Recent Storm Damage Posts

Dangers of Extreme Cold

4/13/2022 (Permalink)

While your home can be damaged due to winter weather and extreme cold, your personal health is also at risk. Fifty-three people died and three were injured due to extreme cold in 2015. It is important to be aware of the effect extremely cold temperatures can have on you. The two main conditions to be aware of are frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite is caused when your skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Physical symptoms are white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm, or waxy numbness. Hypothermia occurs 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°F, seek medical attention immediately. To avoid these conditions, stay indoors if possible. If not, dress warm in layers and try to keep dry.

How to Handle a Roof Leak

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

Slight discoloration or a slow drip of water from the ceiling can quickly put a stop to everything else you had on your schedule. This is because the most likely cause of those unwelcome signs is a roof leak, and you know that leaks could lead to extensive and expensive repairs. What should you do when you see water stains running down the walls or a spot on the ceiling that doesn't seem quite right?

Common Damages

Perhaps one of the most important things to do at this point is to understand the risks. Even tiny leaks could eventually lead to really big problems, including

  • Soggy insulation
  • Rotted framing
  • Ruined drywall
  • Damaged ceilings
  • Pooled water inside walls
  • Mold and mildew growth

Exterior Repairs

How do you clean up a leaking roof once you've found it? Gather up all of the tools and supplies you'll need. These may include a cordless drill, a pry bar, hammer, caulk gun, putty knife, and tin snips, if you have them handy. Next, separate tasks into those you can handle on your own and those that require professional attention. Replacing missing shingles or damaged flashing could be dangerous because of slick conditions.

Interior Repairs

The roof leak work on the inside of your building will go a bit differently. You may need to release water from a bowed ceiling. To do this, poke several small holes in the area with buckets below for catching the released water. You'll probably need to pull out sections of wet materials before you begin the drying process. Ask water removal specialists for advice regarding disinfecting water-affected materials.

Turn to Professionals

When you've done as much of the work as you can complete on your own, it will be time to turn the restoration of the roof and ceilings over to a professional in Austin, TX. Remember to contact your insurance provider before you get started to be sure that your claim will be covered.

The 5 Best Storm Preparation Tips

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

Preparing for a storm in advance can help you be ready when high winds, rain, or flood water arrive. These five storm preparation tips can help you stay safe and limit wind and water damage to your home in Austin, TX.

  1. Trim Trees To Clear Your Yard

Pruning trees and shrubs can keep heavy branches from falling and damaging your roof or becoming dangerous wind-blown debris. Bring in items kept outside to prevent them from sustaining or causing damage.

  1. Cover Windows With Secure Shutters

Cover the windows if high winds and flying debris are expected. Board up openings right before a major storm or have storm windows or shutters installed if you live in an area with frequent tempests.

  1. Assemble an Emergency Preparedness Kit

Make a plan that accounts for every member of your household. Gather non-perishable items of food, a first aid kit, flashlights, hand cranked or battery-powered radio, and extra batteries. You will need at least one gallon of water per person and enough food for at least three days; in addition, throw in some garbage bags and moist towelettes for sanitation.

  1. Anticipate Power Line Outages

Have flashlights and batteries on hand and make sure you know how to shut off the power to your home. Turn off the electricity if you see rising flood water, downed power lines, or need to evacuate.

  1. Prepare a Go-Bag for Evacuation

Fill your vehicle up with gas and prepare a go-bag car kit with more non-perishable food, jumper cables, flares, maps, tools, a first aid kit, sleeping bags, flashlights, and batteries. Collect important papers in a secure box that you can grab if you need to flee a flooded building.

Prepare for adverse weather in Austin, TX, by following these five steps. If your home sustains damage from wind or water damage from flood water, contact a residential damage restoration company.

Winter Storm Preparation

12/16/2021 (Permalink)

Winter storm 2021 left 70% of Texans without electricity with nearly 4.5 million homes and businesses without power causing an estimated $295 billion in damage across the state. If the storm taught us anything, it was to prepared for the worst. Here are some tips to help you prepare before 2022 potentially hits.

