Recent Storm Damage Posts

Get Your Emergency Storm Kit Ready!

11/25/2021 (Permalink)

Emergency kit items on a table. Here are some basic you should have in your Emergency Storm Kit.

Cold weather, snow, and ice storms can cause severe damage to your home or business. When these types of disasters strike, immediate action is necessary to prevent additional damage to your property. SERVPRO is always here to help and want to give you tips on a basic emergency kit in case the unpredictable happens. 

In a year filled with the unexpected, one thing that 2021 has shown us is to always be prepared. Here are some basic you should have in your Emergency Storm Kit. 

Basic emergency supply kit should include these recommended items: 

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation) 
  • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food) 
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert 
  • Flashlight 
  • First aid kit 
  • Extra batteries 
  • Whistle (to signal for help) 
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air) 
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place) 
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation) 
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities) 
  • Manual can opener (for food) 
  • Local maps 
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery 

Also look at ready.gov for more ideas on emergency kits!  

Michigan is known for its constant changes in weather, making our homes and businesses an easy target for winter storm damage. That is why we here at SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights are ready to help 24/7. We will work around the clock to get your property back to preloss condition. 

Fall Weather Can Be Destructive

10/18/2021 (Permalink)

Hole in wall with red bucket on the floor. In these wetter months, we all must consider the possible damages that can happen to our structures during this time of year.

Since we are now in the fall season you may have noticed a lot of rain. In these wetter months, we all must consider the possible damages that can happen to our structures during this time of year. Fall weather may not be as destructive as winter, but it is better to prepare for water damage before it is too late. 

For homeowners, some concerns due to fall weather can be: 

  • Eroded landscaping 
  • Rutted driveways, especially those that are graded either up or downhill 
  • Moldy siding, windowsills, doorjambs, windowpanes, and roofing 
  • Rotting wooden fencing and decking 
  • Leaking roof 
  • Puddles and pooling 

For business owners, some concerns can be: 

  • Potholes and eroded surfaces in public parking areas 
  • Eroded walkways or damaged, buckling sidewalks and public walkways 
  • Leaking roofs 
  • Damaged materials and machinery that have not been stored properly 

Businesses must also keep an eye on employee bathrooms and kitchen/break areas to make sure that leaks are handled immediately and that spills are cleaned up right away. During bad weather, customers and vendors will track water and debris into your building, and both for safety and aesthetics, it will be a good idea to keep up with this type of accumulation to prevent water damage. Have an umbrella stand ready for everyone who comes through the door! 

Homeowners also need to keep up with spills, leaks, and traffic, but it will obviously not be such a large job. In a home, water damage is more likely to come from a water heater or dishwasher that is malfunctioning, or a washer that has developed an issue. 

One thing both types of structures must be concerned about is mold, however - it is never a good thing to realize that mold has taken hold in either your home or your business. Mold just needs two things to grow: water and humidity. It can infest a home or business in as little as 48 hours and even the tiniest of unchecked leaks can produce an infestation. With a household or workplace, a mold infestation can cause health effects, making it an uncomfortable living, or working environment. 

If you suspect mold, weather because of water damage, or just from damp conditions, you should call SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights as quickly as possible. We are always “here to help," and have the training, equipment, and expertise to take care of your mold problem. Our goal is to get you back to a clean, healthy home and make it "Like it never even happened." 

Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today!

9/28/2021 (Permalink)

House decoy on top of maps. When disaster strikes, preparedness is the best defense.

Each year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designates September as National Preparedness Month to promote the importance of family and community disaster planning. This year’s theme, “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today,” resonates strongly as local communities and communities around the world battle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For disaster mitigation specialists at SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights y, the scope and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all aspects of everyday life, health, and well-being have magnified the importance of SERVPRO’s ongoing message to the communities it serves: When disaster strikes, preparedness is the best defense. 

Before COVID-19 exploded into a global crisis, ‘disaster preparedness’ for the everyday home or business owner was largely dictated by the hazards unique to their location or their business. For some, that meant preparing for hurricanes and water damage, for others, tornadoes, flooding, wind damage, or even wildfires. But COVID-19 taught us that everyone – individuals and business owners alike – needs to be prepared for a national emergency that may disrupt food and medical supplies, transportation systems, schools, businesses, and every single aspect of everyday life that we take for granted. We have learned that no matter where you live or work, in addition to your ‘disaster’ preparations, making certain that you have a stock of some basic items on hand can make a huge difference if a national or global event suddenly disrupts – or even stops – everyday life. 

