Raw sewage cleanup, in particular, is especially laborious and risky as it not only causes a lot of hassle and inconveniences, but also presents a variety of health hazards (sewage spills contain contaminants that can cause serious diseases) and sanitation issues. Professional help is your best option in such situations, but you can do a few things to limit the extent of the damage before the experts arrive (or even deal with the problem yourself if the damage is not too severe).
Anyone who has experienced a hurricane understands they are no laughing matter. They can cause incredible storm damage as well as water damage and it can take weeks and even months to recover from this damage.
Hurricanes are common along the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines and storm surges are statistically the biggest cause of hurricane-related deaths in the country.
Below are the times of hurricane season for both the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines
- Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season: May 15 – November 30
- Atlantic Hurricane Season: June 1 – November 30
- Central Pacific Hurricane Season: June 1 – November 30
How to Prepare for Hurricanes
While there surely is no stopping any hurricane, you can limit the damage to your home or building by taking these steps to prepare. Just a few simple steps can save thousands of dollars in recovery costs and as much of your building materials and personal items as possible. Check out these tips below:
Understand the Risks Involved
Keep in mind that hurricanes don’t just run along the coastline; they can bring in some major storms including rain, wind, water and even tornadoes further inland.
Create an Emergency Plan
Ensure everyone in your home or building knows and understands well the hurricane plan. This should include the kids’ daycare, office and other areas you travel to frequently. If you have a business, ensure there is a continuity or disaster preparedness plan to continue operations after the storm.
Review the latest updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance and how they may affect your hurricane plan.
Hurricane Safety – Emergency Evacuation Plan – ServiceMaster Restore Video
Understand Your Evacuation Zone
If the hurricane hits your evacuation zone, be ready to leave quickly. Practice often with pets and kids and identify where you will stay until the storm passes.
The instructions from your local emergency managers will provide updated recommendations based on the hurricane threat according to your community and determine proper safety measures.
Know How to Identify Warnings and Alerts
Stay open to alerts through your smart phone, TV or radio. Also download the FEMA app to receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for five locations around the country. You can also sign up for local community alerts and safety alerts of the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS), which don’t require a signup.
Help Those with Disabilities
If you or anyone in your household or building has a disability, determine if additional help will be needed during an emergency.
Review Important Documents
Make sure your insurance cards and other personal documents are updated and kept in a safe space. Make copies of each and keep them in a password-protected safe.
Strengthen Your Home and Business Building
Clear all drains and gutters, bring outdoor furniture inside, and close your hurricane shutters if you have them. If you don’t have hurricane shutters, consider investing in them, as well as hurricane rated transaction windows for your business.
Prepare Your Mobile Device
Always keep your cell phone fully charged when a hurricane warning is in effect as you never know when you’ll have power again.
Help Your Community
If you have elderly neighbors or individuals who may need extra help to secure hurricane plans, help them out if possible.
Gather Necessary Supplies
It’s important to have all your household supplies for emergency situations such as your medication, masks, disinfectants, pet supplies and more. Keep them in the trunk of your car in a to go bag. Remember, it can be days or weeks before you have access to them again.
Also remember that not everyone can afford to stock up on supplies. If you can, buy only the necessities and build up on the items slowly to allow others to stock up more often. Only take items you or your family may need and leave the rest for others.
Staying Safe During a Hurricane
When the hurricane hits, there’s plenty you can do to limit any potential damage and keep your family safe. Check out the necessary steps below.
Pay attention to the local alerts and evacuate immediately if local officials advise on doing so.
Dealing with the Weather
Figure out how best to protect yourself from the winds and flooding. If needed, take refuge in a designated storm shelter or interior room during strong winds. If you’re trapped in the building, head to the highest level, but not into a closed attic as you may be trapped by rising flood water.
Never walk or swim in flood water. Remember just six inches of flood water is enough to knock anyone down and one foot of water can sweep away any vehicle.
If you decide to go to a community or group shelter, follow the updated recommendations from the CDC to protect your family from COVID-19. Also review your previous evacuation plan to consider alternative options to maintain physical distancing.
If you must evacuate, bring any items that can help protect you against COVID-19, including hand sanitizer, masks, and cleaning materials.
Recovering from Hurricane Damage
There’s never any way to prevent hurricane, storm, tornado or flood damage to your home or building. Mother Nature will always win, but you can take steps to protect your home and react right away after discovering hurricane damage to your property.
ServiceMaster Restoration and Cleaning is available 24/7 to provide storm damage restoration services for homes and buildings that suffered damage after a hurricane, tornado and other large storm in the Houston, TX area.
Our professionals will respond right away to remove fallen debris, restore water damage, board up windows, tarp over roofs, repair interior and exterior building materials, provide mold remediation, and clean up the home or building to restore it to a safe and clean condition.
Throughout the restoration service, we will keep you updated on all steps of the process as well as answer all your questions to have complete peace of mind after these disasters. With our services, you can look forward to a fully restored home in an efficient and effective manner.
For more information on our hurricane, tornado and storm damage restoration services in the Houston, TX area, contact ServiceMaster Restoration and Cleaning at (800) 303-5844.