Home Restoration & Insurance Companies: Everything You Need To Know

A vast majority of restoration contractors have huge coverage gaps in their liability insurance stemming from professional exclusions.

 

What They Tell You

There will be some misinformed insurance practitioners that will say that restoration contractors are not providers of professional services and therefore do not need professional liability insurance. Only the bright ones will not put this in writing. Do not listen to this rubbish. What those good-willed, but naive commentators do not know is how well what a restoration firm does for a living fits into the professional exclusions most often found in the liability insurance policies sold to almost all types of contractors.

 

The First Whammy

Restoration companies actually face a double whammy on their liability insurance policies when it comes to claims involving professional situations where rules or agreements are not obeyed in their business liability insurance policies.

 

The first whammy is almost all General Liability (GL) policies sold to contractors of any type will have one or more professional exclusions set into them. There are over thirty varieties of professional exclusions in common use today on the liability policies sold to contractors.

Professional exclusions in liability insurance policies usually get rid of the insurance coverage for claims stemming from:

  • The preparing or approving or failure to approve opinions, reports, work plans, surveys, change orders or specifications
  • Supervisory or inspection activities
  • The performance of any claim, investigation, adjustment, inspection, appraisal, survey or audit services
  • An error, omission, defect or deficiency in any test performed
  • Any evaluation, consultation or advice given
  • Any reliance upon such test evaluation, consultation or advice

The above listing of excluded “professional” activities was extracted from just one of the GL insurance policies that is often sold to restoration contractors. It is standard for remediators to become involved in many of the described activities in their day-to-day work. If a claim against the restorer insinuates that their customer’s damages were caused by any of these excluded activities, all bets can be off on the contractor’s liability insurance coverage due to these exclusions.

 

Similar exclusions for “professional” causes of loss appear on virtually all Contractors Pollution Liability (CPL) insurance policies as well.

 

The Second Whammy

The second whammy is states that restoration contractors are required to be IICRC certified for working on water restorations and/or mold remediation projects. On the front of the IICRC S500 manual it says “Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration.” The IICRC S520 is the “Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation.” The term “professional” is laced throughout both of these IICRC documents, appearing over 100 times in the S500.

 

Because of how often “professional” is referenced in the IICRC standards and guidelines, one can assume there to be a direct link between working under these standards and the professional exclusions in your liability insurance policies.

 

Here is how that happens: If an injured party wants to convince a court that you owe them money for the damages you allegedly caused them, among other things the injured party needs to show to the court that you, your employee or subcontractor failed to act as a reasonable and prudent person. One convenient method for an irritated customer to succeed in this task is to claim that you failed to follow the universally accepted professional standards and guidelines in the restoration business.

 

“Professional”

Once the term “professional” appears in an insurance claim, any novice claims adjuster at your insurance company will find the professional exclusion in your GL and/or CPL insurance policy. When these facts line up as I have laid out here, your liability insurance coverage can disappear simply by your insurance company connecting the dots between the accusations in the complaint against you and the professional exclusions in the insurance policies they sold you.

 

Under these circumstances, your liability insurance coverage can evaporate – not because of what you did and how you did it at the job site. The professional exclusion in your insurance policy can be triggered by how the complaining customer decides to describe your actions while making their claim for damages against you.

 

Third Whammy?

This is another whammy insurance companies etched into the policies they sell to restoration companies and did not tell anybody what they were up to. In general people do not buy insurance just to take their chances on coverage based upon how the irritated customer decides to describe what you did in justifying their demand for damages.

 

Your insurance agent will most likely know about the professional exclusion in your liability insurance policies. What they won’t know without you telling them is that you perform many of the excluded services listed on professional exclusions on a day to day basis. For an agent to figure out the connection between the services you provide and the professional exclusions in the insurance policies they sell to you, the agent needs to know what you do for a living relative to what the professional exclusions say.

 

It is not wrong to assume that the vast majority of insurance agents do not understand what restoration contractors do for a living. This knowledge gap on the part of insurance agents nationwide explains why so many restoration companies are uninsured for claims related to “professional” services today.

 

 

 

What You Can Do

A little bit of help from your end can cure a lot of insurance coverage defects, so make sure to tell your agent if you are executing the excluded professional services on your insurance policies. If this does happen to be the case, show your insurance agent the IICRC S500 and S520 books pointing to the term “professional” on the cover. Your insurance agent should react to this likely newfound information. Most insurance agents have never even heard of the IICRC nor would they know that your day to day interface with insurance claims may trigger a lot of the operative terms in professional exclusions on your insurance policies. There is no way for your insurance agent to establish the connection between what you do for a living and the effects of professional exclusions in your liability insurance policies unless you tell them. There are no books published for insurance agents on how to insure a restoration contractor.

