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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Storm Damage Blog Posts

Guide to Prepare for Hurricane Hilary - Southern California

8/18/2023 (Permalink)

Preparing for a Category 5 Hurricane: A Comprehensive Guide

When a Category 5 hurricane is on the horizon, time is of the essence. These powerful storms bring with them catastrophic winds, torrential rain, and life-threatening storm surges. Preparation is critical not only to protect your property but, more importantly, to ensure the safety of your family and yourself. Here's a concise guide to help you prepare:

1. Stay Informed:

  • Monitor local news and weather channels. Trusted sources such as the National Hurricane Center (NHC) will provide regular updates and advisories.
  • Download weather apps. These can give real-time notifications and tracking.

2. Evacuate if Advised:

  • Listen to local authorities. If they recommend or mandate evacuation, do so promptly.
  • Plan your route. Know multiple routes in case one is blocked.
  • Inform someone. Let a family member or friend outside the danger zone know where you're headed.

3. Create an Emergency Kit: Stock up on essentials including:

  • Water and non-perishable food for at least three days (one gallon of water per person per day).
  • Medications and a first aid kit.
  • Flashlights, extra batteries, and a battery-operated radio.
  • Important documents (insurance, medical records, bank account numbers) in a waterproof container.
  • Cash (as ATMs might be down).
  • Chargers for your devices, possibly solar or battery-powered.

4. Secure Your Home:

  • Install storm shutters or board up windows using plywood.
  • Clear your yard of any potential flying debris such as lawn furniture, tools, and toys.
  • Secure doors.
  • Consider installing a sump pump if flooding is a concern.

5. Plan for Pets:

  • Have a pet emergency kit with food, water, and medications.
  • Ensure your pet has a secure carrier or leash.
  • Know pet-friendly shelters or hotels on your evacuation route.

6. Protect Your Vehicle:

  • Fill up the gas tank. Gas stations could run out or lose power.
  • Store it in a garage or secure area if possible.
  • Avoid parking under trees or in low-lying areas prone to flooding.

7. Communicate:

  • Establish a communication plan with family. Everyone should know who to contact and where to meet if separated.
  • Use text or social media to let others know you're safe. Phone lines might be jammed.

8. Be Cautious After the Storm:

  • Stay indoors until local authorities declare it's safe.
  • Avoid floodwaters. They may be contaminated or electrically charged.
  • Inspect your home for damage. Document any issues for insurance claims.
  • Be wary of fallen power lines and report them to the utility company.

A Category 5 hurricane is an extreme weather event, but with thorough preparation, you can significantly increase your chances of weathering the storm safely. Remember, while possessions can be replaced, lives cannot. Safety first!

Roof Leaks

6/20/2023 (Permalink)

One of the most common culprits behind home water damage is the seemingly innocuous roof leak. The damage may start small with a slight drip, but left unaddressed, it can lead to significant structural harm, not to mention a host of other issues such as mold growth and decreased energy efficiency. 

A leaky roof is often the result of age, weather damage, or neglect. Ignoring these leaks may save you time and money in the short run, but it could lead to escalated costs and health hazards in the long term. 

At SERVPRO of Alhambra, we specialize in tackling roof leaks and their associated water damage with promptness and proficiency. 

Our first step is to identify the source of the leak, which can often be a challenge due to the path water can travel from the roof to where it finally drips. Yet, identifying and fixing the leak is only part of the solution. 

Addressing the resultant water damage is equally important. Water can seep into walls, insulation, and your home's foundation, creating an environment conducive to mold growth and causing structural deterioration.

Our team employs advanced water extraction, drying, and dehumidification techniques to ensure complete dryness. We also handle mold remediation, treating affected areas to remove and prevent mold, ensuring the health and comfort of your living environment.

Finally, we believe in prevention and preparedness. Regular inspections and maintenance can go a long way in preventing roof leaks. We provide advice and preventive services, including regular roof check-ups, maintenance tips, and weather-proofing solutions.

Remember, a roof leak may start as a simple drip, but it has the potential to disrupt your life and home. With SERVPRO of Alhambra at your side, you have a reliable partner to address roof leaks and their consequential water damage, keeping your home dry, safe, and sound.

Tornado Prep

12/17/2021 (Permalink)

Tornado's strike six different states in America in December. This was such a horrible experience for people in Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee. With this happening so recently we would like to provide you some ways to stay as safe as possible in the event another one occurs.

