Recent Storm Damage Posts
How Does FEMA Assist in Disaster Relief?
FEMA provides several disaster relief services and financial assistance.
A natural disaster can be so overwhelming that victims are left bewildered as to where to begin. In the wake of a flood, tornado, or hurricane, people who have lost virtually everything need help from wherever they can find it. Fortunately, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides several disaster relief services and financial assistance. Generally, it acts as a liaison between the federal government and the affected area.
Some Assistance Specifics
The disaster relief agency provides direct services and financial assistance for damages and other disaster-related expenses not covered by the victims’ insurance. Specifics that the federal agency provides include:
- Coordinates with law enforcement on procedures for evacuation
- Coordinates food distribution
- Coordinates medical assistance
- Provides temporary fixes for houses such as roof tarps
- Seeks and provides temporary shelter for victims
- Provides financial assistance (e.g., unemployment, replacement, repair, lodging)
- Provides crisis counseling
FEMA not only provides help after a disaster but also before a storm hits and when it’s underway. For example, they will help prepare as much as possible for a major flood, assist with evacuations before and during the flooding, and provide financial assistance for damage afterward.
Prepare Ahead of Time
It is helpful to take before and after photos of your property (residence, vehicles, and other personal property) if you begin the repair process before an adjuster comes out to assess the damage. You could be reimbursed for some of these expenses. Know what your property insurance covers and does not cover. After the storm, you will need to apply for disaster assistance and make an insurance claim. Some forms of financial assistance are income-dependent.
Suppose your residence in Memphis, TN, sustains damage such as flooding from a major storm. In that case, you will require storm damage mitigation professionals too quickly and thoroughly restore your property to its original state. FEMA should provide help with some of the costs incurred.
What to Know About Mitigation and Restoration
Many companies in Bartlett, Tennessee, or Cordova, Tennessee, experience the risk of flooding after a massive storm. Fortunately, a flood cleanup company can help with restoration in the aftermath. However, you can do some mitigation steps before flooding happens that may help you protect the company property. Here are three things you may need to know regarding mitigation and restoration.
1. Mitigation Helps Prevent Damage
Mitigation is used when referring to preparation steps before a storm that may help reduce damage. These steps may include building dams around areas prone to pooling water, inspecting drainage clogs that can lead to water back up, and placing tarps or boards over spaces where wind damage can occur. More permanent forms include installing storm shutters or a sump pump.
2. Restoration Occurs After Damage
Restoration is used for any repairs after a storm, often performed by a flood cleanup company. These are done to get the property back in working order. It's recommended that restoration occurs as swiftly as possible, as doing so can help prevent further damage. You will often see your restoration team take additional protective steps to avoid damaged areas from being further exposed.
3. Both Are Important Steps
Taking mitigation steps before the storm, and contacting a restoration company to repair any damages afterward quickly are important steps to keeping your business property in top condition. Reducing the damage possibility beforehand, and making quick repairs may help you avoid long-term problems regarding property upkeep and maintenance.
You can take some mitigation steps to help protect company property before the storm arrives. If your business does experience flooding, contact SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova. We can arrive quickly to start the repair process before additional damage can occur. These options used together may help you prevent the necessity of costly repairs down the road.
Understanding the Risks Of Storm Damage & Insurance Coverage
A homeowner's policy typically covers standard weather patterns and the risks involved. With warmer weather comes the increased risk of volatile storms and damage from high winds and heavy rains. The savvy homeowner may invest in a hurricane and flood insurance policy, knowing the potential disasters related to severe weather.
- Sewage backup
- Mold growth
- Roof damage
- Other property and structural issues
However, not every flood claim is equal, and not all damage caused by strong winds is covered under storm insurance. Therefore, make sure your policy protects you against typical storm damages in your area.
Increasing Water Levels
A typical homeowner's insurance plan will probably not cover flooding related to storms. You will need a specific policy for flood damage and loss. However, these plans are not necessary for every area or region. To verify whether such a policy is needed, you can check the flood zones in your city.
High winds and storm surges can lead to significant structural issues. The winds can lead to damaged rooflines, and the swelling waters can weaken foundations. In either case, your property may become vulnerable to mold growth due to increased moisture and humidity.
Loss of Personal Property
While you may do everything right to prepare for an incoming storm, like install storm shutters and set up sandbags, you can still be vulnerable to property loss. For instance, the winds tear away at portions of your roof, and the rain destroys family photos, clothing, and other items stored in the attic. Thankfully, in this situation, a standard homeowner's policy should have you covered.
Whether a flood or other severe weather hits you, you will need assistance cleaning up the damage. SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova can help by mitigating further loss by putting up shutters and tarps around the property. They can act as a middleman between you and your insurer, making sure you get what you're owed.
