Recent Storm Damage Posts
Protect Yourself From Wildfire Smoke
The smoke rising into the sky as the wildfire burned through thousands of acres in Solano County.
As some of you may know, there was yet another large fire yesterday in Solano County. The wildfire burned more than 4,000 acres of land and was 70% contained as of last night. Luckily, there were no fatalities or injuries.
Most of us could see and smell the smoke spreading through the air. The smoke is made up of small particles, gases, and water vapor. The remainder includes carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, irritant volatile organic compounds, and air toxics.
Some may be more sensitive to the smell than others, either way, it is best to avoid inhaling smoke if you can help it. The smoke can cause a headache or irritate your eyes, nose, throat, and lungs.
The biggest health threat from the smoke is from the fine particles that it carries. These particles can penetrate deep into your lungs. Your lungs and airway may become swollen, irritated, and blocked. This could prevent oxygen from getting into your blood and respiratory failure may develop. With that being said, you can see why it is very important to avoid inhaling the smoke.
You can reduce wildfire smoke exposure by staying indoors, keeping windows and doors closed, and running your HVAC system on the recirculating setting. Avoid activities that increase indoor pollution. Wearing a mask called a "particulate respirator" can also help protect you. Also, be sure to check local air quality reports and local visibility guides so that you are aware of what actions you need to take, if any, to avoid smoke inhalation.
The Rain is Coming
We have all had a great summer enjoying the beautiful clear skies and sunny days. Unfortunately, that has almost come to an end. Now we need to get ready for the rain. Water damage isn't limited to rain but rain is definitely a cause. Before it starts to pour take precautionary measures to keep the rain out of your home to prevent a water loss.
Your roof's primary purpose is to keep water out of your house. neglecting it could lead to a whole lot of problems.
Windows and doors are common vulnerable areas for water leakage. Water can seep through the space around window and door frames if they're not properly sealed.
- Maintain Your Home's Exterior Finish
Periodically inspect your exterior walls and look for signs of damage such as holes, wood rot, or warping. If caught early enough, you may be able to clean out the wet materials and repair the affected. (SERVPRO can help with that!)
Make sure your gutters are properly functioning and clean. It is critical to do so as it protects your home from water damage. (SERVPRO can help with that!)
You can always take measures to keep water out of your home but if water isn't properly diverted away from the base of your home, your foundation could be at risk.
Functioning gutters send water out through a downspout, which funnels the water from your home. If the downspout does not extend far enough, it could funnel directly into a puddle at the bottom of your house thus flooding your crawlspace. (SERVPRO can help with that!)
If your home sits on the bottom of a slope, water runoff from your yard should be redirected away from your home. If it is not, then you will most likely have problems with standing water near your foundation. This could cause the ground near your foundation to erode overtime, making it vulnerable.
Be sure to waterproof your home before it leaks into bigger problems. And remember who to call in case the water still makes it's way in ...
SERVPRO of Benicia/Martinez/SE Vallejo!
Prepare your Pets for Emergencies
Have a plan for your pets in case of a disaster.
Every disaster plan must include your pets. If you know disaster is imminent, bring your pet inside immediately. Get your animals under control as quickly as possible, either using a leash or by putting them in a pet carrier.
Disasters often strike suddenly, while you are away from home. You can improve your pet’s chances for safety if you leave him/her inside, with collars and identification tags, when you go out. Consider an arrangement with a trusted neighbor who would be willing to evacuate your pets in your absence. Make sure the person knows your animals, can locate your emergency supplies, and has a key to your home. Provide him or her with instructions and phone numbers on how to reach you.
Keep up-to-date identification on your pets at all times. Use a properly fitting collar with an identification tag. Consider using a microchip for identification, but make sure local shelters have microchip scanners. Keep current color photographs of your pet, showing any distinguishing markings, with your emergency supplies.
If you evacuate, take your pet. Your animal’s best protection is to be with you. Remember, taking your pet with you requires special planning. Locate a safe place for your pets before disaster strikes. Evacuation shelters generally do not accept animals for public health and safety reasons. Service animals, on the other hand, are allowed to accompany their owners to an emergency shelter. Call hotels and motels in your immediate area and a reasonable distance from home to see if they will accept pets and under what conditions. Also, contact local boarding kennels and veterinary hospitals with boarding facilities.
