Recent Storm Damage Posts

Thunderstorm Awareness!

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Many people would say hurricanes, and tornadoes are much for dangerous than a thunderstorm. Unfortunately, that isn't true. Under the right conditions, rainfall from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding which kills more people each year than hurricanes, tornadoes or lightning.

What exactly is a thunderstorm? A thunderstorm is a normal rain shower with the addition of thunder, and since thunder is the result of lightning, all thunderstorms have lightning. Thunderstorms have caused millions of dollars in damages just with the basics like rain and lighting. Thunderstorms have caused power outages that have lasted weeks at a time.

Here at SERVPRO of South Livingston, we take these matters very seriously and always have a protective eye on such storm moving in on our community. For any damages related to thunderstorms please contact SERVPRO of South Livingston for our expert opinion. We are always prepared during times of flooding. We have 24-hour emergency services to make sure your home is back to "Like it never even happened". 

"Why should I have flood insurance?"

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, affecting every single state. While hurricanes are mostly responsible for massive flooding catastrophes, other causes of flooding include snowmelt, heavy rain, dams or levees breaking, and new developments impacting water flow. In the past couple of years, many homes that were not in high-risk flood zones experienced flooding simply due to heavy rainfall.  In case you didn’t know, your homeowner’s policy will not cover damages caused by flooding. So, purchasing a flood insurance policy is a wise idea even if your home is not located in areas that are more common to flood. Just one inch of flood water in your home can cost thousands of dollars. Flood water is contaminated water and, according to industry cleaning standards, every material affected by flood water must be removed and discarded. Imagine if a few inches of flood water entered your home. Now imagine needing to replace your flooring, sheetrock, cabinets, furniture, clothes, electronics, etc. How much do you think this would cost you? Purchasing a flood insurance policy will save you time and money, helping you and your family recover faster. Well, what do you need to know about flood insurance before speaking to your insurance agent? Below are a few facts about flood insurance and helpful tips to make you a more informed insured.

When should I purchase a flood insurance policy?

Do not wait for hurricane season to purchase a flood insurance policy. The average flood insurance policy takes 30 days to become active. However, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a policy may go into effect sooner: 

  • If your building is newly designated in a high-risk Special Flood Hazard Area, and you buy flood insurance within the 13-month period following a map revision: One-day waiting period.
  • If you buy flood insurance in connection with making, increasing, extending or renewing your mortgage loan: No waiting period.
  • If you select additional insurance as an option on your flood insurance policy renewal bill: No waiting period.
  • If your property is affected by flooding on burned federal land, and the policy is purchased within 60 days of the fire-containment: Possible waiver of the waiting period.

But, for the most part, damages from flooding will only be covered after the thirty day wait period. Now is the best time to purchase a policy.

What is covered by a flood insurance policy?

Flood insurance is available to homeowners, business owners, and renters. For homeowners, your flood insurance policy will offer up to $250,000 for repairing the home itself and offer up to $100,000 for replacing personal items and your home’s contents. Business owner policies will offer up to $500,000 for building repairs and $500,000 in building contents. Renters can purchase policies covering up to $100,000 of personal contents.

According to FEMA:

“Building coverage includes:

  • The insured building and its foundation;
  • The electrical and plumbing system;
  • Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces, and water heaters;
  • Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances such as dishwashers; and
  • Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring.

Contents coverage includes:

  • Clothing, curtains, furniture and electronic equipment;
  • Portable items such as; window air conditioners, microwaves and dishwashers; and
  • Carpeting that is not already included in property coverage.

Policy prices will differ based upon deductible, the extent of coverages, flood risk, year of building construction, and other factors. The flood insurance market is evolving. Private insurance companies are beginning to offer flood insurance policies now. Speak with your insurance agent to see if you could benefit from purchasing a private flood insurance policy.  

How do I purchase a flood insurance policy?

Speak with your insurance agent to learn more about the National Flood Insurance Program and private insurance policies. They should help you to understand which options are best suited for your home and/or business. If your agent does not sell flood insurance, contact the NFIP Referral Call Center at 800-427-4661 for a referral.

What do I do after a flood?

If your home or business has been damaged by flood waters, then please do not enter the property until it is safe to do so. Once you can access your property again, start with contacting your insurance company to file a claim. Then, you can begin to inventory damaged items. Take photographs of everything and write down each item’s purchase date and estimated value. This home inventory list will need to be submitted to your adjuster. Make sure to reach out to SERVPRO as soon as possible to ensure that your home gets cleaned up and back to preloss condition. Also, remember to take notes of your conversations with your insurance company and the adjuster. Jot down the date and time of each interaction, as well as specific notes about what was discussed.

If you do not have a flood insurance policy and your home or business has been damaged due to flooding, then you will be financially responsible for necessary repairs and restoration services. Only if a flooding incident has been declared a national disaster by the president will FEMA assistance become available. This assistance is usually in the form of a grant or low-interest disaster loan that you are required to repay.

