Hurricane Ida: A Recap and Claims Update One Year Later
Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on August 29, 2021
August 29th marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Ida making landfall in Louisiana. Hurricane Ida was the second-most damaging hurricane to make landfall in Louisiana behind Hurricane Katrina. A year later, many of our communities throughout the state are still recovering. As we continue to rebuild, we can assess the impact of Hurricane Ida and learn how to prepare for future storms.
Hurricane Ida Facts
- Hurricane Ida made landfall on August 29, 2021, near Port Fourchon, Louisiana as a Cat 4 storm with 150 mph sustained winds.
- Hurricane Ida affected 25 parishes in Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast region before making its way up the East Coast causing damages in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
- Hurricane Ida was the 5th costliest tropical cyclone on record and the fourth costliest Atlantic hurricane in the US causing at least $75.25 billion dollars in damages.
- Hurricane Ida produced 35 known tornadoes in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Virginia.
- In Louisiana, more than one million people were without power. In Mississippi, 113,000 people lost electricity on August 30th. Most properties had power restored within ten days.
Hurricane Ida Louisiana Claims Data
On August 1st, the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) Commissioner Jim Donelon released the third measure of Hurricane Ida data. The following claims information is conclusive as of June 30th. LDI will continue collecting data from property and casualty insurers and will release a fourth and final Hurricane Ida claims data report this fall. Please note that the following facts do not include data from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as LDI does not regulate NFIP.
- Insurers have paid or reserved to pay $13.1 billion on all types of Hurricane Ida-related claims in Louisiana.
- Policyholders have filed 460,709 claims of all types. Of those claims, 299,440, or 65%, were closed with payment.
- The total number of residential property claims is 359,548. Of those claims, 88% are closed and 63% were closed with payment.
- The total number of commercial property claims is 29,876. Of those claims, 71% are closed and 45% were closed with payment.
- The total number of private flood claims is 662. Of those claims, 91% are closed and 52% were closed with payment.
SERVPRO's Response to Hurricane Ida
After Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville and every other SERVPRO franchise in our state were inundated with phone calls requesting restoration services. Our office alone received hundreds of phone calls within the first couple of weeks after the storm. Homeowners and business owners needed everything from roof tarping and tree removal to flood cleanup and water damage mitigation services. While SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville and other local SERVPRO franchises immediately began helping our community recover, SERVPRO franchises from all over the United States rushed into Louisiana to provide more resources.
SERVPRO’s corporate office received 5,683 phone calls from Louisiana residents after Hurricane Ida. Storm teams across the country quickly mobilized to lend a hand. Forty out-of-state independently owned and operated SERVPRO franchises with approximately one hundred restoration crews helped us provide emergency restoration services in Louisiana. From large loss teams to smaller franchise teams, SERVPRO crews helped restore thousands of businesses and homes.
Other Reports and Data on Hurricane Ida
How to Protect Your Home from Lightning-Related Fires
Lightning is hotter than the sun and can reach temperatures of 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightning-related fires most often occur during the summer storm season, typically months June through August. However, lightning-related fires do happen all year long and in every state. According to NFPA’s latest report “Lightning Fires and Lightning Strikes”, during 2007-2011, U.S. local fire departments responded to an estimated 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes. While this data includes both structure and non-structure fires, nineteen percent of lightning fires were home fires.
Recent insurance claims data from the Insurance Information Institute reveals Louisiana is ranked the eighth state in homeowners’ lightning loss claims for 2021. In Louisiana, there were 2,372 homeowners claims due to lightning in 2021 which resulted in over twenty-eight million dollars in damages. Thankfully, there are ways to protect your home from lightning-related fires and to mitigate damages.
Prevent Lightning-Related Fires by Installing a Whole-house Lightning Protection System
Lightning protection systems work to intercept lightning strikes, provide a conductive path for the electrical discharge to follow, and safely disperse the energy into the ground.
A whole-home lightning protection system consists of:
- Air terminals (a.k.a. lightning rods) mounted on the roof
- Main conductors made of aluminum or copper wires to redirect electricity
- A proper grounding system
- A bonding system to prevent sparks or side flashes
- Surge protective devices
Lightning protection systems should follow the national standards and requirements of the Lightning Protection Institute, National Fire Protection Association, and Underwriters Laboratories. Only experienced and reputable lightning protection contractors listed by Underwriters Laboratories and certified by Lightning Protection Institute should install these systems.
Prevent Lightning-Related Fire by Removing Yard Debris
Dry grass, plants, and leaves are highly flammable and should be regularly removed from your yard to prevent a ground fire from spreading to the home.
Prevent Lightning-Related Fires by Updating Wiring in Older Homes
Older homes can often experience electrical problems. Consult with a qualified electrician to inspect your home’s electrical and grounding systems. Without a proper grounding system, a lightning strike could cause a fire and affect your home’s electrical foundation.
