Recent Storm Damage Posts

How a Winter Storm Can Damage Your Home

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Ice dam An ice dam is a buildup of ice on the roof of your home

How a Winter Storm Can Damage Your Home

Those who are used to warm weather climates may not realize how much damage a winter storm can do. However, a blizzard can create lots of destruction in Gardner, KS.
In fact, winter storms can cause thousands of dollars of damage. This damage can result from:

  • Ice dams
  • Destroyed roofs
  • Frozen pipes

Ice Dams

As its name implies, an ice dam is a buildup of ice on the roof of your home. It occurs when melting snow refreezes and blocks other snow from draining properly. This can lead to a buildup of standing water that can then leak into your walls or ceilings. Ice dams can even loosen shingles or gutters.

Destroyed Roofs

A winter storm can cause roof damage in other ways, as well. Ice and high winds can rip the gutters or tiles off your roof. These same winds can also blow tree branches on top of your roof. Heavy branches, in particular, can fall through the roof and harm the inside of your home.

Frozen Pipes

Even if there is no snow outside, cold weather alone can be harmful to your house. Freezing temperatures can cause unheated pipes to freeze and subsequently burst. This can lead to severe water damage.

How To Prepare

There are steps you can take to limit damage to your home during a winter storm. Cleaning gutters in advance can prevent ice dams. You should also secure your roof tiles and trim any tree branches that are too close to the house.
Before the storm arrives, you should head to the store and get emergency supplies such as shovels and non-perishable food. Finally, make sure to insulate any pipes that are outdoors or in low-heat areas such as basements and garages.
Even if you prepare accordingly, a winter storm can destroy parts of your house. An emergency restoration services company can repair your home and prevent any damage from spreading.

Effective Property Management Means Being Well-Prepared for Hurricanes and Major Storms

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

Store copies of everything possible on the cloud

Property management is a massive responsibility. There’s a reason they are usually carefully chosen, and competence in a range of specialties is required to excel. One area you can’t possibly overdo in Olathe, KS, is storm preparedness – especially before a hurricane. Here’s some ideas to consider that should make your life a lot easier once it passes.

Planning, Planning, Planning!

Being abundantly well-prepared is what defines a top property manager. Seriously – be ready! Begin by downloading the free app from the American Red Cross titled “Hurricane;” it’s an excellent resource. A major hurricane is like the end of the world where the eye hits. This must start far in advance of one predicted to hit you.

Start by building a playbook. Some items it should include are


Staff phone numbers and addresses as well as their roles and responsibilities.
Designation of essential personnel.
Pre-storm procedures.
Emergency contact numbers.
All insurance information.


Key Steps to Storm Preparedness

After the playbook is ready, make sure you have all your insurance information recorded in numerous places. Read the fine print of your insurance policies to learn of limits and exclusions and that everything is up to date. When a storm is forecast, take pictures or video of everything you can and store them on the cloud for irrefutable evidence of storm-caused damage. This is an excellent time to store copies of everything possible on the cloud for 24-hour access anywhere, any time.

Designate top personnel to stay (temporarily) behind after a general evacuation as well as a liaison to work with emergency personnel. Once winds reach around 45 miles per hour, they should initiate quick, last-minute actions to mitigate further damage. They must act with deliberation and haste and then evacuate as soon as possible – under no circumstances should someone remain behind.

After the Storm

Do a full inspection, documenting all damage. Be ready to answer tenant questions – consider posting social media updates to keep everyone informed. Hire professionals to do a proper cleanup and restoration. Storm preparedness is one of the more tedious tasks for property managers, but it’s critical in Olathe, KS, and when one is coming, it’s too late.

3 Types of Home Damage Caused By Winter Weather

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes can cause damage to your Lenexa, KS home

3 Types of Home Damage Caused By Winter Weather

During the colder months in Lenexa, KS, the weather may cause some problems for your house. This is especially true during a winter storm. The following are a few types of damage that you might need to prepare for as temperatures begin to drop.

