Recent Storm Damage Posts
After Storm Tips
Call us at 406-458-6008 for Helena or 406-952-1001 if you experience flooding.
Here are some tips in case you encounter flooding or flash flooding.
- Photograph The Damage. You can never take too many photos. Your insurance company will thank you and you will have a much easier time with your claim if you have good photos.
- Contact Your Insurance Provider. As soon as you have gathered preliminary information, you should contact your home insurance provider. In the event that your vehicle has suffered damage, contact your auto insurance provider.
- Safety First. Be mindful of fallen power lines and take care not to come in contact with electrically charged water.
- Inspect Plumbing. Turn of your water main if necessary. Contact a trusted plumbing contractor if you discover plumbing damage.
- Disconnect electrical appliances that have come in contact with water. Turn off main power at the power source. Contact a electrician if you discover damaged electrical wires.
- Inspect your roof. Heavy rains and wind may have dislodged some of your roofing. If you discover any damage, contact a roofing contractor.
- Contact SERVPRO of NW Portland. If the storm has resulted in flooding, call SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls immediately to start the water remediation process. Secondary water damage can occur in as little as 24 hours.
- DO NOT attempt to remove fallen trees yourself. Contact a reputable arborist if the tree is on your property or the appropriate municipality if it has fallen across public lands or roads.
- Always work with trustworthy local service providers. Unfortunately, there are some companies that attempt to take advantage of storm events. Always obtain a written contract that outlines the service expectations and a breakdown of costs.
SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a storm event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. If storm damage strikes your home, trust the damage restoration industry leader. 406-458-6008
How to properly prepare for a storm in Montana.
If you have water damage from a storm or wind call SERVPRO to help aid in restoring your home.
So, you’ve just checked the weather forecast and there’s a warning out for a severe thunderstorm. Before it hits, take that period of calm to ensure all loose objects outside are secured or moved inside during the storm. Move any cars undercover – or, at the very least, away from any trees – and check all your gutters, pipes and drains are clear of any possible blockages.
It’s also a good idea to always have an emergency kit ready to go containing a torch, first-aid supplies, battery-powered radio and any essentials should you find yourself without power or water. Store your kit in an easy-to-remember and easy-to-reach place.
Of course, one of the best things you can do for peace of mind during any extreme weather event is to take out insurance.
Stay indoors (preferably in your house’s strongest room – perhaps your basement, hallway or wardrobe) until the storm has passed, and keep away from any windows. Turn off all power points and unplug all electrical devices.
If you’re unfortunate enough to be outside during a storm, avoid trees and find the nearest shelter. Stay away from drains, gutters and waterways – they may look clear at the moment, but floodwaters can rise with surprising speed.
Should the storm hit while you’re in your car, do not attempt to drive through floodwater. If possible, move to a safe spot on higher ground and switch on your radio for updates.
When it’s safe to leave the house, conduct a quick examination of your property and look out for any safety hazards or damage – whether it’s a hole in the roof, a fallen tree or power lines. If damage has occurred call SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls to help you. SERVPRO is open 24/7 365 days a year and can start the repair process to get your home back in order. Call 406-458-6008.
After you’ve ensured your own property is safe, visit your neighbors (particularly those who live alone) and check that they – and their home – are also safe.
Spring Floods are coming: 4 ways they can get you
Spring flooding is beginning to happen in Helena, Mt in March 2014. Rivers are becoming extremely high and runoff is dangerous.
Spring is nearing in Montana, although we’ll probably get a bunch more snow before summer rolls around (don’t worry, we’re used to it…), that’s not about to put a damper on the wonderful weather we’ve been having. What might put a damper on it, however, are the spring floods that can be prevalent this time of the year.
According to FEMA, there are four main causes for spring flooding. While some of these causes may be more relevant to you in your area than others, you should still be aware of them all, because spring flooding can affect everyone.
If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, this is a big one to look out for. When the weather warms up, snow can melt quickly, resulting in a river of runoff. According to FEMA, just one foot of compacted snow contains a gallon of water. Having all that snow melt quickly could quite literally open the floodgates and wash your home – inside and out. But it’s not just the melting snow that can get to you. Runoff joins up with rivers and streams quickly, which can then force them over their banks, causing excessive flooding.
Over-saturated ground won't absorb any more water.
Downpours that last just a few hours or prolonged precipitation that can last for days are ingredients to the recipe for floods. Spring is known for its showers and wet weather, which brings renewal to the earth. While that’s just swell, it’s also a recipe for flooding. Once the ground receives too much rain, it becomes saturated and won’t take in any more. So what happens to the water it won’t let it? It will start piling up on top, spilling down hills and into anything that stands in its way.
Heavy rain is also dangerous in areas that were recently affected by fires. Forest fires burn the ground, making it more than difficult for water to seep in. Instead of going into the earth, it runs down those parched hills, flooding anything in its path.
Heavy rain form multiple storms or one massive thunderstorm can be too much for the ground to absorb fast enough. When this happens, you’ve got a flash flood. FEMA describes this as “rapid flooding of low-lying areas in less than six hours.” Drought-stricken areas can be a major contributor to flash floods as well, since the dry ground won’t absorb the rain. Flash floods are especially frightening due to the speed in which the waters rise. When a flash flood comes, your time for preparing are past.
Levees and Dams
The United States has thousands of miles of levees and dams, all of which are there to help protect us from flooding. However, these can weaken and erode – or even flood over and fail – during times of intense rain. One example of severe flooding from a dam is the Teton Dam Flood, in Idaho in 1976. This flood was catastrophic and caused massive amounts of damage to the communities it rushed through.
These are some of the main causes of flooding, but don’t be surprised if the waters rise in some other way. For even more ways you could be affected by floods, visit floodsmart.gov. They have a long list of flood causes, although many of them are very area specific.
So, now that you know some major flood threats, how will you prepare for them? Research the various flood threats within your area and prepare accordingly. For starters, we recommend investing in an emergency kit that’s easy to grab and take with you should you need to evacuate. After all, if the flooding gets bad enough, you could be without a home for quite some time. You’ll be grateful you have those resources to fall back on.
If you do end up affected by spring flooding call SERVPRO at 406-952-1001 for the Great Falls, Mt area and 406-458-6008 for the Helena, Mt area.
How to help prevent flooding to your home in Helena or Great Falls due to a storm.
Flooding in Helena, Mt.
According to the National Flood Insurance program flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States causing $2.7 billion in losses between 2001 and 2010. Flooding is not covered by most homeowner’s insurance policies so it may be necessary to buy a separate flood policy for your home.
Here are a couple of tips to keep water from entering your home during a heavy rain event:
1. Fix foundation leaks that may allow water to enter your home.
2. Make sure your roof is secure and protected.
3. Clear gutters and drains
If water ever floods your home, getting someone on site as soon as possible is key to keeping the amount of damage to a minimum. SERVPRO of Birmingham is ready to respond at any time and also provides a free assessment and estimate.
When Storms or Floods hit the Helena and Great Falls area, SERVPRO is ready!
SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.
Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit Helena, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (406) 458-6008