Recent Storm Damage Posts

Typical Storm Activity in Palo Alto and the Property Damage Repercussions

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary:  SERVPRO of Palo Alto looks at storms and weather conditions that can lead to property damage in the Palo Alto, Atherton, and Redwood City areas of California.

The San Francisco Bay Area, including Palo Alto, Atherton, and Redwood City, enjoys some of the finest weather in the world, but even an area with a pleasant climate experiences occasional storms and the accompanying storm damage. This mild, comfortable climate is a magnet, attracting visitors and residents from all over the world, and storm damage risks are low much of the year, especially from May to November. It is during the winter months that the area receives most of its severe weather, which increases the risk of storm damage for homes and businesses.

Common Storm Damage Risks in the San Francisco Bay Area

Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms tend to strike the Bay Area during the winter months, and peak thunderstorm activity generally falls during late winter. Summer storms also occur, though less frequently. Stemming from the moisture remnants of monsoons and tropical storms, summer thunderstorms are associated with strong winds and short periods of heavy rainfall.

Hail

In March 2021, hail struck the Bay Area, and a travel advisory for the slippery roads was issued. A local news outlet described the weather: “A cold winter storm Wednesday delivered a little bit of everything to the Bay Area, from fresh snow and pea-sized hail to heavy downpours and thunder and lightning. Some areas in and around Santa Rosa looked more like the Sierra Nevada as hail piled up like snow on some roadways, leading to treacherous conditions for drivers caught in the storm.”

When large, jagged hail impacts a home, the roof and siding can sustain damage severe enough to allow for water intrusion from the rain associated with the hailstorm. During the winter and early spring through April, weather patterns can bring storms that dump up to several inches of precipitation per hour. This much rain on a damaged roof can result in a water damage disaster that also involves the potential for mold infestation if the moisture issues are allowed to persist from more than twenty-four to forty-eight hours.

Flooding

One of the most destructive local floods in recent memory was the 1998 flood brought about by heavy rain. San Francisquito Creek can be traced to much of the flooding. Palo Alto Online notes that “in heavy rain events the creek has overflowed at least 13 times since 1910, with peak floods in 1955, 1958, 1967, 1982 and 1998, according to a 2006 report by the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority. The creek overtopped its banks again in 2012 and 2017, damaging property and, in 2013, damaging the dirt levee abutting an East Palo Alto neighborhood, which if breached could have taken lives. That flooding prompted a state of emergency in East Palo Alto, requiring emergency repairs to the levee.”

Over the years, the community has attempted to mitigate the threat posed by San Francisquito Creek. Still, half of the East Palo Alto area is located within a flood zone.

Landslides and Debris Flows

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, “California is well-known to be susceptible to landslides. These range from small, but potentially fatal, shallow landslides that may mobilize into rapidly moving debris flows, to larger, deep-seated landslides that are capable of moving entire houses downslope. Coastal cliff collapses and cliff erosion also present landslide hazards along the coast of northern California, and debris flows from burned areas are a particular concern following wildfires in the region.  Landslides in the state generally occur due to precipitation, and to a lesser extent, earthquakes. Historically, large winter storms have caused the most damage, and in the highly developed San Francisco Bay area in northern California these impacts have sometimes been quite severe, causing both fatalities and significant property damage…”

A Rare Meteorological Risk

Hurricanes

The last hurricane to strike California was the 1858 San Diego hurricane, which was presumably at least a Category 1 storm. Debate continues 160 years after this meteorological anomaly as to whether it actually was a hurricane and if it truly did make landfall.

Why do hurricanes or tropical storms rarely strike the Bay Area? Two factors have a bearing on why Palo Alto and the surrounding areas are generally safe from hurricanes, unlike the Atlantic seaboard. The relatively cool water temperatures are just not warm enough to generate storms of hurricane strength. In addition, wind patterns divert most severe tropical weather activity to the south of California. However, the Bay Area is no stranger to inclement and sometimes odd weather events.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is one of the leading storm damage restoration companies in the Palo Alto area. When storms cause damage at residential or commercial properties, highly trained technicians are available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, to provide a quick response and rapid remediation.

To learn more about storm damage restoration in Atherton, CA, and the surrounding area, contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto by phone at (650) 800-3448 or email office@SERVPROpaloalto.com

What Are Some Steps That Homeowners Can Take To Prepare for Storms and Stay Safe?

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers emergency preparedness tips to help homeowners prepare for severe weather.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto provides storm damage restoration and cleanup to homeowners and businesses in the Bay area, including Atherton and Redwood City. Palo Alto has a mild Mediterranean climate where the average annual rainfall is 17 inches. The summer high is 80 degrees Fahrenheit with the January winter low of 40 degrees, and the region enjoys 261 days of sunshine and 61 days of rain and cloud cover. From late October through March, Palo Alto averages almost 3 inches of rain per month. This fluctuation in weather spells the potential for storm damage, including heavy rains, high winds, and flash floods. SERVPRO of Palo Alto, a locally owned and operated damage restoration company, is offering storm damage preparation tips to help Palo Alto property owners stay safe by planning ahead.

Identify Flood Plain Areas and Assess Vulnerability

Start by determining if the home or business is located in a flood-prone area. Check flood records. Contact the county planning department. Talk to neighbors and local residents who have lived in the area for more than a few years. Consult with an insurance agent about a homeowner’s policy. Ask about flood insurance before the need for flood insurance arises.

Tip #1: Formulate a disaster plan.

Include communication, survival, and recovery strategies in this plan. Map out and rehearse an evacuation route for the family. Have a contact person located outside the region. All family members should have the information memorized and easily accessible.

Information can save lives. Alert signals, official evacuation routes, and shelter locations should be a part of the disaster plan. Let public utilities and emergency personnel know about any special needs such as age, disabilities, or severe medical conditions.

Tip #2: Prepare the home to withstand the worst.

Identify potential hazards in and around the home. These hazards include downed power lines, broken water lines, a ruptured gas line, and chemical spills resulting from flooding. Have shutoff valves clearly marked. Any tools needed to operate the valves should be clearly visible and easily accessed. Locate and maintain LED flashlights near these action points. If the basement floods, play it safe by staying out of the water. The risk of electrocution, a slip-and-fall injury, and exposure to sewage and dangerous chemicals is too high.

The risk of fire is high during a storm damage emergency. Electrical short circuits, candle fires, and accidental ignition of flammable liquids or natural gas pose a real danger. Fire extinguishers are affordable, easy to operate, and safe. An extra fire extinguisher in the kitchen, the laundry room, and the garage can prevent a small flash fire from getting out of hand. The extra fire extinguishers give the homeowner the upper hand when a fire breaks out while dealing with storm damage. Teach the entire family to properly use these devices so that an extinguisher can be quickly accessed and operated during a fire.

In the event of water intrusion from storm damage to the roof, have on hand several tarps or a large roll of heavy-duty plastic to cover furniture or other personal belongings. A mop, a squeegee, and some buckets will prove helpful to remove standing water.

Tip #3: Take steps to ensure the health and safety of the family.

Here are some basic survival steps to keep the family healthy and safe when there is major storm damage to the home:

  • A well-stocked first-aid kit is foundational to the most basic survival strategy.
  • Prepare an emergency three-day water supply of one gallon per day per person.
  • The CDC recommends having a 3-day stockpile of non-perishable food on hand for emergencies.
  • Put together a personal health and hygiene kit. Include soap, wipes, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, toothbrushes, toothpaste, eyewash, lotion, and shampoo. Insect repellent, either natural or commercial, is recommended for the kit.

Tip #4: Have a recovery strategy in place before disaster strikes.

Storm damage can range from the loss of a few shingles to severe roof damage with extensive water intrusion. When the skies clear and the floodwaters recede, cleanup and recovery can be overwhelming and dangerous. The best recovery and restoration solution involves highly trained and well-equipped professionals who can complete the damage restoration process quickly, efficiently, and safely. The property owner who makes one call before the disaster strikes will only have to make one call after the disaster strikes in order to ensure a prompt response, a safe cleanup, and a fast and efficient restoration project.