1. Leaky Roofs

While you can develop a leak in your roof during any time of the year, roof damage is common as the weather gets colder. Snow can build up on your roof and may result in an ice dam. This happens when the sun or heat from inside the house causes the snow to melt a little and then freeze into ice as it gets colder again. Over time, it can begin to leak into the building, causing damage to the roof as well as the ceiling and walls inside. Remove snow from your roof as soon as possible to keep damage to a minimum.

2. Frozen Pipes

If the temperatures get low enough during a winter storm, you may end up with frozen pipes. If this occurs, there is a chance that the pipes could burst and flood your home. To prevent this from happening, keep the temperature in your home above freezing and leave cabinet doors open to allow the warm air to reach the pipes. Insulation can help as well.

3. Exterior Damage

During a severe storm, such as a blizzard, damage to the exterior of your home may occur. This can sometimes result in minor problems such as chipping paint or missing roof shingles, but more serious damage can happen as well. If there are high winds or hail, debris may crack or shatter a window. Be sure to keep trees near your house trimmed and store anything that could be moved by strong wind.
Keeping this information in mind should help you better prepare your home for a winter storm. However, if your house is damaged, an emergency restoration company can help with cleanup and repairs.

How Often Do You Check Your Crawlspace?

7/4/2019 (Permalink)

Avoiding structural damage and mold is essential to being a responsible homeowner.

Recent record rainfall has created problems for home owners in the Olathe / Lenexa area. We experienced flooding this past year. Water has found its way into the crawlspaces of many area homes. Our technicians have responded to a large number of requests for services to dry out flooded crawlspaces.

Check your crawlspace for water damage

Even if you have not experienced flooding in your crawlspace in the past, it is always a good idea to do periodic inspections, especially after heavy rains, to insure the safety of your home.

Water intrusions in your crawlspace, left untreated, can cause structural damage and allow mold to grow in your home. 

SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa technicians have the equipment and experience to take care of any water damage to your home, making it, “Like it never even happened.”

When Storms or Floods hit Olathe / Lenexa, SERVPRO is ready!

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Olathe / Lenexa.

SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa 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.

Faster Response

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 Olathe / Lenexa, 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 913-782-4693

3 Ways Property Managers Can Prepare for Storms

5/3/2019 (Permalink)

Cracks in asphalt stringle roof

Focusing on Storm Preparedness

When you know that a storm is likely to impact your business in Gardner, KS, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. However, focusing on storm preparedness before a disaster occurs can help to keep yourself, your staff and your property safe.

1. Document the Building’s State Before the Storm

When a building is damaged, it’s often important for property management to provide the business’ insurance company with documentation of the destruction. However, it may also be beneficial to have photographs of your property prior to the incident. By showing an insurance adjuster what the business looked like before it sustained damage, you can help to ensure your claim is accurate.

2. Establish a Line of Communication

Storms can come on suddenly, and in the event that the property needs to be evacuated, it’s useful to know how to contact all employees in a timely manner. As part of your storm preparedness plan, you may consider asking all staff members to provide you with a way to reach them quickly before a disaster. Since you may not be present in the building when an emergency occurs, it can also be wise to create a list of tasks that the last person to exit should perform. An example might include making sure all doors and windows are closed.

3. Inspect the Property

Inspecting the structure before a storm can help you prevent damage, because leaks or malfunctioning equipment may worsen any problems that do occur. An inspection will also allow you to observe any openings in the building, which can happen when roof shingles are cracked or missing. This may let rain get inside more easily. If you see signs of a problem, you should contact emergency restoration services to prevent additional issues.

As a property manager, storm preparedness can be an important element of your job. Documenting the building before a disaster, establishing a line of communication and inspecting the structure can help you to prepare your business for any situation.

The 4 Stages of Storm Damage Restoration

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

Homeowners must act quickly if adverse weather damages residences in Lenexa, KS.

Homeowners must act quickly if adverse weather damages residences in Lenexa, KS. The restoration process may take several days, depending on the extent of damage and whether it is necessary to tear out and replace building materials or contents. Trained professionals can swiftly proceed through the four stages of storm damage restoration.

