Recent Storm Damage Posts

After a Winter Storm

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

After a Winter Storm

Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions. Access to some parts of the community may be limited or roads may be blocked.

Help people who require special assistance—infants, elderly people, those without transportation, large families who may need additional help in an emergency, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.

Avoid driving and other travel until conditions have improved.

Avoid overexertion. Heart attacks from shoveling heavy snow are a leading cause of death during the winter.

Check on your animals and ensure that their access to food and water is unimpeded by drifted snow, ice, or other obstacles.

If you are using a portable generator, take precautions against carbon monoxide poisoning, electrocution and fire.

Identifying & Treating Frostbite and Hypothermia

Frostbite and hypothermia are cold-related emergencies that may quickly become life or limb threatening.

Take these steps to avoid frostbite and hypothermia:

Be aware of the wind chill. Dress appropriately and avoid staying in the cold too long. Wear a hat and gloves when appropriate with layers of clothing. Avoid unnecessary exposure of any part of the body to the cold.

Drink plenty of warm fluids or warm water but avoid caffeine and alcohol. Stay active to maintain body heat.

Take frequent breaks from the cold.

Get out of the cold immediately if the signals of hypothermia or frostbite appear

- Frostbite

Frostbite is the freezing of a specific body part such as fingers, toes, the nose or earlobes.

Signs of frostbite:

Lack of feeling in the affected area

Skin that appears waxy, is cold to the touch, or is discolored (flushed, white or gray, yellow or blue)

What to do for frostbite:

  1. Move the person to a warm place
  1. Handle the area gently; never rub the affected area
  1. Warm gently by soaking the affected area in warm water (100–105 degrees F) until it appears red and feels warm
  1. Loosely bandage the area with dry, sterile dressings
  1. If the person’s fingers or toes are frostbitten, place dry, sterile gauze between them to keep them separated
  1. Avoid breaking any blisters
  1. Do not allow the affected area to refreeze
  1. Seek professional medical care as soon as possible

- Hypothermia

Hypothermia is the cooling of the body caused by the failure of the body’s warming system. The goals of first aid are to restore normal body temperature and to care for any conditions while waiting for EMS personnel.

Signs of hypothermia:

Shivering

Numbness or weakness

Glassy stare

Apathy or impaired judgment

Loss of consciousness

What to do for hypothermia:

  1. CALL 9-1-1 or the local emergency number
  1. Gently move the person to a warm place
  1. Monitor breathing and circulation
  1. Give rescue breathing and CPR if needed
  1. Remove any wet clothing and dry the person
  1. Warm the person slowly by wrapping in blankets or by putting dry clothing on the person.

Hot water bottles and chemical hot packs may be used when first wrapped in a towel or blanket before applying. Do not warm the person too quickly, such as by immersing him or her in warm water.

Warm the core first (trunk, abdomen), not the extremities (hands, feet).

Source: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm#Before

What happens during a snow storm

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Stay Safe During a Winter Storm

- Staying Safe During a Winter Storm or Blizzard

Stay indoors and wear warm clothes. Layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing will keep you warmer than a bulky sweater. If you feel too warm, remove layers to avoid sweating; if you feel chilled, add layers.

Listen to a local station on battery-powered radio or television or to NOAA Weather Radio for updated emergency information.

Bring your companion animals inside before the storm begins.

Move other animals to sheltered areas with a supply of non-frozen water. Most animal deaths in winter storms are caused by dehydration.

Eat regularly. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat.

Keep the body replenished with fluids to prevent dehydration. Drink liquids such as warm broth or juice. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine, a stimulant, accelerates the symptoms of hypothermia. Alcohol, such as brandy, is a depressant and hastens the effects of cold on the body. Alcohol also slows circulation and can make you less aware of the effects of cold. Both caffeine and alcohol can cause dehydration.

Conserve fuel. Winter storms can last for several days, placing great demand on electric, gas, and other fuel distribution systems (fuel oil, propane, etc.). Lower the thermostat to 65° F (18° C) during the day and to 55° F (13° C) at night. Close off unused rooms, and stuff towels or rags in cracks under the doors. Cover the windows at night.

Check on relatives, neighbors, and friends, particularly if they are elderly or if they live alone.

- Staying Safe Outside

If you must go outside, protect yourself from winter storm hazards: Wear layered clothing, mittens or gloves, and a hat. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Mittens or gloves and a hat will prevent the loss of body heat.

Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from severely cold air. Avoid taking deep breaths; minimize talking.

Watch for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.

Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses much of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly away from the body.

Stretch before you go out. If you go out to shovel snow, do a few stretching exercises to warm up your body. This will reduce your chances of muscle injury.

