Recent Storm Damage Posts

SERVPRO Reconstruction Services

9/30/2021 (Permalink)

Tree fallen on a house A tree rests on a home

When major storms hit we are often called when trees have fallen on houses.  This can be one of the scariest events customers face.  In fact, my brother had a very large tree come through his bedroom ceiling and was almost struck by a large branch while sleeping.  The damage caused usually involves both physical damage and significant water damage.

At SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch, we work 24-7 to provide an immediate response.  The initial response often includes “board up” services to prevent further damage.  This is typical with most jobs.  The next step is removing the water to prevent mold via a number of extracting and drying technologies but we don’t stop there.

SERVPRO also offers reconstruction services.  Under the supervision of our licensed general contractor, our teams remove the damaged material and reconstruct the area to restore the area to its original condition.  This ability makes us a 1-stop shop and ensures a quicker process and streamlined coordination with your homeowner’s insurance.

Here come the Hurricanes

7/7/2021 (Permalink)

Hurricane from space A satellite photo of a hurricane from space.

The east coast hurricane season has officially started and runs from June 1 to November 30th.  So far there have already been 5 named hurricanes in the Atlantic this season.

Here is a brief list of things you should be considering NOW in order to be prepared.

  • Make sure your flood insurance is active. Many people let these policies lapse to save money or as an oversight.
  • Make sure both your home and business are secured as much as possible. This may include storm shutters, clearing gutters/downspouts to direct water away from the structure, and checking the roof for damage.
  • If you have a generator make sure it is operable. If it hasn’t been serviced recently you should check the oil, make sure you have adequate fresh fuel, and run the generator periodically.
  • Develop a business continuity plan. This should include emergency communication plans for employees and customers, facility remediation contacts, and contingency work plans.
  • If you are in an evacuation zone determine where you will go should the need arise.
  • Download the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan app which allows you to store and share emergency contacts, critical facility information, and document current conditions. For more information and to access the app click HERE.

Finally, you can register with SERVPRO to be added to our list of contacts so we have your information on file in the event you suffer a loss.  If you would like assistance in preparing your readiness plan please contact us for a free consultation and have a great summer!

Spring Flooding

4/25/2021 (Permalink)

Get flood insurance Flood insurance can be very valuable!

Although flooding can happen at any time, Spring flooding is common as frequent storms leave the ground soaked and streams are often at their highest levels of the year.  Here are some tips for both families and businesses.

First, take advantage of a free App called the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan (ERP).  To learn more about this app and how it can prepare your business and minimize business interruptions click HERE for a brief video.  This app is also extremely useful for homeowners in preparing for a variety of disasters.

  • Make a family emergency communication plan and include pets.
  • Have emergency supplies in place at home, at work, and in the car.
  • Flood insurance takes 30 days to take effect, so purchase now to protect your family!
  • Listen to local officials by radio, TV or social media.
  • Evacuate when advised by authorities or if you are in a flood or flash flood prone area.
  • If you are on high ground above flooded areas, being prepared to stay where you are may be the best protection.
  • Don't let your business end up in a dumpster. Make a Flood Safety plan today.
  • Charge mobile devices. Locate flashlights & radio. Tell friends/family your location in case of power loss.
  • Heavy rain to areas that have been experiencing drought can cause flash flooding.

If you do need to venture out during or immediately after a flood, follow these rules:

  • Don’t drive or walk through flood waters
  • Water moving at just 5 miles per hour can lift and displace manhole covers leaving unseen dangers
  • As little as 12 inches of moving floodwater can be enough to float and carry away a small vehicle.
  • 6 inches of moving water can knock an adult off their feet. STAY AWAY from moving water!
  • Driving thru 6 inches of standing water can cause vehicles to lose control & stall. Avoid flooded roads.
  • Be aware of areas where waters have receded. Roads may have weakened & could collapse under the weight of a vehicle.

Personal Property

  • 30: The number of days it takes for flood insurance to begin. Don’t wait until it’s too late!
  • Only flood insurance will cover the damage from floods. Speak with your insurance agent to learn more.
  • A few inches of water in a 1,000-square foot home could cost more than $10,000 in repairs & replacement of personal possessions
  • Prepare for a flood today by reviewing your property & flood insurance policies.
  • Snap some pictures of your property & do an inventory. This will be handy if flood waters damage your property. Again, consider using the SERVPRO Ready Plan App.
  • Flood waters can damage important papers. Store critical docs in a waterproof container or electronically.
  • Before a flood: reduce potential property damage by elevating utilities & installing sewer backflow valves.
  • Prepare before a flood by installing a water alarm in your basement.

After a Flood

  • Watch your step! Flood waters often hide sharp and dangerous debris like broken glass and metal!
  • Wear the appropriate protective clothing and gear like boots, gloves and safety glasses when it comes to moving debris!  
  • Hands off! Stay away from electrical utility equipment after a storm or if it is wet to prevent being electrocuted!
  • Flooded homes are hazards! Get a professional to check for loose wires, mold and hidden damage before re-entering!
  • Avoid walking in floodwater. It can be contaminated with oil, gasoline, or sewage.
  • Use generators or other gas powered machinery only outdoors and away from windows.

SERVPRO Storm Teams

2/26/2021 (Permalink)

Storm Team Response SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch van operating in Texas.

SERVPRO Storm Response Teams coordinate large scale responses, such as the recent deep freeze in Texas.  This is a scalable organization similar to first responder’s modular Incident Command System.  For the current disaster in Texas and other states, there are two storm response teams coordinating 1,000+ SERVPRO teams.  Both SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch and SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry are proud to have teams currently operating in Texas.

This requires specialized training for leaders in large scale incident management, logistics, planning, and communications.  Responding teams need to understand how they will be asked to integrate into the larger organization and what protocols will be required.

Franchises who participate in Storm Response Teams are proactively trained in many areas including travel requirements and equipment needs, operating in storm damaged areas safely, FEMA expectations, budgeting, and regulatory considerations between states.

Participation in these teams is voluntary and represents a high level of commitment to technical expertise and constant preparedness.  It is not only the commitment of the organization but the personal commitment of each team member who volunteers.  They answer the call knowing this means leaving home for several weeks in a row to help someone in need.  We are thankful to all of our team members who have answered the call!

Hidden Dangers of Power Outages

1/28/2021 (Permalink)

Candlelight Candles on a Night Stand

When the power goes out it can be very annoying, especially if you have no internet.  But, there are more serious concerns that you should be considering to protect your home.  Without power several critical systems in your home are going to be offline.  Here are some items to consider:

Sump Pumps: these pumps are located in the basement and prevent water from entering from the ground.  Without power the pump will not operate and water could enter from the sump pump pit.