1. Mitigation

It is imperative to limit storm damage. Mitigation may involve tarping over a damaged roof, boarding up broken windows or other measures to prevent further damage.

2. Water Extraction

Water that is left standing for days will become increasingly contaminated and heighten the risk of mold. If a storm introduces Category Two gray water into a structure, this water can degrade into grossly contaminated Category Three black water within a matter of hours.

Homeowners may rent a pump to remove water or start the process by using a mop or wet vac. Damage mitigation professionals will be able to extract every trace of water and debris more quickly, which can limit water damage and help to prevent secondary damage.

3. Cleanup

It is important to remove debris as well as any damaged materials. It may be necessary to tear out porous building materials or contents saturated with contaminated water, as these materials may be difficult or impossible to clean completely. Every surface and item should be cleaned and disinfected to discourage mold growth.

4. Restoration

The affected area must be dry before restoration begins. The final stage of the process will involve rebuilding damaged portions of a structure and replacing discarded items.

It may take up to a week or longer to restore storm damage. An organized effort to extract water, tear out damage, clean and allow the affected area to dry may continue for several days. A homeowner in can limit the severity of storm damage by immediately contacting storm restoration specialists in Lenexa, KS.

Flood Insurance May Not Be an Option for Your Business

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

Flood insurance may not be an option.

Flood Insurance May Not Be an Option for Your Business

You read that correctly. Flood insurance may not be an option. In some situations, it is a requirement. Financial institutions, investors and others expect you to protect their investments and property. They will not leave the insurance decision in your hands. Sometimes, it’s one of the costs of doing business.
Insurance companies distinguish between water damage and floods. Rising water causes flood damage.

Typical examples are:

  • Overflowing rivers and streams
  • Storm surge on large bodies of water
  • Local flooding due to heavy rain or blocked storm drains
  • Runoff from melting ice and snow

Weather, plumbing and fire sprinklers are common sources of water damage. A standard commercial insurance policy covers the cost of these repairs. It offers no coverage for floods. The following are situations that may require a business to have insurance.


1. The Federal Government funded, backed, or insured a business mortgage.

If your business is in a flood zone, the government requires you to have flood insurance. It’s the law. If a flood destroys the business, they want to get paid.


2. Other mortgage lenders may require the insurance.

Lenders want to protect their investment as well. They may even want the insurance for businesses near flood zones.


3. Investors may demand insurance.

If there is a flood, the investor’s investment is at risk. It is reasonable for them to expect the protection of their investment.


4. Certain customers and vendors may require insurance.

A distribution business ships inventory belonging to their customer. Other businesses may hold inventory consigned by a vendor. Both parties may want insurance protection for their inventory.


The Flood Happened and the Damage Is Extensive


That flood insurance sure was a great idea. The water is gone. Now, it’s a race against mold. There are flood and water damage remediation specialists in the Olathe, KS area. They can get you back on your feet quickly. Give them a call.

This Is No Time for a Swim: Staying Safe During and After a Flood

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and the resulting flood water are dangerous.

Do you know how dangerous flood water can be? A depth of 6 inches can sweep you away, and a depth of 12 inches can sweep your car away. Floods are fast-moving and aggressive, and if you didn’t heed the warnings to evacuate, then you need to know how to stay safe not just during the flood but after.

1. Staying Safe During

During a flood, you should stay in a safe location, and it is best to discuss this location with others so that when/if you need to be rescued your family can give first responders the most accurate information. Your safe place should be an elevated location. If you choose your house, do not go into the enclosed attic. The level you want should have numerous exit points so that the rising waters do not trap you. Additionally, when the flood begins, stay at your designated location. Do not attempt to leave, unless absolutely necessary because you could be at risk of drowning. Essentially, staying safe during a flood comes down to remaining calm and trying to stay above the rising water.

