Recent Storm Damage Posts
"What Happens Next"
Storms can cause severe damage to your home—potentially even making them unsafe!
What You Should Do After a Flood
Even if you were properly prepared for the flood and weathered the storm until it passed, your home could still have sustained heavy damage. Now that the sky is blue once more, how do you proceed? Here’s a look at what to do after a flood:
Just because the sun is shining, and the flood waters have receded, that doesn’t mean all danger has passed. Exercise caution by doing the following:
- Tune into local alerts and warning systems to stay up-to-date with current information and receive expert, informed advice about the flood. After all, additional flooding could still occur.
- Stay away from rushing water. Moving water only 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet.
- Avoid walking through large areas of standing water, which may be electrically charged by downed power lines. The water could also be hiding broken glass or dangerous animals.
- Unless you are specifically asked for help by the police, fire department, or relief workers, keep out of damaged areas.
- Help emergency workers by staying off the roads in and out of the damaged neighborhood or region.
- If you’re caught in a stalled car during a flash flood, abandon the car and get to higher ground immediately.
- Heed barricades and find an alternate route if you encounter one blocking your way. Crossing bridges even after the water has receded could be dangerous if the structural integrity has been jeopardized.
- Return home only when the authorities permit it. Even then, stay out of the building if it’s surrounded by flood waters and exercise extreme caution when you do enter.
Stay Safe and Healthy
Take care of you and your family as cleanup efforts begin. To stay safe and healthy, remember the following:
- Turn off the home’s electricity at the main breaker box, even if the power is out. Only turn the power on when your home is dry.
- Avoid floodwater, which may be contaminated with sewage, gasoline, or oil.
- Fix damaged sewer systems as soon as possible.
- Don’t drink water from the tap. Listen to news reports to learn when the community’s water is safe to drink again.
Clean and Repair Your Home
- Use the information in the Repairing Your Flooded Home PDF from the Red Cross to learn how to enter your home safely, protect your belongings from future damage, record damage for insurance claims, check for gas leaks, and begin the cleanup process.
- Contact your insurance agent to discuss your claim.
- Hire a professional water damage mitigation company as soon as possible. It’s important that the company is qualified for the services you need. SERPVRO of Natchez is available 24/7 to help when you need it most. Not only are we a local command center, but we also have the resources of 1,600 franchises nationwide—meaning no disaster is too big.
Get Help After a Flood
SERVPRO of Natchez is prepared and ready to help you when you and your family need it the most. We’re here to help you get back on your feet and make it look like it never happened. Call us at 601.304.5554.
Freezing Temperatures and Risk of Pipes Freezing
As the temperature starts dropping outside here in Mississippi, you should protect your inside pipes by keeping them warm and water running.
Here are a few things you can do:
Let the cold-water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe even just a trickle helps prevent pipes from freezing.
Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during day and night.
Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
Keep garage doors closed, especially if there are water supply lines in the garage.
If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
If you have a water loss Call SERVPRO of Natchez at 601.304.5554. We are always here to help!
Tornado's can Happen Any Time!
Tornadoes are a destructive weather occurrence that is measured by the Enhanced Fujita Scale. While they vary in strength, tornadoes can destroy buildings, lift railroad cars and create other damage to surrounding areas. Tornadoes are columns of air that begin to rotate slowly and pick up speed until they are violently spinning funnels though it may not be visible until it reaches the ground and picks up debris.
No one knows exactly how tornadoes form, but a supercell thunderstorm is required. Supercell thunderstorms differ from traditional thunderstorms in that they have strong updrafts of rotating air. Other necessary factors for tornado formation may include strong wind changes, moisture in the air or temperature differences between downdrafts and the surrounding air.
Funnel Cloud or Tornado?
Many people confuse funnel clouds with tornadoes, but they are different. Tornadoes start as funnel-shaped clouds that extend down from a thunderstorm’s cloud base. A funnel cloud is comprised of tiny moisture droplets that are visible as it rotates. However, some funnel clouds lack moisture and are invisible. Once funnel clouds reach the ground, they become tornadoes.