The recovery process following flooding disasters is long and emotional. SERVPRO of South Livingston understands the stress and worry you will feel after your home has incurred damages. As your neighbors and your friends, we offer our expertise, guidance, and 24-hour emergency restoration services for those in need of disaster recovery. For questions or to receive assistance please contact our office by dialing 225-667-2220.

For more information about the National Flood Insurance Program or what to do before, during or after a flood you can visit:

https://www.floodsmart.gov/how/what-to-know-before-buying-a-flood-insurance-policy

https://www.floodsmart.gov/

https://www.iii.org/article/facts-about-flood-insurance

https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4310-4313/updates/facts-and-myths-about-flood-insurance

https://www.disasterassistance.gov/

Why Your Home Needs Surge Protectors

12/27/2019 (Permalink)

Surge Protector Surge protectors protect your electronics and prevent costly electronic replacements.

A power surge is an unwanted and unexpected surge of voltage that can damage or destroy your electronic equipment. Most people think of lightning and/or storms as the source of power surges however, the National Electrical Manufactures Association estimates over 60% of surges originate from inside the home.

A surge protector will protect your smaller more expensive electronics. Some surge protectors include outlets for ethernet, cable, or satellite connections. Surge protectors are relatively easy to use. You simply plug them into the device you wish to protect. Only the electronics plugged into the device will be protected. Most surge protectors look like a power strip. Be sure to determine you are using an actual surge protector and not power strip.

The surge protector limits the unexpected voltage supplied to the electronic device by blocking those voltages that are above a safe level. If a surge does happen, and your electronics were protected, you will need to replace the surge protector after the event. You will also need to replace your surge protectors over time to ensure they will work properly when needed. While surge protectors offer a great deal of protection, no surge protector can handle a direct lightning strike.

There are many threats to your home, both inside and out. SERVPRO® of South Livingston strives to educate home and business owners on protecting their most valuable assets.

Flooded Streets and Vehicles: Why You Shouldn't Drive Through Floods

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded Streets and Vehicles

A flooded home is one thing. There is an understood protocol in dealing with a flooded home, and it is to stay dry and call emergency restoration services in the South Louisiana area after the damage is done. But, flooded roads offer a different and deceiving problem. A flooded street that looks intimidating to walk down may not look that scary from the inside of your vehicle, but floodwater should never be underestimated.

1. Depth of Water Can Be Deceiving

True, the water level may only be about 12 inches deep, but that level of rushing water is enough to carry a small car, and if the depth increases to 2 feet, then it can carry almost any vehicle. Despite the weight of most vehicles, it is no match to the surge and power of rushing flood water, no matter the depth.

2. Loss of Control Can Be Immediate

The second your car begins to float you have lost all control. Steering, accelerating, and breaking will do nothing to help you maneuver obstacles in the flooded street. A vehicle becomes a projectile with a passenger.

3. Water Can Flip A Vehicle

As waters rise, it is possible that your floating vehicle will roll and flip upside down, which can make it difficult and dangerous for an escape attempt. It is also important to note that the water does not have to be significantly deep to flip your vehicle. The same 12 inches that can move your car can also flip it.

4. Water Is Equally Dangerous for People

While it is dangerous to drive in a flood, it is even more dangerous to walk in a flood. That is why the essential safety and travel tips for flood zones are:

  • Stay Dry
  • Stay Safe
  • Seek Higher Ground

If you are trapped in a vehicle on a flooded street with moving water, then stay inside your car until help arrives. If your vehicle begins to flood, then move to the roof of your car, but do not enter moving water. Flood water is dangerous, and your safety is paramount.

How Can FEMA Help Storm Damage Victims Recover From the Aftermath?

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

When a natural disaster or major storm, such as a flood or tornado, sweeps through and damages an area, some of the first people on the ground work for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA, as the agency is commonly called, provides many different forms of assistance, including but not limited to the following:

  • Housing assistance (rent, home repairs, home replacement, etc.)
  • Help with repairing or replacing personal property
  • Financial assistance with funeral expenses
  • Medical, dental and childcare assistance
  • Moving and storage expenses
  • Assistance to repair or replace vehicles

In addition to helping repair physical damage, the agency also provides assistance for damages that arise as a result of the physical damage.

Unemployment and Reemployment Services

After a flooding or other natural disaster in Livingston, LA, it is not uncommon for individuals to need to relocate and/or take time off work. If an individual is forced to take time off, his or her employer may be forced to let him or her go. FEMA provides unemployment benefits and reemployment services to individuals who are forced to take time off or relocate post disaster.

Crisis Counseling

The agency also offers crisis counseling to individuals and whole communities who have suffered great loss as a result of the disaster. It does this by funding and sometimes hosting community-based outreach programs and educational services.

