Recent Storm Damage Posts
How Flood Insurance Helps Keep Your Business Afloat
No matter where your business is based, flooding is always a risk.
Three Reasons To Invest In Flood Insurance
Owning a business in Duquesne, MO, can feel like exploring uncharted waters at times. One thing you don’t want to complicate the experience is damage from actual water, which can add up fast. When the dust settles (and dries), you could be looking at a bill for over $50,000 from just one inch of water. Here are three reasons why investing in a flood insurance policy for your business is important.
1. It's Usually the Only Insurance That Covers Flood Damage
Most commercial property insurance policies do not cover damage from flooding, a fact that, unfortunately, many business owners learn too late. Insurance can be purchased anytime from the National Flood Insurance Program. It offers coverage for up to half a million dollars for both building and personal property.
2. There’s No Such Thing as "No Risk"
You may be wondering why you need a flood policy if your business is not in a high-risk area. Flooding can be caused by blocked sewers and melting snow; even wildfires can increase flood chances in your neighborhood. According to statistics from FEMA, insurance claims from low-risk areas make up over 20% of all flood claims.
3. Other Assistance Options May Be Limited
While there are federal aid programs available to business owners affected by flooding, the president must declare a state of emergency to activate those benefits. What's more, these loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration must be paid back with interest. Because of this, having commercial insurance that also includes flood protection is like a lifeboat that can keep you from drowning in water damage or debt. Your insurance company will work in tandem with your local water damage restoration specialists to help get your business back on track in no time.
No matter where your business is based, flooding is always a risk. Having a flood insurance policy and knowing it inside and out can be the difference between treading water and smooth sailing.
Let's Get Prepared for Possible Severe Weather
We’re dedicated to responding immediately to water and storm damage emergencies.
In Joplin, MO, we have had an active spring weather wise but fortunately we have not encountered much in the way of severe weather here in the four states. But as we all know we are no where near being out of the woods for possible sever storms. We try to help our neighbors be as prepared as possible for any disaster. Here is our annual spring sever weather reminders.
Be vigilant and aware.
There are a lot of ways to receive notice of the threat of severe weather these days. Weather radios (with properly charged batteries) are probably the most reliable but are sometimes impractical. Most people do not carry a weather radio around with them. Weather radios are also limited in accuracy for specific locations. The information released on weather radios cover entire counties. Cell phones are a better way to receive information of specific locations but they rely on a network of towers that can be damaged by strong storms. Television and radio are also great ways to receive updated information but they too can be interrupted by damage to their infrastructure.
Have an Emergency Kit ready.
We all have been reminded many times to have a kit ready. Standard items include food and water for two days. A first aide kit, flashlight, batteries, blankets, etc. The National Weather Service, the Red Cross, and FEMA all have detailed lists you can easily find online. Just don’t procrastinate! Get a kit ready and have it accessible.
Have a rendezvous plan.
Don’t assume if a disaster strikes your family will all be together and accounted for. We all have busy lives and are going in different directions. Have a plan to meet up with loved ones. Start with meeting back at your home, but if that is not possible have a back up plan to meet. Many families use a family member or other contact out of the area to coordinate the rendezvous.
As severe weather season rolls on, please be safe!
Water Damage From A Snow Storm?
We can handle any damage that may occur from a winter storm.
The SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin service area received the first measurable snow storm of the year the first part of this week. The question we get is can snow storms be a possible hazard to my home? The answer is yes, it can!
Typically in Carthage, MO, we don’t get enough snow that hangs around long enough top worry much about this in our area. Folks in the north are a little more concerned about this than we are because of the greater amount of snowfall and generally colder sustained temperatures. But with snow covering roofs in our area and record low temperatures forecasted the conditions are right for a problem comely referred to as ice damming.
An ice dam forms when ice builds up on the eaves of the roof and any water behind it has nowhere to go and the water may end up in your home. This happens because heat gathers in your attic and slightly warms the roof above. The eaves however do not warm like the rest of the roof because they do not have the warm air of your attic under them, they have the cold outside air underneath. As the snow melts from the warmer portion of the roof and runs down it can freeze over the eaves forming an ice dam. As thawing continues above the water running down is trapped behind the dam.
Water will always follow the path of least resistance. In this case it can back up under shingles. Once under the shingle it will makes its way down under the roof inside your attic. From there it can settle on the ceiling or make its way down wall cavities. If snow melts makes its way into your home don’t panic. Stay calm and call SERVPRO.
How To Navigate a Power Outage At Your Business
A generator is a first line of defense against power outages.
A power outage can cripple your business if you don't prepare it for the arrival of severe weather or other emergencies in Seneca, MO. You can keep your business running as usual if have a backup energy source.
What Are the Costs of Losing Power at Your Business?
Although power interruptions are common, they often catch business owners by surprise. Loss of power at your business can have devastating consequences, including:
- Loss of data stored on computers
- Low employee productivity
- Electrical surges that damage equipment
- Lost customers
How Can You Run Your Business When Power Goes Out?
