Recent Storm Damage Posts
Don't Forget your Sump Pump
A number of homes that SERVPRO of Libertyville/ North Chicago City/ Lake Bluff has been to recently was due to flooded basements or other living areas. During the initial inspection process to see what the cause of the water damage was and what was affected, it was discovered that a sump pump might have not been operating correctly and the damage was more extensive due to a malfunction of the sump pump.
There are some steps that homeowners can take to help maintain their sump pumps and help avoid a costly and time consuming water event in their homes :
Every 3-4 months
- Clean pump inlet screen
- Check power cord / make sure the cord is plugged in
- Make sure the pump turns on by dumping a bucket or two of water into the sump, this will also help to determine if the float is operating correctly up and down.
- Take the pump out of the sump to clean and inspect it for any obvious defects
- Clean out the sump
- grease /lubricate any necessary bearings on the pump. Check owners manual for maintenance instructions.
- Lower the pump back into its correct position in the sump
- Test the pump and float by dumping a bucket or two of water into the sump.
Most importantly, if you do not feel comfortable taking care of the maintenance or are not mechanically inclined, ask the company that installed it to do the maintenance or for a referral for a company that can. Regular maintenance of your sump pump will help keep your water prone areas safe from flooding and keep your home environment a safe livable space for years to come. A little maintenance will go a long way.
Lightning and Thunder Precautions
When lightning strikes
According to the weather.gov website,lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times a year and kills an average of 47 people each year. Do you know some of the suggested safety measures to take in the event of lightning? What structures are safe to seek shelter ? What measures can you take to ensure your safety, your family's safety and even your pets?
Here are some safety suggestions and guidelines to follow:
- Do not use phones that are attached by cords, cell phones are safe alternatives.
- Do not touch T.V`s ,computers or cords but you can use remote controls correctly.
- Do not shower, wash your hands or do dishes. Avoid plumbing.
- Do not lean on exterior doors or windows that might have metal components that connect the outside to the inside .
- Do not use your balcony, carport, open garage areas ,porches and avoid lying on concrete flooring or leaning against concrete walls
- Do not leave your dog outside in it`s dog house, a dog house is not safe shelter and if the doghouse is chained to a tree, there is even a higher risk to your pet. BRING YOUR PETS INSIDE DURING A SEVERE STORM.
- Do not unplug your equipment during a storm. Typical surge protectors will not protect your equipment from a lightning strike.
I guess grandma was right when she said get off the phone, do not shower and turn off the television when there would be a thunderstorm. I assumed she was being overprotective but she was right. Here at SERVPRO of Libertyville/North Chicago City/Lake Bluff we want our community to stay safe and follow precautions. Personal belongings and property can be replaced , lives can not.
Storm Damage: How to deal
Don't get stressed by storm damage, let SERVPRO help
Dealing with repairs and insurance companies after severe weather hits your property can be difficult. Homeowners can use the following tips to help tackle the storm damage caused by hard rains, flooding, or storm-related issues.
If you and your family were away from home when the storm hit, do not return until it has been confirmed safe. Contact a storm damage expert like SERVPRO of Libertyville/North Chicago City/Lake Bluff; we’ll help you determine if your home is safe to return to.
You will need to contact your homeowners’ insurance adjuster as soon as possible. If your neighborhood has sustained widespread damage, find out if any special teams of insurance agents, relief workers, or contractors are coming to the area. Check your policy to find out what actions you need to take or talk to your agent to make sure you are following the proper procedures. Not following these actions correctly could result in a reduced claim. Inspect your property and make a list of all damages; take photographs of all noted damage if at all possible.
RECORDING AND DOCUMENTING
Document your neighbor’s damages, as well; this can prevent the insurance provider from downgrading your claim by saying the damage is from your neglect of maintenance or other unrelated issues by giving them a way to compare. Keep a record of all the communication you have with your insurance provider, and don’t do any unnecessary repair work yourself. Hire a trusted storm damage restoration service provider such as SERVPRO of Libertyville/North Chicago City/Lake Bluff to handle any repairs.
BE SCAM FREE
Always check the adjuster’s identification. If you are evacuated, ask for money from your claim upfront. If they agree, you will be given a check for an amount that will be deducted from your final settlement. Some providers will automatically offer a partial payment early on during the process. Review it carefully and decline it if you feel uncomfortable with any part of it. Never be afraid to ask questions and to expect an answer that makes sense or seems fair.
Dealing with a storm's aftermath is stressful, but reacting properly will be an immense help and can prevent problems down the road.
SERVPRO of Libertyville/North Chicago City/Lake Bluff team is ready to help 24/7. Call us for your fire or water damage issues at 847-557-1080
When a storm hits, do you know what to do?
