Lightning can be daunting and scary for pets and young children, but it’s a natural phenomenon. As electrons repel each other within the clouds, the electric charge creates a bolt of lightning strong enough to severely damage a home or building.
Did you know lightning strikes the United States at least 30 million times each year? Or around the world, lightning bolts strike 100 times each second?
Due to the severity and frequency of storms, they are known to cause irreversible damage that can devastate families and businesses. Many of these storms are also associated with tornadoes and hail.
The following are known to cause the most damage and injuries to homes and people:
- Flash floods
Types of Damage Caused by Lightning
Lightning may look neat to watch at a distance, but up close, it’s lethal and destructive. According to scientists, each lightning strike includes heat four times that of our galaxy’s sun (about 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit) and concentrated within a slender bolt no thicker than a pencil; thus, why these kinds of strikes can kill someone.
Injuries Caused by Lightning
About 50 people in the United States on average are struck by lightning each year. This ultimately comes in third in regard to weather-related fatalities, the first and second being flash and river floods. But even if the strike isn’t fatal, the injuries have long-term effects like incapacitating symptoms l\such as cardio-pulmonary and neurological injuries, auditory injuries, and blunt trauma. But the most common injury associated with lightning is burns.
In addition to death and injuries, lightning is responsible for billions of dollars’ worth of property damage. As the bolts pass through the wiring within the buildings, appliances connected to outlets become severely damaged, including computers, phones, kitchen gadgets, and sound systems. Most are ruined when lightning hits the home or building.
Nature and Lightning
Another major concern most don’t often think of is natural fires caused by lightning. If lightning hits dry grass, this can cause the grass to ignite, putting nearby homes and buildings at severe risk of fire damage.
Types of Damage from Tornadoes
Tornadoes are a major concern in the U.S., and they are more likely to occur in certain areas such as Tornado Alley which experiences the highest number of tornadoes each year between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains. However, tornadoes can occur almost anywhere.
Effects of Tornadoes on Humans
Scientists deem tornadoes the most violent of nature’s storms. Between 80 deaths and 1,500 injuries occur each year from tornados touching down. When a tornado sweeps through a community, most injuries are sustained during rescue work and cleanup. According to FEMA, one third of injuries during cleanup were the result of accidentally stepping on nails.
Damaged Homes and Buildings from Tornados
Uprooted trees and broken tree branches are common right after a tornado. But when trees collapse on homes and buildings, they can cause extreme damage, which must be cleaned up by a storm damage restoration professional.
Types of Damage Caused by Flash Floods
Flash floods are commonly provoked by thunderstorms. Intense rains within a short period of time create swift-moving waters that turn into flash floods. These disasters gather momentum in as little as six hours and they can even move large rocks over 100 pounds.
Effects of Flash Floods on People
Flash floods kill around 150 people each year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But thankfully, flash floodwaters take longer to build up which allows the community members time to evacuate the at-risk areas to escape deadly waters.
Damaged Homes and Buildings from Flash Floods
Flash floods caused over $8 billion dollars in damage in 2011. Bridges were wiped out while cars can be swept away in as little as two inches of water. Flash floods ultimately cause severe flood damage and always carry debris like trash, rocks, sticks and even sewage waste in the water. This is why it’s important to avoid contact at all costs.
Nature and Flash Floods
Flash floods are so powerful, they can rip out trees from the ground. If the temperature is cold enough, they can create ice jam flooding, which packs heavy amounts of ice within the current. The homes and buildings submerged in this kind of water face the highest risk.
When your home or business has been devastated by lightning, tornado, or flash flood, you should never hesitate to take action. The damage will become worse by the minute so it’s crucial to reach out to a licensed flood cleanup and storm damage restoration company right away.
Responding to Storm and Flood Damage
It’s also essential to avoid any contact with floodwater and never try to dry anything yourself as doing so may cause more damage. The most important task is to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones, and even helping others in your community if needed.
If you have an elderly neighbor, check on them if it’s safe to do so. Be sure to keep any pets crated or on the leash during these stressful situations. If you need to evacuate, gather all necessary belongings like important documents and first aid kits and get out safely.
Storm Damage Restoration and Flood Cleanup
Once the storm has passed and everyone is safe, it’s crucial to reach out to a licensed restoration company right away. If you live in the Houston, TX area ServiceMaster Restoration & Cleaning is available 24/7 to provide storm damage restoration services.
As soon as we receive your first call, we will be on our way to conduct emergency repairs, boarding up and stabilizing your property to prevent any additional damage. If there is standing flood water, we will also extract it using powerful restoration equipment.
Once the mitigation is complete, we will remove any debris around the home or building including broken glass, building materials, tree branches, and more. Finally, we will work with your insurance adjuster during the claims process for additional peace of mind.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to ServiceMaster Restoration & Cleaning at (800) 303-5844 for professional storm damage restoration services if your home or building was recently affected by a flood or storm in the Houston, TX area.