 

Some Tips To Close The Gap

Here’s some ways to help solve the coverage gap for professional services:

  1. Make sure to check and see what is excluded by the professional exclusions in your GL and CPL policy. If you do not have professional exclusions on these policies, you might not have an insurance issue at all. However, even without professional exclusions, if you are performing fee for service consulting services from which you will not perform operations, a Professional Liability (PL) policy is still recommended.
  2. If you have purchased an GL/CPL/PL integrated insurance package designed specifically for a restoration firm, the PL insurance has been fixed if the policy is of good quality. Only about 1 in 10 restoration companies have this insurance coverage solution in place today.
  3. If you are a member of the 90% of companies who are going bare on this coverage, you will need to fix the coverage gap somehow. This will more than likely involve buying additional insurance for Professional Liability.

 

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The Benefits Of Installing A Digital “Smart” Water Sensor

Water damage can be a sneaky danger to your home. It could be happening while you’re totally unaware of the problem. Due to it’s potential of being an unseen danger, water damage is the number one cause of loss in homeowners insurance claims. Water damage can start from water escaping the home’s plumbing system, leaking through the roof or from a faulty appliance, or even be caused by flooding from a storm. It doesn’t take much water to seriously damage the walls, ceilings, floors, and/or contents of your home.

Monitoring Moisture Digitally

With the ever changing technology circuit, it makes sense that preventing the home from experiencing water damage is something that can and should be digitized. A perfect solution to preventing water damage in your home is installing digital water leak detectors or sensors. Furthermore,  simpler, or more dated leak detectors will emit an alarm when water is detected. These work fine, but only if you’re at home.

With advancements in technology, these leak detectors have become smarter, and can notify you via an app, or a text message, when unwelcome water or moisture is detected anywhere in your home. Many of these gizmos will shut the water supply off automatically to prevent serious damages from occurring.

“Smart” Moisture Monitors

Place smart moisture monitors in areas particularly prone to water damage. Areas like sump pumps, near appliances that use water, and around pipes are examples of areas that are prone to water damage. Thanks to batteries, you don’t need a power outlet for these smart sensors to work, and you can place them anywhere in your home where you may experience an issue.

The more expensive smart moisture detectors have many different operation options. This can stop the sensor from going off from things like a small spill. Often, these higher end sensors also feature temperature monitoring. If the temperature changes unexpectedly, the device will begin to send you notifications.

Most of the smart water detecting sensors on the market are part of a larger network of smart home systems. These systems usually include some sort of central hub that will connect to the internet, a smart phone application and other sensors and detectors like thermostats, motion sensors, and carbon monoxide detectors. The hub and these other connected items communicate with one another. Usually, you’re able to control them all from one central app.

Installing independent leak sensors is simple, and will not require any special tools. But, more complicated senors like a smart home system may require the services of a specialist. Check the batteries and power sources of these sensors regularly, to make sure they function throughout the year.

Go With The Pros!

Making sure your home doesn’t experience water damage is an important part of being a home owner. Water damage can be the direct cause for many other problems in your home. These problems include destruction of furniture, and the growth of mold. Learn more about removing mold by checking out our free eBook, The Guide to Mold Detection and Prevention.

Restoration USA is a fully certified disaster restoration company located in Pompano Beach. Restoration USA restores water damage and fire damage, and also performs mold removal and leak detection, in all of Broward county. Customers can pay restoration USA through standard homeowner’s insurance. Call us, toll-free, 24/7 at (866) 745-6428 or visit us online to schedule your free evaluation.

Hurricane Prep Week: Day 6 – Historic Hurricanes In Florida

Florida is directly hit by hurricanes more than any other state in the U.S. Since Hurricane record keeping has started, Florida has been hit directly by 2 Category 5 hurricanes, over 15 Category 4 hurricanes, and a whopping 42 Category 3 hurricanes, according to the NOAA. Of the nine most intense and deadly hurricanes to hit the United States, 6 of them ravaged Florida. It’s estimated that 40 percent of all hurricanes hit Florida. The following is a list of historic hurricanes that shaped the face of the state of Florida as we know it today:

Before the 1900s

The first recorded hurricane to hit Florida happened in 1523 when two ships, as well as their crews, sank along the western coast of the state. Before the year 1900, there are 159 known hurricanes that have somehow affected the state. All of the storms before 1900 resulted in the loss of over 6,500 hundred lives, and caused monetary damages of over $90 million. Additionally, at least 109 sea vessels were forced ashore, wrecked, or badly damaged because of these hurricanes.

