Recent Storm Damage Posts
Commercial Property Insurance 101: What Is Covered After a Storm and What Isn't?
If your business qualifies for coverage, your storm insurance often covers damage that occurs to your building, even the storm damage restoration.
What Is Covered And What Isn't In Commercial Property Insurance After A Storm?
As a business owner in Weymouth, MA, it is essential you understand your commercial property insurance and what emergencies it covers. While there are a lot of situations you are often covered for, there are specific types of disasters and circumstances that will probably not be included. It is important you consider your specific location, needs, and current insurance coverage when considering adding on new policies to your existing plan. While your storm insurance will vary slightly depending on your policy, here is an overview on what most commercial property insurance policies cover after a storm.
Is Storm Damage Covered?
In short, the answer is yes that insurance is typically included in your commercial property insurance policy. Since storm damage can cover a wide variety of emergency types, here are specific situations you can expect to be covered for:
In the situations your business qualifies for coverage, your storm insurance often covers damage that occurs to your building, including the cost of storm damage restoration. Your policy may also cover the contents of the building, including equipment, furniture, and inventory, up to the predetermined dollar limit listed on your policy.
What Damage Isn’t Covered?
Under a standard policy, there are several situations where you will often not be covered. For instance, flood damage isn’t covered, and you will need to check if your policy covers windstorm and hail damage. While some policies automatically include this type of coverage, others require an additional plan. It is also important to note you will not be compensated from insurance for the time you are out of business unless you purchase business interruption coverage. Additionally, your plan will generally only cover damage caused by the storm and will not cover anything thought to be a cause of wear and tear.
An important step in preparing your business for an emergency is to find out what your specific commercial property insurance policy covers. While your storm insurance coverage includes many types of emergencies, not everything is automatically included.
Essential Supplies for Every Commercial First Aid Kit
In the event of a disaster caused by fires, floods, or other severe weather, an emergency supplies bag may be especially useful.
Every Commercial First-Aid Kit Should Have The Following Items.
While every business in Weymouth, MA, should take precautions to prevent them, injuries can happen anywhere and at any time. To protect staff and customers, every business should have a first aid kit on hand, stocked with supplies to treat a variety of situations.
To address cuts and other bloody injuries, your commercial kit should include several types of bandages and dressings:
- Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
- Roller bandages
- At least one triangular bandage
- Sterile pads
- A trauma pad to treat larger wounds
Scissors, adhesive tape and antibiotic and antiseptic ointments should also be readily available.
It’s also important to have several forms of protective gear on-hand to protect individuals rendering first aid assistance. This includes a CPR barrier and exam gloves. Hand sanitizer or antiseptic wipes are also essential first aid kit supplies.
Cuts and other open wounds are not the only potential injuries that can occur at the office or job site. To be prepared for possible muscle, eye, bone and skin injuries, every commercial emergency kit should also include the following items:
- A cold pack
- Burn dressings
- A protective eye covering
- Emergency eye and skin wash
- Materials to construct a temporary splint
Because not every employee may be trained in proper first aid techniques, your kit should also include a first aid guide to help your staff efficiently manage any injury.
Keep Kit Updated and Accessible
In the event of a serious emergency, quick action is essential. For this reason, your company’s emergency kit should be readily accessible, and every employee should know its location within the building. It’s also important to routinely inspect and restock the kit as necessary to ensure vital supplies are consistently available.
No one plans on getting hurt at work, but sometimes accidents happen. Whether the injury is minor or significant, a commercial first aid kit can provide critical supplies when they are most needed. An emergency supply kit may be particularly essential in crisis situations resulting from fires, floods and other damaging storms.
How To Keep a Building Dry During a Storm
Remove debris from your rain gutter.
How To Keep a Building Dry During a Storm
Storms with heavy rain and high winds can cause moisture to penetrate a commercial building in Weymouth, MA. Rain damage or flooding can cause many problems and lead to secondary damage, such as black mold. Here are five ways for an owner or manager to keep a building dry.
1. Check Doors and Windows
Exterior doors and windows should be in good condition. Improperly installed doors or windows can admit water into a structure. Check the condition of frames, flashing, sealant and tracks. It may be possible to retrofit some outside doors or windows, while others will need to be replaced.
