Recent Storm Damage Posts

Hurricane Facts

7/31/2019 (Permalink)

  • A hurricane is an intense tropical storm with powerful winds and rain.
  • Other names for a hurricane include cyclone, typhoon and tropical storm.

  • While they are essentially the same thing, the different names usually indicate where the storm took place. Tropical storms that form in the Atlantic or Northeast Pacific (near the United States) are called hurricanes, those that form near in the Northwest Pacific (near Japan) are called typhoons and those that form in the South Pacific or Indian oceans are called cyclones.

  • Hurricanes usually form in tropical areas of the world.

  • Hurricanes develop over warm water and use it as an energy source.

  • Hurricanes lose strength as they move over land.

  • Coastal regions are most at danger from hurricanes.

  • As well as violent winds and heavy rain, hurricanes can also create tornadoes, high waves and widespread flooding.

  • Hurricanes are regions of low atmospheric pressure (also known as a depression).

  • The wind flow of hurricanes in the southern hemisphere is clockwise while the wind flow of hurricanes in the northern hemisphere is counterclockwise.

  • Weather in the eye of a hurricane is usually calm.

  • The eye of a hurricane can be anywhere from 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) in diameter to over 200 miles (320 kilometers) but they are usually around 30 miles (48 kilometers).

  • The winds around the eye of a hurricane are usually the strongest.

  • Hurricanes can be tracked by weather satellites and weather radar closer to land.

  • Hurricanes have led to the death of around 2 million people over the last 200 years.

  • The 1970 Bhola Cyclone that struck Bangladesh killed over 300000 people.

  • In 2005 Hurricane Katrina killed over 1800 people in the United States and caused around $80 billion dollars worth of property damage. The city of New Orleans was hit particularly hard with levee breaches leading to around 80% of the city being flooded.

Lightning Facts

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Lightning can be beautiful to see, but very dangerous. According to the US Federal Emergency Management Acgency (FEMA), an average of 60 people every year are killed by lightning, and hundreds more are severely injured. Many times this injuries are due to misinformation.

Here are a few most common myths about lightning:

Myth: If it's not raining there is no danger from lightning.

Fact: Lightning can occur up to 10 miles outside of a rainstorm.

Myth: If you are inside, you are 100% safe from lightning.

Fact: A home or business is a safe place to seek shelter from a thunderstorm, as long as you avoid conduits of electricity, including phones with cords, electrical appliances, wires, TV cables, computers, plumbing, metal doors, and windows.

Myth: Lightning never strikes the same place twice.

Fact: Lightning often strikes the same place repeatedly. For example the Empire State Building gets hit at least 100 times per year.

Myth: A lightning victim is electrified. If you touch them, you'll be electrocuted

Fact: The human body does not store electricity.

Tornado Facts

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Tornadoes are known to cause widespread damage throughout the United States, especially in the Southern Plains and SouthEast. But how much do we truly know about these destructive entities that tear through our homes and businesses?

Here are a couple of quick facts about tornadoes:

  • The average tornado travels Southwest to Northeast but have been known to move in any direction.
  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3pm and 9pm but can occur at any time.
  • T. Theodore Fujita devised the F0-F5 Scale for tornadoes in 1971.
  • In 2006 the National Weather Service unveiled the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF Scale).
  • A tornado normally appears transparent until it picks dust and mud from the ground.
  • The USA averages around 1,200 tornadoes every year, more than any other country.
  • In the southern hemisphere tornadoes usually rotate in a clockwise direction. In the northern hemisphere tornadoes usually rotate in a counterclockwise direction.

Signs of Danger

  • Dark, green tinted sky
  • Large hail
  • Low-lying rotating cloud
  • Loud roar similar to a freight train

We are in the peak of tornado season here in South Carolina and encourage everyone to be weather aware. Have a family plan in the event of a tornado warning. Know where your safe areas are wherever you are. If you are ever affected by a tornado cal us at SERVPRO of Lexington (803)955-0342.

SERVPRO Storm Response

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

When it comes to fire & water damage, or specialty cleanup needs, it’s the SERVPRO brand that comes to mind. Our TEAMS work endlessly to make sure our customers are happy, and have one objective in the aftermath of disaster, to make their loss Like it never even happened.

No matter the job or the size, our SERVPRO teams are ready to handle any size loss. With 1,700+ franchises nationwide, we have access to numerous highly trained personnel and thousands of pieces of equipment. Our SERVPRO Disaster Recovery teams are strategically placed throughout the country to respond when needed. Our Teams have a proven track record for success, assisting with cleanup of floods, tornadoes, wildfires, and damage caused from frigid temperatures.