At SERVPRO, we emphasize that everyone still needs to have a disaster preparedness plan in place. FEMA provides easy-to-use disaster planning guidelines at https://www.ready.gov, and home and business owners both can take advantage of free tools like the SERVPRO READY app at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp. The app stores essential contact and property information electronically where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes. Local business owners can take an additional preparedness step by designating SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights as their disaster mitigation and restoration provider. SERVPRO professionals will conduct a no cost assessment of the facility and assist the owner in completing a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) to be stored in the READY app. 

COVID-19 has taught us we need to rethink and add to our disaster preparedness toolkits. We are all still struggling with a ‘disaster’ that has disrupted not only our lives and our jobs, but our entire community, our society, and the supply chain that we depend on. While in retrospect, the shortages of some of these items have become the stuff of urban legend, it is a good idea to stockpile a supply of items for which there are no easy substitutes. Toilet paper; yeast and flour for breadmaking; detergents; canned foods, fruits, and vegetables; pet foods and cat litter; fresh dairy items; diapers; and a host of other items were in short supply for weeks at the beginning of the crisis. Think back on those weeks and keep a supply of the things that you just don’t want to do without – along with some shelf-stable dairy items, dried beans, and frozen meals. Use them before they expire but be sure to replace them. 

The disaster remediation specialists at SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights extend their sincere sympathy to those who have lost loved ones or have been otherwise affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. For the Mid-Michigan area commercial and residential customers, SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights continues to specialize in disaster restoration, cleanup, and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened.” 

Prepare for Storms!

9/23/2021 (Permalink)

Dark clouds and lightning in a landscape. Storms can be dangerous weather events that leave destruction to your property as well as cause injuries and occasionally even death.

Michigan is known for its constant changes in weather, making our homes an easy target for storm damage. Storms can be dangerous weather events that leave destruction to your property as well as cause injuries and occasionally even death. Below is a checklist to make sure your home and family are best prepared for any storms, so that you, your loved ones, and your home can stay safe. 

Prepare a storm shelter. 

Include essential supplies such as food, water, a first aid kid, flashlights, and batteries to last a few days in the case of a severe storm or tornado. 

Clear branches and dead trees around your home. 

The high-speed wind of storms can send dead branches or even trees crashing through your windows, siding, and roof. Clearing these objects away from your house is an easy way to make sure they do not cause any damage. 

Secure outside objects 

The benefits of technology include having weather apps and stations that give us warning before a storm arrives. If a bad one is coming up, move large outdoor objects inside to prevent damage to your house and those objects. 

Document your valuable items. 

Take pictures of valuable items that you can use to show insurance later. If they are damaged or lost in the storm, you have better luck with your claim if you have documentation. Include date of purchase and purchase amount if you have that as well. Bonus points for saving receipts! 

Protect Your Pets! 

When preparing for storms, oftentimes pets are forgotten about. Make sure to have a plan in place for your pets, whether that is in your storm shelter or if that means having them in a separate safe location for when the storm hits. 

Why SERVPRO 

Whether your home or business is affected by storm, or if it’s flood damage, your property needs specialized equipment and techniques to restore it back to its pre-damaged condition. Our technicians have been specially trained to handle these sorts of unique situations to help get your life back to normal as soon as possible. Storm damage can include not only water damage but mold damage, too. It may seem like a daunting challenge to overcome, but we have the resources and tools to restore your home and make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Learn About Derechos

8/30/2021 (Permalink)

Dark storm clouds over a landscape. Treat a derecho like a tornado and follow the same safety procedures.

What is a Derecho? 

With hot and humid weather conditions that come with summer also comes a threat of a rare severe thunderstorm called a derecho. You may be familiar with this type of storm now after the events that happened in Iowa. According to the National Geographic, a derecho is a widespread, long-lived, straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms. Derechos produce walls of strong wind that run throughout the landscape, causing hundreds of miles of damage. 

