When Disaster Strikes: What to do?

September is National Preparedness Month. With the crisis that the world is currently facing, it is important to stress the benefits of family and community disaster planning now more than ever.

Disasters, such as hurricanes and thunderstorms, are typical in Florida. There is a time every year when Floridians experience destructive thunderstorms and hurricanes that could cause huge damage to their properties. Hurricanes can bring flash floods, hard rains and water damage.

 

What should I do before a disaster strikes?

Hurricane Season

 

Disaster preparedness is the key to increase your chances of surviving a disaster and keep you and your family safe. Here are some tips from Ready.gov.

  1. Make a plan. Create an emergency plan and discuss it together with your family. Discuss emergency alerts and warnings, shelter plans, evacuation routes, and modes of communication. Consider the specific needs that each family member may require, especially children or the elderly. Then, practice this plan in advance so that you’ll know what to do or what to expect when a disaster finally strikes.
  2. Build a kit. Check your emergency disaster kit last year to assess what else to add. Since there is a global health crisis in the present, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adding items that would help prevent the spread of viruses, such as cloth face coverings and prescription medications.
  3. Teach your kids about preparedness. Emergencies and disasters can be scary or overwhelming for kids, so it’s best that you talk to your children about them. You can check this link to find fun, interactive learning materials about disaster preparedness that your kids are sure to love.

 

Hurricanes in Florida

Storm Damage ServiceMaster by PWF

The state of Florida is vulnerable to hurricanes due to its location. Most Floridians are already aware about this fact and are already adept about hurricane preparedness. If you are new to Florida, consider asking your neighbors or friends to get the general idea about what preparations to make before a hurricane strikes. Hurricanes can result to a lot of damages to property, and if this ever happens to you, here is a checklist on what you need to take care of after the hurricane has passed.

  1. Start at the roof and work your way down. The roof can be high and steep, but you don’t have to climb up. All you have to do is to check for leaks inside your home. Inspect your roof and ceilings for holes. If you don’t know how to do this, it’s better to call an expert for advice or help.
  2. Take a look at the electrical outlets. Exposed electrical outlets can cause accidents. Make sure all your electrical outlets are safe and secured. Make sure your hands aren’t wet and the place where your electrical outlets are is not wet. If you are unsure about what to do, call an expert to do this for you.
  3. Check for water damage inside and outside your property. Check for mold build up and any standing water inside your property to avoid accidents. Standing water is easy to spot and easy to clean. However, there are times when your indoors will be flooded. You can do the job yourself, but it would take a lot of effort on your part especially when you don’t have the right equipment to do it. Call the experts at  Service Master Restoration by PWF, to perform mold inspection, dehumidification and water removal in your property.
  4. Document all damages. All damages must be documented so that you can have an accurate report for your insurance company. Your insurance company can help you finance for the damages that the storm has caused. By doing this, you can have peace of mind and you don’t have to worry about the money. Always make sure to document the before and after photos so that your evidence will be intact.

 

These are just some of the things that you can do after a hurricane and it is always best to perform a routine check before the storm. You have to keep in mind that water and storm damage need to be promptly addressed as they may lead to more serious damages, such as mold, mildew and irreparable structural repairs. Water damage restoration needs to be taken care of by professionals, not just for the proper restoration of your property but also for your health.

ServiceMaster Restoration by PWF is here to service customers in Pinellas, Duval, Clay, and St. Johns Counties, Florida. We also have an emergency response team available 24 hours a day to respond to your needs. Call us anytime at (866) 599-0871.