SERVPRO Press Release

Preparing for the Storms of the Spring Season

SERVPRO offers tips for bracing for unpredictable weather

GALLATIN, Tenn. (April 20, 2009) -- Sometimes weather patterns cause the months of April and May to bring more than just the proverbial spring shower. From treacherous lightning to destructive tornadoes, unpredictable, damaging storms are actually the more common characteristic of the spring season. With this in mind, SERVPRO is offering tips for people on how to best prepare for the uncertainty of Mother Nature. The company's message couldn't be clearer – expect the unexpected.

"It simply isn't possible to be too prepared for a spring storm," said Rick Isaacson, executive vice president of SERVPRO Industries, Inc. "By taking a few precautionary steps, people can minimize the impact of damage that may be inflicted on their homes, businesses and surrounding property."

According to the National Climatic Data Center, tornadoes, which tend to be the most widespread type of spring storm, were quite prevalent throughout the United States in 2008. During the month of May, for example, 461 tornadoes occurred resulting in 43 preliminary fatalities. Research indicates there is a direct correlation between how prepared an area is for the tornado and how many casualties were caused by the actual storm.

Since spring storms have proven to be so devastating, Isaacson encourages individuals to implement the following safety measures:

• Know your alert system – Be aware of your community's severe weather warning system. Know in advance where you will take shelter if at home, in the office, etc.
• Keep an emergency kit handy – Emergency kits should include first-aid supplies, enough drinking water for three days and food that doesn't need to be refrigerated or cooked. Also be sure to have several flashlights, a battery-powered radio, blankets and extra batteries within reach.
• Take inventory of your personal property – Make a detailed list of your possessions and back it up with photos or video footage. Keep one copy in your home and another in a separate location.
• Protect your home – Branches can cause substantial damage if they become airborne, so make sure to keep all trees properly trimmed. Also, keep a supply of lumber and other materials on hand to use to brace windows and other openings.

Isaacson adds that extensive damage can also be caused by floods, an inevitable consequence of many spring storms. Isaacson suggests that those who are concerned about flooding have a qualified professional elevate the furnace, water heater and electrical panel if these devices are currently susceptible to flooding. "Check valves" can also be installed in sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of a home.

In the event of water or fire damage, SERVPRO offers an assortment of services to help people quickly recover and restore any damaged property. Within one hour of notifying the company of loss, property owners will be contacted by a representative in order to arrange service. Within four hours of the initial notification, a SERVPRO professional will be on-site to start the mitigation process. Exceptions may apply under certain conditions, such as a catastrophic event or a storm situation.

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Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO franchise system is a national leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO's professional services network of more than 1,400 individually owned and operated franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss situations. Providing coverage in 48 states, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners. All SERVPRO Franchises are independently owned and operated.