Recent Storm Damage Posts
Wind Damage Effects On Your Home
High winds can occur virtually anywhere, and thousands of tornadoes and hurricanes hit the U.S. every year. Severe winds are defined as exceeding 50-60 mph and are categorized as follows:
Straight-line winds: This broad category includes all winds not associated with rotation
Downdrafts: These winds are small columns of air that sink quickly toward the ground
Downbursts: These winds, which can be as bad as tornadoes, are a result of strong downbursts and are usually associated with thunderstorms
Microbursts: These small, highly concentrated downbursts can exceed 168 mph and can be wet or dry.
Gust fronts: These occur when cold air clashes with warm air from a thunderstorm
showers or thunderstorms
Tornadoes: These destructive vortexes can exceed 300 mph and travel over dry land
Cyclones and Hurricanes: In the U.S., these tropical storms rotate inward toward areas of low atmospheric pressure and are most common near the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern seaboard.
Damage from wind can be widespread and can affect not only your structure but also surrounding landscaping and asphalt. Be aware of the potential for falling trees and poles and damaged power lines and take care of these problems right away. After the storm, examine your property for structural damage to the home, including windows, siding, and roofs. If you find that your home has suffered damage, SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel is your company to call. With over 25 years of experience, we can make your home “Like it never even happened.”
Day 9: The Day I Taught My Son to Bump Elbows
Day 9 In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he can see a future where we do not shake hands anymore. I know people who, prior to the pandemic, would only fist or elbow bump to say hi. I thought it was weird but I guess they were ahead of their time. Heck, before all of this, I had no issues with a Golden Corral buffet – but now I am thinking twice. In our business, we are inside many properties; most are fairly clean and organized, but some not as much. We all have a lot of stuff, but some have more than others – I try not to judge. All of this makes me think the service industry may never be the same after COVID-19. Perhaps in the future our team will begin a project by setting containment areas around all work areas to protect everyone while we work. Meaning, by design we do not have much interaction with our client and we seal off the area we are working in regardless of the service being provided. Will air scrubbers, with the HEPA filters that can remove particulates as tiny as 0.3 microns from the air, be required in work spaces? If an employee calls out sick, for any reason, does this mean they stay home for two weeks? I guess we all have to wait and see what happens. On the bright side, if I see you at the Golden Corral, life is back to normal. This is my new barometer on normal – will I eat at the Corral? So when we dip our strawberry into the same chocolate trough, just as the previous 139 (hygienic) people before us did, just know that I want to shake your hand – but an elbow bump will have to do, you know, because our hands will be full with plates of chocolate strawberries.
Day 6: The Day Amanda Was Asked To Maintain Her Professionalism
Day 6, 4:47 p.m. (Today we turn the blog over to Amanda, who has anchored the office team at SERVPRO of West Pasco for 24 years) Thursday 3/26 was my first day working from home. I was so excited! I was all set up at my dining room table. The day was very busy and I worked longer than my normal shift. I was on a roll. I was unstoppable! I thought to myself: “Wow. This is great. No interruptions / very quiet / when this is all said and done I might ask my superiors if I can work from home 2-3 days a week.” Friday morning – I get up excited! Ready to rock and roll – again. Ughy. Some technical issues. Going from 2 large computer screens down to 1 very small notebook screen is challenging. I’m scrolling all over the place. Where the heck is my QBO page? OMG – did I really just close out of Work Centers for the 4th time in the last half hour? How the heck do I get back to the server?? Oh geeze – calls and texts are coming in. People need my assistance. I have to focus. 1:00 pm on Friday – I am now doing laps around my living room – waving my arms and getting loud. Frustration of all the changes and unknown are setting in. Okay. I’m getting louder. I may have let a profanity or 2 slip out. During my semi-moderate “freak-out” – my 17-year-old daughter enters the room and states: “Mother, please, try to remember that you are at work and try to maintain your professionalism!”
Spring Brings on the Rain
Tornadoes, hail, lightening, thunderstorms, fluctuating temperatures, the risk of flooding – Spring, oh what a season! Many Tampa Bay homeowners are excited about the spring awakening, but they won’t get to see our May Flowers if the home is not prepared for these April showers! There are certain steps homeowners can take at the beginning of April to ensure the home can withstand heavy showers and potential rain storms.
