The National Weather Service declared a powerful storm system a tornado yesterday afternoon in Longview, Washington. Thankfully, no on was injured but the storm did sustain damage to trees and property in the area. This storm is a reminder that we should be prepared for the impact of any natural disaster. What would you have done in a similar situation? Would your family or workplace be prepared for such an event? Being prepared means having fully stocked emergency supplies and having a plan in case of a disaster.
Our thoughts are with those who have been impacted by this event.
Welcome to Ask the Estimator, where we pick the brains of the professionals who have seen it all! Today’s question went to estimator Jason Stephens. Jason came to Kennedy Restoration in 2013 with plenty of experience to contribute to the company. With 15 years in construction, 9 years in restoration and 6 years as an estimator, he is a wealth of knowledge!
“What can I do prepare for severe damage to my home by water, fire, storm or other such events?”
- Know the risks for the area you live in – Planning for the worst differs depending on location, climate, and proximity to trees, elevation and many other factors. Understand the events that could affect your property and plan for them accordingly.
- Know your coverage – Make sure your insurance information is current and easy to find when you need it. Have all the necessary information to contact your representative handy and ready to go, should you have to leave your home during an emergency. Know your coverage limits and special endorsements (code upgrade, mold coverage, flood insurance, etc…).
- Know your home – Know where to shut off your water in case of leaking or pipe breakage. Any amount of water that is contained could potentially further damage. The more quickly you can shut off the running water, the less damage could be caused.
- Know your fire extinguishers – In case of a fire, make sure your fire extinguishers are in working order and everyone in the family knows how to use them properly. Inspect your extinguishers monthly and check the gauge to see when replacement or repair is needed.
- Know your emergency plan – Have a well stocked emergency kit with back up lighting and make sure all family members know its location. Run emergency evacuation plans with everyone in your household, making sure that all emergency exits are identified.
If you have a question to ask one of our estimators, send it our way!
September is National Emergency Preparedness Month! This is a great time to review your emergency plan with your family, take inventory of your emergency kit and update yourself on the latest emergency preparedness efforts in your community. These videos, presented by Ready.gov have some excellent information and are a great resource to help you get started on your emergency preparedness plan!
What can we learn from this video? The recent earthquake in Los Angeles should serve as a reminder that an earthquake, no matter how benign or severe, can strike at any time. While it is important to properly prepare for such an event, we need to know how to react when an earthquake does strike.
If you are indoors when during an earthquake, ready.gov encourages you to DROP, COVER and HOLD ON!
- DROP to the ground!
- COVER yourself under a structure or heavy furniture!
- HOLD ON to something stable around you until the shaking has subsided
- Move away from windows and glass doors
- Stay indoors until all is clear
- Do not use elevators
If you are outdoors:
- Stay clear of power lines, street lamps or anything that could fall on you
- Move away from buildings as debris can come lose and fall
- If you are near the ocean, listen for tsunami alerts and make your way to higher ground
If you are driving:
- Pull over when it is safe to do so
- If possible, avoid stopping under trees, lamp posts or over passes
- Drive cautiously after the shaking has stopped, roadways and bridges may have been damaged
Most importantly, when you find yourself in an earthquake do not panic. Remember what you have learned and react accordingly to avoid injury.
So, how was this news anchors reaction to the earthquake?
We had a heck of a winter storm these past few days! While the Pacific Northwest gets plenty of wind and rain, many are not prepared for snow and ice like we experienced this past weekend. Storms can hit suddenly without warning, so it is important to always be prepared for extreme weather conditions. Here are a few ways to stay safe during a winter storm:
Stay informed – The storm we recently experienced was reported on the news; make sure you are checking in with news and weather sources to stay up to date on how the weather may impact your area. Such sources will have updates on school and road closures as well. Make sure you have access to these outlets if your power should go out by having an emergency radio and charging phones and tablets.
Supply kit – Make sure your emergency supply kit is well stocked should you be unable to leave your home. For a detailed outline of what your emergency kit should contain, check out our previous blog here.
Freeze prevention – Frozen pipes can potentially be a costly damage to your home should they burst. It is a very common incident we encounter here at Kennedy Restoration, especially when temperatures begin to rise after a freeze. Protect your pipes from freezing with these tips.
Driving – Whenever possible, do not drive in the ice or snow. While you may be an expert driver, others on the road are not and even the best of drivers can get into serious accidents due to icy road conditions. However, if you must leave be sure to follow these safe driving tips in the ice. Add a few items to your emergency kit to make sure you can leave the home, including sand, kitty litter, snow shovels. Make sure your tires are equipped for the weather and your vehicle is capable of the excursion.