Avoid overexertion, such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a vehicle, or walking in deep snow. The strain from the cold and the hard labor may cause a heart attack. Sweating could lead to a chill and hypothermia.

Walk carefully on snowy, icy sidewalks. Slips and falls occur frequently in winter weather, resulting in painful and sometimes disabling injuries.

If you must go out during a winter storm, use public transportation if possible. About 70 percent of winter deaths related to ice and snow occur in automobiles.

Driving in Winter Conditions

Check your vehicle emergency supplies kit and replenish it if necessary.

Bring enough of the following for each person:

- Blankets or sleeping bags

- Rain gear, extra sets of dry clothing, mittens, socks, and wool hats

- Newspapers for insulation

- Plastic bags for sanitation

- Canned fruit, nuts, and high energy snacks (Include a non-electric can opener if necessary)

- Warm broth in a thermos and several bottles of water

- Keep a cell phone or two-way radio with you. Make sure the battery is charged.

- Plan to travel during daylight and, if possible, take at least one other person with you.

Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your vehicle gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.

Before leaving, listen to weather reports for your area and the areas you will be passing through, or call the state highway patrol for the latest road conditions.

Be on the lookout for sleet, freezing rain, freezing drizzle, and dense fog, which can make driving very hazardous

- If You Become Stranded

Stay in the vehicle and wait for help. Do not leave the vehicle to search for assistance unless help is visible within 100 yards (91 meters). You can quickly become disoriented and confused in blowing snow.

Display a trouble sign to indicate you need help. Hang a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) on the radio antenna and raise the hood after snow stops falling.

Run the engine occasionally to keep warm. Turn on the engine for about 10 minutes each hour (or five minutes every half hour). Running the engine for only short periods reduces the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and conserves fuel. Use the heater while the engine is running. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow, and slightly open a downwind window for ventilation.

Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running so that you can be seen.

Do light exercises to keep up circulation. Clap your hands and move your arms and legs occasionally. Try not to stay in one position for too long.

If more than one person is in the vehicle, take turns sleeping. If you are not awakened periodically to increase body temperature and circulation, you can freeze to death.

Huddle together for warmth. Use newspapers, maps, and even the removable floor mats for added insulation. Layering items will help trap more body heat.

Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Severe cold can cause numbness, making you unaware of possible danger.

Drink fluids to avoid dehydration, which can make you more susceptible to the ill effects of cold and to heart attacks.

Avoid overexertion. Cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Shoveling snow or pushing a vehicle can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse.

Source: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm#Before

How to prepare for a winter storm

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

To prepare for a winter storm you should do the following:

  • Before winter approaches, add the following supplies to your emergency kit: ?Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products.

Sand to improve traction.

Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.

Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.

Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.

  • Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • A NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the NWS for all hazards. You may also sign up in advance to receive notifications from your local emergency services.
  • Download FEMA’s Be Smart. Know Your Alerts and Warnings for a summary of notifications at: www.ready.gov/prepare. Free smart phone apps, such as those available from FEMA and the American Red Cross, provide information about finding shelters, providing first aid, and seeking assistance for recovery.
  • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.

Source: https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather

what to do after a hurricane

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

What to Do After a Hurricane:

Continue listening to the local news for the latest updates.

Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.

If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.

Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.

Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.

Stay out of any building that has water around it.

Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.

Use flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles.

Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.

Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.

Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.

Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.

Use the telephone only for emergency calls.

http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/hurricane#Recover

Truth About Lightning

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

There are many Myths out there about lighting. A lot of people believe that lighting doesn’t strike the same place twice, when in fact it is more likely for lighting to strike the same place twice. Reportedly, the Empire State building is struck 23 times a year! It is also believed that rubber tires on a car can protect you from lightning. however, it is not the tires that protect you, it is the metal roof and metal sides that keep you safe. Another misconception about lighting is that people think of a big lighting bolt coming down from the sky killing people, but that is actually quite rare. A stroke of lightning can contain 20,000 ampere or more of electrical current, and when that hits the earth, that electricity spreads out in the ground and can be potentially deadly. For a person standing on the ground affected by the current, it can travel up one leg, through your body and down the other leg. Along the way, it can potentially stop your heart or arrest your breathing. If you are near a tree when the tree gets struck by lightning, the lightning can bounce off the tree and strike you! It is important to know the truth about lighting so you can be prepared and keep safe!

For more information, visit http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/myths.shtml

Be Storm Ready, Be Storm Safe

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Be Storm Ready, Be Storm Safe!

Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms:

10,000 severe thunderstorms

5,000 floods or flash floods

1,000 tornadoes

2 land falling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to

around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather, acting and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.

