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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Storm Damage Blog Posts

Crucial Things You Should Always Have in Your Home Emergency Kit

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

Whether it's a hurricane, fire, earthquake, flood, or disease outbreak, you need to be prepared with an emergency kit in your car and home. Here's a list of the essential items you'll need in an emergency.

What to pack in a home emergency kit

If time has taught us anything, it's hope for the best but prepare for the worst. The list of possible worst case scenarios now includes Covid-19 and other infectious diseases in addition to the floods, hurricanes, and wildfires that may already be on your radar, depending on where you live.

Keep the kit in a closet or somewhere near an exit door and have another one in your car, Vogel advises.

Here's what experts recommend packing if you need to stay at home or if you need to leave in a hurry:

  1. A communication plan

Sometimes we know that a disaster is on its way but often there's no warning at all. Make sure you have a communication plan in place for either scenario and one that takes into account the different times disasters can occur. You and your family could be at school or work or sleeping when disaster strikes.

"What is your plan to meet up, to reconnect with folks?

Have a list of phone numbers in the kit. You should also include an actual place (perhaps a relative's place) where people can gather should cell phones become unavailable.

Finally, make sure everyone in your family, including and especially any kids, are familiar with the plan

  1. H2O

You need to store some water, but how much? It depends on the disaster as well as where you are geographically.

"Covid-19 is not going to impact your ability to walk to the sink and turn on the faucet," says Tornetta. A hurricane, on the other hand, very well might.

The general rule of thumb is one gallon of water per person (and per pet) per day, aiming for a total three days' supply, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That said, children, mothers who are nursing, people who are sick, and people in warmer climates may need more, according to the Department of Homeland Security's ready.gov. The NCDP has a Preparedness Wizard that will help you calculate how much water, and other items, you may need. (Here are the signs and symptoms of dehydration.)

  1. Non-perishable food

As with water, experts recommend that you have enough non-perishable food on hand for people and pets to last at least three days, quite possibly more, says Schlegelmilch, who is co-author of the forthcoming book Rethinking Readiness.

Focus on nonperishable items like dry goods and canned goods but some frozen products are also OK. "Even if you lose power, you've got a few days before they start to spoil."  "A combination of frozen and nonperishable is fine."

As for what kind of food, items that are protein-packed and can be prepared without electricity, such as tuna, peanut butter, or granola bars. If you or anyone in your family has special dietary needs, make sure you take those into account.

And oh yes, don't forget to have a non-electric can opener or choose cans that have pop-tops.

  1. First aid kit

It's important not only to have a well-stocked first aid kit, but the knowledge to effectively use each item in that kit as well, if you aren't sure, get  ready-made first aid kits," From American Red Cross. The organization also has a series of apps that can help you build an emergency kit and more. (Here are first aid tricks from ER doctors.)

Also make sure to include contact lens solution, if you wear contact lenses, and asthma inhalers, according to a disaster supplies checklist from the Department of Homeland Security. Also include personal hygiene products and over-the-counter and prescription medications (a seven-day supply, says Tornetta). These days, it would be a good idea to include hand sanitizer, gloves, and face masks, as well. 

The American College of Emergency Physicians recommends keeping the kit in a clear, waterproof, plastic container and putting it in a visible place.

  1. Multipurpose tool

Simple or complex, multipurpose tools can be lifesavers. "Your multipurpose tool should be able to do what other widely used tools—like a screwdriver, pair of pliers, or scissors—can do," And definitely a can opener, if you haven't invested in pop-top cans. 

Your car should also have its own emergency tool kit which includes water and high-energy non-perishable food but also an inflated spare tire, the jack and wheel wrench, jumper cables, reflective triangles and brightly colored cloth. If the weather's cold, add a snow brush, shovel, blankets, and windshield washer fluid.

  1. Cash

Covid-19 isn't likely to affect ATMs or credit-card machines, but hurricanes and other natural disasters could put them out of commission.

"The digital systems work pretty well but after Katrina there were prolonged power outages." "You may be in a situation where credit-card machines [and ATMs] are down."

That means you may have to rely on good old hard cash during an emergency.

"Not everybody has enough money to do this but if you're able to set aside a few dollars, it's definitely a good thing," 

Ready.gov recommends having small bills available so you can buy fuel and food.

  1. Gas

"Fill up early and fill up often," Hart says. "With Hurricane Irma, we had advance notice—it's important to think, 'What do I need to do to start preparing right now?' Even if you don't know where the hurricane's going, as soon as it's a possibility for you in your area, think about things like gas. Your presence of mind when a catastrophe is far away is much clearer than your presence of mind when you're in the throes of that catastrophe."

Schlegelmilch recommends having your tank at least half full at all times.

And while having extra gas cans may be tempting, bear in mind that this can be a fire hazard,

  1. A change of clothes

Or two or three. It's important to have the right kind and amount of clothes you'll need in any given situation.

