Archived Storm Damage Blog Posts
Generator Tips During a Storm | SERVPRO of New Orleans Uptown & Mid-City
With the crazy weather patterns in NOLA the past year, it is important to be prepared in the event of another disaster. We recommend having a generator handy in the event the storm impacts last days on end. In order to ensure your generator is functioning properly take these maintenance tips into consideration.
The typical life expectancy for a generator is between 20,000 and 30,000 hours, serving a crucial role while waiting for a storm restoration company to come to your business.
You are going to need to perform small maintenance tasks every week. These include:
- Running the engine
- Checking for alarms or warnings
- Ensuring adequate fuel levels for an emergency
- Setting the engine to auto mode
- Checking that the circuit breaker is closed
- Ensuring there are no leaks
On a monthly basis, you will need to spend more time checking fluid levels, such as the coolant and oil. You should also check the battery to ensure you are ready for a disaster.
You are going to want to check the thermal protection levels every six months. At the same time, inspect the drive belts to ensure they have the proper tension and are in good condition.
A certified technician will need to come out every year and perform crucial tasks, such as changing the engine oil, fuel filter, air filter, and spark plugs. If any extra maintenance is needed, like a coolant system flush, your technician will perform these items at your annual service.
Taking precautions like this can have many benefits for your home or business. The primary one is that you put off replacing your equipment longer. If you are looking to push the maximum number of hours and avoid generator problems, you need to consider required preventative maintenance.
For any storm-related damage, call the storm professionals at (504) 468-3047.
Steps to Take Immediately After the Power Goes Out
Power outages are especially common in the New Orleans Area, especially after Hurricane Ida. It is important to understand what to do during a power outage.
Turn On Your Emergency Lights:
Make sure your emergency lights are somewhere accessible in case you have to find them in the dark. Ideally, keep a flashlight in each room of your home.
In general, it is better to use battery-operated lights instead of candles because of the fire risk.
See If Your Neighbors Have Power:
If your neighbors still have electricity, then the problem is likely inside your home. Start by checking the main fuses or circuit breakers to see if they have blown.
Check the Extent of the Problem:
If your neighbors also don’t have electricity, you’ll want to see how widespread the problem is. You can do this by calling your power supplier, Entergy.
Contact Family Members:
During large power outages, stoplights and streetlights can go out too – making it unsafe to drive.
If your family members aren’t at home, get in contact with them
When the power comes back on, it can cause a huge power surge which may damage electronics.
Unplug all your expensive electronics from the wall so they don’t get damaged when the power comes back on.
See if Water is Safe to Drink:
When the power goes out, call your local authorities to see if the water is safe to drink.
Keep Fridge and Freezer Closed:
Food kept in an unopened refrigerator will stay cold for about 4 hours.
A full freezer will keep its temperature for about 48 hours.
Save Your Phone’s Battery:
Turn off any power-consuming apps on your phone to save its battery.
Stay Cool (Summer Power Outages):
If the power outage occurs during a heatwave and you have health conditions, then you might need to evacuate your home to a cooler location, such as a shopping mall or church.
Stay Warm (Winter Power Outages):
If the power outage occurs during winter, now is the time to start using your emergency heating method.
Be cautious about using generators, camp stoves, or grills for heating as they can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
Hurricane Ida Clean-up Continues
The SERVPRO of New Orleans Uptown & Mic-City office staff, project managers, franchise owners, and technicians have been working around the clock to help aid our community from Hurricane Ida's damages.
To get on our waitlist for any storm-related damages please call our office at (504) 468-3047.
Storm tips post-hurricane:
Clean up safely – wear protective clothing and gear, use a mask and ask for help moving heavy debris. Make sure to document ALL losses and any demolition work you perform yourself.
Beware of Scammers
Unfortunately, after a disaster, there are often many rumors and scams. Protect yourself by always checking sources of information and learning how to spot scams.
Do not trust anyone who offers financial help and then asks for money or personal information.
FEMA is here to help. Apply for assistance at DisasterAssistance.gov.
Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO franchise system is a national leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO's professional services network of more than 1,500 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss situations. Providing coverage in 48 states, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners. All SERVPRO franchises are independently owned and operated.
The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether you're dealing with a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are prepared for the unpredictable.