Time to Prepare
When you expect rain showers, there are some things you can do to help prepare. Weather changes by the minute in Wesley Chapel, so you need to be prepared for whatever type of rain mother nature throws at us. When rain is intense, water can permeate materials that are not durable. Take a walk around the perimeter of your home and be sure your materials are up to date, and not rotten or compromised. That inspection should also include your roof. Do you have missing/ loose tiles or shingles? If tiles or shingles are not secure, rain, especially wind driven, can enter your home and cause some serious damage. Don’t worry tho, if you do encounter any issues during this springs storm season, call SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel!
Prevent Flood Damage with Sandbags
Using Sandbags to Prevent Flood Damage
Sandbags are a fantastic resource when expecting a flood near your Tampa home or business.
What is a sandbag and how are they helpful?
A sandbag is a sack made or burlap or woven plastic that is filled with sand or soil and used for multiple purposes, but mainly for flood control. They are an excellent choice for the construction on levees, barricades for erosion control, flood walls, and traffic control. Sandbags may be used in cases of emergencies when rivers threaten to over-flow or levee or dam is damaged. Quick action and bags on-hand could save countless dollars in personal and property damage.
What size sandbags are best for homes and business’s?
You should use sandbags that are about 14-18” wide and 30-36” deep. They should be filled half full for easy stacking and will weigh approximately 30 lbs.
SANDBAG DON’Ts . . .
- Sandbags should never be used to build a fortress around the perimeter of one's property. Doing so can actually trap flood-waters between sandbag walls and structures, leading to further damage.
- Do not use garbage bags, as they are too slick to stack. Do not use feed sacks, as they are too large to handle.
Are Your Trees Ready for Hurricane Season
Heavy rain mixed with high winds can wreak havoc on weak and stressed trees, causing branches to snap or trees to uproot. Take a few minutes and walk around the outside of your home. Do you feel like your trees are ready for the next storm?
Hurricane season is rapidly approaching — and with those pesky hurricanes can come damage to your home. While high winds can be scary and dangerous, they are not the only culprit when it comes to damage. Property damage can also be a result of falling trees and flying landscape debris. The best advice we can give to minimizing your risk against property damage is storm preparedness.
Unfortunately hurricane-resistant landscape doesn't exist but with proper care and maintenance overseen by a certified and licensed arborist, your trees can bare the storm!
Pruning is a Vital Component to Hurricane Damage Prevention
You may not have to worry about a strong and rooted tree falling over, but weak limbs buried around the canopy may cause problems. Broken, dead and damaged limbs can be torn from trees during a storm and turned into dangerous projectiles.
Regular pruning done by an arborist over the course of the tree’s life can create a sturdy, well-spaced framework of healthy branches with an open canopy that allows wind to flow freely through.
Trees to Watch Out For
Trees with dense canopies, dead or dying trees, trees with codominant trunks, new plantings and young trees
Consult a certified arborist to see if these, or any other tree hazards, exist around your home.
Offseason Storm Prep!
Here in Florida, especially on the Gulf Coast, storm season is something we take very seriously. But at SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel, we are even thinking about hurricanes, flooding, and tornadoes in the off season.
Hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin - which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and our backyard, the Gulf of Mexico - begins June 1 and goes through November 30 each year. The season peaks in mid-August through late October, and those dates coincide with our company's busiest time. In fact, our company handbook outlines hurricane season and encourages our team not to plan non-refundable vacations, weddings or the births of children during that time frame. (Just kidding!)
While in the off season, our team balances the daily workload of emergency services response along with preparation for storm season. We buckle down on training and continuing industry certifications in the spring, allowing the team to ready themselves for the storm road ahead, and also take time to step back and think about how we can be better prepared for the next time. Over the years, we’ve added a fully-stocked consumables and equipment trailer, locked and ready to be hooked up to a truck and heading out to help. This tactic has allowed us to increase response time dramatically, eliminating lag time almost completely and making the mobilization as fast as possible and helping clients minimize secondary damage. Warehouse Manager Doug reliably monitors and restocks the inventory as needed so the trailer is always ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Each year in early June, before the threat of storms roll in, we take a moment as a company to gather with our families for a day of fun. This gives a chance for the company leaders to thank our families for their sacrifices throughout the year, and in advance for bearing through our busy season. Often our crew can be gone for days and even weeks on end, whether they are responding out of town to a storm event or working long hours locally when our own neighborhoods are facing weather damage.
