Recent Storm Damage Posts

When is hurricane season? Be prepared.

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage When is hurricane season? Be prepared. Hurricane Awareness - Be Prepared.

Even though our area is approximately 150 miles inland from the coast it is possible for our area to be affected by a hurricane or for sure the outer rain bands of a hurricane.  Back in 2017 Hurricane Harvey made landfall South of our area and affected many in our area.

When is hurricane season?  For the Gulf of Mexico is it typically from June 1st to November 30th.  The peak season being mid-August to late October.  However, deadly hurricanes can occur anytime in the hurricane season or if the conditions are conducive for one.  It is best to be prepared prior to entering the season.  Here are some tips:

  • Know all evacuation routes if you live close to the coast.
  • Make sure your home meets building codes for withstanding hurricanes.
  • Have the proper tools, supplies, and a first aid kit.
  • Have plenty of batteries and flashlights.
  • Always have plenty of non-perishable foods on hand and bottled water.
  • Leave low lying areas.
  • Secure outside objects.
  • If called to evacuate, do so immediately.

If your home or business has been affected by a hurricane or flood water please give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at 830-379-7474.  We are here to help.

What is a Microburst?

5/16/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What is a Microburst? Microburst can be as damaging as a tornado!

Here in Texas we have hurricanes, tornadoes, flash floods, hail, high winds, including a weather condition called a Microburst.  Our weather is so crazy we could be in the low 40’s when we wake up and end up in the high 80’s in the afternoon.

A weather phenomenon, called a Microburst, may cause destruction just as devastating as a tornado does.

A Microburst is a small column of exceptionally intense and localized sinking air that results in a violent outrush of air at the ground. It is capable of producing damaging straight-line winds of more than 100 mph that are similar to that in some tornadoes, but without the tornado's rotation.

A Microburst often has high winds that can knock over fully grown trees. The size of a Microburst is typically less than 3 miles across, and its lifespan could range from a couple of seconds to several minutes.

If you have been affected by storm related flooding or damage give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at 830-379-7474.

Spring cleaning should include your gutters.

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Spring cleaning should include your gutters. Clogged gutters can cause water damage to your home or business.

In Texas, especially Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties we get all kinds of weather.  From hurricanes, tornadoes, hail, high winds, flooding, and even snow!

People don't often stop to think of the issues that can arise from clogged gutters, but there are actually many. If water is not able to properly flow away from your house, then damage can result in a number of different locations, from your roofing to your foundation. There are number of reasons to make sure that your gutters get cleaned out. Here is a look at six of those reasons.

Roof Damage

When leaves and other debris clog up your gutters to the point that water is flooding over, you can end up having issues with rot on your roofing. This is one of the main reasons that it's important to keep your gutters clean.

Keep Out Pests

Clogged up gutters can be appealing to a number of critters as a nesting site. From birds to mosquitoes, a bed of damp leaves can be alluring.

Damage to Fascia

The fascia is that board that runs right behind your gutter. Overflowing water can damage this important component of your gutter system.

Over-watering Garden Beds

If your gutters become clogged to the point that water is spilling over the side and into your garden beds, you can damage your plants' health by essentially drowning them. Over-watering can be as harmful as not watering enough.

Cracks in Foundation

If water overflows and pools along your home's foundation, it can end up freezing, which can cause it to expand and generate cracks in your foundation.

Damage to Brackets

Clogged gutters are holding too much weight, which can result in damage to the brackets.

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties can help you with your water, fire or mold damage.  Give us a call at 830-379-7474.

Know Your Winter Weather Warnings

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Know Your Winter Weather Warnings Winter Storm Warning, Watch and Advisory

Winter weather related Warnings, Watches and Advisories are issued by your local National Weather Service office. Each office knows the local area and will issue Warnings, Watches or Advisories based on local criteria. For example, the amount of snow that triggers a “Winter Storm Warning” in the Northern Plains is typically much higher than the amount needed to trigger a “Winter Storm Warning” in the Southeast.