All thunderstorms are dangerous and produce lightning. On average lightning kills 51 people and injures hundreds more in the US each year. Dangers associated with thunderstorms include strong winds, flash flooding, hail, and even tornadoes.
To prepare for a thunderstorm:
- Trim or remove tree limbs near your home. Remove any dead or rotting trees.
- Secure outdoor items.
- Postpone or cancel outdoor activities.
- Go inside - if you can't reach a building, get in a hard-top vehicle.
- Secure doors and windows. Close blinds, curtains, or shutters.
- Unplug electronics.
When a thunderstorm occurs:
- Remember this phrase: "When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors". Go inside during thunderstorms.
- Listen to a battery-operated radio such as a NOAA Weather Radio for updates and information.
- Unplug electronics and appliances to prevent damage from lightning-caused power surges.
- Water conducts electricity. Water-based activities and chores should be avoided during a thunderstorm.
- Windows, porches, and doorways can be dangerous in storms - stay inside.
- If you can't get inside, try to avoid natural lightning rods - like a large tree in an open field, and try not to be the tallest thing on a hill, open field, or beach.
- Try not to touch metal - including your car - metal conducts electricity.
- Stay in your car if you're driving. Pull over and turn on your hazard lights until heavy rain ends.
After the storm passes:
- Never drive through a flooded roadway. Turn around, don't drown!
- Stay away from storm-damaged areas.
- Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or local radio and television stations for updated information or instructions.
- Help people who may require special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or those with access or functional needs.
- Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
- Keep a close eye on your pets to keep them safe.
The professionals at SERVPRO of Libertyville/North Chicago City/Lake Bluff are highly trained and certified, our Professionals are equipped with the knowledge they need to help with any water or fire loss.
SERVPRO of Libertyville/North Chicago City/Lake Bluff 847-557-1080
Ways to get Weather Warnings
Are you informed?
Storm season is upon us. Do you know all the ways you can stay informed about inclement weather in your area? Here are some Ways to get Warnings and stay in the know.
Wireless Emergency Alerts
Emergency messages sent by the National Weather Service (NWS) and other agencies via your mobile carrier.
Your phone will receive the alters moments after being issued. Phones that are using cell towers in the alert zone will receive the WEA.
NOAA Weather Radio
A nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather info from your local NWS office.
These battery-powered radios are a great source of weather warnings when the power is out and at night when you may be sleeping.
Check weather.gov on a desktop or mobile.weather.gov on your mobile device.
Other ways to find warnings online include social media, other weather apps and local news sites.
Local TV and Radio
Local stations broadcast official warnings, plus forecasts and storm tracks from on-air meteorologists.
TV in particular is a great source of emergency info, since radar displays, maps, and other graphics can be shown.
Only designed to alert people who are outdoors.
Sirens are not intended to alert people who are in cars, homes, or other buildings.
Storm damage can happen, no matter how prepared you are. Call SERVPRO of Libertyville/North Chicago City/Lake Bluff. We have the training, tools and team to help you. 847-557-1080
Storm Damage Preparedness
Are you prepared?
Our team of experts will be there soon, but your health and safety are our main priorities. While you wait for help to arrive, follow these tips to keep you protected while facilitating a more rapid recovery:
- Discuss preparedness with your family
- Identify an out-of-state contact in case you are separated. Long-distance calls may work when local calls do not
- Teach children how and when to call 911 post emergency contact numbers near phones in your home
- Teach children how to use a cell phone
- Determine two escape routes from each room in your home
- Pick three places to meet - One right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, pick a location in your neighborhood if your property isn't safe and a regional meeting place if you can't return home
MAKE A PLAN
will keep you alive. If you have enough water, you can live on half of your normal food intake. Make sure to store at least one gallon of water per person per day and store enough to last two weeks.
People in hot environments, children, people who are ill and nursing mothers should store more.
Rotate your water supply every six months
Other sources of water in your home: water heater, ice cubes, pipes and toilet tank (not the bowl)
Unlike water, food can be rationed. Store at least a three to five-day supply of non-perishable food in a dry place where the temperature is not above 70 degrees.
Select foods that require little or no preparation, water or refrigeration. Select foods that are high in calories, nutritious, compact and lightweight. Choose foods your family will eat
Pets are an important member of your family. Plan for them as well. Remember that emergency shelters typically do not allow animals. Only service animals are allowed in shelters.
But you should know safe places to keep your pets if you have to evacuate with them. Where are hotels and motels outside of your area that accept pets? What friends or family members could keep them for you? Which boarding facilities, veterinarians or shelters could be used?