For Sunnyvale, CA, storm damage restoration services, contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto by phone at (650) 800-3448. The team can also be reached by email at office@SERVPROpaloalto.com

SERVPRO of Atherton / Redwood City: How Rain Can Lead to Water Damage

8/19/2021 (Permalink)

There are many water-related incidents that can lead to water damage, as it takes a relatively small amount of moisture to create an issue.

Many often think of sources such as floods, broken pipes, appliance malfunctions, and overflowing toilets when considering how water damage happens. However, it is important to note that  even rain showers  persisting over a period of time can lead to water damage, as water gradually works its way into a home’s weather defenses. The best preventive measure to take is to simply be knowledgeable and proactive about where and why this water intrusion occurs.

Likely Places where Water Damage is a Possibility Due to Rain

Backup of clogged gutters. Cleaning out your gutters every six months or so is a great defense against water damage. When your gutters can’t properly drain water, pooling can occur and lead to water sitting up against—and eventually seeping into—your home.

Leaks around windows and doors. Windows and doors can develop small cracks around them, which may not be visible to the naked eye but are certainly large enough for water to find. Water can soak into these small gaps and begin to eat away at the wood surrounding these openings.

Poor drainage around the foundation. Regardless of how impervious a foundation may seem, if poor drainage allows water to build up around the foundation, it can eventually begin to seep inward and lead to damages.

Leaks in and around the roof. A house of any age can develop a roof leak, and they can often sneak up on you. Checking for signs that your roof might be vulnerable to leaks regularly is the best defense against this.

Malfunctioning of a sump pump system. For those with basements or crawl spaces, a sump pump is a great water damage defense, as long as it is maintained. Sump pump malfunctions due to inadequate maintenance can lead to serious damages on their own.

Leaks around chimneys and skylights. Skylights and chimneys are great features, but it is important to check on the seals surrounding them regularly to ensure they have not deteriorated enough to begin letting water through when there is heavy rain around.

If you’ve experienced water damage to your home, we are here to help 24/7/365. Call SERVPRO of Atherton / Redwood City to have our trained technicians respond quickly and begin your restoration.

SERVPRO of Atherton / Redwood City Specialize in the Cleanup and Restoration of Flooded Basements!

8/19/2021 (Permalink)

A property’s basement can flood at any time, although most often flooding will occur during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently susceptible to flooding and water damage because they are the lowest level of a building and normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Atherton, CA basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causing surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding? 

Call the Water Damage Experts at SERVPRO - (650) 800-3448

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can:

  • jeopardize your health and safety
  • create a mold infestation 
  • cause severe damage to your home’s structure.

The longer you wait, the worse the problem will get, and the more costly it will be to restore the damage.

It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Atherton / Redwood City and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week 365 days a year. Holidays included!
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

When your home or business has a flooded basement or any water damage event, the trained professionals at SERVPRO have the training, experience and equipment to assist with restoring your home to “Like it never even happened.” Call today at (650) 800-3448 or email office@SERVPROpaloalto.com.

Storm Damage Restoration with SERVPRO of Palo Alto

7/7/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is dedicated to storm and flood damage restoration. Our crew is ready to take on any size project and restore the property to “Like it never even happened.” Our staff is extensively trained in the use of techniques and expert equipment that is efficient to restore and preserve your property.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is able to respond quickly with the right resources within a few hours to reduce any secondary or future damage. This is extremely important to assure that the property is dry in order to decrease the damage. Doing so will prevent further damage, which ultimately reduces the restoration cost.

When storms hit Palo Alto, we have the right equipment and resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. Our highly trained professionals are ready to respond 24/7 to any storm or flood emergency.

We are part of a national network of over 1,600 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large scale events and disasters.

Need Emergency Services? Call us 24/7 at 650-800-3448

The Storm Damage Restoration Experts at SERVPRO Give Suggestions for How to Deal with Flood Aftermath Effectively

4/29/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: The fire and water cleanup professionals at SERVPRO offer five tips to keep in mind during storm damage restoration following a flash flood. 



Homeowners and businesses in Palo Alto are well aware of the importance of proper storm damage restoration. Flash floods in the area carry a lot of uncertainty in their waters, and the inherent danger of rushing torrents is an uncomfortable thought at any time of year. Flooding and water damage aren’t exclusive to the coastline, and the SERVPRO professionals deal with this level of storm damage restoration daily.

Storm Damage Restoration: Five Steps to Take After a Flash Flood Event

Even if a home is away from the water’s edge, flash flooding still occurs near damaged dams or heavy rainfall areas. If there is overflow after heavy thunderstorms, there’s a risk of excess water. Here are five steps to protect a flooded home or business from further damages:

#1 Safety First

Step One after a flash flood is to verify the safety of all residents or employees before storm damage restoration begins in earnest. If anyone sustains physical injuries from the flood, the responsible person will need to call emergency services. They should also keep children, pets, and frail adults well away from the water, particularly if there is a strong current.

#2 Don’t Drink The Water

Flood water is not potable. It may contain sewage and bacteria, which means that the storm damage restoration team must discard any consumable items in contact with floodwater. If not, accidental ingestion could have dire consequences, even months later. 

If other drinking water is not readily available at the site, or floodwater is the only option, boiling can decrease the concentration of harmful bacteria. However, it is best to contact a medical team immediately in the event of accidental flood water consumption.

#3 Document The Damage

Standard insurance policies typically do not include flash flood protection. However, homeowners with flood coverage should carefully document all flood damage before hiring a water removal company or cleaning service. A thorough approach is always helpful when trying to put together a claim in the months that follow the storm damage restoration.

Proper documentation helps insurance adjusters make a fair settlement that covers all water damage. Professional services like SERVPRO advise capturing as many pictures and videos as possible before water restoration services take over the cleanup.

#4 Beware of Flooded Basements

Floodwater in a basement causes a variety of problems. Connections for the home’s main electricity are typically in the basement, and water contact leads to power outages in the home and potential electric shock risks. If the water reaches the wrong electrical component, fire damage is a real possibility.

A flooded basement also causes significant structural damage long-term. If professional help is unavailable, it is important to be cautious. Do not empty more than a third of the water volume per day—pressure changes of that magnitude may cause collapse. Rather, safeguard the property and leave water cleanup and restoration services to the SERVPRO team.

#5 Hire Professional Help like SERVPRO

A verified company like SERVPRO is the only alternative for fast and safe water and mold removal services.

  • Check the online storm damage restoration reviews to see what the community thinks of their services.
  • Visit their website to verify certifications and licenses, which are particularly important for reliable mold remediation.


SERVPRO in Redwood City, California, handles many types of cleaning and storm damage restoration services, including water and fire restoration, mold remediation, and residential and commercial property cleanups. For more information, contact SERVPRO today at (650) 800-3448 or visit them at 2225 E. Bayshore Road, Suite 270, Palo Alto, CA 94303.

What Are the Flood Risks in California, and How Can Homeowners Prepare for Flood Damage?

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto explains the many flood risks in California and the importance of identifying a reliable storm and flood damage restoration company to rapidly provide services should flooding occur.

The storm damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Palo Alto live in the community. They know the people, the community, and the climate. Palo Alto is no stranger to natural disturbances. In 2020, due to its proximity to the San Andreas Fault, the town registered approximately four hundred earthquakes of varying magnitudes. The area also sees its share of local flooding events from heavy rains, stormwater runoff, and rising tides.

To cope with flooding issues, the city is moving ahead with flood mitigation strategies and a new sea-level adaptation plan. Homeowners and businesses can take a page from the community’s flood mitigation playbook and prepare for the future by getting to know the property damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Palo Alto today before disaster strikes tomorrow or in the future.

