Recent Storm Damage Posts

Wireless Emergency Alrets

4/1/2022 (Permalink)

Wireless Emergency Alerts – Stay Informed of any Potential Weather Threats

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are free notifications delivered to your mobile device as part of a public safety system provided by authorized government-alerting authorities. The alerts are designed to inform you of imminent threats to safety or missing persons alerts in your area (e.g.  AMBER Alerts). 

Government partners include local and state public safety agents, FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service. A WEA can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm’s way, without downloading an app or subscribing to a service.  WEAs may be used to share extreme weather warnings, local emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action, AMBER Alerts, and Presidential Alerts during a national emergency.

This is America’s wireless industry helping to build a Weather-Ready Nation through a nationwide text emergency alert system, called Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), which will warn you when weather threatens.

The great piece of this is that there is no signup required, and Alerts are sent automatically to WEA-capable phones during an emergency. With WEA, alerts may be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm’s way.

A WEA will look like a text message. The WEA message will typically show the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert.  The message will be no more than 90 characters.  WEA message will include a special tone and vibration, with both repeated twice.

The National Weather Service will send the following types of messages:

    • Tornado and Flash Flood Warnings
    • Hurricane, Typhoon, Dust Storm and Extreme Wind Warnings

Keep Your Family Safe

3/2/2022 (Permalink)

Keep Your Family Safe - Make a Plan

Disasters happen and they can strike at any time and without warning, be as prepared as you possibly can, make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area.  Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

Step 1: Put together a plan by discussing these four questions with your family, friends, or other members of your household to start your emergency plan.

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  2. What is my shelter plan?
  3. What is my evacuation route?
  4. What is my family/household communication plan?

Step 2:  Consider specific needs in your household.

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance.  Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:

  • Different ages of members within your household
  • Responsibilities for assisting others
  • Locations frequented
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
  • Languages spoken
  • Cultural and religious considerations
  • Pets or service animals
  • Households with school-aged children

Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan

Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use them as a guide to create your own.

Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household

Tips for dealing with flood damage

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

Flood damage doesn’t just make your home uncomfortable; it can also cause additional problems if not handled properly. If you suffer from flood damage, or any kind of water damage, it’s important that you contact the professionals at SERVPRO to clean up as more dangers can be caused if it’s not done correctly. These are some of the steps that must be taken to avoid these problems following water damage.

Only Use Emergency Generators Outside

Emergency generators release exhaust and fumes that can make the house uncomfortable. To avoid exposing yourself and your family to these gases, these generators should only be run outside and far away from the home where they won’t cause any problems for the occupants of the home. Also, keep the generator away from any openings such as windows and doors as this gives the fumes another opportunity to enter the house and cause trouble for those inside.

Remove Water-Soaked Porous Materials

Any porous materials such as wallboard, insulation, carpeting, wood paneling, or wallpaper have the potential to develop mildew or mold when they get wet. Mold and mildew can be difficult to get rid of and can force the homeowner to order an expensive restoration. To avoid the potential of these issues water damaged porous materials must be removed quickly after being damaged before the mold or mildew has the ability to develop.

Disinfect and Test Flooded Drinking Water Wells

If you have a drinking water well that has been flooded, it many have been contaminated with waterborne pathogens and should be disinfected and tested. First you should disinfect the well water with bleach. Then, several days later, test the water to ensure that it’s safe to drink. If it has been contaminated, the water shouldn’t be used for drinking or cooking. There is a four-step process that will guide you to getting your well back into service.

Refrain from Using Plumbing

After a flood occurs in a home, the septic system needs some time to properly dry out. During that time, you should refrain from using the home’s plumbing such as toilets, sinks, showers, or doing laundry. This will help to prevent any sewage backups inside or outside the home which could result in the existence of bacteria, viruses, and other germs.

Flooded Heating and Air Conditioning

Heating and air conditioning systems that have been exposed to flood water could be damaged causing either repair or replacement. Natural gas furnaces, space heaters, and boilers contain gas valves and controls that could corrode if they’re exposed to flood water. Propane systems should be dealt with the same as natural gas-fired equipment except that propane systems have a gas pressure regulator which is used to sense outside pressure. This regulator is a small vent that’s in the body of the machine and should remain unobstructed at all times. Debris from flood water could cause a dangerous malfunction or corrosion. If you’re using electric heat, it should be unplugged and allowed to dry while a heat pump should be cleaned, dried, and disinfected before being used again. If your heating system needs to be repaired or replaced following a flood, make sure to check for asbestos that may be a result of the damage. 

A home that has suffered flood damage can be very uncomfortable to live in until it has been properly restored. While property has likely been damaged and possibly ruined, there is also the possibility of bacteria and viruses that could cause serious health effects for those in the building. If you’ve suffered flood damage in your home, you should immediately call on the professionals at SERVPRO of Gainesville, GA to remediate the problem.

How to prepare for a winter storm

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

Take the time to prepare a winter survival kit for your home

The winter kits should include several days of non-perishable items, such as bread, crackers, cereal, canned foods, and dried fruits. An emergency supplies list should include an alternate way to stay warm during a power failure, such as kerosene for a kerosene heater or extra blankets, sleeping bags, and warm winter coats.

Ensure that you have matches, a first aid kit with instruction manual, candles, flashlight or battery-powered lantern, battery-powered radio, battery-powered clock or watch, extra batteries, non-electric can opener, snow shovel, rock salt, any special needs items (diapers, hearing aid batteries, medications, and so forth)

Prepare your home for the coming storm

If you plan to use a fireplace or wood stove for emergency heating, ensure that your chimney or flue has been inspected. Ensure that there is a working smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near the area to be heated.

Make sure to have a communication checklist

Listen to emergency broadcasts and weather forecasts. Get your phone batteries charged, and all devices that you may use.

Make a family communication plan. Your family may not be together during a winter event, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together, and what you will do during an emergency.

Look over your car and emergency checklist

Get gas in your car ahead of the storm. Check your antifreeze, oil, and wiper fluid.