2. Inspect the Building Envelope
A structural envelope is a barrier that keeps water out of your building. Have a professional assess the condition of this layer. Air barriers, capillary breaks or vapor barriers can limit internal moisture removal that can lead to mold growth. Black mold may develop if an envelope does not seal out water.
3. Waterproof the Roof
To prevent rain damage, it is important to inspect the condition of a roof on a regular basis and particularly after severe storms. Check for any missing or dislodged roofing materials. Waterproofing can make any roof less likely to leak.
4. Clear the Drainage System
Avoid damage by preventing water from pooling on the roof or around the base of a structure. Remove debris from downspouts, drains and gutters at least twice a year.
5. Locate Flood Proofing Materials
Buildings located in areas prone to flooding should have materials that can block or divert the flow of water on site. Owners or managers may want to provide sandbag components or a reusable sandbag alternative.
These methods can reduce the risk of rain damage at a commercial building in South Weymouth, MA. An owner should try to prevent damage before it occurs. If signs of damage are already evident, contact a commercial storm damage restoration company.
To Lessen Roof Damage, Plan Ahead
Roof damage from heavy rains in Hingham, MA.
Plan Ahead to Reduce Roof Damage
Until a storm hits and roof damage occurs, you might think your home is everlasting. However, when you’re engulfed by the aftermath of a storm in your Hingham, MA, leaks in the roof plummeting to the soaked carpet below, things will likely feel different. Fortunately, these tips will help you feel more productive and capable during a time of misfortune.
Steps To Take Prior to Cleanup
Although it may be tempting to immediately tidy up destruction following wind damage, the best thing to do is to think methodically. The following steps will make the insurance process run smoother:
- Document a list of property damage.
- Keep receipts from initial work done.
- Take photos of destruction.
How To Further Prevent Roof Damage
Once you’ve completed the preliminary steps, it’s time to do everything you can to avoid further wreckage. The first person you should call is a qualified contractor, but while you’re waiting, stay busy:
• Leaks in the roof. You will want to tarp these as soon as possible. If it’s still raining and you can’t tarp them, you can place buckets in the general area so that you reduce the amount of damage. (If it seems sketchy to tarp the roof yourself, there’s no harm in waiting for the contractor to arrive).
• Shattered windows and/or cracked skylights. Cover these areas with plastic or boards. Be careful when dealing with shards of glass.
• Clean the gutters. It’s not uncommon for gutters to get plugged with leaves and other debris. When the gutters are jammed, they can get in the way of the roof’s drainage system, which can cause water to back up under the roof.
Proactivity Pays Off
Roof damage is rarely part of anyone’s plan. The best thing you can do for your home and its future is to research ways to incur the least amount of damage from the get-go. It may seem tedious at first, but your home will thank you later.
Recovering From a Flood Using Mitigation and Restoration
A storm can cause extensive damage to your building.
Recovering From a Flood Using Mitigation and Restoration
Experiencing a flood in your Weymouth Landing, MA, business can feel devastating. Fortunately, there are times when you can prepare in advance to prevent damage. With the right flood cleanup company you can also recover more rapidly. But time is of the essence when mending after a flood. Begin by understanding how a professional service can help you rebuild, including the difference between mitigation and restoration.
When To Begin Mitigation
If you hear a rainstorm warning, you may be able to begin mitigation efforts before the storm ever hits. If the flooding is expected to be minimal, steps as simple as repairing cracks and holes, sealing gaps and placing sandbags strategically could keep water out of your business. Shallow water levels, for example an inch or two, may be possible to defend against in this way.
When a storm catches you off-guard, however, or the flooding is deeper, stormwater may make it into your building. Once the storm has passed and reentry is safe, a flood cleanup company can be hired to begin clearing out anything which may continue to cause damage and locate salvageable items. Beginning mitigation as soon as possible provides your business its best chance of limiting losses.
Why Restoration Is Important
Although it’s a longer process, restoration is often required. While mitigation is meant to stop further damage from being done, restoration is necessary for repairing what damage has already occurred.