Know Your Risk

The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of

hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could

impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a

NOAA Weather Radio and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take Action

Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place. Essentials for an emergency kit would include crank radio, flash light, extra batteries, food, water, blanket, heater, change of clothes, first aid kit. It would be best to have a kit in your car as well you never know if you would be stranded while you were on your way somewhere. Being prepared is the best and only way you should be, helping others by spreading the word is also very beneficial the more people that talk about it

Be an Example

Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with

co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire

others to do the same.

30/30 Rule

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

We've had lots of severe thunderstorms this season in Lake County area.

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda has had an influx of residential and commercial storm cleanup and tree removal request.

Does your family know what to do before, during, and after a lightning storm? Learn the facts and practice your plan.  The 30/30 rule is if there is less than 30 seconds between a flash of lightning and the sound of thunder, seek shelter.  Wait at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before leaving shelter.

Here are some facts about lighting:

  • Lightning’s unpredictability increases the risk to individuals and property.
  • Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall.
  • “Heat lightning” is actually lightning from a thunderstorm too far away from thunder to be heard. However, the storm may be moving in your direction.
  • Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months during the afternoon and evening.
  • Your chances of being struck by lightning are estimated to be 1 in 600,000 but could be reduced even further by following safety precautions.
  • Lightning strike victims carry no electrical charge and should be attended to immediately

There are thousands of deaths a year caused by lighting each year because people are outside at night in the summer months. You should always check the weather when you are going to be outside so you don’t get trapped in a lightning storm.   Technology is the best tool to keep you safe, you can check the weather throughout the evening and night to ensure you will be safe at all times.

Floods...When Water Attacks

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

Floods, When water attacks

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the U.S., capable of striking almost any river, creek, lake or coast nationwide. They kill about 140 Americans each year and are often more destructive than the storms that caused them — water flowing at 10 mph exerts the same pressure on a structure as 270 mph wind gusts, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Across the country, floods destroy some $6 billion worth of property every year.

Overflowing rivers are behind most U.S. floods, but anything from tsunamis and hurricanes to broken dams and urban runoff can cause one. A single flood may fit multiple categories, but floods are generally classified as one of the following:

Flash Floods

Most deaths and damage from floods are due to flash flooding — "a rapid and extreme flow of high water into a normally dry area, or a rapid rise in a stream or creek above a predetermined flood level," according to the National Weather Service. Flash floods develop suddenly, often in just a few minutes, and while they occur in all 50 states, they're most common in hilly areas with steep valleys, or along small waterways in urban environments. Their speed, depth and element of surprise make flash floods highly dangerous, causing major damage while allowing little time to prepare or evacuate. Heavy rains are the top cause of flash floods, but urban runoff, "ice jams," dam failures and other factors may also be involved.

Slow River Floods

Rising waters may spur flash floods in steep, narrow river basins, but in flatter, wider ones, flooding tends to be slow, shallow and long-lasting. Flat floodplains can remain inundated for days or even weeks, but these floods are at least usually easier to predict than flash floods. Spring snowmelt regularly swells northern rivers, and when big blocks of un melted ice are floating downstream, they can become lodged under bridges or in narrow passages, creating an "ice jam" that sets off a flash flood on top of the slower, pre-existing flood.

Costal Floods

Storms and earthquakes are the two leading causes of ocean floods. Hurricanes push walls of sea water ashore when they hit land, creating a saline flash flood known as a "storm surge." Storm surges are often responsible for the majority of deaths from tropical cyclones, as was the case in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Despite hurricanes' strength, though, deep-sea earthquakes are capable of displacing even larger amounts of water, forming long-range waves called "tsunamis." Tsunamis can push floodwaters many miles inland, as seen after the 2004 Sumatran quake and the magnitude-9.0 temblor that hit Japan in March 2011.

Ground Failures

Some floods attack from below, as the water table rises to the surface and washes away chunks of topsoil. This can cause a variety of ground failures, including "subsidence," or sinking soil, and "liquefaction," a process in which water-soaked sediment loses strength and acts like a liquid. Scientists also differentiate between "mud floods" — a liquid flood that carries up to 50 percent solid sediment loads — and "mudflows" — solid landslides where the downward flow is viscous enough to support large boulders within a wave of smaller particles. Mud floods and mudflows are most common in California and other Western states, since they tend to occur on hillsides burned bare by wildfire.

Lake Floods

Most lakes experience fluctuating water levels, but they usually don't "flood" the way rivers do because lakes typically have outlet streams or rivers to help them drain. But not all lakes have such outlets, and these "closed-basin lakes" are prone to potentially catastrophic floods if their water level rises too high. Glacial lakes — which were carved and filled by glaciers, and make up most lakes in North America — are also at risk of drainage problems, and can undergo dramatic, long-term fluctuations in depth.

