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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Storm Damage Blog Posts

Can You Say, "Severe Thunderstorms," Charleston??

4/28/2020 (Permalink)

US map of spring storm types We are here and ready to help you clean up after a severe storm. We love serving you, Charleston!

The National Severe Storms Laboratory classifies a thunderstorm 'severe' “…when it contains one or more of the following: hail one inch or greater, winds gusting in excess of 50 knots (57.5 mph), or a tornado.”  By this definition, the Lowcountry has certainly seen its share of severe thunderstorms this spring!  With spring not quite behind us and Hurricane Season coming up, we thought it might be a good time to freshen up on some safety tips!

“Get In. Get Down. Cover Up.” 

Under the threat of a severe weather warning, get inside and as close as you can get to the center of the building, and go low.  An underground basements or bottom floor is best.  The goal is to get as low as possible.  Lastly, safeguard your head and body from dangerous debris with pillows, blanket, bike helmets, jackets, etc.  These few actions can be taken very quickly if you spend a few minutes planning ahead where you will go and what you will have available in that part of the house.

For extensive detail on how you can assess the specific rooms in your home for safety and many other tips on how to respond during a severe storm situation, check out this link on the National Weather Service website.

SERVPRO of Greater N. Charleston is gearing up and preparing for the 2020 hurricane season right along with you.  You be sure to have a plan to keep your family safe, we will have a plan to help if your home is damaged during a storm.  (843) 552-1226 ~ 24/7.  Save it in your phone and have one less thing to worry about if the time comes.

Stay safe and here’s to an easy breezy storm season.  We think we have all earned it! 

Image: https://www.weather.gov/wrn/spring2020-spring-storms-sm#sp1

April Showers!

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

rain on flowers If April Showers invade your home, we can help!

Everyone ready to be out of the month of March??  It has been a long, stressful one! Thankfully, a new month is right around the corner. April has been a busy month over the years.  It’s the month that starts with a practical joke, the first cell phone call was made, first weather satellite was launched, Pocahontas got married, Nickelodeon premiered, and it is officially BLT Sandwich Month! (Check out the Pop Culture page on for more fun facts!)

With the month also comes spring showers! We always hope the rain stays OUTSIDE of the home, where it belongs, but in the event that you have any flooding or roof leaking, we are always here to help! 

We are available for you 24/7, year round. 

2020 Storm Names!

3/19/2020 (Permalink)

storm clouds 2020 Hurricane Season is right around the corner. Are you ready?

2020 has certainly been an eventful year so far and Hurricane season is just around the corner.  Ever wonder who comes up with the storm names each year?  The World Meteorological Organization names the Atlantic Storms and the NOAA names the rest!  The Atlantic names for 2020 are listed below.

  1. Arthur
  2. Bertha
  3. Cristobal
  4. Dolly
  5. Edouard
  6. Fay
  7. Gonzalo
  8. Hanna
  9. Isaias
  10. Josephine
  11. Kyle
  12. Laura
  13. Marco
  14. Nana
  15. Omar
  16. Paulette
  17. Rene
  18. Sally
  19. Teddy
  20. Vicky
  21. Wilfred

We always hope for a safe season, but also work very hard to be as prepared as we possibly can if a storm does affect the Charleston area.  We can help you plan as well.  Contact us for information on how you can have your business set up for priority response if there is a city-wide storm or flooding event this year.

Stay safe, Charleston.  We are here if you need us.  24/7

What to do??

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

old fashioned television Creative isolation streaming!

With schools closed, employees working from home, and a vast portion of the population social distancing, the streaming services are being used like crazy!  

This time of year we are usually preparing for spring storms and the upcoming hurricane season, but this year, thanks to COVID-19, we have also been doing a little research for the whirlwind that is taking place in so many homes around the globe!

Here are some of our favorite live streaming and virtual tour suggestions: 

Stay well, Charleston. 

We are here to help.  