California is a magnet for growth. Job opportunities are available across many sectors. The climate is comfortable all year round, and the state features many hiking, biking, camping, canoeing, and kayaking opportunities. Metro green spaces dot the cities. The Palo Alto area features restaurants and entertainment that are second to none. The multi-ethnic population offers an exciting array of cultural experiences and cuisine.

However, in spite of the many amenities, including the temperate climate, abundant sunshine, magnificent beaches, and beautiful mountains and valleys, California is prone to severe flooding. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, “Most of California is vulnerable to floods. Every county has been declared a flood disaster area multiple times. One in five Californians and more than $580 billion worth of structures (including contents) are vulnerable. Transportation, energy, water supply, and sewer networks are also at risk of disruption. The state’s many valleys—particularly the Central Valley—are susceptible to rivers overflowing. Lowland coastal flooding is common when high tides coincide with large, storm-driven waves; tsunamis also strike occasionally. Southern California, the deserts, and areas recently burned by wildfires are susceptible to flash floods. Storms commonly cause local urban flooding because inadequate drainage systems and impermeable surfaces—such as streets and parking lots—allow stormwater to pond quickly and deeply.”

Even though flood risks are increasing in California, funding for flood management and mitigation is not keeping pace with the elevated risk. People and property values in California’s flood-prone areas are growing. This tandem growth heightens the economic vulnerability and threatens public safety.

Needed upgrades to flood management infrastructures — such as dams and levees — approach $34 billion. Accomplishing these upgrades within twenty-five years would mean spending $1.4 billion per year, which is nearly twice the current level of expenditures. Other novel options still fall short of the needed infrastructure expenses.

On another front, climate change calls for innovative approaches to address future challenges arising from the accelerated impact of changing weather patterns. Experts from the Public Policy Institute of California explain the challenges facing Californians, writing, “Many of California’s flood management systems were designed for the hydrological conditions of the previous century. California’s climate is changing with larger winter storms, more precipitation falling as rain rather than snow, and more extreme high tides. These changes, along with rising sea level, will make many current flood management systems obsolete within decades, requiring major investments in new infrastructure and new approaches to reducing flood risk.”

Helping those hurt by flooding

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers federal flood insurance to homes and businesses in flood-prone areas. However, the program is deep in debt, and its future is tenuous. California must proactively develop new strategies regarding the development of floodplains and create a state-run flood insurance program in order to lower economic risk to residents and businesses.

The multiple benefits of modern flood management

Past strategies routed floodwaters to the sea through thousands of miles of man-made river channels. These efforts separate communities from their rivers, adversely impact the environment, and may even increase the risk of flooding.

Contemporary approaches integrate floodwaters into the overall water management system. These strategies involve taking advantage of floodwaters to:

  • restore wetlands and river corridors
  • replenish aquifers
  • improve the quality of surface water supplies

In the meantime, flooding is a problem for many California residents, including those in Redwood City and the surrounding area. Until infrastructure programs are implemented to decrease the intensity of flooding and redirect the water from urban centers and flood plains, homeowners and businesses will need to take precautions, obtain flood insurance, and have readiness plans in place to deal with storm and flood damage disasters.

In case of a property damage disaster such as storm damage or a flood in a residential or commercial setting, SERVPRO of Palo Alto is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help regain control of the situation quickly and begin the restoration process. Quick response and rapid remediation return life and storm or flood-damaged areas back to their pre-disaster condition. A rapid response not only means less disruption, but it also lowers the potential for advanced secondary water damage and the likelihood of mold infestation. SERVPRO offers emergency tarping, security fencing, and board-ups. When damage is severe, the team of professionals can also do pack-ups and provide storage until the site is ready to receive the items.

Sometimes only a few minutes separate calm from chaos in a property damage disaster. The time to prepare is well in advance of severe weather, flooding, earthquakes, or wildfires. Contact the SERVPRO professionals today and begin a relationship that will last long into the future. For more information about flood damage restoration in Redwood City, CA, and the surrounding area, contact the SERVPRO of Palo Alto office by phone at (650) 800-3448 or email office@SERVPROpaloalto.com.

Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto for Storm Damage Restoration

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

Though storms are a normal occurrence, they can also be extremely destructive. Storm damage is one of the top reasons that homeowners must file insurance claims. According to the NCDC, (National Climatic Data Center) in 2020, there were 22 weather/climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each to affect the United States. Because any storm has the potential to cause your home to sustain damage, it is important to know exactly what to do if the event were to occur. The good news is that when you need storm damage restoration, SERVPRO of Palo Alto is here 24/7 to help you recover.

What You Receive When You Call Us for Household Storm Damage Restoration

Comprehensive Storm Damage Restoration

Storm damage is never a black and white issue. Storm damage often includes problems with structural elements, water damage and even mold. Because SERVPRO of Palo Alto is fully certified in all these issues, we are able to examine the damage with a comprehensive approach and can make sure your restoration is done completely and with efficiency.

Technicians With Experience

Our technicians are something we invest heavily in because we value their contributions tremendously. We train our entire workforce from day one to the standards set forth by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, which sets the industry benchmarks for restoration. We also offer seminars and online courses for our technicians, so they can always continue to learn and hone their skills.

Enough Resources for Restoration

We love being a member of the Palo Alto community and all the wonderful things that come with being a locally owned business—and with our backing from the national SERVPRO® brand, we also get to offer our customers national resources in the event of major disasters. Other locations can band together to offer equipment and additional resources, so everyone in the community can receive restoration in a timely manner.

Service From a Reputable Company

With all of our years of experience, we have unfortunately seen many customers get taken advantage of by post-storm scams by unscrupulous “restoration professionals.” Because we have a long-standing reputation as leaders in the restoration industry, you can trust that with us, you will receive quality work and will not fall victim to one of these scams.

If you have experienced storm damage or want to learn more, you can call SERVPRO of Palo Alto 24/7 365 for more details.

California Firestorms Info Links | SERVPRO of Palo Alto

9/16/2020 (Permalink)

Stay safe during Northern California wildfires!

With unprecedented firestorms burning all over the West Coast, including here in Northern California, it's vital to have information at your fingertips about wildfire location, air quality in your specific location, wildfire resources, and safety tips.

Here's where you should go to keep yourself informed and your family safe:

California wildfire map

CAL FIRE
Fire.ca.gov

Air quality information

EPA & partners
Airnow.gov

Wildfire preparedness & safety information

CAL FIRE
Readyforwildfire.org

Wildfire safety tips & information

FEMA
Ready.gov/wildfires

Wildfire response resources

Cal OES
Wildfirerecovery.caloes.ca.gov

Response.ca.gov

Satellite imagery of areas impacted by fire

Maxar technologies on Google Crisis Map
Google.org/crisismap/2020-california-wildfire-imagery

With the sheer magnitude of the current wildfire situation in our area and all over the western United States, please keep yourself informed. And if wildfires do affect your home or business, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Palo Alto for 24-hour fire restoration service! Call us at (650) 800-3448.

Get Your Home Ready for Severe Weather | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is here to provide you with a rapid response. Contact us right away if you experience any storm damage.

You can’t control where a storm hits. But there are steps you can take to be sure your home is in the best shape possible to weather severe storms.

The National Weather Service has some great tips for making sure your home is ready for storms. They recommend:

Keeping the trees near your home trimmed and healthy. Tree limbs overhanging your house can fall during a storm. And having a dead tree near your home can be risky during heavy wind. It can damage your roof, the siding on your home, and break windows.

Ensuring your gutters are clean. This is a good way to help keep your roof (and the rest of your home) safe from water damage. Keep in mind that cleaning gutters regularly also protects your home over time.

Securing loose items and closing doors and windows. If you have time, this can help save both these items and your home from damage.

Other Ways to Prepare

If you want to know more about getting your home and family ready for severe weather—including the types of weather threats that are common in your area, visit ready.gov.

The information on ready.gov comes directly from the Department of Homeland Security. It’s a good source for general information about storms and emergency planning. Plus you can download their app to your smartphone for real-time alerts about severe weather that might affect your town.