2. Staying Safe After

Standing flood water can be potentially hazardous. Not only do possible downed power lines present the risk of electrocution, but the water itself may also be contaminated from sewage and other debris. While a building was your sanctuary during the flood, a flooded building now presents serious health risks. If it is not possible to stay in a dry area, it may be wise to wear heavy gloves and boots to prevent contact with any potentially hazardous materials, but it is best to avoid contact if possible. When the time comes, you can seek out restoration specialists in the Olathe, KS, area to restore your home from any lasting water damage and to help with any hazardous cleanup.

Flooding and the resulting flood water are dangerous. It is never wise to ignore a call to evacuate, but it is not always possible to leave. When you must stay behind, it is essential to find high ground and avoid contact with contaminated materials. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROolathelenexa.com/.

How do I Prevent Frozen Pipes?

7/28/2018 (Permalink)

Winter storms are often a problem for homes in Olathe, KS. Here are some tips on how to prevent having frozen pipes this winter.

  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

How to Protect Pipes From Freezing

7/28/2018 (Permalink)

Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:

  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.

Your Guide To Quickly and Effectively Cleaning Up Post-Flood

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

A flood can wreak havoc on your home's structure, belongings, and even your home's environment, as the water can carry contaminants and mud. For this reason, it is imperative that you begin content cleaning efforts as soon as the waters recede, or as soon as the influx of water has stopped. The more time you take to begin cleanup efforts, the greater the chance that your home and belongings will experience irreversible damage.

Floods can damage everything from carpeting to furniture and from your home's ductwork to its HVAC system. If you want to minimize damage and restore your home to normal, there are particular areas to which you must pay attention:

• Ceilings and walls
• Electrical systems
• Heating and cooling systems
• Appliances
• Carpeting, vinyl and wood floors
• Sewage systems


Content Cleaning Tips.


Though the majority of flood cleanup should be left to the professionals (especially if gray or black water is involved), there are a few steps you can take before your local Olathe, KS, water restoration team shows up. First, contact your insurance company. If your homeowners' insurance policy covers the damage, an adjuster will be in contact with you.

Once you've made the necessary phone calls, begin to shovel mud out of your home. If a garden hose reaches the flooded area, you can use the hose to spray mud away. Once the mud is gone, start sanitizing. Scrub surfaces with hot water and a heavy-duty cleaner. Soak belongings that can be soaked in a mixture of hot water and chlorine bleach. If the items in question are metal, such as silverware or pots and pans, simply let them sit in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Take any rugs and furniture outside to air dry and use a dehumidifier and fans to remove moisture from the air. You can also begin to toss smaller, contaminated items, such as toys, stuffed animals, and food.

Ideally, you should leave the deep content cleaning to the professionals, as professional flood restoration teams know what is salvageable and what is not. Moreover, experts have the necessary safety equipment to restore your home to a pre-flood condition.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROolathelenexa.com/.

Steps to Reduce the Risk of Tornado Damage in Olathe

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Tornado damage mitigation tips from Disastersafety.org.

About 1,000 tornadoes occur each year in the United States, causing an average of $1.1 billion in property damage and 80 deaths. These storms vary in intensity and the accompanying damage can result in everything from minor repairs to complete destruction with little warning. Most tornadoes are relatively weak, and therefore, primarily damage roofs, windows and trees. While only two percent of tornadoes achieve the most violent and damaging classification, one quarter of tornadoes are powerful enough to cause 90 percent of the damage and two-thirds of the deaths.

In an effort to gain a better understanding of who is most at risk from these destructive forces, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) conducted a regional analysis of tornadoes of F2 or greater strength that were reported during the 50-year period beginning in 1957 through 2006. This analysis, coupled with the construction guidance included below, is intended to better define which areas are most likely to be affected by tornadoes and to suggest methods for mitigating property risks.

