Recent Storm Damage Posts
Interesting Storm Facts
Interesting Facts About Thunderstorms
- The first stage of a thunderstorm, called the developing stage, occurs when a cumulus cloud is pushed upward by air. In the developing stage there is not usually much rain but lightning can be seen.
- The second stage of a thunderstorm, called the mature stage, occurs when the rising warm air reaches warmer air and it spreads out into a 'cap'. This creates frozen water droplets that fall to the earth, melting along the way - unless the updraft is very strong which creates hail. It is during this stage that lightning and thunder and strong winds and rain occur.
- The third stage of a thunderstorm, called the dissipating stage, occurs when a downdraft pushes to the ground essentially cutting off the thunderstorm's inflow.
- The multi-cell cluster thunderstorm is the most common type, characterized by inner mature storms at the center and dissipating storms around the outer edge, and can include weak tornadoes.
- The multi-cell line thunderstorm is characterized by a line of severe thunderstorms that are either in front of or part of a cold front, and can include hail, strong wind, tornadoes and waterspouts.
- The super-cell thunderstorm is characterized by extremely strong wind, powerful updrafts, very severe weather, and strong tornadoes. Most tornadoes originate in this type of storm.
- The severe thunderstorm is characterized by strong winds, funnel clouds and sometimes tornadoes.
- The sound of thunder is made when lightning's heat flash causes the air to expand rapidly, and then shrink rapidly. This violent air disturbance causes the sound of thunder.
- To be classified as a thunderstorm lightning must be present.
- People often hide under trees to escape thunderstorms. It's a dangerous place because trees are often struck by lightning.
- Thunderstorms often occur in warm, humid conditions.
- Some thunderstorms look like cauliflower in the atmosphere.
- The hail produced in some thunderstorms breaks windows, kills wildlife, and even dents cars.
- Lightning isn't the only danger caused by thunderstorms. They can also produce flash floods, strong damaging winds, and fires.
- As soon as thunder is heard it is best to find safe shelter. Thunderstorms can begin very quickly and if you are able to hear the thunder then you are close enough to be struck by the storm's lightning.
If your central Illinois home has been damaged by storms call SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac. 309-827-7500.
Thunderstorms And Your Electronics
A thunderstorm is an atmospheric disturbance that involves lightning and thunder. It may be accompanied by torrential rain, hail or high winds. A severe thunderstorm can cause flooding, fires, power failures and electrocution, and result in serious damage.
While surges due to thunderstorms are rare, you should at the very least unplug your high-ticket electronics, like your TV, computer and gaming console.
An important thing to remember when pulling the plug on your electronics, is that you can be electrocuted if you touch a cord during a surge. It's best to unplug items before a storm gets to your area.
Will a surge protector help?
Many people think that surge protectors that you plug into the wall will save their electronics from power surges due to storms, however that is not the case.
Surge protectors are meant to protect against common, small surges in the electrical grid that happen from time to time. They can help reduce the power surge before it reaches your device, but they are not designed to protect items from the massive surge of electricity that happens from a lightning strike during a storm.
What can protect your devices during a storm is a whole house surge protector or suppressor. These are much more expensive than an outlet surge protector and are meant to be installed on your house's main electrical panel.
If you experience Storm damage or flooding, contact SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac. 309-827-7500
On average, lightning causes more deaths in the U.S. than tornadoes, floods, or hurricanes. One study puts lightning deaths in the U.S. at 7,741 between 1940 and 1981. And some research suggests that these numbers may be too low by 30 to 50 percent. Illinois experiences about 2-3 deaths and 8 serious injuries per year.
Lightning heats the surrounding gases in the air to around 50,000 degrees! This causes a rapid expansion of the air which produces thunder. A single lightning stroke also contains an enormous amount of electricity, enough to supply power to several homes for a month. The heat and electricity pose the greatest risk to the individual. Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors.
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KEEPING YOURSELF SAFE FROM LIGHTNING
- Stay alert for fast-changing weather conditions. It does not have to be raining where you are for lightning to be a threat. Many people are struck before the rain begins or after it ends at their location.
- Avoid being the tallest object in the area, and stay away from other tall objects such as a small group of tall trees.
- Unplug all unnecessary appliances and stay off the phone.
- Get inside a sturdy building. Do not stand by open windows, doors or on patios during a thunderstorm.
