Recent Storm Damage Posts
Safety Driving in a Hail Storm
Vehicle damage from a hail storm.
During spring time, rain storms and thunderstorms are a common occurrence. While some of these result in light to moderate rainfall, some may produce hail. Hail storms can cause injuries, and they can be damaging to your property. If you encounter a hail storm, here are some safety tips.
- Hail falls down fast, and can cause injury. If you are in your car when hail begins, it’s best to stay inside your vehicle until the storm passes.
- The speed of your vehicle can amplify the impact of falling hail, and could cause your windshield or any other windows to break. Safely pull your car off the road when hail begins to fall. If possible, parking under a nearby overpass can protect your vehicle from further damage.
- Park your car on an uphill slope, if one is available. Your windshield is designed to stand hard impacts, where the rest of the windows are not.
- When in your car, it is best to be lying down with your back up. Cover yourself with any available blankets or coats to protect yourself from debris in case any windows break.
During any storm it’s important to make sure your radio is on to hear any storm warnings and updates.
Is your area flooding?
Floods are unpredictable, and they can happen in virtually any location you may live in. Just because you haven’t had a flood in the past doesn’t mean it will never happen in your area. It’s very important to be prepared in case the unexpected happens.
Things you need to know:
- Know the flood risk in your neighborhood. Do you live in a flood plain?
- How to prepare your home or property
- How to respond when floodwater comes
- How to recover after a flood
Ways to prepare:
- If your area is flood prone, it is best to have hard-surface flooring instead of carpet in your home
- Prepare an emergency kit
- Prepare a household flood plan
- Keep a list of emergency telephone numbers on display
- Check your insurance policy to make sure your property is covered for flood damage
If flooding is forecast to happen, take time to prepare:
- Place important documents, valuables and vital medical supplies in a waterproof case
- If you go to a different location, make sure your pets are with you. If you cannot take them, make sure you move them to a higher location with plenty of food and water
- Move any electrical appliances, furniture and area rugs to a higher location
Relocating to safer ground:
- Monitor the radio for warnings and advice
- Pack your essential needs: warm clothes, critical medications, valuables, personal papers, and an emergency kit
- Empty fridge and freezers and leave the doors open
- Turn off your gas and water
- Make sure you have your mobile phone with you
- When you leave, make sure you lock your doors
- Do not drive into water of unknown depth
Always be prepared for any kind of storm event.
Wyoming may not have tornadoes as frequently as areas in the Midwest and the South, but they do still occur. Our wide-open prairies and sparse population result in most tornadoes touching down in unpopulated areas. But there is still a risk of homes and businesses being affected. Because of this possibility, it’s important to know how to handle a potentially dangerous tornado event.
Tip 1: Be prepared
The best way to stay safe during a tornado is to be prepared with:
- Fresh batteries and a battery-operated TV, radio, or internet-enabled device to listen to the latest emergency weather information
- A tornado emergency plan including access to a “safe shelter” for yourself and for people with special needs
- An emergency kit including water, non-perishable food, and medication, and a list of important information, including telephone numbers.
Be sure your children know what a tornado is, and what watches and warnings are.
Tip 2: Stay aware of weather conditions
Pay close attention to changing weather conditions in your area. If you know thunderstorms are expected, stay tuned to local radio and TV stations or a NOAA weather radio for further weather information. Some tornadoes strike rapidly without time for a tornado warning. The following weather signs may mean that a tornado is approaching:
- A dark or green-colored sky
- A large, dark, low-lying cloud
- Large hail or a loud roar that sounds like a freight train
Tip 3: Know where to shelter
Falling and flying debris cause most deaths and injuries during a tornado. Although there is no completely safe place during a tornado, some locations are much safer than others.
- Go to the basement or an inside room without windows on the lowest floor (bathroom, closet, center hallway)
- Avoid windows
- For added protection get under something sturdy (a heavy table or workbench). Cover your body with a blanket, sleeping bag or mattress. Protect your head with anything available.
- Do not stay in a mobile home
RAIN IS ON THE WAY, ARE YOU READY?
Rain is on the way!!
