Recent Storm Damage Posts
Be Prepared in Lawrence, KS: Thunderstorms
Thunderstorms are loud, powerful, and scary; but did you know that winds during a thunderstorm can reach over 50 MPH? There is also the possibility of flash flooding and even tornadoes. If you hear thunder or are alerted to an upcoming thunderstorm make sure to find shelter right away. If you take shelter at home unplug appliances and electronics, don’t run water, and don’t use landline phones. Electricity from lightning can run through plumbing and phone lines and can harm electronics plugged into outlets. If you are out swimming or doing other water activities get to land immediately and find a sturdy shelter or vehicle. If you must take shelter in a vehicle, find a car with a metal top and sides, DON’T touch anything metal.
Cutting down and trimming trees that are in danger of falling on your property or others property can help prevent damage and injury during a thunderstorm. Buying and using surge protectors for your appliances and electronics can help protect your Lawrence and East Topeka property as well. If you come across a flooded runway it is safest to turn back. It only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock you down and only 1 foot of moving water to sweep away your vehicle.
Be Prepared in East Topeka, KS: Tornadoes
A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes can happen at any time, peak tornado occurrences for Southern states are March through May and during the summer for Northern states. If you find yourself under a tornado watch, safely make your way to a sturdy building, safe room, basement, or storm cellar. Winds can be over 200 MPH so it’s important to make sure wherever you find shelter is sturdy and that you stay away from all doors, windows, and outside walls. Use your arms to protect your head and neck to help prevent injury.
If you become trapped after the tornado, cover your mouth and nose with a cloth or a mask to avoid breathing in dust. Instead of shouting for help try sending a text, banging on a pipe or wall, and whistling. It’s important to save your phone calls for emergencies only. Phone systems are usually down or busy after a disaster like a tornado. Use texting and social media to contact your friends and family instead.
Be Prepared in Ottawa, KS: Tsunamis
Did you know tsunamis can hit any U.S. coast? While they are more likely to hit states on the Pacific coastline or in the Caribbean, it is good to know what to do if a tsunami does strike where you live or even where you may vacation.
Ready.gov says, “Tsunamis, also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called ‘tidal waves’), are a series of enormous waves created by an underwater disturbance, such as an earthquake, landslide, volcanic eruption, or meteorite.” Areas within a mile of the coast and less than 25 feet above sea level have a greater risk of being affected.
As with any emergency, be sure you have a plan in place prior. Know the evacuation plan, move inland or to higher ground, and avoid the beach. “The first wave may not be the last or the largest,” according to the National Weather Service.
After a tsunami, do not return to the affected area until officials deem it safe. While drowning is the most common hazard, there are many aftereffects, like flooding and contaminated drinking water.
SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka is Here to Help.
Be Prepared in Lawrence, KS: Flooding
Did you know flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States? A flood is classified as a temporary overflow of water on normally dry land. There are many different causes of flooding, including rain, snow, and overflowed water systems. Here are some tips about preparing for floods fromready.gov:
- Know flood risk types in your area
- The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Weather Radio can provide emergency alerts as well as any community alert systems in your area.
- If your area has a risk of flash flooding, make sure to look for and monitor potential signs, like rain. It can happen very quickly so always be alert.
- Gather supplies in case you have to leave immediately or services are cut off. Remember things like medications, extra batteries, and pet supplies.
- Keep important documents in a water proof container, like a water proof lock box.
Lightening in East Topeka, KS
Shocking Facts about Lightning
Lightning is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities. Though the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are only around 1 in 500,000, some factors can put you at greater risk for being struck. Here are a few lighting safety tips.
Be aware. Check the forecast before participating in outdoor activities in Lawrence and East Topeka. If is calls for thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity, or make adequate safe shelter is available.
Go indoors. Remember the phrase, "When the thunder roars, go indoors." Find a safe, enclosed shelter when you hear thunder. Safe shelters include homes, offices, shopping centers, and hard-top vehicles with the windows rolled up.
Avoid windows, doors, porches, and concrete. Do not live on concrete floors and avoid leaning on concrete walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.
Avoid water. Do not bathe, shower, wash dishes, or have any other contact with water during a thunderstorm because lightning can travel through a building's plumbing.