The path of destruction created by tornadoes ranges from 100 yards to more than 2.6 miles. They typically travel from southwest to northeast with speeds between 30 and 70 mph. Tornadoes can last for a few seconds or more than an hour, but typically don’t last more than 10 minutes.
Tornadoes can form anywhere in the U.S. but are most common in the deep south and between the Appalachian and the Rocky Mountains. They occur most in April, May, and June, but can occur at any time of the year. Did you know that the deep south generally has more tornadoes than the plains do? The key difference is the deep south tornadoes are short lived and not very strong, the plains tornadoes are long lived and often the huge monster tornadoes of nightmares.
Tornado formation requires the convergence of three air layers. The ground layer consists of warm, moist air with strong winds from the South. Another layer is in the upper atmosphere and consists of cold air with winds coming from the west or southwest. The third layer is in the middle and consists of hot, dry air, which allows the lower layer to heat up. This creates instability that is exacerbated when the upper layer begins to move east. The result is that all the layers begin to lift, which creates thunderstorms and strong updrafts. The interaction between the updrafts and surrounding winds can cause the rotation to develop, which is a tornado.
If a tornado has affected your home or business give SERVPRO of Natchez a call at 601.304.5554. Our team of trained technicians are ready at a moments notice to assist you in putting your life back to normal.
Weather Alerts: What They Mean
- The National Weather Service defines a severe thunderstorm as any storm that produces one or more of the following elements:
- A tornado.
- Damaging winds or speeds of 58 mph (50 knots) or greater.
- Hail 1 inch in diameter or larger.
Know these definitions so you are prepared for any storm:
- Hurricane Watch
Winds greater than 74 mph may hit the area within 36 hours.
- Hurricane Warning
Winds greater than 74 mph probably will to hit the area within 24 hours.
- Tropical Storm Watch
Winds from 39 to 73 mph may hit the area within 36 hours.
- Tropical Storm Warning
Winds from 39 to 73 mph probably will to hit the area within 24 hours. Usually issued for areas to either side of the Hurricane Warning area.
- Tornado Watch
Conditions are ripe for tornadoes within the watch area. Tornadoes associated with hurricanes and tropical storms are typically a very significant cause of death and damage.
- Tornado Warning
A tornado has actually been spotted visually or on radar. Usually issued for a county. If a tornado WARNING is issued where you live, GET TO THE MIDDLE OF THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STRONG BUILDING IMMEDIATELY!!!
- Severe Thunderstorm Watch
Conditions are ripe for severe thunderstorms within the watch area.
- Severe Thunderstorm Warning
There is a severe thunderstorm in or heading for the warned area. Treat this like a tornado warning!!
- Flash Flood Watch
Flash floods are likely to occur in the near future. Be alert for rising water and be prepared to have to move to high ground.
- Flash Flood Warning
Flash floods are occurring or expected to occur in the near future. If this happens, get to high ground immediately, and GET AWAY FROM VEHICLES... it only takes 18 inches of water to sweep a car or truck away!
- High Wind Advisory
Windy conditions may occur in the advisory area. This usually makes for unsafe conditions while driving, especially in (but not limited to) large vehicles. Also, avoid boating anywhere in the advisory area.
- High Wind Warning
Very strong winds are expected or already are occurring that present a significant danger while driving, boating and other outdoor activities. Often issued near tropical storms and hurricanes.
- Special Marine Warning
Warnings of interest to boaters, usually because of rough conditions, squall lines, waterspouts,
- Hurricane or Tropical Storm Statement
Statements issued periodically by the National Hurricane Center with an overview of the current situation.
Prepare for 2018 Hurricane Season
In 2017, the US saw damage from 3 major hurricanes and 4 storms.