During severe weather, every minute counts. So having real-time alerts is a good way to help keep your family members and pets safe. If you’re out of town, the app will send alerts that apply to wherever you are.

Cleaning Up After the Storm

Hopefully, your family will never be hit by a storm. But if you are, it’s important to get your home professionally cleaned. Why? Because expert cleaning can help get your family’s home back in order quickly. Plus, if there’s water damage, it can help protect you against mold later.

If your home sustains damage due to a storm, you can count on us to help. We’re here to talk with you 247if you need to learn more about our storm restoration process.

Ask the Right Questions to Pick a Storm Restoration Team | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

Choosing the right restoration company is crucial to getting things back to normal. Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto to set up an appointment.

When there is severe weather in the area, it can be alarming to experience—but if your area sustains damage, it is even worse. The severity and expenditures associated with storm damage are more serious than many realize, which is why we always advise doing your research before making a decision when it comes time to pick a restoration company.

The company you choose is so important to your overall recovery experience. As it is generally a stressful time, working with a company that provides you with peace of mind will make a huge difference in how smoothly the process proceeds and how quickly your damages are resolved. To help you decide on the right company for you, we have a few tips.

Your Guide for Choosing a Restoration Company After Sustaining Damage

Have you checked on their reputation? When you invest money into your home, you want to be certain you are making a wise choice—and restoration is no exception. Scammers often surface after bad storms to take advantage of those who have sustained damage, so doing your own research is vital. Make sure your chosen company is active in the community and is considered an industry leader in restoration to be certain they are a good choice.

Do you know how they handle sudden rushes in businesses? Storm damage is quite unique because of just how suddenly it can occur and how much of an area it can impact. While you are deciding on a restoration company, make sure to choose one that can provide good service even when they get inundated with sudden requests. With our national SERVPRO® partnership, we are enabled to seek backup whenever we need it in order to provide the same level of service regardless of the extent of damages.

What happens if I have an after-hours emergency? It is rare that storm damages will occur at a time that is convenient, but it can occur at the worst time possible. Because storms do not follow a strict workweek, we do not either. You can get in touch with us any hour of the day or night to report your damage, and our emergency response team will spring into action regardless of the damages.

When you have damage from a storm to your home or commercial building, you can always depend on us to handle it. Contact us at any hour to see our exceptional service in action.

Tips for Storm Safety That You Can Use Anywhere | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

7/13/2020 (Permalink)

Have you been affected by a storm event? SERVPRO of Palo Alto is available 24/7 and ready to assist you with any storm damage.

When the skies are clear and the day is warm, thunderstorms are probably the last thing on your mind—but because of how suddenly they can manifest during humid days, they are always something to keep in mind. Any thunderstorm has the potential to be dangerous, but with these safety tips, you can be sure you can protect yourself from summer storms anywhere.

Protect Yourself From Summer Storms Anywhere You Go

Know your options for shelter. When a storm catches you at home, you can follow storm safety guidelines to a T and take shelter in the most secure spot in your home. Unfortunately, if you are out and about when a storm pops up, you may have to get creative. Seeking shelter in a vehicle is actually recommended when you are not home, as the car will disperse any lightning strikes around you.

Practice electrical safety. A lightning strike can travel through a building rapidly, often using the home’s wiring system to do so. This can lead to a power surge, an event that can harm electronics and cause sparks. If you have plenty of time before the storm hits, unplugging everything is the safest thing you can do—but in case you don’t, also install surge protectors at home and at your office.

Avoid direct contact with concrete. When you hear that a thunderstorm is nearby, concrete might seem like the most reasonable place to seek shelter—but concrete can have its own dangers involved. Metal beams are often encased in poured concrete to stabilize it, meaning it can transfer the charge from lightning when it strikes. If you do seek shelter in a concrete building, avoid directly touching the floor or walls.

Stay indoors for at least 30 minutes. If you have an activity interrupted by a thunderstorm, getting back to it is likely your top priority—but do not forget about safety as well. Lightning can travel large distances even when the sky is clear, so experts recommend giving yourself at least half an hour before heading back outside.

If your home sustains damage due to a storm, you can count on us to help. Contact us at any hour to learn more about our storm restoration process.

Before Severe Weather Strikes, Make Plans to Be Prepared | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

5/26/2020 (Permalink)

If your home has been impacted by storm damage, SERVPRO of Palo Alto will respond quickly to assist in any repairs.

Severe weather can be something that we disregard with time, especially if we have been through previous storms that did not lead to any life-altering damages.

This is a dangerous outlook to take, because every single storm has the potential to cause serious damage and should be regarded as something to be wary of. You should always have a severe weather plan for preparedness in place—understand a watch and warning notification, stock your disaster supplies and find a reliable way to receive weather updates in advance so you can be prepared if severe weather does strike.

Understand a Watch and Warning Notification

If a weather watch or warning is issued, it is important to understand what that means so you can react appropriately and safely. When a severe weather watch is issued by local authorities, that means that they are anticipating a storm because conditions indicate one could occur. This is not the same as a warning, which means an active storm is in the area and you should seek safe coverage right away.

Stock Your Disaster Supplies at Home

While a storm is nearby, you want to be certain you have all the supplies you need on hand in order to hunker down and wait it out. You will want to have first-aid supplies, food and water, and a dependable light source like a battery-operated flashlight in case the electricity fails due to the storm. You should also have an area of your home that serves as a “safe zone,” such as a hallway or bathroom where your family can seek shelter.

Find a Reliable Way to Receive Weather Updates

For most of us, our cell phone is typically the best way to receive alerts about nearly anything going on in the world—but when it comes to severe weather, that is not the case. Storms can often knock out cell phone reception and power, rendering a phone useless, especially if the battery dies. It is important to seek a more reliable way to get these updates such as a NOAA Weather Radio so you can be certain you always have the information you need.

If your home has been impacted by storm damage, we are here for you. You can contact us 247 to get a quick response to your home’s damages.

Being Knowledgeable About How Rain Can Lead to Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Heavy rains can cause serious water damage. SERVPRO of Palo Alto has the trained technicians to fully restore your home.

There are many water-related incidents that can lead to damage, as it takes a relatively small amount of moisture to lead to an issue.

While many often think of floods, even heavy rain showers over a period of time can lead to water damage, as water gradually works its way into a home’s weather defenses. Being knowledgeable about where and why this happens is the best preventive measure to take.

Where to Be Aware That Water Damage Is a Possibility

Backup of clogged gutters. Cleaning out your gutters every six months or so is a great defense against water damage. When your gutters can’t properly drain water, pooling can occur and lead to water sitting up against—and eventually seeping into—your home.

Leaks around windows and doors. Windows and doors can develop small cracks around them, which may not be visible to the naked eye but are certainly large enough for water to find. Water can soak into these small gaps and begin to eat away at the wood surrounding these openings.

Poor drainage around the foundation. Regardless of how impervious a foundation may seem, if poor drainage allows water to build up around the foundation, it can eventually begin to seep inward and lead to damages.

Leaks in and around the roof. A house of any age can develop a roof leak, and they can often sneak up on you. Checking for signs that your roof might be vulnerable to leaks regularly is the best defense against this.

Malfunctioning of a sump pump system. For those with basements or crawl spaces, a sump pump is a great water damage defense, as long as it is maintained. Sump pump malfunctions due to inadequate maintenance can lead to serious damages on their own.

Leaks around chimneys and skylights. Skylights and chimneys are great features, but it is important to check on the seals surrounding them regularly to ensure they have not deteriorated enough to begin letting water through when there is heavy rain around.

If you’ve experienced water damage to your home, we are here to help. You can call us 247 to have our trained technicians respond quickly and begin your restoration.

The First Steps to Take to Recover From a Flood | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto can assist with flood damage

It can be extremely devastating to discover that your home has been impacted by a flood, but with flooding becoming more and more common, it is an important thing to prepare for.

In a flood’s aftermath, recovering quickly is everyone’s top priority—and acting fast can even lessen the overall damage. In this trying time, it is also important to ensure you are staying safe, which is why we have these tips to help you know exactly what to do following a flood.