While a homeowner's policy typically covers standard weather patterns and the risks involved, certain areas are more prone to flooding and severe weather, requiring specific policy upgrades. Make sure you have coverage for the structure, water, wind, and property loss.
4 Tips For Flood Protection
An emergency plan can help everyone understand clearly what they are supposed to do.
When heavy rains descend, your building in Bartlett, Tennessee, or Cordova, Tennessee, may be in danger of flood damage. To avoid having to put your business on hold for massive flood cleanup, follow these tips to protect your building from significant damage.
1. Inspect Building Frequently
You are likely sticking to a seasonal inspection schedule, but if the forecast indicates that a strong storm is approaching, it makes sense to inspect it again. Look at your exterior walls, foundation, and roof to see if there're any cracks where water could get in. If you find any problems, contact storm damage experts for repairs that can be done before the storm hits.
2. Keep Drainage System Clean
Giving excess water a place to go is vital to keeping it out of your building. Gutters and downspouts should always be kept free of debris, particularly during storm season. Directing the downpour away from the roof and base of your building can help prevent flood damage.
3. Test Basement Pumps
If there's flooding in your basement, you will inevitably need storm cleanup. You can lower your costs by making sure your sump pump is working. These pumps are designed to start getting rid of water as soon as the sensors are triggered. Regular testing, particularly before a major storm hits, is advisable.
4. Have an Emergency Plan
If your building floods, an emergency plan can help everyone understand clearly what they are supposed to do. Make sure it is up to date and that all employees have access to the latest version. Assign tasks that designate what each person needs to do in the event of a flood emergency.
You may not be able to avoid all flood damage in your building during a, particularly aggressive storm. You can minimize its effects, however, by taking the necessary precautions. These tips help ensure that your building is as flood-resistant as possible.
4 Steps for Drying Out Your Crawl Space
SERVPRO employee with a protective suit crawling into the house's crawlspace.
A massive storm can damage your home in Bartlett, TN; Cordova, TN; or surrounding area. Flooding doesn't always happen in the most obvious places. If you find standing water in your crawl space after a rainstorm, you may need water restoration specialists. These certified technicians have proper equipment and experience to remove the water and ensure no residual damage lingers. Here are the steps SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova takes:
You may have a well-maintained sump pump in your crawl space, but an industrial pump on a truck can get the water out faster. Once technicians arrive and assess the situation, they will probably want to remove the excess water immediately. The sooner it's extracted, the less damage it can do to your house.
2. Debris Removal
When your crawl space flooded, likely, debris washed in with the stormwater. Other items already in the space may have been submerged. Experts can use a trash pump to remove everything from the area.
The cleanup process's extent depends mostly on how much water flooded the crawl space and how long it was sitting there. Technicians may have to use special equipment to remove water-damaged materials. The contaminated area must be thoroughly disinfected to rid of any bacteria that came in with the stormwater.
After the space is clean, technicians must make sure no excess moisture remains. The drying process can help keep secondary damage, such as mold growth from occurring. Only after the space is completely dry can any necessary rebuilding take place.
It may seem simple to remove water from your crawl space with only your sump pump. If you want to ensure that you avoid further damage, though, it's best to entrust SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova to handle it!
How to Handle Damaged Belongings After a Flood
Documents damaged by water.
If your building was damaged during a storm in Memphis, TN, items inside might have been affected as well. If this is the case, it can be challenging to determine how you should proceed. If you are unsure of how your belongings should be treated, the following content cleaning information may help you.
1. Curtains and Other Fabrics
Curtains and other fabrics are porous; they can absorb a lot of water. This can be especially troublesome when black water is involved. It carries a high level of contaminants such as waste, mud, and bacteria that can be difficult to remove. While you may salvage some porous items with a thorough cleaning, some of them may need to be thrown out.
2. Hard Surfaces and Non-Porous Items
Content cleaning for objects with hard, non-porous surfaces is generally much easier. Because the contaminated water is not absorbed, you don't need to worry about bacteria lingering beneath the surface. With these items, scrubbing them with an anti-bacterial cleaner will likely be enough to sanitize them.
3. Artwork and Paper Items
Artworks and paper items can be important and sometimes irreplaceable, so it can be upsetting when they're damaged in flood. The good news is that they're not necessarily ruined beyond repair. A professional service will likely have access to high-quality equipment that will dry these items and remove the bacteria and other contaminants.
4. Electronics and Equipment
Like porous materials, electronics can be difficult to save if they have been damaged by contaminated water. For the best results, you should have them taken to a professional right away for inspection. Don't attempt to use these items before you know it is safe, as you may cause additional damage.
If your items have been damaged by contaminated water, the best thing to do is have professionals clean your belongings. A cleanup and restoration service can salvage many of your belongings and perform any necessary repairs on your building. Contact SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova today at (901) 382-0900.