Whether it’s a major storm event, or faulty appliance, we will be there with one call. 803-955-0342

Tornado Safety Tips

3/17/2018 (Permalink)

Tornado Safety Tips:

1. Seek shelter in a sturdy building, or a pre-designated shelter. Go to the lowest level of the building, preferably in a basement, and get under a heavy desk or workbench or sit next to the wall and cover your head with your arms/hands. Best bet – have a safe room in the basement.

2. If an underground shelter is not available, move to an interior room/hallway – put as many wall between you and the outside of the building, and stay away from windows. Other possibilities: get into a bathtub or under a bed or sofa.

3. Get out of vehicles – they can easily be tossed around – do not try to outrun a tornado.

4. If caught outside – lie flat on the ground and cover your head with your hands. Remember, in tornado situations debris likes to settle in roadside ditches or other low spots. If heavy rains are falling in the area, ditches and low spots may quickly flood. Therefore, laying down in a ditch may not be your best choice.

5. Be aware of flying debris – most deaths and injuries are caused by flying debris.

6. Manufactured homes (mobile trailers) offer little protection, even if tied down. Leave these for a sturdy shelter before the storm approaches.

7. Do not seek shelter under a highway overpass. Wind blow stronger under the overpass due to the wind-tunnel effect. Additionally, flying debris (glass, wood, metal) can pummel you, and the tornado winds may suck you out from under the overpass anyway.

8. Don’t waste time opening windows and doors to equalize air pressure differences – this is a waste of time and buildings have enough air leakage to equalize air pressure differences anyway. Buildings are more likely to explode after the wind gets inside.

9. The southwest side of the basement isn’t necessarily the safest place to be – vehicles can be pushed into basements – you can still be crushed no matter where you are in the basement. Even the bricks/stones of a fireplace can crash into the basement and crush you!

10. Remember – the tornado can occur before there is a visible funnel cloud. A tornado is nothing more than a violently rotating column of air extending from the ground to the cloud base. You may not be able to see the tornado (can’t see the rotating air) until enough debris and dirt get swept into the vortex, and/or the visible funnel cloud develops all the way to the ground.

11. No place is totally safe from tornadoes (except for a safe room) – if weather conditions come together properly, the tornado will go over or through mountains, lakes, rivers, swamps, marshes, bogs, and through downtown areas that have 1000 foot skyscrapers!

Lightning Safety Tips

3/17/2018 (Permalink)

Lightning Safety Tips:

1. Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are imminent. Lightning can travel 5-10 miles away from the thunderstorm and strike the ground with blue sky overhead. The storm doesn’t have to be overhead in order for you to be struck.

2. Move to a sturdy shelter or vehicle. Do not take shelter in a small shed, under isolated trees, or in a convertible-top vehicle. Stay away from tall objects such as trees or towers or poles.

3. If in your vehicle when lightning strikes – don’t touch a metal surface. You are safer in a vehicle than being outdoors.

4. Remember that utility lines or pipes can carry the electrical current underground or through a building. Avoid electrical appliances, and use telephones or computers only in an emergency.

5. If you feel your hair standing on end – get down into a baseball catcher’s position and plug your ears with your finger tips so if lightning does hit it will not blow your ear drums out. Do not lie flat!

6. 30/30 rule – if the time between lighting and thunder is 30 seconds or less, go to a safe shelter. Stay there until 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder

Home damaged from frozen pipes in Lexington County, SC

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Home damaged from frozen pipes in Lexington County, SC Pictures of home damaged after frozen pipes busted.

When Storms or Floods hit Lexington, SERVPRO is ready!

SERVPRO of Lexington 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.

Faster Response

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 Lexington, 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 (803)955-0342

Storm Damage in a Lexington, SC. Home

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Damage in a Lexington, SC. Home Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Lexington, SC.

 When Storms or Floods hit Lexington, SERVPRO is ready!

SERVPRO ofLexington 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.

Faster Response

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 Lexington, 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 (803)955-0342

Storm Damage in a Lexington, SC. Home

7/18/2017 (Permalink)

A recent storm caused this Lexington, SC. home to have a water damage in their home. This before picture shows some of the damage that was caused by the flooding. 

SERVPRO of Lexington was called to clean up the aftermath! The owner was thrilled that we were able to restore their home to normal. 

SERVPRO ofLexington 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.

Faster Response

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 Lexington, 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 (803) 955-0342

When Storms Hit Lexington, SERVPRO is Ready!

7/10/2017 (Permalink)

 When Storms or Floods hit Lexington, SERVPRO is ready!

SERVPRO ofLexington 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.

Faster Response

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 Lexington, 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 (803)955-0342

When Storms or Floods hit Lexington, SERVPRO is Ready!