+ Warnings: Take Action!

+ Watches: Be Prepared

+ Advisories: Be Aware

Here are some more key terms to understand:

Freezing Rain: Rain that freezes when it hits the ground; creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines.

Sleet: Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery.

Wind Chill: A measure of how cold people feel due to the combined effect of wind and cold temperatures; the Wind chill Index is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin. Both cold temperatures and wind remove heat from the body; as the wind speed increases during cold conditions, a body loses heat more quickly. Eventually, the internal body temperature also falls and hypothermia can develop. Animals also feel the effects of wind chill; but inanimate objects, such as vehicles and buildings, do not. They will only cool to the actual air temperature, although much faster during windy conditions. Read how the Wind Chill Index was developed.

Bundle up, be prepared and protect people, pets and plants!

Cleanup Safety Tips after a Hurricane or Storm

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Cleanup Safety Tips after a Hurricane or Storm Storm Damage in Seguin, Texas

In the aftermath of a Hurricane like we experienced with Harvey, yards are often covered with fallen trees, broken branches and scattered debris.  Post-storm cleanup can present some dangers, so it’s important to take your time and use caution as you clean up the debris.

Here are some cleanup and safety tips to help you clean up your yard once the storm passes.

  • Survey the area for damage. Walk around your property to inspect overall damage and take pictures and/or videos as documentation.  Check for overhead downed power lines and hanging branches.  Treat all downed power lines as if they are energized and call your local electric provider immediately to report the problem.
  • Wear protective gear. Eliminate injuries by dressing appropriately and using protective eyewear and durable gloves.
  • Home damage. If your home or roof is damaged do your best to cover the exposed areas with tarps and plastic.  If you are not comfortable getting on the roof call your local roofing company for tarping assistance.  If you have had damage to the interior of your home such as debris and water damage, give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at call at 830-379-7474.  We are here to help get your home cleaned up and dried out.

Lingering Hurricane Florence Wreaking Havoc in North and South Carolina

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Lingering Hurricane Florence Wreaking Havoc in North and South Carolina Satellite Imagery of Hurricane Florence

Florence fast facts as of 9/17/2018

  • At least 18 people have died in storm-related incidents, including a man and a woman in Horry County, S.C. who died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Some 523,000 homes and businesses are still without power in North and South Carolina as of 5 a.m. Monday.
  • As of 5 a.m. Monday, Florence was a tropical depression, NOAA's Weather Prediction Center said, with sustained winds of 30 mph.
  • It was some 125 miles west-southwest of Roanoke, Va. and 145 miles west-northwest of Greensboro, N.C., moving north-northeast at 13 mph.
  • Florence was still massive Monday morning. Radar showed parts of the sprawling storm over six states, with North and South Carolina in the bull's-eye.
  • Some weakening is expected today before Florence re-intensifies as it transitions to an extratropical cyclone tomorrow and Wednesday.
  • Swansboro, N.C. has received more than 30 inches of rain; several other places have received more than 20 inches.
  • Florence is producing widespread heavy rains and causing flash flooding and major river flooding over a "significant portion" of North and South Carolina, the National Hurricane Center said.

Playing in Floodwater: All Fun and Games Until You're Seriously Sick or Hurt

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Playing in Floodwater:  All Fun and Games Until You're Seriously Sick or Hurt Hurricane Harvey

Kids can be especially tempted to splash through the streets-turned-canals, and photos of gleeful young adults tubing in the receding waters of Hurricane Harvey show that there’s no age limit for play. Of course, sometimes contact with floodwater is unavoidable. You might need to traverse the flood to escape or even run daily errands. If you have to step into floodwaters, though, be extremely cautious and make sure you know how to recognize the symptoms of common waterborne illnesses.

Why Floodwater is Dangerous

Of course, rushing floodwater with a strong current is clearly dangerous because it can sweep you away. Many people have drowned in flooded areas, even in relatively shallow floodwaters. You should never, ever enter floodwaters under a strong current. It puts you and any rescuers at risk.