Freezing Rain

11/30/2021 (Permalink)

If you haven’t had freezing temperatures you can expect to soon, so we thought we would give you some tips about freezing rain. According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory freezing rain occurs when snowflakes descend into a warmer layer of air and melt completely & because they are “supercooled,” they instantly refreeze upon contact with anything that that is at or below 0 degrees C, creating a glaze of ice on the ground, trees, power lines, or other objects. A significant accumulation of freezing rain lasting several hours or more is called an ice storm.

  1. Stay off the road.
  2. Be prepared for power outages.
  3. Treat your driveways and roads before the freezing rain comes
  4. Be aware of black ice: Since black ice is highly transparent, it is unlikely you'll be able to see it while driving down the road. Roadways become very slippery when black ice forms, leading to hazardous driving conditions and an increased risk of car accidents.

We hope you have safe holidays during this winter season but if your home or business experiences storm damage we’re here to help. We are a part of a national SERVPRO storm team whose members respond to disasters nationwide. From hurricanes to wildfires, SERVPRO storm teams are always prepared to respond to major catastrophic events. SERVPRO's large-loss response is uniquely qualified to handle any disaster. We are prequalified, experienced, and strategically located across The United States to respond to any loss. When an event comes to devastate a community, in Gainesville or Hall County, we are proud to operate in your neighborhood.

Water damage timeline

10/21/2021 (Permalink)

Did You Know There is a Water Damage Timeline?

Intrusion of water into your home from a storm can result in mold growth. When water damages are not addressed right away, the result is an increased risk of mold growth. Mold may appear within 24 to 48 hours after a water damage intrusion event if the conditions are conducive to mold growth.

SERVPRO of Gainesville, handles water damages every day, and we know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth. By utilizing the proper equipment and moisture measuring devices, your home or business building will be quickly and thoroughly dried to industry standards, which help prevent the secondary damage like mold growth. 

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes:

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may begin to bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1-24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears. Mold spores grow if conditions are conducive to microbial growth.

Before risking further damage to you home, and belongings do not try to clean a water damage incident on your own, instead call SERVPRO of Gainesville at 770-536-1010 to handle the water damage cleanup and restoration. They will make it "Like it never even happened."

Are you ready?

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

Are you prepared for flood damage? What do you do in the event of a storm? What about tornadoes, are you and your employees ready? What happens in the event that your commercial structure has a fire?  How prepared is your company for emergencies?

Prepared for whatever is thrown your way? Are you Prepared, at all? SERVPRO® of Gainesville  can make sure your company is prepared at all times with  an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP).. 

What is an Emergency Ready Profile? A tool that property managers and owners -- both residential and commercial can use to be prepared for whatever happens .By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your home or business, your company minimize  interruptions by having an immediate plan of action. Helping you and your employees know what to do and what to expect in advance.  Knowledge and timing are the key to mitigation and restoration.

Help ensure your business is prepared for National Preparedness Month, every other month before and after. In addition, an ERP can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your residential or commercial properties. With and ERP in place, you can be prepared year-round.


How prepared is your commercial structure? Do not wait for disasters to happen, hoping that you are ready.   The marketing team at SERVPRO® of Gainesville will help to ensure your business is well-prepared. Call 770-536-1010.

What does restoration after storm damage look like?

10/1/2021 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Restoration

If your Gainesville, GA, home has been damaged during a severe storm, you are probably wondering what your home will look like after the restoration process is complete. Obviously, the extent of necessary repairs will depend on your specific situation. A professional will likely help you to remove water, tear out wet materials, and dry any affected areas. This may result in relatively localized changes to your home or systemic ones, so you should understand what you are in for.

  1. Extracting Excess Water
    Removing water from low areas of your home can be deceptively difficult. As little as one or two inches of floodwater can result in many trips to empty wet vacuum canisters. Removing water is the most critical step in storm restoration, as doing so quickly can mean the difference between little long-term damage to your home and extensive secondary damage.
  2. Tearing Out Wet Materials
    Materials that have been dampened by floodwater are at extreme risk for developing mold. Since mold can appear in as little as 24 to 48 hours, it is essential that you tear out any wet materials as soon as possible. Wet items in your home that are not structural should be removed, dried, and assessed carefully so that you can determine whether each is salvageable.
  3. Drying and Restoration
    Drying and dehumidifying your things is usually the final step in ensuring that your home will continue to be free from mold and water damage. At this stage, many homeowners simply want to be done with the restoration process. It is very important, however, that moisture is removed completely so that your home does not suffer further damage in the coming weeks and months.
    Restoring your home on your own can be difficult. A storm remediation professional can extract water, tear out materials, and dry your home according to best practices that will result in the least possible damage to your property.

How to clean your valuables after a storm

9/29/2021 (Permalink)

Strategies You Can Try To Salvage Your Belongings

When you return to your home after a flood in Gainesville, GA, whether caused by nature or a broken pipe, the cleanup task can feel overwhelming. When there is water in the home, the amount of water and how long it was there will factor into your decisions about what you can salvage and what you'll need to discard. Fortunately, there are strategies that you can try to salvage your belongings, especially your valuable photos and documents.

Photos and Documents
The level of water damage will determine how you can dry your important photos and documents. The first attempt can always be to air dry them if the damage seems minimal. For more severely damaged documents, you can freeze your photos and documents in sealed plastic in a freezer free from frost until you can get a professional to help you with them.

Furniture
Depending on what the furniture is made of you may be able to salvage it. You can often save metal, plastic, and real wood even if there was a lot of water in the home. A method called dry cleaning is often a first step taken by water damage restoration specialists to remove light reside from surfaces and determine additional cleaning needs.

Food
Any food that was in your refrigerator or that was submerged in water needs to be thrown away. Canned goods that are commercially sealed may be salvaged if the label is removed, the can is sanitized, and it is relabeled.

Clothes
Clothing can be salvaged, but it will be an involved process. All clothing that has been in water needs to be pretreated before putting it in the washing machine. Once in the machine, use a heavy-duty detergent for a small load of laundry with a lot of water. Check for dirt and stains and wash again.


It is possible to save some of your belongings after damage from water in the home, but it's important to do so carefully and with the help of a professional to ensure that your belongings are safe and clean.