Heating units: even gas powered heating units need electricity to run the blowers/fans that push the air through ducts and around the home.  Without heat the pipes are susceptible to freezing and rupturing. If the temperature outside is below freezing consider turning the faucets on just a little bit to keep water moving in the pipes.  This not only introduces warmer water from underground pipes but the movement of the water helps prevent freezing.

Freezers:  If you haven’t thawed your freezer in a while you may have significant ice buildup that will begin to melt and cause water to puddle at the freezer door.  You are better off putting a baking tray under the door rather than opening the door and trying to manually remove the ice.  Opening the door will cause the cold air to escape and will lead to more rapid thawing/spoiling of food if power is not restored quickly.

Of course a back-up generator is your best bet for restoring power quickly but these can be costly, especially built in units.  If you do have a generator (portable or built-in) make sure it is wired to provide power to the critical systems above.

If you do experience storm damage, call the experts at SERVPRO!

Storm Surge Flooded Floors

1/28/2021 (Permalink)

Storm Surge Storm surge approaching houses

Storm surges can be dramatic and cause significant damage but with the proper tools and training it doesn’t have to mean a total renovation.  The only good thing about storm surges is that the waters often recede as quickly as they rush in.  Hardwood flooring that is properly protected with polyurethane can withstand water penetration if remediation happens quickly.  At SERVPRO we have the right equipment and training to often save hardwood floors instead of removing them.  Here are three techniques we use.

First, our injecti-dry panel system is one way to extract the moisture.  Our technicians use plastic sheeting to create a containment area and install dehumidifiers to regulate the moisture levels.  The panels are installed with special methods to reduce additional damage.  We then use moisture measuring meters to monitor the changing moisture levels all the way to the sub-floor.

Second, we may utilize a heat drying system which heats the material to approximately 100 degrees.  Heat ducts are installed to remove the humid air and infrared monitors are used to monitor the drying process.

Finally, a Desiccant Dehumidifier may be used to introduce outside air which is passed through a dehumidifier before being introduced to the material.  Again, moisture monitoring equipment is used to measure the progress and reduce moisture at a controlled rate.

If you experience flooded floors call us to see if one of our methods can be used to save the material before you begin removing any material.

Storm Front Coming

1/27/2021 (Permalink)

Frozen Pipe Icicles Hanging from a Frozen Pipe

Prepare for the next Arctic Blast coming this Friday.  The high temperature on Friday will be in the low 20’s with a low near 15 degrees.  Is your home ready to withstand the blast?

Here is a simple checklist of items you can do to prepare for the cold:

  • Have your HVAC system checked if you have not already done so.  An HVAC system failure in freezing temperatures is not only an uncomfortable inconvenience but could lead to frozen and ruptured pipes.
  • Clean your chimneys to remove soot build up and prevent a possible clog. Smoke blowing back into your home can make a real mess.
  • Test your smoke and CO2 alarms to make sure they are working and have charged batteries.
  • Make sure all outside plumbing including hoses, lawn sprinklers. and pool equipment is off and pipes are drained.

If you experience storm related damage call SERVPRO at the number above.

Ice Dams

1/23/2021 (Permalink)

Ice Dam on Roof Ice Dam on a Roof

It looks like we have a winter storm moving into NJ this week.  At SERVPRO this means we will likely receive calls for water leaking through the ceiling.  The most common cause during winter storms is Ice Dams.

Ice dams form when the snow melts, runs down your roof and refreezes near the edge or in a valley. This only occurs when the roof has colder and warmer spots which allow the water to melt and then refreeze.  Where the water refreezes it masses and creates a ‘dam” which pushes the water back up the roof.  This water pushing/flowing against the usual force of gravity helps it to find openings to penetrate the roof and ceiling below. 

Typically, heat escapes through ceilings into the attic and warms the wood and shingles directly above it. Although the outdoor temperature is below freezing, the snow melts over the warmed section of roof. Ideally, you should not see the snow melting on the roof if the temperature is below freezing.  This means sufficient heat is escaping from your home’s living spaces to provide enough warmth to melt the snow.  You should also not see uneven melting as evidenced by bare shingles next to patches of snow.  The melted areas show where the strongest heat loss is occurring.

If you see these warning signs on your roof you should take steps to prevent an ice dam from occurring.  The overall strategy is to keep the roof cold which also makes your home more energy efficient and comfortable.  Three steps to consider are:

  1. Look for openings which may be causing heat loss such as gaps around pipes and air ducts which can easily be filled with spray foam.
  2. Make sure the attic floor is properly insulated with insulation rated at R-40 or higher. Look for areas where insulation has been removed or pushed aside such as bathroom exhaust fans or other modifications.
  3. Make sure your roof is properly ventilated, based on the type of roof you have.

A technician from SERVPRO can perform an inspection for you using a thermal imaging camera to view and photograph areas where heat is escaping.  This needs to be done on a cold day.

If these measures don’t work you might consider installing a heating coil in the affected area with a thermostatic switch which turns on the heating coils when the temperature drops below freezing.  For worst case scenarios, safely remove the snow and ice manually with a shovel and/or broom until a long term solution can be found.

It's Time to Prepare for Nor'easter Season

12/5/2020 (Permalink)

How a Nor'easter Develops Photo Courtesy of NOAA

As a Nor'easter or Coastal Storm Approaches

  • Listen to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio or to a local news station for the latest information.
  • Follow instructions given by public safety officials.  Many towns have email or phone distribution systems for emergency messages.  Make sure you are on the list.
  • Review your family emergency plan.
    • If you live or work in a flood zone, hurricane evacuation zone, or an area that is prone to flooding be ready to evacuate.  This requires an understanding of which roads experience flooding most often so you can have an alternate route in mind.
    • If you are not in an area prone to flooding and plan on riding out the storm at home, gather adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and are unable to leave.
  • Prepare for power outages by charging cell phones and electronics (and portable cell phone chargers if you have them) and setting your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings. If you use electricity to get well water, fill your bathtub with water to use for flushing toilets. Gather adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and are unable to leave.
  • Keep your car’s gas tank full. Pumps at gas stations may not work during a power outage.
  • Prepare your home.
    • Secure or bring in outdoor objects (patio furniture, children's toys, trash cans, etc.) that could be swept away or damaged during strong winds or flooding.  This includes grills!  Despite their size and weight, strong winds can knock over grills causing gas lines to be severed.  Fire departments across Monmouth County, NJ responded to numerous calls for ruptured grill supply lines during our last storm.
    • Clear clogged rain gutters to allow water to flow away from your home.
    • If damaging winds are expected, cover all of your windows. If you don’t have storm shutters, board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood.
    • Go Tapeless! Taping windows wastes preparation time, it does not stop windows from breaking or make cleanup easier. In fact, taping windows may create larger shards of glass that can cause serious injuries.
    • Turn off propane tanks if you are not using them.
    • Prepare for flooding by elevating items in your basement, checking your sump pump, unplugging sensitive electronic equipment, clearing nearby catch basins, and parking vehicles in areas not prone to flooding.
    • If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve.
  • If you have a boat, remove it from the water. If you cannot, prepare your boat for the storm to reduce damage.
  • If the nor’easter or coastal storm is a winter storm, learn how to prepare with our Winter Storm Safety Tips.