But water that’s as still as a pond is also extremely dangerous. Pathogens and bacteria carrying diseases and worse can lurk in the most harmless-looking water. As the water sweeps through it can pick up oil, harmful chemicals, and raw sewage.

A short list of the health risks associated with floodwater includes:

While many of these diseases are treatable if you get swift medical attention, they are all to be taken seriously. So many symptoms of serious diseases can be mistaken for illnesses that are “no big deal,” like colds or a mild fever. The bottom line is that if you have been exposed to floodwater and exhibit any symptoms including headache, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, urinary discomfort or have a wound or scrape that touched contaminated water, you should seek medical help right away.

Diseases aren’t the only health risk associated with floods. A wall of water can sweep dangerous debris in its path, including sharp branches and metal scraps that put you at risk for serious wounds or tetanus from cuts. In floodwaters you also increase your risk of encountering mosquitoes with West Nile, and standing in floodwater for too long can lead to developing a condition called trench foot or immersion foot, where your legs and feet develop painful blisters.

Some of the most serious dangers come from spilled chemicals and downed electrical lines. Floods are equal-opportunity destroyers: if a flood sweeps through a building where chemicals are stored, those chemicals will likely leach into the water where you’re now wading. Chemicals can cause skin burns or leech poisonous fumes into the surrounding air. The water can also damage utility poles and utility boxes, leaving power lines dangling close to water and electrical circuits exposed. Never approach power lines immersed in water, or attempt to fix a downed power line yourself.

 There’s no reason to play in floodwater. The risks are too high to make your street your personal water park. Don’t do it, and don’t let your family and friends do it. For those who must brave a flood for emergency reasons, be careful and visit urgent care if you think your health’s been compromised. Even if the latest storm ruins the roads, the healthcare professionals at your GoHealth Urgent Care center can ensure that it doesn’t ruin your health.

Thunderstorm & Tornado Facts

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Thunderstorm & Tornado Facts Seguin, TX Storm Damage

A Thunderstorm is a rain shower during which you hear thunder.  Since thunder comes from lightning, all thunderstorms have lightning.  A thunderstorm is classified as "severe" when it contains one of or more of the following: 

  • Hail
  • Winds in excess of 58 mph
  • Structural wind damage 
  • Tornado

Also, make sure you remember the difference between a Storm WATCH and Storm WARNING. 

Watch vs. Warning

A severe Thunderstorm Watch means that the potential exist for the development of thunderstorms which may produce large hail or damaging winds.  A watch is issued by the SPC (Storm Prediction Center).
A severe Thunderstorm Warning means that a severe thunderstorm is occurring or is imminent based on Doppler radar information or a reliable spotter report.

Tornado Facts

Tornadoes are arguable nature's most violent storms.  Generated from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes generally appear as rotating, funnel-shaped clouds extending from the cloud base to the ground.  With winds that can reach up to 300 miles per hour, tornadoes can cause massive destruction with seconds.  Damage paths can be excess of a mile wide and fifty miles long. 

  • The average tornado moves southwest to northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction. 
  • The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 miles per hour, but may vary from stationary to 70 mils per hour. 
  • Tornadoes are most frequently reported east of the Rocky Mountains during spring and summer months. 
  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 pm and 9 pm. 

(Tornado facts and Storm tips are provided by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) 

Are you prepared to take cover?

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Are you prepared to take cover? After the Storm has done its damage, give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a Call (830)379-7474 to help you put your life back together.

When the weatherman says take cover in Texas it’s typically due to a storm of some kind on its way. It could be a thunderstorm, hurricane, tornado, or hail storms.  The last thing you need to worry about is storm preparation. A little effort now, before disaster strikes, can bring peace of mind and yield big savings in the future. Here are some tips to help you plan beforehand, so you won’t have to face storms unprepared.

