Recent Storm Damage Posts

Increase Your Severe Weather Preparations Before Storms Strike | SERVPRO® of Reno Southwest

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms are quite a common occurrence during periods of warmer weather, but it is not possible to know exactly how much devastation they can cause. Because their ability to cause damage is quite high, it is best to assume that every storm has the ability to cause damage and prepare your household accordingly—this way you will know exactly what to do when severe weather strikes.

Knowing the meaning behind weather alerts, stocking your disaster supplies and having reliable access to weather updates will go a long way in keeping you and your family safe during storms.

Know the Meaning Behind Weather Alerts

Understanding the meaning that weather alerts carry is a useful skill so you know exactly how to respond when they are issued by local weather officials. When a thunderstorm watch is announced, storms are a possibility and everyone in the area should stay alert for updates. When a thunderstorm warning is issued, that means there is an active storm in the area and everyone should seek shelter right away.

Stock Your Disaster Supplies

A well-stocked disaster supply kit will make sure that you can wait out the storm and stay comfortable while you do so. Electricity will often be knocked out during storms, so having fresh water, non-perishable foods and battery-operated flashlights are all helpful tools to keep you comfortable. A first-aid kit is also a smart thing to pack in case someone is injured. You should keep your disaster supplies in a well-protected area of your house, such as a basement or hallway, so you and your household can stay in a protected area for the duration of the storm.

Have Reliable Access to Weather Updates

Though our cell phones have revolutionized the way we receive news and important updates about the world, they are not as useful in the event of severe weather. Because cell reception can be faulty during severe weather and electrical outages can render phones without a full charge useless, it is best to have another way to access weather updates. A NOAA Weather Radio is a smart solution for this that you can keep in your disaster kit at all times.

If your home has been impacted by storm damage, we are here for you. You can contact us 247 to get a quick response to your home’s damages.

The Various Types of Water Damage Common After Heavy Rain | SERVPRO® of Reno Southwest

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

There are many things that can lead to a house sustaining water damage, and many of them happen slowly over a period of time instead of being sudden. We see many reports after general heavy rain comes through the area, as it has a way of finding areas where a home may be vulnerable.

Being aware of this as a possibility and understanding where it is likely to happen is the best way to reduce the likelihood of severe water damage happening to you.

How Water Damage Might Be a Possibility After Heavy Rain

Backup of clogged gutters. Clearing out your gutters regularly is more than just a home maintenance chore—it is an extremely effective way to reduce your chances of water damage. By clearing debris out, you are ensuring that water does not pool up in your gutters and begin to cause damage to your home.

Leaks around windows and doors. Windows and doors generally have protective seals around them, but as these seals become weather-worn, they can begin to allow more of the elements into the home. In the aftermath of heavy rain, this can result in soggy, warped wood that has become soaked over time.

Poor drainage around the foundation. Even foundations made out of cinder blocks or bricks can be vulnerable to water damage if the landscaping of your lawn allows water to pool up around the edges and seep into the building materials.

Leaks in and around the roof. Any roof can develop leaks, even those that have recently been constructed. While it can sometimes be difficult to catch a leak before it bleeds through to the ceiling, looking for signs of wear and tear can often indicate that something is amiss.

Malfunctioning of a sump pump system. To lower their risk of water damage (and save on their insurance), many homeowners choose to install a sump pump—but maintaining it is just as important as doing the initial install in order to reduce the chances of it breaking.

Leaks around chimneys and skylights. Any time something intersects with your roof, there is an increased chance of water damage issues developing. Seals around chimneys and skylights can begin to wear down over time and begin to allow water to work its way in.

If you’ve experienced water damage to your home, we are here to help. You can call us 247 to have our trained technicians respond quickly and begin your restoration.

I have storm damage.... What can I expect by calling SERVPRO of Reno Southwest??

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Storm and wind damage can be a hazard to the structure of a building, by loosening tiles or shingles on the roof. This can lead to moisture caused by rain and snow. This can lead to sagging ceiling and many more issues. Natural elements such as rain, lightning, wind and hail which can result in turning peoples homes and businesses upside down.

When you hire a professional restoration company like SERVPRO of Reno Southwest to assist you with any storm damage suffered to your building or home you can expect the following:

  • SERVPRO of Reno Southwest will come to your property and have our trained and knowledgeable technicians will do an inspection of the interior and exterior of your building or home. This will allow them to determine the amount of damage already done and the scope of work that needs to be performed.
  • When the scope of work is agreed upon, work will begin. Depending on the extent of damage this will determine the type of equipment the technician will use.
  • If storm damage has created a loss or lack of power SERVPRO of Reno Southwest will provide alternative sources of power such as generators.