Information from earlier years before legitimate hurricane tracking existed is not as wide spread. Technologies needed to study and observe the tropical cyclones was limited. As a result, Hurricane authorities like the National Hurricane Center recognize that some of the figures on death tolls, as well as dates the hurricanes happened, may not be entirely accurate.

Early 1900s

1928 Okeechobee Hurricane

First of all is one of the deadliest Atlantic hurricanes of all time. In the early morning of September 17th, 1928, this storm made landfall near West Palm Beach, with deadly, intense winds of over 140 mph. Over 1,700 homes were destroyed in the city of West Palm Beach, but the most severe damage was around Lake Okeechobee. Intense storm surge led to water pouring out over the edge of the lake, flooding hundreds of square miles, sometimes as high as 20 feet above the ground. Entire homes and buildings were swept away in cities surrounding the lake. Consequently, at least 2,500 people died in the storm Surge. In total, this hurricane killed over 4,000 people from Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, and Florida.

Mid 1900s

Labor Day Hurricane of 1935

This is the strongest hurricane to ever strike the United States. This small, but incredibly powerful hurricane caused intense damages in the upper part of the Florida Keys. The storm created a storm surge of about 18-20 feet, which engulfed the low-lying islands. Storm surge, paired with extreme winds, destroyed almost all of the buildings between the cities of Taverneir and Marathon. The town of Islamorada was leveled entirely. Large parts of the newly built Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast Railway were damaged immensely or destroyed. As a result of this storm, 500 people lost their lives, many of which were World War 1 Veterans working on the East Coast Railway.

 1990s

Hurricane Andrew

Of the storms that have affected Florida, none have been costlier than 1992’s Hurricane Andrew. When Hurricane Andrew made landfall at Category 5 in August of 1992, it went directly through the city of Homestead, located in Miami-Dade County. In Miami-Dade county alone, damages were estimated to be in the area of $25 billion. The winds, which sometimes would reach gust at speeds of 175 mph, destroyed 25,000 homes in Miami-Dade county, and severely damaged 100,000 more. In Florida, a total of 63,000 homes were destroyed, leaving about 175,000 people homeless. At the height of the storm, well over one million people were without power. 70,000 acres of trees were downed in the Everglades. Fortunately, modern day hurricane monitoring technology allowed the storm to take only 65 lives, and caused $26 billion in damage, making it the third costliest hurricane to ever strike the United States.

Day 6 1

Damage From Hurricane Andrew In Florida City

2000s

Hurricane Wilma 

Finally, 2005’s Hurricane Wilma is the strongest storm to ever be recorded in the Atlantic ocean. Wilma was the strongest hurricane recorded in the Western Hemisphere until 2015’s Hurricane Patricia. Wilma hit the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula as a Category 5. Then, Wilma made landfall on the western coast of Florida near the City of Cape Romano as a Category 2. Upon initial land fall in Florida, winds were about 120 mph. But, the storm weakened as it traveled eastward across the state. Wilma caused widespread destruction across Florida, and kept people without things like power, water, and sewage systems. As a result of Wilma, Florida Power and Light reported that over 3,200,000 customers, which left about 6,000,000 people with no power. Furthermore, most residents did not get the power restored for two weeks. This was the last major hurricane to hit Florida, almost 12 years ago.

Damage From Hurricane Wilma

Damage From Hurricane Wilma

Is Your Home Ready?

Restoration USA is a disaster restoration company located in Pompano Beach. With over 25 years of combined experience and expertise in Florida, Restoration USA knows hurricanes. Want to make sure your home is prepared for the storm? Want to know who to call after the storm? Restoration USA is here for you. We perform leak detection and mold removal, as well as water extraction and water damage repair.  call (866) 745-6428 or visit online at http://www.restorationusa.com and ask for a free hurricane readiness home evaluation.

Hurricane Prep Week: Day 5 – Will Your Homeowner’s Insurance Cover The Damages From A Hurricane?