Loss of power – As we experienced here in Portland, power outages are common with the onset of snow and ice. Frozen moisture on tree limbs weigh them down, causing them to crack and fall on power lines. Be prepared for such outages and potential loss of heat!
So, how did you do? Do you feel that you were adequately prepared for the weather over the weekend, or do you have some adjustments to make to your preparedness techniques? As always, if you experienced any damages to your home or property, Kennedy Restoration is here to help!
While October was sunny and beautiful, it looks like a fall storm is headed our way! Storms with high winds have the potential to cause extensive damage to your home and property. By taking a few precautions before a storm hits some of the hazards presented by the weather can be avoided.
Insurance – Review your home insurance policy to make sure it covers weather hazards common to your area. Knowing your policy well before a storm hits is crucial to understanding what will be covered.
Landscaping – Make sure trees and limbs aren’t within reach of landing on your home or car should they fall. Secure lighter items (such as garbage and recycling bins) so they are not potential hazards in strong wind.
Roofing – How is your roof doing? Knowing the condition of your roof will inform you if you need to inspect it before a storm in coming. If you are putting in a new roof, make sure everything is up to date with recommended practices.
Doors and windows – Any weakness in your doors or windows will be revealed in a big wind storm. Properly secure all doors, including the garage door. Storm shutters can help to protect more fragile or older windows.
Power outages – Wind storms have the potential to knock out power for hours and possibly days. Have flash lights and batteries at the ready and read our previous post on ways to prepare for a power outage.
After the storm – Thoroughly inspect your home and property for damage, especially broken glass and roof damage. Examine the area around your home for downed trees, misplaced debris and other damages.
If you experience any storm damage, Kennedy Restoration is always here to expertly assist you in any and all repairs.
Emergencies can come in all shapes and sizes: from a localized power outage affecting only those in your neighborhood to a large scale earthquake impacting an entire region. It is important to be ready for an emergency situation no matter what the scale.
But what does it really mean for your family to prepare for such an event? Here is what NOT to do!
Here are a few helpful links to get you started building your emergency kit and talking about emergency preparedness with your family:
- Ready.gov provides you with a Family Emergency Plan form to help get you started. This handy form requires you to fill out plenty of helpful information in case of an emergency.
- 30days30ways.com is great way to acknowledge emergency preparedness month. Each day presents an opportunity for you to expand your emergency kit, learn some new tips and even win prizes!
- Northwest Gas Association is participating in emergency preparedness month by hosting free, informative workshops. Find one your region here http://www.nwga.org/news/nw-natural-american-red-cross-team-up-for-national-preparedness-month
- Check out our previous posts on Emergency Preparedness; http://kennedyres.com/the-powers-out-now-what/, http://kennedyres.com/earthquake-preparedness/, http://kennedyres.com/wildfire-safety-tips/
Feel free to share your tips with us!
Though Oregon has not experienced an earthquake of much significance since the early 1990’s, it is well known that the potential for a very destructive tremor is imminent. We live in a region ripe with seismic activity which leaves us with stunning landscape and mountain ranges, but makes us vulnerable to the looming threat of earthquakes. While research is working towards developing technology to predict seismic events, we are still unable to calculate exactly when and where such an event will hit. The best we can do to prepare for an earthquake is to ready our homes for structural damage and plan ahead! Here are some ideas to help you and your family be as prepared as possible for an earthquake:
1. Find out if your home is properly anchored to it’s foundation. Not all homes in our area are up to date on building codes, resulting in a foundation that could potentially be unstable should an earthquake hit. If you discover that your home is not up to code, take the necessary steps to remodel. When building a new home, make sure foundation straps are included.
2. Secure heavy furniture and cabinet doors. Make sure washing machines and hot water heaters are stable so as not to disturb gas and water lines. Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves to prevent injury.
3. Store hazardous materials such as pesticides and flammable products on lower, enclosed cabinets. These could easily spill from a high storage place and create a health hazard for you and your family.
4. Locate safe, secures spaces in your home and run drills with your family. Have a plan in place should you get separated, know where you will meet and how you will communicate with each other. Talk with your neighbors about this plan and potentially include them in your preparations.
5. Keep and maintain an emergency kit. Have enough water and food for at least 3 days in addition to a well stocked medical supply kit. Know how to property use these medical implements and be aware of up to date CPR techniques.