For a band of severe storms to be classified as a derecho, it must travel 240 miles and move at a speed of at least 58 miles per hour. The Midwest Derecho swept across South Dakota to Ohio, traveling 770 miles in nearly 14 hours and knocking out power for over a million people. Unlike tornadoes and hurricanes, the winds from a derecho follow straight lines. In fact, the term “derecho” means straight in Spanish. 

How Derechos Form 

Derechos winds can be as strong as winds found in hurricanes and tornadoes. So, how do these strong winds form? It is created by a downburst. SciJinks stated that when the wet air in a thunderstorm meets the drier air surrounding it, the water in the air evaporates. When water evaporates, it cools the air around it. Since the cool air is denser, it rapidly sinks to the ground and creates strong winds. 

The downburst can suck more dry air into the storm, making stronger downbursts. Derechos happen when the right conditions for downbursts occur over a wide-ranging area. 

Where Derechos Happen 

Derechos are most common in the Midwestern United States but are quite rare. There is an average of 1 to 2 derechos a year. These storms most commonly occur in late spring and summer. 

Derecho Damage 

A derecho can be just as destructive as a tornado, but destructive in a different way. According to the National Geographic, downburst clusters of wind caused by derechos can range from four to six miles long, containing smaller pockets of extreme wind called microbursts and burst swaths. The latter are only about 150 to 450 feet long, but they are severe and concentrated like the winds of a tornado and can exceed 100 miles an hour. 

What to Do 

Treat a derecho like a tornado and follow the same safety procedures. The best thing to do in the event of a derecho is to go someplace safe and protected—high winds and falling trees can be quite dangerous. 

Preparing Your Home or Business for Hurricanes

8/11/2021 (Permalink)

Here in Michigan, we obviously do not have to worry about hurricanes. But for those who own vacation homes or have friends/family living in hurricane zones, we have some helpful tips to prepare that you can share. 

Tips from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) for Preparing Your Home or Business for a Hurricane: 

Prepare your Home 

  • Cover all your home’s windows with precut plywood or hurricane shutters to protect your windows from high winds. 
  • Plan to bring in all your outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down. 
  • Turn off utilities as instructed. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep doors closed. 
  • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water. 

Prepare your Business 

  • Carefully assess how your company functions, both internally and externally, to determine which staff, materials, procedures, and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating. 
  • Identify operations critical to survival and recovery. 
  • Plan what you will do if your building, is not accessible. 
    • Consider if you can run the business from a different location or from your home. 
    • Develop relationships with other companies to use their facilities in case a disaster makes your location unusable. 

Faster To Any Size Disaster

7/16/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team Semi Truck. Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether you're dealing with a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood.

Storms and inclement weather can be devastating to any business. Wind damage, heavy rain, and flooding can occur suddenly and cause substantial damage in a matter of minutes. There is never a convenient time for flooding or storm damage to strike your business. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response time, day, or night. 

Why Choose SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights? 

  • We are Faster to Any Size Disaster: Floods and storms do not wait for normal business hours, and neither do we. You can depend on an immediate response from our highly trained technicians, who are available 24 hours, seven days a week. 
  • We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists: As leaders in the storm and water damage industry, we have advanced training and expertise, not to mention a tremendous amount of hands-on experience. We use this training and experience to quickly dry your home and restore it back to pre-storm condition. 
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician 
  • Applied Structural Drying Technicians 
  • We Have the Resources to Handle Storms and Disasters: In addition to our own resources, we can access equipment and personnel from over 1,800 Franchises across the state and country. We can even call upon strategically located Disaster Recovery Teams for catastrophic storms and major events. 

Our Disaster Recovery Team 

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, we are prepared for the unpredictable. 

With the ability to mobilize local command centers, along with the resources of more than 1,800 Franchises nationwide, no disaster is too big. Recent mobilizations of the Catastrophic Storm Response Teams include: 

  • 2020 Midland Floods 
  • 2019 Hurricane Dorian 
  • 2018 Hurricane Florence 
  • 2018 Hurricane Michael 
  • 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 

Should a storm or major event strike, we will make it “Like it never even happened.” Call 586-480-2400, we are always here to help!