The analysis used tornado records from a period of time when the older Fujita Scale classification F0 through F5 was being used. Since 2006, tornadoes have been classified by the Enhanced Fujita Scale using EF0 through EF5. Both scale classifications are based on damage observed after a tornado strikes. The EF scale, which provides a larger number of damage indicators for different types of buildings, attempts to recognize the difference between poorly constructed and well constructed buildings and results in lower estimates of wind speeds for the most intense storms, which are classified using the highest number on the F or EF scales. Efforts to re-classify the older F-Scale tornadoes using the EF-Scale are very labor intensive and subject to judgment because it requires a review of old damage reports, many of which will not have pictures of the damage. The simple approach, which is reasonable and probably slightly conservative, is to simply use the new wind speed estimates with the older classifications.

In creating the map below, IBHS used a grid of 100 square mile cells in the analysis. This is a smaller cell size than used by most other analyses. The advantage is a finer resolution of tornado risks at the expense of greater variability between adjacent cells. The effects of this potential limitation were reduced by employing a process to smooth out differences in tornado frequencies between nearby cells.

Tornadoes have a unique destructive power among wind-related natural disasters because they concentrate a massive amount of energy in a relatively small area. The strongest category of tornadoes can generate maximum wind speeds of greater than 250 mph, which is enough to destroy most buildings and structures in their path. These maximum wind speeds generate forces that are about twice as large as those generated by the strongest hurricanes.

Only a few specialty buildings are designed to withstand the direct impact of a severe tornado. However, well engineered, large and tall commercial structures are not likely to suffer structural collapse. For smaller commercial structures, good construction choices can give added protection and increase the likelihood that at least part of the structure will remain standing to provide shelter. Buildings that have been strengthened in critical areas and particularly at connection points, such as between the roof and walls and walls and foundation, would have a good chance of surviving intact or with minor cosmetic damage if subjected to the outer edges of a tornado.

Despite the annual tornado exposure, many walls and roofs of businesses in inland areas of the United States are typically built to resist gravity loads and have little resistance to uplift and lateral loads. Construction where all parts of the building are well connected is more common in hurricane-prone areas, but should also be considered by anyone who wants to increase their property’s protection from other severe windstorms, according to the building science experts at IBHS.

A CHECKLIST FOR MITIGATING TORNADO RISKS

While there is no way to eliminate all the damage of a direct hit from a violent tornado, businesses in tornado-prone areas can implement a variety of affordable measures which, for the majority of tornadoes, will effectively minimize damages to facilities, injuries to employees and the losses associated with business disruptions.

While the measures below focus specifically on tornado risks, many also will help protect businesses from other types of high wind and thunderstorm-related weather risks outside of tornado-prone regions.

ASSESS THE LIKELIHOOD OF A TORNADO STRIKING YOUR BUSINESS

Is the area where you live and work prone to tornadoes? Look at the map in this report to identify areas with the highest risk of tornadoes. Knowing what tornado risks are present is essential for choosing the appropriate mix of measures to protect your business. Businesses located in areas with a heightened tornado risk should take the following steps to minimize their risk of tornado damage:

PROTECT YOUR EMPLOYEES

  • Prepare and disseminate an emergency plan describing what supervisors and employees should to do as a tornado threatens. Practice these procedures through tornado drills.
  • Purchase a weather radio with local discrimination capability. Monitor weather conditions so employees can be moved to secure locations when necessary:
    • Have an adequate source of weather information, such as a tone alert weather radio, to keep abreast of weather conditions.
    • Have someone monitor local radar and warning information during a tornado watch and especially if a tornado warning has been issued for the area.

Watches and Warnings:

  • A tornado watch is a caution indicating a high probability of tornadoes within an area approximately 250 miles long and 120 miles wide.
  • A tornado warning means that a tornado has been spotted on the ground in your county or moving toward your county, or that weather radar indicates a high probability of a tornado existing.
  • Keep exterior doors and windows closed to minimize rain and flying debris. Closing interior doors will also help to compartmentalize the building and provide more barriers between your employees and the storm.
  • Select the best protective area for employees to seek shelter if there is a tornado:
    • Basements are usually considered a good area, as are corridors and small interior rooms on the first floor of a structure.
    • Never shelter employees in rooms where there is an outside wall, particularly those with glass windows, or where the ceiling or roof has a span between supports of more than 40 feet.
    • If your building does not provide adequate protection and you are located in a tornado prone area, work with a contractor to harden a section of your facility or build a safe room.
    • Safe Rooms: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and International Code Council (ICC) offer shelter guidelines.
      • If you have 10 or fewer employees, a small size room designed according to the requirements and guidance published in FEMA 320 or ICC 500 for residential shelters may be sufficient.
      • For larger safe rooms, use FEMA 361 or ICC 500 guidance for community shelters.