"Consider protective clothes and outerwear. Think: coats, windbreakers, ponchos, rain jackets,"  She also notes the importance of items that will wear well across all climates—so anything versatile, durable, and comfortable—is a universally safe choice. "Follow the same three-day rule here, too," she says. "And, as we talked about earlier, remember to change your supply out annually. Our children grow from year to year."

Layers are an especially good idea for any warmer or colder conditions. As are socks in case you get wet.

  1. Closed-toe shoes

If you're leaving really quickly, you may not have a chance to pick your ideal shoes but, if you can, take closed-toe shoes. "You might not know exactly where you're going." "If you have to be in a shelter environment or walking through areas, that's just to protect your feet from all of that. If you can only grab one pair of shoes, don't grab the flip flops."

This could be especially important in areas that have been damaged by hurricanes or tornadoes. "There's a lot of debris," says Tornetta. "We want our team to wear closed-toe shoes so there's no chance of getting a splinter or some kind of infection."

  1. Low-tech basics

Technology isn't always reliable, especially in a disaster. That means you should have some low-tech options on hand such as a hand crank, battery-powered radio and flashlight, and extra batteries, says Vogel. Garbage bags are good not only for holding trash but also to keep things dry, and matches in a waterproof container are a good idea too.

Light plastic sheeting and duct tape can be invaluable if you have broken windows because of a hurricane or tornado.

Just in case technology does survive the storm, fire, or pandemic, keep some extra portable charging blocks on hand as well. And you should also have a car charger for your cell phone.

  1. Important documents

This is important not just during the disaster, but for rebuilding your life after. Having key legal and personal documents can go a long way towards minimizing stress once the immediate damage has passed. Make sure you know the signs that you may be suffering from serious stress.

Legal Aid recommends keeping these papers together so you can grab them in a hurry:

* Identification, be it a driver's license, passport, or another photo ID.
* Insurance documents like life insurance, flood and fire insurance as well as homeowners or rental insurance.
* Legal documents. This includes birth certificates, any child custody or adoption paper, wills, powers of attorney, and the like.

You can scan your documents or take pictures with your smart phone or make photocopies and store those in your evacuation preparedness kit, says Tornetta. "Have an extra copy of your driver's license and social security card. If you have to flee in a hurry, you may forget your ID or your wallet if they're stored in a separate place."

You can also store these documents online, or in a thumb drive.

SERVPR of Temecula 

951-695-3397

Protect Yourself From Storm Damage

3/7/2022 (Permalink)

Storms can be severe and leave a trail of destruction in their wake from flooding, strong winds and lightning.

Insurance claim costs are estimated to have reached astronomical amounts, with households suffering millions more dollars of uninsured financial losses dealing with the aftermath of those violent storms.

Worryingly, changing weather patterns means these damaging windstorms could become a regular winter staple, sweeping into parts of the country even earlier in the season. Preparing your home to cope can help to limit the damage that a storm may cause, including from flooding.

Thankfully, weather forecasting has improved and knowing if bad weather is on its way can be helpful in getting your house storm ready. 

Did you know?

  • The annual cost of storm damage can amount to millions each year.
  • Thunderstorms develop when the atmosphere is unstable – typically forming a ‘cumulonimbus’ (rain/storm) cloud.
  • These large clouds (often accompanied by large gusts of wind) can form in under an hour if the conditions are right – meaning there may not be much time before the storm hits!

SERVPRO of Temecula offers inspections to make sure your home or business is storm ready. Call us at (951) 695-3397 for more information.

Faster to your Temecula Water Damage

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Temecula provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Temecula arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 –951-695-3397

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Temecula 

SERVPRO of Temecula specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Meet Our Crew

When Storms or Floods hit Temecula, SERVPRO is ready!

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Temecula specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Temecula, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,750 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams https://www.SERVPROtemecula.com/disaster-recovery that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (951) 695-3397

SERVPRO's Infectious Disease Precautions

1/14/2022 (Permalink)

It is important to us that our customers know the steps SERVPRO of Temecula is taking to reduce the risk of team member exposure to the virus.  These precautionary steps we have taken as a company include:

  • All tools and equipment coming into your property have been cleaned and disinfected.
  • All workers wear personal protective equipment to protect themselves while performing work.
  • We’ve all been provided with training to safely work in contaminated environments.
  • We’ve all been provided with training to identify coronavirus symptoms and carefully monitor ourselves and our co-workers.
  • We have stringent safety and health policies and procedures; and we continually strive to follow and improve our safe work practices.

Overall, we are taking the appropriate measures to ensure we don’t cross contaminate our customers, our co-workers, or our families.  We cannot make any guarantees that the virus could not enter your property, but we can tell you that we have taken every possible measure to protect customers and team members alike.

Whether it is a water loss, fire damage, or a cleaning request, please know that SERVPRO of Temecula is still here for the entire Temecula community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 951-695-3397