Recent Storm Damage Posts

Tornado Safety Tips You Should Know | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

April and May mean that we are in the height of tornado season throughout the entire United States.

Tornado Safety Tips You Should Know | SERVPRO® of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin - SERVPRO OF SE WAUKESHA COUNTY/WEST FRANKLIN Blog

Springtime weather, while beautiful, can often be unpredictable, so it is good to always be prepared for the chance of severe thunderstorms that lead to the perfect conditions for a tornado touchdown.

April and May traditionally hold the title for having the highest occurrences of tornadoes at 30% and 24% respectively, which means that right now, we are in the height of tornado season throughout the entire United States.

Included in this blog are some tips and information on tornadoes that can help keep your family prepared for the worst possible scenario.

What Can Cause a Tornado

There are approximately 1,200 tornado events in the U.S. each year, and they are develop in thunderstorms, especially those known as “supercells.”

A tornado will form when changes in wind speed and direction create a horizontal spinning effect within a storm cell. This is then tipped vertical by rising air moving up through the thunderclouds.

Upon formation of a tornado, the signature funnel cloud will be clear and transparent, but it will become more visible when water droplets from the storm’s moist air condense or when dust and debris are picked up. A typical tornado can grow to be 660 feet wide and will move at 10 to 20 miles per hour, although larger and faster have been observed. Hail and intense winds of over 200 mph can accompany tornadoes.

The time of day that tornadoes typically occur in the spring and summertime is later in the afternoon, but it is vital to remember that they can occur anytime and anywhere.

Tornado Safety Tips

Familiarize yourself with the difference between a tornado watch and tornado warning. A watch can be issued when the conditions are favorable for tornadoes, while a warning is only issued when a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar.

Watches mean to keep an eye out for changing conditions, but if a warning has been issued for your area, it is vital to take action to find safe shelter, especially if you are in the path of the tornado.

Shelter options include:

  • Underground options like a basement or storm shelter.
  • The lowest part of your home, in an area that is away from outside walls, doors and windows. Interior closets and bathrooms can be ideal options.
  • If you are outside, try to get to a sturdy building. Mobile homes and trailers are not a safe option.
  • If on the road and no building access is available, do not get under an overpass or bridge. Instead, find a low, flat location and use your arms to protect your head and neck.

You should make sure that you have flashlights, a battery-powered weather radio and extra batteries in your selected tornado shelter at home. Also, when at home, you can provide additional protection by using furniture items like couch cushions, mattresses or blankets to help keep your head and neck covered.

If you are caught out on the road during a tornado, DO NOT try to outrun it. Find safe shelter, if possible, or get out of your vehicle and lay flat on low-lying ground, covering your head and neck.

Tornadoes are unpredictable and devastating wherever they strike. While meteorologists and weather services can provide some advanced warning to potential threats, tornadoes can still occur with little to no warning at all.

If your home or business has been damaged by a tornado, know that SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin is ready and waiting to jump into action and get cleanup and restoration of your property underway.

Spring Weather Can Be Unpredictable | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

Spring Weather Can Be Unpredictable | SERVPRO® of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin - SERVPRO OF SE WAUKESHA COUNTY/WEST FRANKLIN Blog

We’ve made it through winter and welcome spring with open arms! Now we can better enjoy the weather…but also buckle up for whatever Mother Nature may choose to send our way.

Weather Threats in the Spring

With the arrival of spring comes longer days, balmy weather and more sunshine, but the season also brings with it the threat of severe weather throughout the country. It’s the time of the year that means the weather may change at moment’s notice.

Because of unstable temperatures that cause changing weather, it can go from warm to cold even in the same day. That temperature change can result in extreme weather changes as well.

Thunderstorms are increasingly common throughout the spring and also the main cause of severe weather. A thunderstorm can occur whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, which is most common in the spring and summer.

When you study the natural catastrophe losses in the U.S. for 2017, severe thunderstorms were the most common cause and produced some of the costliest results. Out of 50 events, there were 85 fatalities and an estimated total of $25.4 billion in overall losses.

Severe thunderstorms can bring about the threat of flooding, high winds and even tornadoes if the conditions are right. It has been found that in modern history, 10% of all violent tornadoes have occurred in March, with April, May and June taking the top spots at 30%, 24% and 15% respectively.

Prepare for Springtime Storms

There’s no way to accurately predict the weather, but fortunately, forecasters have the tools available to give us an advance warning that severe weather is possible. Advanced warnings, along with the right preparation, can greatly improve overall safety for your family.

Here are some things you can do to your home to prepare for the chance of severe weather:

  1. Clear out your home’s gutters, drains and downspouts.
  2. Trim trees of precarious limbs or branches that could break off in a storm.
  3. Secure or store outdoor belongings if severe weather is in the forecast.

Having an emergency kit on hand is always advised. These kits should include the following:

  • Battery-operated flashlight and NOAA weather radio, with extra batteries for both
  • Emergency evacuation or shelter plans
  • Important personal info, like telephone numbers of neighbors, family and friends, insurance and property info, numbers for the utility companies, and medical info
  • A first-aid kit with things like non-latex gloves, adhesive bandages, tweezers, sterile gauze pads, aspirin packets, adhesive cloth tape and scissors
  • 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Blankets or sleeping bag

Despite its unpredictability, there is one thing that always remains true of the spring weather season: It always happens. If your home or business is damaged in a storm, you can depend on SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin to get the cleanup and restoration process started fast.

Prepping for Severe Weather With Your Family | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

1/24/2019 (Permalink)

If a storm causes damage to your home, SERVPRO of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin is #heretohelp

Prepping for Severe Weather With Your Family | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

While there is often advanced warning for some types of severe weather, there are also times when Mother Nature can manage to catch us off-guard.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take and safety tips to follow to prepare your family for various severe weather occurrences.

Where to Begin

One of the best ways to be prepared in severe weather situations is to have a family emergency plan established.

If your family does have an emergency plan in place, be sure to discuss it, review it and have drills at the onset of various weather seasons, making sure that everyone knows exactly what to do at a moment’s notice.

If you’ve not yet created a family emergency plan, here are some things to take into consideration when creating it:

1. How will you receive emergency alerts?

Thanks to technology today, it is easy to receive emergency alerts and warnings in the palm of your hand by way of smartphones, as well as receive alerts through radio and television broadcasts. If you have a weather app or Google on your smartphone, you will quickly receive emergency alerts, which can provide you with valuable time in severe weather situations.

2. What storm shelter options are available?

Taking shelter in areas where tornadoes are common means you’ll want to be in the lowest part of your home, preferably a basement if you have one. If that is not possible, choose an interior room on the lowest level of your home or building that is away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls. Be sure to visit ready.gov for other situations that may require a storm shelter or basement.

3. Do you have evacuation routes mapped out?

Evacuations are stressful so you should always have evacuation routes mapped out in advance. It’s wise to have multiple routes just in case one is impassable, and make sure those routes will have places to stay with your pets along the way if you have furry family members to evacuate with.

4. How will everyone keep in touch?

When there is an emergency, communication is key. It is easy to rely on cell phones to keep in touch with your family, but in some circumstances, that just isn’t feasible. Cell phone towers can incur damage, phones could be lost or left behind, and batteries will die if there is a power outage and there is no power source for recharging.

Hence, it is wise to have an emergency communication plan in place for your family and a safe meeting place for your family to meet should family members be separated during the emergency.

If a storm does cause damage to your home or business, don’t hesitate to call your friends at SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin to get the cleanup and restoration process started.