How to Respond to a Lightning-Related Home Fire
If a lightning strike causes your home to catch on fire, your family’s safety is the top priority. Everyone must exit the home immediately. Once in a safe location far away from your home, call the fire department for help. Do not reenter your home until you are told it is safe.
After the fire is extinguished, limit movement in your home to prevent further damage. Do not try to clean soot or fire damage yourself without proper personal protective equipment. Fire damage cleaning and restoration are best left to trained professionals.
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville’s certified and experienced fire restoration professionals are here to help 24-7-365. To learn more about our fire damage restoration services or to schedule an inspection, call our office by dialing 985-871-5375.
St. Tammany Parish is a StormReady® Community
St. Tammany Parish is a StormReady® Community
St. Tammany Parish is recognized as a StormReady® community in accordance with the National Weather Service (NWS) StormReady® program. The NWS StormReady® program was created to help communities throughout the United States better prepare for extreme weather and water events. StormReady® program provides community emergency managers with guidelines on how to improve their hazard weather program. Each StormReady® community must meet certain criteria to earn this designation, and they must renew every three years. A few of the program’s criteria include having an established 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center, promoting the importance of public readiness through community seminars, and developing a formal hazardous weather plan.
Extreme weather events in St. Tammany Parish include hazards such as flooding, tornadoes, and wind and hail damages caused by tropical storms and hurricanes. Officials from St. Tammany Parish Government’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness are responsible for maintaining our community’s StormReady® designation and for ensuring our residents and businesses are prepared for any size disaster. Below is a list of emergency resources to help St. Tammany Parish residents before, during, and after weather-related hazards.
St. Tammany Parish Storm Emergency Numbers
- For storm updates, call 985-809-2300
- To report storm-related issues, call 985-898-2323
- After the storm, to report damages, call 985-898-2574 or email DAMAGE@STPGOV.ORG
- For special needs shelter information, call 985-898-3074
St. Tammany Parish Sandbag Locations
(Possible locations – Opening of Sandbag locations will be posted at www.stpgov.org/storm)
- Tammany Parish Government – Building – 21410 Koop Dr., Mandeville, LA 70471.
- Tammany Parish Public Works – Airport Road Barn- 34783 Grantham College Rd. Slidell, LA 70460.
- Tammany Parish Public Works – Fritchie Barn- 63119 Highway 1090 in Pearl River, LA 70452.
- Tammany Parish Public Works Barn – Keller Barn- 63131 Fish Hatchery Road, Lacombe, LA 70445.
- Tammany Parish Public Works Barn – Covington Barn- 1305 N. Florida Street, Covington, LA 70433.
- The Old Levee District Site – 61134 Military Road (Hwy 1090) Slidell, LA
St. Tammany Parish Storm Resources
St. Tammany Parish Storm Communications
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has provided emergency storm mitigation and restoration services for St. Tammany Parish residents and businesses since 2009. After storms, our crews are ready to respond immediately to prevent secondary damages to properties. Our emergency services include water and flood damage mitigation, board-up, securing tarps, and more. Please call 985-871-5375 to schedule emergency mitigation services.
Employee Spotlight: Welcome Our New Business Development Manager
Welcome to our team, Brain Sharp!
We would like to formally introduce one of our newest team members! Brian Sharp has been selected and has accepted the role of commercial business development manager for both of our franchises, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville and SERVPRO of Bay St. Louis/Diamondhead.
Brian is a native of St. Tammany Parish. He has lived most of his life in either Abita Springs or Folsom. He began his career in law enforcement in 1998 with the Abita Springs Police Department. After a few years, he joined the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s office where he retired in 2019. His career in law enforcement includes multiple assignments, such as criminal patrol, training, detective, crime scene investigator, and crisis intervention. Prior to joining our team, Brian was most recently the director of operations of a locally owned service business in Covington, Louisiana.
Brian has many unique hobbies to keep him busy in his spare time. Most notably, Brian propagates a small animal farm in Folsom. He raises hogs and knows how to make his own sausage. Brian has also been a student of Asian Martial Arts since 2006.
When asked why he choose to begin a career in the restoration industry, Brian explained “the thing I love most about my career in the restoration industry is it gives me the privilege to serve others when they are suffering due to a catastrophe. I can live a life of service and subsequently prosper.” His response is exactly why we knew Brain would be a perfect fit for our team. Brian’s commitment to living a life of service is a core value at SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville. We do more than just restore homes and businesses following disasters. We help put people’s lives back together while guiding them through very difficult situations. His background as a leader, trainer, and director of operations will certainly ensure his future success with us as well. We are thrilled to have him on our team!