Halting your daily operations is not inevitable if you devise a thoughtful business continuity plan. In addition to training your staff about the importance of data backups, you should make provisions for emergency power sources.
A portable generator is an affordable option to help your business get through a power outage. You must determine how much power your business requires in advance of a potential emergency and choose a generator that provides the appropriate voltage for your needs. For example, in addition to powering your computers and phone system, you will likely need to consider lighting and other electronic devices such as copiers, automatic doors or security systems.
When preparing your business continuity plan, remember to account for the fuel supply you will need to run your backup portable generator. The two most common options are oil and gasoline. Regardless of which option you choose, it is necessary to keep an adequate fuel supply on hand to ensure that you can power your business for at least two or three days.
Part of your preparation for losing power should also include getting an uninterruptible power source battery to keep your electronics running. A UPS is vital to ensure you have enough time to properly shut down your computers until your generator kicks in.
When a severe storm or another emergency leads to a power outage or damages your business in Seneca, MO, a disaster recovery service can help you get back up and running.
National Preparedness Month - Storm Prep
September is National Preparedness Month. When it comes to preparedness we could write an endless number of blogs. The Carthage area is effected by natural disasters such as severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding each year. We also see a high number of isolated disasters where flood or fire effects just one home or business. Past blogs and blogs we will publish in the future will discuss many different disasters that effort our area. Today we want to touch on general preparedness that can help when any sort of disaster strikes.
Ready.gov has a whole outline of things people can do each week to be better prepared. Week one’s theme is “Make a plan for yourself, family, and friends”. There are suggestions to be found everywhere. We will even cover a few as well. But all the suggestions in the world cannot form a personalized plan for you and your family. The best person to make a plan for you, is YOU! Take action during this month. Put pen to paper a form a real plan for your family. If you are a business owner reading this, make sure your plans for the work place are clear, concise, and readily available.
During a disaster, you will always need to seek shelter, but depending on the disaster that shelter will differ. If your home or business is threatened by fire your shelter will obviously be outside of the structure. Do you have a plan to exit the structure orderly? Do you have a plan of exit for each bedroom of your home? How about a backup plan if the first route is blocked or cutoff? Once safely out and away from the structure is there an established rendezvous point? Do you have functional smoke alarms that will alert your family when something is wrong?
During other disasters such as a tornado you need to shelter in place. Have you established the safest place in your home or business to seek shelter in this event? If a storm strikes and you are separated from your family do we have a plan to locate the rest of the family and a designated meeting spot? Once sheltered, how long can you survive there if trapped? Do you have a preparedness kit that includes food, water, and needed medications for your family and pets for at least three days?
Drawing a map of your evacuation or shelter plan and having a family discussion is great first step. Now practice the plan! See if the plan is feasible, time the plan in action. See where you can improve and make needed adjustments.
The last suggestion is to stay informed. Be aware of your surroundings. Use technology to your advantage by signing up of weather alerts.
All of this may be a little overwhelming. We have asked a lot of serious question that demand serious consideration. Take it one question at a time! Use the many resources out there to help you from ready.gov and fema.gov. Our social media accounts, which you will find a link to at the bottom of this article will provide many great suggestions as well as links to practical exercises and documents useful to putting a plan together over the next few weeks. Don’t delay. Start implementing a plan of action today, it could mean your life, or the life of your family.
Are You Ready For Severe Weather?
SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin are water removal specialists.
Severe weather has already touched parts of Joplin, MO this spring. SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin wants you to be safe so we wanted to share some severe weather preparedness tips.
Weather Radios: Weather radios are the most reliable way to receive notifications of severe weather. Many of us rely on television or radio updates in the event of severe weather. More and more people depend on their cellular phones these days and get updates as well from weather apps, personalities on social media, or wireless emergency alerts (WEA’s). All those are great but have their limitation during severe weather. TV and radio broadcasts can be interrupted. Mobile devices rely on towers and those towers can be damaged and cease to function during severe weather. A weather radio, WITH CHARGED BATTERIES is the most reliable way to be informed of severe weather. Be sure to properly program your weather radio so you only receive the alerts you want for the counties you want.
Emergency Supply Kit: Having an emergency kit can be a life saver. Most emergency management agencies recommend supplies for up to three days. The following is a list you can use as a guideline:
- Water – 1 gallon per person per day
- Food – non-perishable
- Manual can opener
- Battery operated radio, preferably a weather radio
- Extra batteries for radio and flashlight
- First Aid kit
- Whistle to signal help
- Clothing, blankets
- Dust mask or bandanas
- Plastic sheeting, garbage bags, and duct tape
- Wrench or other tools to shit off utilities
- Hygiene items
- Important documents. (Copy of insurance policy, bank account info, identification, etc.)
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in waterproof case
Make family plan: Make sure all in the home knows where to go in the event of severe weather. If for some reason the family is separated in the event of a severe storm, have a meeting place established as to aid in finding each other amidst devastation.
Next week will discuss being prepared as a business with our Emergency Preparedness Program.
Winter Weather Survival Tips - Ice Dams & Snowmelts
Oftentimes when we picture winter, we think of snow-covered trees, frosty windows, a cozy fire, and building snowmen; we don’t typically think of the harm all of that snow and ice can cause to our homes. For week two, we wanted to post some tips on how to prevent ice dams and snowmelts from ruining your cozy winter fantasy.
Ice dams are caused by warm air from the attic causing the snow on your roof to melt, which then runs down into the gutters and refreezes. This causes a build-up of ice that is then forced under the roof edge or covering and into the home causing extensive damage. The weight of the ice could also cause your gutters to pull away from or off of your house. To help avoid this situation, you should:
- Keep your gutters clean and free of any blockages that could cause water to not drain properly.
- Adding additional insulation to your attic floors helps prevent heat from getting into the attic which causes the snow to melt.
- Use a snow rake or broom to help remove snow from your roof. Do not climb onto the roof to do this as it could be icy and cause you to slip and fall.
- Checking your roof a couple times a year for weaknesses or structural damage, replacing loose or cracked shingles, or having your roof resurfaced is an excellent way to prevent damage that could cost you thousands.
Snowmelt is water and runoff that has resulted from melting snow. If you have a significant amount of packed snow around the outside of your home and the temperature rises, this will cause the snow to melt and then seep into the foundation or basement of your home. To help prevent this, try the following:
- Clear a five-foot perimeter around your home of snow and ice to keep the water from melting and pooling around the foundation of your house.
- Seal any cracks or fissures in the foundation with caulking or sealant.
- If you have a sump pump, test it often to ensure it is working properly.
- Keep your roof clean of snow by using a snow rake or broom.
- Adding downspout extensions helps move melted snow/water away from your home.
In the event water should find its way into your basement, through the ceiling, or anywhere else in your home, call a professional water restoration service like SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin to come and help you. We are here to help!
Weather-Ready Nation Ambassadors
Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador Logo
Did you know that here at SERVPRO of Carthage/ Joplin, we are registered as Weather-Ready Nation Ambassadors through the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)?
If you have not taken the time to wander around the website, you should make it a point to do so at some time! It is full of helpful information, and even learning resources for children in order to help them better understand weather, and what they should do in case of a bad weather event.
Storm season is upon us and we know weather is unpredictable and if you have children, this information could be very beneficial in helping them understand the importance of being prepared in the unfortunate yet inevitable event of a dangerous storm.
If you would like information for yourself or educational resources for your children, you should really take time to check their website out.
To get to the educational portion of the website just go to noaa.gov and select Education from the list on the left. From there you will see different tabs and options to choose from depending on the grade level. There are also links to other educational websites or articles that will help you to better understand weather, what it does, how it does it and the ways you can help to keep those you love safe by knowing what you are looking at.
Radar screenshot from previous storm event
It is nearing springtime and that means a lot of rain showers, storms that bring heavy rain, high winds, hail and unfortunately, tornadoes. We live in the Midwest, this is inevitable.
Some tips that may prove to be beneficial:
**I am yelling these first three in hopes they really stand out.
- KNOW YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE! Make sure you know ahead of time what would be considered a covered loss. If you do not think you have adequate coverage, make appropriate changes. Knowing in advance, and being prepared, is better than finding out too late.
- UPDATE YOUR HOME INVENTORY! A lot of people do not think that far ahead and when tragedy strikes, they have no clue where to begin when putting things down on paper for their insurance claim. There are quite a few apps that will help to keep things logged and in order, some are free and some cost money, but in the end, it will help a lot during a time that is already emotionally and physically exhausting. If you would rather not go through and log everything in the house, then take your video camera and record video of all of the items, making sure to get serial numbers and even in the cupboards and closets. Save it in numerous places, so if one copy is destroyed or damaged you will have a back-up. EVERYTHING HELPS!
- CHECK YOUR SUMP PUMP! During this time of year, a lot of water jobs we do is because a sump pump has failed. If you have a basement, you more than likely have a sump pump that is used to rid a sump basin of excess water. If the sump pump fails, you will have a flooded basement, and sometimes mold growth. It is a giant mess and a big headache for homeowners that could have been prevented in most cases.
- Trim the trees away from your home. This will help lower the chances of having limbs and branches landing on your roof during high winds. While it may not stop it all of the time, every effort helps.
- Make sure your yard is level and not sloping towards your house. If it is sloping towards the house then the likeliness of water running towards the house during heavy rain is much greater.
- Clean your gutters. If your gutters are cleaned out then it allows the water to flow from the roof and will hopefully prevent the water from standing on the roof which can lead to leaks and a mold issue.
- Have a plan and know it. Practice it so when it is most important, it comes natural to your entire family. Where will you go in the event of severe weather? Where will you meet after it is over if you are not already home together? Who will be your contact to let them know you are safe? If you have this plan in place, there will be less panic and chaos if everyone knows what they are supposed to do.
While we hope you all stay safe and dry, if you are affected by the spring storms, know we are only a phone call away.