When a restoration company is called PROMPTLY following storm damage, it allows us the opportunity to RESTORE the building or home much more quickly and efficiently. Time is of the essence in situations with moisture intrusion in order to prevent secondary damage such as mold.

Call us today at 775-852-6480 24/7 – 365 Days a Year!!!!  

Spring Storms - Preventative Tips To Avoid Damage

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Inclement weather can affect you with very little warning. Extreme wind, rain, hail and flooding can create a disaster for you to deal with. There are several ways you can help yourself prevent potential weather related damage.

Sealing your roof, doors, windows

PRIOR to any possible bad weather is the time to check the seals around your windows and doors. You will want to investigate for cracked caulking and loose screws. Make repairs as necessary.

Install A Back flow Valve in Basements

Heavy rain can cause municipal sewers systems to become overtaxed which can create the possibility for excess water to flow backward through your buildings sewer lines. Bathrooms in the lowest points of your home or building may be prone to sewer back-ups. It is important to consider installing a sewer back flow valve to divert unexpected water away from your own sewer lines and back  to the city’s sewage system.

Clean Out Gutters & Downspouts

Clogged drains, downspouts and gutters can create damage to the roof. Debris can cause water to unable to flow away from the roof line. Added weight can potentially cause the roof to collapse. Before spring storms start, make sure to fully inspect and repair any issues you find.

Cracks in the Foundation

Small cracks in your foundation or basement can put your building or home at major risk for severe damage during a storm event. When water seeps through your building or home you are in danger of flooding. High Winds can make existing cracks to widen which can cause structural damage. Doing an inspection PRIOR to a storm allows you the opportunity to properly repair the damage(s) to avoid disaster.

When storm damage happens, it can be a terrible experience for the building or homeowner but SERVPRO of Reno Southwest is here to help it “Like it never even happened.” Call us Today for a free inspection! 775-852-6480 – 24/7 – 365 Days a Year!!!!

Surviving A Winter Storm Trapped Outside

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

1. STAY INSIDE YOUR CAR OR TENT DURING A WINTER STORM

 In the event that you are out in the world when a severe winter storm hits in is imperative that you STAY where you are, either in your vehicle or tent.  Going out in a winter storm either by foot or in your vehicle is NOT recommended.

2. KEEP WARM AND DRY

 Keep tent flaps closed . Doors and Windows to vehicles need to be shut tightly. DO NOT OPEN EITHER UNTIL THE STORM HAS STOPPED COMPLETELY. If you have coats, blankets or anything that will help keep you warm… USE IT! In order to avoid hypothermia or frostbite you will need to stay as dry and warm as possible. If you have another person  or animal ( DOG ) with you use body heat as a survival tool.

3. STAY HYDRATED

 People tend to only think of hydration being an issue in summer months. This is not the case. During winter months our lungs have to work harder in order to warm up and humidify the cold dry air we are breathing in. This creates a need for extra water consumption. If you are trapped using snow to your benefit in this case is your best bet.

4. DETERMINE WHAT TO DO WHEN THE STORM IS OVER

 When the snow has stopped, it is now time to determine what comes next. If you are physically able to dig your way out then DO it. If digging out looks to be impossible or even more hazardous for your safety, stay put and wait for rescue workers. During winter months specifically it is imperative that you ALWAYS have a shovel in your vehicle.

5. SEEK MEDICAL TREATMENT IF NECESSARY

 If you or someone in your group is experiencing symptoms of hypothermia, you will need to take off your cold, wet clothes as fast as you can and replace with dry ones. Get to medical treatment at the earliest availability.

How to avoid winter storm damage hazards to your home!

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

According to the National Centers for Environmental Information even individual weather events are capable of causing billions of dollars in damage to not only commercial buildings but your home as well. You need to know the different ways that cold weather can impact your home. The major issues to watch out for are damage to your roof, gutters, as well as damage created by snow melt.

 Roof Damage – Wind

 When wind blows shingles loose or takes off gutters, the resulting damaged areas can let in moisture from snow melt, rain, ice melt. In order to verify that your roof is in good repair we recommend you contacting a roofing specialist yearly for inspection. If you miss the damage, the resulting water intrusion can create thousands of dollars of damage. Keep tarps handy for a quick temporary fix.