-Consider purchasing a propane cook stove. While you can’t cook with them indoors due to the carbon monoxide produced, they are a great alternative for when the power goes out to cook regular meals and can be used throughout the year for camping. They are also small enough store in a closet.

-Make sure to have at least one gallon of water per person, per day.

-Always have backup cash. While credit and debit machines may be down, most places can still take cash payment for essential items.

-Cell phone chargers and back up battery packs. Backup battery packs have become affordable and are great for an emergency to make sure you always have emergency power and outreach.

-Baby wipes. During any sort of power outage, they are the perfect wipe down in a pinch that’s also gentle on skin

-Kitty litter, sand or rock salt. Another multiuse item is kitty litter and sand. Salt isn’t always readily available in the south but kitty litter is usually easily obtainable and great for creating safe, walkable pathways through ice covered sidewalks.

-A 7-day supply of medications- While pharmacies may be open, roads may be too treacherous to obtain them or mail and other delivery services may be unavailable.

-Make sure to have extra pet food and supplies. If you’re cold, so are your pets. Make sure to keep old towels or extra blankets to keep pets warm but also stock up on food, water and medication, just like you would do for yourself along with a leash or pet carrier in case of potential relocation or evacuation.

-Extra coats, blankets, sweats or any sort of clothing that can be layered for everyone in the home. Layering helps maintain your core body temperature and adds an extra, easily removable layer from the snow and wind.

-Emergency contact information written down for each family member along with copies of health insurance information. If separated, having individual copies makes easy access for emergency personnel and you aren’t reliant on electricity for access.

- Emergency food supply. While a 3-day supply is normally recommended, winter storm 2021 taught us that a week may be necessary. Things like instant potatoes can be made with warm water, meals ready to eat are high in calorie and keep a long shelf life with no cooking necessary or canned items may be eaten without even needing to warm them. Things like tuna fish in a pouch are higher in protein and easy to carry in an evacuation.

-Extra batteries. Always make sure to have extra batteries for a portable radio, lights and lanterns.

-Lights and lanterns. Candles should be a last resort when the electricity goes out because of a fire hazard. Lights and lanterns are also more effective and safer to check breaker boxes in case of an electrical malfunction when electricity is restored.

-Extra hygiene and sanitation supplies. Things like no rinse body wash, dry shampoo and baby wipes are all great options to keep on hand with no electricity or water available.

-Fire pit or alternate heating method. Fire pits aren’t just great for the summer backyard entertaining but can also multitask for outdoor eating and heating for a winter storm. Make sure to get a model with a grill and rated for cooking to prevent damage and to only use it outdoors and at least 6 feet from anything flammable.

-Make sure to have your chimney cleaned and inspected now before winter weather occurs and should be done yearly.

-Make sure to have an emergency supply kit along with emergency contact information in your vehicle. While Texans usually get a warning, winter weather can strike at an instant and Texas roads are not made for it, leaving you potentially stranded until emergency personnel can respond.

-If traveling becomes necessary during or right before a winter storm, make sure to have a full gas tank. Traffic 48 hours before winter storm 2021 became highly congested and extended even the shortest trips, last winter.

-Check the caulking around windows and doors and keep extra towels to put at the base of doors. It’s a simple way to make sure your home stays well insulated and should be checked once a year for basic home maintenance.

-Keep a roll of plastic for emergency insulation. Placing it over windows can help keep cold air out without breaking the bank.

-Molasses in water for outdoor animals- A small amount in a dog’s bowl can prevent water from freezing, just make sure to avoid artificial sweeteners. ½ a cup of molasses added to 50 gallons of water can also help prevent sheet ice from forming in water for larger animals like horses and cattle. The key is to mix it with a few gallons of warm water. The sweetness encourages them to drink water during colder weather and makes fiber in feed more digestible while preventing colic. As always, make sure to check with your veterinarian before adding any supplements to food or water for your animals.