  • Check your insurance policy to make sure it reflects the present state of your home. Think about adding flood insurance, as well as coverage for additional living expenses in case you are unable to stay in your home immediately after a storm.
  • Making a home inventory is a critical component of storm preparation since it will make filing a claim easier and save time. Document the contents with a video camera or some other inventory tool such as a spreadsheet or written documentation. Retain receipts for any valuable items and consider getting separate coverage for these.
  • Make an emergency supply kit containing basic survival items. This should include a 2-week supply of water and non-perishable, ready to eat food for each member of the family, as well as pets. If you need to evacuate your home, you’ll want a three-day supply of the same.
  • Storm preparation must also include an evacuation plan. Know who to contact in this situation and what route or routes you can take to get your family to safety.
  • Gather important documents to take with you – for example, personal ID or driver’s license, insurance policies, social security cards, marriage and birth certificates, etc.

Contact SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counites at (830) 379-7474 when fire or water damage occurs in your business or home. We are only a phone call away when you need us! We man our phones and make the trek to the office no matter the weather, so we can be ready to roll out once the rains stop and the sky clears. 

Have you checked your gutters lately?

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Have you checked your gutters lately? SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is only a phone call away for your water damage, fire damage, and mold remediation, (830) 379-7474.

Have you checked your gutters lately?

In Texas, especially Guadalupe and Gonzales counties, we get all types of weather: tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, high winds, hail, sleet and snow.  However; we don’t typically get all of it together like we did this past 2017.  This previous year showed us it can happen and will happen.  So, let make sure our homes continue to be ready for what every mother nature or mankind throws our way. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your home or office prepared for this upcoming rainy season?
  • Do you have gutters on your home or office? Are your gutters in good shape?  
  • Do you know what you would do if rain / flood water (black water) comes into your home?

If you had to scratch your head over some of these questions, we can help you find some answers.  

  • Is your home or office prepared for this upcoming rainy season?
    • Typically, most people will say yes, after all you made it through 2017 and everything that was thrown at us.
  • Do you have gutters on your home or office? Are your gutters in good shape?
    • Gutters are meant to be helpful, if installed with the correct down spouts. Gutters are supposed to divert water away from your home / office’s foundation.   Basically, so you don’t have water pouring off your roof into the ground around your foundation and weakening your foundation.  Without gutters the water will fall next to your foundation and settle there.  A house will settle and can have stress fractures in the slab due to the amount of water that settles around your foundation.
    • If you look up at your gutters and can see through them, – call a gutter guy.
    • If your down spouts are just hanging or barely attached – call a gutter guy. You do not want the wind from a thunderstorm or windstorm to rip them off and cause added damage to your home.
  • Do you know what you would do if rain / flood water (black water) came into your home?
    • Remember any water that comes into your home / office during flooding is black water.
    • Black water carries bacteria and germs that may potentially make one sick with prolonged exposure.
    • If your carpet and padding is wet with flood waters, it is contaminated. Carpet cleaning will not get it clean, it will need to be torn out.
    • You will need to gather your important documents and/or items and call SERVPRO. SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties can extract the water, as longs as the flood waters have receded. 

If you find yourself in a water situation, call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties (830) 379-7474.  SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is only a phone call away for your water damage, fire damage, mold remediation, and much more.

Spring, the start of Tornado season!

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Spring, the start of Tornado season! SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is only a phone call away, when disaster chooses you.

Hello Spring!  It has been a cold and bitter winter for us here in Central Texas!  I mean cold. I am so happy to be back in my favorite season.  Crispy morning air, followed by cool breezes, flowers, and tornadoes.  Yes, I said tornadoes, Spring is the traditional start to tornado season in the U.S.  Granted tornadoes can occur at any time throughout the year, the peak activity is March through early July, according to National Weather Service (NWS). Is your home Tornado ready??

Emergency Kit: Keep the following items in a container that can be easily carried.