Roof Collapse – Heavy Snow

 As little as two feet of packed snow can be enough to cause a roof collapse, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. In places that it is to cold to melt between storms this can create a disaster. After a storm always make arrangements for the snow on the roof to be removed as soon as possible.

Gutter Collapse – Ice

 If ice has been allowed to build up in your gutters the weight can yank them off of the home. Even with the absence of snow enough sleet, rain and cold temperatures can cause dangerous amounts of ice to build up in your gutter system.  Make sure to keep gutters clean of debris so that rain can run out easily. If icicles form on your gutters, SAFELY knock them off of your gutters and make sure they are out of any walk-ways.

Water Damage – Snow melt

 As heavy snows melt your home is at risk for water damage or intrusion issues. Water damage creates a host of other issues such as microbial growth. One foot of snow melts to approximately ONE inch of water. Any roof issues you may have will now become apparent as the snow melts and water comes in your attic, upper floors, walls and insulation. Remove snow on your roof as quickly as it is safe once snow has stopped coming down. If you experience leaks or water damage put tarps and buckets under any drip sites.   

Just a few preventative measures can help you avoid any serious winter storm damage to your home.  If your home is experiencing water damage from a winter storm call SERVPRO of Reno Southwest at 775-852-6480!!!!! We are always here to make it “Like it never even happened. “

Lightning Damage to Check for After a Strike- SERVPRO of Reno Southwest

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

bright lightning striking in a dark vibrant cloudy sky Storm and lightning damage require specialized restoration techniques and equipment. When a storm hits your home, you need the company with experience

Lightning bolts are how a storm expels its electrical charge, and they are also a source of some of the most violent thunderstorm damage there is.  

Lightning bolts can start fires, ruin electronics and cause severe damage to buildings structures, in addition to posing a severe risk to anyone without shelter. It is important to understand what causes lightning and types of damage it can cause in order to take precautions and stay safe.  

How Electricity Becomes Lightning 

Thunderstorms all contain an electric charge, which is where thunder and lightning stem from. The bolt of lightning stem from. The bolt of lightning we see is actually discharge of this electrical energyand the thunder heard is the sound of the shock waves it creates.  

Lightning either strikes between clouds or toward the ground, and when striking towards the ground, it will often travel through an object on its way. This is what makes it so dangerous to homes in particular because it travels through electrical wiring with great force.  

What to Check for After a Lightning Strike 

The background about lightning and the main types of damage it can use to a houseare essential in knowing what to inspect for after a strike.  

  1. Wiring damage. With temperatures up to 500,000 degreesit is not uncommon for lightning to catch a building on fire as soon as it strikes. Even if it is not immediate, the damage that it can do to wiring can lead to electrical fires starting spontaneously later on. The local fire officials or an electrician can typically preform tests to assess your risk after a strike.  
  1. Ruined electronics. As lightning darts through the electrical system of a home, it fills the wires with an overloaded charge that can transfer through outlets and up the cords of electronics. This can be prevented by unplugging things before a storm and installing sure protectors on outlets.  
  1. Damage to the structure. The same shock waves that produce thunder can also cause harm when lightning strikes the ground. They are powerful enough to crack foundations and shatter glass, so it is wise to do a home inspection after a storm if lighting has struck nearby.  

If your home has been affected by storm damages or lightning- related fires, give us a call today! We are experts in damage cleanup and can restore your damage quickly 24/7 

What do I do to prepare for an EXTREME Storm Event?

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

  • Prepare your home:
    • Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the warm air inside.
    • Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.
    • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
    • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
    • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
  • Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow - or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.
    • If you have a wood burning fireplace, consider storing wood to keep you warm if winter weather knocks out your heat. Also, make sure you have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year.
    • Have at least one of the following heat sources in case the power goes out:
      • Extra blankets, sleeping bags and warm winter coats
      • Fireplace or wood-burning stove with plenty of dry firewood, or a gas log fireplace
  • Prepare your vehicle:
    • Fully winterize your vehicle: Have a mechanic check antifreeze, brakes, heater and defroster, tires, and windshield wipers to ensure they are in good shape. Keep your gas tank at least half full.
    • Keep an extra emergency kit specifically created for your car. In addition to the basic essentials, consider adding a portable cell phone charger, ice scraper, extra blanket, sand for traction and jumper cables.
    • 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.
  • Make sure you have a cell phone with an emergency charging option (car, solar, hand crank, etc.) in case of a power failure.
  • People who depend on electricity to operate medical equipment should have alternate arrangements in place in case power is out for an extended period of time.
  • Plan to check on elderly/disabled relatives and neighbors.
  • Plan to bring pets inside.
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it in case you lose power.
  • Fill a gallon container with water and place them in the freezer to help keep food cold.
  • 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.

