Weather Watch v Weather Warning in Burlington County NJ
Nearly everyone has seen or heard a weather alert for an incoming storm, like yesterday’s resulting flooding in Hackensack, NJ. The uncertainty of how intense a storm will be, how long it will last, and how it may affect your home can be daunting. These weather alerts are made to answer many of these questions you might have, you just need to understand the difference between the different types of alerts.
- A watch is issued when a hazardous weather event is likely to occur and the likeliness of the event is increasing significantly.
- The occurrence, location, and timing of the weather event is likely still uncertain.
- People should make a plan in case the weather hits their area and be prepared to take action.
- People should follow the news for more information about the forthcoming storm.
- A warning is used when a hazardous weather event is approaching the area or is already occurring.
- A warning is only used for the most severe types of storms.
- The imminent storm is a critical threat to life and property and should be taken extremely seriously.
- People in the path of the storm should take immediate action to protect themselves.
The National Weather Service (www.weather.gov) simplifies this to say a watch means you should be prepared and a warning means you should take action.
We hope your home in Burlington County, NJ survives any storm, but in case of storm damage call (609) 894-8555 or visit www.SERVPRObordentownpemberton.com to restore your home.
How to Prepare for a Flood in your Columbus, NJ Home
One of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States is flooding. Floods can happen naturally on coastlines, near rivers, along city streets or even in the desert, and yes in Columbus, NJ.
The National Flood Insurance Program cited up to 25% of recent claims have been from low-risk communities. On average, floods cause $6 billion in annual losses in the U.S.
It’s interesting to take a look at your home from above, a satellite, birds-eye view to make sense of the curving streets and lay of the land. Overlaying a flood-zone detail helps to establish if your neighborhood is prone to water. While there are varying levels of flood zones, it’s best to prepare for the worst.
Prevention and timely preparation to handle the potential flooding affect your restoration and replacement loss. Here are a few prevention tips:
- Determine if your home is located in a flood plain
- Listen to local emergency management instructions
- Create a plan if your home is not accessible. This plan is often referred to as a COOP (continuity of operation)
- Review your emergency plans annually
Visit: https://www.ready.gov/floods for a comprehensive plan for your area.
Flood Actions Steps:
BEFORE A FLOOD
- Turn off utilities at the main switch valves.
- Disconnect electrical equipment and appliances
- Move vehicles out of a low-lying garage
- Raise elevators from the bottom floor.
AFTER A FLOOD-SAFETY FIRST
- Account that your family is safe and evacuated to the designated area meeting place.
- If water has moved into your home and evacuation is not possible, move to the upper floor and wait for rescue personnel.
- While evacuating, avoid driving through rising water.
- Do not touch electrical equipment.
- Do not walk through moving water.
- Do not use open flames (gas may be escaping through ruptured mains)
- Avoid floodwaters. Floodwaters may be contaminated with oil, gasoline, raw sewage. Water may be electrically charged.
- Stay out of the home if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
- Listen to news reports to learn if the community’s water supply is safe to drink
- Return only when authorities deem the area is safe.
SECURE THE PROPERTY
- Contact local emergency officials
- Secure main entrance of building
- Alert Security company and alarm company of the situation.
STABILIZE THE PROPERTY
- Shut off source of water or call qualified party to stop water source
- Give priority to the protection of power plant, fire pumps.
- Open basement of low-level windows to equalize water pressure on the building’s foundation and walls
- Begin water damage mitigation steps only if local authorities deem safe.
- Notify your insurance agent or risk manager.
Making a First Home Purchase in Burlington County, NJ?
Looking to buy your first home in Burlington County, NJ? Congrats on taking the milestone step to future homeownership. While you are looking for the perfect house for your family and lifestyle; the gourmet kitchen, master bath, and private backyard remember to take a look underground and evaluate the basement to ensure you remain high and dry.
Obviously, frequent water intrusion in your basement can cause issues with your foundation, and mold. But most people don't know what to look for or how to protect their basement until after they've experienced water damage. What's obvious in the restoration industry may not be obvious to every homeowner, so here are some tips to help you stay dry! (Visit www.bobvila.com for even more homeowner tips!)