Be prepared when a storm hits your property

9/24/2021 (Permalink)

Severe Weather can happen at any time, anywhere. Being prepared to act quickly is very important when it comes to staying safe during a weather event. Below are tips to help you be prepared for a storm.

Know Your Risk

  • The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business an your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take Action

  • Take the Next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

Be an Example

  • Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same 

Flood preparedness

6/17/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding is one of the most common widespread weather-related disasters in the United States. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river, or even in the desert, there is always the potential for flood damage. With this being such a prevalent occurrence across the country, it is good to know the following safety tips:

Stay Away from floodwaters

If you approach 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.

Driving on a Flooded Road

Turn around and go another way.  If you are caught on a flooded road and water is rising 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.

Always be prepared and ready. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. SERVPRO of Jonesboro is prepared to handle any size disaster. The sooner work begins; the sooner your home or business can return “Like it never even happened.” Call SERVPRO of Gainesville, GA at (770) 536-1010.

Storm Recovery

5/27/2021 (Permalink)

Steps To Take To Begin the Recovery Process

Natural disasters like hurricanes and tsunamis take a severe mental, physical, emotional, and economic toll on those with the misfortune of being in their pathway. The cost is often devastating, if not fatal, and recovery can be a lengthy and difficult process. Even those who escape personal injury often find themselves dealing with the fallout of damaged or destroyed property. If your home or other property in Gainesville, GA, has suffered damage from a natural disaster, there are certain steps you need to take to begin the recovery process, such as filing an insurance claim and dealing with a home adjuster.

  1. Contact Your Insurance Company
    One of your first actions in the wake of a disaster that causes property damage should be to contact your insurance company. Trying to get insurance claims approved can take a great deal of time, so it is important to file as soon as possible to get the process started.
  2. Prepare for a Visit From an Adjuster
    After getting in contact with an insurance agent, you should begin preparing for a visit with a home adjuster, who will determine the amount of damage done. Preparation includes activities like the following:
  • Locating and listing any damage
  • Documenting broken or lost items
  • Making copies of receipts for the adjuster
  • Contacting licensed contractors to obtain written cost estimations

The adjuster's report is a deciding factor in the settlement amount you receive, so it is important to be ready for the adjuster. Having your own cost estimates and damage lists ready to hand over also makes it more likely that the adjuster will not miss any important damage.

  1. Contact a Professional Restoration Service
    Another important post-disaster step you should take is to find a professional restoration company to help restore your damaged property. Professionals can help clean and refurbish your belongings, bringing them back to their original state, or as close to their pre-disaster state as possible.
    Recovering from a natural disaster is a difficult, often painful experience. It is important to take the right steps, like preparing for a home adjuster visit, from the beginning to ease the process.

Protect Your Basement From Storm Damage

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

Many homes in Hall County have basements, and they are highly susceptible to storm-induced flooding. If your home has a basement or was built partially below ground level, then you need to take extra precautions to keep your property dry and safe.

Why Do Basements Flood During a Storm?

During a storm, gravity pulls the rain to the lowest possible point. On properties that aren’t properly graded or have insufficient drainage, this can cause water to pool near or against your home. This is problematic because, by nature, basements are generally built partly or entirely below ground level. Given enough time, this excess water can seep into your basement, especially if there are cracks in the wall or foundation.

How You Can Prevent Your Basement from Flooding

While your basement is at a higher risk of flooding than any other part of your home, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do. If you want to protect your basement, there are effectively 3 things you can do:

  1. Clean your gutters. Your home’s gutters are your first line of defense against flooding. As rain slides down your roof, it will get caught in the system and be directed away from your home, which will prevent it from pooling in one place.
  1. Have your yard properly graded. If your yard is flat or slopes towards your house, then you have a grading problem. The immediate area around your home should slope away so that gravity will pull water in that direction. If this is your problem, call a professional landscaper to grade your yard the right way.
  1. Fix weaknesses in your foundation. Water will find its way into any crack or crevice, so if your foundation has such a problem, it should be fixed immediately. Otherwise, you’re just inviting rain to enter!

What to Do if Your Basement Floods

Suppose you take the above measures and rain still manages to flood your basement. If so, there’s no need to panic: there are still some actions you can take. At this point, you’ll want to focus on mitigation, so here’s what you should do:

  1. Remove furniture and belongings to higher ground. Water can ruin possessions and encourage mold growth. If possible, your best response is to move as much of your furniture and other belongings upstairs as you can. This will at least keep these items safe.
  1. Redirect water away from the home. Your next step should be to remove as much of the incoming water as possible. The less water in your home, the less damage you’ll ultimately have.
  1. Call your local water damage restoration company. In most cases, you’re going to need professional help to extract water and dry affected materials. This is something you’ll want to do after the rain has stopped because companies like ourselves can’t truly help until the water stops coming in.

While you’re waiting for help to arrive, you should remain calm and focus on saving your belongings. If you live in the Gainesville, GA community, SERVPRO of Gainesville is available 24/7 to help you clean up flood damage and reclaim your basement.

Emergency Kit

2/26/2021 (Permalink)

When you think about severe storms and how to be prepared for them, one of the most important tools to survive is to have a good Emergency Kit in your home. There are different options that you can buy online, but you can also build your own and accommodate it to your family-specific needs. Even though you can add unique items to yours, there are some things that are basic to any emergency kit and that we recommend that you should have when making your own, those are:

  • First-Aid Kit
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Water
  • Non-perishable food 
  • Any medicine currently being taken
  • Matches and candles in a waterproof container.
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Extra change of clothes and shoes
  • Pet supplies (if you are taking care of an animal)
  • Sleeping bag or a blanket
  • Cellphone fully charged

These are just a few examples of what an emergency kit should contain. Residents can add whatever else they may need. There should be an emergency kit in every residential building as well as all commercial buildings if possible. Aside from having an emergency kit ready, a plan should also be in place. If there is a designated storm area inside the home or office, occupants should head there with the emergency kits. Severe storms cannot be avoided, but with the right tools and resources, they can be easier to deal with.

SERVPRO of Gainesville wants to make sure Gainesville, Hall County and the surrounding areas are prepared!