Topaz Lake

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a story about flooding that occurred at Topaz Lake.

http://www.kolotv.com/content/news/Mudslide-blocks-US-395-at-Topaz-Lodge-483277591.html

A portion of U.S. 395 near the Topaz Lodge is closed following multiple mudslides. U.S. 395 is closed in both direction from SR 208 to the Nevada/California state line. The closed area is at mile marker 1 in Douglas County.

The incident happened around 6:38 p.m. Monday, May 21, 2018. Douglas County officials say approximately 20 occupied vehicles were impacted on the roadways.The Topaz Lodge was occupied with about 200 people who sheltered in place during the event. No one was hurt in the mudslides.

Officials say last year's Slinkered Fire in Douglas County contributed to the debris flow.

The Nevada Department of Transportation has sent a plow and a loader truck to remove mud from the road. Emergency personnel are doing further assessment to homes and county infrastructure below the lodge and along Topaz Park Road.

Northbound traffic is stopped on the California side. Southbound drivers are being diverted onto SR-208 through Wellington. There is no estimated time the road will be cleared.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas County SAR and the Douglas County Public Works Road Department responded to the incident. Cal Trans, Mono County EMS, California Highway Patrol, and Antelope Valley Fire assisted from the California side.

Truckee River Flood

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

Please be prepared this weekend. Here is the info about the flooding for the weekend.

http://www.kolotv.com/weather/alerts

Flood Warning

Areas Affected: Washoe

NWS Reno (Western Nevada)

...The National Weather Service in Reno has issued a Flood Warning for the following rivers in Nevada... Truckee River At Reno affecting Washoe County Truckee River At Vista affecting Storey and Washoe Counties For the Truckee River...Minor flooding is forecast for Reno and Minor to moderate flooding is forecast for Vista. A strong atmospheric river will impact the Truckee River Basin Friday evening and Saturday...with heavy rain in the eastern Sierra and western Nevada. Snow levels are expected to rise to over 10,000 feet during the period of heaviest precipitation. These river forecasts are based on forecast rainfall and temperature conditions at time of issuance. If actual conditions vary from these forecasts...river conditions will vary accordingly. River forecasts include current and planned reservoir releases. The National Weather Service in Reno has issued a 

* Flood Warning for The Truckee River At Reno. 

* from Saturday morning to Saturday afternoon...Or until the warning is cancelled. 

* At 2:15 PM Wednesday the stage was 8.2 feet. 

* Flood stage is 11.0 feet. 

* Minor flooding is forecast. 

* Forecast...Rise above flood stage to near 11.1 feet by early Saturday afternoon. The river will then fall back below flood stage Saturday afternoon. 

* Impact...At 11.0 feet...Flood Stage...The river will be running near bankfull with minor impacts to parks, trails and low lying areas along the river from Mogul to Highway 395. Flows are expected to crest Saturday afternoon at levels similar to February 10, 2017 and significantly below January 9, 2017. &&

Excessive rainfall may also generate rock and mud slides in steep terrain. Persons living near rivers, creeks, and streams in far western Nevada should monitor the latest weather information at weather.gov/reno and be prepared to take action. PREPARE NOW by clearing drainages and ditches of debris and move items near the river to higher ground. The next forecast update for this location will be issued Thursday.

Douglas County Flooding

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

This is for our neighbors to the south of Reno. Please be prepared.

http://www.kolotv.com/weather/alerts

Flood Warning

Areas Affected: Douglas

NWS Reno (Western Nevada)

The National Weather Service in Reno has issued a 

* Flood Warning for... Douglas County along the East and West Forks of the Carson River including the main stem of the Carson River from the confluence to the Cradlebaugh Bridge on Highway 395 in western Nevada... 

* Until 1100 AM PDT Sunday 

* Excessive rainfall and snowmelt is forecast for the warned area starting Friday and continuing into Saturday. The biggest impacts are expected to occur Saturday morning through Sunday morning on the rivers and starting as early as Friday afternoon on smaller creeks. The wave of water is currently expected to move downstream of the warned area by Sunday morning. 