Before you know it, Spring will be here, and we will get rain. Rain can be a good thing as long as it’s not in your house. Here are some helpful tips to try to keep rain out of your home or building.
- Get your yard ready for the rain by running a metal rake over the tops of shrubs and flowers beds to loosen the soil. This will allow the dirt to better absorb the excess moisture. This should only take a few minutes, but you might prevent rain water from pooling or causing a small flood.
- Close all of your vents and windows. If you forget to do so, you could end up with costly damage. Remember to check rooms that are easily forgotten, such as basements, attics and any rooms you don’t go into on a regular basis.
- Clean your gutters. The leaves aren’t falling yet, but other debris can clog up your gutters. Clean gutters will ensure that excess rain water has proper runoff from your roof.
- Know your roof. Don’t be blindsided by roof damage in the middle of a rain storm. Make sure to get annual inspections and know when your roof is in need of repair.
If water still finds its way into your home or business, don’t worry. We will perform a free inspection and damage assessment, and talk about your options We are always available at 307-235-6558.
Winter Storm Categories
Winter storm categories
Wyoming weather can change at any time. It can be something simple as just light snowfall, or a treacherous blizzard. Knowing the terms can help you to take the necessary precautionary measures.
Severe/Hazardous Weather Terms:
Winter Storm Outlook –
Issued prior to an official Winter Storm Watch issuance. The outlook is given when forecasters believe winter storm conditions are possible. This prediction is usually issued 3-5 days in advance of the winter storm.
Winter Storm Watch –
Alerts the public to the potential for blizzard conditions, heavy snow, significant icing, or combination of these events. Watches are usually issued 12 to 48 hours before the beginning of the winter storm.
Winter Storm Warning –
Issued when a combination of heavy snow, heavy freezing rain or heavy sleet is expected to occur. Winter storm warnings usually are issued when hazardous weather is occurring or imminent.
Heavy snow – Six inches or more of snow in 12 hours or less or eight inches or more in 24 hours.
Significant icing – Usually an ice accumulation of ¼ inch or more from freezing rain, an accumulation of ½ inch or more of sleet, or a combination of freezing rain and sleet.
Ice Storm Warning – Heavy ice accumulations will cause extremely dangerous and damaging situations, such as icy roads and downed power lines.
Blizzard Warning – Issued for sustained or gusty winds of 35 mph or more and falling or blowing snow creating visibility below ¼ mile. The conditions should persist for at least three hours.
Wind Chill Advisory - Issued when wind chills are expected to be -34 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. However, an advisory may be issued for wind chills from -20 to -35 degrees Fahrenheit early or late in the winter season.
Wind Chill Warning – Issued when wind chills are below -30 degrees Fahrenheit
Winter Weather Advisories – Issued for winter weather conditions which will cause significant inconvenience and may be hazardous. If you are cautious, these situations should not be threatening.
- For snow – Three to five inches of snow is expected
- For freezing rain, freezing drizzle – Any accretion or accumulation up to ¼ inch
- For blowing and drifting snow – when blowing snow will restrict visibility to 1/8 mile or less and cause significant drifting snow
Dense Fog Advisory – Issued when widespread fog will reduce visibility to ¼ mile or below and persist for two hours or more.
High Wind Warning – Issued when sustained winds of 40 mph or greater are expected to last one hour or longer or wind gust of 60 mph or greater.
10 Signs That You Need Roof Repair
In the event of heavy raining, your Casper home could be at risk of suffering a water damage that could cost you more than just a new roof. Uncorrected water damage could provide the proper conditions for microbial growth in the home. In small amounts, microbial growth can be remediated with minimal destruction to the home. But if undiscovered for a period of time, it can cause homeowners to be put out of home for the duration of remediation and reconstruction.
Here are some signs if you have a leaky roof:
- There’s a water stain
A water stain may look like a large puddle on the ceiling; it’s often a brownish color. Smaller stains could be a sign of a much bigger leak. If you notice discoloration on your ceiling or walls, take a closer look for mold, moisture, and other telltale signs of a leak.