Steps to Take Toward Flood Recovery

Avoid further safety hazards. Wanting to start the recovery process quickly is a common reaction for homeowners following a flood, but it is important to ensure it is safe to return to your home before you begin. Flooding can be dangerous in the moment, but its hazards can continue after the fact and should be cautioned against until local authorities deem it safe.

Air out the home. In addition to the damage from the flood specifically, impacted homeowners must also deal with the possibility of mold growth in their home. Mold is an airborne fungus, and it thrives in areas that are moist with stale air. Circulating fresh air through your house is a good preventative for this—while it will not stop the growth entirely, it can significantly reduce it and make the air healthier to breathe as you begin cleanup.

Document the damages. The emotional impact of flood damage can give homeowners a strong reaction when they first survey the damage, and many people rush to begin taking action right away. However, it is wise to make a point to document the damages before you start removing things or altering them. Make an inventory of everything that has been thrown away and take photos of the damages so you have strong records, both for yourself and insurance.

Contact your restoration and insurance companies right away. Getting in touch with your flood insurance company right away will let you know exactly what next steps to take in order to file your claim. After this, talk to your restoration company so they can assemble a response team and get to you right away. Letting flood damage sit unattended is one of the worst things you can do in the aftermath, so getting your restoration team on it is advised.

If your home has been damaged in a flood, we are here for you. You can contact us 247 to receive a quick response and set the restoration process in motion.

A Guide to Enhancing Your Home’s Weatherproofing | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

How to Weatherproof Your Home

There are many things that can impact how well a home can resist severe weather, such as the age of the house, overall exposure and the integrity of the construction. It is smart to consider where your home stands with this and what improvements you may need to make it more resilient—especially considering that 50% of all homeowners’ insurance claims are due to weather.

The good news is that increasing a house’s resilience to weather is inexpensive and not time-consuming, so it is generally better to be safe than sorry. That is why we have outlined some of our top weatherproofing tips so you can rest easy the next time heavy rains head your way.

Tips to Enhance Your Home’s Weatherproofing

Keep Your Shingles in Shape
A leaking roof is typically thought of as a problem for older homes, but even newer homes can develop leaks for an assortment of reasons. By checking in regularly with your roof and monitoring the appearance of your shingles, you can determine easily if you should prioritize roof repairs soon.

Beat the Weather With Weatherstripping
Weatherstripping’s benefits are twofold—first, it can stop water from working its way into tiny cracks around your doors and windows, and it can also save you tremendously on your electric bills by providing extra insulation to your home. It also has the benefit of being easy to install and cost-effective, so it makes the perfect precautious weekend project.

Gut Debris From Your Gutters
Clearing your gutters every six months is a smart habit to get in, as this can prevent the build-up of leaves and debris—but it is still important to check up on them between cleanings. Look for odd drainage patterns, standing water or visible cracks the next time it rains so you can determine if repairs should be made to your system in the near future.

Pick the Right Paint
Paint has turned into more than just a color decision because of all the options for finishes and technology that are on the market. Investing in exterior paint with waterproofing and UV-resistant technology can help your home age gracefully and be less affected when stormy weather is heading your way.

If you have issues with storm damage to your home, we are always here to help. Contact us 24 hours a day for a rapid response.

When Destructive Storms Arrive, Give Us a Call | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

2/7/2020 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto when you need storm damage restoration!

Though storms are a regular occurrence, they can also be extremely destructive. Storm damage is one of the top reasons that homeowners must file insurance claims, and claims filed amounted to approximately $2 billion in storm-related losses in 2018.

Because any storm has the potential to cause your home to sustain damage, it is important to know exactly what to do if the event were to occur. The good news is that when you need storm restoration, we are here 247 to help you recover.

What You Receive When You Call Us for Household Storm Restoration

You Will Receive Comprehensive Restoration
It is rare that storm damage is a black and white issue, instead often including problems with structural elements, water damage and even mold. Because we are fully certified in all these issues, we are able to examine the damage with a comprehensive approach and can make sure your restoration is done completely and with efficiency.

You Will Receive Technicians With Experience
Our technicians are something we invest heavily in because we value their contributions tremendously. We train our entire workforce from day one to the standards set forth by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, which sets the industry benchmarks for restoration. We also offer seminars and online courses for our technicians, so they can always continue to learn and hone their skills.

You Will Receive Enough Resources for Restoration
We love being a member of the Palo Alto community and all the wonderful things that come with being a locally owned business—and with our backing from the national SERVPRO® brand, we also get to offer our customers national resources in the event of major disasters. Other locations can band together to offer equipment and additional resources, so everyone in the community can receive restoration in a timely manner.

You Will Receive Service From a Reputable Company
With all of our years of experience, we have unfortunately seen many customers get taken advantage of by post-storm scams by unscrupulous “restoration professionals.” Because we have a long-standing reputation as leaders in the restoration industry, you can trust that with us, you will receive quality work and will not fall victim to one of these scams.

If you have experienced storm damage or want to learn more, you can call us 247 for more details.

Prepping for a Palo Alto Power Outage

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto Can Help with Damage Caused by Power Outages

The American Red Cross encourages that each household and car have a preparedness kit, but sadly only 51.5% of US homes reportedly have an emergency kit ready. Here at SERVPRO of Palo Alto, we’re passionate about preparedness. As we head into the 2019 storm season, we recommend homes and businesses prepare power outage kits for the instance they find themselves without power.

Kits should include things like water, canned food, a can opener, flashlights and batteries. Food and water rations should be enough for each person in your household or place of business for 5 days.

To start a power outage kit, grab an old backpack or duffle and add in plenty of bottled water, battery-operated radio and clock, flashlight for each member of your household including extra batteries, non-electric can opener, list of emergency phone numbers including family and friends and a first aid kit.

September was National Preparedness month, and SERVPRO of Palo Alto recommends that learn more about how to prepare for disaster.

Should disaster, like water damage from a dishwasher leak or pipe break, affect your home, call SERVPRO of Palo Alto today at (650) 800-3448.

Wildfire Danger Cuts Off Power to 800K Customers in Northern California

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

PG & E Power Outage

Because of firestorm danger, Pacific Gas & Electric is shutting off power to about 800,000 customers across Northern California to try to avoid wildfires caused by winds damaging power equipment, a historic move.

The first power cutoffs, which is expected to affect 513,000 customers, began shortly after midnight in several counties around Sacramento, amid strengthening winds and continued to roll out into the early morning hours.

The blackouts will affect 34 counties in Central and Northern California, including Santa Clara county. Cities like Palo Alto, Atherton, Redwood City, Menlo Park, and Stanford, areas that SERVPRO of Palo Alto serves. It would be the biggest power shutdown so far as utilities across the state attempt to reduce wildfire risk due to heavy wind. Utilities malfunctions have been tied to some of the state’s most destructive fires, including last year’s Camp fire, which devastated Paradise, Calif., and the 2017 fires in Sonoma and Napa Valley.

The outage could last a week. Do you know if you'll be affected? Check out the outage map here.

Natural Disaster Preparation in the Bay Area

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Due to Storms

A tornado touching down in Davis, California reminds us in the Bay Area that we need to be prepared for what Mother Nature can throw at us at any moment. It is also a good reminder to review your current homeowners insurance policy. Although California doesn't often experience tornadoes, SERVPRO of Palo Alto reminds you to always be prepared. California has been impacted by tropical storms that have caused major flooding and property damage.

Here are some tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in order to protect your home in case of a severe storm:

  • Cover all windows with precut plywood or hurricane shutters to protect from high winds.
  • Keep all trees and shrubs well-trimmed.
  • Turn off utilities and propane tanks as instructed.
  • Ensure supply of water for sanitary purposes.
  • Keep an emergency backpack available to quickly grab if you need to.


SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers 24-hour emergency service, 365 days a year. Reach us at 650-800-3448 day or night!