2019 Hurricane Season is Here!

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

2019 Hurricane season is here. Are you ready?

Whether we like it or not, every year, June continues to bring us the beginning of Hurricane season.  Over the last few years, in the Carolina's, the storms we have encountered have been a bit later in the season.  However, that does not mean you should wait to pay attention to the forecast and spend a little time brushing up on preparation activities.  

Of course, NOAA's National Hurricane Center is our "go to" resource for all things Hurricane. There are other resources out there as well.  One of our all-time favorites is Mike's Weather Page.  If it is happening, his page has every model imaginable to help you prepare.  

This year, the most comprehensive guide for storm preparedness, understanding forecasts, and what to do to remain safe during a weather event, is the National Weather Service Hurricane Guide

We hope you will take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with these sites and have a plan in place for your family and business.  Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have and don't forget to add our phone number to your emergency contact list!  (843-552-1226) Response time is key during a water intrusion and wait lists can be daunting, so don't waste any time calling to claim your spot if there is a city wide disaster. 

SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston will always have teams ready to get on the road as soon as they become passable.  Stay safe this season, Charleston!  And remember, we are always here to help. 

Are You Ready For Spring Weather?

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Spring storms can wreak havoc, but we are ready!

Spring is upon us and the future is looking bright, but be sure to prepare for whatever Mother Nature may send our way.

The Risk of Severe Weather in the Spring

With the arrival of spring comes longer days and more sunshine.  However, drastic changes in temperature are also common, bringing with them the threat of severe weather throughout the country.

Thunderstorms become increasingly common during the spring and are the main cause of severe weather. 

These storms can cause the threat of flooding, high winds and even tornadoes if the conditions are right.

How to Be Prepared

There is no way to be able to predict the weather with 100% accuracy, however, advanced warnings, along with the right preparation, can greatly improve overall safety for your family.

Below are some suggestions  to your home to prepare for severe weather:

  1. Clean gutters, drains and downspouts.
  2. Trim trees of loose or dead limbs
  3. Secure outdoor belongings

Having an emergency kit with the following items is also advisable:

  • Battery-operated flashlight and NOAA weather radio, with extra batteries for both
  • Emergency evacuation or shelter plans
  • Important personal information including contacts and medical information.
  • A first-aid kit with things like non-latex gloves, adhesive bandages, tweezers, sterile gauze pads, aspirin packets, adhesive cloth tape and scissors
  • 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Blankets or sleeping bag

One thing that always remains true of unpredictable spring weather: It always happens. If your home or business is damaged in a storm, you can depend on SERVPRO® of Greater Northern Charleston to get the cleanup and restoration process started fast.

It's Tornado Season... Stay Safe!

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Springtime thunderstorms can bring more than just wind and rain! Be ready.

That beautiful springtime weather you are enjoying can also be unpredictable.  Severe thunderstorms are common this time of year and can cause perfect conditions for a tornado to form.

April and May traditionally have the highest occurrences of tornadoes across the country.  Here are some tips to help you be prepared if your home were to be threatened by a tornado

The Formation of a Tornado

There are approximately 1,200 tornadoes that occur in the U.S. each year. A tornado will form when changes in wind speed and direction create a horizontal spinning effect within a storm cell. This is then tipped vertical by rising air moving up through the thunderclouds.

Spring and summer tornadoes typically occur later in the afternoon, but it is vital to remember that they can occur anytime.

Knowing What to Do

There is an important difference between a tornado watch and tornado warning. A watch indicates conditions are favorable for tornadoes, while a warning occurs when a tornado has been reported or became visible by radar.

If there has been a warning and you are in the path of the tornado, it is vital to act and find safe shelter.

Shelter options include:

  • Basement or storm shelter.
  • In an area that is away from outside walls, doors and windows. Interior closets and bathrooms can be ideal options.  Make sure it is in the lowest part of your home.
  • If you are outside, try to get to a sturdy building.  Not a mobile homes or trailer.
  • If on the road and no building access is available, do not get under an overpass or bridge. Instead, find a low, flat location and use your arms to protect your head and neck.  DO NOT try to out run it. 