Make provisions to shelter employees working in portable out buildings and those operating trucks and other vehicles.

PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY

Wind-resistant construction can be cost effective and minimize the risk of structural damage for the majority of tornadoes, particularly damage from weak to moderate tornadoes, hail and wind associated with thunderstorms, and even to buildings on the edge of strong or violent tornadoes:

For new construction in a tornado prone area:

  • Work with an architect or contractor to incorporate wind mitigation techniques and high wind-rated products when constructing your building, including safe areas for personnel.
  • These techniques provide state-of-the art solutions to minimize structural risks by withstanding pressures created by specified high winds, strengthening roof and wall connections, roof systems, walls and wall covering, windows, doors, and skylights.
  • It is less costly and more effective to harden buildings during design and construction rather than later.

For an existing structure, not built to wind mitigation standards:

  • Consider retrofitting, especially when remodeling or replacing building components.
  • Retrofitting may include:
    • Bracing and strapping the roof.
    • Adding recommended fasteners, ties, reinforcements, roof covering and anchors as building components are modified and maintained.
    • Making entry doors and overhead doors more wind-resistant.
    • Building a safe room to protect against tornadoes.
  • For additional information on protection for existing buildings, see “Protecting Commercial Property” in the Tornado section of our website www.DisasterSafety.org.

MINIMIZE THE THREATS FROM WIND-BORNE DEBRIS

  • Identify and remove trees and branches that could fall on the building walls or roof, or on power lines.
  • Inspect and repair loose or damaged building components such as siding, soffit and fascia, shingles and roofing, brickwork, and brick chimneys.
  • Avoid using built -up roofs with aggregate or pavers on the surface.

Visit www.DisasterSafety.org/tornado to find additional details and how-to instruction for many of these projects.

April Showers Bring May Flowers and More...

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

April showers bring May flowers and more...

April showers help to bring us the most vibrant May flowers and we are so happy with this change of season. However, when April showers are more like torrential, relentless downpours we could face a flooded basement and other water damage causing costly repairs. Flooding generally occurs in the springtime as the result of heavy rains that cannot be adequately absorbed by the still thawing earth. Particularly formidable are the flash floods resulting from thunderstorms, swiftly melting snow and ice jams in creeks. Consider if more than one of these circumstances happens at the same time, you have the potential for a catastrophe with flooding waters and raging mudslides.

Homeowners you can take some simple precautions to secure your property and keep your possessions safe.

Elevate: Keep your furnace, water heater, electrical panels above predicted water levels to protect yourself from costly home replacements.

Install check valves: These valves close to prevent the backward flow of liquid and prevent water from backing up into the drains in your home.

Build barriers: Use sandbags to create flood walls to prevent or reduce flow of water into your home.

Waterproof the basement: Use a waterproofing compound to seal the walls of your basement.

Clean: Clean gutters, drains and downspouts for proper water flow.

Purchase flood insurance: Most standard homeowners' and business insurance policies unfortunately do no cover flood damage. In the event of a flood, you would be responsible for covering the full cost of repairs and replacing items damaged.

There is help close by should you experience an unfortunate event with your home or business. Contact SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa at 913.782.4693. We are trained storm specialists who will come in and quickly get your home or business back to a safe and healthy environment. We have the specific training and certifications to handle your restoration needs provided by an Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist, a Water Damage Restoration Technician, and an Applied Structural Drying Technician. We provide emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night.