  • Water and canned or dried foods – families should set a side one gallon of water per person per day, to last three days, and a three- day supply of food per person, the food should be nonperishable items that don’t need to be cooked, such as tuna and crackers. Remember to include a manual can opener.  If there’s an infant in the house, include formula and baby food.
  • Battery powered radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries for the radio and flashlight
  • Prescription medications
  • First-aid kit.

For more detailed information on what you need to be prepared for storm season, you can visit ready.gov

Remember if you find yourself or loved ones in a storm situation, give us a call! We are only a phone call away. (830) 379-7474.

A look back - were you ready?

9/29/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage A look back - were you ready? Harvey destroyed everything he touched. SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties are only a call away if you are still dealing with your devastation!

Where has this year gone?  Its October!  Fall is in the air, the pumpkin spice everything everywhere.  However, every October we can’t help but remember a special lady, Sandy.  Hurricane Sandy carved her path through the islands, like they were a speed bump in a school zone on the last day of school. All the while setting her sites on the United States Atlantic Coastline.  She grew stronger as she eased up the Atlantic coastline. She could have turned to the right and spun off in the Atlantic, but no she was like a 2-year-old who just lost her favorite teddy bear to the dog.  Sandy’s reach was vast.  She affected 24 states from Florida to Maine.  This year marks 5 years since one of the worst hurricanes ripped up the coastline, leaving nothing but a path of broken hearts, broken homes, and pure devastation in her wake. 

Superstorm Sandy was a devastating storm for everyone she “touched.” Us in Texas sent crews to assist the ones affected by her.  This year Harvey hit the Texas coastline over the little town of Rockport.  Now Harvey wasn’t as big of a storm as his big sister Sandy.  However, they do have one thing in common, they both left a path of devastation.  Sandy claimed 147 lives,  72 of  those lives in the US, Harvey claimed 50 lives.  Sandy took her toll on 24 states, Harvey however, hit Texas.  There is a couple of sayings in Texas, “if the Good Lord’s willing and the creeks don’t rise…..” and “come hell or high water.”  These saying became words of wisdom it seemed during Harvey.  While Harvey was throwing his temper tantrum in the Gulf of Mexico, we stocked up on our supplies; water, food, batteries, flashlights.  We knew it was going to hit us, and he was going to leave a path of devastation behind him as well.

Harvey stopped off the coastline and grew into a back talking teenager who did not want to clean his room.  Harvey spun around at a slug’s pace and grew from tropical storm to Cat 2 hurricane.  Before Harvey made landfall, SERVPRO was lining up the franchises from across Texas and other states to be on standby to assist Texas.  When Sandy hit New York and New Jersey, Texas sent crews, this time we were on the receiving end.  Our coastline battened down the hatches, and evacuated.  Some chose to ride out the storm and in turn were trapped until the flood waters subsided.  Here at SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties, we were picked as a Storm site.  As we left our office on that Friday, we took home the phones, we made sure all computers were unplugged and nothing was on the floor.  We went to our homes, not knowing what was about to happen if anything.  Harvey just like Sandy came in destroyed and left.  There are still people dealing with the devastation, it has only been a month ago that Harvey hit is.  So, as we look back at Sandy this month, and remember the lives that were lost, it hits especially close to home this year, with us still dealing with the remains of Harvey.  

When the national weather service issues a warning / watch, listen to them.  Harvey showed us that a hurricane does not just hit the coast and turn.  Harvey was still a cat 1 when it reached the Stockdale / Nixon area, which is not that far from us in Seguin.  We need to be prepared!  Have a go bag, a stash of water & snacks, a generator for power, batteries, flashlights, all important papers in one place, (Dish washer works great, it is designed to not let water out, so it won’t let water in.)  

Just remember we are SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties are only a phone call away!  We man our phones and make the trek to the office no matter the weather, so we can be ready to roll out once the rains stop and the sky clears. 

9 Tips for Preparing Your Home for Severe Weather

6/6/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 9 Tips for Preparing Your Home for Severe Weather When you see storm clouds on your horizon, remember SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is here for you 24/7!

