Recent Storm Damage Posts

Know The Risks & Prepare For Them.

9/16/2021 (Permalink)

The Birmingham area receives tornadoes, hurricanes and an immense amounts of rain each year. It is said that 30% of Americans make little to no preparations for a hurricane. And since, this month is National Preparedness Month and September is the most common month for hurricanes to make landfall, here at SERVPRO of Birmingham we thought we would go over what kind of damage hurricanes can bring. Hurricanes can produce:

  • High Winds (155+ mph)
  • Tornadoes & Microbursts
  • Flying Debris
  • Heavy Rainfall
  • Flooding
  • Strom Surges
  • and more..

 Here are some ways to prepare your home before a hurricane or any natural disaster comes:

  • Keep your emergency kit ready and easily accessible.

Keep at least several days of food and supplies in your emergency kit and have many available throughout your home, car and workplace, because you never know when disaster will strike.

  • Prepare for any power outages.

One of the most dangerous things about hurricanes is the aftermath of the hurricane. Sometimes, residents can be without power for weeks on end. Having a generator to keep food available to you and your family can make a huge difference.

  • Keep up with your trees.

Many people does not think about our much damage a tree could cause to a roof. However in order to prevent damage to your roof, water leaks, and flooding. Dead trees need to be cut down and long branches that are touching the roof need to be cut. Doing this will reduce the probability of pieces of your roof coming and water coming through.

  • Verify insurance coverage.

The last thing anyone wants to do after a hurricane has caused damage to your home, is finding out insurance doesn't cover the damage. Make sure the you have adequate insurance protection. Check also about if your insurance covers if any flooding happens. Put a plan in place.The last and most important preparation you and your family should make is putting a plan in place for whenever a natural disaster does occur. Each family should know where to go and where the emergency kit is. 

SERVPRO urges each and every one of you to PREPARE before a natural disaster comes. And whenever they do come, SERVPRO will be here to help.

Does you and your family have an emergency storm kit?

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Alabama is no stranger to severe storms that cause power outages, flooding, and severe damage. Therefore not having an emergency storm kit that has at least several days of supplies in it, can cause some serious issues whenever the Birmingham area does have a major storm come through. As the second week of National Preparedness Month wraps up, SERVPRO of Birmingham wanted to address putting together an emergency kit.

To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag. Here are a few items to keep in mind while putting together an emergency kit in the event of a severe storm approaching.

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Any medicine currently being taken
  • Emergency food and water
  • Extra change of clothes and shoes
  • Pet supplies if you are taking care of an animal

Maintaining Your Kit

After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed:

  • Keep canned food in a cool, dry place.
  • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers.
  • Replace expired items as needed.
  • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.

Kit Storage Locations

Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and cars.

  • Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
  • Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.
  • Car: In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.

 These are just a few examples of what an emergency kit should contain. Residents can add whatever else they may need. There should be an emergency kit in every residential building as well as all commercial buildings if possible. Aside from having an emergency kit ready, a plan should also be in place. If there is a designated storm area inside the home or office, occupants should head there with the emergency kits. Severe storms cannot be avoided, but with the right tools and resources they can be easier to deal with.

SERVPRO of Birmingham wants to make sure the surrounding Birmingham Areas are prepared!

Into The "Ida" of The Storm

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

Tropical Storm Ida has came and gone and left major damage. Therefore here at SERVPRO of Birmingham, we want you to be prepared in the event you may experience a storm similar to this one. Storms often cause flooding which may cause a lot of damage to your home or office. 

First thing is first: 

Know the Difference Flood/Flash Flood Watch—Flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area. Flood/Flash Flood Warning—Flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. 

What to do:

  • Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).-
  • Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.-
  • When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.-
  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
  • If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
  • Because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. 

Lastly if you experience flooding or damage to your home, call us at SERVPRO.

Various Storm Damage

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

Storm season brings a wide range of storm types.

Anyone of these storm types could easily cause damage to your home or business. It is important to know the different damages that a storm can cause and also be prepared for wind, flooding and lighting that can cause to your home. 

Wind Damage  

Storm damage sometimes includes severe wind damage. Roof damage in this situation may range from a missing roof due to strong winds that may loosen flashing. This can cause your roof shingles to be removed from your home or business causing leaks. Even a subtle roof leak can produce damp, moldy conditions. One of our restoration experts can help property owners address storm damage and roof damage more effectively. 

Flooding Damage 

Heavy rains can cause river flooding all around the Dallas/Fort Worth areas. Flooding may disrupt municipal water systems which call for experts to assess groundwater and evaluate the condition of pipes following flood damage. Our team can assist in your cleanup process after flood damage has occurred. 

Lighting Damage 

When a storm occurs, many times it brings the loud sounds of thunder which mean lighting is striking. Your home or business may have objects attached to the building that can attract a lightning strike that can cause a fire. A bolt of lightning can reach temperatures of roughly 30,000 kelvins (53,540 degrees Fahrenheit). Lightning strikes, or discharges of massive charges of static electricity, cause about 2% of all fires.

Hurricane Season...