For more information visit this great site created by the State of Massachusetts”

 https://www.mass.gov/info-details/noreaster-coastal-storm-safety-tips#:~:text=a%20power%20outage.-,Prepare%20your%20home.,flow%20away%20from%20your%20home.

When Storms or Floods hit - SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is ready!

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage. If you have storm damage, please call SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch!

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch 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, 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 732-578-9888

When Storms or Floods hit the Jersey Shore, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is ready!

7/10/2020 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage on the Jersey Shore. Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage on the Jersey Shore.

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch 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 weather events hit the Jersey Shore 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 to make sure that there are enough resources for all of our customers. This is something that no other company can do on the scale that SERVPRO does it.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 732-578-9888

Prepare for Flash Floods: Your Guide to Stay Safe and Clean Up Effectively

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Flash floods can be devastating and dangerous, and oftentimes there is no warning.

As a leader in cleanup and restoration services in the Eatontown / Long Branch area, our team here at SERVPRO has seen how damaging a flash flood can be. We want to help make sure everyone in this community will be prepared.

Causes of Flash Floods

Flash floods typically happen when there’s a sudden storm, and the ground soil can’t absorb all the water that’s quickly streaming in.

The most common causes of flash flooding include:

  • Rain for an extended time (e.g. during a tropical storm or hurricane)
  • Sudden heavy rain in a short time span
  • Dam failures
  • Rapid thawing of snow build-up
  • Overflow in man-made sewers and storm drains

Flash Flood Safety

It’s important to understand the difference between a flood warning and a flood watch:

  • Flood Warning – a flood is expected within 30 minutes to an hour
  • Flood Watch – the conditions are right for a flood, and you should continually check to see if a Flood Warning develops

If a flood warning is issued, you probably won’t have much time to take action, so it’s important to be prepared and know what to do:

  1. Pay attention to instructions from local authorities – there may be a mandatory evacuation or a recommended evacuation to designated shelters or areas. 
  2. Protect your home – if there is no need to evacuate, be sure to secure your home by closing all windows and doors and staying up high away from possible flooding.
  3. Pay attention to water sources – if you find yourself near any bodies of water, from oceans to rivers to lakes to streams, keep a close eye on water levels and be prepared to leave if necessary. Storm drains or drainage ditches could also cause problems.
  4. Avoid driving and walking through flooded areas – many flood-related deaths are the result of people who are trapped in the cars or swept away by the flood waters. 

Flash Flood Cleanup

To cleanup after a flash flood, you want to make sure to remove all the water and dry the affected area as quickly as possible. Whether you hire professional cleanup and restoration services or can manage the cleanup work yourself, the process typically involves the following steps:

  • Removing all standing water
  • Properly disposing damaged materials
  • Quick-as-possible drying and dehumidifying
  • Cleaning and disinfecting
  • Rebuilding and restoring

After a flash flood, it’s important to dry the affected area as soon as possible in order to minimize the extent of the water damage. This is why many people turn to experts like SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch, as we guarantee fast, thorough cleanups with our expertly trained technicians and advanced professional-grade equipment. We’ll even help you work with your insurance.

March Is a Tricky Time of Year

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

March is always a tricky time of year, it is far enough removed from the cold winter temperatures, but not close enough to spring that we are not out of the woods for winter storms, either nor’easters or blizzards.

In 2019, the beginning of March in New Jersey saw three major nor’easter storms in less than two weeks, one accompanied by a full moon which resulted in flooding for many Jersey Shore towns.

Actually, two of the three most expansive, heaviest Northeast snowstorms since the mid-1950s have happened in March, rather than the core winter months of December, January or February.

According to The Weather Channel, they are:

Superstorm 1993 (Mar. 12-14)           

Blizzard of 1960 (Mar 2-5)      

Just like March itself, it’s difficult to predict what can happen in any weather situation. The main rule of thumb is to always be prepared. As we have mentioned before, there are many things you can do to make sure you are ready for any major storm:

  • Trim Large and/or Dying Trees
  • Make Sure Your Gutters are Clean
  • Know Your Evacuation Plan
  • Put Together an Emergency Kit
    • Water
    • Non-Perishable Food
    • Flashlight
    • Radio (battery-powered or hand-crank)
    • Batteries
    • First Aid Kit
    • Medications
    • Multi-Purpose Tool
    • Personal Hygiene & Sanitation Items
    • Copies of Personal Documents
    • Cell Phones & Chargers
    • Emergency & Family Contact Info
    • Cash
    • Blanket
    • Area Maps     

Being prepared may minimize your damage, but you many still need some help should you have water or ice damage. The experts at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch are equipped to handle any kind of disaster – from flood to fire and everything in between and we have experience restoring businesses and homes affected by storms and flooding. We can respond immediately with highly trained technicians who employ specialized equipment and techniques to restore your home or business back to pre-storm condition.

How You Can Prevent 5 of the Most Common Causes of Winter Storm Damage

2/6/2020 (Permalink)

Here in New Jersey, we know all about the common winter storm cycle where ice and snow start to melt on slightly warmer days, only to be replaced by more ice and snow when temperatures drop below freezing again. Unfortunately, this cycle can lead to significant damage to your property and belongings.

SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch wants to help prevent major winter storm damage by taking proper precautions to keep your property safe. A little knowledge and preparation can go a long way to keep you safe this winter.

Here are 5 of the most common causes of winter storm damage and what you can do to avoid a potential catastrophe. 

Frozen Pipes that Burst

One of the horror stories that’s common in winter is pipes that freeze and burst. Even a small crack in a pipe (especially if it goes unnoticed!) can lead to significant leaking and damage. Making sure your pipes are correctly wrapped and insulated will make a huge difference when the temperature drops.

Ice Dams

Ice dams happen when snow that builds up on your rooftop goes through a repeated process of melting and freezing, often as a result of the rising and setting sun. When it’s in liquid state, water can seep under your shingles, and once that water freezes again, it can lift up and damage your shingles.