Storm Preparedness for Property Managers

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

Part of your plan needs to incorporate an emergency contact list

Storm Preparedness

As a property manager, you have a lot of responsibilities to tend to in the event of an approaching storm. While keeping your property and other personal possessions is important, your first priority is keeping your residents and employees safe. Storm preparedness is key to keeping your Gainesville, GA, property and residents safe during severe weather.

Plan Ahead of Time
You need to create an emergency weather plan before disaster strikes. Part of your plan needs to incorporate an emergency contact list that contains that following essential information:

  • Full names for all property residents
  • Number of residents in each apartment, including small children, special needs residents and the elderly
  • Contact information for each resident, including home, work and cell phone numbers
  • Number of pets residing in each apartment

Work with the remainder of your property management team to distribute the emergency storm preparedness plan to all of your residents. Practice this protocol regularly with your employees to help reduce unnecessary panic once disaster does strike. Make sure everyone knows where the designated weather shelters are located, if necessary. Resident safety is your top priority, so make sure to do plenty of head counts to ensure everyone is present and accounted for.

Rebuild After the Storm
After the storm passes, you need to fully inspect your property for signs of storm damage. Record full reports of any damage you find, including photographs, when necessary. Pass this report on to the property owner so they can properly file a storm insurance claim. Lastly, communicate any updates regarding storm damage to your residents. They need to be aware of any potential safety hazards caused by strong rains and winds.

Proper storm preparedness can make a huge difference when it comes to protecting both your physical property and your residents. Make sure to contact storm remediation experts for assistance following a tropical storm or hurricane.

What to do after a Storm?

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

Storm damage can occur at any time and can cause an immense amount of harm to your home. Heavy rains can cause flooding and powerful winds can cause roof damage and downed trees on your property. Some post-storm damage can create safety and health hazards as well, so having a strategy to deal with damage will help you to be ready to take steps immediately after the storm.

Take Safety Precautions

Heavy winds and rain can create physical hazards such as collapsed roofing materials, window damage, collapsed walls or standing water in the basement or home interior. In addition, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials making the perfect environment for mold growth that can cause health effects. Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact SERVPRO of Gainesville at 770-536-1010 to help do basic tasks to secure your property and make it safe to use. If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family to live while your property is being restored to safe living condition.

Photograph the Damage

If it is safe to move around your property, use your cellphone or a camera to photograph the damage so that you will have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure that you are fully compensated.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance agent to notify them about the damage to your home immediately. The company will send out an adjuster to determine the extent of the damage so that payment for repairs can be made.

Trust us after a storm

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

Storm Damage can happen at any time, anywhere. When you are dealing with storm and water damage, immediate action is crucial. You should choose the company with storm damage experience and expertise that has the resources and equipment to handle the job. SERVPRO of Gainesville can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions.

Why choose us?

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • Highly Trained Water Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Water Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated

SERVPRO of Gainesville is locally owned and operated, so we’re already close by and ready to respond immediately when you need us. We make disaster "Like it never even happened." Give us a call today at (770) 536-1010.

Protecting Your Property from Storm Water

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

Storm water runoff is rain that has not been soaked into the ground, so it flows over the ground until it finds somewhere to go. Ideally, the water would find a stream or river to flow into, but this is not always the case. Sometimes the water will flow straight into your house. Water damage is never fun and trying to get rid of water as well as clean up the rest of the mess a storm has left behind can be a real hassle. The best way to handle storm water runoff is to make sure it doesn’t happen to begin with. If you are up for a bit of landscaping, you can optimize your yard to keep storm water away from your building.

  • Swales: Simply put, a swale is just a type of trench meant to carry water and redirect it away from something important. If you decide to install swales in your yard, make sure they are redirecting somewhere that the water will not cause damage such as a stream or pond.
  • Rain Gardens: These gardens are designed with plants that are able to take up excess water to keep it from flowing freely. They also help filter the water so that the water that does reach ponds and rivers tends to be cleaner than water that has just flowed over driveways and roads.
  • Draining Driveways: Driveways are one of the largest contributors to storm water runoff. Installing drainage areas on the sides of the pavement or using gravel can help minimize the amount of water that becomes runoff.

Sometimes there is so much runoff that no matter what you do, your house may suffer from some water damage. If that is the case, call SERVPRO of Gainesville 770-536-1010.

Stages and Categories of Hurricanes

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

As a storm builds from a thunderstorm to a hurricane, it passes through 4 distinct stages:

  1. Tropical Disturbance: a mass of thunderstorms that have wind speeds of less than 23 mph.
  2. Tropical Depression: consistent wind speeds of 23-39 mph and a circulation of wind in the center of the thunderstorm mass is detected.
  3. Tropical Storm: forms when the maximum sustained winds have intensified to 39-73 mph. Storms are typically given a name at this stage and are characterized by problems caused from very heavy rainfall.
  4. Hurricane: finally forms when surface pressures continue to drop, and winds reach 74 mph. There is now a clear and definite rotation around a calm center, or eye.

Hurricanes have their own categories which are defined by the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale:

Category 1: Winds 74 to 95 mph (Minor damage)

Category 2: Winds 96 to 110 mph (Extensive damage — Can uproot trees and break windows)

Category 3: Winds 111 to 129 mph (Devastating — Can break windows and doors)

Category 4: Winds 130 to 156 mph (Catastrophic damage — Can tear off roofs)

Category 5: Winds 157 mph or higher (Can level houses and destroy buildings)

Tornado 101

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

What is a Tornado?

Tornadoes are the most violent of all atmospheric storms. A tornado is a narrow, violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground.

Where to Tornadoes occur?

Tornadoes can occur anywhere, at any time if the right atmospheric conditions are present. So, anytime you are near a thunderstorm, you need to be prepared and ready for a possible tornado.

How many tornadoes occur in the U.S. each year?

According to Wikipedia, there have been 1,267 preliminary filtered reports of tornadoes in the United States in 2019, of which at least 918 have been confirmed. 

What is the difference between a Tornado WATCH and a Tornado WARNING?

A Tornado WATCH means conditions are favorable for tornado activity.