A restoration company can step in and begin replacing drywall, cleaning nonporous surfaces, and putting your business back together. During restoration, any additional areas of concern have a better chance of being located and corrected as well, improving the overall outcome and leaving you with a safe facility once again.
A storm can cause extensive damage, even when you try to prepare beforehand and mitigate the extent of the effects afterward. The damage to your business may demand a professional flood cleanup company in order to get you going again.
3 Tips To Prepare Your Business For a Disaster
Commercial flooding in Hingham, MA.
Tips To Prepare A Disaster Plan For Your Business
A natural disaster can strike with little or no warning, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. Catastrophic events can be particularly devastating for business owners. While no one can completely prevent disasters from occurring, having a solid disaster preparedness plan in place for your business can go a long way to keep your employees safe, reduce your repair and remediation costs, and minimize your overall loss. Try these tips to establish a disaster plan for your business.
1. Understand Your Risks
Most businesses are at a greater risk for some types of disasters than others. The weather patterns in Hingham, MA, are a key factor in assessing your disaster risk and understanding whether your business is more or less likely to experience a weather disaster such as a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, or blizzard. In addition to weather, be aware of the risk factors that are unique to your business property. A restaurant, for example, might have a greater fire risk than an attorney’s office. Some businesses have a primary interest in safeguarding data while protecting inventory is a major concern for others. Knowing your business’s risks and vulnerabilities is key to creating a disaster preparedness plan.
2. Plan and Practice
Create a business preparedness plan that includes:
- How and when to evacuate, including the route and meeting place
- Procedures for backing up, shutting down, or transporting files and equipment
- Role assignments, such as evacuation leader or first aid provider (make sure each assigned person is comfortable with his or her duties)
You may need multiple plans for different types of disasters.
3. Keep Emergency Contacts Handy
Compile a list of contact information for anyone you might need to contact immediately after a disaster, such as emergency responders, insurance agents, property managers, and contractors. Include phone numbers, email addresses, your policy numbers, and any other important information. Keep a copy in the business, a copy in your phone, and a copy in your vehicle.
Creating a disaster preparedness plan takes some effort, but the rewards will be well worth the effort if a disaster hits your property.
Top 4 Questions About Nor’easters
These storms can cause a lot of flooding and damage to communities in the Northeast
Top 4 Questions About Nor’easters
A nor'easter is a type of destructive storm that can hit the Northeastern coast of the United States. If you want to combat them, you should read the answers to some of the common questions that people ask about these types of storms.
1. How Do They Develop?
The Gulf Stream carries warm water from around Florida up towards the Mid-Atlantic. As they move, they bring warm air with them. When cold air is carried off the Mid-Atlantic states' coast, it can create an instability that leads to a nor'easter and many coastal dwellers hunting for remediation professionals.
2. Where Does the Name Come From?
While most people think they get their name because they are common in the Northeast, a storm is called a nor'easter because the winds come from the Northeast. Originally, sailors identified these storms because of where they were approaching from and called them northeasters. The name has been shortened over time.
3. Where Are They Common?
These storms tend to hit the Northeastern United States. However, they can strike anywhere along the upper Eastern Coastline. Because of where they strike, major cities tend to be vulnerable. While New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington are all common targets, less metropolitan areas, such as East Weymouth, MA, can be hit.
4. Are They Dangerous?
One of the more common nor'easter facts is that these storms only last a day or two. However, in that short period of time, they can bring excessive amounts of rain, snow, and wind, leading to flooded roads, power outages, and fallen trees. These conditions will often cause issues among community members. These storms can lead to injuries and deaths from car accidents, slips, hypothermia, trees falling, buildings collapsing, and snow shoveling. Therefore, many people stay home during these storms.
These storms can cause a lot of flooding and damage to communities in the Northeast. Knowing more about them can ensure that you are prepared if they hit your home.
3 Ways To Mitigate Storm Damage at Your Business
If damage, such as missing shingles, does occur it’s best to contact a local storm damage restoration service
Three Tips To Protect Your Building From Storm Damage
If you're worried about a storm causing a roof leak at your Weymouth Landing, MA, place of business, then you may like to know that there are a number of ways to mitigate storm damage. Here are three things you can do to help protect your company.