5/14/2021 (Permalink)

As we get ready to enter into hurricane season, we want to make sure our community is well prepared and informed of what to do in case the storms get way out of hand. To ensure you and your loved ones are safe during this upcoming storm season, read along for these tips on what to do to be storm safe:

  1. Know Your Risks: One the most important things you can do is understand how susceptible your area is to hurricane weather. Being informed pf the likelihood of how a hurricane can affect your area by keeping up to date with weather announcement and local and governments 
  2. Build an Emergency Kit: This one sounds simple, but it is often overlooked. Keeping an emergency kit that is stocked with water, canned foods, non perishables, and comfort items such as blankets and toys could be the difference between a disaster and an inconvenience. 
  3. Review And Gather Documents: Review your policies ahead of time to see what is covered and if flood insurance is available to you. Gather important documents such as insurance policies, IDs, birth certificates, deeds, or even sentimental documents and keep them in a fireproof and waterproof safe. 
  4. Be Informed: Knowing where to go and who to call is key to staying safe. Having an evacuation plan in place in the event of a disaster ensure members of your household know what to do in case home isn’t the safest place to be. Have a planned route and an alternate route to get to a safe place away from the storm.
  5. Strengthen Your Home: Taking a look around your property to see if you are vulnerable in the event of a hurricane is a key factor in minimizing your risk of damage. By looking for vulnerable areas, you’ll be able to address them and fortify and susceptible areas around the home or property.

Implementing these tips will help you face this hurricane season and minimize the risk of your property being a victim of the elements. Keep SERVPRO of Birmingham in mind for all your storm damage restoration needs. 

Surviving the Flood...

5/5/2021 (Permalink)

We live in a world where mother nature has a mind of her own at times, and natural disaster can strike at anytime and can ruin the "normalcy" of the life we once had. The nice furniture, flooring, and decor that once occupied our home, now washed away by water. Whether the flooding that has occurred in your home was because of a pipe bursting, a sewer backup, faulty appliance, a heavy rain or even rising floodwaters, there are important steps you should take in order to keep you and your family safe. 

After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

You and your family may not even be thinking about flooding, but rather tornado damage or hurricane damage. But with any severe storm or rain there is always a chance of flooding. And even appliances can cause flooding. Here at SERVPRO® of Birmingham we want you to be as prepared and safe as possible, therefore we put together some do and don'ts to put into practice after you have encountered flooding within your home.

What To Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

 Reminders:

  1. Do not panic, take a breath and understand that although today feels like the worst day ever. Things WILL get better.
  2. Keep safety always at the forefront of your mind (stop the water source, shut all electricity off, etc.)
  3. Call SERVPRO in order to get things clean, dry and back to beautiful as quickly as possible.

 Why SERVPRO?

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • Highly Trained Water Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Water Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Water Inspection, Extraction, and Drying Equipment

Preparing For Severe Storms

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

Expecting a tornado or other major storm? Knowing the right steps to take BEFORE a major storm comes can protect you, your family, and your property. Storms can be challenging all by themselves, do not let your lack of preparation add onto these already challenging times. SERVPRO of Birmingham wants to ease the burden and inform you of several steps you can take to stay safe.

Make a Plan of Action

When a major storm threatens your community, you want to be able to evacuate if need be. In order to do this in a safe and timely manner you must have an action plan in place.

  • Ensure everyone in the family is aware of this plan
  • Be aware of evacuation routes
  • If a tornado comes, know where you and your family will take cover
  • Plan for any animals you may have as well

Assemble an Emergency Kit

Having the necessary equipment and food for whenever a power outage may occur is a great step you can take in order to stay safe during a storm. Some important items for an Emergency Kit are:

  • First-Aid Kit
  • Food & Water
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio

Stay Informed During the Storm

Local television and radio stations are your best source for updates on how the storm is developing and steps to take to get to safety. However, if you ever hear a tornado siren, you should immediately head to the nearest shelter.

If After the Storm, Damage Has Occurred Contact A Professional

Disaster can strike anytime and SERVPRO® of Birmingham is here to help. We are open 24/7 and work to respond quickly to calls to minimize damage, and, in turn, the costs of cleanup and restoration. When you have a flooding or storm emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help. We are part of this community too and we take pride in being a part of Birmingham and want to do our part in making it the best it can be! 

Don't Let Water Ruin Your Summer Fun!

4/5/2021 (Permalink)

With the temperatures quickly rising and the hot summer season headed straight towards us, our
the natural inclination is to turn up the A/C indoors!

However, the risk of water damage still poses
a threat even during the summer months.

The extended use of air conditioning units, if not properly maintained, can cause drainage issues. To avoid this, make sure to change your air filter regularly. Regular inspections and cleanings are also important to prevent and stop any issues in your unit from worsening. One thing to keep an eye on is the drainage pan. Check to make sure water isn’t leaking and accumulating in the pan. Especially in the hotter weather; mold, mildew, and fungus can easily grow and spread.

Another thing that keeps in mind is the potential for pipes to burst. Although burst pipes are more
common during the colder months, hot summer weather can still cause this headache for a home
or property owner. A good rule of thumb is to notice whenever there is a change in your water pressure. While it could be simply just an irritation, it could also be a sign that something bigger is on the verge of happening. This could be a result of corrosion build-up which leads to leaks and eventually, water getting into your home or office.

The risk for pipes bursting doesn’t stop there. If you notice cracks appearing on the walls, especially around the corner, it’d be safe to assume there have been changes in your foundation. An easy solution, however, is to consistently water the soil and even place plants around the perimeter of the foundation. The plants help moderate the temperature of the soil and can also serve to hold the ground together with their roots.

The last thing any home or property owner wants to deal with is water damage, no matter the
weather!

Dealing with Storm Damage to Your Property

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

Storms can lead to a multitude of damage to your home or business.