With the ability to mobilize local command centers, along with the resources of more than 1,700 Franchises nationwide, no disaster is too big. Recent mobilizations of the Catastrophic Storm Response Teams include:
- 2017 California wildfires
- 2017 Hurricane Irma
- 2017 Hurricane Harvey
- 2016 Hurricane Matthew
- 2015 Carolina floods
- 2014 Polar Vortex
- 2012 Sandy
- 2010 Nashville floods
- 2008 Ike
- 2007 Chicago floods
- 2007 Ohio floods
- 2007 California wildfires
- 2005 Katrina/Wilma/Rita
Quick Tips for Storm Safety Anywhere You Go
Even in the winter in Louisiana, the weather is warm so it is a great time to enjoy the great outdoors. But when sudden storms pop up, staying safe is of paramount importance. Thunderstorms may come and go quickly, but while they are in the area, they can cause a concerning amount of damage.
While the safest place to be during a storm is at home, if a sudden storm pops up when you are away, here are some practical tips for safety.
Practical Tips for Staying Safe From Sudden Storms
Know your options for shelter. When you are made aware of a severe weather scenario and are safe at home, remaining there is the best thing you can do so you can wait out the storm. However, this is a luxury that will not always be present. If you are caught out in a storm, you can shelter in your car as long as you can pull over safely and cut off your engine.
Practice electrical safety. A lightning strike can hurt a structure in many ways, but the most common way is via a power surge. As the lightning travels through the home’s electrical system, the wires will become overwhelmed with charge and transfer that to anything plugged into an outlet. If you can, go through the area you are in and unplug everything before a storm. In general, it is best to also have surge protectors throughout your home and office.
Avoid direct contact with concrete. Concrete structures are so sturdy in part because of how they are built. As concrete is poured around the metal, it creates a great structure—but also causes concern if there is lightning nearby. The metal in concrete can disperse electricity if the building is struck by lightning, so avoid touching these surfaces directly if possible.
Stay indoors for at least 30 minutes. If you are out enjoying the day when a storm rolls in, make sure you are not rushing back out too soon and putting yourself in danger. Lightning strikes can travel tremendous distances, causing officials to urge people to stay inside for at least half an hour after the last clap of thunder.
If your home sustains damage due to a storm, you can count on us to help. Contact us at any hour to learn more about our storm restoration process.
Combating Flood Damage in Your NOLA Home
Many people do not stop to consider how prepared their home actually is for an event like flooding until it is too late to change the course of what is to come. With the way severe weather can appear quickly and affect a broad area throughout the region, this is a consideration that many New Orleans homeowners should make before their home falls victim to a natural disaster like flooding.
In many cases, flood damages to your NOLA home can at least get softened by precautionary measures and regular inspections of areas like your foundation. These areas are typically the line of defense against flooding outside of your home, and what can allow that same water inside when these defenses fail. Unfortunately, many people do not consider the structural integrity of their foundation and blockwork until water is pouring into the lower level of their home.
Fortunately, SERVPRO is always available to help you through traumatic experiences like this and works quickly to help prevent significant damages to your home that could require remodeling or reconstruction. From the moment that our experienced technicians arrive at your home, even in the midst of the flooding, we can begin our work in restoring the present damage and helping to prevent things from getting any worse. Minor repairs to your foundation can get achieved through the application of hydraulic cement, which can prevent more water from penetrating these vulnerable areas of your foundation's blockwork.
Extraction and drying are both vital components of the restoration process. Removing the water from the area utilizes pumps and wet-vacs, but it ultimately gets completed with the use of air movers and dehumidifiers. Once all of the moisture gets removed from the affected area, our experienced professionals can assess if specific portions of material are too severely damaged to get restored. This discovery requires the replacement of these materials before restoration can successfully get accomplished.
Flood damage can present itself differently from house to house, but undoubtedly needs the professional expertise of SERVPRO of New Orleans Uptown & Mid-City to get successfully restored. If your home has gotten affected by flood damages, give us a call today at (504) 468-3047.
Be Prepared No Matter When a Severe Storm Happens
The impact a storm will have on an area is widely unpredictable. While some storms will come through and cause little to no damages, others will present major issues for everyone affected.
Because severe storms can be so unpredictable, we highly recommend that people approach storm safety with a preparedness mindset. This way, no matter when a storm moves through an area, you will know you have done everything you can to protect your family and your home.
Prepare in Advance for Severe Weather
Prepare your home as much as possible. Though the nature of storm damage might seem erratic, by doing some preparation work in advance to protect your property, you can ensure you are taking the right steps to mitigate any possible damages. Trimming back any dead or overhanging trees is a great start, as is securing any objects that could possibly become loose during a storm. Many homeowners also have whole-home generators installed, allowing for utility usage if your power is out.