* Minor to moderate flooding is expected. Rivers, creeks, streams, urban areas along the river, farmland and pastures, roads, and the low lying area in the Carson Valley are at the greatest risk for flooding. High flows may also impact Cradlebaugh Bridge along Highway 395. 

* Over 2 inches of rain is expected in the upper reaches of the basin with snow levels rising above 10000 feet. Expect snowmelt out of the low and mid level snowpack and runoff to significantly contribute to the amount of water moving through the Carson River system. 

* This includes the following streams and drainages...Daggett Creek... Carson River from the confluence to Cradlebaugh Bridge...Indian Creek...Bryant Creek...Brockliss Slough... Johnson Slough...East Fork Carson River...West Fork Carson River... Home Slough and Fredericksburg Canyon.

Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles. Follow the directions of emergency management officials. Stay away from river banks and culverts which can become unstable and unsafe.

Local Flooding

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

Here is the story about our local flooding issues that we are having. Be safe out there.

http://mynews4.com/news/local/washoe-county-residents-urged-to-prepare-for-upcoming-storm

Washoe County is experiencing some localized flooding throughout the county on Thursday, March 22.

 

"According to the county the following locations have reports of flooding:

  • Verdi: Minor flooding (infrastructure only) along Hill Lane
  • South Reno/Virginia Foothills: Minor flooding (infrastructure only) along Kivett/Toll Road
  • Belli Ranch along the Steamboat Ditch: Crews are monitoring and have reached out to Steamboat Ditch Co.

Residents are asked to be prepared and take precaution to protect their property as heavy rain and localized flooding is expected throughout the week. 

"With our recent snows, the ground is saturated which is why we are urging people to be prepared as we could see some localized flooding across roadways and properties in flood prone areas” says Operations Division Director, Eric Crump. “While it is natural for some water to be pushed on to the road with high winds, always use caution and never drive through flooded roadways.”

Possible flooding

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a story about possible flooding in the Reno area.

http://www.kolotv.com/content/news/With-an-eye-on-the-forecast-the-county-is-prepping-for-potential-flooding-477335663.html

It all depends on the weather, but the other elements are all there. A fair amount of snow from last week's storms. The ground saturated with moisture and a forecast for another round, possibly much warmer. 

Add to that all the water still left from last year's winter in closed basins like Lemmon Valley and there's ample reason to be prepared.

"So, we get the rain on snow. We get a lot of moisture coming down into some of those drainage systems," said Eric Crump, the Operations Division Director for Community Services. "It can overwhelm a system pretty easily."

If needed, there are nine sandbag locations throughout the county. They've been there throughout the season. In Lemmon Valley walls now contain Swan Lake and there are pumps stationed to send water back in the lake if needed.

"We have the Hesco walls, the Hesco barriers and if we need to pull the trigger on road closures, like Lemmon Drive or something like that we have the triggers in place and we'll do that. We're not expecting right now that this storm could do that, but if it does, we're ready."

But he says the public can help by clearing culverts and drainage channels where possible, calling the county if needed.

"We have hundreds of miles of drainage systems and culverts throughout the county. We do our best. We know where those flood prone areas are. We try to keep our eye on those, but the public is our best ears and eyes out there.

"So, I would just advise the public, if they see water over the roadway don't travel over the roadways. Be safe, be smart. Travel smart and, if they see anything call us at 328-2180."

Lemmon Valley

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a link to a story about the Lemmon Valley floods that happened over a year ago.

http://www.rgj.com/story/news/2018/03/05/rgj-investigates-reno-knew-lemmon-valley-would-flood-but-allowed-development-anyway/317123002/

"Last winter yielded record precipitation. Strong early season storms left a significant snowpack on Peavine Mountain. Then, a series of nine atmospheric river rainstorms hammered Lemmon Valley, one after another."

"The rain completely saturated the soil and the water poured into Swan Lake. In closed basins such as Lemmon Valley, Stead and Cold Springs, there is nowhere for the water to go but the lake and no way for the lake to empty but through the slow process of evaporation."

"As the rebounding economy fuels a boom in new construction — much of it slated for the North Valleys, including areas currently underwater, and in other flood zones — city officials are grappling with how much to restrict developers in the closed basins so as not to make the flooding situation worse."

Enjoy the rest of the story on RGJ's website.

 

Donner Snow Storm

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Recently we have had a string of snow storms in the area. We have had a late winter this year. Although it is not like the one we had last year but it will do. Let's hope that it continues to snow in the area to help out the ski resorts and all of the hospitality venues in the area. Please drive carefully while you are out on the roads. Let's be mindful of all of the new drivers who are not from the Reno Tahoe area. There are plenty of new residents who are still not used to driving on snowy roads. While we have snow in the area please get out there to enjoy it and have some fun with the family. Remember if you ever need us please don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Reno Southwest. "Like it never even happened".

Devastating

2/15/2018 (Permalink)

Storm and flood damage can be devastating. Immediate action is needed, and you need the company with storm damage experience. SERVPRO of Reno Southwest has the expertise and the resources to handle any size disaster and can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions. Storms occur with little warning and can be especially devastating, so you’ll need the company that you can trust to rise to the occasion. Regardless of the type of storm, SERVPRO of Reno Southwest can handle any size disaster. During catastrophic storms and major events, our Disaster Recovery Team can respond quickly with additional resources. 

An immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, etc. SERVPRO of Reno Southwest arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately.

Severe Storms

1/26/2018 (Permalink)

Here is an article of what to do before a severe storm. This is very helpful for the family to be prepared. I know outside it does not seem like much of a winter for our part of the country but we have had instances where we do need the info. Enjoy!

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

  • 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.
  • Make an emergency kit for at least three days of self-sufficiency.
  • Keep space heater safety in mind: Use electric space heaters with automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements. Remember to keep all heat sources at least three feet away from furniture and drapes.
  • Prepare your home:
    • Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the warm air inside.
    • Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.
    • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
    • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
    • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
  • Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow - or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.
    • If you have a wood burning fireplace, consider storing wood to keep you warm if winter weather knocks out your heat. Also, make sure you have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year.
    • Have at least one of the following heat sources in case the power goes out:
      • Extra blankets, sleeping bags and warm winter coats
      • Fireplace or wood-burning stove with plenty of dry firewood, or a gas log fireplace
  • Prepare your vehicle:
    • Fully winterize your vehicle: Have a mechanic check antifreeze, brakes, heater and defroster, tires, and windshield wipers to ensure they are in good shape. Keep your gas tank at least half full.
    • Keep an extra emergency kit specifically created for your car. In addition to the basic essentials, consider adding a portable cell phone charger, ice scraper, extra blanket, sand for traction and jumper cables.
    • 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.
  • Make sure you have a cell phone with an emergency charging option (car, solar, hand crank, etc.) in case of a power failure.
  • People who depend on electricity to operate medical equipment should have alternate arrangements in place in case power is out for an extended period of time.
  • Plan to check on elderly/disabled relatives and neighbors.
  • Plan to bring pets inside.
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it in case you lose power.
  • Fill a gallon container with water and place them in the freezer to help keep food cold.
  • 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.

Extreme cold

1/26/2018 (Permalink)

Here is another article that could help someone prepare for what to do during extreme cold and large severe storms. Hope the info helps.

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

  • Stay indoors during the storm.
  • Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; don’t travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule and your route; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.
  • Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. Use caution, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it when possible, and lift lighter loads.
  • Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
  • If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
  • Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
  • Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to reduce heat loss.

Mudslides

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

Lately our part of the country has experienced some terrible storms. The west coast was first hit with severe wild fires and now California experienced torrential rain storms. This a story from CNN about the mudslides after the rain storms.

The mudslides came in the early morning hours of last Tuesday, destroying an estimated 65 homes and damaging hundreds of others, the California Department of Fire and Forestry Protection said. 

The rain poured down on hillsides charred by recent wildfires, which burned vegetation that otherwise could make the terrain more resistant to mudslides.The Thomas Fire -- the largest wildfire in California's recorded history --burned more than 281,000 acres in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties from early December into this month. It wasn't fully contained until Friday. For days, rescuers searched frantically for the missing after mud and boulders barreled into neighborhoods in and nearMontecito, an affluent seaside community east of Santa Barbara. The mudslides demolished homes and left roads impassable.Now, what had been a search-and-rescue operation authorities is a search-and-recovery undertaking. The crews probably won't be hampered by bad weather most of this week. The first chance of rain will come Thursday night to Friday and it is estimated to amount generally to less than a third of an inch, CNN meteorologists said.  Please keep the families of California in your prayers.