Our team at SERVPRO of Birmingham is prepared for the storms that will hit the Jefferson and Shelby County Areas. There is potential for severe weather and with this comes overwhelming precipitation, wind speeds, and debris that can expose weak points in construction like gutters and downspouts. You may find it necessary to clean up water damage in your home. Fortunately, there are many professionals who can help. 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. Here are a few helpful storm tips you may wish to know before you begin the cleanup process 1. Follow Safety Procedures - It's important to follow safety procedures before you proceed with storm cleanup. For example, turn off any electricity before entering a flooded area, and only use properly rated equipment when removing water. 2. Contact Your Insurance - You may also wish to contact your insurance about the damage to your property. Repairs can begin before your agent arrives on the scene, but you may find your insurance company has a couple of recommendations for local storm damage restoration companies, like SERVPRO of Birmingham, you can work with. 3. Contact a Professional Quickly - Another among many commonly recommended storm tips, is to contact a professional for any repairs that need to be made. This will help ensure that the restoration is conducted properly, and in some cases can help your insurance claim as well. 4. Wear Safety Gear - It's also important to wear the proper safety gear when entering the space. This may include work gloves, a face mask, clothing that covers the skin, proper shoes, and depending on the damage type a work helmet. 5. Cover Over Damaged Areas - Another step many professionals recommend is to cover over any damages until repairs can be made. This will help prevent further damage and help keep animals out of your home. Remember to follow these helpful storm tips when restoring your home. Always follow safety procedures such as turning off any electricity and wearing the proper safety equipment. It's also wise to contact a professional to perform any repairs, as well as your insurance company for any recommendations they may have. You should also cover over any damaged space until the repairs can begin in the area. Our team at SERVPRO of Birmingham is part of the larger, national Brand of SERVPRO Industries. In the event of damage from this storm, our teams have the ability to call in reinforcements from the Wilson Storm Team. Know that you can trust SERVPRO of Birmingham to put your home or business back together, “Like it never even happened.”

Preparing for the Floods

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Green Toyota SUV in front of a collapsed tan commercial build Team Wilson is part of a larger Storm Team that can handle any emergency

Are You Ready for a Flood?

Hurricane season is in full force right now. This season we have already had two hurricanes hit our coastline at the same time. Texas and Louisiana both were ravaged head-on but both these storms continued into the states bringing a lot of rain. Many times when moments like this occur, our cities and towns are able to hand the onslaught of rain due to the fact it may not be typical to get so much in such a little time. Being only at the beginning of the hurricane season, we thought it is important to make sure to share some flood preparedness tips with you. Below are some tips which were provided by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to help you prepare your home or business for a flood.

Before the Flood:

  • Have a qualified professional elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel is susceptible to flooding.
  • Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home or business.
  • Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to help avoid seepage.

During the Flood:

  • Turn off all utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances.
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
  • Do not walk through moving water.  Even six inches or moving water can make you fall.

After the Flood:

  • Listen for news reports to learn if the community's water supply is safe to drink.
  • Avoid floodwaters.  Water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage.  Water may also be electrically charged.
  • Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.

 As always, our team at SERVPRO of Birmingham is part of the larger, national Brand of SERVPRO Industries. In the event of a storm or flood, our teams have the ability to call in reinforcements from the Wilson Storm Team. Know that you can trust SERVPRO of Birmingham to put your home or business back together, “Like it never even happened.”

Heavy Rainfall Brings Water Damage

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

While water damage is typically associated with events like flooding or plumbing malfunctions, heavy rain can also cause its own set of issues regarding water damage around the house.

While any level of moisture can cause damage, heavy rain is considered rainfall at rates over 0.3 inches per hour and can work its way into much smaller vulnerabilities in your home. To help you better prepare and avoid water damage, we have put together a list of how these rapid rainfall rates can cause issues.

How Heavy Rains Cause Household Water Damage

Backup of clogged gutters

Clogged gutters can cause significant damage to your home after heavy rains. If there is debris in the gutters, it will be difficult for water to drain away, which can then result in leaks from puddles as the water is left standing against the roofline.

Leaks around windows and doors

Windows and doors are supposed to be sealed against the elements, but as their weatherproofing ages, it can deteriorate as well. When heavy rains roll through, water can find its way into minuscule cracks and cause damages.

Poor drainage around the foundation

If your home is at the bottom of a hill or does not have adequate drainage around the foundation, heavy rains can build up against the base of your home and lead to leaks in your basement or crawl spaces.

Leaks in and around the roof

Roof leaks are one of the leading consequences of heavy rains, and they can sneak up suddenly. All it takes is for a shingle to be scraped away or a weak spot to form and rainwater can begin seeping in as it falls.

Malfunctioning of a sump pump system

For homes with sump pumps, doing regular maintenance and checking for issues is key—otherwise, the pump system can get overwhelmed and will not be able to effectively move water away from the home.

Leaks around chimneys and skylights

Houses with chimneys and skylights tend to be more vulnerable to heavy rains than homes without them. While they are nice features to have, the seals where they meet with the roof can grow vulnerable over time and become overwhelmed when rainfall is heavy.

Remember to stay safe and get excess water cleaned up professionally to minimize the chance of mold growth. Our Team at SERVPRO of Birmingham is ready to assist at a moment's notice with any of your water mitigation emergencies. Give our team a call at 205.252.8110. Call us, Birmingham!

6 Steps to Water Mitigation

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

When your property incurs water damage, acting quickly is important

When you discover water damage, you can count on SERVPRO of Birmingham's six-step restoration process to truly restore your property to its pre-damage condition.