  • Find a safe place to hide out during the storm: Stay away from being inside of your car, go to the lowest part of your home such as a basement or closet with no windows.
  • Stay clear of windows - you want to fully avoids all windows at all costs, they will be the frist thing to break and bring in the tornado.
  • Put on shoes and a helmet if possible - always have your shoes on already and if you have a helmet, put it on.
  • Plan for your pets - you can put your pets in their carrier or on a leash and keep them with you at all times.
  • Do not leave your home - if you are already home during a tornado do not try to leave and out run the tornado.

For more tornado safety visit: https://weather.com/safety/tornado/news/tornado-safety-tips

Storm Disasters and Your Belongings

11/16/2021 (Permalink)

When mother nature takes a turn for he worst it can damage more than just the structure of your home. Here at SERVPRO we know and understand that it is not the house that makes a home, it is the people and belongings you keep inside of it that give that warm happy feeling. Our Storm professionals are highly trained in caring for your items as if they were they're own. 

These are a few ways in which we clean your items:

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.

For more information on how we take care of your items after storm and water damage check out our cooperate website. https://www.SERVPRO.com/resources/storm-damage/storm-cleanup


10/21/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO STORM TEAM is a collection of highly experienced SERVPRO franchises. We each come together during a catastrophic event to assist a local franchise when it becomes so inundated with water or fire losses. Franchises come together from all over United States and work together as one big STORM team. In doing so we have the capability to handle a large volume of losses.

For example the recent hurricane in Louisiana, Hurricane Ida, caused an immense amount of damage throughout the state and several others. Which led to power outages, destroyed homes, and missed paced families. 

SERVPRO STORM TEAM quickly reached out to the expert franchises to come in and lend a helping hand. 

If you ever endure such circumstances please call SERVPRO of Alhambra (626)283-5875

For more information on STORM help check out


Sticking Together When Disaster Strikes!

10/12/2021 (Permalink)

When we had large wild fires in Southern California, the main thing to remember is to not panic!

In times like this, staying calm and addressing the problem correctly can go a long way. The wild fires made it's way all the way from the San Fernando Valley all the way to the hills of Santa Barbara, where our Storm Team and SERVPRO of Alhambra have been dispatched.

Our highly skilled technicians worked diligently to begin the cleanup and restoration process for the properties that have been effected. In times like this, we see how well connected the community is. Our customers have been looking out for each other, by staying in communication to coordinate their schedules and give each other updates on the latest fire status. When our clients are at ease, it makes making it “Like it never even happened,” that much easier.

We appreciate the patience and great feedback we have received from our customers. In these times we do our best to comfort our clients and keep then as happy as they can be.

Hurricane Season in Louisiana

8/30/2021 (Permalink)

Mississippi River with pier Mississippi River before Hurricane Ida

Several cities in Louisiana are suffering from the catastrophic damages caused by Hurricane Ida this weekend. It has destroyed many homes, buildings and roads. Power lines are down for more than 1 million residents and it is unknown when they will be repaired. Search and Rescue teams are in the area and they have found at least one person dead from the Hurricane. 

Our hearts go out to the people in Louisiana and to the cleanup and rescue teams working tirelessly to put the community back together. We are also grateful to have SERVPRO be part of the cleanup efforts. Our Storm Teams have activated our strongest crews to assist Louisiana and parts of Mississippi. 

For live updates on Hurricane Ida visit: https://www.cnn.com/us/live-news/ida-updates-08-30-21/index.html

Storm Supply Checklist

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Supply Checklist

In Southern California, it is pretty rare that we ever run into any storms, however, a storm does occasionally appears during fall and winter seasons. During these seasons, it is always important to be prepared for a storm, especially after all the fires that have been going on in the past few years. The fires that burned away the vegetation loosen up soil, therefore, are more susceptible to breaking apart into mudslides if there is rainfall. Because of these extra dangers of storms in Southern California, we recommend having these items in your home.

  1. Battery operated radio
  2. First aid kit
  3. Flashlight with extra batteries
  4. Cash and important documents (such as insurance policies, IDs, bank information)
  5. Nonperishable food for several days 
  6. Water for several days
  7. Extra clothing and shoes
  8. Pocket knife with tools attached
  9. Sanitation wipes and hygiene products. 
  10. Manual can opener
  11. Matches in a waterproof container

If you run into any storm issues in your property or home, call SERVPRO of Alhambra at (626) 283-5875 for a free inspection.

How to Prevent Flooding

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

Dealing with storms and preventing flooding in your home can be stressful, however, SERVPRO of Alhambra is here to provide you with some tips to help make that spring rain a little more bearable, especially in Southern California.