Assemble a portable pet emergency supplies kit to provide for your pet’s needs for seven days. Pack the supplies in a carry case, in case you evacuate. Include the following:
- Medications and medical records, including vaccination records (stored in a water proof container) and a first aid kit. Name and telephone number of your veterinarian. List medical conditions and special considerations.
- Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that your animals can’t escape.
- Current photos of your pets in case they get lost.
- Food, portable water, bowls, cat litter and pan, and can opener.
- Plastic bags/paper towels for disposing of animal waste.
- Favorite toys and pet beds with kennel or carrying case.
- Maintain a list of emergency contact numbers in the kit.
Make a Plan
Having an emergency plan is important.
Make A Plan
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.
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is my shelter plan?
- What is my evacuation route?
- 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
Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household
- A volcano is an opening in the Earth’s crust that allows molten rock, gases, and debris to escape to the surface. Alaska, Hawaii, California, and Oregon have the most active volcanoes, but other states and territories have active volcanoes, too. A volcanic eruption may involve lava and other debris that can flow up to 100 mph, destroying everything in their path. Volcanic ash can travel 100s of miles and cause severe health problems. A volcanic eruption can:
- Contaminate water supplies.
- Damage machinery.
- Reduce visibility through smog and harmful gases that may threaten low-lying areas.
- Make it hard to breathe and irritate the skin, eyes, nose, and throat.
IF YOU ARE UNDER A VOLCANO WARNING:
- Listen for emergency information and alerts.
- Follow evacuation or shelter orders. If advised to evacuate, then do so early.
- Avoid areas downstream of the eruption.
- Protect yourself from falling ash.
- Do not drive in heavy ash fall.
HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A VOLCANO THREATENS:
WHAT TO DO NOW: Prepare
- Know your area’s risk from volcanic eruption.
- Ask local emergency management for evacuation and shelter plans, and for potential means of protection from ash.
- Learn about community warning systems. The Volcano Notification Service (VNS) is a free service that sends notifications about volcanic activity. Sign up for alerts at https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns2/.
- Get necessary supplies in advance in case you have to evacuate immediately, or if services are cut off. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Do not forget the needs of pets.
- Consult your doctor if you have existing respiratory difficulties.
- Practice a communication and evacuation plan with everyone in your family.
- Have a shelter-in-place plan if your biggest risk is from ash.
- Keep important documents in a safe place. Create password-protected digital copies.
- Find out what your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover when a volcano erupts.
WHAT TO DO DURING: Survive
- Listen to alerts. The Volcano Notification Service provides up-to-date information about eruptions.
- Follow evacuation orders from local authorities. Evacuate early.
- Avoid areas downwind, and river valleys downstream, of the volcano. Rubble and ash will be carried by wind and gravity.
- Take temporary shelter from volcanic ash where you are if you have enough supplies. Cover ventilation openings and seal doors and windows.
- If outside, protect yourself from falling ash that can irritate skin and injure breathing passages, eyes, and open wounds. Use a well-fitting, certified facemask such as an N95. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a list of certified masks and the maker’s instructions on how to use the masks.
- Avoid driving in heavy ash fall. If you must drive, then turn off your vehicle’s headlights.
WHAT TO DO AFTER: Be Safe
- Listen to authorities to find out when it is safe to return after an eruption.
- Send text messages or use social media to reach out to family and friends. Phone systems are often busy after a disaster. Only make emergency calls.
- Avoid driving in heavy ash. Driving will stir up volcanic ash that can clog engines and stall vehicles.
- If you have any breathing problems, avoid contact with ash. Stay indoors until authorities say it is safe to go outside.
- Do not get on your roof to remove ash unless you have guidance or training. If you have to remove ash, then be very careful as ash makes surfaces slippery. Be careful not to contribute additional weight to an overloaded roof.
Hurricane Before Landfall
Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over the water and move toward land. Threats from hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. These large storms are called typhoons in the North Pacific Ocean and cyclones in other parts of the world.