6 Steps to Water Damage Restoration

  1. Initial Emergency Contact
    • You can call us 24 hours a day to begin the water restoration process because taking immediate action is crucial after water damage occurs. When you call us, we will ask you questions to get an overview of the damage and to help us determine what resources to dispatch to you.
  2. Inspection and Damage Assessment
    • When we arrive on the scene in response to water damage, we will do a detailed property inspection to assess the scope of the damage and to develop a thorough plan of action. We will identify the water source, the category of water, and check for safety concerns.
  3. Moisture Extraction
    • The water extraction process will remove the majority of moisture via our vacuum and pump units. We will start this process as quickly as possible to lessen the likelihood of more damage occurring and to reduce drying time. We can also help you move out of your belongings in the event that they might be damaged as well.
  4. Dehumidifying and Drying
    • After the excess water has been removed, we can begin fully drying all porous materials that have absorbed water. Our industrial-grade equipment moves air quickly and helps moisture to evaporate as fast as possible, which will dry out floors, walls, and carpets as well as discourage mold growth.
  5. Cleaning and Repair
    • After sustaining water damage, impacted surfaces will typically require professional cleaning. In addition to structural cleaning, we will clean your belongings that are able to be restored. We will also do odor removal to prevent the musty odor that water-damaged objects often develop.
  6. Restoration
    • The final step is ensuring that your property is restored to its pre-water condition. This will involve things like drywall and flooring repairs or even reconstruction. By working with us, you are working with a company that can handle all elements of the restoration, including the difficult reconstruction parts that truly restores things back to their pre-damaged state.

Where Is Your Emergency Storm Kit?

5/22/2020 (Permalink)

Cartoon picture of an emergency kit that is red with a blue water bottle, yellow flashlight, white facemask Here are some of the items your kit should contain

Do you know where your emergency storm kit is?

If a community is not prepared for a severe storm, the results can be devastating. Since the Birmingham Area is no stranger to severe storms, SERVPRO of Birmingham wants to share some of the following tips to keep in mind while putting together an emergency kit in the event of a severe storm approaching. FEMA has stated that emergency kits should include some of the following:
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Any medicine currently being taken
  • Emergency food and water
  • Extra change of clothes and shoes
  • Pet supplies if you are taking care of an animal
These are just a few examples of what an emergency kit should contain. Residents can add whatever else they may need. There should be an emergency kit in every residential building as well as all commercial buildings if possible. Aside from having an emergency kit ready, a plan should also be in place. If there is a designated storm area inside the home or office, occupants should head there with the emergency kits. Severe storms cannot be avoided, but with the right tools and resources they can be easier to deal with.

SERVPRO of Birmingham wants to make sure the surrounding Birmingham Areas are prepared!

Protecting Your Business from a Storm

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Have you taken steps to protect your business and employees?

When we experience a thunderstorm in Birmingham, AL they can potentially cause extensive damage to your business. Power outages downed tree limbs, and flooding from rainstorms are all possibilities. SERVPRO of Birmingham has a few preventative steps you can take to ensure you are able to protect your business when these storms happen.

1. Keep Your Lightning Rod Maintained

A lightning rod is a metal rod mounted on a structure and intended to protect the structure from a lightning strike. If lightning hits the structure, it will preferentially strike the rod and be conducted to ground through a wire, instead of passing through the structure, where it could start a fire or cause electrocution. If your business is located in a tall building that may attract lightning, then maintaining the lightning rod can be essential. Have the rod checked annually for damage and ask your certification professionals to verify that it is up to code. If your business is located in an area where lightning is common, it is wise to have the unit cleaned and inspected at least twice a year.  2. Maintain All Trees on the Property  High winds can turn tree limbs into projectiles that may shatter your building’s windows and cause serious injury to your customers or employees. Make sure you are maintaining your landscaping so dead branches do not detach and strike people entering your business below. Trimming trees away from your building’s power lines can protect its power source during a thunderstorm 3. Have a Flood Plan in Place  Having a flood plan in place can possibly prevent flooding in your business, especially in the case of mitigation services. Contacting SERVPRO of Birmingham before the wet season can be a wise choice because if your building should experience flooding, our team can have help on hand right away.

Circumstances for a Flood Cut

4/6/2020 (Permalink)

When flooding affects your home our technicians may perform a technique called a "flood cut".

This specific technique requires cutting out sections of drywall about a foot above the flood line to inspect the wall behind it. While this process is not always necessary, there are a few circumstances that may require it after a flood occurs.

1. Black Water Floods

When outdoor flooding invades your home from overflowing streams or rivers, it may contain sewage, chemicals or dead animal carcasses. This water can be considered contaminated and is known as black water. A flood cut is usually necessary when this type of flooding occurs because your home’s drywall and any insulation behind it may be affected by the dirty water and may need replacing.

2. Wet Insulation

Flood technicians may perform a flood cut and tear out sections of drywall if they believe any insulation behind your home’s walls has water damage. Because insulation cannot be properly dried, a flood cut may be needed to remove any wet material. Once the interior wall is cleaned and dried, new insulation can be installed.

3. Mold Growth

After flooding, mold can begin to grow behind interior walls and spread quickly if it is not addressed. Flood technicians may perform a flood cut to check for mold and treat the area if any is found. Because mold does not need sunlight to grow, it can spread from interior walls to other areas and cause an unpleasant odor in your home. A flood cut can prevent this and keep mold at bay.

Handling a Rainstorm

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

A broken brown power line laying in the middle of a black road with cars driving by Rainstorms can bring winds strong enough to blow down power lines. This is why it is important to stay inside during these storms

WHEN WILL THE RAIN STOP?!