Is your home ready to withstand powerful gusts of wind and pounding hail? SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties knows that while damage from strong storms is often inevitable, there are steps you can take to minimize harm to your property and protect your personal safety. You shouldn't wait until severe weather is predicted in your area to act – plan for hailstorms, wind storms and tornadoes by following these steps.

Facts about storms

About 3,000 hailstorms occur annually in the United States, and hail that develops during severe storms can reach softball size. An average of 1,000 tornadoes a year causes $1.1 billion in property damage, 1,500 injuries and 80 deaths. Tornadoes are nature's most violent storms, and while the clear majority of them are weak and short, they can cause significant damage. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), about 2 percent of tornadoes fall under the most violent classification, meaning they can reach wind speeds of 205 miles per hour or more.

Planning ahead

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties recommends that prior to the arrival of a storm, you should take the following steps:

  • Build an emergency kit. Your kit should include:
    A three-day supply (minimum) of water and non-perishable food for each family member, First-aid supplies, Personal hygiene items, Portable radio, Flashlight, Fresh batteries, Basic tools, Work gloves, Portable lanterns, Signaling device (such as an air horn), Prescription medications, Extra car keys, Extra eyeglasses, Cash, Important contact numbers (such as medical centers, insurance agents, utilities, neighbors and family members), Copies of important documents (such as identification, insurance policies, ownership certificates and banking information)
  • Create and practice a plan of action for your family. Discuss where and how you will seek shelter during a storm, ensure that everyone is aware of the location of first-aid kits and fire extinguishers, and choose a place for your family to meet if you get separated. Establish a contact person to communicate with concerned relatives, and ensure that you know where and how to shut off utilities at the main switches or valves in the event of a disaster.
  •  Maintain trees and shrubbery in your yard, removing weak branches and eliminating trees that could fall on your home during a storm. Falling trees and blowing debris in storms often cause fatalities and severe structural damage.
  • Replace rock or gravel landscaping material in your yard with shredded bark, which won't cause damage if it is blown around by strong winds. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers additional information for protecting your property from strong winds.
  • Stay tuned to local radio and TV stations for important weather updates. Tornadoes often accompany thunderstorm warnings, and the sooner you're aware that a storm is on the way, the sooner you can get your family to safety.
  • Identify the safest area of your home, a place where you can take shelter when the storm hits. In most structures, this will be the basement or a small interior room without windows, such as a bathroom. In a high-rise building, seek out a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible. Close interior doors, and put as many walls between you and the storm as possible.
  • Identify escape routes from your home or neighborhood, and note whether you need any additional equipment such as a rope ladder.
  • Secure top-heavy furniture that could topple over, such as bookcases, to the walls. Before a storm arrives, move furniture away from doors and windows, if possible.
  • Stay away from windows and doors when the storm arrives, and keep all exterior doors and windows closed to prevent rain and falling debris damage in your home's interior.

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is dedicated to helping our neighbors keep their homes and property safe. If you have storm damage or water intrusion in your home or business give the professionals, who are faster to any disaster, SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at (830) 379-7474.

Contaminated Flood Waters Contain Pathogens and Dangerous Debris

6/6/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Contaminated Flood Waters Contain Pathogens and Dangerous Debris If you are in the path of Flooding, Keep your family safe, call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties (830) 379-7474 for your home & possessions.

When we respond to a case of flood damage due to a storm, one of the most frequent questions our technicians get is, "What is black water?", Black water is heavily contaminated water which is not only unsafe to drink but can also be hazardous simply to be around. It can be difficult to judge conditions in black water due to its typical gray, brown, or black coloration, with small particles often hiding potentially far greater hazards lying within. Here are a few things that can be found in a typical sample of black flood water.

Dirt and Soil: Typically, most of the coloration in black water comes from dirt and soil trapped within. Many cases of flood damage result from heavy storms and rain, and these floodwaters often pick up significant amounts of soil before they ever reach a home. Although this dirt may sound harmless, it makes the water much heavier and more difficult to navigate if you get caught in it.