How to Build an Emergency Kit in Palo Alto, California

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

What to Have in Your Emergency Kit

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit

To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

  • Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

If you have an emergency and need immediate service, call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at 650-800-3448 anytime day or night.

Rainstorms in Bay Area Continue

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

Rain in Bay Area

Widespread rain in the Bay Area, including in Palo Alto, Atherton, Redwood City, Stanford, and Menlo Park, continues and is expected to continue through at least Friday, March 8th, bringing at least three inches of rain.

While no major flooding is expected in the Bay Area, the weather service warned that “minor nuisance flooding may occur Tuesday night and Wednesday” given the already saturated soils.

“Rivers, streams, and creeks will experience rises, but most should remain in their banks,” the weather service wrote in its daily forecast Tuesday.

Once the heaviest downpours clear, scattered showers are likely through Friday morning, Dykema said.

A storm system coming in from the northwest could bring more rain this weekend, but at this point most of the moisture is expected to remain offshore.

Early next week, a ridge if high pressure is expected to build, which will keep the Bay Area dry at least for a couple of days.

Rainfall totals across California for the water year that began Oct. 1 are mostly above average for this time of year, including Redding (28.17 inches, or 112 percent of its historical average), San Francisco (20.02 inches, 109 percent), Oakland (15.71 inches or 100 percent), and San Jose (12.63 inches, 108 percent).

When water damage occurs due to excessive rain and flooding like we've been experiencing, call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448 day or night. We'll make water damage "Like it never even happened."

Protect Against Rainstorm Damage

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Santa Clara County Rainstorms

The heavy rains and horrific mudslides that devastated large swathes of Montecito in Santa Barbara County last January left death and destruction in their wake as mud and debris swept through the streets, leaving 21 people dead and thousands of homes and businesses damaged. Because all of California has experienced rain storms at one time or another (including the heavy rains last winter in Northern California, causing thousands in San Jose and surrounding areas to evacuate), water damage preparedness is essential to protecting what we hold dear.

What does this tell us, as residents of Santa Clara County, including those of us in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, and Redwood City? It tells us that we need to be prepared at all times for water damage that can occur due to heavy rains in Northern California by taking several key steps. In addition, we also need to have a reliable restoration company like SERVPRO of Palo Alto to assist in damage restoration and water mitigation after the fact.

How can homeowners and business owners protect their property from water damage in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, and Redwood City? There are several steps to take to minimize water damage due to heavy rains and winds.

First, make sure to maintain clean gutters. Clear your gutters of leaves and twigs that may have accumulated throughout the year. Do this at least twice a year, if not more. If you don’t keep your gutters clean, debris build-up slows the flow of water to the drains and leads to overflowing.

Another important step to take when safeguarding your home or business against water damage is protecting against electricity issues. During heavy rainstorms, it’s imperative to make sure that all electrical appliances are stored or moved upstairs, where water is can’t reach them. Don’t go near the fuse box and ensure that all sockets are covered and turned off. Water and electricity can cause major problems.

Next, don’t forget to check your sealant. Make sure that any gaps or holes in the sealant surrounding your doors and windows are filled in, especially if you live in an area that gets hammered by heavy downpours. Otherwise, rain will seep into the building, causing all sorts of problems requiring water damage mitigation. Inspect your sealant regularly, because regular upkeep will greatly reduce the impact of sealant erosion.

Cover air vents. As you may have already experienced, air vents are one of the most common ways that water can get into a house or business. If the forecast calls for heavy rain, or if you’re at risk of flooding, make sure that you cover your air vents from both the outside and the inside with thick plastic sheeting.

What happens if you take these protective measures before heavy rains hit and you still have water damage? Sometimes, no matter what you do, Mother Nature can still cause water damage (or mold damage due to water damage) requiring water restoration, mold restoration and mold mitigation in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, and Redwood City. Not all is lost. First call a reputable damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Palo Alto. SERVPRO of Palo Alto’s expertly trained restoration technicians are trained to take care of water damage and mold mitigation due to flash flooding and heavy rains. They serve the following areas of Santa Clara County: Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, and Redwood City, and have taken on water damage jobs both large and small. In addition, their customers give SERVPRO of Palo Alto excellent reviews for their quick, efficient, and high-quality water restoration work and mold mitigation work.

Here’s what one happy SERVPRO of Palo Alto customer has to say about her experience with water damage and subsequent water damage mitigation performed by SERVPRO:

“These guys are the best at what they do... I had major water damage in my house and they came in right away with a plan to address the issue.  Jessie was my project manager, absolutely wonderful and professional. He was there for me every step of the way, answered all of my calls no matter the time, could not have asked for a better manager to handle my situation.  I highly recommend Jessie and his team. Thank you guys, could not have gotten through my terrible situation without you!!” - Mary L., Newark, CA

Get your property ready for heavy rainstorms that inevitably occur in our area of Santa Clara County. Then, call us today for a quick, no-cost estimate for any water damage, large or small, that needs water restoration at (650) 800-3448.

Building a Power Outage Kit

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Tips for building a power outage kit.

The American Red Cross encourages that each household and car have a preparedness kit, but sadly, only 51.5% of US homes reportedly have an emergency kit ready.

Power outage kits should include things like water, canned food, a can opener, flashlights, and batteries, including enough food and water for each person in your household for five days. To build a power outage kit, you can use an old backpack or duffel bag and add the following:

  • Plenty of bottled water
  • Battery-operated radio and clock
  • Flashlight for each member of your household including extra batteries
  • Non-electric can opener
  • List of emergency phone numbers including family and friend
  • First aid kit

Throughout the month of September, SERVPRO® of Palo Alto will be bringing tips and information on how to best be prepared in case of disasters like power outages due to storms. Should disaster like water damage from a dishwasher leak or pipe break affect your home, call us today at 650-800-3448. We serve Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Redwood City, and Stanford in the Bay Area.

SERVPRO® of Palo Alto is ready 24/7, 365 to help you when emergency strikes.

#SERVPROPALOALTO #SERVPRO #NATLPREP

Storms Can Cause Flooding to Your Palo Alto Home

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

Prepare for power outages in Palo Alto.

After a storm or natural disaster, the aftermath can be detrimental to you both emotionally and financially.  Storm cleanup and water damage restoration to your property can be stressful without the help of qualified technicians leading the way. With storm season approaching us, rain and high winds can affect Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Redwood City, Stanford and other parts of the Bay Area. When these winter storms occur, there’s a possibly of power outages in your area due to winds knocking down electrical poles or other causes.

It is important for families to be prepared for a power outage that may last for several hours or days after a heavy storm. The National Public Service campaign, Ready Campaign, has shared the following tips regarding power outage:

Before a Power Outage:

  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, casa, and first aid supplies.
  • Make sure you have alternate charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power.
  • Charge cell phones and any battery powered devices.
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door is located and know how to operate it.
  • Learn about the emergency plans that have been establish in your community.

During a Power Outage:

  • Avoid using candles which can cause fires. Only use flashlight for emergency lighting.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors.
  • Only use generators away from your home, and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home’s electrical system. Consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing a generator.

After a Power Outage:

  • Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures of 40*F (4*C) for two hours or more. When in doubt, throw it away.
  • If food in freezer is colder than 40*F and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it.
  • Contact your doctor if you’re concerned about medication having spoiled.
  • Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. 
  • Choose foods your family will eat.
  • Remember any special dietary needs.
  • Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.

The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand.

  • Salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals, and canned foods with high liquid content
  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
  • Protein or fruit bars
  • Dry cereal or granola
  • Peanut butter
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Crackers
  • Canned juices
  • Non-perishable pasteurized milk
  • High energy foods
  • Vitamins
  • Food for infants
  • Comfort/stress foods
  • Don’t forget to pack a can opener and other utensils needed!

For more information and tips on how to prepare for and respond to an emergency visit

 https://www.ready.gov/about-us

SERVPRO of Palo Alto has the experience, the expertise, and the advanced training that enables us to get your property restored quickly and thoroughly. For your emergency restoration services call us 24/7 for prompt service. (650) 800-3448!