Alabama weather has been pretty wet in 2020. We have seen what feels like 40 days and 40 nights of nothing but rain and rainstorms. From downpours to flooding, its safe to say, Alabama is pretty soggy. Are you prepared to handle these rainstorms that we just can not seem to get away from?! In the event of a rainstorm, which we know is going to happen, here are several tips to help keep you safe. 1. If you’re driving during a rainstorm put on your headlights, hazard lights, and drive slowly to prevent hydroplaning.2. Get out of boats and stay away from large bodies of water in the case of lightning striking.3. Most importantly, Take shelter! We know that emergency situations are never an enjoyable time, but we strive to make life get back to normal quickly and smoothly. If you have a flooding emergency that takes place in your home or commercial business, we are here to help!

Call SERVPRO of Birmingham at 205.252.8110

Storm Damage Types

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Storms have caused damage to this home's roof due to high winds by tearing away the shingles High winds from a storm can be the reason your roof has damage

Not all Storm Damage is Created Equal!

During storm season in Birmingham, AL we see a wide range of storm types. We see heavy rains, flooding, tornadoes and then wrapping all of those into one hurricane! Any one of these storm types could easily cause damage to your home or business. These damages can keep us from feeling like our home is complete or keeping us from running a business that contributes to our livelihood. No matter what your scenario, It is important to know the different damages that a storm can cause. Wind Damage Storm damage sometimes includes severe wind damage. Roof damage in this situation may range from a missing roof due to strong winds that may loosen flashing. This can cause your roof shingles to be removed from your home or business causing leaks. Even a subtle roof leak can produce damp, moldy conditions. A SERVPRO of Birmingham restoration expert can help property owners address storm damage and roof damage more effectively. Flooding Damage Heavy rains in the Birmingham, AL area can cause river flooding all around the Jefferson and Shelby County areas. Flooding may disrupt municipal water systems which call for experts to assess groundwater and evaluate the condition of pipes following flood damage. Our SERVPRO of Birmingham team can assist in your cleanup process after flood damage has occurred.  Lighting Damage When a storm occurs, many times it brings the loud sounds of thunder which mean lighting is striking. Your home or business may have objects attached to the building that can attract a lightning strike that can cause a fire. A bolt of lightning can reach temperatures of roughly 30,000 kelvins (53,540 degrees Fahrenheit). Lightning strikes, or discharges of massive charges of static electricity, cause about 2% of all fires. If this occurs in your home or business, SERVPRO of Birmingham has the team to help handle the restoration of both the fire and smoke damage.

Be Ready for a Hurricane

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

Are You "Hurricane Ready"?

This time of year can always be scary for anyone who lives in the possible path of hurricanes or may have friends and family who do live in a consistent path. Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over ocean water and often move toward land. Hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents and tornadoes all of which can destroy homes, buildings, and roads. It is important to stay ready so you do not find yourself scrambling to brace for the impact. There is always the potential looming that our area could be hit by a hurricane. Living in the Birmingham, AL area, it can be easy to think you don’t need to worry about the potential of a hurricane. Here are a few things to know ahead of a hurricane if one was to head our direction. 

Know the Difference

  • Flood/Flash Flood Watch—Flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area.
  • Flood/Flash Flood Warning—Flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. 

How to Prepare

  • Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
  • Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
  • When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
  • Because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov.

Always Know the RisksTo find your risk, visit FEMA’s “Know Your Risk Map.” Be better prepared for this hurricane season, and learn more at www.ready.gov/prepare

Taking on Storms with Technology

5/14/2019 (Permalink)

Free ERP App for your home or business

These days, it is important to be ready for a storm and disaster can strike at a moment’s notice! Technology working hard to let us be aware of danger with more time to prepare before it hits! Technology can also be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters, as well as during or after to stay informed of the situation and in communication with others. From common technology you already use on a day-to-day basis to taking a few extra steps to prepare. Below are a few things that will help you be ready in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Store Information Online

There are many places to store important information securely online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer a free way to store different types of files, from a Word document to images of important documents. Ready.govsuggests saving an electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records, and information on your pets, if necessary.

Follow the News

Stay informed by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels, and local government on Twitter for the most up-to-date information in a disaster situation. You can also alert first responders if a rescue is needed through Twitter.

Mark Yourself Safe

The American Red Cross offers a Safe & Well check-in site to list yourself as safe or find family and friends in situations where communication is difficult to establish. Facebook also has a feature called Safety Check that is activated after natural disasters or a crisis. You will receive a notification from Facebook if you’re located in the affected area at that time.

Get in Touch

Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in your phone and e-mail for communication with family, friends, business contacts, and others whom you may need to get in contact with before, during, or after a disaster.

Charge Up

Keep a portable charger in your car and home in case of an emergency. You may need to recharge this from time to time, but you can also buy solar-powered chargers as well. Get an Emergency READY Profile®SERVPRO® of Birmingham is proud to offer Emergency READY Profiles® (ERP) for free at ready.SERVPRO.com to help prepares you, your property, or your business for an emergency.By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® for your property or business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action.  Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your property or business. Put help in the palm of your hand with the Ready Plan App.  Get in touch with SERVPRO® of Birmingham today for more information on developing an ERP for your property or business! Call us, Birmingham!

Flood Water Facts

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding can be disastrous

During this time of year, we see a lot of rain in the Birmingham, AL area. Across the United States though, flooding is one of the most commonly widespread weather-related disasters. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river or even in the desert, there is always potential for flood damage Though you may have never experienced a flood in the past, there’s no level of security to assure that you will not in the future. Did you know that 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities.  According to the American Red Cross (ARC), floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster.  The ARC offers the following safety tips:

Stay away from floodwaters

If you approach a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around, and go another way.  Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.

Driving on a flooded road

turn around and go another way.  If you are caught on a flooded road and water are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.  Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

Keep children out of the water

They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.