Extreme hurricanes and wildfires made 2017 the most costly U.S. disaster year on record. Each year, weather events cause catastrophic damage in the US. In 2017 alone, "the disasters caused $306 billion in total damage in 2017, with 16 events that caused more than $1 billion in damage each. The bulk of the damage, at $265 billion, came from hurricanes."
According to many researchers, the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season is expected to be above average as well. One of the costliest aspects of hurricane season is not just the wind, but the widespread flooding. In addition to storm surge, slow moving systems cause the accumulation of rain in creeks and rivers to back up even in areas which may be "low risk".
How can you be prepared?
Speak with your insurance agent regarding your coverage. Flood insurance and Hurricane/Wind insurance may not be included in your Homeowners policy.
Speak with your insurance agent regarding what amount will allow you the ability to rebuild your home. A lower premium is not always best if it does not cover the costs to rebuild. It's important to have enough coverage!
Review your policies before Hurricane season (reminder: it starts June 1st!) with your insurance agent. There is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance goes into effect. Some times, insurers will not adjust your coverage after a storm is forecast.
Flooding Can Happen Anywhere
Flooding can happen anywhere.
There is often a misconception that if you are not 'in a flood zone,' or more accurately, if you are in a low risk community that your home or business will not flood. While your home or business may be in a low risk area, just because you haven't experienced a flood doesn't mean you won't in the future. The NFIP released that 20% of all paid claims were for low-risk policies. We frequently find that because of this misconception many home and business owners do not carry flood insurance. If you do not have flood insurance, the out of pocket costs associated with flood damage can be substantial.
Flood water is considered category 3 or black water. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding, or any type of natural disaster. This water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. The restoration should only be handled by professionals.
According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), the following are the most common flood hazards in the United States:
- Flash flooding
- River flooding
- Storm surge and coastal inundation from tropical and non-tropical systems
- Burn scars/debris flows (caused by wildfires)
- Ice/debris jams
- Dry wash (caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)
- Dam breaks/levee failure
NOAA also said that, "Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding."
With every catastrophic storm, you can rest assured that there will be a catastrophic storm response. 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.
Tornado Season and Storm Cleanup
Know the signs of a tornado before it hits!
Tornadoes can strike quickly, and oftentimes, without much warning. According to NSSL, “A tornado is a narrow, violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground.” Tornadoes are often hard to see unless a funnel forms because wind is invisible. Tornadoes can be difficult to see unless dust and debris are gathered within the condensation. If you cannot see the funnel, debris clouds can often mark their location. Made up of water droplets, dust, and debris, tornadoes are the most violent of all atmospheric storms.
How long is tornado season exactly? In the Southeast, tornado season lasts from March through May; however tornadoes can occur through early fall. Tornadoes often follow behind severe thunderstorms and hurricanes. Unfortunately, Baldwin County is no stranger to either.
Before the Storm
Know the Signs:
- Whirling cloud of debris
- Very still air and lack of wind, especially following severe thunderstorm or hail
- Dark, greenish sky
- Low-lying wall cloud
- Debris being thrown from the sky
- Bright flashes near the ground, especially at night
During the Storm
During the storm, it is always best to find shelter. It is never a good option to be outside during the threat of severe weather such as tornadoes. Head to a storm shelter or sturdy building if possible. If a storm shelter is available, make this your first option. If it’s not, head to a sturdy building with a basement. If you do not have access to a basement or storm shelter head to a sturdy building, moving to the center away from windows and exterior doors. Stay in the shelter until the storm passes.
After the Storm
SERVPRO of Natchez specializes in storm damage cleanup. After the storm, SERVPRO can restore your home, business, and personal property back to preloss conditions. We have the tools, resources, and training to make any loss “Like it never even happened.”
Cleaning up after a storm doesn’t have to be hard, and choosing a company doesn’t have to be, either. SERVPRO of Natchez is locally owned and operated, so we are part of this community too. When you have a flooding or storm emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help. We take pride in being a part of this community and want to do our part in making it the best it can be.