Each year, many parts of the United States experience heavy rains, strong winds, floods, and coastal storm surges from tropical storms and hurricanes. Affected areas include all Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas and areas over 100 miles inland, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, parts of the Southwest, the Pacific Coast, and the U.S. territories in the Pacific. A significant per cent of fatalities occur outside of landfall counties with causes due to inland flooding.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the peak occurring between mid-August and late October. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15 and ends November 30.
Basic Preparedness Tips
Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.
Put together a go-bag: disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate
If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.
Make a family emergency communication plan.
Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts.”
Preparing Your Home
Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.
Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
Consider building a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter designed for protection from high-winds and in locations above flooding levels.
Preparing for a Hurricane:
• Prepare your evacuation plan, including pets, transportation routes and destinations.
• Keep all trees and shrubs well trimmed and clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
• Determine how and where to secure your boat.
• Consider building a safe room.
• Stay informed! Listen to a NOAA weather radio or check local forecasts and news reports regularly.
• Cover your home’s windows with pre-cut plywood or hurricane shutters. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
• Bring in all outside furniture, decorations, garbage cans, etc.
• Turn off utilities if instructed to do so.
• Turn off propane tanks.
• Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
• Fill the bathtub or buckets with water to use for cleaning and flushing toilets.
• Keep your gas tank at least 3/4 full at all times.
• Keep your emergency supplies kit, including water, and copies of important documents, in a waterproof, portable container, in an easily accessible location
Evacuate under the following conditions:
• If local authorities tell you to evacuate, follow their directions.
• If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure, which are particularly hazardous no matter how well fastened to the ground.
• If you live in a high-rise building.
• If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an inland waterway.
• If you feel you are in danger.
• If you live in an area below sea level.
Safety during Winter Storms
Winter storms can happen almost anywhere. They can cause us problems. Know what to do before, during and after a storm. This will help keep you and your family safe from a winter fire.
- Test all smoke alarms. Do this at least once a month. This way you will know they are working. Install carbon monoxide alarms in your home. Test the alarms.
- Plan two ways out of the home in case of an emergency. Clear driveway and front walk of ice and snow. This will provide easy access to your home.
- Make sure your house number can be seen from the street. If you need help, firefighters will be able to find you.
- Be ready in case the power goes out. Have flashlights on hand. Also have battery-powered lighting and fresh batteries. Never use candles.
- Stay aware of winter weather. Listen to the television or radio for updates. Watch for bulletins online.
- Check on neighbors. Check on others who may need help.
- Generators should be used outdoors. Keep them away from windows and doors. Do not run a generator inside your garage, even if the door is open.
- Stay away from downed wires. Report any downed wires to authorities.
- Be ready if the heat stops working. Use extra layers of clothes and blankets to stay warm. If you use an emergency heat source, keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away.
- Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room. Turn them off when you go to bed.
When Storms or Floods hit Benicia/Martinez/Southeast Vallejo, SERVPRO is ready!
Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Benicia/Martinez/Southeast Vallejo.
SERVPRO of Benicia/Martinez/Southeast Vallejo specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.
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 Benicia/Martinez/Southeast Vallejo, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 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 925-372-7234
Downtown Martinez, CA
Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Flooding often occurs following a hurricane, thawing snow, or several days of sustained rain. Flash floods occur suddenly, due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area. Learn what to do to keep your loved ones safe!
Prepare in Advance
Having sandbags in place can help tremendously in keeping water out of your house.
*Be sure to have them ready to go BEFORE the rains start.
Secure hazardous items
Roll up rugs, move furniture, electrical items and valuables to a higher level
Place important personal documents, valuables and vital medical supplies into a waterproof case in an accessible location
Staying informed about your community’s risk and response plans.
Remember: standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding but flood insurance does.
Staying Safe Indoors
Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals.
Don’t use gas or electrical appliances that have been flooded.
Dispose of any food that comes into contact with flood water .
Staying Safe Outdoors
Don't walk, swim or drive through floodwater. Just six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over and two feet will float a car.
If caught on a flooded road with rapidly rising waters, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
Don’t allow children to play in or near flood water.
Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals.
Stay out of areas subject to flooding. Underpasses, dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc. can become filled with water.
SERVPRO Of Benicia/Martinez/Southeast Vallejo is here to help clean up and dry out your affected properties. Call us at 925-372-7234