many homes and neighborhoods in the matter of seconds.

According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), “About 1,200 tornadoes hit the U.S yearly.”

Tornadoes are most likely to be seen during May into early June for the Southern Plains and for the Northern plains and upper Midwest, tornadoes are more likely to be seen in June or July. Although, these are the peak tornado seasons, tornadoes can happen at any time of the year. Tornadoes can also happen at any time of the day or night, but are most likely to hit between 4-9 p.m.

Key Terms:

Tornado Watch: the conditions are favorable for a tornado.

Tornado Warning: a tornado has been reported, you should seek shelter.

Air Pressure: is the weight of a column of air that extends from the ground to the top of the atmosphere.

Funnel Cloud: a rotating column of wind that has not touched the ground (funnel clouds are called tornadoes when they reach the ground).

Multi-Vortex Tornado: a tornado that has two or more vortices that circle the center of a larger tornado.

Tornado Alley: an area in the United States where tornadoes are more likely to develop.

For more information on tornado safety and what to do in case of a tornado please visit https://www.weather.gov/ctp/TornadoSafety .