Microorganisms in Black Water: Although the amount and type of organisms in flood can vary depending on its causes and specifics, almost all samples of black water contain very high levels of microorganisms. These may be parasites, bacteria, viruses, mold, or many other types of organism, and they may be able to cause health effects if ingested or absorbed through the skin. Therefore, it is never advised to drink flood waters and to seek medical attention immediately if you have.

Sharp Metal and Glass: It can be very difficult to see sharp objects in a mass of floodwater, but even if you feel you are confident that such materials are not in the water, it is best always to assume they are. Sharp materials, even if they are tiny, often constitute one of the water's greatest risks. If they open a small cut or wound, this spot may go unnoticed by you but later can possibly develop a bad infection. If you have been cut or had black water touch an open wound, immediately disinfect the wound and apply medical aid as needed.

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties deals with flood damage so that you don't have to. If your home has been caught in a flood, call us at (830) 379-7474 for mitigation and restoration services.

The worst places to stand in a lightning storm.

3/16/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage The worst places to stand in a lightning storm. Lightning is not predictable! Don't get caught with out a plan of action.

What is the worst place to be during a Lightning storm? 

Standing in the middle of the wave pool at Starke Park holding a metal rod into the air would probably be the most correct answer for our area, but listed below are some more practical places to avoid when lightning strikes. 

Under a tree

When a thunderstorm suddenly hits an open outdoor area, people naturally look for shelter. However welcoming a tall, isolated tree may seem during a downpour, it’s best to stay clear of it if you hear thunder.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, lightning will typically strike the tallest object in a given space, as it requires the shortest distance between a cloud and the object with a positive electrical charge. Trees are also likely to be struck by lightning because the water and sap inside some of them acts as a conductor.

Inside, talking on a land-line phone

Being at home or inside a building when a thunderstorm hits is the best place to be but it doesn’t mean immunity from lightning strikes. Weather safety experts recommend staying away from plumbing, walls that may have electrical wires and the telephone when lightning is in the area.

According to the National Weather Service, talking on a land-line phone during a storm is one of the leading causes of lightning-related injuries in the U.S. Using a computer that's plugged into a power source can also lead to injuries. 

On open farmland

Any open space is a bad place to be during a lightning storm but farmers seem to be especially susceptible to fatal strikes. Some of the most common activities victims are engaged in include herding livestock and baling hay, according to the NWS.

Outside, a few minutes after a storm passes

Many lightning-related injuries occur once the weather has cleared, as people step back outside. Bolts can strike miles away from a storm and for this reason, it’s recommended to wait 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before going back outside.

On a covered porch

Covered shelters are fine for protection against rain but they don’t protect against lightning strikes. The same goes for open garages or carports, where it’s safer to be inside a car with the windows up. Any shelter that isn’t fully enclosed, with a roof, walls and a floor, isn’t a safe place to be during a lightning storm.

In a tent

Campers have limited options when a lightning storm hits but staying inside a tent is one of the worst options. According to Environment Canada, “Lying on the ground in a tent during a lightning storm would maximize the chances of being hurt.” Experts recommend getting inside a hard-top car with the windows up in one of these situations.

Storm Basics

3/10/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Basics Storms can be very dangerous in Central Texas. Also have a Severe weather plan for your family.

Storm Basics 

 A Thunderstorm is a rain shower during which you hear thunder.  Since thunder comes from lightning, all thunderstorms have lightning.  A thunderstorm is classified as "severe" when it contains one of or more of the following: 
  • Hail
  • Winds in excess of 58 mph
  • Structural wind damage 
  • Tornado
Also, make sure you remember the difference between a Storm WATCH and Storm WARNING. 
 