If you have a safe place in your home for shelter, be sure to equip with flashlights, a battery-powered weather radio, and extra batteries.

There is very little time to react when a warning is issued for your area, so think and plan ahead so that everyone knows their options before hand. 

If your home or business has been damaged by a tornado, know that SERVPRO® of Greater Northern Charleston is ready and waiting to jump into action and get cleanup and restoration of your property underway.

What is your Family's Weather Plan?

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston is Ready 24/7 for any weather related emergency you may experience.

While we often receive advanced warning for some types of severe weather, there are also those times when severe weather manages to catch us off-guard.

There are steps you can follow and safety tips to take that will ensure your family is prepared for just those severe weather occurrences. 

One of the most important ways to ensure your family’s safety in severe weather is to have an established family emergency plan at the ready.

If your family already has an emergency plan, be sure to practice so everyone remembers what to do! 

If you’ve not yet created a family emergency plan, there are some things listed below to take into consideration when creating it:

1. How will emergency alerts and warnings be received?

Thanks to today’s smartphone technology, it is easy to receive emergency alerts and warnings on your smartphone through many weather apps. But if there is no smartphone available, you can still receive warnings through the radio or television.

2. What type of storm shelter do you have?

In areas where tornadoes are common, ideally, you’ll want to have a basement, but if that is not possible, then find an interior room on the lowest level that is away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls. Tornadoes are not the only situations requiring a form of storm shelter, and you can learn about more of the situations where they are necessary by visiting ready.gov.

3. What is our evacuation route?

Put together a map of various evacuation routes and keep it handy in the event of hurricanes, floods or fires, which can force you out of your home in a hurry. Multiple routes are wise to have just in case one is impassable, and be sure to account for your pets and find out if there are places to stay with them along your route.

4. How will the family stay in touch?

You’re going to want an alternative communication plan for your family because reliance on cell phones can fail you in some circumstances. Cell phone towers can be damaged, phones could be lost or left behind, and phone batteries will not be able to be recharged if power is out.

Put a family emergency communication plan in place and choose a safe meeting place for your family so that you can all meet there if separated.

If a storm does cause damage to your home or business, don’t hesitate to call your friends at SERVPRO® of Greater Northern Charleston to get the cleanup and restoration process started. Feel free to call 24/7, 843.552.1226.

Turn Around. Don't Drown.

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

Check for road closures when flooding is a in the forecast for Downtown Charleston. Turn around, don't drown!

We have posted the information below in a previous post, but considering the forecast the next couple days, though it couldn't hurt to post again!

Flooding remains one of the top weather killers in the U.S., with the average number of annual fatalities totaling near 90. More than half of these fatalities are vehicle-related. The National Weather Service has been working to bring those numbers down and, for the past decade, has been doing so using its “Turn Around Don’t Drown” campaign, which is dedicated to teaching the public about flood safety.

Hector Guerrero, warning coordination meteorologist at the NWS San Angelo, Texas, forecast office, began formulating a plan for a program to raise awareness of the dangers of driving or walking into flooded areas in the early 2000s. While Guerrero worked at the NWS forecast office in Brownsville, Texas, he became concerned when hurricane evacuees from the Texas coast would relocate to the heart of Texas’ Flash Flood Alley. He was also aware of the dangers associated with flash floods having grown up in Austin, also part of Flash Flood Alley. “I wanted a catchy phrase along the lines of the fire-safety mantra "Stop, Drop and Roll,” said Guerrero. “After brainstorming with a group of firefighters from Harlingen, Texas, I chose ‘Turn Around Don’t Drown.’” 

Guerrero worked with a team from NWS Southern Region Headquarters and together they partnered with the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, and the City of Fort Worth Fire Department. NWS launched the “Turn Around Don’t Drown” program in Texas in 2003. Once the phrase was officially trademarked by NOAA, the program made its national debut in 2004. 

