Recent Storm Damage Posts
Facts About Flood Insurance: Why you need to have it and what you need to know
Purchasing a food insurance policy will help you recover faster after a flooding disaster.
According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, affecting every single state. While hurricanes are mostly responsible for massive flooding catastrophes, other causes of flooding include snowmelt, heavy rain, dams or levees breaking, and new developments impacting water flow. In the past couple of years many homes that were not in high-risk flood zones throughout the cities of Covington, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Denham Springs, and Baton Rouge experienced flooding simply due to heavy rainfall. In case you didn’t know, your homeowner’s policy will not cover damages caused by flooding. So, purchasing a flood insurance policy is a wise idea even if your home is not located on the lakefront in Mandeville or near the river in downtown Covington. Just one inch of flood water in your home can cost thousands of dollars in damages. Flood water is contaminated water and, according to industry cleaning standards, every material affected by flood water must be removed and discarded. Imagine if a few inches of flood water entered your home. Now imagine needing to replace your flooring, sheetrock, cabinets, furniture, clothes, electronics, etc. How much do you think this would cost you? Purchasing a flood insurance policy will save you time and money, helping you and your family recover faster. Well, what do you need to know about flood insurance before speaking to your insurance agent? Below are a few facts about flood insurance and helpful tips to make you a more informed insured.
When should I purchase a flood insurance policy?
Do not wait for hurricane season to purchase a flood insurance policy. The average flood insurance policy takes 30 days to become active. However, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a policy may go into effect sooner:
- “If your building is newly designated in a high-risk Special Flood Hazard Area, and you buy flood insurance within the 13-month period following a map revision: One-day waiting period.
- If you buy flood insurance in connection with making, increasing, extending or renewing your mortgage loan: No waiting period.
- If you select additional insurance as an option on your flood insurance policy renewal bill: No waiting period.
- If your property is affected by flooding on burned federal land, and the policy is purchased within 60 days of the fire-containment: Possible waiver of the waiting period.”
But, for the most part, damages from flooding will only be covered after the thirty day wait period. Now is the best time to purchase a policy.
What is covered by a flood insurance policy?
Flood insurance is available to homeowners, business owners, and renters. For homeowners, your flood insurance policy will offer up to $250,000 for repairing the home itself and offer up to $100,000 for replacing personal items and your home’s contents. Business owner policies will offer up to $500,000 for building repairs and $500,000 in building contents. Renters can purchase policies covering up to $100,000 of personal contents.
According to FEMA:
“Building coverage includes:
- The insured building and its foundation;
- The electrical and plumbing system;
- Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces, and water heaters;
- Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances such as dishwashers; and
- Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring.
Contents coverage includes:
- Clothing, curtains, furniture and electronic equipment;
- Portable items such as; window air conditioners, microwaves and dishwashers; and
- Carpeting that is not already included in property coverage.”
Policy prices will differ based upon deductible, the extent of coverages, flood risk, year of building construction, and other factors. The flood insurance market is evolving. Private insurance companies are beginning to offer flood insurance policies now. Speak with your insurance agent to see if you could benefit from purchasing a private flood insurance policy.
How do I purchase a flood insurance policy?
Speak with your insurance agent to learn more about the National Flood Insurance Program and private insurance policies. They should help you to understand which options are best suited for your home and/or business. If your agent does not sell flood insurance, contact the NFIP Referral Call Center at 800-427-4661 for a referral.
What do I do after a flood?
If your home or business has been damaged by flood waters, then please do not enter the property until it is safe to do so. Once you can access your property again, start with contacting your insurance company to file a claim. Then, you can begin to inventory damaged items. Take photographs of everything. Write down each item’s purchase date and estimated value. This home inventory list will need to be submitted to your adjuster. Also, remember to take notes of your conversations with your insurance company and the adjuster. Jot down date and time of each interaction, as well as specific notes about what was discussed.
If you do not have a flood insurance policy and your home or business has been damaged due to flooding, then you will be financially responsible for necessary repairs and restoration services. Only if a flooding incident has been declared a national disaster by the president will FEMA assistance become available. This assistance is usually in the form of a grant or low-interest disaster loan that you are required to repay.