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage When Storms or Floods hit Lexington, SERVPRO is Ready! Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Lexington, SC.

 When Storms or Floods hit Lexington, SERVPRO is ready!

Restoring storm- and flood-damaged properties is the cornerstone of our business. Our highly trained professionals use specialized equipment and advanced training to quickly restore your Lexington property to pre-storm condition. We’re dedicated to responding immediately, which helps to minimize secondary damage.

Faster Response

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 Lexington, 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 (803)955-0342.

During a Tornado

7/28/2016 (Permalink)

If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately!  Most injuries associated with high winds are from flying debris, so remember to protect your head.

During a Tornado

If you are in:          

A structure (e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building)            

Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of a small interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.

In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.

Put on sturdy shoes.

Do not open windows.

A manufactured home or office               

Get out immediately and go to a pre-identified location such as the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.

The outside with no shelter      

If you are not in a sturdy building, there is no single research-based recommendation for what last-resort action to take because many factors can affect your decision.

Possible actions include:

Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park.

Take cover in a stationary vehicle. Put the seat belt on and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.

Lie in an area noticeably lower than the level of the roadway and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.

In all situations:

Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.

Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.

Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

Tornado Preparation

7/27/2016 (Permalink)

Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk from this hazard. Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible. Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.

To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.

Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.

Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.

Look for the following danger signs:

Dark, often greenish sky

Large hail

A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)

Loud roar, similar to a freight train.

If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

Quick facts you should know about tornadoes:

They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.

They may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.

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 mph, but may vary from stationary to 70 mph.

Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.

Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.

Tornadoes are most frequently reported east of the Rocky Mountains during spring and summer months.

Peak tornado season in the southern states is March through May; in the northern states, it is late spring through early summer.

Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 pm and 9 pm, but can occur at any time.

Tornado 101

7/26/2016 (Permalink)

Tornado 101

What is a tornado?

A tornado is a narrow, violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground. Because wind is invisible, it is hard to see a tornado unless it forms a condensation funnel made up of water droplets, dust and debris. Tornadoes are the most violent of all atmospheric storms.

Where do tornadoes occur?

Tornadoes occur in many parts of the world, including Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. Even New Zealand reports about 20 tornadoes each year. Two of the highest concentrations of tornadoes outside the U.S. are Argentina and Bangladesh.

How many tornadoes occur in the U.S. each year?

About 1,200 tornadoes hit the U.S. yearly. Since official tornado records only date back to 1950, we do not know the actual average number of tornadoes that occur each year. Plus, tornado spotting and reporting methods have changed a lot over the last several decades.

Where is tornado alley?

Tornado Alley is a nickname invented by the media for a broad area of relatively high tornado occurrence in the central U.S. Various Tornado Alley maps look different because tornado occurrence can be measured many ways: by all tornadoes, tornado county-segments, strong and violent tornadoes only, and databases with different time periods. Please remember, violent or killer tornadoes do happen outside “Tornado Alley” every year.

When are tornadoes most likely?

Tornado season usually refers to the time of year the U.S. sees the most tornadoes. The peak “tornado season” for the Southern Plains is during May into early June. On the Gulf coast, it is earlier during the spring. In the northern plains and upper Midwest, tornado season is in June or July. But, remember, tornadoes can happen at any time of year. Tornadoes can also happen at any time of day or night, but most tornadoes occur between 4–9 p.m.

What is the difference between a Tornado WATCH and a Tornado WARNING?

Tornado WATCH is issued by the NOAA Storm Prediction Center . Meteorologists who watch the weather 24/7 across the entire U.S. for weather conditions that are favorable for tornadoes. A watch can cover parts of a state or several states. Watch and prepare for severe weather and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio to know when warnings are issued.

Tornado WARNING is issued by your local NOAA National Weather Service Forecast Office, meteorologists who watch the weather 24/7 over a designated area. This means a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar and there is a serious threat to life and property to those in the path of the tornado. ACT now to find safe shelter! A warning can cover parts of counties or several counties in the path of danger.

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Hurricanes and tropical Storms

7/13/2016 (Permalink)

There were only four hurricanes and seven tropical storms in 2015. A typical hurricane season, which runs from June through Nov. 30, typically sees six hurricanes. The 2016 NOAA forecast calls for a total of 10 to 16 named storms, including both tropical storms and hurricanes. This year's Hurricane Alex, a rare January hurricane, counts as one of these named storms. Tropical Storm Bonnie, which made landfall in South Carolina on Saturday (May 28), is the year's second named storm.

The forecast predicts between four and eight named storms may become hurricanes—organized, rotating storms with sustained winds of 74 mph (119 km/h) or faster. Between one and four could become major hurricanes, defined as Category 3 storms or above—or those hurricanes with winds of at least 111 mph (179 km/h).