Since then, hundreds of permanent “Turn Around Don’t Drown” signs have been established along roadways prone to flooding across the U.S. and the slogan has become an often repeated catchphrase in the media, classrooms and even the home. In addition to the NWS education materials, NWS partners also distribute resources bearing the phrase. 

For information on how SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston can help if you are facing flood damage to your home or business, please take a look at the Water Damage Restoration page on our website.

You can also Contact Us, 24/7, for help if your home or business is impacted by flooding.  (843) 552-1226

Atricle courtesy of NWS & NOAA

A Look at How Damaging Wind Can Be

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

Protect your home from wind damage.

When you think of severe storms, what do you think of? There are many concerns that accompany severe storms, including damaging winds. These winds, which can come with little to no notice, can cause many long-term structural impacts.

The Basics of Damaging Wind

Damaging winds can happen in all kinds of storms and have wind speeds exceeding 50–60 mph and can be “birthed” by a strong thunderstorm.

You will often hear damaging winds referred to as “straight-line” winds to differentiate the damage from tornado damage.

Because straight-line winds can cause loose, unanchored objects to become airborne, the damage from these winds can be especially destructive. Windows and roofs can take the brunt of this damage, and if extensive enough, wind can also cause water damage to a home as the outside elements are allowed come indoors.

Ways to Protect Your Home

Below are some of the ways you can help protect your property from damaging winds:

  • Use a professional service to have your garage door reinforced.

  • Properly store or anchor loose objects, such as trash cans, grills and outdoor furniture, on your property that could become projectiles by the wind.

  • Have large or dying trees and branches that could be blown over on your home removed by a professional.

Not all high wind circumstances come with advanced warning. But some of these action items can come in handy “just in case.”

Also, when building a new home or renovating an older home, be sure that windows, walls and doors are up to code for your area.

If your home should suffer damage from damaging winds and the resulting water damage, the highly trained specialists at SERVPRO® of Greater Northern Charleston are here to help with the cleanup and restoration of your home.

Call 24/7 ~ 843.552.1226 or use our Contact Us page on the web

Winter Storm Grayson

1/10/2018 (Permalink)

Our view for several days at SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston.

Grayson blew through the Southeast January 3rd and 4th leaving unprecedented temperatures, ice, and snowfall.  The Charleston area rarely gets any snow, much less 5 or so inches that stick around for a week!   The white landscape in yards and lining roads was peppered with snowmen and driveways were in need of shoveling.  Quite an unfamiliar scene for our coastal Lowcountry! The kids were thrilled to not have to return to school until the 10th, but in his wake, Grayson left a flurry of broken pipes, leaking roofs, and malfunctioning heaters.  

SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston employees were all too happy to travel not just to our office in North Charleston, but also to Columbia, SC as soon as roads were remotely passable to help out. As of today (1/10) we still have a full crew working around the clock in the Columbia area which experienced far more widespread damage than here at home.  

We love taking care of you, Charleston! Please call with any water restoration needs you may have. We are always here to help.

(843) 552-1226 ~ 24/7/365

Hurricane Irma Damage? We are here to Help!

9/6/2017 (Permalink)

Charleston, if you experience water damage during Hurricane Irma, we are here to help!

Along with most Eastern coastal communities, we have been monitoring Hurricane Irma over the last few days and preparing for any number of scenarios. 

SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston hopes everyone escapes any severe impact from whatever Irma has in store for the Charleston area.  However, if your home or business experiences a water intrusion, do not hesitate to contact us.  Our office manager, Beth, will be taking calls 24/7 (No answering service!) and we will have crews on the road as soon as any travel restrictions are lifted. 

We love serving the Lowcountry and are here for you and ready to help.  

Take just a moment and save our number to your phone… just in case!  (843) 552-1226

Stay safe, Charleston!  ~The SERVPRO of GNC Crew

2016 storm damage costs at a glance.

5/22/2017 (Permalink)

What happened last year helps prepare us to serve the Charleston, SC are better this year!