We want our clients and community to know that we are ready for whatever happens, year round. And we won’t be on vacation when a storm threatens the Tampa Bay Area!
How to prepare for storm season
Preparing for a storm might not be a normal part of your life, but research shows just of important it truly is.
Braving the storm is one thing, but the aftermath is when it might be all up to you.
Once the storm has gone and the sky os blue again, does not mean you are in the clear. Sometimes you need to survive on your own for at least 72 hours. Surviving is not just staying in your home with your family but it is being self sufficient. Having enough food, water and other necessary items to live off of for an extended period of time.
Having the basics to survive is important, that is why listed below is a general list of items to stock up on well in advance of a storm. Waiting til the last minute is just as bad as trying to go to the store after a storm. The shelves will be empty, supplies out of stock, and roads are crazy. Stocking up weeks or months in advance is always a safe option and should be taken seriously.
Recommended items for basic emergency supply kids include:
- Water (one gallon per person per day)
- Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
- Manual can opener
- Battery operated radio
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust masks or bandanas
- Plastic sheeting, garbage bags, and duct tape
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Hygiene items
- Important documents
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
Summer Storms: How To Stay Safe
Once again, that time of year has rolled around. While summer is such a beautiful here next to the Gulf, heading into late summer brings a whirlwind of crazy weather. Checking Tampa Bay’s forecast and seeing rain has become an everyday occurrence. Often times Gulf Coast residents are affected ted by mother nature’s wrath as they are struck with nature disasters.
As we are facing the upcoming months of hurricane season-June 1 through November 30- it is important to be prepared. While those living in Weeki Wachee and Springhill know our true peak hurricane season in roughly mid-August to late October, a deadly hurricane can unleash its wrath at any point in time. That is why it is always a good idea to take the potential lifesaving measures and prepare for such an event.
Listed below are some tips to take when preparing for a storm and how to recover after a disasters strikes:
BEFORE THE STORM
- Create your emergency supply kit and a communication plan
- Unplug all electronics and appliances
- Secure outdoor items that might blow away or cause damage
- Shutter windows and doors. If there are no shutters, close window shades, curtains, or blinds
DURING THE STORM
- Employ a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for official updates
- Avoid corded phones. Cordless and cellular phones are safe to use
- Do not touch electrical equipment or cords
- Stay away from windows and doors
AFTER THE STORM
- Do not drive through a flooded roadway
- Stay away from storm-damaged areas, especially downed power lines
IF A DISASTER STRIKES, WILL YOU BE READY?
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
Centuries later, these wise words from one of our nation’s founder are still salient – especially today. This week we reach the climatological peak of hurricane season, with Hurricane Florence bearing down on the east coast and several more storms brewing in the Atlantic.
With that in mind, preparation is key. Consider the following steps to help you better prepare for an emergency situation.
- Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps and/or check access for wireless emergency alerts. (Try this one from the National Weather Service, or turn to your local news outlets.) https://www.weather.gov/subscribe/
- Develop and test emergency communication plans with family and work places.
- Assemble or update emergency supplies. See this list from the National Hurricane Survival Initiative. http://hurricanesafety.org/prepare/hurricane-safety-checklists/
- Learn about local hazards and conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions.
- Participate in a preparedness discussion, training or class.
- Collect and safeguard critical documents.
- Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources.
- Document property and obtain appropriate insurance for relevant hazards.
- Make property improvements to reduce potential injury and property damage.
Emergencies can happen anytime to anyone. Act now to protect yourself, your family and your property. Over here, preparation is our middle name - SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel stands ready to assist you 24/7. Contact us today at (813) 929-9898.
Storms occur with little warning and can be especially devastating, so you’ll need the company that you can trust to rise to the occasion. Regardless of the type of storm, SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel can handle any size disaster. Our team will work endlessly to ensure our customers are happy, having one objective in the aftermath of disaster, to make their loss “Like it never even happened.”
The SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel team is ready to handle any size loss. With nearly 1,700 franchises nationwide, we have access to numerous highly trained personnel and thousands of pieces of equipment. During catastrophic storms and major events, our Disaster Recovery Team can respond quickly with additional resources.
Our SERVPRO Disaster Recovery teams are strategically placed throughout the country, SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel being one of them, to respond when needed. Our teams have a proven track record for success, assisting with cleanup of floods, tornadoes, wildfires, and damage caused from hurricanes.
Whether it’s a major storm event, or faulty appliance to a busted pipe in your Lutz home, SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel will be there with one call to (813)929-9898.
Preparing For When A Hurricane Strikes
- Prepare your evacuation plan, including pets, transportation routes and destinations.
- Keep all trees and shrubs well trimmed and clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Determine how and where to secure your boat.
- Consider building a safe room.
- Stay informed! Listen to NOAA weather radio or check local forecasts and news reports regularly.
- Cover your home's windows with pre-cut plywood or hurricane shutters. Tape DOES NOT prevent windows from breaking.
- Bring in all outside furniture, decorations, garbage cans, etc.
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
- Fill the bathtub or buckets with water to use for cleaning and flushing toilets.
- Keep your gas tank at least ¾ full at all times.
- Keep your emergency supplies kit, including water, and copies of important documents, in a waterproof, portable container, in an easily accessible location.
Evacuate under the following conditions:
- If local authorities tell you to evacuate, follow their directions.
- If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure, which are particularly hazardous no matter how well fastened to the ground.
- If you live in a high-rise building.
- If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an inland waterway.
- If you feel you are in danger.
- If you live in an area below sea level.
- If you choose not to evacuate, stay indoors and away from windows and glass doors. Notify out-of-are contacts of your decision. Close all interior doors and secure and brace exterior doors. Keep curtains and blinds closed. Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level. Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
- Don't be fooled by a lull in the storm- it could be the eye of the storm and winds could resume.
- Be aware of flooding and tornadoes.
- Stay out of flood waters, if possible.
- Stay away from downed power lines.
- If you evacuated, do not return to your home until the local authorities say it is safe.
Lightning Safety Tips
Thunder and lightning storms happen all the time in Hudson. Know what to do to keep you and your family safe when the storms strike!
- If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance of lightning. Look for shelter inside a home, large building, or hard-topped vehicle right away.
- Do not go under trees for shelter. There is no place outside that is safe during a thunderstorm.
- Wait at least 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder before leaving your shelter.
- Stay away from windows and doors. Stay off porches.
- There is no safe place outside. Places with only a roof on sports fields, golf courses, and picnic areas are not safe during a lightning storm. Small sheds should not be used.
- If a person is struck by lightning, call 9-1-1. Get medical help right away.
- Turn off computers. Stay off corded phones, computers, and other things that put you in direct contact with electricity or plumbing. You can use a cell or cordless phone.
- Do no wash your hands, bathe, shower, do laundry, or wash dishes.
- Lightning may strike as far as 10 miles from any rain.
Hurricane Season Is Here.
It may seem early, but hurricane season is currently underway. For the Atlantic, the season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season began in mid-May and ends November 30. Hurricanes can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property threatening hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds, and tornadoes. While the primary threat is in coastal areas, many inland areas can also be affected by these hazards, as well as by secondary events such as power outages as a result of high winds and landslides due to rainfall. Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Plan an evacuation route and your emergency plan, take inventory of your property, and take steps to protect your home or business. Why take the risk? Call a SERVPRO® of Wesley Chapel. Working to make it “Like it never even happened.”
For more information and preparation tips, visit the Ready campaign website at www.ready.gov/hurricanes.
How Much Do You Know About Water Spouts?
Have you ever heard that saying “We live where you vacation”? Living in beautiful Land o' Lakes, Florida, we know that statement to be 100% true. As we enter mid-April beautiful weather is nothing new to the Pasco County area and neither are the late afternoon thunderstorms. One moment the sun is shining and the next you look out your window and you'll see a waterspout, one of the many joys of living in Florida.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there are two types of water spouts, fair weather waterspouts and tornadic waterspouts. Tornadic waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water or move from land to water. They have the same characteristics as a land tornado and are associated with severe thunderstorms, and are often accompanied by high winds and seas, large hail, and frequent dangerous lightning.