1. Know the Weather
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the weather reports for your area. This way you will know ahead of time if a storm is approaching and what its projected severity is. This will allow you to prepare if the storm has high winds or heavy rain that could cause a damaged roof, or freezing temperatures that might lead to a pipe break.
2. Prepare Ahead of Time
When you know a storm is coming you can take steps to prevent a roof leak or other possible damages. If you are worried about a particular part of the property you can board or tarp over the space for additional protections. Trim back dead trees or overhanging branches to prevent wind from tearing them loose and throwing them into the building. Additionally, you may want to clean up loose landscaping, or move any lawn decorations or loose signage inside until the storm has passed.
3. Act Quickly
If damage, such as missing shingles, does occur it’s best to contact a local storm damage restoration service as quickly as possible in order to help make repairs. Acting quickly can allow these repairs to be made before additional damage has a chance to happen. It’s also helpful to board or tarp over the damaged area to protect it until repairs can be completed.
Mitigating the possibility of roof leak at your place of business is possible. Remember to keep an eye of the projected weather, prepare the property ahead of time, and act quickly to make repairs if damage does occur. Remember, if you have any question a professional can help.
FAQs About First Aid Kits in Businesses
FAQs About First Aid Kits in Businesses
Preparing your business in North Weymouth,MA, for disaster is often an ongoing process. However, while many business owners prepare their buildings for storms and other disasters, it can be easy to forget about keeping a first aid kit available. There are several helpful things every business owner should know about emergency aid kits.
What Should You Have in Your Kit?
Though you can often purchase a general aid kit, there may be some items that you want to add. The following items are often useful to have in every kit:
- Bandages of varying size
- Gauze pads of varying size
- A pocket mask
- A minimum of one blanket
- Latex gloves
- Pre-moistened, sealed towelettes
Where Should Kits Be Located?
During a disaster, it's helpful to have quick access to a first aid kit. Though every building has a different layout, there are various locations that should have a kit nearby in case of an emergency. Placing a kit in areas where a person could receive an injury, such as in kitchens and garages, is often wise. Additionally, it can also be useful to place an emergency kit on every level of your business.
What Else Can You Do To Prepare?
In order for your kit to be of any use, it's often important to know how to use the items in the kit before an emergency arises. Many items in an emergency kit will come with directions. However, it can be helpful to go over the items in your kits with your staff to ensure that everyone knows how the purpose of each item. If an emergency occurs, it's often best to prioritize safety rather than trying to protect your property in an unsafe situation. If your business sustains damage during a disaster, emergency restoration services can help to restore your property.
Having a first aid kit in your business can help to ensure that everyone in your business remains safe. Having the right items in your kits, keeping your kits in the right locations and making sure your staff knows how to use items in the kit can offer you peace of mind.
How To Protect Your Home From Flooding
Clean out your gutters
Protect Your Home From Flood Damage
Even though it's impossible to fully protect your home from major flooding in Weymouth, MA, there are some things you can do to prepare it for more minor damages that come with storm season. Here are some small tasks that can make a big impact when it comes to protecting your home from flood damage.
1. Clean Out Your Gutters
It's all too easy for gutters to get backed up without you noticing. Leaves, dirt, runaway balls and other debris will quickly fill them up, which forces the water to run out over the side. This can cause it to leak through the siding or underneath the roof, so it's worth taking the time to clean out your gutters to prevent this. If you have storm drains around your home, it's a good idea to make sure those are also clear of debris to prevent flooding.
2. Check Your Yard
It's important to make sure landscaping projects or natural shifting haven't disturbed the drainage grading around your home. Keep an eye out for any areas the collect water near your home, and make sure you have them fixed before storm season really picks up. It's also a good idea to inspect your fence for any weak points, remove any branches or dead trees that could fall on your house, and secure outdoor furniture so that it doesn't break or blow into a window or fence.
3. Consider Storm Shutters and Doors
Storm shutters and doors can be very beneficial in protecting your home. Not only do they help you insulate it, but they also protect against leaks and broken windows. Whether you keep them on year round or put them up when storm season rolls around, make sure you allow plenty of time to install them before the weather gets bad.