Opening the Flood Gates

While rain and snow cause most floods, they're also pawns of broader climatic trends that shape daily weather. Linking specific weather events to these trends is never easy, but climatologists can at least trace the origins of some recent U.S. flood problems to unusually heavy precipitation during preceding months.

Flood Safety

The main rule for staying safe during a flood is to never willingly go near the water, whether on foot or in a car. Just six inches of moving water can knock people off their feet, so FEMA warns against walking through flowing floodwaters, and points out that since even apparently dry land could be subject to ground failure in a flood, it's not a bad idea to use a pole or stick to test the soil before stepping on it. The best place to be is high ground, but if you're in a building when floods arrive, go to the roof or the highest floor, but be careful not to get trapped in an attic or other confined space by rising water.

More than half of all deaths in floods happen when vehicles are swept away, usually in flash floods. Many of the drivers are overtaken before they can react, but people also frequently overestimate their ability to drive through flowing water, often with tragic results. NOAA's "Turn Around, Don't Drown" campaign is aimed at reducing these preventable deaths by raising awareness of how dangerous road flooding can be.

Electrocution is another dangerous side effect of flooding, one more reason to stay away from the water. Avoid and report any downed power lines and electrical wires, and consider turning off your home's electricity and checking around for gas leaks.

Infection and disease can be major problems during a flood as well as long afterward. While water levels are still high, an array of contaminants can be mixed in with the flood, ranging from untreated sewage to toxic chemicals. But even after the threat of water-borne bacteria and synthetic pollutants wanes, respiratory risks arise from black mold and other fungi that flourish in water-damaged wood and fabrics. Anything that got wet from flooding should either be thoroughly cleaned or thrown away.

For more flood advice, see FEMA's floodsmart.gov page, which has safety tips as well as information on the National Flood Insurance Program.

Source: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/translating-uncle-sam/stories/floods-when-water-attacks

Thunderstorms...Be Prepared

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces hail at least 1 inch in diameter or has wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes. Heavy rain from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding, and high winds can damage homes and blow down trees and utility poles, causing widespread power outages.

Know the Difference!

Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. Stay informed and be ready to act if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property.

Every year people are killed or seriously injured by severe thunderstorms despite advance warning. While some did not hear the warning, others heard the warning and did not pay attention to it. The information in this section, combined with timely watches and warnings about severe weather, may help save lives.

Be Prepared for Thunderstorms and Severe Weather.

Learn about your local community’s emergency warning system for severe thunderstorms

Discuss thunderstorm safety and lightning safety with all members of your household

Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm This should be away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail

Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe thunderstorm

Make trees and shrubbery more wind resistant by keeping them trimmed and removing damaged branches

Protect your animals by ensuring that any outside buildings that house them are protected in the same way as your home

Consult your local fire department if you are considering installing lightning rods

Get trained in first aid and learn how to respond to emergencies

Put together an emergency preparedness kit:

- Water—one gallon per person, per day

- Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare

- Flashlight

- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)

- Extra batteries

- First aid kit

- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items

- Multi-purpose tool

- Sanitation & personal hygiene items

- Copies of personal documents

- Cell phone with chargers

- Family & emergency contact information

- Extra cash

Source: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/thunderstorm

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda Can assist if you encounter damage to your property from a Thunderstorm! Please Call us at 847-469-6982

How to prepare for a winter storm

12/26/2017 (Permalink)

Prepare in Advance

Assembling an emergency preparedness kit.

Creating a household evacuation plan that includes your pets.

Staying informed about your community’s risk and response plans.

Educating your family on how to use the Safe and Well website.

Download the Emergency App for iPhone >> or for Android >>

How to Prepare for a Winter Storm

Protecting your family

Talk with your family about what to do if a winter storm watch or warning is issued. Discussing winter storms ahead of time helps reduce fear, particularly for young children.

Have your vehicle winterized before the winter storm season to decrease your chance of being stranded in cold weather.

Have a mechanic check your battery, antifreeze, wipers and windshield washer fluid, ignition system, thermostat, lights, flashing hazard lights, exhaust system, heater, brakes, defroster, and oil.

Install good winter tires with adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate, but some jurisdictions require vehicles to be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.

Keep in your vehicle:

- A windshield scraper and small broom

- A small sack of sand for generating traction under wheels and a set of tire chains or traction mats

- Matches in a waterproof container

- A brightly colored (preferably red) cloth to tie to the antenna

- An emergency supply kit, including warm clothing.