- Get a sump pump. Get the sump pump rider on your insurance policy while you are at it. If you have a sump pump and it fails, your homeowners insurance will not cover the damage. Even if your home or business has never taken on water, it doesn't mean you are immune to it. Get the sump pump and check that it's functioning properly regularly.
- Consider a French drain or some other form of waterproofing. Have a professional do the work. Google the benefits. You may be surprised!
- Keep your gutters free of debris and position downspouts away from the foundation. The goal is to drain water at least three feet away, so if necessary, consider running extensions or troughs.
- If you haven't had your sewer inspected or your septic tank cleaned, now is a good time to do that. During periods of prolonged, heavy rainfall (think Hurricane season!), clogged sewers, and over-taxed septic systems are disasters waiting to happen.
- If you have below-grade basement windows, install window covers that fasten securely to your foundation. Clear acrylic covers allow light to enter while keeping out water.
- Check the age on your hot-water heater. They generally last about 10 years. If yours has made it longer, that's not necessarily a good thing! Don't wait for it to fail before you replace it.
- If you use your basement for storage, build shelves at least 6 inches from the ground. Store items in plastic bins. Photograph everything you store down there in case you need to replace it later.
- If you have a finished basement, get a good-quality dehumidifier. Consider tile floors or polished concrete over carpets.
We wish you a lifetime of health and happiness in your future home, and if you do experience a wet basement or mold, we are here to help you dry out, sanitize, and have your home thoroughly dry.
Call us at 609-894-8555, find us on the web at www.SERVPRObordentownpemberton.com.
Fireworks are Fun but Leave it to the Professionals in Mercer County NJ
Americans love to celebrate their patriotism with picnics, parades and beautiful displays of fireworks.
In Hamilton, New Jersey persons 16 years of age and older can lawfully purchase, possess and use certain sparkling devices and novelties such as ground-base sparklers, glow worms & smoke devices (see NJ Consumer Brief for a complete list). Responsible, lawful firework displays are terrific and enjoyed by many, however fireworks account for 2 out of every 5 fires on July 4th which has more fires reported that day than any other of day of the year.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, more fires are reported on July 4 than any other day throughout the calendar year. Each year fireworks are responsible on average for over 1,300 structural fires, 300 vehicle fires and more than 17,000 miscellaneous fires that cause personal injuries.
The National Safety Council recommends that fireworks be left to the professionals in your area and advises everyone to stay away from consumer-packaged fireworks and to enjoy the celebrations of your local towns and municipalities.
That being said, if fireworks are legal in your state, takes these precautions from the National Safety Council.
- Never allow young children to handle fireworks
- Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
- Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
- Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Never light them indoors
- Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
- Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
- Never ignite devices in a container
- Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
- Soak unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire.
SERVPRO of Bordentown/Pemberton encourages you to stay safe and enjoy the parties, barbecues, and celebrations. We are here 24/7 if you need us.
Storm Related Flood & Wind Damage in Mercer County, NJ
Flooding presents a serious risk to your home and your safety in Mercer County,NJ.
According to the U.S. National Severe Storms Laboratory, floods kill more people every year than lightning, hurricanes and tornadoes combined.
When it comes to structures, floods can lead to dangerous contamination and damage to drywall, support beams and foundations. You are at risk for mold within the first 24 hours of a flood, so it’s vital to stop the water from flowing and start remediation quickly.
Different types of flooding come with different risks. River floods and flash floods are common when snow melts and have been known to completely overwhelm structures. Coastal floods and storm surges are even more dangerous, and usually lead to evacuation warnings. These can destroy homes entirely, so it’s best to listen to weather reports and plan ahead. Debris flows, which are often made up of heavy mud and plant material, can crush houses and sweep them away.
High Winds, Tornadoes and Hurricane Damage
High winds can occur virtually anywhere, and thousands of tornadoes and hurricanes hit the U.S. every year.
Damage from wind can be widespread and can affect not only your residential property or business but also surrounding landscapes and improvements. Be alert to the potential for falling trees and power poles and damaged power lines and take precautions to be ready for emergency action steps. After the storm, examine your property for structural damage to the home, including windows, siding and roofs. In the most extreme scenarios, roofs can be destroyed.