If you don’t have a storm plan prepared or if you have one that hasn’t been updated in quite some time then now is a good time to revisit your plan and make adjustments accordingly.  It is also a good idea to put together a basic storm kit to have ready.  This should include water, non-perishable food items, and battery-powered weather radio along with extra batteries, flashlight, first aid kit, whistle, maps, and solar-powered chargers.  These are just some of our suggestions that can help you in a disaster.  As far as your business goes, SERVPRO can help you devise a plan to prepare your business for disaster and help get you back up and running quicker.

Severe Weather Awareness

7/6/2016 (Permalink)

While the summer season is known for the potential to experience severe weather, the threat exists throughout the fall months as well, In fact, the potential for severe weather even increases in some areas. Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and runs through November 30th. The Eastern Pacific Hurricane season begins May 15th also ending November 30th.

While it may be difficult to prepare for the unpredictable, there are steps you can take now to ensure you are ready when disaster strikes. One way to prepare your business for any type of disaster, is to establish an Emergency READY Profile (ERP). Contact your local SERVPRO of Lexington to learn more about the ERP and how it can help you. Consider the following tips when preparing for an approaching storm. 

Before the Storm

  • Build an emergency supply kit and develop a communication plan.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment before the storm arrives.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.               
  • If you are outdoors, get inside a building, home or hard top vehicle (not a convertible).
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.
  •  During the Storm

  • Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
  • Avoid contact with corded phones. Cordless and cellular phones are safe to use.
  •  Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords.
  • Unplug appliances and other electrical items, such as computers. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  •  After the Storm

  • Never drive through a flooded roadway.
  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
  • Below is a recommended items for basic emergency supply list

     Emergency Supply Kit

  • Water (one gallon per person per day)
  •  Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  •  Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Clothing
  • Dust Masks or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information
  • Cash
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Business and Personal Preparedness

    6/6/2016 (Permalink)

    Business Preparedness: why and how you should prepare; and personal preparedness: how to pack your Go Bag and sheltering in place. 

    Up to 50% of businesses never reopen after being affected by a natural or human-made disaster. Despite this statistic, 62% of businesses don’t have an emergency plan in place!  Your customers expect delivery of their products or services on time, regardless of your situation.  And larger businesses want to insure that their supply chain is not interrupted by a disaster either.  Insurance is only a partial solution.  It does not cover all losses and it will NOT replace customers.  News travels fast and perceptions often differ from reality.  It is up to you to plan now for a disaster to avoid some of these pitfalls.  Many risks cannot be insured, but some risks can be reduced by investing in loss prevention programs, protection systems, and equipment.

    According to FEMA’s Business Program Management,” A preparedness policy that is consistent with the mission and vision of the business should be written and disseminated by management. The policy should define roles and responsibilities. It should authorize selected employees to develop the program and keep it current. The policy should also define the goals and objectives of the program. Typical goals of the preparedness program include:

  • Protect the safety of employees, visitors, contractors and others at risk from hazards at the facility. Plan for persons with disabilities and functional needs.
  • Maintain customer service by minimizing interruptions or disruptions of business operations
  • Protect facilities, physical assets and electronic information
  • Prevent environmental contamination
  • Protect the organization’s brand, image and reputation”
  • A word on environmental contamination—many times, smaller businesses without a plan in place will attempt to handle the work on their building on their own.  Depending on the damage and the building in question, it may be safer and more cost effective to hire a professional company to help you.  Why?  Well, for starters, a cleanup company like SERVPRO of Bordentown/Pemberton has the knowledge of environmental laws and regulations that you may be ignorant of.  Our crew can dispose of potentially hazardous materials in a safe and compliant manner. 

    In order to prepare personally for a disaster, you should start by creating a Family Disaster Plan.  To get started, contact your local emergency management office and your local chapter of the American Red Cross. Find out which disasters are likely to occur in your area by using the interactive map.  Meet with your family and plan how you will stay in contact if separated by disaster.  Because many disasters occur with little or no warning, you need to have a plan for what to do before you have instructions from authorities.  Assess your situation.  Decide to stay or change locations.  If you are not in immediate danger, you should stay where you are and get more information before taking your next steps. 

    There are 3 types of sheltering, and different types are appropriate for different disasters.  You can shelter in place, shelter for an extended stay, or enter a community shelter.  When you shelter in place, you are sealing a room as a way to protect yourself from contaminants in the air for a short period of time.  You should identify an internal room in your home or work, and store specific items such as snacks and water, a battery-operated radio, a flashlight, and pre-cut plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal off vents and doors and windows.  If you are sheltering for an extended stay, you may need to store enough supplies for 2 weeks.  If you are using a community shelter, you should bring your 3-day disaster supply kit with you.

