As a water and flood damage restoration company, SERVPRO of Palo Alto is providing homeowners with a seven-point checklist to help prepare for severe weather. In anticipation of severe weather, Atherton, CA, homeowners can implement measures to prevent or minimize storm and flood damage.
1. Store outdoor items in a secure location.
Lawn items can become damage-causing projectiles in the event of sustained, high winds or sudden, strong wind gusts. Recreational equipment, gardening tools, lawn furniture, trash cans, and other outdoor items should be stored in a secure location if severe weather is forecast for the area. Turbulent winds during a thunderstorm can lift these items hundreds of feet into the air or send them hurdling along the ground at breakneck speed. These missiles can shatter glass windows and doors, rip holes and cracks in siding, and inflict serious damage to vehicles. Serious personal injury is also possible. During a severe storm, all windows and doors should be closed. Negligence to responsibly secure items in and around the yard could expose the homeowner to legal liabilities.
2. Storm-proof the treescape.
Trees will always be vulnerable during high winds. However, a knowledgeable arborist can remove dead or dangerous limbs and shape trees to effectively withstand severe weather conditions.
3. Strengthen windows and doors, including the garage door.
If windows shatter, the wind can drive rain into the room, causing severe water damage. If multiple windows are broken, high winds can enter the home and increase the air pressure in the structure. This increase in upward pressure could cause some or all the roof to detach from the house with catastrophic results. Installing high-impact shutters or high-impact glass can improve the home’s resistance to storm damage from high winds.
Garage doors must withstand enormous pressure when directly bombarded by high winds. Consider installing reinforced garage doors with impact-resistant glass panes.
4. Have an alternate power solution for outages.
Consult with an electrician about installing a whole-house surge protector in the event of a lightning strike. For a long-term solution, consider purchasing a home generator.
5. Flood-proof your home
If a home is in a flood zone, a standard homeowner’s policy will probably not cover the flood damage. Consult with an insurance agent for clarification. A preventative strategy is to make the foundation watertight with concrete if a sump pump is insufficient to deal with excess water. Consult a foundation specialist for other viable and affordable options.
6. Create a disaster preparedness plan.
The plan should include important contact information, the location of the meet-up site in case of an evacuation, first aid items, flashlights, basic tools, extra batteries, a weather radio, toiletries, and emergency food and water supplies. Stay focused on survival and personal safety.
7. Prequalify a property damage restoration company.
The best time to reach out to a property damage restoration company is before a disaster strikes. Anxiety and stress are low. There is time to research several companies, check references, read reviews, and talk to family and friends about their experiences. Reputable companies appreciate interacting with homeowners and businesses engaged in doing their due diligence to learn about the property damage restoration industry and prequalify with a company.
The main benefit of being prequalified is that when a disaster strikes, homeowners and their families know who they are going to contact, and they already have contact information on file. When rain is pouring in through the roof at 3 AM, stress, exhaustion, and the chaos of the moment can make it almost impossible to think clearly, much less vet restoration companies.
Pre-qualification with SERVPRO of Palo Alto includes the following benefits:
- No time is wasted collecting personal information.
- Crews can be on scene within an hour of the initial contact. A rapid response is crucial when the water intrusion is still in process. Emergency tarping can prevent a bad situation from becoming a full-blown catastrophe.
- Important information about the property is instantly accessible to the crew. The team arrives ready to inspect and assess the damage and begin the damage cleanup and restoration.
- The customer is put at ease knowing the company has been vetted and the technicians are certified, experienced, and well-equipped to handle the situation.