Keep your vehicle’s gas tank full so you can leave right away in an emergency and to keep the fuel line from freezing.

Keep a supply of non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery.

Service snow removal equipment before the winter storm season and maintain it in good working order.

Keep handy a warm coat, gloves or mittens, hat, water-resistant boots, and extra blankets and warm clothing for each member of the household.

Protecting your pets & animals

Bring your companion animals indoors.

- Ensure that you have supplies for cleanup for your companion animals, particularly if they are used to eliminating outdoors (large plastic bags, paper towels, and extra cat litter).

Create a place where your other animals can be comfortable in severe winter weather:

- Horses and livestock should have a shelter where they can be protected from wind, snow, ice, and rain.

- Grazing animals should have access to a protected supply of food and non-frozen water.

Be aware of the potential for flooding when snow and ice melt and be sure that your animals have access to high ground that is not impeded by fencing or other barriers. You may not be able to get to them in time to relocate them in the event of flooding.

- Ensure that any outbuildings that house or shelter animals can withstand wind and heavy snow and ice.

- Install snow fences in rural areas to reduce drifting snow on roads and paths, which could block access to homes, barns, and animals' feed and water.

Protecting your home

Learn how to protect pipes from freezing

Make sure your home heating sources are installed according to local codes and permit requirements and are clean and in working order.

Make sure your home is properly insulated. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windowsills to keep cold air out.

Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside to provide an extra layer of insulation to keep cold air out.

Consider buying emergency heating equipment, such as a wood- or coal-burning stove or an electric or kerosene heater.

- Stoves must be properly vented and in good working order. Dispose of ashes safely. Keep a supply of wood or coal on hand.

- Electric space heaters, either portable or fixed, must be certified by an independent testing laboratory. Plug a heater directly into the wall socket rather than using an extension cord and unplug it when it is not in use.

- Use a kerosene heater only if permitted by law in your area; check with your local fire department. Use only the correct fuel for your unit. Properly ventilate the area. Refuel the unit outdoors only, and only when the unit is cool. Follow all of the manufacturer's instructions.

Consider storing sufficient heating fuel. Regular fuel sources may be cut off. Be cautious of fire hazards when storing any type of fuel.

If you have a fireplace, consider keeping a supply of firewood or coal. Be sure the fireplace is properly vented and in good working order and that you dispose of ashes safely.

Consider installing a portable generator, following our safety tips to avoid home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning

Consider purchasing flood insurance, if you live in a flood-prone area, to cover possible flood damage that may occur during the spring thaw. Homeowners' policies do not cover damage from floods. Ask your insurance agent about the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) if you are at risk. More information on NFIP is available at www.fema.gov/nfip.

-Right before a blizzard / winter storm

If you do nothing else: Listen to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.

Be prepared to evacuate if you lose power or heat and know your routes and destinations. Find a local emergency shelter.

Check emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply, especially medications and medical supplies. Keep it nearby.

Be sure you have ample heating fuel.

If you have alternative heating sources, such as fireplaces, wood- or coal-burning stoves, or space heaters, be sure they are clean and in working order.

Check that your fire extinguisher(s) is in good working order, and replace it if necessary.

Bring your companion animals inside and ensure that your horses and livestock have blankets if appropriate and unimpeded access to shelter, food, and non-frozen water.

Source: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm#Before

How are Hurricanes Named

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

Some of the most notorious villains in American history are known by only one name. From Betsy and Camille to Katrina, Ike and Sandy, their legacies are so etched into our collective memory that it only takes a few syllables to recall the terrible days these hurricanes made landfall.

But where do hurricane names come from? Why do we give human names to violent, mindless masses of water and wind? And how do we all agree which name to use? The practice dates back to the 1950s, although people have been naming tropical cyclones for centuries.

Before the 1940s, only the worst storms were given names, usually based on the place or time of year they made landfall: There was the Sea Islands Hurricane of 1893, the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900, the Miami Hurricane of 1926 and the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, to name a few. Scientists and forecasters often assigned unofficial numbers to tropical cyclones — Tropical Storm One, Hurricane Two, etc. — but the practice of using more memorable and relatable names didn't begin until 1950.

That was the first year when Atlantic tropical cyclones received official names, although they still weren't human ones. These initial names were taken from the Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet, so the 1950 season featured such bizarrely named storms as Hurricane Dog, Hurricane Easy, Hurricane Jig, Hurricane Item and Hurricane Love. There was also a Tropical Storm How in early October.