Need emergency water restoration services? Call SERVPRO® of North Central Austin 512-579-0189

Contaminated Water after a Storm

12/13/2021 (Permalink)

Should you experience a flood in your home after a storm, our team of technicians will inspect your home or business to determine the appropriate plan of action for the type of water encountered.

Category 3: "Black Water"

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup
24 Hour Emergency Service

Water contaminated with sewage backup should be considered an emergency situation and dealt with as quickly as possible. Our technicians at SERVPRO® of North Central Austin are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for any emergency situations that arise.

Are you prepared for the upcoming cold weather?

11/16/2021 (Permalink)

Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not ready for it. From heavy rain and freezing temperatures to damaging winds, sleet, or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather. To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits.

  • Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Wind, heavy rain, ice, and snow can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
  •  Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to help ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate a potential flood hazard.
  •  Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
  • Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open, allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.

When winter weather strikes, call SERVPRO® of North Central Austin  professionals to strike back and help make it “Like it never even happened.”

After The Storm

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

Image of SERVPRO employee in PPE Mold Remediation and Restoration

Texas is still in the recovery process from one of the most damaging natural disasters in recent history. In February 2021, the southern state and its surrounding neighbors fell prey to Winter Storm Uri – a deep freeze event that saw temperatures plummet as low as -18C. The storm toppled the Texas electric grid, leaving thousands of homes and businesses without power and triggering a record-breaking number of burst pipe and ice dam property damage to homes and businesses because people simply couldn’t heat their properties.

As we rebuild our homes and places of business Mold has become another one of nature's elements that requires our attention. SERVPRO® of North Central Austin professionals handle water damages every day and know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth. If there is an ongoing moisture problem in the building, be alert for:

  • The presence of visible mold.
  • Strong musty odors, which may indicate mold is present.
  • Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
  • Excessive humidity.

These conditions may require the expertise of a qualified indoor air quality/environmental professional to inspect the building for mold growth and water damage problems.

When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, your local SERVPRO® of North Central Austin professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process.

  Call the Team in Green- The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call your local SERVPRO® franchise professionals. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed. 

Inspection and Damage Assessment- Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. 

Mold Containment- Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Air Filtration- Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO® technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials- The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

Cleaning Contents and Belongings- SERVPRO® of North central Austin professionals clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.

Restoration- Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

SERVPRO® of North Central Austin professionals understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.

What's an ERP?

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

shallow focus picture of raindrops on window with brick buildings in the background Facility managers must always be prepared for unknown. A SERVPRO ERP can help. (Photo by Max Sandelin)

Are you familiar with the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP)? This tool can make one very important part of your facility management responsibilities easier.

Every facility manager knows they should have a detailed disaster plan, but coming up with one from scratch can be a time-consuming task. It’s tempting to put this job to the side and deal with the many metaphorical fires you have to deal with every day than prepare for a real, but hypothetical fire in the future.

That’s what’s great about the ERP. One of SERVPRO of North Central Austin’s representatives can come to you and walk you through creating a reference document that details the important building and contact information for your property. 

The ERP can be used as a standalone document or as a supplement to any existing preparedness plan. Thinking through what to do and who to call in advance is the key to timely mitigation, which minimizes the effects of any weather-related disaster, water, or fire damage to your business.

No matter where you live, it is important to be informed and prepared for any disaster that may occur. Though Mother Nature's is often unpredictable, the ERP is one thing we can do to help you take control before disaster strikes.

Contact SERVPRO of North Central Austin to establish an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your property. SERVPRO's ERP serves as a quick reference document, In any emergency, make sure you have experienced professionals on the line. No matter how big or small, SERVPRO of North Central Austin will be ready to help make your property damage "Like it never even happened."

What’s a Flash Flood Warning?

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

A couple walking under an umbrella next to a river in the rain Flash flood warnings are nothing to ignore.

When rain begins falling in Austin, we’re all prepared for two things—bad drivers and the inevitable flash flood warning on our phones. In an area of the state that is so prone to drought, we know that when it rains, it pours. Some of us have gotten so used to these alerts that we really don’t even notice them any more. 