One of the best ways to prevent ice dams is to pay attention to your roof and make sure snow is swept away before it can build up. Be attentive of any signs of stress or damage to your shingles, and be sure to repair shingles ASAP.

Damage to Your Roof

Ice dams aren’t the only threat to your roof this winter. Heavy winds and continuous pelting from snow and ice can damage roofs, especially if/when they repeat over time.

Older roofs are often most susceptible to winter storm damage, so it’s important to make sure to perform routine maintenance on your roof to make sure it’s ready to last another winter. Pay special attention to your shingles and decking - you might even look for signs of water damage to your ceiling as evidence of a problem to the roof above.

Flooding from Melting Snow & Ice

Though melting snow and ice are often considered most problematic in springtime as temperatures thaw, melting can happen anytime temperatures start to rise.

Water can enter into your basement if there are cracks or other damage to your foundation walls or seams. Be on the lookout for signs of water damage to your basement or crawlspace when snow and ice are melting. 

Leaking

Leaks are probably the most common cause of winter storm damage, as they can happen anywhere your home has been damaged or otherwise compromised.

Although the most common leaks are through damaged roofs and foundations, they also frequently happen from gutters, windows, and doors. Make sure to pay attention to the caulking and seals around any entrance points to make sure no leaking will be allowed in.

If you’re dealing with major damage from a winter storm, our team here at SERVPRO Eatontown / Long Branch is on call 24/7. We’re your local community experts in cleanup and restoration with all the specialized training and equipment needed to restore your property ASAP.

Getting Ready for Coastal Storms

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

House on beach supported due to erosion Erosion from coastal storms can affect structures built along the beach.

Living on the Jersey Shore means dealing with coastal storms, mostly in the form of hurricanes and nor’easters.

By definition, a nor’easter is a “storm that forms along the East Coast of North America. Nor'easters are named after the direction from which the strongest winds typically blow over the northeast states, including New England and the Mid-Atlantic states. The storms can bring wind, snow, rain and flooding.” 

Here at the shore, most of damage we suffer is flooding and beach erosion due to high surf and tidal surge.

Nor’easter vs. hurricane

Nor'easters and hurricanes both form over the Atlantic Ocean. They're both also types of cyclones-a storm that has winds spiraling around a central low pressure zone.

However, while hurricanes originate over the warm waters of the tropics (near the equator) and rely on warm air to help move and strengthen them, nor'easters originate further north, near the eastern coast of the United States. Also, nor'easters thrive and pick up strength from cold air in the atmosphere, north of the Jet Stream and fueled by low-pressure systems from Canada.

Typically nor’easters are most common during the months between September and April. Because they thrive on cold air, bad weather conditions usually accompany them. These conditions usually include rain, flooding, high winds, snow and even blizzards. Sometimes the winds can be stronger than hurricane-force winds.

Hurricane season typically runs from June through October, with most storms affecting the East Coast during late August through October.

How to prepare for a coastal storm

Winterize Your Home

  • Exposed water pipes should be wrapped with newspapers or a plastic wrap, and faucets should be turned on to allow a trickle to come through to prevent freezing and pipes bursting.
  • Leaking roofs need to be patched or re-freezing precipitation could widen gaps and bring in more water and cold.
  • Clogged gutters should be cleared of fallen leaves and twigs to let liquid flow and not get a chance to freeze so gutters weigh down.

Stock Up on Supplies

  • Canned and Non-Perishable Food: Begin buying a few canned goods before the season with each trip to the supermarket as part of your regular shopping.
  • Bottled Water: You should always keep a few extra gallons of water with some designated for drinking, others for non-consumption and set aside for washing up and cleaning, and even for first aid purposes.
  • Battery-Operated Devices: Keep an assortment of fresh batteries in different sizes for use in flashlights, radios, battery-operated charges and other useful equipment.
  • Generators: Keeping a generator running requires diligent maintenance. Perform all necessary checks, change the oil and make sure you’re stocked with all the necessary equipment and fuel to keep it running. Store it outside of your house at a good distance, since generators emit carbon monoxide exhaust.
  • Emergency & First-Aid Equipment: Keep your home first-aid kit fully stocked with fresh, clean bandages and non-expired topical applicants and gels
  • Keep Your Car Storm-Ready: Things to keep in your trunk are first-aid kit; jumper cables, shovel, scrapers and brushes .You may also want to carry kitty litter or rock salt to free your car from slushy situations.

Being prepared is paramount to making it through a storm unscathed. However there are circumstances beyond anyone’s control that may affect your home which even the best preparation won’t help. In that case, SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry is your best bet to get your home back to normal after a terrible storm.

5 Things You Must Do Immediately After Storm Damage

9/20/2019 (Permalink)

Storm damage can happen any time of year, (although during the winter, the effects of storm damage can be particularly brutal.) Your home may suffer roof damage that might ruin the structural integrity of your home and cause leaking. Strong winds might cause fragile trees to collapse.

At SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch we’re committed to help keeping this community safe.  We understand how challenging it can be to deal with storm damage. As a leader in the restoration industry, we’ve been helping homes and businesses in this area for over 10 years. We have the advanced training and equipment needed to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.

When you’re dealing with storm damage, it’s important to act quickly to minimize problems. Here are 5 things you should do immediately in the wake of storm damage:

Stay safe!

Winter storms can quickly create hazardous conditions, such as collapsing roofs or damage to your windows and/or walls.  Leaking can cause water damage that can ruin carpeting, furniture, and building materials, leading to an environment full of potential dangers.

While it can be tempting to want to rush in and save what you can – don’t forget that your first priority is to stay safe!

Be sure to shut off the main gas line if you smell gas, and be on the lookout for slippery surfaces, exposed nails, broken glass, and other possible hazards.  I you decide to enter the affected area, you’ll probably want to wear protective clothing and slip-resistant shoes. Depending on the extent of the damage, it may even be necessary to arrange an alternate place to be while your property is being restored.

Call Your Insurance Provider

Contact your insurance provider as soon as you can to notify them of the damage.  Your insurance company will send an adjuster to check on the state of the damage and determine payments for repairs.

SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch will work with your insurance provider to help you process the claim. Just let us know when you call!

Take Photos

If it is safe to move around or near the affected area, try to photograph the damage so that you have an additional record of evidence for your insurance company. This can help make sure you will be fully compensated.

No fancy camera required – taking photos with your cellphone will be just fine.

Check if You Qualify for Federal Disaster Assistance

Depending on the severity of the storm, the federal government may have declared your property to qualify for disaster relief assistance.  You may be eligible for aid or a low-cost loan for restorations

Restore

When a severe storm hits, it’s a good idea to call for professional restoration services as quickly as you can. The longer standing water is left untreated and damage is not addressed, the more restoration work may be needed and the chance of cost increases may occur.