SEPTEMBER is National Disaster Preparedness Month

9/16/2018 (Permalink)

Download the SERVPRO Ready app today!

Make A Plan

Mother Nature can bring us unexpected events without much warning.  That is why you can never be too careful. During an emergency, it is important to be prepared with an Emergency Plan in place. An Emergency Plan can increase your chances of survival for yourself and those around you in case of an emergency or disaster.

It is important that everyone in the home is aware of what actions to take in case of an emergency. You can find more information on how to be prepared in the link below:

https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.

SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile

SERVPRO of Palo Alto can help you develop an immediate plan of action for your home or business. You can simply download our mobile SERVPRO Ready Plan app on your phone or tablets. Whether you are a home or business owner, our SERVPRO Ready Plan can help you be prepared for whatever happens. It is important to know what to do and expect in advance to help minimize the damages that can affect your property. The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile advantages consist of:

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
     
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
    It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
     
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
    This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
     
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
     
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
    This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
     
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
    Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."

Select SERVPRO of Palo Alto as your Preferred Franchise on your personalized profile.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto

(650) 800-3448

2625 Middlefield Road #557

Palo Alto, CA 94306

Download the app today

https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp

Firestorm Disaster Preparedness

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Restoration in Palo Alto, CA

Firestorms (wildfires) have been increasing in frequency and intensity in recent years. They can ruin homes and cause injuries or death to people and animals. A wildfire is an unplanned fire that burns in a natural area such as a forest, grassland, or prairie. Wildfires can:

  • Often be caused by humans or lightning.
  • Cause flooding or disrupt transportation, gas, power, and communications.
  • Happen anywhere, anytime. Risk increases with in periods of little rain and high winds.
  • Cost the Federal Government billions of dollars each year.

IF YOU ARE UNDER A WILDFIRE WARNING IN YOUR AREA, GET TO SAFETY RIGHT AWAY

  • Leave if told to do so.
  • If trapped, call 9-1-1.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Use N95 masks to keep particles out of the air you breathe.
  • Prepare NOW
    Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • Know your community’s evacuation plans and find several ways to leave the area.
  • Drive the evacuation routes and find shelter locations. Have a plan for pets and livestock.
  • Gather emergency supplies, including N95 respirator masks that filter out particles in the air you breathe. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including and updated asthma action plan and medication.
  • Don’t forget the needs of pets.
  • Designate a room that can be closed off from outside air. Close all doors and windows. Set up a portable air cleaner to keep indoor pollution levels low when smoky conditions exist.
  • Keep important documents in a fireproof, safe place. Create password-protected digital copies.
  • Use fire-resistant materials to build, renovate, or make repairs.
  • Find an outdoor water source with a hose that can reach any area of your property.
  • Create a fire-resistant zone that is free of leaves, debris, or flammable materials for at least 30 feet from your home.
  • Review insurance coverage to make sure it is enough to replace your property.
    Pay attention to air quality alerts.

Northern California Firestorms

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto can assist those affected by Northern California firestorms

SERVPRO of Palo Alto, one of Northern California’s top damage restoration companies (taking care of fire damage, water damage, mold mitigation, smoke and soot damage, and post-damage clean-up) is ready to assist those Californians affected by the recent fires in Northern California, including those residents and business owners affected by the following fires: the Carr Fire, the Mendocino Complex Fire, and Lake County Fire. Due to extreme heat and dry weather conditions, Northern California, once again, has been hit hard by wildfires and firestorms this summer. The Mendocino Complex Fire, in particular, is now California’s largest wildfire in history. Firefighters continue to labor for many hours to fight fire, with only partial containment. These fires are not only causing damage and loss to nature, but also causing damage and loss to business and residences. The sheer size of these Northern California firestorms has caused significant damage to property, as well as several casualties.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto restoration company, with its large number of resources, staff, and proprietary equipment, can help restore property that has been affected by wildfires. Its expert technicians, with their multiple training certifications, can handle any size job, whether large or small. SERVPRO of Palo Alto has been in business for almost five years, and in that five years, has garnered numerous five-star reviews and contracts with large companies and organizations. They are trusted to do the job right. SERVPRO of Palo Alto serves and has worked in the following cities in Santa Clara County, California: Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Stanford, Atherton, Menlo Park, Redwood City, and North Fair Oaks.

CARR FIRE

The Carr Fire was a massive wildfire that burned in Shasta and Trinity Counties in California, United States. The fire burned 229,651 acres before it was 100% contained on August 30. The Carr Fire destroyed at least 1,604 structures (at least 1,077 were homes) while damaging 277 others, becoming the sixth-most destructive fire in California history, as well as the seventh-largest wildfire recorded in modern California history. The Carr Fire cost over $1.658 billion in damages, including $1.5 billion in insured losses and more than $158 million in suppression costs.

MENDOCINO COMPLEX FIRE

The Mendocino Complex Fire, which began at the end of July is still not 100% contained (as of September 2, 2018). It is a large complex of two wildfires, the River Fire and Ranch Fire, and was burning in Mendocino, Lake, Colusa and Glenn Counties in California. The Ranch Fire is currently burning eight miles northeast of Ukiah and the River Fire is currently burning six miles north of Hopland.

First reported on July 27, 2018, both fires have burned a combined total of 459,123 acres and are collectively 97% contained (as of September 2, 2018), while the Ranch Fire has burned 410,203 acres, surpassing the Thomas Fire to become the single-largest modern California wildfire. The fires collectively destroyed 280 structures while damaging 37 others; property damage has not yet been calculated for the fire complex, but costs are presumed to be staggering. The Mendocino Complex also cost over $176.4 million in fire suppression costs. The city of Lakeport, communities of Kelseyville, Lucerne, Upper Lake, Nice, Saratoga Springs, Witter Springs, Potter Valley, and Finley, parts of Hopland, and the tribal communities of Hopland Rancheria and Big Valley Rancheria were evacuated.

LAKE COUNTY FIRE

Lake County has experienced two separate wildfires: the Carder Fire, which burned 50 acres and was contained late July, and the currently burning (as of September 2, 2018) Kelsey fire, which as burned 36 acres so far and has prompting evacuation advisories.

Northern California’s firestorm season has been very intense this year, both in scope and length. As a result, homeowners and business owners have suffered tremendous losses when it comes to property. To help mitigate fire damage as a result of the Lake County Fire, Mendocino Complex Fire, and Carr Fire, SERVPRO of Palo Alto has assembled a firestorm team to quickly restore property to its original condition. They will also work with your property insurance company to ensure coverage and give you peace of mind as quickly as possible.

If you are in any of the areas affected by these Northern California wildfire, or if you experience fire damage in the following areas: Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Stanford, Atherton, Menlo Park, Redwood City, or North Fair Oaks, please call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448. We’re here to help! We will make it “Like it never even happened.”



Mexico Earthquake- Wake-up Call for Californians

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

On Tuesday, September 19, 2017, a powerful earthquake struck the south of Mexico in Puebla State, 123 kilometers from Mexico City. This earthquake should serve as a wake-up call to all Californians, as seismologists have been waiting for a possible devastating earthquake to occur in California. The San Andreas Fault and six other significant fault zones are present in the Bay Area: the Calaveras Fault, Concord-Green Valley Fault, Greenville Fault, Hayward Fault, Rodgers Creek Fault, and San Gregorio Fault.

If and when that big one hits us, a tsunami could also be a real threat to us, and might even come through the Bay side to impact Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and the surrounding areas. Once these waves enter your home, the waters are deemed Category 3 flood waters, and everything impacted by the waves would be deemed unsalvageable.

After a catastrophic situation has impacted our community, SERVPRO of Palo Alto has the ability to rally equipment and crews to quickly respond to storm damage of any magnitude. Trust SERVPRO to restore the water damage your structure can suffer from a major storm. We can handle water damage restoration after flooding, thunderstorms, earthquakes, and any natural disaster. Our crew will take care of your restoration, water mitigation, and any mold remediation needed after a big storm. SERVPRO of Palo Alto would be one of the first responders in such a disaster, and would be there to help clean up and dry out your commercial or residential property if affected.