A Tornado WARNING means a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar and there is a serious threat to life and property to those in the path of the tornado. Act now to find safe shelter immediately.

Cleanup after a Tornado?

Call the experts in Storm and Tornado cleanup: SERVPRO of Gainesville is ready and able to help you and your home and/or business board-up and cleanup after a Tornado.

24/7/365:  770-536-1010

Storm Season: Protecting Your Garage

8/5/2020 (Permalink)

We are currently in the peak of storm season when tropical storms and hurricanes are popping up regularly.  But what if you don't live near the coast?  Is there still a threat during storm season?  The answer is YES!  In the south, with high temperatures and humidity, storms can be extremely dangerous.  When planning to protect your home one of the most vulnerable areas is your garage.  Your garage is susceptible to high winds and flooding.  Here are a few tips to storm-proof your garage:

  • When purchasing a garage door look for one with a high wind-resistance rating.  If a storm with very strong winds or a tornado comes through and your garage door is breached the winds can batter your home.  This can lead to water coming in and causing costly damage.  For areas prone to tornado's it is recommended that you invest in a garage door that can withstand 130 mph or higher winds.
  • When installing your garage door consider installing a bracing system.  This will reinforce the integrity of the door by anchoring the door to the walls and floors and into each hinge.
  • Make sure to do proper maintenance to your garage door.  Repair any breaches or holes that would allow wind to get through the garage door.  Also make sure to check the weather stripping and mechanisms for proper functionality.
  • Do you have windows in your garage?  Make sure they are secure and their weather stripping is in proper condition.  Having wrought-iron window protection also greatly helps in protecting the glass from flying debris.
  • Install flood vents and proper drainage.  You can have a trench drain installed to divert water, and flood vents inside the garage can drain water getting through before levels rise and cause damage.

At SERVPRO of Gainesville we believe in being prepared for any emergency.  We can handle any of your storm or water damage emergencies.  Call us at 770-536-1010 24/7 for your emergency needs.

Preparing for a Storm

7/24/2020 (Permalink)

Preparing for a Storm

Strong gusts of wind? Dark, fast moving clouds? Downpour of rain? These are a few warning signs that a storm is headed in your direction. Here are a few helpful tips on what you can do to prepare for a storm:

  • check the forecast- know what to expect
  • watch for signs of approaching storm- clouds, wind, rain, etc. 
  • check on neighbors who require special assistance - ensure they are in a safe zone and ensure they are prepared 
  • have flashlights and batteries on hand
  • have a battery-operated radio
  • have a first aid kit
  • get manual can opener and canned foods
  • stay away from windows and doors

There is no way to be 100% prepared for a storm but you can increase your chances for survival if you take a few preventative measures. 

If you do suffer storm damage, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Gainesville at 770-536-1010!

Earthquakes

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

What is an earthquake?  An earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the breaking and shifting of underground rock. Earthquakes can cause buildings to collapse and cause heavy items to fall, resulting in injuries and property damage. Earthquakes can:

  • Happen anywhere – though higher risk areas include California, Alaska, and the Mississippi Valley;
  • Happen without warning;
  • Cause fires and damage roads; and
  • Cause tsunamis, landslides, and avalanches.

If an earthquake happens, protect yourself right away. Drop, Cover, then Hold On!

  • If in a vehicle, pull over and stop.
  • If in bed, stay there.
  • If outdoors, stay outdoors.
  • Do not get in a doorway.
  • Do not run outside.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN AN EARTHQUAKE THREATENS

Prepare NOW

  • Secure items, such as televisions, and objects that hang on walls. Store heavy and breakable objects on low shelves.
  • Practice Drop, Cover, then Hold On with family and coworkers. Drop to your hands and knees. Cover your head and neck with your arms. Crawl only as far as needed to reach cover from falling materials. Hold on to any sturdy furniture until the shaking stops.
  • Create a family emergency communications plan that has an out-of-state contact. Plan where to meet if you get separated.
  • Make a supply kit that includes enough food and water for at least three days, a flashlight, a fire extinguisher, and a whistle. Consider each person’s specific needs, including medication. Do not forget the needs of pets. Have extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment.
  • Consider obtaining an earthquake insurance policy. Standard homeowner’s insurance does not cover earthquake damage.
  • Consider a retrofit of your building to correct structural issues that make it vulnerable to collapse during an earthquake.

How Long Was My Power Out?

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Cup, coin, ice Using a coin in a cup of frozen water is a simple way to tell if the food in your freezer may have spoiled.

How Long Was Your Power Off While You Were Away?

You might think a power outage occurring while you were away wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but if you leave food in your refrigerator or freezer that you plan to eat when you return, you’ll want to know whether your power went out, and if it did, whether your food warmed up enough and for long enough to spoil.

There is a simple solution to tell if you may need to consider disposing of food in your refrigerator and freezer. You can simply leave a coin on a cup of ice in your freezer before you leave.

Just fill up a cup of water, put it in the freezer until it’s solid, then add a coin on top and stick it back in the freezer

If the coin is at the bottom of the cup when you return, then there was a power outage that went on for long enough for the water to melt, causing the coin to fall through. When the power comes back on, the coin will be stuck in the frozen water at the bottom. If the coin is still at the top when you get home, the power stayed on or went out just temporarily.

Because water takes a very long time to melt in an insulated freezer, a quarter at the bottom of the cup will tell you that your food is almost definitely spoiled, since the power would have had to be off for quite some time.

Summer showers

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Summer Showers Bring May Flowers – And Sometimes They Don’t Drain

In the event of water damaged caused by flooding our team is well equipped and well trained to make it "Like it never even happened." Here are a few tips to help get the situation under control until we get there:

  1. Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  2. Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to help even out the drying process.
  3. Try and wipe up the excess water from any wood furniture after removing all tabletop items
  4. Do not leaves books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on any flooring to avoid possible staining. 

Call SERVPRO of Gainesville in the event of water damage. (770) 736-1010

Floodplains

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

Floodplains What Are They and How to Protect Your Property

A floodplain is an area of land adjacent to a stream or river which stretches from the banks of its channel to the base of the enclosing valley walls, and which experiences flooding during periods of high discharge.  The soils usually consist of levees, silts and sands deposited during floods.  