SERVPRO Wants to Make Sure You’re Prepared for Storms

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

Because weather can be so volatile, especially with the upcoming hurricane season, it’s important be prepared in advance. Here at SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch we’ve seen firsthand how destructive storm damage can be, and we want to make sure everyone in this community knows what they can do before, during, and after a storm to help protect your family and your property in case of a storm emergency.

Here’s a helpful guide so you can be prepared when a storm is in the forecast:

Before

  • Make sure you’re ready with a Disaster Preparation Plan. Determine a meeting place away from your home or commercial building and plan escape routes from each room. Practice the plan with everyone, so there won’t be any question what to do in an emergency.
  • Put together an Emergency Supply Kit. Some good items to include are water, non-perishable food, extra medications, a flashlight, batteries, copies of your personal documents, a blanket, a first aid kit, and cash.
  • Check that your home or commercial building is in good condition to withstand a strong storm. Check your roof now for loose shingles and make sure your doors, windows, and basement are waterproof.

During

  • During a storm, make sure all the windows and doors have been securely shut. Keep away from windows in case the glass should break and shatter.  If the storm is severe, you may want to stay in the basement if you have one, or an interior room.
  • If you go outside, be careful of moving water, because just a few inches of rapidly flowing water can be enough to sweep a person off their feet. If you can, try to stay on higher ground and keep away from low lying areas where deep flooding is more likely.

After

  • Once the storm is over, make sure everyone is ok and start to check your property for any damage. Don’t forget the maxim “Safety First” as flooding can cause potential hazards, including risks of falling, contamination, and electrocution.
  • Make a list of any lost or damaged items, and take photos to document the extent of the damage.

Don’t forget, any storm can happen suddenly, so now is the best time to plan and act. And, if you do require emergency flood repair or water damage restoration, rest assured that SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch is always here to help. We’re known for being “faster to any disaster” with the advanced technicians and equipment needed to restore your property so that it’s like new. We can even help you work with your insurance provider.

Coastal Storms Pose Flood Dangers

3/14/2019 (Permalink)

Living in a flood-prone area such as the Jersey Shore, being prepared is the best thing you can do for yourself in case of the inevitable storm surge. As destructive as flooding can be, with some forethought, planning and the right information, you can endure rising waters. 

Obtain Flood Insurance - most of the area we live in is considered a flood plain.

Elevate Your Property - some shore towns are now requiring it, so make sure you know what you need to do.

Waterproofing - it is not too difficult to have a company come and waterproof your basement - especially if groundwater is a constant problem.

You also maintain your sump pump system and keep it operational. It may also be in your best interest to have a battery-operated sump pump if you lack a system or there is a power failure.

Reduce Potential Debris In anticipation of the flood and evacuation, move furniture and loose items to a higher floor to minimize debris.

If you decide to stay in the home during a storm with potential flooding, there a re a few things to keep in mind.

Food:

  • keep at least 3-days of food and water. Any food you keep should be non-perishable, such as canned and dry goods (e.g., soups, cereals, protein bars);
  • If you have access to a refrigerator, be sparing in its use to help keep the cold circulating. If the temperature rises above 40°F, bacteria will thrive—rendering any refrigerated food inedible;
  • Any food that has been left at room temperature for over two hours or has had contact with contaminated flood water should be discarded.

Water:

  • Keep a fresh supply of bottled water. If you need to use containers, use food-grade water storage containers. Avoid carbonated, caffeinated and alcoholic beverages as they will dehydrate you;
  • If you run out or need to treat possibly contaminated water, boil it, chlorinate it, or use distillation methods before use.

Once the flood waters subside, you know you can count on SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch to assist with the cleanup and speed up the return to normalcy.

The Unpredictable Month of March

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

March can be the most unpredictable month of the year. Last year in  New Jersey saw three major nor’easter storms, in less than two weeks! Or it can be mild, with spring-like weather leading into April.

Just like March itself, it’s difficult to predict what can happen in any weather situation. Winter storms can be any of a combination of snow, wind or rain, and can result in flooding, wind driven snow drifts and icy roads.

The main rule of thumb is to always be prepared, and know what to do in case an unexpected storm hits your area.

Call Your Insurance Provider

Contact your insurance provider as soon as you can to notify them of the damage.  Your insurance company will send an adjustor to check on the state of the damage and determine payments for repairs.

Take Photos

If it is safe to move around or near the affected area, try to photograph the damage so that you have an additional record of evidence for your insurance company.  This can help make sure you will be fully compensated.

Restore

When a severe winter storm hits, it’s a good idea to call for professional restoration services as quickly as you can.

Your restoration services will begin with the basic tasks of inspecting your property and securing it to make sure it is safe.  The damaged area will then be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized and restored as soon as possible so you can hurry up and get back to normal life.

Stay safe!

Be sure to shut off the main gas line if you smell gas, and be on the lookout for slippery surfaces, exposed nails, broken glass, and other possible hazards.  I you decide to enter the affected area, you’ll probably want to wear protective clothing and slip-resistant shoes. Depending on the extent of the damage, it may even be necessary to arrange an alternate place to be while your property is being restored.

SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch has experience restoring businesses and homes affected by storms and flooding. We can respond immediately with highly trained technicians who employ specialized equipment and techniques and are equipped to handle any kind of disaster – from flood to fire and everything in between.

Weather is Unpredictable

2/6/2019 (Permalink)

Just like winter itself, it’s difficult to predict what can happen in any weather situation. The main rule of thumb is to always be prepared, but should something unforeseen occur, know that the experts at SERVPRO are equipped to handle any kind of disaster – from flood to fire and everything in between.

The recent mild weather in the beginning of February, but we're not out of the woods yet as far as extreme weather is concerned! Living by the Jersey Shore, we should always be prepared for that next storm which could potentially bring severe coastal flooding.

Wetter seasons are packed with more extreme weather events with sea rise, coastal erosion and other factors leading to flooding issues, even in places that haven’t experienced it since records began. 

“Forewarned is forearmed” is the mindset to have if you live in a flood-prone region. As destructive as flooding can be, with some forethought, planning and the right information, you and your loved ones can endure the trials posed by the rising waters.

Here are some helpful tips and suggestions:

For Your Home

  • Obtain Flood Insurance: It’s best to know with some research or asking a realtor before you move into a new home if it’s located in a flood zone.
  • If Feasible, Elevate Your Property: It may be expensive at the outset to do so, but if flooding is frequent, you may want to consider elevating your entire home to lift it higher than historic flood lines.
  • Waterproofing: Another fix to consider is waterproofing your basement. You will also need to maintain your sump pump system and keep it operational.
  • Reduce Potential Debris: In anticipation of the flood and evacuation, move furniture and loose items to a higher floor to minimize debris.

