After a severe storm.

In the aftermath of a hurricane, severe thunderstorm, tornado, or flood, all you want to do is get back to normal. Cleaning up after a storm is a big job, and it can also be dangerous. As you are cleaning up your yard, your farm, or the inside and outside of your home, remember that safety should always come first.


Here are some quick tips for how to safely clean up after a storm:


•Wear proper safety apparel.


•Stay away from power lines.


•Prepare for fires.


•Never use candles or matches for light.


•Stay away from damaged buildings or structures.


•Never operate gasoline-powered equipment indoors.


•Avoid over-exertion.


•Remove water saturated materials.


•Do not cross rushing water.




Storm Recovery and Damage Repair


 After a severe thunderstorm hits your home, you could be looking at a few hundred dollars’ worth of simple repairs — broken windows, landscape upkeep and debris removal, for example — or you could be looking at thousands of dollars in repairs due to hail damage and flooding. Survey the extent of the damage and determine whether it will cause additional long-term issues; immediately fix anything that will. Here are some common post-storm damages and how to address them.

Windows and Doors

Windows and doors bear the brunt of severe thunderstorms’ debris and high winds, making them highly susceptible to damages. Some damages you’ll see after a storm might include:

•Cracked or splitting doors and frames

•Broken glass or shattered windows

•Debris embedded in a door or window

•Paint chipped or cracking around a door or window

Contractors recommend taking the following steps to protect your windows and doors against severe thunderstorms.:

•Window film: This keeps window glass from shattering.

•Plywood boards: Install over windows before a storm.

•Storm shutters: Shutters defend against high winds and debris.

•High impact glass: Impact glass breaks into two pieces rather than shattering when hit by debris.


Tree Damage

While you can trim your trees back before a storm, there’s still a chance that high winds, flying debris and hail will cause them to bend, twist and break during a severe thunderstorm. There are six different ways a tree can be damaged during a storm:

1.Blow-over: A tree is pushed over by high winds.

2.Stem failure: Stems break under high winds because of old wounds and pest damage.

3.Crown twist: Tree crowns will twist and split under high winds because of poor maintenance, or because they’re lopsided.

4.Root failure: Poor anchorage to the ground will cause the root to pull up or snap, and the tree will fall or lean over.

5.Branch failure: Branches will break off from the tree because they’re poorly attached in the first place.

6.Lightning: Lightning will hit the tree and cause small explosions down the line of the tree, causing it to break and fall.

There’s not much a homeowner can do to prep a tree for potential damage except provide good care and maintenance. Trim trees on a regular basis and try to keep branches away from your home and power lines.



Flood Damage

If your home is flooded following a severe thunderstorm, there are various steps you can take to recover your home. It’s going to be a long process, involve a lot of tearing up, remodeling and time, but your home will go back to its original state eventually. Some recommendations include:

•Wear safety gear.

•Get rid of anything that can’t be cleaned (bedding, fabric flooring, upholstery, toys, linens)

 •Deep clean and scrub hard surfaces with hot water and dish detergent.

•Use fans, A/C units and dehumidifiers to speed the drying process.

•Wash all clothing touched by flood water with hot water and laundry detergent.

Be aware of electrical power lines, natural gas lines, frayed wires and any other hazards from flooding that could injure you. You should check with the gas company or the fire department before returning to your home to avoid injury. Do not return to your home during the day to avoid any accidents from being unable to see. You shouldn’t be allowed to return until the police or fire department say it’s okay. You should also not wade in standing water or around downed power lines, just in case.

If you need help with the big part of the recovery job — pulling up carpet, taking down drywall, removing appliances, so forth — you can call in Professional Restoration Services of Tampa Bay to help you. These professionals are licensed and experienced in handling situations like flood recovery and know where to start. They can also look out for disaster-specific issues like mold, foundation issues.

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