The recovery process following flooding disasters is long and emotional. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville understands the stress and worry you will feel after your home has incurred damages. As your neighbors and your friends, we offer our expertise, guidance, and 24-hour emergency restoration services for those in need of disaster recovery. For questions or to receive assistance please contact our office by dialing 985-871-5375.
For more information about the National Flood Insurance Program or what to do before, during or after a flood you can visit:
Flood Warning Continues for St. Tammany Parish and Surrounding Areas
Flood warning for St. Tammany Parish and Surrounding Areas
Last night's storm has caused several roads to be unpassable and we are now receiving many phone calls requesting help to restore flooded homes and businesses. The flood warning will continue for St. Tammany and surrounding areas until early next week. If your home or business has experienced flooding, then please call our office at 985-871-5375. Our water damage restoration technicians are ready to respond as quickly as possible.
According to Weather Underground:
The Flood Warning continues for
the Bogue falaya river at Boston St in Covington.
* Until Monday December 31.
* At 9:30 am Friday the stage was 10.1 feet.
* Minor flooding is occurring and moderate flooding is forecast.
* Flood stage is 6.0 feet.
* Forecast... the river will continue rising to near 11.0 feet by
Saturday December 29. The river will fall below flood stage Monday
* Impact... at 11.0 feet... there will be major flooding around christ
episcopal school and Bogue falaya River Park.
* Impact... at 9.0 feet... Bogue falaya River Park will be inundated.
Some ground floor classrooms at christ episcopal school grounds
* Impact... at 7.0 feet... water will rise onto the West Bank flooding
property of the Bogue falaya towers at East Boston street and
threatening commercial property on the East Bank near military
Road. Bogue falaya River Park and christ episcopal school grounds
will begin to flood.
* Impact... at 6.0 feet... the river will leave its banks under the
Boston street bridge and begin to flood the Bogue falaya towers
2018 National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month, recognized each September, provides an opportunity to remind us all to prepare ourselves, our families, and our businesses for each kind of disastrous situation we may have to endure. The overarching theme for this year is “Disasters happen. Plan now. Learn how" and each week we are encouraged to focus on specific emergency preparedness tasks.
Week 1: September 1st-8th
Make and Practice Your Plan
- To learn how to create a hurricane evacuation plan click here.
- To learn how to create a fire escape plan click here.
- To learn how to make an emergency plan for your pets click here.
- To learn how to create an emergency plan for your business click here.
Once you have created a plan specific to your needs, then remember to practice the plan with your family, employees, and pets a few times a year.
Week 2: September 9th-15th
Learn Life Saving Skills
- Check the batteries in the smoke alarm detectors in your home and business.
- Learn how to help mitigate damages after a disaster has happened.
- Learn how to turn off certain utilities, like the fire suppression system, main water supply, and gas line.
- Compile a contact list for emergency service providers such as these:
- Local fire department
- Local hospital
- Local police department
- HVAC company
- SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville
- Create emergency disaster kits to keep in your home and car. Click here to see the list of supplies you will need to assemble a kit.
Week 3: September 16th-22nd
Review Your Insurance Policy
Insurance plans can be hard to understand. Most people do not completely understand what situations they are covered for or the specific damages that may be excluded from their policy. Do you have flood insurance? Do you have mold coverage? Would your insurance company pay for the cleanup after your sewage system backed up? Did you know it takes thirty days for flood insurance to go into effect? Schedule a meeting with your insurance agent this week to discuss your coverage and to adjust your policy to better suit your needs.
- To learn more about homeowners insurance policies click here.
- To learn how to create inventory lists for your home and business click here.
- To learn more about flood insurance click here.
Week 4: September 23rd-29th
Save For an Emergency
Any size disaster can place a heavy financial burden on a homeowner or business owner. To help be better financially prepared for an emergency follow these tips:
- Create an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit. To learn how to do so please click here.
- Build up an emergency fund. To learn how to do so please click here.