If you do end up with water damage due to storm surge, extreme wind and rain or any other reason, SERVPRO Eatontown/Long Branch has experience restoring businesses and homes affected by storms and flooding. We can respond immediately with highly trained technicians who employ specialized equipment and techniques to restore your home or business back to pre-storm condition.

Storms During the Colder Months

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

This summer and fall were unusually wet and cold. Even though the winter weather is not reliably predicted yet, whether or not we have a mild winter or one filled with blizzards and nor'easters, you should always prepare your home for the worst.

Preparing now may affect the impact that powerful storms and weather systems can do to property. 

Keep Drains and Gutters Clear

Clear leaves from your gutters and rake leaves away from your foundation.

The same applies for snow. Break up any piles of snow that may be slow to melt and get stuck in a cycle of re-freezing, which will block any drains. 

Another tactic to aid with drainage is to consult with a landscaping service to design your property to move water away from your home, and have plantings to prevent soil erosion.

Seal Potential Leaks & Gaps

As it gets colder and wetter, any roof leaks could be a potential disaster, as the entry point may freezes and re-freeze, making the gap expand and allow more water in.

Windows can also be a source for leaks. It  may take time to locate where water is coming in–you may have to check for cold air as well. Once you find it, you’ll have to caulk around where the break is.

Clear Away Sick Trees and Loose Branches

Poor drainage, combined with sick, old or damaged trees may result in downed trees during a storm - which results in uprooted trees. These may fall or lean on power lines and homes.

If you have trees on your property it would be in your best interest to hire an arborist or tree service to check your tree’s health. Most branches and fallen trees were weak and sick before a storm, and only needed the right gust to send branches flying and trunks to topple.

Maintain your trees and keep them trimmed and healthy.

Regular property maintenance can make the difference between a a rough weather season that’s manageable and one full of hazards and costly. Staying several steps ahead of the damage caused by wind, rain, ice and snow can make for a safe and secure rest of the year.

Remember, should you need professional assistance, SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch has the professionally trained staff to handle your post storm clean-up.

Prepare for Fall's Storms

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

Here in Monmouth County, NJ, we often enjoy a beautiful fall season spent outdoors, enjoying time with friends and family in our backyard and weekends walking along the beach, no longer crowded with summer revelers.

Unfortunately, this season can also bring potentially dangerous weather conditions in the form of nor'easter storms that can wreak havoc for homeowners. In order to minimize any damage to your home and property, here are some steps you can take now to help prepare for when the next storm hits:

Trim Large and/or Dying Trees

Some of the worst damage that can happen to a home during a major storm is the result of falling trees. 

While the weather is nice, make sure to inspect all your shrubs and trees and remove any branches that may come crashing into your home.  

Make Sure Your Gutters are Clean

When leaves fall it is especially important to keep your gutters clean of leaves and debris.  This not only helps protect your siding and landscaping, it can also help prevent costly water damage to your foundation.

Make sure to inspect where the downspout meets the gutter system as this is a spot where clogs frequently occur.

Secure Your Outdoor Furniture

If the weather is still nice, you may still have your patio or deck set up. Before the storm hits, make sure you have tightly secured any furniture using heavy duty chains or wires to connect your furniture to stakes. Or, try tying multiple pieces of furniture together with bungee cords so that their combined mass and weight can function like a natural anchor.

If you have the space, another good option is to bring the furniture inside until after the storm has passed.

Put Together an Emergency Kit

If you’re wondering what you should have in your survival kit, here are the 15 minimum supplies recommended by the American Red Cross:

  1. Water
  2. Non-Perishable Food
  3. Flashlight
  4. Radio (battery-powered or hand-crank)
  5. Batteries
  6. First Aid Kit
  7. Medications
  8. Multi-Purpose Tool
  9. Personal Hygiene & Sanitation Items
  10. Copies of Personal Documents
  11. Cell Phones & Chargers
  12. Emergency & Family Contact Info
  13. Cash
  14. Blanket
  15. Area Maps    

Know Your Evacuation Plan

Lastly, in case the storm turns out to be severe, make sure you have a safe place to take shelter.  Communicate with your family and make a plan well in advance so everyone is prepared.

If your home is damaged by a storm, call the restoration professionals of SERVPRO Eatontown / Long Branch as soon as you can. A quick response helps to minimize and prevent further damage, reducing you costs. We have the specialized expertise and equipment to help you quickly dry and restore your home to its pre-storm condition.

It’s Hurricane Season!

7/13/2018 (Permalink)

The peak potential time for hurricanes here in New Jersey runs from mid-August through the end of October.  Hurricane Sandy is still on people’s minds, and each season is unpredictable as to the amount and severity of possible storms. Here at the Jersey Shore it’s especially important to be prepared for anything.

In order to protect your home, here are 5 tips that can help you prepare for and ride out a storm:

Keep Doors and Windows Protected Against Rain, High Winds, and Flying Debris

Heavy rains can cause flooding in your home. And, high winds can hurl objects at speeds so fast they can act like bullets. In other words: make sure to protect your windows and doors.

And don’t forget your garage door! Make sure your garage door is installed to be weather-proof or brace an existing door to keep it from giving way.

Remove Items from Your Yard

The more you can minimize any loose, large objects near your house, the better you can protect yourself from flying debris. Remember to secure any patio furniture or garden sculptures.  Even better, try to bring everything you can indoors for the duration of the storm.

Keeping your trees pruned and removing any dead branches well before the storm begins will make a big difference in high winds.

Keep Gutters Clear So Water Can Flow

It’s a good idea to regularly clean out your gutters and downspouts and make sure nothing blocks flowing rain water or melting snow throughout the year.  But, is especially important to make sure nothing is blocking your water flow before a major storm. 

If the heavy rains can’t flow down and away, they could end up pooling on your roof and leaking into your attic, creating significant and costly damage to your home.  So, make sure to conduct a visual inspection of your gutter and downspouts to ensure rain will flow away from your roof and home.

Make Sure You Have a Working Sump Pump and Emergency Generator

One way to ensure your basement or crawl space will stay dry during any potential flooding is to install a sump pump system.  Also having an emergency generator on hand can be useful for any power loss you may experience during a major storm.  You may consider installing a whole-house system, but even a small generator can keep the essentials going and help you withstand the worst of the storm’s after-effects.

Stock Up on Basic Supplies

It’s a good idea to keep on hand at least a three-day supply of basic necessities. This includes drinking water, food that doesn’t need refrigeration, a first aid kit, any prescriptions or other necessary medications, and personal hygiene items. You’ll probably also want a supply of batteries, a flashlight, and candles, just in case you end up with no electricity.