- Get off farm equipment, golf carts or other open vehicles. A hard top car with the windows shut is relatively safe
- Use the “flash to bang” technique. Sound travels about 1 mile every 5 seconds. When you see the lightning count the seconds until you hear thunder. If 5 seconds elapse, the thunderstorm is one mile away. Ten seconds equals two miles and 15 seconds means the lightning bolt was three miles away.
- What is a “safe” distance from lightning? There is no absolute rule, but consider taking prompt protective action if lightning is occurring within 3 miles of your location. Be aware that lightning can strike the ground ten or more miles away from the thunderstorm with blue sky above!
- Lightning may be about to strike near you if you feel your hair stand on end or your skin tingle. Crouch down or drop to your knees, but do not lie flat on the ground.
If your home or business has experienced storm or lightning damage call SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac 309-827-7500
Storm Power Outage Preparation
In central Illinois each season brings its weather-related threats, including heavy wet snow or ice storms in the winter, thunderstorms and lightning in the spring and summer, and wind and heavy rain in the fall.
By making some simple preparations, you can make outages less stressful for your family and yourself.
- Keep your power company phone numbers by the telephone.
- Keep a storm kit ready. You should not wait until a storm is bearing down on central Illinois to prepare a kit, because some outages happen with little warning. Storm kits should include the following:
- A first aid kit and family prescription medications.
- Extra blankets for each member of the family.
- At least one regular (corded) phone. The convenience of cordless phones has made them very popular, but they stop working when the power goes out. A corded phone will still work during most outages, allowing you to call out for information and to report the outage. Even if you have a cellular phone, keep in mind that the backup power to cell towers may shut down if the outage lasts long enough.
- At least one battery-operated radio. During lengthy outages (six hours or more), local radio stations can become increasingly important sources of information.
- At least one flashlight for every member of the family.
- Batteries for your flashlights and radios.
- Canned food for three days and a non-electric can opener. Most outages are over in hours, of course, but severe storms may leave damage that last several days. In most instances, having a three-day supply of food will take a family through the worst of the storm. For obvious reasons, families will want food that does not require heating or refrigeration.
- Three gallons of drinking water per family member. A healthy adult will need one gallon of water per day, so this will prepare your family for a three-day outage.
- When a storm is on its way, gas up your car before it arrives. During widespread disasters, gas stations may not have electricity to pump gasoline.
- If you have a medical need for electricity, make sure your power company knows. During lengthy outages, most power companies makes an extra effort to provide updated outage information to those members who need electricity to power oxygen pumps or other medical equipment.
- If you have a medical need for electricity, have a relocation plan which answers the following questions:
- What services, electrical and otherwise, must I have to protect my health in an emergency?
- Where will I go to find those services if my home is without power for more than a few hours?
- Who will take me there in an emergency?
- Have I made sure that person knows I am relying on them for transportation in an emergency?
SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac is here for your storm recovery needs. 309-827-7500
Recovering After Storm Damage
A severe storm can change everything in the blink of an eye. It doesn’t always have to be a tornado to cause destruction in your home or office, and poor restoration can leave you with an unhealthy home for your family. If you know what to expect and learn all you can before a storm hits, you’ll be more prepared to restore things to normal as quickly as possible.
Before inspecting the damage to your home keep safety in mind:
- Watch out for hazards such as broken glass and exposed nails.
- Always assume that downed power lines are energized and dangerous. Stay at least 10 feet away and alert the police and utility company.
- When inspecting your home at night, use a flashlight instead of a candle (or anything with an open flame). This will alleviate the risk of a fire or explosion from a damaged gas line.
If you do smell gas—or suspect a leak—shut off the main gas line, open the windows, and immediately go outside. Notify the gas company and the proper authorities of the situation and don’t return until they’ve deemed your home to be safe.
Review and Assess the Damage
Windows and doors are vulnerable to wind damage and flying debris. Inspect your windows for cracks, holes, broken panes and damaged frames. Watch out for shards of glass, and be sure to board up broken windows until they can be fixed.
Look for damage to siding, paint, bricks and other exterior surfaces of your home. Also check outdoor appliances, like air conditioning units. You’re looking for dings, dents, cracks, splitting, holes, breaks chipping and discoloration.
If there was extended power outages and you have a sump pump, you may have standing water in your basement.
- Do not step in standing water without first making sure power is turned off to avoid risk of electrocution
- Re-engage sump pump to discharge water from the area or call a plumber if the pump is damaged.