While you can't control the weather, taking the time to prepare your home for storm season can help prevent flooding. If you end up with damage, though, a storm damage restoration company can help you repair your home.
All About Flood Cuts
Flood cut performed in a North Weymouth, MA company
Understanding What A Flood Cut Is
If you have recently had to speak with a flood cleanup company, you may have heard some terms you didn't understand. Dealing with flooding is a stressful time, but if you know what some of these terms mean, the cleanup process can seem a little easier. Here are the answers to three common questions about one of these terms you will hear when in search of a restoration company, flood cuts.
1. What Is a Flood Cut?
A flood cut is when the contractor has to cut and tear out the drywall from your property. This cut is 12-18 inches above where the flood damage stops on your wall. A flood cut is necessary to remove the drywall affected by flooding and address moisture problems in the wall.
2. Is It Always Necessary?
This cut is not always necessary. If the wall was damaged by clean water, the wall can generally be saved. It is a different story if your walls faced contamination by sewage or other types of dirty water. In these instances, the rule is generally anything that has been touched, must be removed.
3. Can My Walls Be Saved Without Removing the Drywall?
If your walls were affected by clean water and there is no insulation behind the drywall, you may be able to dry out the area using minimally invasive procedures. For instance, your contractor may be able to drill holes in the baseboard and insert airtight hoses. These hoses will pass dry air into the wall, drying out the studs and drywall without making a mess. However, if you have insulation, a flood cut will be necessary.
One way to relieve the stress of dealing with flooding is to understand what a flood cut is and if it will be necessary. However, trusting your commercial storm restoration professionals to take care of the situation is the best way to reduce headaches when cleaning your building in North Weymouth, MA.
How To Determine Your Home’s Flood Zone
Flood zone in South Weymouth, MA
You may have heard about the concept of flood zones. Knowing your flood zone helps you determine the chances that your home will sustain water damage. If you live in a high-risk area, you may have a tough time obtaining sufficient flood insurance. You may thus have to pay for storm cleanup and restoration services yourself.
Finding Flood Zones
There are several ways to find out whether your home is in a flood hazard area. You can:
- Download the Flood Insurance Rate Map from the Federal Emergency Management Agency website
- Use the National Flood Hazard Layer database
- Visit your Community Map Repository
The Flood Insurance Rate Map, or FIRM, shows the flood risk in South Weymouth, MA. FEMA lets you easily look up this FIRM. Simply type the city into the digital FEMA Flood Map Service Center (MSC), and the image should appear on your screen. You can also get a FIRM from the Community Map Repository, which can be found in your local zoning and planning office.
The National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) tool, meanwhile, implements the most current flood map changes. You can search for your flood zone by county. Both the NFHL and MSC databases let you download printable versions of the flood map, as well.
Buying Flood Insurance
Just because your home is in a low-risk zone does not mean it is safe from flooding. In fact, more than 40 percent of flood insurance claims between 2014 and 2018 occurred outside of high-risk locations.
You should thus purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. Keep in mind that lenders and insurance agents may set certain insurance requirements based on what they see on the flood map.
A flood map can show you whether your home is at risk for water damage during a storm. Insurers will use your flood zone and other information on the map to calculate the cost of your policy.
What You Should Do if Your Home Suffers Storm Damage
Roof damage in South Weymouth, MA
Keep These Storms Tips In Mind
Living in South Weymouth, MA, you know you'll encounter your share of bad weather. When a nasty storm rolls through town, you hope your home can withstand Mother Nature's fury. Unfortunately, your best efforts can't always prevent damage. If you follow some basic storm tips, you can minimize many of these issues and stay safe. You'll also be able to get the right help to your home more quickly.
When you think about massive storms, tornadoes and hurricanes probably come to mind. However, thunderstorms, hailstorms, and heavy winds can also cause plenty of storm damage. In the worst cases, your safety and the integrity of your home could be at risk. Make sure you and your family members get out to escape any potential danger.
- Gather at a designated safe meeting place.
- Call 911 if you or a loved one has serious injuries.
- Call a disaster cleanup company to help with the rebuilding task.