This tradition continued for two years, but it had a glaring flaw: The same list of names was recycled every year, so the 1950-'52 seasons each featured a Hurricane Able through at least Hurricane Fox. That became confusing, so in 1953 the U.S. National Hurricane Center began using female human names, which proved far more successful. Not only did it make storm identification easier, but it helped authorities and news outlets spread warnings — and helped the public pay attention to them.

"[N]ames are presumed to be far easier to remember than numbers and technical terms," the World Meteorological Organization explains on its website. "Many agree that appending names to storms makes it easier for the media to report on tropical cyclones, heightens interest in warnings and increases community preparedness."

The first hurricane names were often inspired by forecasters' wives, but in 1979 men's names were added to the mix. The WMO now oversees the master list of names, which alternates between male and female; six lists are rotated annually in the Atlantic, so the 2015 names will be used again in 2021. But when a cyclone is bad enough, its name can be retired to honor victims and survivors. Seventy-eight Atlantic hurricane names have been retired since 1954, including 29 since 2000. Among the most infamous retired hurricane names are Audrey (1957), Betsy (1965), Camille (1969), Hugo (1989), Andrew (1992), Ivan (2004), Katrina (2005), Ike (2008), Irene (2011) and Sandy (2012).

Here are the names for the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30:

  • Alex
  • Bonnie
  • Colin
  • Danielle
  • Earl
  • Fiona
  • Gaston
  • Hermine
  • Ian
  • Julia
  • Karl
  • Lisa
  • Matthew
  • Nicole
  • Otto
  • Paula
  • Richard
  • Shary
  • Tobias
  • Virginie
  • Walter

The season for tropical cyclones in the Pacific Ocean is generally the same, although it officially begins May 15 in the Eastern Pacific. Naming Pacific cyclones is often more complex than in the Atlantic, with different lists for the Eastern, Central and Western Pacific, as well as for Australia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the North Indian Ocean and the Southwest Indian Ocean. See the NHC's list of Pacific storm names and the WMO's guide to tropical cyclone naming for more info.

http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/climate-weather/blogs/how-hurricanes-are-named-and-why

What To Do After a Flood

8/23/2017 (Permalink)

AFTER A FLOOD

  • Flood dangers do not end when the water begins to recede. If you are evacuated, monitor radio or television news reports and do not return home until authorities indicate it is safe to do so
  • Monitor local radio or TV or contact your local emergency management agency for special information about where to go to get assistance for housing, clothing, and food. Programs are available to help you cope with the stress of the disaster.
  • Use extreme care in areas of downed power lines or natural gas leaks. Wear adequate footwear to avoid cuts from broken glass or nails protruding from the boards
  • If driving, be alert for hazards on the roadway
  • Check for injured victims. Render first aid if necessary. Do not attempt to move severely injured victims unless absolutely necessary. Wait for emergency medical assistance to arrive.
  • When you are allowed to return, remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance
  • Stay alert in areas where flood water have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of the a vehicle. NEVER cross a flooded road or bridge in your vehicle
  • Stay out of buildings that remain in the flood waters.
  • Inspect foundations for cracks or other damage. When entering buildings, use extreme caution. If your home was damaged, check the utilities.
  • Look for fire hazards
  • Do not let children play in or near flood waters, flooded creeks or flood retention ponds. Swift water currents could sweep them away. Avoid coming into contact with the flood waters. The water may be contained with oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Do not wade through the flooded stream to protect or retrieve belongings.
  • Consider your family's health and safety. Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water if you come in contact with flood waters. Listen for new reports to learn whether the community's water supply is safe to drink.
  • Throw away food that has come in contact with flood waters, including canned goods.
  • Pump out flooded basements gradually, about one-third of the water per day, to avoid structural damage.
  • Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits an leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewer systems pose a health hazard.
  • do not make unnecessary telephone calls.
  • Take photos or video of the damage to your home and property, and report it to the local emergency management agency.
  • if unaffected by the flood, stay out of the area until local officials allow entry. Your presence may hamper emergency operations.

What to do before a flood

7/7/2017 (Permalink)

BEFORE A FLOOD

Fast Facts

  • Fourteen people died as a result of driving across flooded roads in 2015, 11 of whom perished during the major flood in late December. This was the highest annual number of flood fatalities since records have been kept.
  • Prolonged flooding from creeks and rivers and flash flooding from rain swollen roads and waterways are dangers that too many people ignore, sometimes with fatal consequences. Many flood-related rescues, injuries and fatalities have been the result of people in vehicles attempting to drive across flooded roads.
  • The most dangerous type of flooding is a flash flood. Flash floods can sweep away everything in their path.
  • Most flash floods are caused by slow-moving thunderstorms and occur most frequently at night. The peak time for flash flooding in Illinois is at night.
  • Flooding was a factor in 48 deaths across Illinois since 1995. This is more than the number of people killed by tornadoes during the same period. Most of these flood fatalities involved people in vehicles trying to cross flooded roads.

