Recent Storm Damage Posts
Preparing Your Home for The Cold Weather Storms
Cold temperatures can create a negative impact on your home and property; it’s key that you take the necessary precautions for your home not only for cold weather, but for storm season as well in order to limit potential risks and damages. When doing routine maintenance, it’s always better to be prepared and go the extra step to insure that you are limiting risks of damage. It’s important to be thorough while inspecting your building.
- Basements and crawlspaces in your home can be areas where heat escapes. Be sure to seal and insulate around any HVAC ducts, basement windows, and any exposed pipes.
- Try installing foam-rubber gaskets behind electrical outlets & switch covers on exterior walls.
- If you don’t use your fireplace, plug the flue with an inflatable plug, or another item, that is safe and limits possible water to entry into your home.
- Make sure you replace any broken windows, re-putty any loose window panes, seal around windows and door trims, or use weather stripping for windows that are opened. This minor step can make a world of a difference in heat efficiency and preventing water intrusion.
- For attic spaces it’s best to weather strip & insulate the access door properly, seal around your chimney with metal flashing or a high temperature sealant, seal around plumbing vents, seal any holes between the heated space of your home and the attic, and don’t forget to insulate any exposed water pipes!
If water damage occurs in your home due to extreme weather or any other means, make sure to call the team with over 50 years of experience. SERVPRO of Kitsap County has the crew that is trained and experienced in dealing with not only average water damage but storm water damages to buildings as well. Give SERVPRO of Kitsap County a call today for your building damages in Poulsbo, WA.
Weather Safety Locations for Kitsap County
Thanks to the Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management, there are multiple places to seek refuge in the Kitsap county area when severe weather alerts have been made when the County's Severe Weather Shelter Plan is activated. For information about opening status please call 2-1-1. After hours your call will be directed to the Crisis Clinic. When there are dangerous weather situations, we advise that those that are out in the elements for a duration of the day and night, [not at work or a social call] to go to one of these locations to have shelter from the weather. We hope that in these events, that everyone is able to get out of the elements to be safe, warm and dry. The severe weather shelter program will be operating Nov 1st – Mar 31st in Kitsap County. This shelter is available for single adults, parents with children, families, and teens.
Kingston: Village Green Community Center, 26159 Dulay Rd NE, Kingston, WA
Poulsbo: Gateway Fellowship, 18901 8th Ave NE, Poulsbo, WA
Silverdale: Silverdale United Methodist Church, 9982 Silverdale Way, Silverdale WA
Port Orchard: Port Orchard United Methodist Church, 725 Kitsap St, Port Orchard, WA
- All persons entering the shelter will be asked to sign in between 6pm-9pm. The shelter will close the following day at 7am. There will not be a background check performed.
- All belongings will be checked in. You may keep things needed for the night like a teddy bear, book, or medications.
- There will be no use of drugs or alcohol and smoking will only be allowed outside in designated areas before 9pm.
- Follow the basic rules of conduct, no fighting or disturbing others while you are in the shelter and will be asked to leave if you do not follow shelter rules.
- Currently no arrangements have been made for pets and they will not be allowed in the shelter. Service and support animals will be allowed in with documentation.
- No food will be served at the shelter.
These alerts are made and are broadcasted for severe weather situations such as if it is expected to be 32 degrees or lower for four or more hours; if one inch of snow is expected; or if one inch of rain is expected between noon and 6 a.m. the next day.
For more information you can visit https://crisisclinicofthepeninsulas.org/hsc/single-woman/kitsap-severe-weather-shelter/
Natural disasters are devastating and unexpected.
Natural disasters are inevitable. The following are suggestions of actions you can take should one occur. First be prepared, make an emergency kit with nonperishable food, bottled water, first aid kit, and a blanket. You can find a more comprehensive list at www.redcross.org Second have a plan or an ERP available at no cost at SERVPRO Kitsap County. An ERP is an emergency reediness profile. Third in the event of an earthquake get low and get under something sturdy until the earthquake stops and /or help arrives. In the event of a fire exit the building via fire plan route. If your clothes catch on fie get on the ground and roll back and forth to put out the flames. Do not go into the building until first responders give clearance.
Preparing for Flood Damage
Homeowners in Poulsbo, WA, are like many homeowners all over the country: cognizant that flooding in any season is a potential threat and that working to minimize its destruction makes good sense. Investing time and effort ahead of a deluge is well worth the favorable outcome that can result from a proactive stance.