- Do not re-enter your home unless it is safe to do so.
Record the Damage
Before help arrives to clean up after the storm, one of the best storm tips you can follow is to take photos of the damage. Shoot some pictures of the outside of your home. If you can safely go inside, take interior pictures as well. Write down the items you lost or any injuries you suffered.
File a Claim
Call your insurance agent as soon as possible to file a storm damage claim. Provide your agent with the photos you took and give as many details as possible.
Retrieve essential items from your home if you can safely go inside. Otherwise, you shouldn't touch any damaged materials. Wait for the professionals to arrive to assess the situation.
Keep these storm tips in mind so you can do what's best for you and your home. Do your part to minimize the damage your home suffers.
Successful Flood Prevention Strategies
A retaining wall may be beneficial if you are located in a flood zone
As with any difficult challenge, some strategies work better than others. That is the case with flood prevention for cities and businesses. To protect your company in Weymouth Landing, MA, from rising waters you want to put your money and planning to best use. Occasionally, throughout the world, cities liable to flooding have erected massive structures to hold back water. These efforts include the Thames Barrier in England and the Delta Works in the Netherlands. A small business does not have the resources to build a large structure that provides guaranteed protection, but it can take steps that will prevent or minimize flood waters from creating a major disruption.
Many steps toward flood prevention cost very little. Cleaning out storm drains to allow fast drainage from rain storms is easy to do. Removing debris from gutters also will help water flow freely away from the building. Landscaping the property around your company can help water divert away from the building. The following larger projects may be beneficial, especially if you are located in a flood zone:
- Retaining walls
- Sand bag placement
- Detention basins
- Fortified foundation
- A small levee
Educating employees about the dangers of floods and how it could impact your business plays a role, too. Informed workers are more likely to suggest strategies that may help your company cope with a dangerous flood.
Not all flood prevention efforts will work all of the time. A plan to deal with flood waters that breach your building is essential. A storm remediation team in your area can bring critical resources to speed up the flood cleaning process. After a rapid inspection and assessment of the situation, technicians will concentrate on water removal and extraction. Industrial vacuums can remove large amounts of water quickly. Advanced equipment can pinpoint hidden areas of moisture that still have the ability to harm property. A rapid response allows for a faster recovery.
Can I Clean Up Black Water Myself?
Sewage back up water on toilet
Your sewer backed up, leaving a smelly, water damage mess. Can you clean it up yourself? It’s natural to want to tackle something as seemingly minor as a sewage leak yourself. But it’s a bad idea. That’s because sewage is a top source of black water - a dangerous type of wastewater that can have serious effects on your health. Keep reading to learn more about this dangerous substance and the right way to handle a sewage leak in your Weymouth Landing, MA, home or business.
What is Toxic Water?
If you’ve ever driven by a sewage facility, you’re familiar with the unpleasant smells that surround the area. There’s a reason for that - toxins. From urine and feces to myriad bacteria, sewage water contains countless contaminants. When those contaminants encounter water, the result is black water. It can have numerous sources, but the key ones are:
- Toilets - for instance from a broken pipe or other toilet component
- Flood water - from rivers, streams and the ground which may have contacted human or animal waste.
If ingested, such water can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, eye infections and even more serious side effects.
Cleaning It All Up
So black water is dangerous - but bleach can fix it, right? Not quite. Bleach and other household cleaners can remove stains, but they can’t address the contaminants and germs that remain. Instead, when toxic water is suspected, you should isolate the area of contamination and contact professionals. A professional water damage and remediation company will use equipment designed to remove the water and properly decontaminate and dry materials to eliminate the risks.
A smelly sewage leak is an inconvenience that nobody wants to face. But cutting corners when it comes to toxic water is not a chance worth taking. Contact a professional water removal company to address water damage in your business and rest assured that you’re safe.
How To Prepare for a Hurricane
Before the storm hits, seal your windows and doors with plywood
Five Ways to Prepare for Excess Rain and Wind
Knowing how to prepare for a hurricane, tropical storm, or other major rain event can mean the difference between a few small, post-storm repairs and a house overcome by flood water. Here are five ways to prepare for excess rain and wind in Weymouth Landing, MA.