Historically, many towns have been built on floodplains where they are highly susceptible to flooding for a number of reasons

  • access to fresh water
  • the fertility of floodplain land for farming
  • cheap transportation, via rivers and railroads which often followed rivers
  • ease of development of flat land

The extent of floodplain inundation depends in part on the flood magnitude.  What should you do to reduce the potential amount of damage to your home if you live in a floodplain?

  • Elevate and reinforce your home to make damage less likely during a flood.
  • Check with a professional to:
    • Raise your furnace, water heater, and electric panel to floors that are less likely to be flooded. An undamaged water heater may be your best source of fresh water after a flood.
    • Install check valves in plumbing to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home. (As a last resort, when floods threaten, use large corks or stoppers to plug showers, tubs, or basins.)
    • Construct barriers such as levees, berms, and flood walls to stop floodwater from entering the building (if permitted by local building codes).
    • Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage through cracks.
  • Use sandbags when flooding is expected:
    • It takes two people about one hour to fill and place 100 sandbags, creating a wall one foot high and 20 feet long.
    • Make sure you have enough sand, burlap or plastic bags, shovels, strong helpers, and time to place them properly.
    • If a flood is expected, some communities will offer free sandbags to residents. Be sure to watch or listen to the news so you can access these resources.

Remember: standard homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover flooding but flood insurance does. Get information at www.FloodSmart.gov.

Generator Safety

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

Generator, plugged in, outside, garage, driveway When you have a power outage, be sure to review the safety guidelines before using a generator.

When the Power is Out, the Generator Should Stay Out as Well

When the lights start to flicker one's first instinct is to grab the flashlights to be ready if the power goes out.

There is a large number of homeowners and businesses that own generators that can keep the vital systems in a home or building running.

The generators, which run on gas, exhaust fumes very similar to your automobile.  Making sure these fumes don't come back into your home is extremely important.

Generators should be placed Outside in order to exhaust the fumes out into the open.  Even putting the generator in the garage is not safe practice, the generator should be outside of the home and venting away from any fresh air inlet.

When the power goes off and your property sustains property damage, call SERVPRO of Gainesville to do your repairs and mitigate the damage.

Why SERVPRO? 

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Gainesville, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1700 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 770-536-1010

Severe Weather - Be Prepared

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

Tornado, open field, storm Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere, are you and your family prepared?

Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of:

  • 10,000 severe thunderstorms
  • 5,000 floods or flash floods
  • 1,000 tornadoes
  • 2 land falling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98 percent of all declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage*. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking a few actions and being an example to others are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.

Know your risk.  The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take Action.  Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communication plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

Be an Example.  Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.

Build an Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Clothing
  • Dust masks or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information
  • Cash
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container

NOTE:  Statistics gathered from www.stormready.noaa.gov

Quick Response When Storm Damages Occur

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

House, tree on house, storm damage If you have storm damage at your house call SERVPRO of Gainesville.

When heavy rains and high winds hit hard, property destruction and loss can be devastating to you as a homeowner. Structural damage to the exterior of your home is followed by interior devastation from water and winds. Storm damage is rarely isolated to just a few buildings in an area adding the challenge of finding a restoration company that can respond swiftly to your needs to an already anxiety provoking situation. SERVPRO delivers the help you need swiftly even when a local disaster is widespread as we are able to call upon a network of over 1,700 franchises nationwide to respond if the need is great.
 
Storm damage in Gainesville can feel overwhelming, but your fear and panic will disappear when our team of professionals responds to your water, wind and flooding repair and restoration needs. Your particular situation is of paramount importance to us, and you need not worry that your repairs and restoration will take a back seat even when many in your area are struggling to recover from the same issues you face. Choosing our company puts in motion a vast support system, but our local ownership means you will receive a personalized approach to your particular situation, efficiently returning your home back to its pre-storm condition just “like it never even happened.”
 
Placing your trust in SERVPRO for your storm damage needs will reap you benefits that less qualified companies simply cannot deliver. We use state of the art equipment to clean, repair and restore your home and in the process, we also restore your and your family’s peace of mind. Our technicians are highly trained and qualified, current in Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IIICRC) for any procedure needed to bring your home back to the comfortable and comforting refuge you deserve. We also work closely with your insurance company, ensuring that all the work necessary is approved and compensated according to the terms of your policy. Our high standards and relentless drive to do the job on time while meeting local specifications means you and your family will quickly return to the quiet enjoyment of your house and neighborhood. We are not satisfied until you are happily back in your restored dwelling.
 
Once you make sure that your family is safe after a major storm, your first call should be to SERVPRO of Gainesville at (770) 536-1010 24/7 and begin the road to recovery by scheduling an inspection with our storm damage experts.

Keep your family safe - make a plan

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

typed paper, emergency plan, pen Make sure you and your family are prepared in the event of an emergency

Disasters happen and they can strike at any time and without warning, be as prepared as you possibly can, make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area.  Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

Step 1: Put together a plan by discussing these four questions with your family, friends, or other members of your household to start your emergency plan.

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  2. What is my shelter plan?
  3. What is my evacuation route?
  4. What is my family/household communication plan?

Step 2:  Consider specific needs in your household.

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance.  Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:

  • Different ages of members within your household
  • Responsibilities for assisting others
  • Locations frequented
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
  • Languages spoken
  • Cultural and religious considerations
  • Pets or service animals
  • Households with school-aged children

Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan

Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use them as a guide to create your own.

Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household

We're here to help when storms strike

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

tree on house, roof damage, gutter damage When severe weather strikes call SERVPRO of Gainesville - we're faster to any sized disaster.

We’re here to help with Emergency Storm Cleanup in Gainesville and Hall County

Storm Damage Cleanup and Restoration

  • 24 Hours Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • Highly Trained Water Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Water Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated

SERVPRO of Gainesville has experience restoring homes affected by storms and flooding. We can respond immediately with highly trained technicians who employ specialized equipment and techniques to restore your Hall County home or business back to pre-storm condition.

Why Choose SERVPRO of Gainesville?