Fair weather waterspouts usually form along the dark flat base of a line of developing cumulus clouds. This type of waterspout is generally not associated with thunderstorms. While tornadic waterspouts develop downward in a thunderstorm, a fair-weather waterspout develops on the surface of the water and works its way upward. By the time the funnel is visible, a fair-weather waterspout is near maturity. Fair weather waterspouts form in light wind conditions so they normally move very little.
Whether your Land O' Lakes home experiences storm damage from a tornadic water spout or your average everyday early spring thunderstorm, call SERVPRO of Wesley Chapel, we are here to help.
Hurricane season is here - are you ready?
Swaying palm trees, sandy beaches, hot sun… and hurricane season! It’s a simple fact, living near the Florida coast – and other people’s vacation hotspots like Wesley Chapel and Dade City –means there is always a chance that a summer storm will come barreling through. And when it comes to hurricanes, preparation is everything!
SERVPRO of East Pasco makes safety our top priority. We hope you do, too. So, we want to know, what is in your hurricane safety kit?
Check out the list below for recommended items by Ready.gov to include in your basic emergency supply kit:
- One gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days for drinking and sanitation
- At least a 3 supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food
- Local maps
Beyond the basics, consider the following: cash in case credit cards or ATMs cannot be accessed, games and puzzles for kids to pass time, solar-powered cell phone chargers, extra infant formula and pet food, and family documents stored in a portable, waterproof container.
As always, be safe, prepared and have SERVPRO of East Pasco's phone number on speed dial during this year's hurricane season.
Who’s name will make the cut? The 2017 storm name list is here!
Living in Wesley Chapel, when I speak of Hurricane Sean I’m usually talking about the devastation throughout the house caused by my almost two-year old son. As he runs amuck, his high-spiraling winds cause books to fly off their shelves, toys to flood each room, and illegible messages in magic marker all over our microfiber couch – which is why I keep SERVPRO of East Pasco on speed dial. This year, it may mean something a little more.
According to NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, storms are given short, distinctive names to avoid confusion and streamline communications when two or more tropical storms occur at the same time.
This is news to me. I always assumed they were named after unruly children.
It’s always fun to see if our name or the name of someone we know is on the list and this year is no different. The wait is officially over and the list of names for the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season have been posted.
Here are the names that will be associated with the upcoming tropical season: Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irma, Jose’, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Phillipe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince, and Whitney.
Tropical Storm Emily has a ring to it, but I’m warning you, you’re going to have to hunker down for a Hurricane Sean.
As always, be safe, prepared and have SERVPRO of East Pasco's phone number on speed dial during this year's hurricane season.
Bring the Thunder (and be prepared!)
During the warm Florida summers, rainstorms are sometimes a daily event and virtually always accompanied by thunder and lightning. According to the Office of the State Climatologist, based at Florida State University, our state has more thunderstorm activity than any other part of the nation: In a typical year on the western half on the peninsula, more than 80 days show thunder and lightning. Also, “Central Florida's frequency of summer thunderstorms equals that of the world's maximum thunderstorm areas: Lake Victoria region of equatorial Africa and the middle of the Amazon basin. The Amazon and east African areas maintain their frequency of thunderstorm activity throughout most of the year, whereas the number of thunderstorms in Florida drops off sharply in the fall and does not pick back up until spring.”
Storms can develop rapidly and the skies have a tendency to open up during your planned outing. If you find yourself caught outside during a severe thunderstorm, here are a few tips to help keep you safe.
- If you are in an open area, find a low place such as a ravine or valley.
- If you are in water, get to land immediately and seek shelter.
- If you are in a forested area, find shelter in a low area under a thick grow of small trees.
- If you are in a car, keep the windows closed.
But here at SERVPRO of East Pasco, we recommend staying inside during inclement weather!
When Storms hit Tampa Bay, SERVPRO is ready!
Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in East Pasco and beyond
SERVPRO of East Pascospecializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.
Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit Wesley Chapel, Land O Lakes, Dade City and beyond, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today at (813) 929-9898