If you experience a storm and need professional and trained help please call our office at 601.304.5554.
Advice during Wintery Weather
We rarely see cold winters in the Natchez, Mississippi area. When we do, there is a good chance we as homeowners have a brief panic and do not know what to do. SERVPRO of Natchez cannot fix your frozen or busted pipe, BUT we can clear up your standing water and start the dry out process in your home as quickly as we possibly can. We turned to some of our Northern Franchises that deal with freezing climates frequently to provide our county with some advice and knowledge during Winter Storm Grayson.
Owner David Moore of SERVPRO of Natchez explains that a burst pipe is commonly a result from a frozen pipe thawing to quickly. As daylight brings warmer temperatures, the pipe’s atmosphere potentially changes to quickly causing the burst. Advice? Leave your cabinet doors open and do not worry about cranking the heat up. Leaving a faucet or two in different parts of your home will keep the water moving through pipes and make it more difficult to freeze. Some advice from a plumber "Now is not the time for conserving energy. If you have a basement that you don't really use but there is a thermostat down there, you gotta turn that up. You don't want any of your zones lower than 68 degrees on days like today."
Financially, the higher heating charges will be less expensive than a water damage. Use a hair dryer on an exposed pipe that may potentially be frozen, using slow, low heat will unfreeze the pipe at a slow pace.
If your home or commercial business does suffer an emergency pipe burst, call 601.304.5554 SERVPRO of Natchez is always “Here to Help” in any way that we can and as quickly as we can.
Staying Safe During Flooding
Picture is of a flooded neighborhood.
Because of our location as a gulf state, Mississippi residents are especially prone to damage caused by floods. Flooding can be common during the hurricane season but unusual weather patterns can also bring unexpected flooding of the type we have witnessed in our state over the last few years.
If your home has flooded, it is important to conduct a list of safety checks before returning inside. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has produced an in-depth document outlining these safety steps. They include:
- Checking the roof for dips across the surface
- Checking external walls to determine if they are no longer plum
- Checking the foundation from the outside to see if it has been damaged
- Making sure electricity and gas have been shut off
Once inside, there can be multiple safety hazards and threats. The presence of mold is a real possibility and a valid concern for your personal safety. If you have an older home, there is also the risk of lead or asbestos contamination. Flood water contains multiple health hazards and just because the visible water is gone, it doesn’t mean the contaminants are no longer a threat.
That burning desire to check your home after major water damage is natural but even a few minutes inside could be bad for your health. At SERVPRO® of Natchez, we provide emergency water disaster services. We have given our mitigation specialists extensive training for safely entering this type of dangerous environment and for getting the remediation process started. It is our hope you never have to experience this type of natural disaster or other types of water damages but if you do, we are a phone call away at 601.304.5554 and are always ready to help.
Tips to Help with Post Hurricane Chaos
With the recent storms in Texas, everyone is thinking about what has happened, and what could happen. Everyone tries to be prepared for before and during the storm, but very few people get far enough to think about what to do AFTER a storm.
Here are a few tips from the American Red Cross to help with post-hurricane chaos.
- Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.
- Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
- If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
- Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
- Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
- Stay out of any building that has water around it.
- Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.
- Use flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles.
- Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
- Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
- Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
- Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
- Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
What's the Difference
Lately there has been flooding all over the United States: if you are unfamiliar with the difference between a flash flood warning, flood warning, and flood advisory; then read below!
What is the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service?
Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.
Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.
Flood Watch: Be Prepared:A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.
Flood Advisory: Be Aware: An Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.
Information from http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov/
Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States.
There is always potential for flood damage no matter where you live. According to the American Red Cross floods cause more damage in the United States every year than any other weather related disaster. The American Red Cross offers these flood safety tips:
-Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
-If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are riding rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
-Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
If a flood occurs and affects you, call SERVPRO of Natchez. Even minor floods have potential to cause major damage. We are faster to ANY size disaster. Let us help you get your life back in order.