Some additional items recommended by FEMA include:

  • Copies of important family documents in a waterproof container
  • Sleeping bags and warm blankets
  • Change of clothing
  • Paper towels and plastic utensils, plates, and cups
  • Books and games to pass the time.

If your home does sustain significant storm damage, it is a good idea to enlist the help of trained storm damage specialists as soon as you can.  A fast response can limit the extent of the damage and significantly reduce your overall costs. Remember SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch is THE only restoration company who can handle storms like Sandy - we can rely on many of our SERVPRO franchises throughout the country to come and help.

In Like a Lion

3/14/2018 (Permalink)

This road in Belmar saw flooding due to high tide surge. Homes facing the bay had water damage that had to be remediated.

The beginning of March in New Jersey saw three major nor’easter storms, Riley, Quinn and Skylar, in less than two weeks. Winter Storm Riley was accompanied by a full moon, which resulted in flooding for many Jersey Shore towns. Many homes had flood damage or water damage caused by high winds and heavy rain and snow.

Just like March itself, it’s difficult to predict what can happen in any weather situation. The main rule of thumb is to always be prepared, but should something unforeseen occur, know that the experts at SERVPRO are equipped to handle any kind of disaster – from flood to fire and everything in between.

SERVPRO of Eatontown / Long Branch has experience restoring businesses and homes affected by storms and flooding. We can respond immediately with highly trained technicians who employ specialized equipment and techniques to restore your home or business back to pre-storm condition.

Be Prepared For Coastal Flooding

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

The New Jersey coastline is particularly vulnerable to ocean storm surge.

The Jersey Shore is particularly vulnerable to coastal flooding during hurricanes and nor'easters. The safest step to take is to evacuate to higher ground. 

However, if you must shelter in place, much of the evacuation protocol applies in moving valuables and furniture to a higher floor and removing loose items, but now you, your loved ones and any pets must move to a higher floor. What is paramount is creating the conditions to endure the next few days with increased discomfort, and accepting the limited availability of rescue and medical services.

Food:

  • It is recommended to keep at least 3-days of food and water. Any food you keep should be non-perishable, such as canned and dry goods (e.g., soups, cereals, protein bars);
  • It may be dangerous to use a gas stove, or you may not have access to a working gas or electric one, you can use the following alternatives:
  • Candle warmers
  • Chafing dishes
  • Fondue pots
  • Camp stoves (outdoor use only)
  • Charcoal grills (outdoor use only)
  • If you have access to a refrigerator, be sparing in its use to help keep the cold circulating. If the temperature rises above 40°F, bacteria will thrive—rendering any refrigerated food inedible;
  • Any food that has been left at room temperature for over two hours or has had contact with contaminated flood water should be discarded.

Water:

  • Keep a fresh supply of bottled water of the commercial variety. If you need to use containers, use food-grade water storage containers. Avoid carbonated, caffeinated and alcoholic beverages as they will dehydrate you;
  • If you run out or need to treat possibly contaminated water, boil it, chlorinate it, or use distillation methods before use.

Further tips and information can be found here.

Enduring and surviving a flood can be a harrowing experience. There’s much preparedness that is required for living in flood-prone areas. With the right information helpfully provided on Ready.gov and the FEMA sites, you can find strategies and tips, so you can direct your energies to help and comfort for your loved ones.

Once the flood waters subside, you know you can count on SERVPRO to assist with the cleanup and speed up the return to normalcy.

Beware of the Flood

2/8/2018 (Permalink)

This restaurant in Monmouth Beach was almost submerged from a storm surge and tidal flooding during a hurricane.

It's February, but we're not out of the woods yet as far as extreme weather is concerned! Living by the Jersey Shore, we should always be prepared for that next storm which could potentially bring severe coastal flooding.

We’ve all seen the footage and images from the most recent wave of deadly hurricanes, the destruction wrought by storm surges that fill residential streets. Wetter seasons are packed with more extreme weather events with sea rise, coastal erosion and other factors leading to flooding issues, even in places that haven’t experienced it since records began. 

“Forewarned is forearmed” is the mindset to have if you live in a flood-prone region. As destructive as flooding can be, with some forethought, planning and the right information, you and your loved ones can endure the trials posed by the rising waters. What follows are some helpful tips and suggestions:

For Your Home

  • Obtain Flood Insurance: It’s best to know with some research or asking a realtor before you move into a new home if it’s located in a flood zone. If so an early measure to take is to seek out a flood insurance policy that works for you. Having flood insurance will help cover the cost of any repairs once waters subsides. Flood insurance is available for renters and business owners as well and forms and information can be acquired through the National Flood Insurance Program;
  • Elevate Your Property: It may be expensive at the outset to do so, but if flooding is frequent, you may want to consider elevating your entire home to lift it higher than historic flood lines. Frequent flooding requires frequent fixes so stockpile emergency building materials, such as wood, nails, etc.;
  • Waterproofing: Another fix to consider is waterproofing your basement. You can find ready step-by-step fixes on most websites or purchase sealants to fill cracks and openings. You will also need to maintain your sump pump system and keep it operational. It may also be in your best interest to have a battery-operated sump pump if you lack a system or there is a power failure;
  • Reduce Potential Debris: In anticipation of the flood and evacuation, move furniture and loose items to a higher floor to minimize debris.

If you do end up with water damage due to storm surge, extreme wind and rain or any other reason, make sure you contact the pros from SERVPRO Eatontown/Long Branch. They will be able to fix your home "Like it never even happened." 

Deep Freeze of 2018

1/22/2018 (Permalink)

Temperatures below freezing for over ten days left many homeowners seeking help from SERVPRO Eatontown/Long Branch for broken pipes

The Jersey Shore, along with the entire Northeast, suffered a deep freeze of below freezing temperatures for nearly two weeks, coupled with Winter Storm Grayson. This resulted in frozen and bursting water pipes in many homes, offices and schools throughout the region. Monmouth County was hit particularly hard as well from coastal flooding.

SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch was on the scene, helping many homeowners and businesses by extracting water and drying basements, crawl spaces, floors and sheet rock.  

To avoid future frozen and broken pipes during long-time freezing temperatures, it is easy to take the following steps:

Outdoors:

  • Wrap outside faucets
  • Caulk around pipes where they enter the house
  • Disconnect garden hoses
  • Drain in-ground sprinkler systems

Indoors:

  • Let a stream of water run if the temperatures dip below freezing
  • Open cupboard and vanity doors in the kitchen or bathroom
  • Make sure thermostat is set to constant temperature

If, however, you do experience broken pipes, make sure you take quick action to have the water extracted and your home or business dried out properly. Call SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch and we will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Preparing for a Blizzard Part II

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

Make sure to be prepared way ahead of any storm.