    So what goes in your kit?  Depending on the length of time you will be gone, the time of year of the event, and how many people and pets you have with you, your kit might change.  The items recommended for your basic kit are:

  • 3 day supply of non-perishable food
  • 3 day supply of water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Portable, battery powered radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit and manual.
  • Sanitation and hygiene items (moist towelettes and toilet paper)
  • Matches and waterproof container
  • Whistle
  • Extra clothing (think warmth if in a cold climate)
  • Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils, including a can opener.
  • Photocopies of credit and identification cards
  • Cash and coins
  • Special needs items, such as prescription medications, eyeglasses, and hearing aid batteries.
  • Items for infants and items for pets.
  • Just as important as putting your supplies together is maintaining them so they are safe when you are ready to use them.

  • Keep canned foods in a cool dry place.
  • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers.
  • Throw out any canned good that becomes swollen, dented, or corroded.
  • Change stored food and water supplies every 6 months.  Write the date on the containers.
  • Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers.
  • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family needs change. 
  • I recommend keeping a Go Bag in your car, and one in your house, as you will never know where you will be when a disaster hits.  If you need help preparing your home or business for disasters, call us at 803-755-9774.  We can help you create a plan for your building and tag your shut offs when necessary.  And if something does go wrong, call us to help make it like it never even happened!

    Tornado/ Hurricane Preparedness Week

    5/16/2016 (Permalink)

    Tornado/ Hurricane Tips Preparedness Week May 15th through 21st

    Determine the best locations for shelter at home and work.

    The safest location is always a basement, below the deadly wind and projectile objects. If you can't go underground, find a small interior room or hallway on the lowest level of the building.

    Conduct tornado safety drills with your family.

    Make learning quick and fun, and children will remember the basics of what to do, especially if you go through the motions several times. Just as most kids know what to do if their clothes are on fire, the same drill could be applied for tornado safety -- instead of "Stop, drop, and roll" try "Run, duck, and cover!”

    Prepare an emergency supply kit.

    Experts recommend that each person (and pet) has supplies for at least three days, including bottled water (two quarts per person, per day), nonperishable food, and a first-aid kit that includes prescription items as well as aspirin and antacids. Make sure you have tools such as a can opener, utility knife, wrench (for turning power valves), whistle, battery-powered radio, several flashlights, and batteries. Each person will need blankets, clothing, rain gear, and heavy-soled shoes or boots. Lastly, stash away some cash and a copy of credit cards, passports, social security cards, phone numbers, and insurance information. Once a year, check your supplies and determine if family needs have changed.

    Make an inventory of your possessions.

    For insurance purposes, videotape or photograph everything you would need to replace in case you lose it all. When you're sure that you've included everything, keep the inventory somewhere away from the premises, such as a safe-deposit box.

    Know how your community sends its warnings.

    If it's a siren, stay inside and take cover. Know where the designated shelters are in the buildings where you and your family spend time.

    Know the difference between a "watch" and a "warning."

    There's a big difference in the danger level between the two terms used during stormy weather. A watch simply means that conditions are favorable for a tornado to develop. Be alert, but you don't need to take shelter. If there's a warning, a tornado has been spotted. When a warning is posted for your area, take shelter immediately.

    Stay away from windows.

    At 320 miles per hour, shards of glass can be deadly. You can eliminate this risk if you make sure your shelter area is free of windows. If this isn't possible, protect yourself with a heavy blanket.

    Don't bother opening windows.

    It's true that air pressure equalizes when there's an opening in the building, but the American Red Cross says that it's far more important to get to safety than to open windows. If there's flying debris, the windows will most likely break on their own.

    Get in position

    Once you're in your shelter, find a sturdy piece of furniture, such as a workbench or table, and stay under it. Curl into a ball on the floor, and lock your hands behind your head to protect it from flying debris. If you can't find a table to get under, crouch under a door frame because the beams will offer some protection.

    Mobile home residents need to take extra precautions.

    If you live in a mobile home, never try to ride out a severe thunderstorm at home; go to a prearranged shelter. As a last resort, go outside and lie flat on the ground using your hands and arms to protect your head. It might be hard to believe that you're safer outside, but since your mobile home isn't built into the ground, it can be picked up and turned into an airborne missile.

    What if you're in a public building?

    The first choice is always a basement or lower level. If that isn't an option, avoid wide-open spaces such as cafeterias or auditoriums -- there's just not enough physical support for you there. Look for an inside hallway, or a small closet or bathroom (with no windows).

    What if you're in a vehicle?

