Recent Storm Damage Posts

2021 Hurricane Season Predictions!

4/9/2021 (Permalink)

Hurricane season for 2021 has been predicted to be a fairly active hurricane season, based on a few factors that the researchers at the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project have been studying. Though officially beginning June 1, 2021 and lasting until November 30, 2021, hurricane season can also have some surprise storms in the months leading up to it. Here's some information from The Weather Channel's article:

At a Glance

  • A total of 17 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes are expected this season.
  • This is above the 30-year average of 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

If your home or business is struck by damaging winds or rain this hurricane season, call us at SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville IMMEDIATELY at 570-546-3500. The quicker our professionals can get to your damage, the more likely we are to be able to save your property!

For more information about this year's hurricane season, click here: 2021 Hurricane Outlook.

Preparing For a Hurricane as a Property Manager

4/9/2021 (Permalink)

Hurricane season begins on June 1. As a property manager, it’s important to make sure that a storm preparedness plan is in place well beforehand for the safety of your residents, staff, and property. Prepare for potential storm damage by:

1. Developing a Procedures Handbook

A property management company should have a hurricane procedures handbook prepared before the hurricane season begins. Include emergency numbers and contact information for staff. Also, outline the roles of each staff member, as well as their responsibilities, indicating essential personnel. Collaborate with all staff and make sure that everyone is on the same page with company policies, emergency procedures, and staff availability.

2. Sharing the Plan With Residents

Have a reliable way of reaching out to residents of the property. Many property managers will update tenants via an automated alert system, sending text messages and emails. Give each resident storm preparedness information familiarizing them with shelter areas, pre-storm procedures for their property as a whole, as well as instructions on how to prepare their residences.

3. Reviewing Insurance and Contracts

Review the property’s insurance policies to make sure that it’s adequately covered. Also, make sure that contracts with landscaping, construction, and mitigation companies are in place so that work can begin immediately after storm damage is incurred.

4. Performing Outdoor Maintenance

When you first hear that a hurricane is likely, begin preparing the outdoor areas. This maintenance includes cleaning gutters, trimming tree limbs and securing outdoor items such as furniture, signs, flower pots and trashcans. Get residents to bring their belongings inside from patios and balconies. Take time-stamped “before” photos or videos of the property for insurance claims purposes. Make sure that important computer documents are backed up to the cloud or an off-site hard drive.

Call SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville if any of your properties are hit by damaging winds or rain at 570-546-3500.

Winter Storm Tips From SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

It's that time of the year again: snow has started falling- along with the temperatures! The cold weather is fast approaching and here are some tips to prepare your home for the cold winter months.

  • Add more insulation to your attic, if you have one. Heat rises, and will escape through a poorly insulated attic. Fiberglass insulation comes in rolls with paper backing that you can roll and tack up to winterize your home.
  • Caulk cracks around windows and doors to eliminate drafts. Use water resistant caulk on the outside of buildings.
  • Add weather stripping to doors and windows when winterizing buildings.
  • Install outlet gaskets to electric outlets located on outer walls. The gaskets will eliminate drafts when you prepare your house for winter.
  • Clean your furnace, if you have one, and replace the air filter. Dirty air filters clog the flow of air and could start a fire.
  • Service your wood burning stove. Have a professional chimney sweep come out to clean and inspect your wood stove when preparing your house for winter.
  • Close off rooms that are not in use. Try to confine areas in your home that don’t require heating.
  • Stay Safe! Keep our phone number handy in case of any emergency. Call SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville at (570) 546-3500

2020-2021 Winter Predictions for the SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville Territories!

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

Though some naysayers have long since stopped believing in the Farmer's Almanac seasonal predictions- we here at SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville like to be completely prepared to help you in the event of large storms, extreme cold spells or other winter disasters. See what the 2020-2021 winter predictions are for our area:

"If you love the cold of winter, you’re going to love our forecast if you live in the northern half of the country.

Remember last year’s almost snow-free winter in the Northeast? Well, this year our prediction is very different, with the possibility of a blizzard hitting the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states during the second week of February. This storm may bring up to 1-2 feet of snow to cities from Washington, D.C. to Boston, Massachusetts!"

See more here: Farmer's Almanac 2020-2021 Winter Predictions.

If you experience a damage due to the cold or snow that they are predicting this winter season, give SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville a call at 570-546-3500! We're open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and have a full staff of highly trained and customer-service-oriented technicians ready to tackle your disaster!