SERVPRO of Bordentown/Pemberton is ready and available, 24/7, to address your storm-related damages, including damage caused by excessive water; mold; high winds. We are highly trained professionals with state-of-the art mobile equipment prepared to provide rapid response to mitigate loss of personal or business property.
Call us at 609-894-8555 for emergency service. We are proud to serve our local Bordentown/Pemberton community, Burlington County and Mercer County, NJ
2021 Hurricane Season Starts
NOAA Predicts Another Active Atlantic Hurricane Season
Hurricane season officially runs from June 1- November 30. Severe weather including high winds, heavy storms, and, flooding annually impacts the central New Jersey region of Burlington and Mercer Counties.
A typical season sees 13-19 Named Storms. Named storms must have winds of more than 39 mph, Hurricanes more than 74mph winds and major Hurricanes 111mph wind. Weather patterns change as the summer progresses. August accounts 24% of all storms recorded. For 2021, a likely range of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 5 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher) is expected. NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence.
Early in the season, meteorologists, look at tropical depressions that are forming in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, close to land, while later in the season the pattern changes and they watch for storms that develop off the coast of Africa.
The NOAA is using cutting-edge tools, upgrading the Global Forecast System, the first in 40 years, to predict and alert Americans of the impending storms.
How to prepare for a Hurricane
Planning and preparing for a hurricane is the responsibility of all levels of government, local, state and national as well as both the private sector and the public. Being prepared is the way to lessen the devastation that one event can have on a community.
Be prepared by:
- Having cash on hand
- Review Insurance to ensure you have adequate coverage
- Establish a family communication plan
- Establish a family evacuation plan
- Stay tuned to local news (battery operated radio)
- Have food and water
- Emergency lighting in the event of power outages
“Now is the time for communities along the coastline as well as inland to get prepared for the dangers that hurricanes can bring,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “The experts at NOAA are poised to deliver life-saving early warnings and forecasts to communities, which will also help minimize the economic impacts of storms.”
Heed warnings by local officials and to ensure your family’s safety.
When emergencies happen, SERVPRO of Bordentown/Pemberton is ready to serve. We are ready to mobilize and assist with storm damage clean up and restoration.
Call us at 609-894-8555, for 24/7 emergency mitigation services
Wildfire Season in Burlington County, NJ does not end until Memorial Day Weekend.
NJ Forest Fire rages in Burlington County headlined the news this week. It’s wildfire season in NJ and the risk to NJ woodlands fires is low humidity, windy or hot weather.
Lower humidity causes combustible material on the forest floor to become very dry and at risk to inflame if sparks are present. Lack of rain in the spring creates conditions that lead to wildfires. At this time, NJ has banned the use of home firepits for 10 NJ counties as firefighters continue to wage battle on local forest fires: Burlington, Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties; Middlesex (south of Raritan River) and Mercer county (except for Hopewell Twp).
A lack of rainfall, 20% below average has increased the threat of fire through-out Central, NJ. Burlington County specifically is down 17.5% with 2.5 inches less precipitation in 2021. The county has an abundance of fuel due to dry pine brush and vast tracts of forests in the protected Pinelands.
NJ State Fire Warden, Gregory McLaughlin commented that 98 percent of all wildfires are caused by humans. Always make sure that the coals and ashes from the barbeque grills are completely extinguished before leaving the area. He also recommends if you live near a wooded area, take simple precautions such as cleaning up dead leaves, pine needles around your house and gutters as well as clearing dead branches, pruning shrubs and keep the plants hydrated.
Each year the Forest Service responds to over 1500 wildfires in the state of NJ. Property near the wildland/urban edge or interface with the Pine Barrens, coastal marsh regions and woodland mountains are threatened if the perfect conditions of wind, hot weather and low humidity exist.
It’s best to minimize the risk of to your residential or commercial, however if your property is affected by wildfire SERVPRO of Bordentown/Pemberton is here to help.
We are available 24/7 at 609-894-8555.
Key Steps After a Basement Flood in Your Hamilton, NJ Home
Here are some tips to remember if your basement floods in your Hamilton, NJ Home:
- Address Health & Safety Issues: Keep children & animals out of the basement and away from standing water.