Always be prepared and ready. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. SERVPRO of Birmingham is prepared to handle any size disaster. The sooner work begins; the sooner your home or business can return “Like it never even happened.” Call us Birmingham at 205.252.8110

Handling Heavy Rains in Birmingham, AL

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

Spring is here in Birmingham, AL!

We all love the warmer weather, fresh cut lawns, and spring flowers but we all know, spring in the South brings a lot of rain! Springtime can be challenging to our homes, businesses, and landscaping. Many times the rain can bring backed up sewage, holes in our roofs that lead to water damage and flooding the basements. SERVPRO of Birmingham thought it would be important to share some safety tips with you regarding heavy rains and flooding so you can keep the water mitigation to a minimum this season. 

Heavy Rain Tips

  1. Check your Roof-Look for current damage and areas that look vulnerable to leaks. Repair these as soon as possible. If need be, call a roofer to perform the inspection and the repairs.
  2. Trim Foliage-Plants and trees with overgrown branches can pose a danger to your household in harsh winds and rain.
  3. Waterproof Windows-Check the edges of your window sills to see if they need a waterproof sealer or rubber on the edges.
  4. Clear out Gutters-It is important that these are clear in case of heavy rain to prevent any possible flooding. You should check your gutters a couple of times throughout the year as the wind tends to carry leaves and debris into the gutters blocking the water from flowing freely.

Remember, it is very important to keep an eye on these things because a small leak can cause a lot of damage. SERVPRO of Birmingham is always here to help! Call us Birmingham at (205) 252-8110

Are You Prepared for a Thunderstom?

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

During this time of year in Birmingham, AL we can experience a lot of rain, which can lead to thunderstorms. It’s important to be prepared and have a plan in place. Talk with your family and create an emergency plan for thunderstorms, floods, and tornadoes. Think about an emergency shelter and evacuation plan. Below we have a few suggestions to make sure you and your family are ready for whatever happens. 

Protect your electronics

Your electronics can get fried if they are not properly protected. Plug electronics into a surge protector to avoid damage during a storm. 

Prepare for power outages

Have battery-operated flashlights and lanterns in easy to get to places. Check on these items from time to time to make sure the batteries still work, replace them if necessary. Also, think about keeping the refrigerator and freezer doors shut to keep food from spoiling. If these food items rise above 40 degrees for 2 hours or more, they should be disregarded. Call your local power company to inform them of the outage and to get information regarding when the power should be restored. 

Stay away from power lines

Do not go near power lines should they fall to the ground, they can be very hazardous. Call 911 if you see downed power lines. 

Go inside when you hear thunder

If you hear thunder, it is likely that lightning is also occurring. Lightning can be dangerous, therefore, make sure to go inside when thunder occurs. 

Seek shelter

There are many different natural elements which can occur and be harmful when outside during a disaster. Therefore, during a storm, it is important to seek shelter and be safe. If your inside, a good place to be is at the lowest level of your home. If you have a basement or storm cellar you can hang out in until the storm passes. 

Keep an emergency kit ready

Consider putting together a kit of things you may want to have on hand during a storm. Items you may want to include would be water, non-perishable food, flashlights, blankets extra batteries, a radio, and a first aid kit. If you have an emergency does strike your home during a thunderstorm, SERVPRO of Birmingham is ready to help get your life back to normal. Call us Birmingham, (205) 664-6770

Power Outages

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Power Outages

Extended power outages may impact the whole community and the economy. A power outage is when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly. A power outage may:

  • Disrupt communications, water, and transportation.

  • Close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks, and other services.

  • Cause food spoilage and water contamination.

  • Prevent use of medical devices.

PROTECT YOURSELF DURING A POWER OUTAGE:

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.

  • Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.

  • Do not use a gas stove to heat your home.

  • Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.

  • Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.

  • If safe, go to an alternate location for heat or cooling.

  • Check on neighbors.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A POWER OUTAGE THREATENS: 

Prepare NOW

  • Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity.
  • Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
  • Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
  • Sign up for local alerts and warning systems. Monitor weather reports.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home.
  • Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last.
  • Review the supplies that are available in case of a power outage. Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. Have enough nonperishable food and water.
  • Use a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that you can know the temperature when the power is restored. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
  • Keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and gas tanks full.

https://www.ready.gov/power-outages

Hurricane Season

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Conditions that cause floods include heavy or steady rain for several hours or days that saturates the ground. Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area.

Know the Difference
Flood/Flash Flood Watch—Flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area.
Flood/Flash Flood Warning—Flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.

What to do:

Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical
information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
- Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
- When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
- Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
- If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
- Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
- Because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov.

via redcross.org

How To Prepare For Hurricane Season

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over ocean water and often move toward land. Threats from hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. The heavy winds of hurricanes can cause damage or destroy homes, buildings, and roads, as well as cause power, water, and gas outages. These effects can injure or kill people, disrupt transportation, and pollute drinking water. Hurricanes cause deaths and injuries primarily from drowning, wind, and wind-borne debris. The impact from hurricanes can extend from the coast to several hundred miles inland. To find your risk, visit FEMA’s “Know Your Risk Map.” Be better prepared for this hurricane season, and learn more at ready.gov/prepare.

  • Stayed informed
  • Plan for evacuation
  • Take action to protect your property from against wind and water damage

For more information check out www.fema.gov

University Tornado Damage 2018

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

As stated in a previous blog we had tornadoes through Alabama and our Large Loss Division has been working around the clock to help a local university get everything back in order. 