Those that live in a region that experiences hurricanes every year must have an emergency plan in place. Making sure that insurance policies are effective and up-to-date is part of that plan, and part of being hurricane ready. Where the home is located, what type of damage the home could experience, and what the insurance policy actually covers are all things to consider when it comes to hurricanes and homeowners insurance. Keep these things in mind when going over your home insurance policy for hurricane season:

Wind Damage

One of the most common damages a property will experience during a hurricane is wind damage. Usually, wind damage is covered by standard homeowners insurance. But, in some cases, the policy will partially or entirely exclude damages caused by the wind. When hurricane season rolls around, reading the home insurance policy, or contacting an agent, will help you understand what kind of protection your insurance offers for your home and belongings.

Hurricane Deductible

In some cases, if the policy does offer wind damage coverage. Policies may include a separate hurricane deductible that is higher than your usual deductible. If coverage is offered by the policy, coverage limits may apply. These limits can include the cost insurance companies will pay out to rebuild the home, as well as what they’ll pay out to cover the contents of the home.

Review the amount of cover the insurance company provides. Make sure the insurance company will cover the cost of repairing your home from the potential damage of the hurricane.

Flood Damage

In most cases, standard home owners insurance policies do not cover flood damage. This also applies to flooding that was a result of a hurricane. The National Flood Insurance program offers separate flood insurance policies to cover any sort of flood damages.

But, depending on the way the water made in into the home, standard homeowner’s insurance may cover it. For example, if the wind rips the roof off of the house, and rain floods it, then you may be able to file a claim for wind damage and water damage.

Carefully inspect the insurance policy to learn what it does and doesn’t cover. Contact the insurance provider if you have any questions, or to discuss upgrading the policy.

The Importance Of Having Homeowner’s Insurance When A Hurricane Strikes

Hurricanes are entirely capable of rendering a property unable to be lived in. Wind and water, when paired together, make a dangerous disaster cocktail that can destroy large areas of a home or business. If this happens to an uninsured property,  the owner will be left paying for restoration and repairs out of pocket. Damages that hurricanes can cause can cause tens of thousands of dollars to repair. Homeowner’s insurance can alleviate most of the cost for repair, if not all of it.

Make Sure Your Home Is Ready In Case This Happens

Are These Damages Covered?

Is Your Home Ready?

Restoration USA is a disaster restoration company located in Pompano Beach. With over 25 years of combined experience and expertise in Florida, Restoration USA knows hurricanes. Is your home ready? Want to know who to call after the storm? Restoration USA is here for you. We perform leak detection and mold removal, as well as water extraction and water damage repair. If you want to see if your home is ready for a storm, call (866) 745-6428 or visit online at http://www.restorationusa.com and ask for a free hurricane readiness home evaluation.

Hurricane Prep Week: Day 4 – What To Do During, Before and After A Hurricane

Knowing what to do during, before, and after a hurricane is key to keeping the loss of a life at a minimum. Knowing what to do in the event of a hurricane can also make sure the damages done to the home, or property, are minimal. Depending on the strength of the storm, hurricanes can be incredibly deadly, and can also completely flood, or even entirely destroy and level a building. Follow these tips to ensure that minimal lives are lost, and minimal damage occurs under your watch when a hurricane makes landfall:

Before The Hurricane Makes Landfall
To begin, build an emergency preparedness kit.  Know the surroundings of your home, like what can potentially cause damage to your property, or which routes you can take in case you need to evacuate. Repair any leaks in the home, no matter how small. If you suspect a leak, call a leak detection company, which should be able to tell you for sure. Discover how elevated the property is, and if the land is prone to flooding. If the property is on low-lying land, locate higher-ground for safety in the event of serious flooding. This can help you understand how the property will be affected by storm surge, or tidal flooding. Know if there are any levees or dams in the area, and how they can threaten the property.  Cover all glass openings to your home like windows or doors. Storm shutters provide the best protection for windows, while a second option is to use thick ply wood. In the event of a storm, hardware stores and home supply shops will have wood pre-cut and ready to install. Tape will not stop windows from breaking, but it will stop glass from flying all over the room if the windows do break. Install straps or clips to secure the roof to the frame structure of the home. Reinforce the garage door, as wind entering a garage can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage. Plan to bring in all loose outdoor furniture, decorations, or other common outdoor objects. Anything to big to bring in should be tied down securely.