- Deactivate Services: Turn off energy services around the affected area, including gas and electricity.
- Stop the Flood Source: A DIY option is not recommended in most instances. It is highly advised to call a professionally trained water/flood restoration company to quickly address the source of the water damage. If you are able to identify the source quickly, (i.e. leak from bathroom plumbing) make sure to wear waterproof gloves and boots to protect your skin from potentially dangerous chemicals in the standing water.
- Extract the Water & Ventilate: Allowing good airflow through the affected area will aid in the drying process. A professional water damage company will use advanced blowers to accelerate the drying process.
- Disinfect the Area: Dry and disinfect the entire area. This is especially important when trying to prevent or contain the growth of potentially harmful mold, spores and bacteria.
Call Insurance Company: Homeowners policies don’t typically cover natural disasters-floods, so check with your insurance company to determine your coverage and next steps.
SERVPRO of Bordentown/Pemberton is faster to any disaster. Call: 609-894-8555
SERVPRO of Bordentown/Pemberton Builds Content Storage Facilities
SERVPRO of Bordentown/Pemberton is pleased to announce the completion of 3 new storage units in their office/warehouse facility in Bordentown, NJ.
The storage units are ‘PODS-like’ and measure 9’ x 12’ x 8, and, 8’ x 12’ x 8’ respectively, will be used as a climate controlled temporary storage for residential and business clients needing a clean, dry space for furnishings and other personal belongings moved while their home/business goes through a restoration due to water, fire or mold damage. All contents are carefully wrapped and transported to the storage facility by trained SERVPRO of Bordentown/Pemberton technicians.
SERVPRO of Bordentown/Pemberton also offers a content cleaning service for all damaged yet restorable contents, including furniture, personal items, and carpet. Based on the size and scope of the restoration project, all affected items are removed from the home/business before the cleaning/restoration process begins. SERVPRO is the global leader in restoration services caused by water, fire, and mold issues. The new storage facilities add to the continuing effort of providing ‘best-in-class’ service in the industry and builds on the strong commitment to customer service that SERVPRO of Bordentown/Pemberton is known for locally.
For more information on SERVPRO of Bordentown/Pemberton and their industry leading restoration expertise, call 609-894-8555.
Understanding the Aftermath of Fire in Your Mercer County NJ Home
The aftermath of fire in your Mercer County home is not limited to damage only inflicted by flames. Smoke and soot may cause both visible and hidden damage far beyond the original fire.
Smoke damage can be categorized in 2 ways: Wet Smoke and Dry Smoke.
Dry smoke is created by high temperature burning of paper and wood materials. Dry smoke residue is powdery and fine. This fine, dry powder is generally easier to clean-up since it can be wiped, but unfortunately it will find any porous surface, crack or crevice. Your home may look perfectly clean, however soot such as this, hidden from view may retain a smell.
Wet smoke is a product of low temperature, smoldering fires. It creates thick, black sticky residue which clings to surfaces and has a strong, pungent odor. This smoke smears when wiped due to the oily consistency creating a challenging clean-up. Plastics, rubber are the primary causes of Wet smoke.
Other causes of damage after a fire are synthetic materials, protein material, petroleum or natural substances.
Synthetic materials such as fabrics, (draperies, carpets. bedding) furniture, electronics, and plastics when burned create a thick, billowy, black smoke that rises quickly and coats walls and anything in its path. Oftentimes these synthetics are products of oil- based substances thus a sticky, oil residue will be left by the smoke. Leave this clean-up to the professionals.
Protein fire residue is left behind due to evaporation of material. Virtually invisible, protein fire residue discolors paints and varnishes and has an extreme pungent odor.
Petroleum residue is the remains of oil burning. This smoke is dark in appearance and will discolor and stain anything it touches.
Natural residue is left behind when natural elements are burned. Ash in color, It is the easiest to clean due to its dry, powdery nature.
We hope you never have to experience the trauma of a fire, but if you do, SERVPRO of Bordentown/Pemberton are here to restore your home “Like it never even happened.”
Our team of professionals are trained to clean-up and restore your home. Give us a call 24/7 at 609-894-8555 for all your fire, water and mold remediation needs.