Recent Storm Damage Posts

Snowy Driving In St. Mary's and Calvert Counties

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

drive safely written with a frosty snow scene in the background A smart driver is a good driver!

Driving period can be dangerous and frightening to many and factoring in bad weather only makes it worse. According to research that was done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than 2,000 road deaths every winter are factored in by winter storms, bad weather and sloppy road conditions. 

It is important every day when you are driving that you drive with caution and awareness especially when there is snow on the ground. We want everyone to get home to their families at the end of the day. Follow our snowy driving safety tips will help make that possible. 

  • If you are not comfortable driving in the snow, STAY HOME! 
  • Drive slowly and with caution. Accelerate and decelerate appropriately. There is no need to hurry
  • Increase your following distance. Remember it takes longer to stop on ice or snow.
  • Keep contact with your brake. Have your heel on the floor and ball of foot on the petal. 
  • Try to always be moving. Unless you have to stop try to maintain a low speed as it is harder to regain traction at a complete stop. 
  • Don't apply extra power as that will only cause your tires to spin
  • Let go of gas when you are traveling downhill. Too much speed will make it harder to stop and easier to spin out.
  • Don't stop going up a hill, you will get stuck. 

A smart driver is a good driver. Be safe while driving and remember that your not only in the hands of your life on the road, but the others around you. 

Need Ways To Lock In The Heat In Your Home Without Having Your Energy Bill Skyrocket?

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Save heat energy saving and recycle symbol with snowflake in the middle Are you trying to save money?

As the weather is getting colder on the outside, so is it on the inside. The days of opening a window to let the fresh air in are over and the days of wrapping yourself up in a cozy blanket on the couch are in. One day soon a blanket, jacket, scarf, hat, socks and whatever else you can find laying around the house to keep you warm will not be enough and you will have to turn the heat on higher. 

Are you looking to save heat and fuel this winter and in turn save money!? Below of tips on how you can do just that.

  • Take advantage of the heat from the sun. Open curtains during the day to allow the natural sunlight to heat your home and close them at night to trap the heat in
  • Cover your windows with a clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your windows. Tight fitted drapes or curtains installed on your windows is a good option too.
  • When you are home and awake set your thermostat to as low as comfortable. When you are asleep turn down your heat 10 to 15 degrees to save energy overnight. 
  • Seal any air leaks around utility cut-through for pipes, gaps around chimneys and/or unfinished spaces. Use caulk or weatherstripping for leaks around doors or windows 
  • If you have a fireplace:
    • Keep damper closed unless a fire is burning 
    • If you don't use the fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue 

How To Save Water Damaged Photos

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

News paper articles all over a office room Need helping saving important documents or photos after a disaster strikes!?

After a major storm hits causing flooding in your home or office, your first thought is not couch or desk that is going to be damage but the pictures that hold special memories or files that contain important documents that are submerged under water. While it may seem like a hopeless cause to try and salvage them, following a few simple steps cause make it possible. 

  1. Carefully lift the photos/files from the water and separate them so they stand alone. 
  2. Gently rinse the photos/files in cold, clear water. Do not rub photos/files!
  3. Lay each photo/file on a dry non-inked paper towel, face-up. Change the paper towel every hour until the photos/files are dried. To avoid your photos/files from curling faster, dry them inside away from the sun or wind. You can also create a clothesline inside and hang the files from there. 
  4. If you do not have to dry your photos/files right away, rinse all photos/files and stack them between wax paper and then put them in a zip lock bag in the freezer. Freezing your photos/files will allow you to properly defrost, serparate and air dryer your photos/files.
  5. It is a good idea to have a fan circulating air where you are drying your photos/files to speed up the process. 

When dealing with photos or files that have been damaged by water, it is important to remove them from the wet surfaces and to a dry area as soon as possible. 

Damages books or files can often times linger a musty smell. If so, place them in a cool, dry place for a couple of days. If the smell is still present, place them in an open box, placed inside a larger closed container with an open box of baking soda which will absorb the smell. 