Before a Flood

  • Know the terms used to describe flood threats:

Flood Watch: This means flooding or flash flooding is possible. Be extremely cautious when driving, especially at night. Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or commercial television for additional information.

Flood Warning: This means flooding is occurring or will occur soon and is expected to occur for several days or weeks. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

Flash Flood Warning: This means a flash flood is occurring or is imminent. Many smartphones automatically receive flash flood warnings to alert you about flash flooding nearby, even if you are traveling. Flash flooding occurs very quickly, so take action immediately. NEVER drive across a flooded road, especially if the road is closed by barricades.

  • Purchase a weather alert radio with a battery backup, a tone-alert feature and Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) technology that automatically alerts you when a watch or warning is issued for your county. Know the name of the county you live in and the counties you travel through.
  • It is critical that someone at home, work or wherever people gather monitors weather

conditions, regardless of the time of day. Monitor watches, warnings and advisories in your area using a weather alert radio, cell phone app, local TV, local radio or the Internet. If it is safe to do so, contact family members and friends when you become aware of a flooding situation that may threaten them.

  • Check the weather forecast before leaving for extended outdoor periods and postpone plans if flooding is imminent or occurring.
  • Make sure family members and friends know how to stay safe.
  • Maintain an emergency supply kit. This kit will help your family cope during extended power outages. See page 10 for information on assembling your kit.
  • Keep all of your important records and documents in a safe deposit box or another safe place away from the premises.
  • Insure your property and possessions. Make an inventory of your possessions using paper

lists, photographs and/or videotapes of your belongings. Give a copy to your insurance company. Update your inventory and review your coverage with your insurance company periodically.

  • Consider purchasing flood insurance. Flood losses are not covered under homeowners

insurance policies. Flood insurance is available in most communities through the National

Flood Insurance Program. There is usually a period before it takes effect, so don’t delay.

Flood insurance is available whether the building is in or out of the identified flood-prone

area. Call your insurance company for more information.

  • Know how to shut off electricity, gas and water at main switches and valves. Know where

gas pilots are located and how the heating system works.

  • Have check valves installed in building sewer traps to prevent flood waters from backing

up in sewer drains. As a last resort, use large corks or stoppers to plug showers, tubs or basins.

  • consider measures for flood proofing your home. Call your local building department or

emergency management agency for information.

source:https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/hzd/flds-bfr-en.aspx

What to do Before, During, and After a power outage

5/8/2017 (Permalink)

We’re more vulnerable to power outages this time of year because of new growth and leaves that are still on the trees, which can pull branches down. Ready, a national public service advertising campaign, gives us these tips to follow before, during, and after a power outage.

 

Before

  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Make sure you have alternate charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power.
  • Charge cell phones and any battery powered devices
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.
  • Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.
  • Keep your car’s gas tank full. Gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps, if you use your car to re-charge devices, do NOT keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space, or close to a home, this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by visiting your state’s or local website so you can locate the closest cooling and warming shelters.
  • If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent like a medical device, determine a back-up plan.

 

During

  • Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, candles can cause fires.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location that has heat to keep warm.
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.
  • If you are considering purchasing a generator for you home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.
  • Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home’s electrical system.

 

After

  • Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color, or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!
  • If food in the freezer is colder than 40 degree Fahrenheit and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it
  • Contact your doctor if you’re concerned about medications having spoiled.
  • Restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries, canned foods, and other supplies.

 

https://www.ready.gov/power-outages

After a Snow Storm or Extreme cold weather

1/9/2017 (Permalink)

  • If your home loses power or heat for more than a few hours or if you do not have adequate supplies to stay warm in your home overnight, you may want to go to a designated public shelter if you can get there safely. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (e.g., SHELTER20472)
  • Bring any personal items that you would need to spend the night (such as toiletries, medicines). Take precautions when traveling to the shelter. Dress warmly in layers, wear boots, mittens, and a hat.
  • Continue to protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.

 

Learn From Every Storm

 Restock your emergency supplies to be ready in case another storm hits.

  • Assess how well your supplies and family plan worked. What could you have done better?
  • Take a few minutes to improve your family plan and supplies before the next winter storm hits.
  • Talk to your neighbors and colleagues about their experiences and share tips with each other

source:https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather

Damaging Winds

10/21/2016 (Permalink)

What are damaging winds?