Watch vs. Warning
A severe Thunderstorm Watch means that the potential exist for the development of thunderstorms which may produce large hail or damaging winds.  A watch is issued by the SPC (Storm Prediction Center).
A severe Thunderstorm Warning means that a severe thunderstorm is occurring or is imminent based on Doppler radar information or a reliable spotter report.

Tornado Facts
 
Tornadoes are arguable nature's most violent storms.  Generated from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes generally appear as rotating, funnel-shaped clouds extending from the cloud base to the ground.  With winds that can reach up to 300 miles per hour, tornadoes can cause massive destruction with seconds.  Damage paths can be excess of a mile wide and fifty miles long. 
  • The average tornado moves southwest to northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction. 
  • The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 miles per hour, but may vary from stationary to 70 mils per hour. 
  • Tornadoes are most frequently reported east of the Rocky Mountains during spring and summer months. 
  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 pm and 9 pm. 
(Tornado facts and Storm tips are provided by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) 

Flood Tips

3/10/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Flood Tips Always know your surroundings! Water rises quickly, and may catch you off guard, if you are not prepared.

We at SERVPRO  of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties want to make sure you have the knowledge you need to get through any flooding situations that may come our way.  This page explains what actions to take when you received a flood watch or warning alert from the National Weather Service from your local area and what to do before, during and after a flood. 

 
Before it Floods: 
Make a Flood Plan! 
  • Know your flood risk
  • Make a flood emergency play. 
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash and first aid supplies. 
  • Consider buying Flood insurance. 
  • Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know whereto go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground, the highest level of a building, or to evacuate. 
  • Stay tuned to your phone alerts, TV or Radio for weather updates, emergency instructions, or evacuations orders. 
Basic Safety Tips 
  • Turn Around, Don't Drown! 
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters 
  • Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can seep your vehicle away. 
  • If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground.  Flash floods are the #1 cause of weather-related deaths in the US. 
  • If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground.  Do not leave the car and enter moving water! 
  • Avoid camping or parking along streams, river, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning. 
 

Flood Watch 

Flood Watch - "Be Aware" Conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area. 
Steps to take 
  • Turn on your TV/Radio. You will receive the latest weather updates and emergency instruction. 
  • Know where to go.  you may need to reach higher ground quickly and on foot. 
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit.  Include a flashlight, batteries, cash and first aid supplies. 
Prepare Your Home
  • Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor.  This will help protect them from flood damage. 
  • Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.  You could be electrocuted. 
  • If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve.  This helps prevent fires and explosions. 

Flood Warning

Flood Warning = "Take Action!" Flooding is either happening or will happen shortly. 
Steps to take 
  • Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground. 
  • Evacuate if directed 
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Turn Around, Don't Drown! Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can seep your vehicle away. 
After a Flood
  • Return home only when Authorities say it is safe. 
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris.  Flood waters often erode roads and walkways. 
  • Do not attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded. 
  • Avoid standing water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.  
  • Photograph damage to your property for insurance purposes. 

 

If you have storm damage to your home or property, call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties (830) 379-7474.  Timely mitigation is key to minimize secondary damages caused by flooding. 
 
Flood tips are provided by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)

When the Severe Storm rolls out...we roll in.

10/27/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage When the Severe Storm rolls out...we roll in. Lighting storm

During the Storm

  • Use your Battery Operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from you local officials.
  • Avoid contact with corded phones. Use a corded telephone only for emergencies. Cordless and cellular telephones are safe to use.
  • Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords. Unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers and turn off air-conditioners. Power surges from lighting can cause serious damage.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, do not take a shower, do not wash dishes and do not do laundry. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
  • Stay away from windows and doors and stay off porches.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors and do not lean against concrete walls.
  • Avoid natural lighting rods such as a tall, isolated tree in an open area.
  • Avoid hilltops, open fields. The beach or a boat on the water.
  • Take shelter in a sturdy building. Avoid isolated sheds or other small structures in open areas.
  • Avoid contact with anything metal- tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, golf clubs and bicycles.
  • If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers unit heavy rain ends. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.