While The Hurricane Rages On Outsid
If ordered to evacuate, you should leave well in advance to the storm making landfall. If you were unable to evacuate for some reason, monitor radio or the television for weather conditions as well as updates. Even if the storm seems to have subsided, do not go outside. The eye of the storm, which, as it passes, may seem like the storm has ended, can pass very quickly. Nobody should be outside during a hurricane. Avoid all windows and doors, and seek shelter in the bathroom, or another windowless room. If your home is severely damaged, evacuate to a shelter, or a neighbor’s house. Never leave your home while the storm is raging on outside. If the power goes out, turn off and unplug all major appliances to reduce the chances of a dangerous and damaging power surge. Aside from unplugging major appliances, do not handle electrical equipment, and do not use telephones, except in an emergency. Regardless of where you are, you should unplug all appliances and electronics, and remove fuses from A/C units in the event of a power surge.

day 4

After A Hurricane
Once the hurricane has passed, and the authorities have administered an all clear message, check that family, neighbors, and friends are okay. Photograph damage that has happened to the home for insurance purposes. When the power has returned to your home, do not turn on all of the major appliances at once. Instead, to avoid damaging sensitive equipment, turn on the major appliances one at a time, with a few minutes in between turning on each appliance.

Downed Power Lines

If you see any downed or loose power lines, avoid them at all costs, and alert the local authorities. In Florida,report any downed power lines to FPL. From a safe distance, call 1-800-4-OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243) to report downed power lines.

Generator Safety

Remember to never use a generator inside, no matter how much ventilation there is. This also applies to garages, basements, and crawl spaces. The fumes let off by generators contain high levels of deadly carbon monoxide that can make a person very sick, or even kill them, when inhaled. When outside, keep the generator away from doors and windows, and at least 10 feet away from your home. Allow the generator time to cool down before refueling it, as pouring gasoline on hot generator parts can lead to fire.

Appliances

If any appliances, electrical or gas, have become wet, do not use them. These items are hazardous when wet, and can lead to intense electric shock or fire. Also, do not burn charcoal indoors. Charcoal produces high levels of carbon monoxide that can be lethal in enclosed places. If there are small damages you could fix yourself, attend to them. Open holes in the roof, or broken windows, can allow further damages to occur inside the home.

The Importance Of Being Prepared For A Hurricane
Hurricanes can be seriously dangerous to humans, animals, and properties. The best way to avoid damages is to know the dangers a hurricane can bring. Follow these tips to avoid these damages, and pass them on to your family and friends. This will give you peace of mind in knowing that none of your family, friends, or neighbors is uneducated on what to do before, during and after a hurricane.

Is Your Home Ready?
Restoration USA is a disaster restoration company located in Pompano Beach. With over 25 years of combined experience and expertise in Florida, Restoration USA knows hurricanes. Whether you want to make sure your home is prepared for the storm, or you want to know who to call after the storm, Restoration USA is here for you. We perform leak detection and mold removal, as well as water extraction and water damage repair. Want to see if your home is ready for a storm? Call (866) 745-6428 or visit online at http://www.restorationusa.com and ask for a free hurricane readiness home evaluation.

Hurricane Prep Week – Day 3: Preparing Your Home For A Hurricane

Storm surge, heavy rains, and intense winds. All of these come hand in hand with a hurricane, and when your home is exposed to them, it could mean serious trouble. Storm surge can flood  homes tremendously, and in some cases, entirely. Heavy rains can cause roof and foundation failures. Strong winds can rip the roof clean of a home. To withstand a hurricane, a home must be thoroughly prepared for the worst possible outcome. Here are some tips on how to prepare your home for a hurricane:

Glass Windows and Doors
One of the most dangerous aspects of hurricanes is the wind, and it’s potential to fling objects through glass windows and doors. In most cases, with an object being picked up at over 100 mph, it’ll break any glass window or door it hits. To keep yourself safe during the brunt of the storm, avoid any rooms with glass openings to the outside world. If this means you and your family must be huddled in the bathroom, then do it. Being uncomfortable during the time the storm is passing is better than putting lives in danger. To prevent objects from going through your window, invest in shutters. Shutters are the easiest way to protect glass openings in the home. When the storm rolls around, just close and lock the shutters for instant protection of your glass windows and doors. If you’d rather not invest in shutters, use wood planks to board up glass openings to prevent any major damages, whether on a property, or on a person.

Maintain Outdoor Areas
Well before the storm strikes, store all patio furniture, outdoor toys, plants, and other outdoor items inside to prevent them from damaging the property during the intense winds. Larger items that can’t be brought inside should be anchored down with rope, chains, etc. Turn off and disconnect propane tanks, electrical systems, and gas connections that go into your home. If possible, bring in gas or charcoal grills. Do not store propane tanks in the home or garage. Chain the propane tank in the upright position to a secure object that isn’t near the home.