We're Faster to Any Size Disaster

When a storm hits your Hall County home or business, you need help immediately. Our quick response will help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs.

We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists

We specialize in flooding and storm damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. We have extensive water damage and storm restoration training that allows us to get your home back to normal quickly.

  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technicians

We Have the Resources to Handle any size Storm or and Disaster

Major storms and flooding events can overwhelm many restoration companies. On the other hand, SERVPRO of Gainesville can access resources from 1,700 Franchises across the state and country and even utilize Disaster Recovery Teams for major storms and disasters.

Locally Owned Company with National Storm Resources

SERVPRO of Gainesville is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here too and are proud to be part of the Hall County community.

Call us 24/7 at 770-536-1010.

Wireless Emergency Alerts - Stay Informed of Weather Threats

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

FEMA alert, phone, emergency Weather alerts can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm's way.

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are free notifications delivered to your mobile device as part of a public safety system provided by authorized government-alerting authorities. The alerts are designed to inform you of imminent threats to safety or missing persons alerts in your area (e.g.  AMBER Alerts). 

Government partners include local and state public safety agents, FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service. A WEA can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm’s way, without downloading an app or subscribing to a service.  WEAs may be used to share extreme weather warnings, local emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action, AMBER Alerts, and Presidential Alerts during a national emergency.

This is America’s wireless industry helping to build a Weather-Ready Nation through a nationwide text emergency alert system, called Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), which will warn you when weather threatens.

The great piece of this is that there is no signup required, and Alerts are sent automatically to WEA-capable phones during an emergency. With WEA, alerts may be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm’s way.

A WEA will look like a text message. The WEA message will typically show the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert.  The message will be no more than 90 characters.  WEA message will include a special tone and vibration, with both repeated twice.

The National Weather Service will send the following types of messages:

    • Tornado and Flash Flood Warnings
    • Hurricane, Typhoon, Dust Storm and Extreme Wind Warnings

Are You and Your House Ready for Winter?

9/6/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen pipe leaking Take steps to prevent frozen pipes and water damage to your home.

It’s September and we’re still in the grip of summer’s heat but now is the time to start thinking about your home and if it is ready for the coming winter.  Key to protecting your home from water damage in the winter is making sure your pipes are properly insulated and protected from sub-freezing temperatures.  Water expands when it freezes. In pipes, the expansion can cause ruptures. The damage often occurs not at the point where a pipe has frozen, but between the freeze and a faucet. As the ice blocks the pipe completely and expands, the water pressure in the pipe increases. Too much pressure will rupture the pipe.

In northern regions of the United States, pipes are typically protected in insulated spaces, reducing the risk of freezing. In southern climates, where subfreezing temperatures are less common, pipes may not be as well protected. Pipes that run through exterior walls are particularly at risk, but those that run through uninsulated attics and crawlspaces can also freeze. In either region, extended subfreezing weather, cracks in walls or foundations and entry points for pipe and cable put pipes at risk. Poor insulation increases the vulnerability. Outside the home, hose spigots are also at risk.

Take steps to prevent frozen pipes:

Many of the repairs and improvements you can make to minimize the risk of frozen pipes are basic energy-conservation practices.

  • Locate and seal cracks and openings in the walls, attic, basement or crawlspace.
  • Weather strip and caulk around crawlspace doors and basement windows.
  • Make sure your home is properly insulated. Pay particular attention to areas where pipes are located.
  • Insulate unprotected pipes and don't leave any gaps in the insulation. Pipe sleeves simplify the process. Keep the pieces tight against each other and seal the slits and joints with duct tape.
  • Install thermostat-controlled, UL-listed heat cables. Use cables that are appropriate for your pipe and follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation. Some manufacturers recommend unplugging the cables at the end of the season.
  • Install storm windows over basement windows or replace the old windows with energy-efficient alternatives.

Have Questions about Water Damage?

Call us Today – SERVPRO of Gainesville 770-536-1010

Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

Dog in car with emergency supplies Do you have an emergency plan for your pets?

SERVPRO Industries, LLC is once again proud to be a member of the National Preparedness Month Coalition and is committed to helping the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in their efforts to promote the importance of preparedness planning.

When making plans in preparation of an emergency, don’t forget to plan for your pets. Part of making this plan is preparing an emergency kit for you pet just as you would with all other members of your family.

Just as you do with your family’s emergency supply kit, think first about the basics for survival, particularly food and water.

  • Food: Keep at least three days of food in an airtight, waterproof container. ü Water: Store at least three days of water specifically for your pets, in addition to water you need for yourself and your family.
  • Medicines and medical records: Keep an extra supply of medicines your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container.
  • First aid kit: Talk to your veterinarian about what is most appropriate for your pet’s emergency medical needs. Most kits should include cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Include a pet first aid reference book.
  • Collar with ID tag, harness or leash: Your pet should wear a collar with its rabies tag and identification at all times. Include a backup leash, collar and ID tag in your pet’s emergency supply kit.
  • Important documents: Place copies of your pet’s registration information, adoption papers, vaccination documents and medical records in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container and also add them to your kit.
  • Crate or other pet carrier: If you need to evacuate in an emergency situation take your pets and animals with you, provided that it is practical to do so.
  • Sanitation: Include pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach to provide for your pet’s sanitation needs. You can use bleach as a disinfectant (dilute nine parts water to one-part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to purify water. Use 8 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water, stir well and let it stand for 30 minutes before use. Do not use scented or color safe bleaches or those with added cleaners.
  • A picture of you and your pet together: If you become separated from your pet during an emergency, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you in identifying your pet. Include detailed information about species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics.
  • Familiar items: Put favorite toys, treats or bedding in your kit. Familiar items can help reduce stress for your pet. 

Consider two kits. In one, put everything your pets will need to stay where you are and make it on your own. The other should be a lightweight, smaller version you can take with you if you and your pets have to get away.

Make A Plan

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

Disaster can strike at any time and without warning, be as prepared as you possibly can, make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area.  Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

Step 1: Put together a plan by discussing these 4 questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  2. What is my shelter plan?
  3. What is my evacuation route?
  4. What is my family/household communication plan?

Step 2:  Consider specific needs in your household.