Your water heater can be a critical source of water in an emergency, but only if it’s still standing. Go to your home improvement store of choice and buy the metal straps to secure the water heater to nearby studs.
A falling water heater can break gas lines and water lines or spill your water.
If you have natural gas coming into your home, it’s easy to turn off, but not so much for turning it back on. Only qualified people should turn gas back on.
When you should shut off your gas meter:
- You smell natural gas
- You hear gas leaking
- There is a fire (unless shutting off the gas would jeopardize your safety)
If you need to shut off the gas, use a wrench to turn the valve a quarter turn in either direction
Take some time to become familiar with which utilities enter your home and where they can be shut off. As you practice emergency plans, locate and map the gas, water and electricity mains. During family drills, go through the movements, but do not practice shutting off gas lines.
If you are facing the aftermath of a storm or natural disaster, call us at (208) 375-0300!
Catastrophic Storm Cleaning in Lake County, IL
Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Matthew, Hurricane Harvey, and Hurricane Irma are catastrophic storm events where SERVPRO of Gurnee and SERVPRO of Libertyville/N. Chicago City/ Lake Bluff have sent crews, vehicles, and equipment to help homeowners and business owners get back in their homes and businesses. SERVPRO has over 1700 franchises all over the United States, and many of these franchises have teams that are ready to respond to catastrophic storm events helping businesses and homeowners after a severe storm.
This summer we requested SERVPRO catastrophic storm teams to help with our recent storms and flooding on July 12th, 2017 due to the high volume of calls. We received crews from California, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Michigan, among other states. When you call SERVPRO during a catastrophic storm event, you are able to receive a team of technicians that are background checked, completed SERVPRO’s several Employee Certification Training Programs, follows and adheres to the ANSI/IICRC S500 Water Restoration Reference Guide, works directly with your insurance, takes photos before, throughout, and after job completion, and are professionally certified with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.
Emergency Supply Checklist from FEMA
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Local maps
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Infant formula and diapers
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
- Cash or traveler’s checks and change
- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from ready.gov
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Complete change of clothing including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Fire Extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Lightning Facts and Tips
SERVPRO of Gurnee and SERVPRO of Libertyville/ N. Chicago City/ Lake Bluff will board up your home or business, clean contents, clean structure, and rebuild if your building is struck by lightning and incurs fire damage. The odds of being struck by lightning is 1 in 500,000 and is the leading cause of weather-related fatalities. Here are some tips and facts about lightning from the CDC:
- Check the forecast before planning outdoor activities. If the weather is calling for outdoor thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity, or make sure there is adequate shelter available.
- “When thunder roars, go indoors.” Go indoors or find a safe enclosed shelter when you hear thunder. Some ideas of safe shelters are offices, homes, shopping centers, or hard-top vehicles (with the windows rolled up).
- Avoid windows, doors, porches, and concrete. Do not lie on concrete floors and avoid leaning against concrete walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.
- Avoid water during a thunderstorm by not bathing, showering, washing dishes, or any other contact with water because lightning can travel through a building’s plumbing.
- Avoid electronic equipment that is connected to an electrical outlet. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls.
- Make sure to equip homes and businesses with surge protectors to protect appliances and other electronic devices.
- If you are outdoors and there is not shelter, do not lie down. Instead, crouch close to the ground touching the ground as little as possible. If you are in a group, make sure to separate.
Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 –847-557-1080
Flooding in Gurnee Tips
With the spring rains approaching there will be watchful eyes on the water levels of our local rivers and ponds. Recently the Village of Gurnee posted an article in their community newsletter with tips for protecting your Gurnee home from Spring Flooding. (You can read the article here.)
SERVPRO of Gurnee and SERVPRO of Libertyville/N. Chicago City/ Lake Bluff is open and ready to help 24/7 365 days per year. We are on site fast to help mitigate and protect your home when water has intruded whether it is from heavy rains to sump pump failure. Did you know that here at SERVPRO of Gurnee and SERVPRO of Libertyville/ N. Chicago City/ Lake Bluff ALL of our staff are WRT certified? What that means is that our entire staff is trained as Water Damage Restoration Technicians through the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification). All our team members have gone through the course and passed an exam to be on your property to properly take care of the water damage has occurred in your home. There are more steps to just extracting the water from your home. We check to see the migration of where the water has traveled, and which walls have become saturated.
When Storms or Floods hit Antioch, SERVPRO is ready!
SERVPRO of Gurnee & SERVPRO of Libertyville/ N. Chicago City/ Lake Bluff 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 Antioch, 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 847-557-1080