    Never try to outrun a tornado. Get out of your vehicle and try to get inside a building. If there isn't time, lie down flat in a ditch or any low-lying area away from the vehicle. (Hiding below an underpass isn't safe because you're still exposed to flying debris.) Use your hands and arms to protect your head.

    What if you're outdoors?

    Finding a building is your best bet, but if there's no time, follow the same instructions in the next step.

    What to do when the storm has passed.

    Treat injuries with your first-aid kit, but don't attempt to move anyone who is severely injured. Use the phone only for emergencies, such as calling for an ambulance. Then, listen to the radio for emergency information. If the building you are in is damaged, beware of broken glass and downed power lines as you evacuate. Check on neighbors who might need assistance, but otherwise stay out of the way so that emergency crews can do their work.

    Beware of fire hazards.

    Never strike a match until you're sure you haven't had a gas leak. Anything that holds gas can rupture and be vulnerable to explosions if you see (or smell) leakage after a storm. If you think there might be a gas leak, open all doors and get out of the house. Also watch out for severed electrical wires, which can spark debris piles. Check appliances to see if they are emitting smoke or sparks.

    Red Cross has a great brochure about Hurricane Safety checklist at

    When Disaster Strikes, So Do We!!!

    6/8/2015 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO has the largest national footprint...always!


    • Best of our best, SERVPRO's Large Loss Response Team recruited to serve your commercial large loss needs.
    • Elite group of large loss specialists pre-qualified and strategically postitioned throughout the United States.
    • Substantial resources through network of 1,500+ locations nationwide.
    • Six and seven-figure projects routinely assigned to our Large Loss Response Team members.
    • Clients include: Insurance Companies, Manufacturing Facilities, Hospitatlity Industry, Restaurants, Property Managers.
    • Corporate oversight and communication on every large loss file called in through 1-800-SERVPRO
    • Buisness interruption minimized due to our timely response.
    • Unit pricing utilized on routine losses, Time and Material recommended on losses excedding $100,000.

    Rip Currents

    6/1/2015 (Permalink)

    The strong winds of a tropical cyclone can cause dangerous waves that pose a significant hazard to mariners and coastal residents and visitors.  When the waves break along the coast, they can produce deadly rip currents- even at large distances from the storm.

    Rip currents are channeled currents of water flowing away from shore, usually extending past the line of breaking waves that can pull even the strongest swimmers away from shore.

    In 2008, despite the fact that Hurricane Bertha was more that a 1,000 miles offshore, the storm resulted in rip currents that killed three people along the New Jersey coast and required 1,500 lifeguard reuses in Ocean city, Maryland, over a 1 week period.

    In 2009, all six deaths in the United States directly attributable to tropical cyclones occurred as the result of drowning from large waves or strong rip currents.

    For more information on Hurricanes and Rip Currents visit: 


    5/28/2015 (Permalink)

    • Continue listening to a NOAA Wather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.
    • Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane to tropical storm has ended.
    • If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
    • If you cannot return home an have immediate housing needs.  Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 to find the nearest shelter in your area
    • Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
    • Keep away from loose dangling power lines
    • Walk carefully around the outside of your home
    • Stay out of any building if you smell gas.
    • Inspect your home for damage.
    • Use battery-powered flashlights in the dark.
    • Watch your pets closely and keep them under your direct control.
    • Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure its not contaminated.
    • Check refrigerated food for spoilage.
    • Wear protective clothing and be cautious.
    • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.


    5/27/2015 (Permalink)

    If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should:

    • Listen to the radio or TV for information.
    • Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
    • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so.
    • Turn off propane tanks
    • Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
    • Moor your boat if time permits.
    • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary pupose such as cleaning and flushing toilets.
    • Find out how to keep food safe.
    • Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
    • Close all interior doors
    • Keep curtains and blinds closed.
    • Take refuge in a small interior room
    • Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object
    • Avoid elevators

    Hurricane Preparedness - Be Ready

    5/26/2015 (Permalink)

    The two keys to weather safety is to PREPARE for the risks and to ACT on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials.

    Before a Hurricane:

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Know your surroundings
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone.
  • Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground.
  • Make plans to secure your property
  • Cover all of your home's windows
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Reinforce your garage
  • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Determine how and where to secure your boat.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.
  • If in a high-rise building, when high winds are present, be prepared to take shelter on a lower floor because wind conditions increase with height, and in a small interior room without windows.
  • Consider building a safe room. 
  • Before, During and After

    5/14/2015 (Permalink)

    BEFORE A TORNADO: Have a disaster plan.  Make sure everyone knows where to go in case a tornado threatens.  Make sure you know which county or parish you live in.  Prepare a kit with emergency food for your home.  Have enough food and water for at least 3 days.