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance.  Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:

  • Different ages of members within your household
  • Responsibilities for assisting others
  • Locations frequented
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
  • Languages spoken
  • Cultural and religious considerations
  • Pets or service animals
  • Households with school-aged children

Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan

Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use them as a guide to create your own.

Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household

How Long Was Your Power Off While You Were Away?

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

If the coin is still on top of the ice - the freezer did not thaw out.

You might think a power outage occurring while you were away wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but if you leave food in your refrigerator or freezer that you plan to eat when you return, you’ll want to know whether your power went out, and if it did, whether your food warmed up enough and for long enough to spoil.

There is a simple solution to tell if you may need to consider disposing of food in your refrigerator and freezer. You can simply leave a coin on a cup of ice in your freezer before you leave.

Just fill up a cup of water, put it in the freezer until it’s solid, then add a coin on top and stick it back in the freezer

If the coin is at the bottom of the cup when you return, then there was a power outage that went on for long enough for the water to melt, causing the coin to fall through. When the power comes back on, the coin will be stuck in the frozen water at the bottom. If the coin is still at the top when you get home, the power stayed on or went out just temporarily.

Because water takes a very long time to melt in an insulated freezer, a quarter at the bottom of the cup will tell you that your food is almost definitely spoiled, since the power would have had to be off for quite some time.

Emergency Storm Cleanup in Gainesville and Hall County

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Cleanup and Restoration

  • 24 Hours Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • Highly Trained Water Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Water Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated

SERVPRO of Gainesville has experience restoring homes affected by storms and flooding. We can respond immediately with highly trained technicians who employ specialized equipment and techniques to restore your Hall County home or business back to pre-storm condition.

Why Choose SERVPRO of Gainesville?

We're Faster to Any Size Disaster

When a storm hits your Hall County home or business, you need help immediately. Our quick response will help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs.

We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists

We specialize in flooding and storm damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. We have extensive water damage and storm restoration training that allows us to get your home back to normal quickly.

  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technicians

We Have the Resources to Handle any size Storm or and Disaster

Major storms and flooding events can overwhelm many restoration companies. On the other hand, SERVPRO of Gainesville can access resources from 1,700 Franchises across the state and country and even utilize Disaster Recovery Teams for major storms and disasters.

Locally Owned Company with National Storm Resources

SERVPRO of Gainesville is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here too and are proud to be part of the Hall County community.

Call us 24/7 at 770-536-1010.

Severe Weather - Be Prepared

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of:

  • 10,000 severe thunderstorms
  • 5,000 floods or flash floods
  • 1,000 tornadoes
  • 2 land falling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage*. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking a few actions and being an example to others are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.

Know your risk.  The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take Action.  Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communication plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

Be an Example.  Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.

Build an Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Clothing
  • Dust masks or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information
  • Cash
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container

NOTE:  Statistics gathered from www.stormready.noaa.gov

Storm Season: Protecting Your Garage

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

This is the type of damage a strong storm can do to your garage door.

We are currently in the peak of storm season when tropical storms and hurricanes are popping up regularly.  But what if you don't live near the coast?  Is there still a threat during storm season?  The answer is YES!  In the south, with high temperatures and humidity, storms can be extremely dangerous.  When planning to protect your home one of the most vulnerable areas is your garage.  Your garage is susceptible to high winds and flooding.  Here are a few tips to storm-proof your garage:

  • When purchasing a garage door look for one with a high wind-resistance rating.  If a storm with very strong winds or a tornado comes through and your garage door is breached the winds can batter your home.  This can lead to water coming in and causing costly damage.  For areas prone to tornado's it is recommended that you invest in a garage door that can withstand 130 mph or higher winds.
  • When installing your garage door consider installing a bracing system.  This will reinforce the integrity of the door by anchoring the door to the walls and floors and into each hinge.
  • Make sure to do proper maintenance to your garage door.  Repair any breaches or holes that would allow wind to get through the garage door.  Also make sure to check the weather stripping and mechanisms for proper functionality.
  • Do you have windows in your garage?  Make sure they are secure and their weather stripping is in proper condition.  Having wrought-iron window protection also greatly helps in protecting the glass from flying debris.
  • Install flood vents and proper drainage.  You can have a trench drain installed to divert water, and flood vents inside the garage can drain water getting through before levels rise and cause damage.

At SERVPRO of Gainesville we believe in being prepared for any emergency.  We can handle any of your storm or water damage emergencies.  Call us at 770-536-1010 24/7 for your emergency needs.

Winter Is Coming, Are You Prepared

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Freezing pipes can be prevented.

Water expands when it freezes. In pipes, the expansion can cause ruptures. The damage often occurs not at the point where a pipe has frozen, but between the freeze and a faucet. As the ice blocks the pipe completely and expands, the water pressure in the pipe increases. Too much pressure will rupture the pipe.

In northern regions of the United States, pipes are typically protected in insulated spaces, reducing the risk of freezing. In southern climates, where subfreezing temperatures are less common, pipes may not be as well protected. Pipes that run through exterior walls are particularly at risk, but those that run through uninsulated attics and crawlspaces can also freeze. In either region, extended subfreezing weather, cracks in walls or foundations and entry points for pipe and cable put pipes at risk. Poor insulation increases the vulnerability. Outside the home, hose spigots are also at risk.

Take steps to prevent frozen pipes:

Many of the repairs and improvements you can make to minimize the risk of frozen pipes are basic energy-conservation practices.

  • Locate and seal cracks and openings in the walls, attic, basement or crawlspace.
  • Weather strip and caulk around crawlspace doors and basement windows.
  • Make sure your home is properly insulated. Pay particular attention to areas where pipes are located.
  • Insulate unprotected pipes and don't leave any gaps in the insulation. Pipe sleeves simplify the process. Keep the pieces tight against each other and seal the slits and joints with duct tape.
  • Install thermostat-controlled, UL-listed heat cables. Use cables that are appropriate for your pipe and follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation. Some manufacturers recommend unplugging the cables at the end of the season.
  • Install storm windows over basement windows or replace the old windows with energy-efficient alternatives.

Have Questions about Water Damage?

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