Swimming Pool Care
In South Florida, a majority of properties have a swimming pool. Since South Florida is so prone to being hit by hurricanes, knowing what to do to keep your pool safe before a storm is important. Do not drain your swimming pool. A common misconception among home owners is that draining a pool will stop it from overflowing and flooding their property, which is incorrect. Most pools in 2017 feature overflows that drain excess water. Do not lower the water level more than 1 or 2 feet. If you lower it more, strong hydro-static pressure can potentially make the pool “float” or “pop” up out of the ground, according to the Broward County Hurricane Preparedness Guide.

Water in the pool serves as a makeshift shield, protecting the inside of the pool from any flying debris. Unfortunately, the area of your pool that will be the most damaged during a hurricane is the pumps and it’s motors. To attempt and prevent these damage, shut off the circuit breaker that goes to the pool equipment. Then, entirely remove the motor, and relocate it to a place that is dry, and high enough to avoid water from rain or flooding. An alternative to removing the motor is to tightly wrap it with plastic sheeting, and tightly tie that with strapping tape or rope. While doing other pool maintenance, collect all small lids and other pool parts around the deck of the pool.

Trees
Any large dead branches should be removed from trees. This is especially true if these branches pose a threat to any part of the house. Any branches that hang over the house and near the roof should also be removed. The high winds that hurricanes bring with them can cause trees to bend and branches to flail intensely. The flailing branches can damage the roof considerably. Prune, or remove all of the leaves, from trees that seem to be leaning. This will balance out the canopy, and in turn, the tree, to avoid the tree from uprooting out of the ground that is soft from the heavy rainfall associated with hurricanes. Consider performing maintenance on trees early on, as they can cause extensive damage to your home.

Sandbags
Line your home with sandbags to protect the home against minor flooding. In some cities, the local government will supply residents with bags, as well as sand and shovels when a hurricane warning is administered. Emergency experts recommend sandbags as a last-minute flood protection effort, but also suggest using potting soil or an expandable foam as more effective flood protection.

Insurance Policies
To make sure that the home is covered before the storm, check insurance policies, and see how they relate to the damages cause by hurricane. For instance, many home insurance policies do not cover floods. National flood insurance is provided through the National Flood Insurance Program, which is managed by FEMA. Good home insurance will cover both the structure of your home, as well as the contents of your home.

Is Your Home Ready?
Restoration USA is a disaster restoration company located in Pompano Beach. With over 25 years of combined experience and expertise in Florida, Restoration USA knows hurricanes. Want to make sure your home is prepared for a storm? Want to know who to call after the storm? Restoration USA is here for you. We perform leak detection and mold removal, as well as water extraction and water damage repair. Want to see if your home is ready for a storm? Call (866) 745-6428 or visit online at http://www.restorationusa.com and ask for a free hurricane readiness home evaluation.

Hurricane Prep Week: Day 2 – Creating An Emergency Preparedness Kit

When a hurricane strikes, it could leave people without basic amenities that we take for granted everyday. Things like running hot water, electricity and television do not exist in the days following a serious hurricane. Consider how you’ll get information from public officials, how bathing will work, and how food will be handled. Living in an area where hurricanes happen every year, like Florida, and particularly Pompano Beach and the rest of Broward County, it’s important to be prepared before any storm makes landfall. That’s where an emergency preparedness kit comes in. The following contains some recommended items to pack in your hurricane preparedness as well as their uses.

The Basics
Basic hurricane emergency preparedness kits should have enough food and water to support every member of your family, including pets. Since clean water may not be available after the storm, the emergency preparedness kit should contain 1 gallon of water per person, per day. Another basic resource that should be in the emergency preparedness kit is a 3 day supply of non-perishable food per person, and again, do not forget about pets. To open cans of non-perishable food for your family and your pet, pack a manual can opener in your kit. Since the electricity will very likely be out, pack a battery powered or hand crank radio to receive important updates from public officials. Don’t forget about flash lights, with no lamps or lighting fixtures available. Pack spare batteries for the flash light, as well as the radio.

First Aid

In case anyone is injured during or after the storm, pack a basic first aid kit with disinfectants, gauze, tape, bandages, as well as common medications like Pepto-Bismol and Aspirin. Each member of the family should have a standard whistle to sound for help in the event of an emergency. Dust masks and plastic sheeting should be available for impromptu repairs to stop your home’s interior from being damaged by a broken window or a hole in the roof. Keep a small tool box with screwdrivers, a hammer, a wrench and a pair of pliers for further simple repairs.