Create a family communications plan. If your family is often spread out across many locations, it is important to have a plan for checking in during severe weather to make sure everyone is safe. Be sure everyone knows the protocol for both being at home and being away from home, including where to take shelter in the house, how to check in with one another, and when to stay put or head home if severe weather is forecasted.
Make sure your emergency kit is stocked. Creating a household emergency kit is the first step for disaster preparedness in any regard, including for severe storms. An emergency kit should have sealed water, shelf-stable food, and any other necessities your family members may need both while a storm is raging and in the event, the power is out in the aftermath.
Consider getting a weather radio. Few things have changed our communications process more than cell phones, but they do not want to be the only thing you have to rely on during severe weather. Having a weather radio will come in handy in case cell networks go down or the power goes out and your battery dies, ensuring you are not at risk of missing out on any pertinent updates or weather emergency alerts.
If your home is damaged by a storm, you can depend on us to take care of any damages. Contact us 24/7 to report damage and receive a rapid response.
Disabilities and Disasters
Many storm surges, earthquakes, fires, and other disasters can happen at a moment’s notice. Keeping your family safe during stressful disasters is a priority and every family should have a plan in place. Mobility, hearing, learning, or seeing disabilities can cause certain families to create extra precautions. Families, individuals with disabilities, and caregivers can all benefit from the below tips on how to stay safe during a New Orleans storm.
Identifying common disasters in your area and learning how medical, physical, and cognitive needs may affect you or your family member’s ability to respond to each is the first step to disaster preparedness. Take time to learn about your community’s plans for dealing with disasters and sign up for warning and alerts to remain notified at all times.
The main factors you or your family should be aware of is who you can count on, where you can go, and what to bring. By creating a personal network of people who are able to help you during a disaster and ways to contact them if communication becomes disrupted can put you at ease.
If evacuation is needed be sure there is a safe space you can go to, and how you can get there if you need specialized transportation. By putting all prescriptions and important documents in an easily accessible place makes grabbing and going more efficient in case of an evacuation. If you have medical equipment make sure where you plan to go you can bring the equipment with you. If not, where can you keep this equipment in the interim so it does not get damaged?
Besides your prescriptions, documents, and equipment, other items to keep in your emergency kit can be:
- First aid kit
- Non-perishable foods
If you have a service animal make a separate kit for them including:
- Minimum 72-hour supply of bottled water and pet food
- Portable water and food bowls
- Paper towels
- Medications and veterinarian info
- Medical records
- Leash and collar
- Blanket and toy
- Plastic bags
- Up-to-date ID tag and recent photo
- Copy of the pet’s license
Last but not least, practice your emergency plan. Make sure you know exactly what to do and where to go in the event of an emergency. As always, SERVPRO® of New Orleans Uptown & Mid-City is here to assist with any emergency needs in your home 24/7/365.
How to Use Technology During a Storm
Technology can cause stress and sometimes is more of a burden than helpful. However, in the case of emergencies such as natural disasters, it can be extremely helpful for keeping you updated and letting friends and family know where you are. You more than likely already have the technology in your home to keep you and your family safe during a disaster, so follow these tips to use it effectively!
Remember, always be sure to keep portable charges ready in your emergency kit so you can always access your technology when you need it most.
Social Media for News
Using social media is a great way to get up-to-date news straight to your smartphone. Almost all local and national government has social media pages that are updated regularly, especially during a natural disaster.
Mark Yourself Safe
Another way to use social media is to mark yourself safe. Facebook offers a feature called Safety Check that allows you to mark yourself safe if you are in the area of a dangerous situation. Marking yourself safe lets friends and family know that although you are in the area of disaster, you are safe. The Red Cross offers a similar feature called Safe & Well which is both an app and website where you can mark yourself as safe for friends and family.
Use Online Storage
Services like Google Drive and DropBox are a great way to store personal information online in a safe manner. Keeping copies of identification cards, passports, insurance policies, medical records, and pet information is important if your documents get lost in a disaster or you forget them when you are evacuating. You can also access DropBox and Google drive on any computer or phone, just make sure you remember your password!
Create an Emergency READY Profile
SERVPRO of New Orleans Uptown & Mid-City offers an Emergency Ready Profile or ERP for free. Creating an ERP will help prepare your property or business in the event of a disaster. Creating this profile will help prevent interruption by having an immediate plan of action and setting SERVPRO® of New Orleans Uptown & Mid-City as your main point of contact in the case of an emergency. We will have all the information on file needed to make sure mitigation and restoration go smoothly.