- Sometimes There’s a Drip
If you see drips, moisture on the walls, or moisture stains but don’t see them often, you may still have a leak in your roof. Even if the leak seems to go away, you still need to get it checked. You may have an ice dam caused by the freezing and thawing of melting snow and ice. The thawed water moves under the shingles and then freezes again, causing intermittent leaks. The rules with any leaks: if you see moisture, investigate, even if it seems to go away. Moisture problems can cause permanent damage.
- There Are Spots on Your Exterior Walls
Everyone once in a while, take a look under your roof line outdoors. If there are water spots under there, you may have trouble where the walls meet the roof. Water spots in this location can point to problems with your flashing.
- Your Walls Are Growing
If you have a mossy or moldy exterior wall, it could be that it’s in a less-than-sunny spot, but it could also point to a problem with your downspouts or gutters. Downspouts and gutters are an important part of your roofing system. When it’s leaking, you may see signs of erosion below the gutters and signs of moisture on the side of your building exterior. Adding gutter covers and gutters heating and repairing sagging gutter can reduce your problems with clogged or icy gutters.
- You See Missing Shingles or See Debris in Your Downspouts
Missing shingles, problems with seams your shingles and other structures such as chimneys could point to trouble. Even though you don’t see a leak inside your house, there could be a slow leak into the attic or crawl space. When you see damage occurring on your roof, ask for an inspection so you know more about the condition of the roof and if there are any leaks.
If you run into a leaky roof, call SERVPRO of Casper. We can come out and do a free inspection inside your home for hidden water damage.
The different types of flooding.
Did you know that there is 3 Types of Floods? If you didn’t there is, there is Coastal (Surge Flooding), Fluvial (River Flood), and Pluvial (Surface Flood). Each is unique on how much damage it can cause, and how soon the cleanup can be. Here are the ways the 3 are different from each other.
Coastal (Surge Flooding) -
A coastal flood lies on the coast of a sea, ocean, or other large body of open water. Extreme tidal conditions caused by severe weather such as hurricanes and other storms. These types of storms push water onshore which causes coastal flooding. In this type of flood, water overwhelms low-lying land and often causes devastating loss of life and property.
Coastal Flooding is categorized in three levels:
Minor: A small amount of beach erosion will occur but no major damage is expected.
Moderate: A fair amount of beach erosion will occur as well as damage to some homes and businesses.
Major: Serious threat to life and property. Large-scales beach erosion will occur, numerous roads will be flooded, and many structures will be damaged.
Fluvial (River Flooding) –
River, or riverine flooding, occurs when excessive rainfall over an extended period of time causes a river to exceed its capacity. Snow melt and Ice jams can also cause the river to spill over. The damage from the fiver flood can be widespread as the overflow affects smaller rivers downstream.
There are two main types of riverine flooding:
- Overbank flooding occurs when water rises overflows over the edges of a river or stream. This is the most common and can occur in any size channel. Anywhere from streams, to rivers.
- Flash flooding can be intense, high velocity torrent of water that occurs in an existing river channel with little to no notice. Flash floods are very dangerous, and destructive not only because of the force of the water, but also the hurling debris that is often swept up in the flow.
Pluvial (Surface Flood) -
Surface water flood is caused when heavy rainfall creates a flood event independent of an overflowing water body. You don’t have to be near a body of water to be out of a flood risk, it can even happen in urban areas.
What to do in case of a flood
Many people believe that because we Wyomingites don’t live near an ocean, our homes are not at risk of flooding. Even though we won’t have sea water near our homes, we still can have rain water, river water, or even lake water. You should always be prepared for anything, because it can happen when you least expect it. Here are some tips to stay safe while you’re indoors and outdoors.
- Turn off the power and water mains if instructed to do so by local authorities.
- Boil tap water until water sources have been declared safe.
- Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals.
- Continue listening to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
- Don’t use gas or electrical appliances that have been flooded until they have been inspected by a qualified technician.
- Dispose of any food that comes into contact with flood water.
- Don’t walk, swim or drive through floodwater. Just six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over.
- If caught on a flooded road with rapidly rising waters, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
- Don’t walk on beaches or riverbanks.
- Don’t allow children to play in or near flood water.
- Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals.
- Stay out of areas subject to flooding. Under passes, dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc. can become filled with water.