    DURING A TORNADO: Go to a basement.  If you do not have a basement, go to an interior room without windows on the lowest floor such as a bathroom or closet.  If you can, get under a sturdy piece of furniture, like a table.  If you live in a mobile home get out.  They offer little protection against tornadoes.  Get out of automobiles.  Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car, leave it immediately. If you're outside, go to a ditch or low lying area and lie flat in it.  Stay away from fallen powerlines and stay out of damaged areas.

    AFTER A TORNADO:  Stay indoors until it is safe to come out.  check for injured or trapped people, without putting yourself in danger.  Watch out for downed power lines.  Use a flashlight to insepct your home.

    ** If your in school during a tornado- every school should have a disaster plan and have frequent drills.  Basements offer the best protection.  Schools without basements should use interior rooms and hallways on the lowest floor away from windows.  Crouch down on your knees and protect your head with your arms. 

    KNOW THE FACTS about tornadoes

    5/13/2015 (Permalink)

    • Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year.
    • No terrain is safe from torandoes.
    • Never open windows in severe weather situations.  This allows damaging wind and debris to enter the structure.
    • 69% of all tornadoes are labeled "weak tornadoes" meaning they have a lifetime of 1-10+ minutes and winds less than 110mph.
    • 29% of all tornadoes are labeled "strong tornadoes" meaning they last 20 minutes or longer and winds reach 110-205 mph.
    • 2% of all tornadoes are labeled "violent tornadoes" and can last over and hour.

    F0- 40-72mph (light damage: branches broken off trees; minor roof damage)

    F1- 73-112mph (Moderate damage: trees snapped; mobile home pushed off foundations; roofs damaged)

    F2- 113-157mph (Considerable damage: mobile homes demolished; trees uprooted; stong built homes unroofed)

    F3- 158-206mph (Severe damage: Trains overturned; cars lifted off the ground; strong built homes have outside walls blown away)

    F4- 207-260mph (Devastating damage: Houses leveled leaving piles of debris; cars thrown 300 yards or more in the air)

    F5- 261-318mph (Incredible damage: Strongly built homes completely blown away; automobile sized missiles generated

    When & where

    5/12/2015 (Permalink)


    Tornadoes can happen at any time of the year and at any time of the day.  In the southern states, peak tornado season is March through May.  Peak times for tornadoes in the northern states are during the summer.  A few southern states have a second peak time for tornado outbreaks in the fall.  Tornadoes are most likely to occur beween 3p.m and 9p.m.


    The geography of the central part of the United States, known as the Great Plains, is suited to bring all of the ingredients together to forms tornadoes.  More than 500 tornadoes typically occur in this area every year and is why it is commonly know as "Tornado Alley". Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Missori, Arkansas and Louisiana all make up Tornado Alley.


    5/11/2015 (Permalink)

    Storm Damage TORNADO photocredit:Johnstonhealth

    Several conditions are required for the development of tornadoes and the thunderstorm clouds with which most tornadoes are associated.  Abundant low level moisture is necessary to contibute to the development of a thunderstorm, and a "trigger" is needed to lift the moist air aloft.  Once the air begins to rise and becomes saturated, it will continue rising to great heights to produce a thunderstorm cloud,m it the atmosphere is unstable.  An unstable atomosphere is one where the temperature decreases rapidly with height.  Atmospheric instability can also occur when dry air overlays mois air near the earth's surface.  Finally, tornadoes usually form in areas where winds at all levels of the atmosphere are not only stong, but also turn with height in a clockwise or veering direction.

    Tornadoes can appear as a traditional funner shape, or in a slender rope-like form.  Some have a churning, smoky look to them, and other contain "multiple vorticles", which are small individual tornadoes rotating around a common center.  Even others may be nearly invisible, with only swiriling dust or debris at ground levels as the only indication of the tornado's presence.  


    4/20/2015 (Permalink)

    So far this spring has been very stormy here in South Carolina.  Water damage as well as mold removal has been a problem for many homeowners.  We thank all of our customers for choosing SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia and Lexington.

    In case of a flood, here are some useful tips to protect yourself and your home.


    1. Do NOT walk through moving water.  Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
    2. If your property suffers flood damage, clean and disinfect everything that got wet.  Mud from floodwaters can contain sewage and chemicals.  Dispose of any food or personal hygiene items exposed to floodwaters.
    3. Do not drive into flooded areas.  If floodwaters rise around your car, move to higher ground.
    4. Avoid floodwaters because they can be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage.


    After a Flood

    7/22/2014 (Permalink)

    After a flood, it is important to stay up to date on things that may still be going on around you. 