Safety Precautions For Lightning Storms

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

The odds for getting struck by lightning are pretty low, about 1 in 500,000, but that does not mean you want to test your odds. 

If you hear thunder roar, go inside. During a lightning storm you should consider the following:

  • Avoid water; lightning can travel through a plumbing system.
  • Avoid electronics; lightning can travel through electrical systems, as well as, radio and television reception systems. 
  • Avoid phones with cords
  • Avoid concrete floors and walls; lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or floors

Stay inside for at least 30 minutes after the last thunder has been heard. 

If you are outside during a lightning storm and can not seek shelter; crotch as low as you can, with as little of your body touching the surface of the ground. Distance yourself from tall objects, such as a tree. You never want to stand under a metal pole or tree during a lightning storm! Those objects can act as a lightning rods. Lightning causes electrical currents along the top of the ground that can be deadly as far as 100 feet away. 

Preventing Storm Damage To Your SOMD Home

4/24/2019 (Permalink)

Severe storms can come out of nowhere and we want your home to be prepared and protected for when they do. Preparing your home can be what saves you from having to deal with the cost of damage in repairs. 

  • Remove Dead Limber: Trim trees and bushes around your property to help prevent branches from falling onto your home from heavy winds. Be sure to remove the entire tree or bush if it is dead.
  • Secure Outdoors Items: Tables, chairs, grills, decorations. High winds, rain or hail can damage or move your outdoor items. Bring them inside if you can or make sure they are secured to your home 
  • Drainage System: Clear out your gutters, drain tiles and pipes to allow the precipitation to flow properly off your home. 
  • Inspect Roof: Check for whole, cracks or loss ends that could be further damaged by the storm. Have repaired to avoid water from entering your home.

Allows be aware of the weather. It is better to take extra precautions in event of a storm rather than having to pay the cost of not. 

Tornado Warning in St. Mary's and Calvert Counties

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

On Sunday, April 14th, the National Weather Service issued a Tornado Watch early evening leading into the dawns of the night and ending around 4am for many Maryland Counties. Around 2:45am, the Southern area of St. Mary's County Tornado Watch was turned into a Tornado Warning and residents were advised to take immediate shelter. 

SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties urges the importance of knowing the difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning and the precautions you should take. 

Tornado Watch: Conditions are favorable for a tornado to develop

  • Have a reliable weather source in reach to keep you updated on weather changes
  • Have a plan of where and how you will take shelter 
  • Watch for changes in the weather. Green or orange sky and hail are tornado-friendly conditions

Tornado Warning: A tornado is in the area or radar indicates that a tornado is developing 

  • Take immediate shelter. Go to the lowest level in the building or safety shelter
  • Stay away from windows and grab blankets/furniture to cover yourself to avoid being injured by flying debris
  • If you are outside, find the lowest area like a ditch and lay face down covering your neck and head with your arms and hands. (Do not go under a bridge or overpass) 
  • Do not leave safety area until Warning is lifted 

If your area is heading into the night with a Tornado Watch in affect, make sure you have a way to get alerts while you are sleeping. Have your phone set up to get emergency alerts and listen for the Fire Departments siren. 

Is That Thunder You Hear in Southern Maryland?

4/12/2019 (Permalink)

With May being right around the corner, it is time to start preparing yourself for the season of thunderstorms here in Southern Maryland. While thunderstorm can happen at any time of the year, they are most common within in the months of May - August. A thunderstorm is considered severe when it contains one or more of the following: winds 57.5 mph or above, hail one inch or greater or a tornado. Here at SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties we want you to be safe during all storms! 

Tips for Safety:

  • When you hear thunder, go inside!
  • Follow weather reports and warning signs
  • Be prepared to change plans if weather premits
  • Avoid windows, running water or using landlines phones
  • Unplug appplicances and other electric devices
  • If necessary take shelter in a vechile 
  • Avoid flooded areas, fast moving water can knock you down and take you away