- If you must evacuate, then remember to take certain financial documents with you. You can prepare ahead of time by gathering important financial documents, creating copies of them, and putting them on the cloud. To learn which documents you should make copies of please click here.
Hurricane Preparedness Tips
According to the experts at Colorado State University, the 2018 Hurricane season is predicted to be slightly above average. So far we are expected to have 7 hurricanes, 14 named storms, and 3 major hurricanes.
Follow these tips to help prepare your home and prevent any unnecessary damages:
- Move furniture and electronics off of the floor or to a room upstairs if possible
- Roll up area rugs and store them some place rising water can not reach
- Examine the trees around your home for any weakened branches that could pose a threat during periods of intense wind or heavy rain and trim or remove them
- Examine your roof for any needed repairs to prevent water leaks
- Move lawn furniture, toys, potted plants, and any other heavy objects outside inside
- Check doors, windows, and walls for openings where water could get in. Use caulk to seal any cracks, gaps, or holes.
If you plan on evacuating, then remember to bring these important documents with you:
- Insurance documents
- Driver's license and passport
- Social security card
- Proof of residence (deed or lease)
- Birth and marriage certificates
- Stocks, bonds, and other negotiable certificates
- Wills, deeds, and copies of recent tax returns
- Home inventory list for insurance purposes
For more information on hurricane preparedness please visit https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.
Disaster Preparedness for Your Pets
Creating a thorough emergency plan includes preparing for your pet's need as well. Remember, if if you must evacuate due to an emergency, then it is not safe for your pet to stay home either. Your evacuation plan should consider where your pets will be accepted. Make a list ahead of time of hotels that are pet friendly along your evacuation route and near your final destination. Some hotels and shelters do not accept animals. And lastly, build a travel emergency kit for your animals. This will help you save time when you must evacuate.
Items to include in your pet's emergency kit:
- leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport animals
- food, drinking water, bowls, can opener
- cat litter and pan
- medications and copies of medial records
- a first aid kit
- current photos of you with your pet/s in case they get lost
- information on feeding schedules, contact information for veterinarian, medical conditions, and behavior problems in case you have to board or foster your pets
- pet beds and toys
For disaster preparedness tips for traveling with exotic animals or livestock, please visit http://www.humanesociety.org/?referrer=http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/pet-disaster-preparedness.
Tips for Making a Helpful Hurricane Emergency Kit
You can never be too prepared when it comes to a hurricane. Besides readying your home and creating an evacuation plan, you should assemble a basic disaster supplies kit. A disaster supplies kit should include all the necessities for surviving at least 72 hours and unique items your family may need, like items for pets or seniors.
A basic disaster supplies kit should include:
- Water (one gallon of water per day per person for at least 3 days)
- Food (at least a three day supply of nonperishable foods for each person)
- Battery powered or hand crank radio
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Manual can opener
- Garbage bags
- Moist towelettes
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Cell phone and extra chargers (power bank)
- Copies of important documents (insurance policies, identification, bank account statements, etc.)
Your family may need to include other items, such as:
- Prescription medications
- Pet food and extra water
- Glasses, contacts, contact solution
- Infant formula, diapers, wipes, etc.
- Cash or traveler's checks
- Sleeping bags and blankets
- Feminine products
- Personal hygiene items
- Books, puzzles, and games for children
Remember to store your emergency supplies kit in a cool, dry place and to asses your family's needs each year before hurricane season begins.
For more information on preparing for hurricane season, please visit https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes are against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation. If your pipes freeze, then try to thaw them following the tips below and call a professional plumber when necessary. If your pipes break, then immediately turn off the main water supply to your home or business to prevent further damages.
- Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
Remember to check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is available 24/7 for emergency water damage restoration.
How to Prepare for a Winter Storm in Mandeville
This winter has brought record low temperatures to both Northshore and Southshore residents. We were grateful to experience our first snow in nearly a decade, but many homeowners and business owners had the misfortune of dealing with water damages caused by frozen pipes.
To protect pipes in your home or business from freezing in cold temperatures follow these tips from the American Red Cross:
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
Are you Financially Prepared for an Emergency?
