Recent Storm Damage Posts
The Role of Drones in Assessing Storm Damage and Recovery
Drones are used to play a role in storm damage assessment and recovery.
Northwest storms are unpredictable, causing widespread damage that can be inaccessible and costly to assess. Property owners and insurance adjusters must determine the extent of the damage, plan for repairs, and locate the affected areas. However, the use of drones in storm damage assessment has revolutionized the process. Drones provide an efficient and safe way to assess and document the outreach of the devastating effects of a Northwest storm. In this blog post, we will discuss the role of drones in assessing storm damage and recovery.
Rapid Damage Assessment
After a Northwest storm, property owners and insurance adjusters need to assess the damage promptly. With drones, this process can be done efficiently and safely. Drones can be deployed quickly to survey extensive properties and areas that would otherwise be inaccessible. They can capture aerial images and videos, providing detailed information on the extent of the damages. This information can then be used to make informed decisions on restoration and cleaning services.
Safe and Efficient Recovery
Drones offer several benefits when it comes to safe and efficient recovery after a storm. Instead of sending human workers to areas like damaged rooftops, drones can be used to inspect the damage without risking worker injuries. Drones can also quickly search for trapped or missing individuals who may have been caught in the midst of the disaster.
Drones are a game-changer in storm damage assessment and surveying as they are an affordable approach to thoroughly examining storm damage. Property owners and insurance adjusters can avoid hiring expensive manned aircraft or teams of adjusters to assess the damage. Drones are practical, can cover more territory than a human team, and are more cost-effective, making them a preferred option for property owners and insurance providers.
Drones utilize advanced technology for image and video capturing. They capture high-quality images, providing a more accurate representation of the damage. Furthermore, drones provide angled images and can access difficult-to-reach areas, providing well-composed footage and images of the storm damage from multiple angles. This way, both property owners and insurance providers receive a more in-depth and more precise assessment of the damages done.
Efficient Damage Documentation
Drones play a significant role in documenting storm damage. In some cases, time plays an important factor in the claims process. Drones can offer a faster and more cost-effective method of documenting damage, which is of great importance when investigating insurance claims. High-quality footage and still pictures captured by drones allow property owners and insurance adjusters to make more informed decisions, working together effectively to plan for suitable restoration and cleaning services.
Drones have revolutionized the storm damage assessment and recovery process. They play a tremendous role in ensuring property owners and insurance adjusters have the information they need to assess damages promptly and accurately. The use of drones in storm damage assessment reduces the risk of human injuries, provides a more cost-effective option for assessing the outreach of the storm damages, and importantly, facilitates a quicker recovery while ensuring property owners and insurers can make informed choices. Drones are taking storm damage assessment to a whole new level, making it safer and more efficient for everyone involved.
Protecting Your Business: Understanding Commercial Storm Insurance Coverage
Commercial storm insurance is an important insurance to have to protect your business.
When a commercial property is hit by a storm, the damage can be devastating. From broken windows and water damage to structural damage and even total destruction, storms can wreak havoc on any business. That's why many commercial property owners invest in storm insurance to protect themselves from financial losses due to storm damage.
But what exactly does commercial storm insurance cover? In this blog, we'll break down the basics of commercial storm insurance, including what it covers and how it works.
What is commercial storm insurance?
Commercial storm insurance is a type of insurance that provides coverage for damage to commercial property caused by storms, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and severe thunderstorms. This type of insurance can cover a variety of different types of damage, including wind damage, hail damage, water damage, and more.
What does commercial storm insurance cover?
The coverage provided by commercial storm insurance can vary depending on the policy and the specific needs of the business. However, there are a few key areas that are typically covered by this type of insurance:
- Property damage: Commercial storm insurance can cover damage to the physical structure of the property, including the roof, walls, windows, and doors. This can include damage caused by wind, hail, and other storm-related hazards.
- Business interruption: If a business is unable to operate due to storm damage, commercial storm insurance can provide coverage for lost income and other expenses related to the interruption.
- Contents coverage: Commercial storm insurance can also cover damage to the contents of the property, such as equipment, inventory, and furniture.
- Additional living expenses: If a business owner is forced to temporarily relocate due to storm damage, commercial storm insurance can provide coverage for additional living expenses, such as hotel costs and food expenses.
- Liability coverage: In some cases, commercial storm insurance can also provide liability coverage for injuries or damages caused by storm-related hazards on the property.
How does commercial storm insurance work?
When a business owner purchases commercial storm insurance, they pay a premium to the insurance company in exchange for coverage. If a storm causes damage to the property, the business owner can file a claim with their insurance company to receive compensation for the damages.
The insurance company will typically send an adjuster to the property to assess the damage and determine the amount of compensation that the business owner is entitled to. Once the claim has been processed and approved, the insurance company will provide the business owner with a check to cover the cost of repairs, lost income, or other covered expenses.
Commercial storm insurance is an important type of insurance for any business that wants to protect itself from the financial losses caused by storm damage. By providing coverage for property damage, business interruption, contents, and liability, this type of insurance can help business owners get back on their feet after a storm. If you're a commercial property owner, it's important to speak with an insurance agent to determine the right type and amount of coverage for your business.
3 Ways to Protect Your Home Before a Flood
The best way to protect yourself from damage from floods is to make sure you're prepared before the storm hits.
If you live in a flood-prone area, it's important to think about what could happen in the event of flooding and plan accordingly. This would include installing a sump pump, securing your home's foundation and doors, and sealing cracks that let water into your house.
1. Seal Foundation Cracks
You’ll want to seal any cracks or holes in your foundation. Sealants or waterproof paints are best for this, but you can also use foam sealants and concrete crack fillers. You can also use caulking to seal gaps in your foundation, but be sure to use a waterproof type of caulk. If you don’t see any cracks or holes in your foundation, you may want to consider adding a vapor barrier on the exterior of the walls. A vapor barrier will help prevent moisture from getting into your basement and causing mold growth.
2. Maintain Drainage Areas
Maintaining drainage areas is a vital part of protecting your home from flooding. You should keep these areas free of leaves and other debris to ensure that water can quickly flow into the storm drain and away from your home. You should also clear out any snow or ice buildup in these areas during the winter months so that they can function properly when it rains again.
Keep sandbags on hand for when heavy rains begin to fall. Sandbags are an effective way to keep water out of doors and windows until it recedes enough so that they can be opened again safely without risk of further flooding (and more potential property damage). If sandbags aren't available, use whatever materials available at home like blankets or towels instead—you just want something thick enough so that water won't seep through easily!
3. Install a Sump Pump
Sump pumps are installed in a basement and can be used to drain water out of the basement. Sump pumps are connected to a drainage system that allows them to easily move water out of the house or away from it. They're powered by electricity, so you'll need to make sure that you've got a backup source of power (such as a generator) if your home loses power during a storm.
The best way to protect yourself from damage from floods is to make sure you're prepared before the storm hits. These are just a few tips to keep in mind while you’re preparing your home and property for a possible flood. SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin is here to help you get your Joplin home back to normal! We are available 24 hours a day and can help with any issues that arise during this time of emergency and recovery!
How To Prepare Your Home For a Winter Storm
If you are expecting an ice storm, it is important to protect your pipes.
Preparing Your Home Before the Storm Hits
Winter can be a beautiful time of year, but it can also be unpredictable. Ice storms are one such example of a weather phenomenon that can cause damage to homes and disrupt services for days at a time. If you're planning on staying put during an ice storm or if you live in an area prone to these types of storms, here are some tips for preparing your home before the storm hits:
Inspect Your Roof
- Inspect your roof. Check for any loose shingles or tiles and look for any damage to the roof. Look at gutters, chimneys and other structural parts of the house that could be affected by ice accumulation.
- Check around the outside perimeter of your home for signs of leaks that may indicate water seeping in through cracks in windows or doors as well as around pipes and wires entering from outside walls; this could cause serious damage if left unchecked during an ice storm -- especially if it's not just rain but freezing rain!
Protect Your Pipes
If you are expecting an ice storm, it is important to protect your pipes.
Wrap exposed pipes in insulation. If a pipe is exposed and not insulated, wrap it with a towel or blanket—but don't use plastic as that can cause the pipe to crack and leak.
If you have leaking indoor plumbing due to freezing conditions outside your home—or if you're worried about potential leaks—use a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels down inside your house so that there will be less humidity available .
Install Storm Windows and Doors for Heavy Storm Events
Storm windows and doors are an easy way to protect your home from the elements. If you have older wooden storm doors that aren't weather tight, consider replacing them with newer ones. Make sure your kitchen and bathroom windows are also installed with storm windows. Storm windows should be slightly smaller than the window they are covering so that they fit snugly into place. Use caulk or plastic to seal any gaps between the two pieces of glass before inserting them into the opening of each window frame.
If you don’t have a storm door in your home, you can still install temporary protection by purchasing heavy plastic sheeting at a hardware store. Use duct tape along all seams on both sides of this sheeting to seal it against windy conditions while still allowing some light through while keeping out moisture during rainstorms and other inclement weather conditions
Prepare to Reconnect Utilities
If you have lost power and need to reconnect it, be sure to bring the right tools with you. If your home has been without power for more than a day, you may need a special device known as an electric line heater (found at hardware stores or online). You will also need to know how to use this tool properly so that it does not become damaged by the cold temperatures.
If at all possible, do not try to reconnect utilities on your own if you are not qualified. Seek professional help if needed.
As you can see, there are a number of simple steps that you can take to prepare your home for an winter storm. By following these tips, you will be better able to avoid the potential dangers associated with this type of weather event.
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 Carthage, 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
Have a kit ready.
Severe Weather Reminders
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 severe storms. We try to help our neighbors be as prepared as possible for any disaster. Here are our annual spring severe 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 covers entire counties. Cell phones are a better way to receive information about 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 aid 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!
3 Common Questions About Ice Dams
An ice dam is a frozen barricade at the edge of your roof.
Ice Dams: Three Common Questions
An ice dam is a frozen barricade at the edge of your roof. It forms when the snow on top of your home starts to melt and slowly slide off the roof, only to refreeze at its edge, causing a big, icy pile-up.
1. How Do Ice Dams Form?
Over time, the warm air inside your house heats the underside of your roof, causing accumulated snow to melt and slide off. In most cases, it does this very slowly — so slowly that when that slush hits the edge of your roof under the right conditions, it refreezes.
This is because there's no cozy interior air rising up and keeping things warm beneath your gutter and your roof's overhang. Instead, the snowmelt gets zapped with frigid air and turns back to ice.
2. Can They Cause Damage?
Ice dams often prevent future snowmelt from running off the roof. Eventually, that accumulated water will try to find a way into your home via cracks, holes and shingles.
3. How Do You Prevent an Ice Dam From Forming?
Early detection is key. There are certain preventative measures you can take, such as heated gutters and downspouts, but being able to spot the signs of a nascent dam is the best way to avoid placing a call to your local storm damage restoration company. They include:
- Ice on siding
- Ice on top of gutters
- Icicles on the edge of the roof or gutters
- Ice or water around a window frame or door
- Ice or water inside a window frame or door
If you live in an area with frequent snowfall or own a vacation home away from Sarcoxie, MO, that does, talk with your insurance agent about ice dam coverage. It's often included as part of a homeowners insurance policy's dwelling coverage.
An ice dam doesn't have to end in disaster. When a winter storm hits, step away from that roaring fire (or YouTube video of a roaring fire) and check in on your roof every once in a while.
What To Look for in a Commercial Generator
Most commercial generators run on natural gas or diesel.
What to Look for When Purchasing a Commercial Generator
If you're a business owner in Oronogo, MO, in the market for a new commercial generator, you may wonder what to look for and how to know if you've chosen the best one for your particular situation. There are several factors you need to consider to make your decision, but it also helps to have a basic understanding of the machine itself.
Most commercial generators run on natural gas or diesel.
The generator is made up of an engine, radiator, and alternator.
The engine creates mechanical power that is then forced through a circuit, cooled and converted to an alternating current.
Depending on the frequency of use, a commercial generator can last up to 20 years.
What's the Right Size for You?
Commercial generators come in single-phase or three-phase models, and you'll need to know which type to buy according to what you want to power in the event of an outage. Most small businesses can get away with only a single-phase generator if they only need to power basic electronics, lights, and HVAC. If your business uses machinery or large equipment, you will most likely need a three-phase.
How Will You Power It?
Natural gas and diesel are the most common fuel sources, but propane and bi-fuel are also options. Natural gas is the obvious choice if your business is already connected to a gas line, but if you're in a remote location, diesel is the recommended option.
How Much Can You Afford?
While a small commercial generator can cost as little as $10,000, larger ones can be quite a bit more expensive. Assess how much you can do without in the event of a storm or natural disaster. What financial risks and implications will an interruption of service have on your business? It's also important to consider any maintenance or repair costs you may incur over the years, especially if you run into any generator problems.
Arming yourself with knowledge and asking the right questions will help you make the best possible decision on the right generator for your business. For advice on how to prepare for power outages and protect your business from damage and loss from storms, contact your local storm damage specialist.
3 Steps To Get Your Business Ready for Winter
Don't let a winter storm sneak up on you.
Prepare Your Business for the Winter
Getting through winter in Seneca, MO, can be tough if you aren't prepared. Snow, ice and wind can accompany any winter storm and often this makes doing business a little more difficult. Here are three steps to get your business prepared for winter.
1. Plan Ahead for Bad Weather
Make sure that you have a plan in place for how you will handle different types of bad weather that may arise. Storm damage can sometimes be unavoidable, but with some proper winterizing you can often avoid the worst of it. Inspect your building before the snow begins to fly to ensure that you don't need to make repairs to your roof, windows or insulation. Make a contact list for emergencies so you don't have to search for important numbers under stress. Include your HVAC provider's number as well as a professional emergency restoration service. If you do experience an unexpected issue such as a pipe break you can call for help sooner.
2. Invest in Reliable Snow Removal Services
A winter storm often comes along with dangerous snow and ice that could injure customers and employees as well as cause significant damage to your building. Employ a reliable and responsive service to plow parking lots and shovel and salt sidewalks. If you live in an area that typically gets large amounts of snow, consider also hiring someone to clear heavy snow from your roof.
3. Communicate With Employees
If disaster strikes, you want your employees to know exactly what to do. Once you've developed your winter preparation plan, pass it along to your staff. Make sure they know where to find a list of emergency numbers when you aren't available to make those calls. Be sure to also communicate what your expectations are for them in the event they can't get to work.
Don't let a winter storm sneak up on you. Follow these steps to make sure that you're prepared in advance.
Don't Risk Losing Data When the Power Goes Out
Make sure you back up your data.
Don't Take the Chance of Losing Data If the Power Goes Out
Out of all the variables that can pose risks to the health of your business, experiencing a power outage needn't be one of them. Loss of power can happen to anyone and at any time due to reasons such as:
- Planned brownouts
- Unexpected grid failures
Even if outages are unavoidable, you can take control of their impact on your business by having a plan in place when they occur.
Make Sure You Back Up Your Data
All businesses need to utilize reliable software to back up their databases. Since access to data is imperative for maintaining a stable, secure operation, this is not an area you should neglect. Make sure your company's IT department is up on all the latest tools for network security and data backups and will help you implement a disaster recovery plan if the worst should happen.
Have the Proper Equipment in Place
At a minimum, all your computers and other necessary equipment should be outfitted with a battery backup that will kick in when the power goes out. Even better, make sure you have a portable generator on hand that will keep the most essential equipment running throughout the power outage.
One step better is to install a standby generator that will kick on as soon as it detects a loss of power, so there is no interruption of service. Finally, if your business is large or complex, the best option is to get an industrial generator to eliminate risk and keep you running without a hitch.
Know Who To Call
In an emergency, every business should have a Continuity of Business Plan, which includes a chain of command and a list of who to call. Besides the power company and your IT service, make sure you have the number of a commercial storm specialist in Oronogo, MO, who can take care of cleanup, damage repair and remediation if needed.
Though accidents and natural disasters often happen without warning, you can take measures to mitigate the impact a power outage has on the viability and success of your business. Having a robust plan and the proper tools will save you time, money — and possibly your business.