As of today they have been working over 40 days  on this job with mitigation services and that includes the 30 plus buildings affected. Part of the cleaning includes 'grounds' work, cleaning up the campus of debris and downed trees. A local roof and tree contractor has assisted in a majority of the large tree cleanup.

We packed up and stored many buildings, also moved those classrooms/offices to other buildings in the city. In the nursing building, we had to remove EVERYTHING from the building and into temp office trailers as well as temp storage so the building can be completely renovated.

Stayed tuned, there's more to come!

Your Time is Precious

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

When you need it done right and done fast, call SERVPRO of Birmingham South. Did you know when you hire us for maintenance cleaning, you get around-the-clock restoration services built with you in mind? Quality cleaning and quick response - that is the SERVPRO way.

Can't figure out how to get the job done? Call SERVPRO of Birmingham South for all your emergency restoration needs. When you experience a fire, water or mold damage in your home or facility, you need fast response and the expertise to get the job done right, ensuring you can get back into operation as quickly as possible. Through it all, you expect the most reliable information and the very best service at a fair price. 

American Red Cross Safety Tips

4/3/2018 (Permalink)

Check out www.redcross.org for more information!

TORNADOES Tornadoes can strike without warning and destroy a community in seconds. Before a tornado warning is issued for your area, here are some things you should do:

1. Know your community’s warning system.

2. Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.

3. If you are in a high-rise building and don’t have enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.

4. Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees.

5. Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

 

THUNDERSTORM SAFETY STEPS Thunderstorms injure an average of 300 people every year, and cause about 80 fatalities. Here are the top thunderstorm safety steps you should follow:

1. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.

2. As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.

3. If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.

4. If you are inside, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.

5. If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.

 

FLOODING Heavy rains could fill rivers and streams, bringing flooding to the area. If your neighborhood is threatened with the possibility of flooding, here are some things you should do:

1. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.

2. Stay away from floodwaters.

3. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

4. Keep children out of the water.

5. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

 

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of tornadoes, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

Winter Storm Events

3/13/2018 (Permalink)

SEVERE WEATHER 101

Winter Weather Basics

A winter storm is an event in which the main types of precipitation are snow, sleet or freezing rain.

Why can winter storms be so dangerous?

Most deaths from winter storms are not directly related to the storm itself.

  • People die in traffic accidents on icy roads.
  • People die of heart attacks while shoveling snow.
  • People die of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold.

Everyone is potentially at risk during winter storms. The actual threat to you depends on your specific situation. Recent observations show that:

  • Of injuries related to ice and snow:
    • About 70% occur in automobiles.
    • About 25% are people caught out in the storm.
    • Majority are males over 40 years old.
  • Of injuries related to exposure to cold:
    • 50% are people over 60 years old.
    • Over 75% are males.
    • About 20% occur in the home.
https://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/winter/

We have had some pretty warm days here in Alabama the last few weeks but that doesn't mean the cold weather is over. Make sure you take all the precautions to keep your home or business prepared for the cold days and nights. Call us if you need us! 205-664-6770

NOAA Storm Data

3/2/2018 (Permalink)

The Storm Events Database contains the records used to create the official NOAA Storm Data publication, documenting: 

  1. The occurrence of storms and other significant weather phenomena having sufficient intensity to cause loss of life, injuries, significant property damage, and/or disruption to commerce;
  2. Rare, unusual, weather phenomena that generate media attention, such as snow flurries in South Florida or the San Diego coastal area; and
  3. Other significant meteorological events, such as record maximum or minimum temperatures or precipitation that occur in connection with another event.


The database currently contains data from January 1950 to November 2017, as entered by NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS). Due to changes in the data collection and processing procedures over time, there are unique periods of record available depending on the event type. NCEI has performed data reformatting and standardization of event types but has not changed any data values for locations, fatalities, injuries, damage, narratives and any other event specific information. Please refer to the Database Details page for more information. 

You can register your email address with NCEI to receive future information regarding access system downtime, data issues, new features and general news about the Storm Events Database. 

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information Storm Events Database:

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/

Hurricane Season

9/29/2017 (Permalink)

These last couple of months the United States has been hit with a few hurricanes including Harvey in the Houston, Texas area and Irma hitting the Florida Keys. 


SERVPRO Corporate has four storm teams and SERVPRO of Birmingham is one of them, as "Storm Team Wilson." We cover eight states including Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Indiana. When disaster strikes one of those states and the local SERVPRO's get inundated, Storm Team Wilson gets activated sending franchises or "teams" from all over the United States to come in and assist.  For Hurricane Harvey all four storm teams were activated and for Hurricane Irma we had two teams involved, one covering the south part of Florida and the other covering the north part.  Unfortunately, a lot of people were affected by these two hurricanes and these jobs are still being taken care of and will be for a long time to get their houses and lives back in order. We are thankful that we can be of assistance in these difficult times. 

Flood Facts

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States.

There is always potential for flood damage no matter where you live. According to the American Red Cross floods cause more damage in the United States every year than any other weather related disaster. The American Red Cross offers these flood safety tips:

-Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.

-If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are riding rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

-Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water. 

If a flood occurs and affects you, call SERVPRO of Birmingham.  Even minor floods have potential to cause major damage. We are faster to ANY size disaster. Let us help you get your life back in order. 

What's the difference?

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

Lately there has been flooding all over the United States: if you are unfamiliar with the difference between a flash flood warning, flood warning, and flood advisory; then read below! 

 

What is the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service?

  • 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.

  • 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 occur, but it is possible.

  • Flood Advisory: Be Aware: An 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 life and/or property.

Information from http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov/

Severe Weather Tips

4/3/2017 (Permalink)

Since SERVPRO partners with the American Red Cross we love sharing their tips on different occasions. 