3 Common Causes of Commercial Fires and Tips to Prevent Them
The bathroom lighting fixture caught on fire in this commercial bathroom. This ignited the sprinkler system and caused water damage too.
Owning a business or managing a property requires proper emergency planning. One disaster, such as a fire or hurricane, can seriously interrupt business or even temporarily close the doors. While natural disasters cannot be controlled, most fires are preventable.
According to data collected and analyzed by the National Fire Protection Association, in 2020 there were 111,000 non-residential structure fires across the United States totaling over $3.4 million dollars in property damages. Non-residential structure fires include fires at hotels, motels, restaurants, educational facilities, retail spaces, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, and other commercial properties. Three common causes of these fires were cooking equipment, electrical and lighting equipment, and heating equipment.
Commercial Cooking Equipment Fires
Commercial cooking equipment fires can be caused by the equipment itself not being properly cleaned or maintained. Always hire a professional to perform maintenance and regularly clean grease from kitchen equipment and vents. Commercial cooking fires are also commonly caused by food being left unattended while cooking. Turn off cooking equipment and remove food from the stove before exiting the kitchen. Unplug small kitchen appliances when not in use.
Commercial Electrical and Lighting Equipment Fires
Old or defective wiring, overloaded circuits, and faulty fuses are just some causes of electrical fires. Electrical equipment should be regularly inspected and maintained by a licensed electrician to prevent fires. If a problem is detected, like a faulty outlet or flickering light, the issue should be addressed immediately. Also, surge protectors are helpful, but be mindful not to overload or misuse them.
Commercial Heating Equipment Fires
Commercial heating equipment includes central HVAC units, boilers, water heaters, fireplaces, as well as other heating appliances. All equipment should be regularly inspected and maintained by a professional to avoid overheating problems. Portable heating equipment, such as space heaters, should be not allowed in commercial properties. If space heaters are allowed, then staff must be warned to only plug them directly into outlets and to turn them off and unplug them when unattended. Never plug space heaters into power strips or surge protectors.
As fire damage restoration professionals, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has restored numerous commercial properties following fire disasters as described above. Most fires can be prevented, but accidents do happen. If a fire event has occurred at your commercial property, our fire damage restoration team will make it “Like it never even happened.” We will work around your operating schedule to avoid business interruption. Call our office to learn more about our fire damage cleaning and restoration services or to schedule an inspection today.
4 Tips to Prepare for the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season
Forecasters predict an above-average 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.
The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1st and ends November 30th. Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center are predicting an above-average season for the seventh year in a row. Specifically, NOAA predicts a sixty-five percent chance of an above-normal season, a twenty-five percent chance of s near-normal season and a ten percent chance of a below-normal season.
The above-average forecast includes a range of fourteen to twenty-one named storms, of which six to ten could become hurricanes. Three to six of the predicted hurricanes are expected to be major hurricanes. The World Meteorological Organization has designated the following potential Atlantic tropical storm names for this year: Alex, Bonnie, Collin, Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Gaston, Hermine, Ian, Julia, Karl, Lisa, Martin, Nicole, Owen, Paula, Richard, Shary, Tobias, Virginie, and Walter.
Understanding your risks and preparing early is vital to be ready this season. Follow our hurricane preparedness tips below to organize your hurricane emergency plans now.
- Create an evacuation plan with at least two options. As hurricane paths can change quickly, choosing multiple evacuation locations is wise to account for various storm routes. Review St. Tammany Parish evacuation routes and decide upon two options. Choose one leading east and one leading west as you may need to evacuate to either Texas or Mississippi to avoid the hurricane’s path. Research hotels along the routes to account for your household's special needs. For example, you may need to find a hotel that allows pets or offers extended stay options.
- Build an emergency kit. If you plan to shelter in place, then you should create an emergency kit with disaster supplies that can sustain each member of your household for three days.
- Stay weather aware. Sign up for local weather alerts and follow emergency orders from government officials.
- Save our phone number for emergency storm damage services. 985-871-5375. Since 2009, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has helped St. Tammany Parish and neighboring communities recover after disasters. Our storm response team provides emergency board-up, roof tarping, water damage mitigation, mold remediation, and other storm damage restoration services.
Follow us on Facebook and frequent our blog for emergency alerts and more disaster planning tips.
5 Tips for Avoiding a Post-Construction Disaster
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville provides post-construction cleaning services for St. Tammany Parish businesses and non-profits.
Remodeling your business can be an exciting project. Maybe you need more office space or maybe you’ve decided to modernize your property. Whatever the reason is, you know the finished product will be worth the construction process. However, if proper cleaning measures aren’t taken, then you may be left with a mess of construction dust and debris. As cleaning and restoration professionals, we have a few tips for avoiding post-construction disasters.