1. Create a Communication Plan
All members of your household should know how to contact each other in the event of a flooded building. Ideally, this plan will include not just how you'll contact each other, but how you'll do so in a variety of specific situations.
2. Create an Evacuation Plan
Locate your local emergency shelter and determine the safest way to get there. Then identify an alternate route, too.
3. Put Together an Emergency Kit
Your kit should include essentials for survival without power and water for at least three days. Include the following items:
- Nonperishable food
- First aid kit
- Must-have medications
- Back-up batteries
- Pet supplies
4. Secure Important Files
To avoid damage from flood water, your family's most important paperwork should be housed in either a waterproof box or offsite in a safety deposit box. These records may include the following:
- Birth certificates
- Mortgage or lease
- Vehicle titles
- Insurance policies
- Medical records
- USB storage drives
At a bare minimum, move these items to higher ground in your home if extreme weather is approaching. If you're evacuating, take them with you.
5. Protect Your Home
Before the storm hits, seal your windows and doors with plywood or storm shutters. Bring any furniture or other items that could be transported by the wind inside. Lower the temperature in your fridge and freezer to prolong the life of their contents. If instructed to by emergency services, turn off your utilities. You might also fill containers, and even the bathtub, with water to add to your reserve of clean water.
A little preparation can go a long way in staving off water damage when a hurricane or other major storm hits. If flood water does happen to enter your home, enlisting the help of a local flood damage restoration service can help you get back to normal as quickly as possible.
How To Waterproof Your Building During a Storm
Building envelope of a Hingham, MA building
Although rain may seem like one of the more harmless parts of a storm, if you have ever experienced flood damage, you know that is not always the case. That is why you want to ensure your property has a solid building envelope to protect against even the strongest downpours.
What Is a Building Envelope?
Contrary to the name, a building envelope does not mean literally enclosing your business in a giant bubble. Rather, it is a term used to refer to the design and construction of the building itself. The main components that make up the envelope are:
Doors and windows
Sub-floors and sub-grade wall systems
Of course, all buildings have a roof and walls, but not all buildings have a properly-constructed envelope that maximally protects against storms and rain damage.
How Does It Work?
A good envelope should control air flow levels, restrict the movement of hot or cold air via a thermal barrier and include mechanisms for drainage and moisture prevention. In many cases, the strongest part of the envelope needs to be its ability to protect against water and moisture. A well-designed system should prevent structural degradation, hazardous black mold and other forms of rain damage.
Start by adding protective sealants on the roof and walls to block against water penetration. Also utilize gutters, drip guards, overhangs and slanting surfaces to divert rain away from the building. Installing a rainscreen is another useful tactic. The rainscreen typically sits about 1/8 of an inch or more away from the structural wall. The rainscreen takes the majority of the impact during a storm, and what little water does penetrate through often dries up in the gap before it is able to reach the main wall. Thus, it acts as a barrier against the elements and facilitates enough ventilation to inhibit mold growth.
If your property has recently experienced rain damage in Hingham, MA, it may be time to check the integrity of your building envelope. Water damage specialists can determine the source of the problem and help you figure out how to better solidify your building against anything Mother Nature throws your way.
Tips for Recovering From Storm Damage
Watch out for weak spots in the roof, missing shingles, and dents on gutters and flashing
Storms can hit at any time and during any season, bringing damage and expenses to Weymouth, MA, neighborhoods. For example, heavy winds might blow shingles off the roof and rainstorms can lead to flooded basements. In many cases, you'll need help dealing with the resulting repairs. There are some things you can do right away before storm damage remediation professionals arrive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer these important storm tips:
- Take care of yourself by getting adequate rest and nutrition.
- Prioritize repairs. Focus on the most important cleanup tasks first.
- Get help doing tasks you can't do on your own, such as lifting heavy objects or repairing electrical damages.
- Work in groups, so you aren't alone if you get hurt.
With these safety tips in mind, you can consider facing some of the following tasks as you wait for professionals.
Assess the Damage to Your Property
The roof is one of the most vulnerable parts of your home. Falling tree limbs and windblown debris can lead to structural damage. Watch out for weak spots in the roof, missing shingles, and dents on gutters and flashing. Move down from there, paying special attention to the windows and doors.