Proactive Flood Tips
There are many steps that homeowners can take to minimize flood damage in the event that waters rise. Some are straightforward inspection and maintenance issues that can be accomplished relatively quickly and easily.
• Clear debris from gutters and downspouts. If water can move freely through them, it has a better chance of being carried away from basements and foundations.
• Check that outflows from the home are fully operational.
• Install a sump pump or purchase an on-demand submersible pump and drainage hose, and regularly test them.
• Carry adequate flood insurance, especially if the home occupies an area prone to floods. Acquire sand bags and a source for filling them.
• Ensure that storm drains are clear and notify municipal authorities of any blockages that occur.
• Consider elevating appliances such as washers, dryers, and dehumidifiers in basements or other low-lying areas.
• Store irreplaceable documents and valuables off site, such as in a safe-deposit box.
Plan a Calm Response
In the event that flooding occurs that surpasses efforts to prevent its incursion, it is important to also have a response plan. Monitor local weather alerts and evacuate promptly if directed to do so. Assemble your family and pets. If staying at home is an option, move belongings to higher ground and place electrical appliances at the top. Cut power to avoid the risk of electrocution. Gather needed medications, food, drinking water, phones and their chargers.
It is important to remember that remediation services are only a phone call or email away. Storm damage and flooding remediation can begin as soon as travel becomes safe again.
For more on Poulsbo click here.
Why Every Business Should Consider Buying a Flood Insurance Policy
When flooding occurs it can become a challenge
No place is immune from storms that can potentially cause severe damage to your business. When a destructive storm hits, insurance policies act like financial safety nets, allowing businesses to recuperate damaged or destroyed property. However, insurance companies see flood damage and storm damage as entirely different entities that require separate policies.
Examples of Storm Damage
Wind and hail are examples of natural phenomenon that can cause significant damage to your building’s exterior infrastructure. Examples of potential damage include the following:
• Loosened or detached shingles and siding
• Cracked roof surfaces
• Broken windows
• Damaged or destroyed outdoor equipment
Heavy Rainfall and Flooding
Some severe storms bring heavy rainfall which, if not drained properly, can saturate an area and cause flood damage. To be officially classified as a flooded area, the general rule is the land must be at least two acres in size and a normally dry region. An area where two or more properties are inundated with water can also be classified as a flooded zone.
Flooding can also occur inside your building, especially if the roof or windows were compromised in a storm. In this case, the distinction between flood and storm damage comes down to when the destruction occurred. While this may sound like a minute detail, it is a crucial determination for insurance purposes.
Property Insurance vs. Flood Insurance
Not all insurance policies are created equal, and there is a distinct difference between flood insurance and business property insurance. Most property insurance policies will cover damage resulting from storms, such as damaged windows, roofs and siding. However, if the storm causes flooding and the primary culprit of the damage was flood waters, your property insurance policy will likely not be applicable. Instead, you will have to file a claim on an existing flood insurance policy.
Unfortunately, not every business chooses to purchase flood insurance, creating the potential for substantial financial loss.
Purchase a Policy for Peace of Mind
When flood damage occurs, navigating the restoration and cleanup process can be challenging and timely, particularly if your business lacks adequate insurance. It’s hard to predict when the next severe storm will hit Bremerton, WA. Purchasing flood insurance can provide peace of mind, so why delay?
For more on Bremerton click here.
How To Clean Up Sewer Damage
Sewage back up can cause damage with your home or business
You walk into your home in Bremerton, WA, and immediately you smell it. The telltale odor of sewer backup permeates the air. You find the problem and call restoration experts who specialize in sewer cleanup. After doing so, you should shut off the water and power to the area and then leave the space to keep you and your family safe from the contaminated water. When the professionals arrive, this is the process they are likely to follow.
Containing the Sewage
The first step of the cleanup process is stopping the spread of the contamination. There are several parts to this step:
• Technicians don protective gear to keep themselves safe.
• Remove and bag any affected items.
• Identify the perimeter of the area the contaminants have reached.
• Seal off the area so that microbes and bacteria do not go any further.
Removing the Water
After the damage from the flooded toilet has been identified and contained, the next step of sewer cleanup is water extraction. Using industrial pumps, technicians remove as much of the water as they can from the area. The faster water is removed, the faster the actual cleaning process can begin.
Assessing Items and Materials
Certified experts are trained to recognize which items can be cleaned and which items need to be discarded. After water is removed, they discard unsalvageable items and put others aside to be restored.
Drying the Area
At this point, nothing remains that can't be dried and saved, so the intense drying process begins. Technicians increase air flow and use dehumidifiers to completely dry the area and prevent mold growth.