Disaster Legal Services

Often, the individuals who need disaster assistance are low-income. These individuals generally cannot afford legal services if they need them for their disaster related needs. The federal agency helps these individuals secure legal services when they're needed.

Additional Services

In addition to providing the aforementioned types of assistance, FEMA also partners with other government agencies, as well as non-government agencies, to meet the needs of disaster survivors. If the agency cannot meet your unique needs, you can talk with a representative to see if one of its partner agencies can. You can also talk to your local storm damage restoration team regarding types of assistance available.

Step by Step Lightning Preparations

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Lightning causes around 31 deaths in the U.S. annually (based on statistics from 2006-2016). Nationally, lightning ranks second only to flash floods in weather-related deaths.  Lightning is the most frequent important weather threat to personal safety during the thunderstorm season, and it is also the MOST UNDERRATED weather hazard. Unfortunately, Louisiana has observed several lightning fatalities and injuries.  Why?  The main reason is that people stay outside too long as thunderstorms approach or form nearby.  During the early part of the thunderstorm season, for example May and June, "dry" thunderstorms are quite common. With these types of thunderstorms, little or no precipitation reaches the ground and, as a result, people are less likely to seek shelter. While most lightning casualties occur at the beginning of an approaching storm, a significant number of lightning deaths occur after the thunderstorm has passed.  If thunder is heard, then the storm is close enough for a lightning strike.  DO NOT wait for the rain to start before seeking shelter, and do not leave shelter just because the rain has ended.

Did you know?

  • The air near a lightning strike is heated to 50,000 ° F. That is hotter than the surface of the sun!
  • The average flash could light a 100-watt light bulb for more than 3 months.
  • Lightning occurs with all thunderstorms.

It's not raining, is there still danger from being struck by lightning?  YES!  Lightning often strikes outside of the heavy rain area and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall.

Will the rubber soles of my shoes or tires on my car protect me from being struck? NO! However, the steel frame of a hard-topped car provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.  Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside the car than outside.To roughly estimate the distance in miles between you and the lightning flash, count the seconds between the lightning and the thunder and divide by 5.When skies darken or thunderstorms are forecast look and listen for increasing wind, flashes of lightning, sound of thunder, and static on your am radio.  While no place is safe from lightning, some places are much safer than others. 

 When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

  1. Get inside a house, large shelter or an all-metal vehicle (not a convertible).
  2. Do not use a corded telephone during a thunderstorm.  Only use cordless or wireless phones instead.
  3. Remain clear of tall, isolated trees and telephone poles.
  4. Stay away from wire fences, clotheslines or metal pipes and rails.
  5. If you are caught outside, away from shelter, you need to get to a place of safety as quickly as possible.
  6. Wait 30 minutes after you hear the last rumble of thunder before going outside.

 What you can do...

  • Watch for signs of an approaching thunderstorm
  • Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are imminent.  This is your best way to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation
  • REMEMBER if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to a storm to be struck by lightning
  • If possible, move to a sturdy building or hard top automobile
  • If safe shelter is not available, find a low spot away from trees, fences, and poles
  • If boating or swimming, get out of boats and away from the water, get to land and find shelter immediately

We hope you never have to experience damage from lightning strike but if you ever find yourself in that situation call the experts at SERVPRO of South Livingston (225) 667-2220.

3 Guidelines for Flood First Responders

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

How To Prepare For A Disaster Situation

If you live in or near a flood zone and plan on being a first responder, it is important to prepare for a disaster situation ahead of time. Keep these three flood response guidelines in mind.

1. Get the Recommended Immunizations

The Center for Disease Control recommends that disaster responders receive a tetanus booster if they have not been vaccinated against this disease in the last 10 years. Either the tetanus/diphtheria or tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis vaccination can be used. The CDC also recommends the Hepatitis B vaccine for responders who plan to provide medical care.

2. Wear Personal Protective Equipment

First responders should take measures to protect their skin from contaminated flood water. Wear electrically insulated watertight boots with a steel shank, toe, and insole. Hip waders can also limit exposure to standing water. A first responder should also wear thick, waterproof work gloves and safety goggles or glasses. Long pants or coveralls, a long-sleeved shirt, and a protective head covering are also suitable for flood response work. If responders expect to enter locations that may be experiencing mold growth, a respirator may also be necessary.

3. Watch Out For Moving Water

Flood water poses a threat even if it does not seem very deep. If a person slips and falls in just six inches of water moving at six miles per hour, he or she may not be able to regain footing. Vehicles may float in 12 inches of water moving at the same speed. Exercise caution and only wade through flood water that is no more than four inches deep, is not moving, and has a visible hard surface underneath.