So what is a flash flood warning anyway? When I was growing up, I always imagined a wall of water bearing down on our neighborhood when I heard the term “flash flood.” The reality is less dramatic, but more insidious

According to the National Weather Service, flash floods are those that begin within six hours of heavy rainfall. The Texas Hill Country has been nicknamed “Flash Flood Alley.”

"Leading the United States in the number of flash and river flooding-related deaths annually (an ominous honor), Texas, specifically the Hill Country, is the most flash flood-prone region found in North America." (Sault, Spring. “Why the Hill Country is A.K.A. ‘Flash Flood Alley,’” Texas Hill Country, June 3, 2016)

To determine when a flash flood warning should be issued, the City of Austin has uses the Flood Early Warning System—a network of 130 rain and creek gauges that are constantly monitored. (You can read about the history of this system in a great Government Technology article.)

We love living in the Texas Hill Country and a little flooding now and then isn’t going to scare us away from the best city in the country, but we know that makes sense to pay attention to those inevitable flash flood warnings when they come through. (Also, drive safely when it rains. No one wants to get stuck on the side of MoPac in a  fender bender on their way to work.)

If you’ve experienced any water damage due to a recent storm, give SERVPRO of North Central Austin a call and we’ll come out to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Know Your Hurricane Categories

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Crashing waves in an ocean with a dark sky above Hurricanes are a fact of life in Texas. Take a minute to learn more about them.

It’s hurricane season. For those of us who are fascinated with weather (which includes a lot of us here at SERVPRO of North Central Austin), it’s a time when we watch weather reports the way other people watch the sports news. 

Here in Austin we’re a little removed from the immediate effects of such massive weather events, so it’s easier to watch hurricanes come and go without having our own lives upended. Because we don’t have to worry about hurricanes, we aren’t all familiar with the differences in hurricane categories. But even just living in a gulf-coast state, it’s a good idea to know what’s coming when we hear about a category 2 or a category 4 storm headed for our lone star beaches.

We’ve compiled a handy reference guide to put the different types of hurricanes into perspective

Tropical Storm

  • Tropical storms have a wide range of speeds. Winds can blow at anywhere from 39-72 mph.
  • That's about the range of speeds that you'll use when driving down I-35, depending on the time of day.
  • The most recent tropical storm to hit Texas was Imelda. It landed a year ago at Freeport on September 17, 2019. 

Category 1

  • Category 1 hurricanes travel at 74–95 mph.
  • That's the speed of the average college fastball pitch
  • Texas' last category 1 was just this summer when Hurricane Hanna hit Padre Island on July 19th.

Category 2

  • Category 2 hurricanes have a speed of 96–110 mph.
  • That's roughly the speed of a human sneeze. (Gross.)
  • Our last category 2 hurricane was Ike, which hit Galveston on September 13th, 2008.

Category 3

  • Category 3 hurricanes go about 111–129 mph.
  • That's the speed of a falling skydiver.
  • Hurricane Rita was Texas' last category 3 hurricane. It landed near Port Arthur on September 23, 2005.

Category 4

  • Category 4 hurricanes travel at 130–156 mph.
  • That's the speed of the average LPGA tour drive
  • Texas' last category 4 hurricane was Harvey. On August 25, 2017 it landed in Rockport.

Category 5

  • Category 5 hurricanes have winds 157 mph or faster.
  • The how fast a golden eagle flies. (Check out this video filmed from the back of one of these amazing birds.)
  • Thankfully, Texas has never been hit by a category 5 hurricane.

One of the reasons we’re proud to work for SERVPRO is knowing that no matter how big or how small a storm is, there is a nation-wide team of franchises ready to respond in the moment of crisis. So even though we aren’t all hit by hurricanes, we’re all here to help those who are.

We can do the same for you. 

After a Storm

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

What should you do after a storm floods your home? After a significant weather event, you may find yourself dealing with conflicting impulses. On one hand, you'll be eager to start the cleanup process right away. On the other hand, you'll probably feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start. While it’s best to have a restoration professional working through the process on your behalf, there are certain steps you can begin while you wait for help to arrive.