Disinfecting Items and Materials
Even though the area is dry, it is still not clean. Bacteria may still be on the remaining floors and walls, so they need to be professionally disinfected. Salvageable materials and items are restored and returned to the area.
At this point, everything is dry and clean. The sewer cleanup process concludes with walls, floors and other essential items that had to be discarded being replaced.
For more on Bremerton click here.
Things to Look Out For If Your Location is Prone to Flooding
Massive flooding, brings drastic negative impact on the means of support and functionality of residents and overall economy where it occurs. Damaged properties, livestock losses, defective infrastructure and the rise of waterborne diseases are some of the aftermath results of floods. Commercial properties, involving millions of dollars’ investment are also at risk of damage from flooding. The costs of restoration, moving of commercial functionality from damaged areas to new locations, and relocation of evacuated individuals can occupy a great amount of money from these businesses, that they may not have available.
Floods in recent years, have resulted in huge losses, both residential and commercial. Costing not only the economy from the insurance side, but the personal side as well; millions of dollars. If you, or your business may be in an area of flooding to occur, it is wise to know not only your surroundings to the best of your ability, but also to be able to identify a situation of flooding. You need to be able to act accordingly to save not only lives, but possibly your business and building structure from even more damage.
To avoid commercial property and business damages, preventative measures can be made ahead of time to better prepare and prevent water loss. If not ahead, in the moment efforts matter as well.
- Rising Water
If you recognize that the amount of water that is pooling near your building is gaining inches at an alarming rate, put some sand bags near all of the entrances to help stop water from coming in at that door lip level.
- Moving Water
Moving water brings larger risks in areas that are situated near rivers or in areas where a coastal storm surge may occur since it results in greater forces on the buildings that they were not built to withstand. As well as create the dangerous scenario of harm to people and cars that attempt to go through it.
Overtopping is when the water inside of a contained area rises and spills out over the top of the barrier. Opening of levees, dams and other flood stopping mechanisms, which are made to divert flood water to maintain protection, result in more substantial flood damages than if these devices were never put in.
If you have experienced flood damages, SERVPRO of Kitsap County is here for you. We take the man power, equipment, skill and assistance of Large Loss teams that can come in to aid our customers as well, to ensure you, and your home or business are taken care of. Our goal is to make your loss 'Like it never even happened.'
Kitsap County Storms
Kitsap County, located in WA state, is a great place to live. The rest of the country has a pre-determined image of WA as the ‘state where it always rains.’ Yet surprisingly enough, that’s not the case. Even though we do get our overcast and light misting amounts of ‘rain,’ it doesn’t account for when we do get our big storms in the fall to early spring rainy seasons, that can be doozies for our community when they hit.
For the state where it always rains, near the end of fall and beginning of November when the rainy season kicks off, our average rainfall amounts are around 7.9 inches. But note, that Bremerton does experience extreme seasonal variation in the monthly rainfall amounts regardless throughout the year.
If we are having one of our more extreme storms, and you find that your home or business is having water damage occur due to storm or ground water intruding into the building here are a few steps to take:
- Try to locate the source of the intruding water.
- Try to block the source location of the water.
- Place all furniture in the affected area up on some sort of risers to prevent damage.
- Try to soak up as much water as possible.
And last but not least, and the most important step of all;
- Call SERVPRO of Kitsap County to extract any water the has intruded into your building, and can start drying out the affected area(s)
If you are dealing with water damage from a storm, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Kitsap County, because we are always here to help make your loss “Like it never even happened.”
Preparations for Storms
Have you ever wondered what to do in case a big storm hits? What is the equipment or supplies you need to be best equipped with? Our team here at SERVPRO of Kitsap County have created a great list of things to gather and remember, for various types of potential storms. All to help ensure your and your family are safe. You should try to weather proof your home in case of any storm. In case a storm does occur that confines you to the building, make sure to periodically check the radio broadcasts for updates to identify when it is safe to go outside. Being in the Pacific Northwest, we don’t get all of the extreme storm types that occur in other parts of the country but it is better to know about them regardless.
- If a typhoon or tornado occurs, get to the lowest level of the building, some homes have basements or other types of underground areas, where you should store necessary supplies.
- If there is a rain storm or thunder storm, your home should be equipped with a back up generator, a home emergency kit and food and water for approximately 4 people for 14 days.
- For a snow storm, make sure you are supplied with warm clothing and extra blankets as well as the items for a rain storm (listed above,) in case your power goes out of if there is no heat.