Intense storms can block and back up the city’s drainage system. It can become overwhelmed and then flooding will occur. Do not attempt to drive through standing water as the water can stall your car. In that case, you must abandon your car and move to higher ground. If you are in an office or home that is in danger of flooding, you should unplug all electrical appliances as well as turning off the gas line. Always remember to be alert of any electrical wires or fallen power lines.

To prevent the likelihood of floods, try to keep storm drains clear of trash and debris. Leave or plant plants on areas that slop to slow runoff and prevent erosion. It is also important to clean your home’s gutters and downspouts so prevent buildup. Sandbags are also a good idea to keep in handy to prevent outside water from going into your home. Having a updated emergency kit and list of emergency numbers just in case any accidents happen.

If a flood occurs in your neighborhood or home, call SERVPRO of Alhambra at (626)283-5875 to help you out!

Preparing for Floods

3/13/2018 (Permalink)

With the recent news of heavy rainstorms and floods, we, at SERVPRO of Alhambra, would like to give you some basic safety tips of what to do during a flood or flash flood.

First off, flooding are one of the most frequent natural disasters that can happen within communities that are usually caused by heavy rainfall or prolonged rainfall over several days. Unfortunately, flooding can happen anywhere in the U.S. and especially if your property is in a low-lying area near a body of water or near a river. Flooding can also happen in any season, even in the summer, when there are monsoons or leftover storms from a hurricane.

Some basic tips that you would want to remember if you think a flood will happen are:

  • Move to higher ground as soon as you can
  • Avoid walking or driving through rising water
  • Do not drive over bridges because they are fast-moving floodwaters which can scour foundation from the footings and make the bridge unstable
  • Up to 6 inches of moving water is enough to knock a person down and move vehicles
  • If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher car – HOWEVER, do not leave the car when the water is moving around you
  • Evacuate if directed to by authorities

Stay safe and if you are experiencing flood damage, please call us at (626)283-5875.

How Storms are linked to Climate Change

2/9/2018 (Permalink)

As the Earth warms, powerful storms are becoming the new normal. Intense rain and snow storms along with intense drought periods are also all well-known consequences of a warming planet.

You may wonder what the difference between weather and climate is. Weather is what’s happening outside the door right at this very moment. For example, today is 71 degrees on a sunny day in Southern California. Climate, on the other hand, is the pattern of weather measured over several years. Climate is also calculated by the global average temperature to see how we are affecting the temperature rise over the past few decades as a whole. In fact, from 2001 to 2010, it was the hottest decade recorded since reliable records began in the late 1800s. These rising temperature are what we refer to as global warming or climate change. This causes patterns of intense rain and snow storms and periods of drought which are all becoming the new normal in our everyday weather as levels of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere continue to rise.

Storms do not necessarily mean bad news. After years of being in a drought, the storms this year have brought California some much needed rain. Thankfully, Southern California, does not experience many storms, however, we do need to watch our water usage since we are still in a massive drought which also results in extreme heat waves. Call SERVPRO of Alhambra to learn how you can make sure if your home is protected from flooding and roof leaks. Call us at 626-283-5875 to get a free Emergency Ready Plan for your property.

Storm Damage Insurance

1/22/2018 (Permalink)

If your home has been damaged, continued exposure to the elements may greatly increase the amount of damage to you home. Many insurance policies give you a time to file a claim, so don't wait until you have water dripping through the ceiling, mold in the attic, or your roof caves in to call your insurance company. It might be too late to file a valid storm damage claim.

It is always recommended to purchase a good homeowners insurance policy, even if you don't owe any money on your home. If you have a mortgage, home equity loan, or use your home as collateral, your lender will require you to maintain insurance. There are many different types of insurance policies so depending on which one you opt for the levels of coverage, exclusions and limits of liability will vary greatly. Some policies only provide you with basic coverage, while others will offer you more coverage and higher levels of protection.

Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover storms including hail, tornado and wind damage. Earthquakes, floods and other named exclusions and usually require separate coverage. Normal wear and tear and poor maintenance is not covered by insurance. Most policies cover the cost of tree removal after a storm, however, you should check your policy. Some insurance companies require a separate tree removal policy. Damage to your car is not covered by your homeowner’s policy, even if a tree on your property falls and damages your car. Damage to your car is covered by your comprehensive auto insurance policy. 