SERVPRO's Guide to Help Through Power Outages

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

Strong storms- which can shatter windows, bash power lines with fallen trees, and cause major flooding- put our homes at risk for losing electricity. A power outage can last minutes, hours, or sometimes days if enough damage has occurred. When we lose power things like keeping your home warm or cool, household chores, personal hygiene and outside communication become a concern. SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville wants to make sure you and your family stay safe during an outage! Here are some tips to help get you through in the event that you experience a power outage: 

Before Losing Power

   Having a fully-powered cellphone or corded land line can be crucial during an emergency, considering the inability to charge your phone or use a cordless phone. Keeping your cellphone use to a minimum will help to preserve the phone’s battery life. Writing down important numbers and addresses of local hospitals or storm shelters on paper is one way to limit cell phone use. For other electronic devices, such as flashlights and radios, keep back-up batteries. As power outages limit your ability to cook or preserve perishable food, be sure to stock cabinets with non-perishable foods such as granola bars or dried fruit. Lastly, if you have any medications that require refrigeration, have a back-up refrigeration plan in place beforehand. Consider a portable or whole-home generator.

During the Power Outage

Generators may be used to temporarily plug in electrical appliance. Though, it is important to remember that generators emit high concentration levels of carbon monoxide, so keeping your generator outside of your home or garage is crucial. If any electrical appliances are not being powered by a generator, make sure that they are unplugged in order to protect them from damage resulting from power surges. Refrain from opening freezer or refrigerator doors so they stay cold inside since they can lose their cool temperatures within hours and potentially spoil the food inside. Finally, it is possible to cook perishable food on a gas stove, but gas stoves should never be used to heat your home. 

Flooding in your Williamsport/Montoursville Area Property?

10/19/2020 (Permalink)

Most people think if they are not in a flood zone they are safe, but flood water damage can happen almost anywhere. Some places are in 100 year flood-zones, some experience flash flooding due to heavy rains or fast snow melt, and some experience hurricanes or other weather phenomenon. Regardless of where the flood stems from, it's essential to know how to handle it properly to ensure minimum damage. If a water damage is not taken care of properly it can result in mold and/or rot to your home.

If you notice your home being flooded, the first thing you want to do is prevent any more water from entering the home. Sump pumps and adequate drainage systems are paramount in preventing water damage to your home. Routinely check to ensure no debris or blockages are preventing your drainage system from guiding the water away from your house. In cases where weather may knock out power, keep a generator ready so that you can ensure your sump pump runs continuously to help prevent flooding.

If you experience a flood in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville right away. The faster our professionals can get to your home, the quicker the remediation process can begin and the less damage your home will endure.

Winter Storm Preparation for Business Owners

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

When owning a business, there are many factors to consider to keep your employees safe and happy. Winter weather can lead to dangerous work or travel conditions. An ice or snow storm can lead to property damage or employees unable to use the workplace. Here are three essentials tips for making these winter nuisances more manageable.

1. Know What You Are Up Against

Winter weather varies greatly depending on any seasonal weather phenomena or advancing air fronts. There are several types of winter storms. A blizzard is the most dangerous because of extremely limited visibility, frigid wind chill and dangerously strong winds. An ice storm may not sound as dangerous like a blizzard, but it can lead to a power outage, frozen pipe burst or employee harm.

Luckily, weather services offer a winter storm warning. You have at least twelve hours to prepare. There are also “winter storm watches” that should still be heeded even though it’s only a chance of a snow storm. The weather forecast is one of the most helpful prevention tools.

2. Keep the Building Secure From Weather Threats

An inspection by yourself or a professional during the early winter can catch potential hazards. Leaks and cracks in the structure could lead to collapse from heavy snow or harsh winds. Computers should be secured and backed up in case of sudden or extended power loss. If it’s safe to do so during winter, snow and ice should consistently be removed from roofs and sidewalks.

3. Plan Ahead and Know Whom to Call

A major snow storm is likely disruptive and needs an actionable plan. Employees should be informed of any potential to work from home instead of risking the roads. A local storm damage restoration company should be kept in a contact list of emergency services, so you can treat severe weather damage or stop any minor damage from deteriorating. Things can be kept both functional and safe by acting early. After all, preparation is much cheaper than reparation.