Home Emergency Kits should include
- Emergency contact numbers
- A radio
- First aid kit
- Important documents in waterproof containers
- Water & non-perishable food
- Pet food (if needed)
- Baby supplies (if needed)
- Phones with charging cords
- Blankets & pillows
- & Tools
If you have questions on damages from storms, please call our team at SERVPRO of Kitsap County. We help during and after any storm with water intrusions, leaks or flooding. We have the equipment and expertise to properly extract any standing water, dry affected and water damaged areas and items of your home and clean up the remaining damage. For any questions or concerns about storm damages to your home, please call SERVPRO of Kitsap County at 360-373-1290. For more information about preparations for storms, please view the link here: http://www.stormwise.com.au/step/create-your-home-emergency-kit
Worst Storm in Oregon, Washington in over 50 years!
During the weekend of October 14th, 2016 there was a historic-level storm that would hit on Saturday and Sunday. The weather channel stated, “there was at least four tornado warnings that were issued for Washington coast and one tornado by the Oregon costal.” There were no reports of people getting injured after the tornado had hit around 8:25am, but there were a lot of homes that were damaged in the tornado. During that same weekend, both Washington and Oregon had winds up to 100mph. This was the most powerful storm to hit throughout the PNW coastal regions in over 50 years. There was approximately 16 trillion gallons of rain that fell on Washington, Oregon and parts of California over the following week. The after math of the storm resulted in power outages, and a mass amount of flooding causing 29,000 people to be without power in Washington state alone. To be prepared for a major storm like this one you should always have emergency supplies already set aside in your home and place of work. Some things to include in your emergency kits are flashlights, generator, canned food, non-perishable snacks, water, a radio and blankets to keep warm. If you are not sure what to do in case of a storm, or a form of a natural disaster, check out what tips and guidelines the red cross has on their website here:
If you have anymore questions about water & fire damage and restoration from a storm, please call SERVPRO of Kitsap County at 360-373-1290.
Falling Trees from Severe Wind & Rain Storms
“TIMBER!” is something not everyone is used to hearing, or not everyone is comfortable hearing. When it comes to dealing with storm damages from fallen trees on your property, and sometimes even onto your home, no one looks forward to it. To better handle a situation like this pre-planning for a storm emergency is always a good idea.
Here are our 5 helpful steps to keep in mind for both preventative measures and after the fact:
- Take a look around your property. Look for the trees that appear tilted or have no foliage in the summer. If these trees fell would your building would be in their path? Those are usually the first to fall during the next big wind or rain storm. If you have any that fit the description, make it a goal to get those trees removed before playing a game of risk with Mother Nature.
- If a tree does fall on your property, before anything else, make sure everyone is safe. Exit your building if you feel that the situation is at all dangerous.
- As I’m always told: keep your head on a swivel. Be aware of all your surroundings. Be aware of any debris in roadways from high winds and heavy rains. Look for any downed wires or power lines. If you do recognize that there are downed lines at all, call the police and your power company.
- Notify your insurance company promptly and, if there is a safe way of doing so, take pictures of the scene at different angles.
- Lastly, give the team at SERVPRO of Kitsap County a call, we can get there quickly to clean up the water intrusion in your home.
When dealing with an emergency situation there are typically a million things going on and a million more going through your head. Just remember that when in need, think orange & green. The crew at SERVPRO of Kitsap County are experienced, trained professionals that know how to handle your disaster appropriately. We specialize in getting your home looking “Like it never even happened.”
Storm: Flash floods: what they do & how to prevent the damage they bring
With the increased heavy rains we have had recently it’s always good to remember that any storm system can cause flash flooding at any time. Flash floods occur in many parts of the world and are caused by abnormally heavy rainfall from a storms such as thunderstorms, hurricanes, tropical storms, and melt water. Flash floods can come in a quick sweep and pass just as fast, or stay for quite a while if there is nowhere for the water to properly drain. None the less flash flooding almost always causes damage not only man-made structures, but also erodes parts of the ground, hillsides, and roads.
Things to remember and look out for when dealing with a flash flood
- Flash floods are a rapid surge of water in low lying geographic areas. This surge of water has the ability to destroy objects and geographic landmarks in its path. The objects and landmarks that are not destroyed can be adversely affected due to the destructive nature of this amount of water. With continuous exposure of flood water the current can slowly deteriorate the integrity of the structure.
- Flood waters linger due to the inability to properly drain. The most common cause of structure flooding is poor drainage. When a structure is exposed to flood waters for prolonged periods of time the ‘flood-proof’ barriers in place run the risk of failing due to erosion and pressure of the water itself.