Weather experts are expecting this year to be a quieter storm season than last year. CoreLogic’s 2016 Natural Hazard Risk Summary for 2016 details the cost of storm related damages incurred throughout  the year.  Thank you to Restoration & Remediation for taking all that detail and breaking it down for us!  Click here to view full 2016 Natural Hazard infograpic. Even during a “slow” season,   damage and restoration costs can be astronomical.  The staff of SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston works tirelessly to ensure that we are prepared for any type of weather related disaster.   We have trained technicians and state of the art equipment on standby at all times in order to arrive as quickly and prepared as possible to your home or business.  

If you find yourself dealing with storm related damage this year, we are here to help 24/7!  Just a phone call away (843) 552-1226.

No Disaster Too Large or Too Far.

9/6/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of West Virginia headed to LA in force!

The weather the last couple weeks has certainly wreaked havoc on many cities across the Southeast.  SERVPRO franchises across the country came together to assist areas that were affected by disastrous storms and flooding.  Last week while we were battening down here in Charleston anticipating Tropical Storm Hermine, teams from all over were headed to Louisiana and the Panhadle of Florida to lend a hand.  

So many are still displaced from their homes and in need.  If you are looking for a way to contribute but do not know where to start, please consider donating to the Red Cross.  Volunteers are working tirelessly and no matter how large the organization, funds are not unlimited. 

Hermine, thankfully, did not hit Charleston with the strength that was expected and yet we had crews working around the clock with homeowners and businesses all weekend that suffered extensive property damage.

We are here 24/7, ready to serve the Charleston area. Contacts us online or call 843-552-1226 and let us help you make it "Like it Never Even Happened."  

We love taking care of you, Charleston!

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

1/22/2014 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes in Charleston, SC. Who would have thought?

Typically, freezing pipes are not a common concern in South Carolina.  However, the last several weeks hundreds of homes and businesses have had water damages due to the unusual sustained low temperatures brought on by the Polar Vortex.   Our Charleston franchises, sent technicians to assist the Columbia SERVPROs as they were inundated with hundreds of calls from home and business owners during record breaking winter weather.   Everyone has been working around the clock to get repairs complete before another devastating dip in temperature occurs. 

The Weather Channel gives little insight into pipes freezing in Southern climates, like our own.  As well as some tips to protect your home or business from a winter storm related water loss.  As many of the homes in the South are on a slab and have plumbing in the attic, even a small leak can cover far more territory as it not only seeps out horizontally, but down into the lower floors as well.  Just a few moments of preparation, could very well save you thousands in damages. (Read more from the Weather Channel here)

We hope you have an ice-free winter… but, as always… we are here to help - 24/7 - if you find yourself in a chilly mess!  We are always ready to help make it Like It Never Even Happened. 

(843) 747-8750 

For more information on SERVPRO and our Storm Response Teams, Click Here.

Storm Season Warning!

8/1/2013 (Permalink)

Storm season is almost here! Are you ready?

During the last several years in the Charleston area, few have escaped the hair raising severe weather alerts screaming from our radios, televisions, and now, and smartphones.   Flash flood and severe weather warnings have just about become the norm.  We did a little digging into where those alerts are generated and found that it takes an impressive amount of study and testing by NOAA's National Severe Storms Lab to ensure those alerts get to us as quickly and as accurately as possible.

From collecting local information thru public survey responses to simulated weather projects, the NSSL is constantly increasing our understanding of the science behind forecasting the weather and providing weather warnings with the most lead time possible.  Every day they are discovering new information that will ultimately translate into local protocols that will improve the safety of our communities, here at home, under the threat of severe weather.

Want to know more?  Click here to check out the full scoop on the National Severe Storms Lab.

This week is Hurricane Preparedness week and SERVPRO of Greater Northern Charleston wishes everyone in Charleston and the surrounding areas a disaster free storm season.  However, if your home or business experiences a water intrusion and you find yourself in need of a little help getting back up and running, don't hesitate to call us at (843) 552-1226 or through our contact us page.  We are here for you ~ 24/7!