SERVPRO of New Orleans Uptown & Mid-City should be your first choice for any residential or commercial restoration due to our experience and 24/7/365 service. Contact us today if you are interested in signing up for an ERP or have questions or concerns about a recent property disaster.
How to Check for Water Damage Around Your Home | SERVPRO® of New Orleans Uptown & Mid-City
Do you have any water damage to your home? Contact SERVPRO of New Orleans Uptown & Mid-City, we are your local water restoration experts.
The issues that can arise for homeowners can range from mild to serious, but often people underestimate where water damage can lie on the spectrum. While the cosmetic issues from water damage are generally on the mild side, the structural issues it can cause are quite serious, and are the reason that water damage should always be treated quickly.
Checking for water damage throughout the home is a fairly simple DIY maintenance task that can save you tremendously in the long run. You can reduce your overall insurance claim by catching issues early and having a professional restoration team come in quickly.
Make Water Damage Checks Part of Your Home Maintenance
Inspect your walls and ceilings. It is easy for moisture to hang out unnoticed behind drywall, but if you look carefully, you can often find signs of issues on your walls and ceilings. Small spots, bubbles in the paint or areas that are soft to the touch are all indicators that water might be lurking somewhere beneath the surface..
Don’t forget to look down. If water damage is present, it can gradually work its way down and get into the floor of your home, soaking into the subfloor and causing problems. If you notice any soft spots or buckling of your floor, it might be a sign that the subfloor has become saturated with moisture.
Inspect your roof. Often, water damage arises from issues with the roof—but many roof problems can be caught early on with a bit of know-how. Check regularly for missing or loose shingles from the ground with a pair of binoculars to catch any potential problems. It is also wise to go out when it is raining to be certain your gutters are adequately draining water away from the foundation, too.
Pay close attention to the basement. Basements often get the reputation for being generally damp and musty places, but it does not need to be this way. Untreated water in your basement can give rise to structural issues and harmful mold growth, so if you notice signs of flooding, it is best to have a professional check it out.
If you have water damage anywhere in your home, we are here to help. You can contact us at any hour to learn more about our services or to report damages. Get in touch today to speak with a water damage restoration expert.
We Handle Storms Like Pros
Let us make your storm damage "Like it never even happened."
Our SERVPRO® New Orleans Up-town and Mid-City Rapid Response Team Can Help You With Storm Damage In Your Property
Even though storm season is wrapping up, a nearby road overflow can cause significant issues in the ground levels of your property. Heavy rainfall results in sewer systems backing up and overflowing with contaminated Black Water. Due to the potentially harmful effects of Black Water, it is essential to hire a professional, qualified technician to help repair and restore your property safely. Indeed, many of your possessions can be salvaged by using professional cleaning equipment promptly.
Where there is Flood Damage in SERVPRO® of New Orleans Up-town and Mid-City homes, the likelihood of contaminants being spread around the home is high. In the circumstances, it is not uncommon for our technicians to wear Hazmat suits to protect themselves from pathogens during the cleanup operation. We may also have to remove sections of drywall to clean in and behind walls, floors, and fittings. Left behind debris is not only odorous but have the potential to be harmful if not dealt with thoroughly.
For owners who find themselves in this position, it is only natural to immediately assume the worst, especially where personal possessions are concerned. Here at SERVPRO®of New Orleans Up-town and Mid-City we always work with a restore over replace mentality. Unlike other providers, our services are geared toward salvaging as much as possible. We enable our technicians to achieve this by providing them with state-of-the-art cleaning equipment and technology.
We can assess items immediately on site to decide which possessions are salvageable and which need disposal. Generally speaking, porous materials absorb black water making them exceptionally difficult to clean; this could include your carpets or curtains. However, where they are valuable fabrics, we can send them to a specialized facility for mechanical cleaning using Esporta washing machines. These equipment are expensive because they are advanced. However, SERVPRO®of New Orleans Up-town and Mid-City provides technicians with everything they need to restore items rather than replace them.
Floods are considerable emergencies which is why SERVPRO®of New Orleans Up-town and Mid-City training involves a rapid-response unit as well as a 24-hour emergency call line. Our skilled specialists are local to the area and can reach you fast to help mitigate loss and reduce the risk of permanent damage.
In an emergency, contact SERVPRO® of New Orleans Up-town and Mid-City at (504) 496-0193 for immediate assistance.