Check out www.redcross.org for more information!

 

TORNADOES Tornadoes can strike without warning and destroy a community in seconds. Before a tornado warning is issued for your area, here are some things you should do:

1. Know your community’s warning system.

2. Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.

3. If you are in a high-rise building and don’t have enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.

4. Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees.

5. Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

 

THUNDERSTORM SAFETY STEPS Thunderstorms injure an average of 300 people every year, and cause about 80 fatalities. Here are the top thunderstorm safety steps you should follow:

1. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.

2. As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.

3. If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.

4. If you are inside, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.

5. If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.

 

FLOODING Heavy rains could fill rivers and streams, bringing flooding to the area. If your neighborhood is threatened with the possibility of flooding, here are some things you should do:

1. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.

2. Stay away from floodwaters.

3. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

4. Keep children out of the water.

5. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

 

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of tornadoes, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

Protect your property during an Ice Storm

3/31/2017 (Permalink)

Whether there is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, or sleet and snow; all of these can cause property damage. You can't control Mother Nature but you can be prepared so here are some tips to help you:

-Check for tree limbs and branches that might have fallen.

-Roofs, pipes and gutters should all be inspected and make sure they are in proper working order. Clear gutters from debris, a damming effect could cause roof damage or interior water problems. Downspouts should be facing away from the home or building.

-Clean your chimneys and exhaust systems from debris.

-Test your gas lines for leaks.

-Inspect your property for proper drainage.

-Protect pipes from freezing by allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If any pipes are under cabinets leave the cabinets open. Make sure exterior pipes are properly insulated.

-If there are any outdoor faucets, you might want to shut the water off.

-Make sure all exterior doors and windows have sufficient weather stripping.

 

Do you have an ERP for your business? Ask your SERVPRO of Birmingham Sales and Marketing Representative! 

Be Prepared!

3/7/2017 (Permalink)

You can purchase a Red Cross Emergency Kit!

SERVPRO teams up with the American Red Cross and they made a list of items you need in case of an emergency! Always be prepared!

 

Be Red Cross Ready!


Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.




At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:


 



  • Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)

  • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).

  • Flashlight

  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio

  • Extra batteriesFirst aid kit [Avail

  • First aid kit

  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items

  • Multi-purpose tool

  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items

  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)

  • Cell phone with chargers

  • Family and emergency contact information

  • Extra cash

  • Emergency blanket

  • Map(s) of the area





Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:

  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)

  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)

  • Games and activities for children

  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)

  • Two-way radios

  • Extra set of car keys and house keys

  • Manual can opener





Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:

  • Whistle

  • N95 or surgical masks

  • Matches

  • Rain gear

  • Towels

  • Work gloves

  • Tools/supplies for securing your home

  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes

  • Plastic sheeting

  • Duct tape

  • Scissors

  • Household liquid bleach

  • Entertainment items

  • Blankets or sleeping bags


For more information check out redcross.org



When Storms or Floods hit Birmingham, SERVPRO is ready!

9/22/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Birmingham provides 24-hour emergency service.

SERVPRO of Birmingham specializes 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.

Faster Response

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.

 

We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists

As a leader in storm and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of Birmingham has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition. Our restoration process puts an emphasis on scientific drying techniques, progress monitoring and documentation.

  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technicians

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Birmingham, 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 205-664-6770

Tornado Need to Know

4/21/2016 (Permalink)

Tornadoes are known to cause widespread damage throughout the United States, especially in the Southern Plains and SouthEast. But how much do we truly know about these destructive entities that tear through our homes and businesses?

Here are a couple of quick facts about tornadoes:

  • The average tornado travels Southwest to Northeast but have been known to move in any direction.

  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3pm and 9pm but can occur at any time.

  • Dr. T. Theodore Fujita devised the F0-F5 Scale for tornadoes in 1971.

  • In 2006 the National Weather Service unveiled the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF Scale).

  • A tornado normally appears transparent until it picks dust and mud from the ground.

  • The USA averages around 1,200 tornadoes every year, more than any other country.

  • In the southern hemisphere tornadoes usually rotate in a clockwise direction. In the northern hemisphere tornadoes usually rotate in a counterclockwise direction.

Signs of Danger

  • Dark, green tinted sky

  • Large hail

  • Low-lying rotating cloud

  • Loud roar similar to a freight train

We are in the peak of tornado season here in Alabama and encourage everyone to be weather aware. Have a family plan in the event of a tornado warning. Know where your safe areas are wherever you are.


Source: Stormaware.mo.gov/tornado-facts-history

Disaster Recovery

3/30/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Birmingham not only covers all of Jefferson and Shelby Counties but is also 1 of 4 national SERVPRO storm teams. As a storm team we organize and manage efforts in 8 states if a wide-spread disaster were to strike. The 8 states we cover are Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Missouri, and Florida. During these catastrophic events, Storm Team Wilson would mobilize in the area bringing a large number of crews, equipment, and resources to customers affected. The storm team is managed from one office in Pelham, AL where we receive customer information, organize that information and respond to that customer quickly and professionally. We recruit crews starting with the closest to the affected area and move outward in concentric circles to ensure we are “faster to any size disaster.” As a SERVPRO national response team we respond to disasters as large as Hurricane Sandy and Irene to local flooding or freeze events.

Tornado Facts

3/24/2016 (Permalink)

We are in the middle of tornado season here in Alabama with our main threat being tornado and wind damage. Here are a couple of things from ready.gov to help be prepared in the event of severe weather.

To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.

Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.

Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.

If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of a small interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.