Avoid Additional Damage
You may need a board-up service to secure your property so don’t wait. SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac can be there day or night for emergency service.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
Your insurance provider will instruct you on the next steps to take in making a claim and provide you with a claim number and a list of local emergency service providers.
Choose the Right Restoration Company
It’s important to hire a professional and trustworthy restoration company to help you recover your home and restore your lives. Poor or incomplete restoration could leave you with an unhealthy home for your family. Any time there is water damage, mold can begin growing immediately as well. It’s critical to address this as soon as possible to avoid additional damage and health risk. At SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac we have seen it all when it comes to Storm Damage. Whatever your situation is, we will start the process of restoring your home or business.
Knowing what to do when you see a tornado, or when you hear a tornado warning, can help protect you and your family. During a tornado, people face hazards from extremely high winds and risk of being struck by flying and falling objects. After a tornado, the wreckage left behind poses additional injury risks. The National Weather Service (NWS), Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide excellent resources on staying safe during and after a tornado, below are some of the highlights.
Preparing for a Tornado
- Stay informed. Check the forecast regularly to see if you're at risk from tornadoes.
- Sign up for notifications. Learn how your community sends tornado warnings. Some communities have outdoor sirens and others send media alerts.
- Create a plan. Have a family plan that includes an emergency meeting space, such as a basement or storm cellar with no windows.
- Practice your plan. Practice your plan so that your family is prepared when a tornado strikes.
Stay Safe During a Tornado
- Stay informed. Continue to listen to local news or a Weather Radio to stay updated.
- If you are at home: Go to your basement, safe room, or room away from windows. Bring your pets with you.
- If you are at work or school: Follow the tornado drill and go to your tornado shelter quickly and calmly. Stay away from windows.
- If you are in a vehicle: Being in a vehicle during a tornado is not safe. Drive to the closest shelter if possible. If it is not possible, get down in your car and cover your head or seek shelter in a low lying area, such as a ditch or ravine.
- If you are outside: Being outside during a tornado is not safe. Seek shelter immediately. If it is not possible, get down in a low lying area, such as a ditch or ravine and cover your head.
After a Tornado
- Stay informed. Continue to listen to local news or a Weather Radio to stay updated.
- Contact family and loved ones. Save your phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems may be down after a disaster. Use text messaging or social media to communicate with family and loved ones.
- Assess the damage. Stay clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines. Do not enter damaged buildings until you are told they are safe.
- Check for injuries. Do not attempt to move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Get medical assistance immediately.
- Be careful during clean-up. Wear thick-soled shoes, long pants, and work gloves.
SERVPRO of Bloomington/Pontiac Storm Damage Cleanup and Restoration
Flood Event Tips
Spring showers can often lead to flooding conditions in central Illinois. These tips will help reduce the impact spring floods that my happen on your property.
Watch for Pooling Water
Look for places around your property where water pools, and channel it away from buildings. Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and they are directing water as intended.
Maintain Sump Pump
If you have a sump pump, check to be sure it is operational before water starts rising. Consider a back-up generator to ensure your pump works when you need it most. Contact your insurance agent to add coverage in case your sump pump fails.
Raise Storage Goods
Use shelving and/or pallets to keep storage items off the floor to reduce the impact of small floods. In many situations, raising boxes just a few inches will be enough to keep storage goods above the water line.
Cut Power if Necessary
As rising water approaches the level of electrical outlets, you risk having a live current flow through all the water. Cut the power if you can safely do so without standing in water. Otherwise, evacuate and contact an electrician to cut the power before you go back in for recovery.
Keep Storm Drains Clear
If you see water pooling around a storm drain, the drain may be clogged with debris. Clearing the debris will help keep the water flowing away from your neighborhood.
Be Aware on the Road
Be careful when driving during spring storms, especially when you hear flash flood warnings. Never drive into fully submerged roadway. The water surface will be at the same level as the pavement you can see. This view can deceive you into thinking the water is shallow because you cannot see how the road dips under the surface.
When a flood happens, you need to act fast to dry out any wet items, particularly structural materials like walls and flooring.
At SERVPRO of Bloomington / Gibson City / S. McLean County we Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 309-827-7500
When Storms or Floods hit Central Illinois, SERVPRO is ready!
Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage.
SERVPRO of Bloomington / Gibson City / S. McLean County 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.
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 Central Illinois, 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 309-827-7500
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