Look for cracks, holes, and damaged frames. Watch out for damage on the walls and siding, then check on your outdoor appliances, especially where they are connected to your home. Take pictures and record the damage for the insurance company. Clean up debris that doesn't pose a risk to your safety.
Check for Standing Water
Remember that the same winds, rain, and flooding that damaged your home could have brought down power lines. Standing water carries electrical currents. Resources that provide storm tips will tell you to avoid electrocution by staying out of puddles and water in your home. Disconnect the power and wait for professional assurance that it's safe to enter.
Focus on Safety
Finally, keep yourself safe. Storms tips are only valuable as far as they help you prevent damage to your property, your family, and yourself. Weymouth, MA, professionals are trained for their work.
Business Continuity Planning Is a Learning Experience
There are local disaster recovery experts ready to be part of the plan
A business continuity plan sounds like some innocent document that sits in a file drawer next to the company insurance policy. Some would call it a disaster recovery plan. The key word in that name is "disaster." Flooding can easily wipe unprepared businesses off the face of the earth. Even prepared businesses face an uphill battle when disaster strikes. However, with a proper plan, they can survive.
Plan Preparation Requires a Total Commitment
In a large company, no employee understands every job. A shipping clerk won’t know how to administer a large contract. A senior executive won’t understand how to post a payment to Accounts Receivable. No one person or team can develop the plan alone. Everyone in every position will provide input. It’s often a long, difficult and costly process, and it includes the following steps:
1. Determine the likely impact of the disaster on your business. You cannot assume that business will return to the way it was. You will likely lose revenue, employees and customers. Assume the total destruction of everything on-site including inventory, paper documents, computers and electronic data.
2. Develop recovery strategies. If your area is susceptible to major floods, the loss of your facility and contents is a real possibility. Even storm damage could be catastrophic. Document what it would take to start from there and rebuild a running business. If post-disaster relocation is a possibility, that should be part of the continuity plan.
3. Implement test procedures and perform exercises. In your IT department, the process might involve storing electronic data in a secure facility far away from the Weymouth, MA, area. They might also have a contract with a company that specializes in disaster recovery services and processes data off-site. Other departments would have different tests and procedures.
4. Identify local restoration services. Your plan will undoubtedly include cleanup and restoration. Fortunately, there are local disaster recovery experts ready to be part of that plan.
The best defense against disaster is a good offense. By developing a thoughtful business continuity plan, you can increase your company's odds of survival, as well as help kickstart a quick recovery.
Nor’easters: 5 Things You Should Know
Nor'easters can cause power outages
5 Facts to Know Before you Find Yourself Facing a Nor'easter
As a Weymouth, MA, resident and homeowner, you need to be aware of nor’easters and their potentially damaging effects in your part of the country. Here are five facts to know before you find yourself facing a nor’easter.
1. These storms are most common between September and April. Nor’easters can occur at any time of year, but you can expect them to be a bigger threat around fall and winter. The reason for this is that cold and warm air are more likely to combine during this time period and create the perfect storm.
2. They aren’t just about snow. This may be one of the lesser known nor’easter facts - rain, heavy winds and damaging coastal waters are all possible. Snow is very common, especially since many of these storms occur in the wintertime, but it is important to remember that hurricane-like effects are quite possible when a nor’easter hits.
3. Nor’easters are common in Weymouth, MA. These storms are mainly a threat to the Northeast, particularly along the East Coast.
4. They are dangerous. Nor’easters can cause everything from flooding to power outages, and roads tend to be unsafe during and even after such a storm. Make sure that you stock up on supplies and listen to what local authorities are saying throughout such an event.
5. No official scale exists. There is an informal intensity scale called the Dolan-Davis scale that measures nor’easters, but it is not widely popular.
If the possibility of a nor’easter makes you worry about storm damage from floods, remember that professional help is available if destruction should occur. If you find yourself facing one of these infamous weather events, wait until the chaos calms down and call your local storm damage restoration service. Many technicians can arrive quickly to help with emergencies and begin creating a cleanup and repair plan right away.