September Is National Preparedness Month
This year's theme for National Preparedness Month is "Disasters Don't Plan Ahead. You can". You may have created an evacuation plan for your family and employees, but are you financially prepared for an emergency?
Follow these steps to help you financially plan for a disaster:
1- Gather all important financial documents
- Insurance documents for home and vehicles
- Mortgage or real estate deeds
- Vehicle registration
- Utility bills
- Credit card bills
- Tax statements
- Retirement account documents
- Estate planning documents
2- Try to build a specific emergency savings account
3- Review your insurance policies with your agent
- Do you have flood coverage for your home?
- Do you have full coverage on your vehicle in case of flooding or excessive wind and hail damage?
Take some time this month to make sure you, your family, and your business will be financially safe in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster. For more information on National Preparedness Month click here.
2017 Hurricane Season
This year's hurricane season kicked off on June 1st. We were very fortunate to have incurred little damage with the first storm, Tropical Storm Cindy. However, the latest forecast issued by the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project warns of even more storms to come than initially expected. The new report predicts fifteen named storms, eight hurricanes, and three major hurricanes this season. Now is the best time to solidify your emergency plans and make sure you are prepared for any size disaster. To learn tips for what to do before, during and after a storm visit RedCross.org and Ready.gov. Also, to learn simple day and weekend projects to help ready your home for a storm visit Flash.org.
If you have any questions or need help cleaning up after a storm please give us a call at 985-871-5375.
To learn more about storm damage cleanup and restoration click here.
How Long Would it Take You to Reopen Your Business After a Disaster?
Be prepared with an Emergency Ready Profile
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville believes having a plan for emergencies can benefit your company's future. As a business owner, you should have a risk management plan and be ready to recover quickly after any size loss. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, more than forty percent of businesses never reopen after a disaster. And,of those businesses, only twenty-nine percent are still operating after two years. Having an emergency plan will help you mitigate your losses and be back in business quickly. One of our many services offered at SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is a free Emergency Ready Profile for businesses owners. This profile will help you plan for the event of water or fire damage to your property. We can help you identify the steps you need to take after a disaster and who to call. If you're interested in learning more about out Emergency Ready Program you can contact Kayla at Kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com.
You can learn more about how to prepare your business any size disaster at https://www.sba.gov/managing-business/running-business/emergency-preparedness/disaster-planning
Cleaning up New Orleans East
Tuesday, February 7th, six tornadoes touched down in South Louisiana, ravaging the city once again. Over seven hundred properties have reported severe damage and thirty three people have sustained injuries. In New Orleans East, the strongest recorded twister in Louisiana history carved a record two mile path of destruction that day. Over the weekend, recovery efforts gained some much needed help. The President approved Louisiana's request for disaster relief aid. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is opening a disaster recovery center for those in need of shelter and assistance on Monday, February 13th. The recovery center will be located at the East New Orleans Public Library at 5641 Read Boulevard. The recovery center will be open Monday thru Saturday from 8am to 6pm and on Sundays from 10am to 4pm. Mayor Mitch Landrieu is also requesting volunteers to help with the cleanup efforts taking part in the city. New Orleans has proven to be a resilient city, stronger than any storm that has ever passed through. If you would like more information on how you can help or help with recovery efforts you can contact FEMA by phone at 800-621-3362, or visit http://www.fema.gov/disaster/4277.
Louisiana Flood of August 2016
On August 11, 2016 a slow-moving weather system moved across the Gulf Coast. After days of continuous rainfall, many Louisiana homes and businesses were destroyed. This historic flood created damages in excess of eight billion dollars for Louisiana alone. SERVPRO of Greater Covington & Mandeville helped many residents in St. Tammany Parish and Washington Parish cleanup and restore their properties. We acted quickly to help mitigate the water damage and allow Louisiana residents to begin the rebuild process. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is glad to be apart of this resilient community. We are honored to be trusted by so many home and business owners throughout South Louisiana. Whether it's a natural disaster or simply a busted pipe we aim to make it "Like it never even happened."
For more information about the flood in August go to: