Recent Storm Damage Posts

Tips to Prepare Your Home for Winter Ice Storms

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Winter is once again coming and along with it comes one of your home's worst enemies; ice dams. Ice dams are continuous chunks of ice that form along the edges of your roof. During the warmer parts of a winter day, water melting off the roof pools behind the ice and then seeps back up under the shingles; causing damage to the interior of your home. To try and prevent ice dams, you have a few options:

  • Make sure all gutters and downspouts are cleared of trapped leaves and debris.
  • Being very careful, try to remove the snow off your roof after a heavy snowfall with a snow rake or call in a professional who can provide that type of service. Usually this can only be done on a single story home.
  • Make sure that your attic is properly insulated and vented. Building codes require 12' to 14" of insulation.
  • The next time you re-roof, run a special adhesive ice-and-water barrier 3" to 6" up the roof from the edge. It can be rather expensive but can save you money in the long run.
  • Have heat cables installed on the edge of your roof where ice usually dams up.

As hard as we try to control some of the things that mother nature throws at us, it doesn't always work out. If you suspect you may have damage to your home due to ice damming or any other cause, give SERVPRO of Joliet a call at 815-436-5735 and we will send our trained professionals to help you with your problem.

Preparedness for Pets

10/12/2018 (Permalink)

After Hurricane Katrina it was estimated that over 15,500 animals were ultimately rescued. Of the 15,500, only 15-20% were reunited with their owners.

Pets are just as important as any family member to most people so make them part of your preparedness planning. Several things that you can do to make sure they stay safe during an emergency are:

Build a Pet Emergency Kit

  • Food - At least a three day supply in an airtight, waterproof container.
  • Water - At least a three day supply.
  • Medicines and medical records
  • Important documents - such as registration, adoption and vaccination papers.
  • First Aid Kit
  • Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies, tag and leash
  • Crate or pet carrier - Have a sturdy, safe crate or carrier in case you need to evacuate. There should be enough space for the pet to stand, lie down or turn around in.
  • Sanitation - Pet litter and litter box, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, and antibacterial wipes.
  • Picture of you and your pet together - If you become separated, the photo will help as documentation of ownership and help others to assist you.
  • Familiar items - Not only is this a traumatic time for, but also for your pet. By having some items such as treats, toys and bedding make help alleviate stress on your pet.

Most important of all is to include your pet in your evacuation plans and don't leave them behind where they can be lost or injured. It is very important to have your pet micro chipped. In the event that you do get separated from your pet, it will be much easier for the animal to be traced back to it's owner.

For more information visit ready.gov/animals and remember that SERVPRO of Joliet 815-436-5735 knows that not only are your personal items important to you but so are your family pets. Keep them safe and be prepared!

The Do's and Dont's of Surviving a Flood

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding can happen at anytime and anywhere as a result of rain, snow coastal storms, storm surges and the overflow of dams and water systems. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock a person down and 1 foot of moving water is enough to sweep your vehicle away. Remember the following:

  • Depending on where you are and the impact and warning time of the flooding, go to a previously identified safe location.
  • If you are told to evacuate, leave immediately. Never drive around barricades that local responders have used to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.
  • Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn around.
  • Stay off bridges over fast moving water. Bridges can be wash away without warning.
  • If your vehicle is trapped in fast moving water, stay inside unless the water is rising inside the vehicle, then seek safety on the roof.
  • If trapped in a building, go to the highest level. Do not go into a closed attic where you may be trapped by rising floodwater. Go to the roof if necessary and signal for help.
  • Always remember to listen to authorities for information and instructions during a flood situation and return home only when they say it is safe to do so.

If a flood does strike your home or business, contact SERVPRO of Joliet at 815-436-5735 for all your water restoration needs.

After the Storm?

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

This Spring and Summer has been quite a wet and stormy one and with that comes weather related injuries and fatalities. This is why it is important to educate both you and your family about post-storm safety.

Immediately after a storm where there was heavy rain, strong damaging winds, and lightening consider the following:

  • Do not let children play near storm drains. Every year children are sucked into storm drains and carried away.
  • Do not touch metal objects outside, there may be power lines down on the object which energizes the object. This could be a fence, guard rail, or baseball stop.
  • Do not touch or pick up any wires that you see either laying on the ground or hanging low. They may be energized or could become energized at any time.
  • Do not walk in flooded basements if your power is still connected. You could become electrocuted should water make contact with an electrical source.
  • If your home is out of electrical power, use extra caution when using candles for light.
  • Be careful using a gas powered generator which could cause Carbon Monoxide poisoning if not vented properly.

Please remember to keep you and your family safe and remember that SERVPRO of Joliet is always available to help you with your restoration needs. 815-436-5735.

What To Do Now To Prepare For A Flood

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States.

  • Know types of flood risks in your area. Visit FEMA's Flood Map Service Center https://msc.fema.gov/portal for information.
  • Sign up for your community's warning system (EAS) The Emergency Alert System.
  • If flash flooding is a risk in your location, monitor potential sign, such a heavy rain.
  • Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans,and flash flood response.
  • Gather supplies in case you have to leave immediately or if services are cut off including medications, pet needs, batteries or and other critical equipment.
  • Purchase or renew a flood insurance policy. It typically takes up to 30 days to go into effect. Get Flood coverage under the(NFIP) the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password protected digital copies.
  • Protect your property by moving valuables to higher levels, declutter drains and gutters, install check valves and consider a sump pump with a battery.

Remember that SERVPRO of Joliet, 815-436-5735 is available 24/7 to help you if the need should arise.

Tornado Season Is Upon Us!

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Tornado Season Is Upon Us! SERVPRO on Coal City Tornadoes in 2015

Tornadoes are violent and can completely destroy well-made structures, uproot trees and send objects through the air like deadly missiles and they can happen anywhere. Here are some tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.

  • Identify a save place in your home where family and pets will gather during a tornado: a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.
  • In a high rise building, if you don't have have enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a hallway in the center of the building.
  • In a mobile home, choose a safe place in a nearby sturdy building. If your mobile home park has a designated shelter, make it your safe place. No mobile home is safe in a tornado.

KNOW THE DIFFERENCE!!!!

Tornado Watch: means a tornado is possible.

Tornado Warning: means a tornado is already occurring or will occur soon. GO TO YOUR SAFE PLACE IMMEDIATELY.

Always remember to play it safe and we are always here, if you need us. SERVPRO of Joliet 815-436-5735.

Build an Emergency Kit

4/26/2018 (Permalink)

Be Prepared at your home or business with an Emergency Kit. Ready.gov suggests you have enough supplies to last for at least three days. Below are some suggested items to include in your kit:

  • 3-day supply of non-perishable foods
  • Water (one + gallon per person per day)
  • Prescription medication
  • Sleeping bag or blankets
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Hygiene products
  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries
  • Cell phone charger
  • Change of clothes
  • Matches in waterproof container
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Pet supplies
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Important documents such as insurance policies, ID's, and bank records in a container

You can also keep a condensed emergency kit in your vehicle as well. For a more extensive list, check out Ready.gov. and remember, if needed; we are her to help you, call SERVPRO of Joliet at 815-436-5735.

April Showers Bring May Flowers

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

Hopefully April Showers will bring you May Flowers. May is a very busy month as school is coming to an end and summer is just around the corner.

The same is true for preparedness planning in May. The following preparedness events take place this month and offer a great chance to educate yourself, family, and friends.

  • Wildfire Community Preparedness Day (May 5, 2018)
  • National Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 6-12, 2018)
  • National Dam Safety Awareness Day (May 31, 2018)
  • National Building Safety Month

May also brings to weeks to show appreciation for first responders:

  • National Police Week (May 13-19, 2018)
  • National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week (May 20-26, 2018)

Be sure to visit ready.gov for more information and resources and remember SERVPRO of Joliet, 815-436-5735 is ready in any disaster to make it "Like it  never even happened."

When storms or floods hit Joliet, SERVPRO is ready!

4/10/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Joliet 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 faster response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit the Joliet area 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.

If you have a storm or flood damage call SERVPRO of Joliet at 815-436-5735 and we will make it "Like it never even happened."

Make Sure Your Joliet Home is Storm Ready

4/10/2018 (Permalink)

Storms in the springtime are something we need to be ready for.  We watch the news, but bad weather is still unpredictable, so we need to take steps to keep our homes safe from storm damage.

It is a really good idea to conduct an inspection of your home and grounds before inclement weather hits.  A leaky roof or window can cause big problems during heavy rainfall and strong winds.  Do all of your exterior doors and windows fit correctly?  When was the last time you took a good look at your roof?  These are all great questions to keep in mind.  

Loose shutters and unstable large trees and bushes can present a real problem in high winds.  Its a good idea to trim back trees and bushes with large, heavy branches that are not in good condition so that windows and vehicles are not in danger of storm damage in windy conditions.

Many homes in older cities have drainage ditches or creeks on the property.  Take time to inspect these areas and remove debris or dirt that might obstruct the flow of water from a heavy rain.  A clogged drainage ditch or creek bed can cause a lot of damage by flooding your property during, or even after, a storm.  

In the event of a storm, do you have a system in place that will help you get information to everyone you care about in case of a weather emergency?  Most of us use our cell phones to communicate these days, but in the case of a bad storm, your cell phone service could be at risk.  You might consider a good old-fashion landline, just in case.  If you or a family member gets stuck at work or out doing errands, others will worry, so keeping those lines of communication open can keep everyone safe and worry-free.

The SERVPRO team at Joliet is here to help in the event of storm damage, fire damage, or mold issues.  Call SERVPRO of Joliet and we will make it "Like it never even happened."

Severe Weather Safety

3/16/2018 (Permalink)

Severe weather can happen any time, anywhere.  Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms (noaa.gov):

10,000 severe thunderstorms

5,000 floods or flash floods

1,300 tornadoes

2 landfalling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather related, leading to around 650 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage.  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 first 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 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.

SERVPRO of Joliet can help you be "Ready for whatever happens!"

Dangers of Extreme Cold

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

According to the National Weather Service, $2.84 million dollars of property damage was caused by extreme cold in 2015.

Even scarier?  Fifty-three people died and three were injured due to extreme cold the same year.

It is important to be aware of the effect temperatures can have on you.  The two mailconditions to be aware of are frostbite and hypothermia.

Frostbite is caused when your skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures.  Physical symptoms are white or grayish-yellow skin,skin that feels unusually firm, or waxy numbness.

Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature, caused from long exposure to cold weather. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss,slurred speech, and drowsiness.  If someone’s body temperature is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit seek medical attention immediately. 

To avaid these conditions, stay indoors if possible.  If not, dress warm in layers and try to keep dry.

Winter Weather

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

As the weather outside gets frightful and your cozy homes become warm and delightful, the holiday season’s aglow, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.  According to climate.gov, on February 12, 2010, there was snow present in all 50 states, including Hawaii!  Five years later in 2015, it almost happened again, when every state but Florida experienced snow.  While it is generally unlikely for certain states to encounter snow, it is still important to know how to be prepared if winter weather strikes your home, business, or while traveling.

What happens if disaster does strike during the most wonderful time of the year? Easy - Call SERVPRO of Joliet, even if it’s the night before Christmas and we will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Severe Weather Preparedness

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

Severe weather can happen any time, anywhere. Being prepared to act quickly can be critical to staying safe during a weather event. 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. 

The first 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 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 the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your family. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place. 

Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others do the same. 

Severe Weather Safety-General

4/10/2017 (Permalink)

Hundreds of people die each year in the United States due to heat waves, hurricanes, lightning, flash floods, powerful thunderstorm winds, and winter storms or winter cold. Additionally, thousands of people are injured by these weather events each year.  If you are aware of what weather event is about to impact your area, you are more likely to survive such an event. To stay on top of the weather, utilize NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards receiver units that can be purchased at most electronic stores. Make sure the model you purchase has a battery-backup. You should also obtain the latest weather information from commercial TV/radio, cable TV, the internet/web, and newspapers. It’s your responsibility! 

What else can you do to prepare for severe weather?

  • Develop a disaster plan for you and your family at home, work, school, and when outdoors. The American Red Cross offers planning tips and information on a putting together a disaster supplies kit at www.redcross.org.
  • Identify a safe place to take shelter.
  • Know the county in which you live or visit – and in what part of that county you are located. The National Weather Service issues severe weather warnings on a county basis.
  • Check the weather forecast before leaving for extended periods outdoors. Watch for signs of approaching storms.
  • If severe weather threatens, check on people who are elderly, very young, or physically or mentally disabled. Don’t forget about pets and farm animals.

Severe Weather Safety - Lightning & Flash Flood/Flooding

4/10/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Severe Weather Safety - Lightning & Flash Flood/Flooding Severe weather safety tips

Lightning Safety Tips:

  • Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are imminent. Lightning can travel 5-10 miles away from the thunderstorm and strike the ground with blue sky overhead.
  • Move to a sturdy shelter or vehicle. Do not take shelter in a small shed, under isolated trees, or in a convertible-top vehicle. Stay away from tall objects such as trees or towers or poles.
  • If in your vehicle when lightning strikes – don’t touch a metal surface. You are safer in a vehicle than being outdoors.
  • Remember that utility lines or pipes can carry the electrical current underground or through a building. Avoid electrical appliances, and use telephones or computers only in an emergency.
  • If you feel your hair standing on end – get down into a baseball catcher’s position and plug your ears with your finger tips so if lightning does hit it will not blow your ear drums out. Do not lie flat!
  • 30/30 rule – if the time between lighting and thunder is 30 seconds or less, go to a safe shelter. Stay there until 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder.