- If any of the flood water is greater than 3 feet the pressure from the water can cause failure points in the foundation. When the structural integrity is not addressed in a timely manner it can cause a collapse of the building itself.
- As we know, flood water starts as rainwater, but due to the increased volume and speed of the waters, it picks up everything along the way. The collection of various materials causes it to become contaminated. The materials flood waters pick up include harmful components such as industrial waste, toxins, pesticides, sewage, animal wastes, oils and chemicals, and non-chemical materials. Damage from these harmful components can be reduced by using floor protection measures, such as a sealant.
Preemptive Flood Water Suggestions & Tips
The best solution to prevent flooding is to ensure that all drainage systems surrounding your building have been set up and are working correctly. Issues in your drainage system can result in damage to your property. Try to always ensure that your drainage procedures are up to date, free of anything that can clog the system, free of anything that can compromise the integrity of the system, and perform regular inspections to make sure your drainage system is ready for anything at any time.
Having appropriate elevation will aid in limiting the damage of flooding at your property location. Safety against flooding is enhanced by raising the elevation of the building above base flood elevations. Remember to keep this in mind when doing new construction, and when you have the opportunity to raise the foundation heights of buildings.
Underground Flood Proofing
Fast Facts on Flooding
Floods rank as one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether you live near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, out in the country, or even in the desert, there is a potential for flooding. Anywhere ut can rain, it can flood.
A variety of events can cause flooding, like: heavy rains, when ocean waves come onshore, if snow melts too fast, or when damns or levees break. A flooding event may occur over a long period and could last days, weeks or longer.
The most dangerous type of flood, a flash flood, happens quickly with little or no warning. Flash floods are the top weather-related killer in the U.S. since they can roll boulders, tear out trees and destroy buildings and bridges. A flash flood is the rapid flooding of low-lying areas in less than 6 hours, caused by intense rainfall from a thunderstorm or several thunderstorms.
At least 25% of the businesses that close after an event like a flood never reopen their doors. As little as one-inch of water can cause costly damage to your property. Over the past 5 years the average flood claim was more than $75,000.
With over 40 years of experience, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have restored flood damaged homes and businesses from coast to coast. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure if not treated quickly and properly. If a flood strikes your home or business, call your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
Flood Safety Tips
- Do not walk through moving water. 6 inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.
- Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage.
- If your property suffers flood damage, clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwaters may contain sewage and chemicals. Dispose of any food or personal hygiene items exposed to floodwaters.
Stay Safe from Summer Storms
While the spring season is known for the potential to experience severe weather, the threat exists throughout the summer months as well. In fact, the potential for severe weather even increases in some areas. Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and runs through November 30th. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15th also ending November 30th.
While it may be difficult to prepare for the unpredictable, there are steps you can take now to ensure you are ready when disaster strikes. One way to prepare your business for any type of disaster, is to establish an Emergency READY Profile (ERP). Contact your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals to learn more about the ERP and how it can help you. Consider the following tips when preparing for an approaching storm.
Before the Storm
- Build an emergency supply kit and develop a communication plan.
- Unplug any electrical equipment before the storm arrives.
- Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
- If you are outdoors, get inside a building, home or hard top vehicle (not a convertible).
- Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.
During the Storm
- Use battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updated from local officials
- Avoid contact with corded phones. Cordless and cellular phones are safe to use.
- Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords.
- Unplug appliances and other electrical items, such as computers. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
- Avoid contact with plumbing. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
- Stay away from windows and doors.
After the Storm
- Never drive through a flooded roadway.
- Stay away from storm-damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk.
- Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
Be Storm Smart & Be Storm Ready
Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms:
- 10,000 severe thunderstorms
- 5,000 floods of flash floods
- 1,000 tornadoes
- 2 land falling deadly hurricanes
Approximately 98% of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damages. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.
Know Your Risk. The 1st Step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.
Take Action. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.
Be an Example. Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.
Major Water Damage: Flooding
With the events that we are all noticing and hearing about the flooding in California and in other parts of the country during this very wet winter season, it’s a good thing to be knowledgeable about water damage and being flood smart.
Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disaster in the United States. 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. Floodsmart.gov reports, in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, does not mean you won’t in the future. In fact, early 20% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas. On average, floods cost $3.5 Billion in annual losses in the United States.
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 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. 6 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 rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than 2 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 does strike your home or business, contact your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals. Even minor damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO System is prepared to handle any sized disaster. When fire and water take control of your life, your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will help you take it back.