Important Additional Supplies
If a member or members of your family take medication daily, make sure you pack at least a week supply of their dosages in the supply kit. Baby wipes are good for bathing when the only option is uncomfortable, cold showers. If there’s an infant in the family, make sure you pack formula, as well as diapers. Keep important family documents like a copy of your home insurance policy, ID, and bank account records in water proof and portable containers.

Sleeping & Warmth

Bring sleeping gear for each member of the family like sleeping bags or warm blankets. If you live in a cold-weather climate, consider bringing extra bedding gear. Bring a full change of clothes including a long sleeved shirt long pants, and strong, sturdy shoes. Again, if you live in a cold weather climate, consider bringing extra clothing. To start fires for cooking and warmth, pack matches in a waterproof container. In the event one of those fires gets too large, pack a fire extinguisher. Pack supplies for eating like disposable utensils, cups, plates, and paper towels.

Consider The Needs of Each Individual Family Member
While making your emergency preparedness kit, a good idea is to make a list containing each member of your family, and what they need on a daily basis. For instance, if you live with an elderly person, consider things like denture care. If you or other family members wear glasses or contacts, pack an extra pair of glasses as well as contact lenses and solution. Babies need things like formula, bottles, diaper rash ointments, and other various care items. If you have a family member who is often cold, or if you live in a cold environment, pack extra clothing in the form of jackets, coats, thick pants, and long sleeve shirts.

Is Your Home Ready?
Restoration USA is a disaster restoration company located in Pompano Beach. With over 25 years of combined experience and expertise in Florida, Restoration USA knows hurricanes. Want to make sure the home is prepared for a storm?  Want to know who to call after the storm? Restoration USA is here for you. We perform leak detection and mold removal, as well as water extraction and water damage repair. Want to see if your home is ready for a storm? call (866) 745-6428 or visit online at http://www.restorationusa.com and ask for a free hurricane readiness home evaluation.

Hurricane Prep Week: Day 1 – General Hurricane Knowledge

Hurricanes are incredibly dangerous and powerful forces of nature that should be taken seriously.  When the wind speeds of a tropical storm reaches 74 miles per hour or greater, it becomes a hurricane. Hurricanes are large storms that form over the ocean and typically make landfall in regions with a tropical climate. Hurricanes are placed in different categories based on the wind speed, storm surge, and estimated damages the hurricane will bring along with it.  To keep you and your family safe and sound during a hurricane, it’s good to have some general knowledge on what a hurricane can do.

The Dangers of a Hurricane
When hurricanes make landfall, they bring along dangerous factors that, when paired together, create one of the most deadliest natural disasters known to man. Intense winds, monsoon-like rainfall and storm surge are the initial danger a hurricane presents. Knowing what these dangers are and what they could do can save your life in the event of a hurricane.

Intense Winds
Even before hurricane force winds are reached, at 40 mph, the wind can tear well-secured branches from trees. At 60 mph, windows can be blown out, and parts of the roof can be torn off. When the winds reach 75 mph, and the storm becomes a category 1 hurricane, buildings can be compromised and leveled entirely. Once buildings begin to break apart, their debris become a dangerous problem. Things like glass and nail-filled wood can begin to fly around. In tight areas, like an alley way, the wind will be even faster. Wind damage isn’t always caused by air pushing on structures, as it can also be caused by the suction created when large bursts of air flow around the structure. This suction can pull entirely pull apart walls and roofs of buildings. Since hurricanes usually last several hours, the sustained winds can compromise a building that would otherwise survive a strong, brief gust of air.

Heavy Rainfall
With the heavy rainfall that a hurricane brings with it, also comes inland flooding and various other dangers. Not only can massive amounts of water cause things like roof failures and landslides, it can also cause bodies of water like rivers and lakes to massively overflow and pose a serious threat to surrounding buildings and property. Since 1970, about 60 percent of the 600 deaths in the U.S that were caused by hurricanes happened inland from where the hurricane first made landfall. Of that same 60 percent, about a fourth of the deaths were people who drowned in, or drowned while attempting to leave their car. It takes as little as one foot of moving flood water to sweep a car off the road.

Storm Surge
Storm surge is the most dangerous aspect of a hurricane. Hurricanes can cause sea levels to rise high enough that they over flow into neighborhoods and streets. Strong winds that the storm produces can push risen sea water further into shore which may cause serious flooding. Storm surge is the most dangerous aspect of a hurricane, especially for people living near the water, like in much of South Florida. The sea literally comes further inland, sometimes as deep as 30 feet above land.

