Recent Storm Damage Posts

Be Prepared in Lawrence, KS: Flooding

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

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

10/1/2020 (Permalink)

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. 

Dangers of Extreme Cold in Eudora, KS

1/17/2020 (Permalink)

While your Lawrence or East Topeka home may be damaged due to winter weather and extreme cold, your personal health is also at risk.

Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, as well as heart attacks from overexertion, according to Ready.gov. That is why it’s important to be aware of the effect extremely cold temperatures can have on you.

Frostbite is caused when your skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Physical symptoms include white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy, and numbness.

Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature caused from long exposure to cold weather. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. If someone’s body temperature is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, seek medical attention immediately.

To avoid these conditions, stay indoors, if possible. If not, dress in layers to stay warm and keep dry.

Weather Warnings on the Go in East Topeka, KS

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency messages sent by authorized government-alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service. There is no sign-up required. Alerts are sent automatically to WEA-capable phones during a threatening weather emergency.

According to weather.gov, alerts received at the right time can help keep you safe during an emergency.

The types of alerts the National Weather Service will send out are typically about tsunami warnings, tornado and flash flood warnings, hurricane, typhoon, storm surges and extreme wind warnings, as well as dust storms and snow squall warnings.

When you receive a WEA, follow any action advised by the emergency message, especially if it involves an immediate evacuation. Seek more details from your preferred television or radio station, NOAA Weather Radio, or another trusted source of information.

Why is knowing Wind Chill in Wellsville, KS Important?

1/3/2020 (Permalink)

Since SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka offers 24 hour emergency water damage cleanup from frozen pipes we definitely understand wind chill. When temperatures drop into a deep freeze we can get quite busy. When Mother Nature decides to add heavy winds to the already low temperatures we know we'll get even busier! The combination of freezing temperatures coupled with the driving winds blast frigid air into areas of your Lawrence and East Topeka home and/or business and cause damage that would otherwise likely be okay.

Now, what does wind chill mean to you and how can it affect you when you're outside?

Wind chill describes the rate of heat loss from exposed skin due to the combined effect of wind and cold. As wind speed increases, heat is lost from the body at an accelerated rate lowering the body temperature. Dangerous wind chills begin at -19 F (-29 C). Winds of more than 45 mph (39 Kt; 20 m/s) add little to the chilling effect. Wind chill can also affect animals.

As a bonus, what is the heat index?

The heat index or the "Apparent Temperature" is measure of how hot it feels due to the combined effects of air temperature and relative humidity (RH). Heat-induced danger begins at 105 F (41 C).

SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka proudly serves those in need! We will be on site quickly and our staff will give you the personalized attention you deserve. We specialize in the cleanup of water damage, fire damage, smoke damage, mold removal, trauma cleanup, vandalism cleanup, carpet cleaning and duct cleaning. Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened." Visit our website for assistance, www.SERVPROlawrenceottawa.com. Call us to speak to a qualified team member, 785-690-7373.

Understanding NWS Forecast Terms in Lawrence, KS

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

(Courtesy: National Weather Service/NOAA, Department of Commerce)

     Since we do 24 hour emergency water damage cleanup we definitely keep an eye on the weather. Each time it rains or storms we can get a wide range of phone calls from overflowing sump pumps to leaky windows and roofs, so it’s important for us to follow and understand Weather Forecast Terminology. Here’s some helpful information that should help you understand what all those weather terms mean.

     Understanding the terminology behind weather forecasts is an integral part of our everyday decision-making. Below are common weather terms and their meanings.

     Sky Condition

     Sky condition describes the predominant/average sky condition based upon the amount of sky covered by opaque (not transparent) clouds.

Sky Condition                  Percent of Cloud Cover

Sunny or Clear                              0-5%

Sunny or Mostly Clear                   6-25%

Mostly Sunny or Partly Cloudy       26-50%

Partly Sunny or Mostly Cloudy       51-69%

Mostly Cloudy/Considerable Cloudiness   70-87%

Cloudy or Overcast                      88-100%

     Wind

     Wind describes the prevailing direction from which the wind is blowing with speed in miles per hour. The numbers may vary in other parts of the country due to variation in terrain and elevation.

Sustained Wind Speed            Descriptive

0-5 mph            Light, light and variable or calm

5-20 mph                              None used

15-25 mph                               Breezy

20-30 mph                                Windy

30-40 mph                            Very Windy

40-73 mph                    Strong, dangerous high winds

74 mph or greater               Hurricane force

     Temperatures

     Forecast temperature describes the forecast maximum and minimum temperatures or in some cases, the temperature expected at a specific time. Temperature is reported in degrees Fahrenheit.

Description Examples                   Range

Near 40                     Approaching 40 or a range                                            from 38 to 42

Around 85             Range of temps from 83 to 87

Lower 50’s            Temperatures of 50 through 53

Middle 70’s           Temperatures of 74 through 76

Upper 30’s            Temperatures of 37 through 39

60’s                     Temperatures of 60 through 69

     Probability of Precipitation (PoP)

     Probability of Precipitation (PoP) is the likelihood of measureable precipitation (or water equivalent of frozen) precipitation falling during a specified period in the forecast area. Measureable precipitation is equal to or greater than 0.01 inch (0.2 mm) over a period of 12 hours, unless specified otherwise.

     At times, NWS forecasters may use “occasional” or “periods of” to describe a precipitation event that has a high probability of occurrence, i.e., they expect any given location in a forecast area to most likely have precipitation, but it will be of an “on and off” nature.

PoP                                                              Expression of Uncertainty            Percent

20%                                       Slight chance

30-50%                                      Chance

60-70%                                       Likely

80-100%                               Rain/Snow, etc.

Information shared from the NWS website.