The replacement cost is the actual cost to rebuild your home in the event it is completely destroyed, which may be more or less than the market value, or sale price. Homeowners insurance covers the repair or replacement of your home and its contents up to defined limits. Your policy may also include a liability policy, which protects you in the event someone is injured on your property. Your insurance company will pay for loss of use, in the case that your home is uninhabitable after it has been damaged by a storm, up to applicable limits. This means that while your house is under repairs, the insurance company will cover the cost for you to live in a hotel or any other temporary accommodation.

When filing an insurance claim, remember most state laws prohibit insurance companies from cancelling policies for filing claims in an “Act of God” storm damage situation. In most states insurance company cannot single you out for a rate increase. If the insurance company is going to raise rates, they have to raise everyone's rates in your area. So, if you don’t file a claim, your personal rate increase will pay for everyone else's claim except for yours.

SERVPRO of Alhambra works with your insurance to ensure a stress free claims process. SERVPRO is on the listed of trusted vendors for many national insurance companies. The SERVPRO team can help you manage the insurance paperwork and process at no extra cost. Call us at 626-283-5875 for more information.

Rainy Season Preparation

1/22/2018 (Permalink)

As winter is approaching here in Southern California, the rainy season will also be on its way soon. It may be sunny most of the time, however, rain storms can cause a lot of damage to homes and property if steps are not taken ahead of time to prevent them. Here are some steps you can take before any storms hit:

  • Clean and repair home gutters: Clogged ones can cause rainwater to back up and damage your roof and house.
  • Inspect roof: Look for loose or damaged shingles as well as signs of leakage.
  • Look inside at ceilings and walls: Any water damage could be an indication of roof leaks.
  • Trim trees and bushes next to the house: Cut off branches that can be weighed down with water or strike houses.
  • Make sure doors and windows are secure and that they open and close properly.
  • Stockpile the sand bags: If you live in flood-prone areas, buy or collect sand bags to help divert water, debris or mud. Have them filled and ready to go before flooding happens.
  • Check street drains near your home: If they are clogged, call your city’s public works department.

More tips and information:



Preparing for Winter

1/22/2018 (Permalink)

Winter in Southern California is basically nonexistent, however, it does get increasingly cold during the nighttime and morning and the weather can be unexpected during the winter. It can bring cold temperatures, wind, and rain which can cause damage to your home or property. So here are some steps you can take beforehand to prevent any damage against winter weather.

  • Investing in weather stripping
    • Weather stripping is easy to install and is a good way to keep warm air in the house and cold air outside.
  • Check home for leaks or drafts
    • Windows, doors, vents, plumbing areas, air conditioners, electrical and gas lines
  • Clean gutters so that water can easily drain from the roof
    • Blocked gutters can allow melting ice to seep into your roof and flood your home’s foundation
    • You may also want to think about getting rid of branches that linger over your roof as well as that can break and damage the roof
  • Stock up on basics in case of storms/floods
    • Such as extra blankets, flashlights, candles in case of power outages
  • Protect pipes from freezing
    • Don’t turn heat down too much when out of the house
    • Call plumber immediately if pipes freeze and water stops flowing from faucets

How to Deal with Storms & Prevent Flooding

5/30/2017 (Permalink)

Global warming has changed the climate as we know it and brought much needed rain to our dry state. What seemed like a blessing for a state that has been in a drought for so long may be a curse to those who are not prepared.  Living in sunny southern California, many of us are not ready to deal with all the rain we have been getting. SERVPRO of Alhambra is here to provide you with some tips to make all this rain a little more bearable.

In big cities like Los Angeles, intense storms tend to block up the city’s drainage system. It becomes overwhelmed and flooding will occur. As in most emergencies, the first thing to do is to call 911 in case of any life threatening emergencies. Do not attempt to drive through standing water. Water will stall your car so if your car stops, abandon it and move to dry or higher ground. If you are in an office or home that's in danger of flooding, it is important to unplug all electrical appliances and turn off the gas line. Remember to stay aware from any electrical wires and fallen power lines.

In order to prevent the likelihood of floods, do your best to help keep the storm drains clear of trash and debris. Leave or plant vegetation on areas that slope to slow runoff and prevent erosion. It’s also important to remember to keep your home’s gutters and downspouts clean. Sandbags are great to have handy to prevent outside water from coming into your house. Last but not least, keep an emergency kit and list of emergency numbers just in case anything does happen.

If you follow these simple tips, you’ll definitely reduce the chance of a flood in your neighborhood or home. But hey accidents happen right? If they do, call us here at SERVPRO of Alhambra and we’ll be there to help.