Know Your Winter Storms

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

A winter storm is an event in which varieties of precipitation are formed that only occur at low temperatures, such as snow or sleet, or a rainstorm where ground temperatures are low enough to allow ice to form (i.e. freezing rain). In temperate continental climates, these storms are not necessarily restricted to the winter season, but may occur in the late autumn and early spring as well. Very rarely, they may form in summer, though it would have to be an abnormally cold summer, such as the summer of 1816 in the Northeastern United States.

TYPES OF STORMS

  • Snowstorms are storms where large amounts of snow fall. This is the most common storm people think of when they think "winter storm"
  • Graupel is otherwise known as snow pellets. Ice crystals fall through a cloud of super-cooled droplets—minute cloud droplets that have fallen below freezing temperature but have not frozen. The ice crystal plows into the super-cooled droplets and they immediately freeze to it.
  • Ice Pellets are commonly referred to as sleet. Out ahead of the passage of a warm front, falling snow may partially melt and refreeze into a frozen rain drop before it reaches the ground. Because it is easily seen and does not accumulate ice, it is not as dangerous as freezing rain.
  • Rime is a milky white accumulation of super-cooled cloud or fog droplets that freeze when they strike an object that has a temperature of 32 °F (0 °C), the freezing point of water. The process is called riming when super-cooled cloud droplets attach to ice crystals in the formation of graupel. Rime ice can pose a hazard to an airliner when it forms on a wing as an aircraft flies through a cloud of super-cooled droplets.

See more Winter Storm Information here.

2019-2020 Farmer's Almanac Winter Predictions!

11/21/2019 (Permalink)

Map of the Appalachian region This region is considered the Appalachian Region (not pictured down past Virginia).

The Farmer's Almanac predictions are in for the winter of 2019-2020! SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville wants you to be prepared with this information- which is 80.5% accurate! Here is the prediction for the Appalachian Region of the United States according to Almanac:

How Cold?:

In the U.S., prepare to shiver with below-normal winter temperatures from the Heartland westward to the Pacific and in the Desert Southwest, Pacific Southwest, and Hawaii but above normal winter temperatures elsewhere. The cold will continue through Valentine’s Day—providing the perfect excuse to stay indoors and snuggle! But be warned: Winter will not be over yet!

For some parts of the country, frigid and frosty conditions will last well into spring, bringing little relief to the winter-weary. “This could feel like the never-ending winter, particularly in the Midwest and east to the Ohio Valley and Appalachians, where wintery weather will last well into March and even through the first days of spring,” says Almanac editor Janice Stillman.

As for snow predictions:

The middle of the country and New England can bank on a slush fund, as “more wet than white” conditions will leave sludgy messes that freeze during the overnights. Meanwhile, much of the Deep South will be saturated by soakers. As winter rages, the tip of the nice-berg will be Florida, the Gulf Coast, and Texas, which will bask in pleasant weather.

SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville is here for all of your storm and freezing weather damages. Call us at (570) 546-3500!

Hurricane Safety Tips

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricane Damage Image from ABC News - Go.com of Hurricane Dorain destruction

With hurricane season in full swing and Hurricane Dorain threatening the east coast of the United States this week, SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville wants your to be prepared with these safety tips from the American Red Cross:

How to Prepare Before a Hurricane

Protecting Your Family

  • Talk with your family about what to do if a hurricane strikes. Discussing hurricanes ahead of time helps reduce fear, particularly for younger children
  • Make sure you have access to NOAA radio broadcasts:
  • Search for a NOAA radio app in the Apple Store >> or Google Play>>
  • Purchase a battery-powered or hand-crank NOAA radio in the Red Cross Store
  • Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe-deposit box. You may need quick, easy access to these documents. Keep them in a safe place less likely to be damaged if a hurricane causes flooding. Take pictures on a phone and keep copies of important documents and files on a flashdrive that you can carry with you on your house or car keys.

Protecting Your Pets & Animals

Protecting Your Home

  • Protect windows with permanent storm shutters or invest in one-half inch marine plywood that is pre-cut to fit your doors and windows.
  • Identify a place to store lawn furniture, toys, gardening tools and trash cans (away from stairs and exits) to prevent them from being moved by high winds and possibly hurting someone.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts to prevent flooding and unnecessary pressure on the awnings.
  • Remember that standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding but flood insurance does. Get information at www.FloodSmart.gov.

To find more information, please visit: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/hurricane.html