How Do Hurricanes Get Their Names?
In 1953, the United States started using female names for storms, and 25 years later in 1978, both male and female names were used to identify hurricanes in the Northern Pacific. In 1979, this practice was adopted for storms in the Atlantic as well. Atlantic hurricanes are named from a list of male and female names that are used on a six-year rotation. These names are retired when a storm of a certain name is so deadly and costly that it would be inappropriate and in poor taste to use it again. In the event that there are more than 21 named storms in one season, any additional storms will be named after letters from the Greek Alphabet (Alpha, Beta, Etc.).

Other General Hurricane Knowledge and Fun Facts
● Other names for hurricanes are cyclones, typhoons, and tropical storms. Typhoon is used to describe hurricanes in the pacific. Cyclone is a region neutral term used to describe hurricanes and typhoons.
● The deadliest cyclone known to man is the 1970 Bhola Cyclone. Upwards of half a million people lost their lives in the storm. Mainly from the storm surge that flooded low-lying barrier islands in what is now Bangladesh. An interesting phenomenon was observed to be affecting most of the survivors. This cyclone syndrome consists of intense abrasions on the limbs and chests of people who were clinging to trees to survive the storm surge.
● The most costly hurricane in the U.S is the 2005 storm Hurricane Katrina. The storm killed over 1800 people in the United States, and caused about $80 billion dollars worth of property damage. New Orleans, Louisiana was hit incredibly hard. Levees in New Orleans were breached, which lead to around 80 % of the city being flooded.

Is Your Home Ready?

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Restoration USA is a disaster restoration company located in Pompano Beach. With over 25 years of combined experience and expertise in Florida, Restoration USA knows hurricanes. Want to make sure your home is prepared for a storm? Want to know who to call after the storm? Restoration USA is here for you. We perform leak detection and mold removal, as well as water extraction and water damage repair. Want to see if your home is ready for a storm? call (866) 745-6428 or visit online at http://www.restorationusa.com and ask for a free hurricane readiness home evaluation.

How to Prepare Your Home For A Storm

How to Prepare Your Home for a Storm

Your house is one of the biggest investments in your life. A beautiful house in a gorgeous location like South Florida needs to be protected especially during the storm season. You have spent too much money and maybe even time to not protect your home. So it is time to take the necessary steps and procedures to keep it safe even when there is a coming storm. How then, do you prepare your home when you are expecting a storm?

To help you out, below are several tips that you can consider to make your home storm ready:

Create a Clear Plan

Preparing for a storm needs a well-designed plan. Usually, it is based on how long the storm is expected to stay. With that, you stock a certain amount of food that will last until you and whoever you’re with until the storm has passed. When it comes to your house, you need to consider the strength and direction of the storm so you can have an idea how to make your house stronger and more solid in terms of its foundation. You may need to secure the exterior windows with storm shutters. You may also need to make any minor repairs, if needed to the exterior of the house such as any loose roof shingles or gutters. These small actions will further ensure that your house won’t be damaged. In general, you have to determine the strength of the storm so you will be able to execute the necessary steps to protect your house.

Do General Home Maintenance

You’ll be safe inside the house if every part of it is in good condition. So, before the storm comes, you should ensure that you and your family have taken care of general home maintenance. For one, check for loose items and secure them. These items may be anywhere around your property so you need to check every area of the house. You should also clear drains, downpipes, and gutters. Check your roofing and see whether or not it has holes or damages that need to be repaired. Always make sure that your roof is in good condition. You have to always protect and keep your house in South Florida safe if you want to enjoy quality living in the area.

Follow General Home Safety Procedures

You have to remember that the situation is not typical when there is a storm approaching. This means that you can’t and won’t always be able to use electricity and water lines. Keeping the switch of these utilities on may result in minor accidents. There are also some cases where this may result in major accidents. For example, keeping the power supply turned on may cause a fire when there are heavy winds and frequent lightning. So, when the storm is already in the area and keeps getting stronger, you may have to turn off your gas, water and power supply. In this way, you can avoid accidents such as a fire that could cause further damage to your house.

With these tips, you can surely protect your home in South Florida and keep enjoying a good life healthy house!

Contact Restoration USA anytime at 1-866-745-6428 for Mold Removal, Water Damage, and Leak Detection Services