These flood safety pointers can help to keep a first responder to a flood emergency safe. If your residence becomes flooded, document the damage and schedule a consultation with a flood damage mitigation and restoration company located in Denham Springs, LA.

Professional Assistance After Storm Damage

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

Whatever has happened, there needs to be a focus on storm remediation. Further, no homeowner should try to do all of the storm restoration on their own.

Let the Professionals Assist

With the help of professionals, it’s possible to focus on storm remediation. The home restoration process will take a while. A good home restoration company will have the tools, techniques, and contacts to take care of everything from hail damage to a roof repair. It will make it easier to know how extensive wind damage was and what needs to be done about it.

A home restoration company will create an entire plan to deal with river flooding, storm damage, wind damage, and everything else that has taken place. They will address a roof leak and make a needed roof repair. They will also be able to get hurricane damage and hail damage under control.
Visit http://www.SERVPROsouthlivingstonparish.com for more information on storm damage.

Start on the Storm Damage Cleanup

7/20/2018 (Permalink)

The storm damage cleanup is going to take a while. If there is hurricane damage, this might include broken windows, a roof leak, and other types of roof repair. There might also be hail damage, which can lead to even more roof damage.

A flood pump will likely be needed to deal with all of the flood water. It’s common for flooding to take place after a storm. The water restoration will involve getting rid of the water as well as drying all of the materials that can be salvaged from the flooding.

Other cleanup might be breaking up an ice dam, replacing frozen pipes, and more. If ice damming and frozen pipes remain for too long, the ice damage will lead to other problems. Those problems will also be expensive if a homeowner waits too long to deal with the ice damage.

The Calm After the Storm: Addressing Water Damage

5/26/2018 (Permalink)

Not every location on the map is going to be prone to flooding, but most properties can have minor leaks here and there. Whether your Livingston, LA, home has suffered water damage from the elements or has an incessant leaky roof, addressing matters appropriately can be crucial. The following three tips can help you navigate this common homeowner's burden.

1. Remove Excess Water

Amidst the stress and hurdles of planning water cleanup, it is easy for homeowners to forget the basics. If you are waiting for the judgment of a professional, in the meantime, you can remove any excess water from the area with various materials. Furniture and lamps love to collect water underneath bases, so ensure that you have blotted moisture from all the tricky spots.

2. Protect Your Belongings

Fabrics and other materials are another commonly overlooked part of the house after water damage. Because these items can easily bleed onto other materials, it is important to collect them and hang them somewhere dry. Wet upholstery, cushions and books can soak up water and transfer dyes to unwanted areas. Ceilings can also become unstable, so watch out for damage in those areas, as well.

3. Turn On Air Conditioning

In warmer weather, you can turn on your air conditioning to help dry damaged areas. Even if you plan on consulting the pros for aspects such as broken pipes, you can take proactive steps by airing out all items in the home. Even a light circulation running through the house can work wonders during water cleanup.

There is rarely a simple way of looking at a water damage problem, as such damage can affect the most unexpected spots. Removing furniture and other items from your home can become incredibly exhausting, yet by looking to some simple and effective steps, you – and your home –no longer have to be victims of water's wrath.

Visit us at http://www.SERVPROsouthlivingstonparish.com for more information. 

Flood Facts

11/16/2017 (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 South Livingston. 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.

Call the flood experts - (225) 667-2220

Proper Drying and Mold Prevention after The Great Flood of 2016

2/24/2017 (Permalink)

This is a flooded business that didn't seek professional drying until months after the flood. The walls and ceilings collected mold and fell apart.

It has been months since the Great Flood of 2016 here in Louisiana, and homeowners are still stuck in the rebuilding phase. Since over 100,000 homes were affected by the flooded it is almost impossible for one to either not be affected by the flood or not know someone who was.

Homeowners had a lot of questions about what they needed to do to correctly dry out their home. Some learned that their is more to drying out a home than leaving the windows open and letting it air dry, or just placing box fans. SERVPRO of South Livingston Parish has a team of technicians who are highly trained in psychrometrics, the science of drying. We use special moisture reading equipment to measure the level of moisture in the air as well as in objects such as sheetrock and wall studs. In addiction to these devices, SERVPRO technicians use drying equipment; this includes air movers and dehumidifers along with numerous methods that can be used to achieve a certain standard of dryness.

Because most homeowners are not familiar with psychrometics, their homes were not dried properly. This caused another problem, old. In addition to being highly trained in water damage restoration. The technicians are also trained in mold remediation. We will work with an industrial hygienist to determine the type of mold you have, and the best course of action to remediated the mold. Upon completion of our services, the industrial hygienist will perform a clearance test. This test will give you the assurance that the remediation process was a success.  

So if water, mold, or fire damage happens to your home or business, call SERVPRO of South Livingston Parish at 225-667-2220. You can be confident that a team of highly trained service professionals will respond quickly to your needs.