For more information on lightning safety go to www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.

Flash Flood/Flood Safety Tips:

  • Nearly half of all fatalities in a flash flood involve a person driving a vehicle. Do not drive into a flooded area – Turn Around Don’t Drown! It takes only 2 feet of water to float away most cars. It’s amazing how powerful we feel when we get behind the wheel – don’t do it!
  • It takes only 6 inches of fast-moving water to sweep a person off their feet – don’t walk through a flooded area!
  • If you are camping in a river valley, move to higher ground if thunderstorms with heavy rains are in the area. Do not attempt to drive away.
  • Don’t operate electrical tools in flooded areas.
  • Most flash flood deaths occur in the middle of the night when it is more difficult to see rising water levels judge the depth of water covering road surfaces.

Severe Weather Safety - Straight Line Winds/Large Hail

4/10/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Severe Weather Safety - Straight Line Winds/Large Hail Car damaged by hail

Severe Thunderstorm Straight-line Winds:

  • Don’t underestimate the power of strong thunderstorm winds known as straight-line winds – they can reach speeds of 100 to 150 mph. Hurricane-force winds start at 74 mph. Illinois does experience these kinds of winds!
  • If a severe thunderstorm warning contains hurricane-force wind speeds seek shelter immediately (as you would for a tornado situation).Stay away from windows and go to the basement or interior room/hallway. Do not use electrical appliances.
  • Be aware that tall trees near a building can be uprooted by straight-line winds – that tree can come crashing through the roof of a home and crush a person to death.
  • Powerful straight-line winds can overturn a vehicle or even make a person air-borne when they get up over 100 mph!
  • One type of a straight-line wind event is a downburst, which is a small area of rapidly descending rain-cooled air and rain beneath a thunderstorm. A downburst can cause damage equivalent to a strong tornado!

Large Hail:

  • Although it is rare, people have been killed by large hail stones after sustaining head injuries. Additionally, several people are injured by large hail stones each year in the U.S.
  • Some thunderstorms can produce large hail stones that can reach the size of baseballs, softballs, or even as big as computer compact discs (CD) or DVDs! These large hail stones can fall at speeds over 100 mph! – that’s why they are dangerous!
  • If a severe storm is producing large hail stones, seek a sturdy shelter and stay away from windows that can easily be smashed.
  • If you are in your vehicle before the hail storm starts, get out of it and go to a sturdy shelter. Glass windows in vehicles can easily be smashed by the hail stones. If you can’t get out of your vehicle, then come to a stop and cover your head with your arms and hands.  

Thunderstorm Safety

5/26/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Thunderstorm Safety Lightening can lead to fires.

As we are nearing the end of spring and transitioning into summer, there is no better time to review thunderstorm safety.  Remember enjoying a good, summer thunderstorm? Those days seem long ago as thunderstorms today seem to have the ability to turn severe quickly! Bottom line is that thunderstorms are dangerous.  Every thunderstorm produces lightning.  On average in the U.S., lightning kills 51 people and injures hundreds more.  Other associated dangers of thunderstorms include tornadoes, strong winds, hail and flash flooding.  Flash flooding is responsible for more fatalities than any other thunderstorm-associated hazard.  To begin preparing for a thunderstorm, and any weather related disaster, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan. Investing in a NOAA Weather Radio is also a good idea. During a thunderstorm always seek shelter.  Avoid contact with electrical equipment, cords and plumbing.  Plumbing and electrical appliances can conduct electricity. A Thunderstorm Warning is more serious than a Thunderstorm Watch.  However, if a Watch or Warning is issued, take it seriously and find shelter! As the Memorial Day weekend approaches and thunderstorms are in the forecast, remember these tips.  Enjoy and be safe! Happy Memorial Day!

Tornado Awareness

4/5/2016 (Permalink)

All kidding aside, April is Tornado Awareness month.  Are you prepared?  Check out www.ready.illinois.gov for some great preparedness tips.  If you have a business and no emergency plan in place, contact us at (815)436-5735 to set up your no cost Emergency Ready Profile. 

Ice Dams & Winter

1/14/2016 (Permalink)

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.