Now that you've winterized your home, you're ready to prepare for the unexpected. It's never too late to get everything you need before a storm.

Stock Up on Supplies

Every powerful storm brings a panic run on supermarkets and gas stations. Consider stocking up on the following to sustain you and your family over difficult days:

  • Canned and Non-Perishable Food: Begin buying a few canned goods before the season with each trip to the supermarket as part of your regular shopping. Stocking up on soup, canned vegetables, dry pasta and other items gradually could create a substantial food source that could be useful during the winter months.
  • Bottled Water: You should always keep a few extra gallons of water with some designated for drinking, others for non-consumption and set aside for washing up and cleaning, and even for first aid purposes.
  • Battery-Operated Devices: A working supply of batteries can be the difference between staying illuminated and connected or stuck and ignorant in the dark. Keep an assortment of fresh batteries in different sizes for use in flashlights, radios, battery-operated charges and other useful equipment.
  • Generators: Keeping a generator running requires diligent maintenance. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions (or find reliable tips online) and perform all necessary checks, change the oil and make sure you’re stocked with all the necessary equipment and fuel to keep it running. Store it outside of your house at a good distance, since generators emit carbon monoxide exhaust.
  • Emergency & First-Aid Equipment: Keep your home first-aid kit fully stocked with fresh, clean bandages and non-expired topical applicants and gels. Fire extinguishers should also be full and inspections up-to-date. 

 Keep Your Car Storm-Ready

There could be that awful possibility of getting caught out on the highway in a terrible storm, only to discover that the highway has been closed and you are forced to shelter in place. Don’t let your motor idle, sapping battery life and fuel in an effort to keep warm. In addition to keeping a first-aid kit and jumper cables in your trunk, you may want to stow a shovel, scrapers and brushes to remove snow and dig out your car, or someone else who may need your assistance. You may also want to carry kitty litter or rock salt to free your car from slushy situations.

Here’s some other suggestions for keeping your car storm-ready:

  • Snacks and water: have the foresight to keep snacks on hand, such as trail mix, nuts or anything else with a long shelf life, as well as a fresh bottle of water.
  • Keeping warm: That sleeping bag that accompanied you on summer overnight trips could come in handy should you find you have to stay the night before the ploughs can clear the highway. Also a set of dry clothes (jeans, sweaters, shirt, socks and maybe even extra boots) to change into if what you’re wearing manages to get soggy.
  • “Go Bags”: It may be a sound decision to have on hand in your car or home, packed and ready for emergencies, a “go bag” (aka, “bug-out bag”). The Get Ready campaign, an emergency preparedness campaign sponsored by the U.S. government, has a site where you can learn the basic contents: a set of clothes for extended stays, some money, first aid material, and anything else needed should there be a call to evacuate.

Keep Activity to Confined to Only a Few Rooms 

It will prove important to reduce the amount of area that your family uses to retain heat. Designate areas such as the living room, the kitchen and a bathroom for habitation and to keep warm. Close off all other rooms—especially if they aren’t well insulated. If you keep enough people to only a few rooms, body heat and the heat given off by heaters and will last much longer, especially if the power goes out. 

If you want more information regarding preparation for blizzards and nor’easters and the challenges these storms present, information can be easily obtained via material posted on the Red Cross and FEMA websites. Both proved helpful in compiling the tips and pointers mentioned in this article. Should you need help with cleanup and disposal in the aftermath, you can always count on SERVPRO  of Eatontown/Long Branch to provide ready assistance.

Don't let a Blizzard Catch You Off Guard

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Excess snow from a blizzard can create a host of problems if your home is not prepared.

Snowmageddon! Snowpocalypse!

You can call it anything you want, but when the wind and snow come roaring through: a blizzard is a blizzard! With heavy snowfall and hurricane-force gusts hurling drifts in every direction, a blizzard will render roads impassable, down power lines and bring life to a standstill.

With the right precautions in place, you may be able to ride out the storm with your home and your family’s safety intact. Your main tasks during such a trial are to be prepared, stay warm and dry and stay safe. 

Winterize Your Home

If there’s an evacuation order it’s best to take heed, especially if there’s a danger of coastal flooding or impassable roads cutting you off from vital care. If by choice or circumstance you find you are riding out the storm at home, it’s important to make sure your home is well-insulated and that any gaps and cracks around windows and doors are sealed.

 These following precautions can be very helpful in the run-up to any winter storm or freezing condition:

  • Exposed water pipes should be wrapped with newspapers or a plastic wrap, and faucets should be turned on to allow a trickle to come through to prevent freezing and pipes bursting.
  • Leaking roofs need to be patched or re-freezing precipitation could widen gaps and bring in more water and cold.
  • Clogged gutters should be cleared of fallen leaves and twigs to let liquid flow and not get a chance to freeze so gutters weigh down.

Dress for the Storm

To preserve body heat indoors and out, it’s best to layer up. If there is a reason to go out and brave the weather, or you’re feeling snug at home while the wind is roaring outside, you should still dress for reduced temperatures and stormy conditions.

Outside Apparel: If you must be outside, you must keep warm and dry. Cover yourself from scalp to sole with a hat, a scarf and a water-repellent outer layer. Use mittens instead of gloves because keeping your fingers close together helps with insulation.

Inside apparel: Even in the comfort of your own home, you should add an extra, secondary layer—especially if and when the power goes out. For the duration of the storm and the cold days and nights afterward, you will want to retain as much heat as you give off.

By making sure your house is prepared, you can save yourself the expense and headache of broken pipes and water damage. But if you DO need storm cleanup, you know you can turn to SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch!

Winter Weather Tips

1/7/2015 (Permalink)

Tips for Preparing Your Home for Winter Weather

  • Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes.
  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or non-insulated areas of your home.
  • Consider shutting off outdoor faucets. Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space and turn it to “off.”
  • If you follow the previous step, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shut off.
  • Proper maintenance of your furnace can help reduce the risk of puff backs.
  • Ensure gutters are clan and secure. Leaves and debris accumulate, causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage. 
  • Helping a Veteran in the wake of Hurricane Sandy

    10/29/2013 (Permalink)

    Our response crew with SSG Mike Minard (right).

    SERVPRO of Eatontown/Long Branch teamed up with Homes For Our Troops to help Iraq war veteran SSG Mike Minard and his family return to their Union Beach home after suffering damage from Hurricane Sandy. It was an honor to work with a veteran that has given up so much for our country.