If you experience any kind of storm damage, be sure to call us first at SERVPRO of Palo Alto by dialing 650-800-3448.

Storms Can Cause Flooding to Your Palo Alto Home

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

After a storm or natural disaster, the aftermath can be detrimental to you both emotionally and financially.  Storm cleanup and water damage restoration to your property can be stressful without the help of qualified technicians leading the way. With storm season approaching us, rain and high winds can affect Palo Alto and other parts of the Bay Area. When these winter storms occur, there’s a possibly of power outages in your area due to winds knocking down electrical poles or other causes.

It is important for families to be prepared for a power outage that may last for several hours or days after a heavy storm. The National Public Service campaign, Ready Campaign, has shared the following tips regarding power outage:

Before a Power Outage:

  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, casa, and first aid supplies.
  • Make sure you have alternate charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power.
  • Charge cell phones and any battery powered devices.
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door is located and know how to operate it.
  • Learn about the emergency plans that have been establish in your community.

During a Power Outage:

  • Avoid using candles which can cause fires. Only use flashlight for emergency lighting.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors.
  • Only use generators away from your home, and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home’s electrical system. Consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing a generator.

After a Power Outage:

  • Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures of 40*F (4*C) for two hours or more. When in doubt, throw it away.
  • If food in freezer is colder than 40*F and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it.
  • Contact your doctor if you’re concerned about medication having spoiled.
  • Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. 
  • Choose foods your family will eat.
  • Remember any special dietary needs.
  • Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.

The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand.

  • Salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals, and canned foods with high liquid content
  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
  • Protein or fruit bars
  • Dry cereal or granola
  • Peanut butter
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Crackers
  • Canned juices
  • Non-perishable pasteurized milk
  • High energy foods
  • Vitamins
  • Food for infants
  • Comfort/stress foods
  • Don’t forget to pack a can opener and other utensils needed!

For more information and tips on how to prepare for and respond to an emergency visit

 https://www.ready.gov/about-us

SERVPRO of Palo Alto has the experience, the expertise, and the advanced training that enables us to get your property restored quickly and thoroughly. For your emergency restoration services call us 24/7 for prompt service. (650) 800-3448.

Lightning storm strikes the Bay Area

9/14/2017 (Permalink)

On Monday, September 11, the Bay Area was hit with a late-summer storm that brought thousands of lightning strikes, rain and high winds. The strong winds knocked down several wires in the South Bay, leaving several homes and businesses without power.

With summer coming to an end, we begin to prepare for the upcoming storm season that fall may bring. These storms can potentially create numerous water and damage losses for your home or business. It is important to inspect your home or business for water damage to prevent it from creating mold or further damage to the structure.

The heavy winds of these storms can knock down trees causing severe damage to your property. Storm and flood damages require specialized techniques and adequate equipment. If your residential or commercial property is affected by a storm, you will need a company with storm damage experience and expertise. Trust SERVPRO of Palo Alto to take care of it. Call us 650-800-3448.

Locally Owned Company with National Storm Resources

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is locally owned and operated, so we are part of this community too. When you have a flooding or storm emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help 24/7. We take pride in being a part of the Palo Alto community and want to do our part in making it the best it can be.

SEPTEMBER: National Preparedness Month

9/14/2017 (Permalink)

Download our app TODAY!

Make A Plan

Mother Nature can bring us unexpected events without much warning.  That is why you can never be too careful. During an emergency, it is important to be prepared with an Emergency Plan in place. An Emergency Plan can increase your chances of survival for yourself and those around you in case of an emergency or disaster.

It is important that everyone in the home is aware of what actions to take in case of an emergency. You can find more information on how to be prepared in the link below:

https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.

SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile

SERVPRO of Palo Alto can help you develop an immediate plan of action for your home or business. You can simply download our mobile SERVPRO Ready Plan app on your phone or tablets. Whether you are a home or business owner, our SERVPRO Ready Plan can help you be prepared for whatever happens. It is important to know what to do and expect in advance to help minimize the damages that can affect your property. The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile advantages consist of:

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
     
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
    It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
     
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
    This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
     
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
     
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
    This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
     
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
    Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."

Select SERVPRO of Palo Alto as your Preferred Franchise on your personalized profile.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto

(650) 800-3448

2625 Middlefield Road #557

Palo Alto, CA 94306

Download the app today

https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp

When Storms hit, SERVPRO is PREPARED!

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

Atherton home affected by heavy rain. SERVPRO of Palo Alto was there to help!

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is dedicated to storm and flood damage restoration. Our crew is ready “for whatever happens”. Our highly trained staff use expert equipment that is efficient to restore and preserve your property.

Our crew at SERVPRO of Palo Alto are able to respond quickly with the right resources within a few hours to reduce any future damage. This is extremely important to assure that the property is dry in order to decrease the damage. Doing so will prevent further damage, which ultimately reduces the restoration cost.

When storms hit Palo Alto, we have the right equipment and resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. Our highly trained professionals are ready to respond 24/7 to any storm or flood emergency.

We are part of a national network of over 1,600 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large scale events and disasters.

Need Emergency Services? Call us 24/7 at 650-800-3448

Are You Prepared For a Natural Disaster?

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

Hurricane Harvey has powerfully impacted the state of Texas causing catastrophic floods and homes destroyed. This unfortunate event caused by Mother Nature should be a wake-up call to be prepared for any natural disaster. It is also a good time to review your current insurance policy. Although California has not experienced hurricanes, SERVPRO of Palo Alto advices you to always be prepared. California has been impacted by tropical storms that have caused major flooding and property damage.

Here are some tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in order to protect your home in case of a severe storm:

  • Cover all windows with precut plywood or hurricane shutters to protect from high winds.
  • Keep all trees and shrubs well-trimmed.
  • Turn off utilities and propane tanks as instructed.
  • Ensure supply of water for sanitary purposes.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers 24-hour emergency response, 365 a year. Reach us at 650-800-3448

Tsunami Threatens California After 8.3 Chile Earthquake

9/17/2015 (Permalink)

Photo: San Andrea Movie.

A powerful 8.3 earthquake that rattled the earth for three minutes struck the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Chile Wednesday, generating a 15-foot tsunami along parts of the Chilean coast. Chile is one of the most earthquake prone countries as the Nazca plate runs under the Andes beneath the S. American plate.

The tsunami advisories are in effect for Hawaii and California coasts but the strength of the waves will be concentrated on French Polynesia including Tahiti. Local officials urge people to stay off the beach and out of water in the areas of Southern and Central California including: San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego. The National Tsunami Warning Center said that tsunami waves of less than 1 foot above normal can be expected. Althouth the waves would not pose much danger to land, they can create dangerous currents to those swimming or boating in these areas.

Coastal areas nearest to the Bay Area, South Bay or Silicon Valley, including Pacifica, Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz will likely not be affected by the waves of the tsunami. This earthquake should serve as a wake-up call to all Californians as seismologists have been predicting an earth-rattling quake to this area for months. The San Andreas Fault and 6 other significant fault zones are present in the Bay Area: the Calaveras, Concord-Green Valley, Greenville, Hayward, Rodgers Creek, and San Gregorio Faults.

If and when that big one hits us, a tsunami could be a real threat to us and might even come through the bay side to impact Palo Alto, Menlo Park and the surrounding areas. Once these waves enter your home, the waters are deemed category 3 flood waters and everything impacted by the waves would be deemed unsalvageable. 

SERVPRO of Palo Alto would be one of the first responders in such a disaster and would be there to help clean out and dry out your commercial or residential property if affected.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Palo Alto can respond immediately to your water damage emergency regardless of the scope or size of the damage. We are part of a national network of over 1,600 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large scale events and disasters.

Whether your water emergency occurs in an apartment, a large estate, a small office building, or a multi-unit complex, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.