    Here are some things to remember:

  • Use local alerts and warning systems to get information and expert informed advice as soon as available.
  • Avoid moving water.
  • Stay away from damaged areas unless police, fire, or relief organization has specifically requested your assistance.
  • Emergency workers will be assisting people in flooded areas. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way.
  • Play it safe. Additional flooding or flash floods can occur. Listen for local warnings and information. If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, get out immediately and climb to higher ground.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
  • Roads may still be closed because they have been damaged or are covered by water. Barricades have been placed for your protection. If you come upon a barricade or a flooded road, go another way.
  • If you must walk or drive in areas that have been flooded.
  • Stay on firm ground. Moving water only 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet. Standing water may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Flooding may have caused familiar places to change. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways. Flood debris may hide animals and broken bottles, and it's also slippery. Avoid walking or driving through it.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
  • Get these tips and more at

    During a Flood

    7/22/2014 (Permalink)

    Storm Damage During a Flood Photo Credit:

    If a flood is likely in your area, you should:

  • Listen to the radio or television for information.
  • Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
  • Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without typical warnings such as rain clouds or heavy rain.
  • If you must prepare to evacuate, you should do the following:

  • Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
  • Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
  • If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:

  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground, when water is not moving or not more than a few inches deep. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly. If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay in the vehicle. If the water is rising inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof.
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams, rivers, or creeks, particularly during threatening conditions.
  • Blog credit to: 

    Let's Talk Lightning

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Storm Damage Let's Talk Lightning Photo Credit:

    Some people think lightning never strikes the same place twice. However, lightning often strikes the same place twice. Reportedly, the Empire State building is struck nearly 25 times a year. It is also believed that lightning only poses a threat when it’s cloudy or raining. The truth is lighting often strike more than three miles outside of a storm and has been known to travel as far as 10-15 miles before striking the ground. Many people are confused by the term “heat lightning” and think it occurs as the result of a very hot summer day. The term “heat lightning” is used to describe lightning from a thunderstorm too far away to be heard. 

    For more information, visit

    Wireless Emergency Alerts

    5/15/2014 (Permalink)

    Storm Damage Wireless Emergency Alerts WEA- Alert Message

    Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency messages sent by authorized government- alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Weather Service. 

    Alerts received at the right time can help keep you safe during an emergency. With WEA, alerts can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harms way, without need to download app or subscribe to a service. WEA may be used to share: 

  • Extreme weather warnings
  • Local emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action. 
  • AMBER Alerts
  • Presidential Alerts during a national emergency
  • A WEA will look like a text message will typically show the type and time of the alert. The message will be no more than 90 characters. 

    Visit to learn more about Wireless Emergency Alerts, inclusing how to determine if your mobile device is WEA-capable. 

    Danger Signs of a Tornado

    3/3/2014 (Permalink)

    • Dark, often greenish clouds- a phenomenon caused by hail. 
    • Funnel Clouds- a visible rotating extension of the cloud base. 
    • Wall Cloud- an isolated lowering of the base of a thunderstorm. 
    • Large hail- Roaring noise. Cloud debris. 

    During the storm Outdoor Safety

    3/3/2014 (Permalink)

    • If you are in an open area, find a low place such as a ravine or valley. 
    • If you are on open water, get land immediatly and seek shelter. 
    • If you are in a forested area, find shelter in a low area under thick growth of small trees. 
    • If you are in a car, keep the windows closed. 

    7 Tips to avoid bursting pipes

    2/4/2014 (Permalink)

    1. Wrap outside faucets.
    2. Caulk around pipes where they enter the house. 
    3. Disconnect garden hoses. 
    4. Drain in ground sprinkler systems.
    5. Let a stream of water run, if the temperature dips below freezing. 
    6. Open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathrooms. 
    7. Shut off and drain your water system if you are leaving home for several days. 

    Preparing for a Flood

    8/1/2013 (Permalink)

    Rain clouds have been obscuring our sunshine in Lexington and West Columbia for awhile now, but in Florida they have been dealing with a few more problems than a missed chance at a tan.
    Floods have been upending the lives of many Floridians.

    Though damage is unavoidable in flood situations there are some steps you can take to help avoid as much damage as possible to your home or business.

    Before the Flood:

    Have a qualified professional elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel if susceptible to flooding. -Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home or business. -Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to help avoid seepage.

    During the Flood:

    Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. -Disconnect electrical appliances. -Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or are standing in water. -Do not walk through moving water. Even six inches of moving water can make you fall.

    After the Flood:

    Listen for news reports to learn if the community's water supply is safe to drink. -Avoid floodwaters. Water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged. -Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters. -Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.

    Having flood damage in your home or business can be a difficult situation to deal with, but remember, your SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia/Lexington is here to help you 24/7.

    Call (803) 755-9774. We make it 'Like it never even happened.'