You can never be too prepared for any kind of disaster. The most important thing is to stay aware of conditions, so you can ensure the safety of yourself and your family.
There is all kinds of clouds.
Did you know there are different kinds of clouds that can deliver rain and snow, as well as thunderheads that can produce lightning and heavy precipitation?
Stratus clouds are low to mid-level clouds that develop into horizontal, flat formations, and stratus clouds can appear dark and dense or white and puffy. Storm fronts are often preceded or followed by stratus cloud formations carrying precipitation as rain or snow. Because temperatures are warmer closer to Earth and cooler higher up in the atmosphere, low-hanging stratus clouds generally bring rain while higher stratus clouds are associated with snow.
Cumulus clouds are dense and puffy vertical cloud formations that extend as high as 15,000 meters (50,000 feet) into the atmosphere. Although cumulus clouds are common on sunny, fair-weather days, they earn the moniker of thunderheads because of their tendency to produce thunderstorms. A cumulus cloud becomes a cumulonimbus cloud capable of severe thunderstorms when sufficient heat, updraft and moisture combine in the cloud to produce lightning, thunder and heavy rains.
The next time you see cloud formations in the sky, see if you can figure out what kind it is.
Never to prepared for a storm
Thunder storm preparedness.
Spring is right around the corner, so it’s a great time to start planning for spring and summer storms. There are many different kinds of storms that can occur during these times of year. Depending on what region of the country you live in, you could potentially be affected by multiple types of storm events. Some areas are more prone to tornadoes or thunderstorms, while coastal areas can be susceptible to hurricanes. You should always be prepared for what could happen to your property, both inside and outside your home. The American Red Cross provides extensive information explaining the different steps you should take to be prepared for a storm.
Here are some tips on what you can do to be prepared:
- Learn about your local community’s emergency warning system for severe
- Discuss thunderstorm safety and lightning safety with all members of your household.
- Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm. This should be away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail.
- Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe thunderstorm.
- Make trees and shrubbery more wind resistant by keeping them trimmed and removing damaged branches.
- Protect your animals by ensuring that any outside buildings that house them are protected in the same way as your home.
- Consult your local fire department if you are considering installing lightning rods.
- Get trained in first aid, and learn how to respond to emergencies.
- Put together an emergency preparedness kit.
Preparing for winter storms
Disaster supply kit
In certain parts of the United States, you have to be prepared for the conditions that come with winter. Conditions can change rapidly, and become hazardous with little to no warning. You should always be prepared whether you’re at home or driving on the roads. A lot of people don’t realize that when you’re at home, there are still risks associated with cold, snowy conditions. If your electricity goes out during a storm, you may run the risk of freezing.
A major winter storm can last for several days, and in some cases, it can have high winds with it. Strong winds and high humidity can create a lower wind chill factor, increasing the risk of frostbite to exposed skin. Winter storms can make driving and walking hazardous. Always listen to the radio and tv for the latest forecast. You should also visit the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s travel information site, at http://www.wyoroad.info , before doing any traveling.
Here are some tips on how to be prepared for a winter storm:
Before a winter storm:
- Have a disaster plan.
- Prepare a disaster supplies kit for your home and car. Include a first aid kit, canned food with opener, bottled water, battery-operated radio, extra batteries, flashlight, protective clothing, and blankets, and matches.
- Be aware of changing weather.
During a winter storm:
- Stay indoors and dress warmly.
- Eat regularly. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat.
- Drink water. Also, drink warm broth and juices.
- If you must go outside, wear layered clothing, mittens and a hat.
- Watch for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
- Keep dry. Change wet clothing to prevent the loss of body heat.
- If you must drive, carry a cell phone with a fully-charged battery.
- Let someone know where you’re going, just in case your car gets stuck.
- If you’re car gets stuck, stay with it and wait for help unless help is visible within 100 yards. Use maps and car mats to stay warm.
After a winter storm
- Avoid driving until conditions have improved.
- Avoid overexertion. Heart attacks from shoveling snow are the leading cause of deaths during the winter.
- Check on neighbors to make sure they are okay.
Your friends at SERVPRO of Casper hope you have a safe and warm winter!!!