5 Tips to Minimize Construction Dust and Debris
- Contain the construction area. Close doors and create plastic dust barriers at entryways.
- Close off air vents in working areas. Secure plastic sheeting over vents to avoid dust/debris entering the HVAC system.
- Clean up after each day of work. Vacuum all dust and debris from work areas.
- Run an air scrubber when work is not being performed to remove contaminants from the environment.
- Do not wet clean flooring until the project is complete and all drywall dust has been removed.
Once your project is complete, the cleanup process may seem overwhelming. Don’t worry. Our professionals cleaning technicians are happy to assist with post-construction cleaning. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville can help with air duct cleaning, HEPA vacuuming structure and contents, tile cleaning, providing air scrubbers, and more. Call our office today to learn more about our post-construction cleaning services and to request a site visit today.
SERVPRO Cleaning Services | Post-Construction Cleaning
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville provides post-construction cleaning services for all commercial properties.
Are you planning a renovation or remodel for your business or non-profit office? Have you recently completed construction and now notice left behind drywall dust and debris? SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville can help with a post-construction clean. Our professional cleaning technicians apply the same level of detailed cleaning to remove post-construction dust and debris as we do when cleaning soot and fire damages. Utilizing air scrubbers, HEPA vacuums, and our professional cleaning products, your space will look and smell fresh and clean.
Our team will first assess the level of cleaning warranted. One of our project managers will conduct a site visit to determine if heavy or light cleaning is needed and if any special services are required such as tile cleaning or air duct cleaning. Then, our project manager will create a proposal for the necessary services and present you with an estimate. After agreeing upon our proposal, our project manager will schedule your post-construction clean. Depending upon the size of your space, post-construction cleans usually take only a few days to complete. Properties 10,000 square feet or larger may require a week or two to clean. Please contact our office if you’re interested in learning more about post-construction cleaning or scheduling a site visit today. From storm damage cleanup to post-construction cleans, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is happy to help make any size disaster “Like it never even happened.”
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville Wins Northshore's Best
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville was voted the best Restoration Services provider in West St. Tammany Parish!
For the second year in a row, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville was voted the best Restoration Services provider in West St. Tammany Parish by Sophisticated Woman Magazine readers.
Sophisticated Woman Magazine created the Northshore's Best contest in 2005 to promote and celebrate locally owned and operated businesses throughout St. Tammany Parish and Tangipahoa Parish. The contest has grown from only ninety-three professional categories to three hundred and ninety-eight categories. Current professional categories include Restaurants, Arts & Entertainment, People, Shopping, Services, Sports & Leisure, and Nightlife.
Restoration was added to the West St. Tammany Parish's services category list in 2020. We thank Sophisticated Woman magazine readers for voting for us in 2020 and 2021! We look forward to earning this title for many years to come. Also, we congratulate each of the other professionals who won their category this year. St. Tammany and Tangipahoa Parishes are wonderful places to live and work because of our thriving business communities.
Commercial Project Spotlight: Water Loss at Historic Property in New Orleans
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville expertly crafts mitigation plans to suit historic property in New Orleans.
On April 6th, our team received a phone call from a client requesting emergency mitigation services at their historic property in New Orleans. This once vacant building located off St. Charles Avenue is currently undergoing renovations. Upon pulling into the parking lot to start the renovation project for the day, the property owner noticed water flooding out of the front door onto St. Charles Avenue.
Once inside, the property owner discovered the water was spewing from the building’s water heater located on the second floor. No one noticed water in the building the previous few days. So, they determined the leak must have occurred overnight. In just a matter of hours, all ten thousand square feet of this property were covered with standing water.
Our water mitigation team quickly sprang into action. First, our project manager assessed damages and communicated a response plan with the property owner. Then, our water mitigation production team utilized our professional extraction equipment to remove all standing water. Next, we strategically placed dehumidifiers and air movers to dry the remaining structure to preloss condition.
For this project, we needed to adapt our drying process because of specific historical features in the structure. If we dried the building too quickly, then certain materials like one-of-a-kind wood paneling could crack and be ruined. However, if we dried the structure too slowly, then secondary damages like microbial growth could occur. Our project managers relied on their decades of experience in the restoration industry to calculate the best plan for a safe, efficient drying process. Each day, our crew returned to monitor progress and make necessary adjustments until the project was completed.
No two jobs are the same in the restoration industry. Each property and disaster present its own unique challenges. Restoration professionals must rely on IICRC industry standards, previous mitigation experiences, and critical problem-solving skills to successfully restore properties. This commercial project spotlight is the perfect example of how our team expertly crafts each mitigation plan to accommodate special circumstances. No disaster is too large or complex for our SERVPRO pros!