Damaging winds are often called “straight-line” winds to differentiate the damage they cause from tornado damage. Strong thunderstorm winds can come from a number of different processes. Most thunderstorm winds that cause damage at the ground are a result of outflow generated by a thunderstorm downdraft. Damaging winds are classified as those exceeding 50-60mph

What are straight-line winds?

Straight-line winds are generally any thunderstorm wind that is not associated with rotation, and is used mainly to differentiate from tornadic winds.

 

What causes straight-line winds?

Most straight-line winds are a result of outflow generated by a thunderstorm downdraft.

 

Are damaging winds really a big deal?

Damage from severe thunderstorm winds account for half of all severe reports in the lower 48 states and is more common than damage from tornadoes. Wind speeds can reach up to 100 mph and can produce a damage path extending for hundreds of miles.

 

Who is at risk from damaging winds?

Since most thunderstorms produce some straight-line winds as a result of outflow generated by the thunderstorm downdraft, anyone living in thunderstorm-prone areas of the world is at risk for experiencing this hazard.

People living in mobile homes are especially at risk from injury and death. Even anchored mobile homes can be seriously damaged when winds gust over 80 mph. Winds from thunderstorms can cause EF-2 damage.

Source: http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/wind/faq/

 

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda…. are here to help!

847-469-6982

What to do during a flood

10/19/2016 (Permalink)

It is important to always be prepared in case of emergency. Here are some tips on how to handle a water damage in your own home.

 

What to Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

 

What NOT to Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

 

We are always here to help! If you are dealing with a water damaged home call our office at

847-469-6982We are available 24/7.

How to Prepare for a Hurricane

10/7/2016 (Permalink)

Hurricane season is upon us, and being prepared is very important. Listed below is a list to help get you prepared so you can keep yourself and family safe during a Hurricane

  • Listen to the radio to make sure you stay informed on what is going on in your area
  • Check your disaster supplies. Replace or restock as needed.
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
  • Close your windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting. Keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
  • Turn off propane tank.
  • Unplug small appliances.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • Create a hurricane evacuation plan with members of your household. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
  • Find out about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs and make plans for your pets to be cared for.
  • Obey evacuation orders.
  • Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.

 

If you are a homeowner most homeowner insurance companies don’t cover flooding! Call your insurance company to make sure you are covered!

 

- Recommended Supplies

Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day

Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food

Flashlight

Battery-powered or hand-crank radio - NOAA Weather Radio, if possible (Available at the Red Cross Store)

Extra batteries

First aid kit

Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc.)

Sanitation and personal hygiene items

Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)

Cell phone with chargers

Family and emergency contact information

Extra cash

Emergency blanket

Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)

Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)

Tools/supplies for securing your home

Extra set of car keys and house keys

Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes

Rain gear

If you can build a safe room from the hurricane

 

 

 

5 Categories of a Hurricane

10/6/2016 (Permalink)

Hurricane season is upon us and Right now it is Hurricane Matthew and they are classifying it as a category 4 or 5. Hurricanes are classified into 5 categories based on wind scale! Listed below are the 5 categories and the description of each one and the damage they can cause

Category 1- Sustained winds-74-95mph- Very dangerous winds will produce some damage: Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.

Category 2- Sustained Winds-96-110mph- Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.

Category 3 (major)- Sustained Winds- 111-129mph-Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes

Category 4 (extensive)- Sustained Winds-130-156mph-Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

Category 5 (catastrophic)-Sustained Winds-157mph or Higher-Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

 

SOURCE: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshws.php

 

Outdoor Safety Tips

9/29/2016 (Permalink)

If you are caught outside during a storm, here are some tips on how to stay safe

  • 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 immediately 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

Potential Flooding, Know the Terms and be Prepared!

9/26/2016 (Permalink)

Lake County area continues to experience more and more potential flooding situations. Know the terms and be prepared.

FLOOD WATCH - Flooding is possible. Listen to weather radio, commercial radio, or TV for information.

FLASH FLOOD WATCH - Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to weather radio, commercial radio, or TV for information.

FLOOD WARNING - Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

FLASH FLOOD WARNING - A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.

Be Storm Smart, Be Storm Safe

8/18/2016 (Permalink)

Be Storm Ready, Be Storm Safe!

Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms:

  • 10,000 severe thunderstorms
  • 5,000 floods or flash floods
  • 1,000 tornadoes
  • 2 land falling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to

around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.

Know Your Risk

The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of

hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could

impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a

NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take Action

Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

Be an Example

Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with

co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire

others to do the same.

If Storm Damage occurs, call SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda 847-469-6982

When Storms or Floods hit Lake County, SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda is ready!

7/25/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage When Storms or Floods hit Lake County, SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda is ready! Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Lake County

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda 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 lake County, 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 847-469-6982