Safety First

The first and most important thing to know is how to re-enter a building safely. Never begin damage mitigation until a building has been cleared as safe. 

  • Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet yourself or standing in water.
  • Don’t walk through floodwaters. Water can be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage or possibly even be electrically charged. (See our earlier blog post on water contamination levels.)
  • Turn off electricity to any rooms that are affected by flooding.
  • Don’t operate any electrical equipment while standing in wet or damp locations.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
  • Wear protective clothing such as boots, long pants, and gloves when entering your home or dealing with flooded areas. I realize this is going to be uncomfortable in Austin since storm season is generally in the late summer heat, but it’s not worth the risk of injury to wear shorts in a flood clean-up.

Next Steps

Once you get into your building, notify your insurance agent. Your policy guidelines will influence your next steps and your agent should be able to recommend a trusted water restoration team in your area. To make sure that your agent has an accurate assessment of the damage, take photos or video to record the condition of your building and possessions. Don’t move any objects or collections without documenting their condition.

At SERVPRO of North Central Austin, we’re ready to answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but there are still some steps you can take the moment you get back home while you’re waiting for our team to arrive.

The faster you act, the more effective the restoration process will be and the better your chances are of saving water damaged possessions.

  • Remove any paintings, art objects, documents and other sensitive materials to a safe, dry place.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Raise wooden furniture out of standing waters and place on blocks if possible.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. 
  • Move large furniture away from walls for better air circulation.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.

Tips for Carpet Care

If the affected room is carpeted, there are a few things you can do to prevent further damage to your carpet that might not be obvious if you’ve never been through a flood before.

  • Place aluminum foil between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Remove books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items from wet carpets.
  • Do not leave colored area rugs on wet carpets (or white rugs on wet colored carpets). Color transfer from one can stain the other.

Let Us Help You

Most people only ever have to recover from a flooded home once in their lifetime. When it does happen, it’s good to have a partner who has been through this before. At SERVPRO of North Central Austin, we have years of experience and the backing of the SERVPRO system to draw on and help make your home "Like it never even happened."

If you are dealing with flood damage, call us for help at (512) 579-0189 or request help online today.

Preparing for a Flood

7/22/2020 (Permalink)

Bridge crossing a river next to a white building Prepare now for flooding this fall.

Right now, Austin is in the middle of summer. At this time of year, we’re usually more worried about fires than floods, but that’s exactly when we should prepare our homes and families for autumn rainy seasons.

Assess Your Flood Vulnerability

The most conclusive way to find out if your home or office is vulnerable to flooding is to check a flood map

If you’re having trouble interpreting the flood map or figuring out what your actual risk is, call on the experiences of your neighbors. Ask neighbors who’ve lived on your street for years whether they’ve seen high water nearby. Post a question on a community group asking about the worst storm that anyone in that area has experienced.

Finally, explore your neighborhood and take note of creek beds that could become low water crossings. The next time it rains, take a drive over to them and see how close the water gets to the road.

Make a Plan

Flooding can happen fast in many environments. You need to have an evacuation plan ready and an emergency bag packed before water begins to rise.

You should already be aware of which roads in your community are likely to flood first. Plan a route to higher ground that doesn’t use any potential low water crossings. Talk to friends or family members and arrange for a place to go during a storm if an evacuation is ordered. If you think you might need it, put aside an envelope of literal “rainy day” cash so that you’ll have the funds to use if you need to spend the night at a hotel.

Your evacuation bag should contain everything you’ll need for a couple nights away from home. For example

  • Medication
  • Sanitary items
  • Pet or baby equipment and supplies
  • A change of clothing
  • Emergency blanket
  • Maps of the area (don’t rely on your phone’s map. If power goes down, you’ll need a map even after your phone dies).
  • Paper copies of important documents, such as medical information, deed or lease to your home, and insurance information.

You should also have some supplies set aside in case you're stranded in place. 

  • Food and water for three days
  • A flashlight and extra batteries
  • A battery powered (or crank-powered) radio
  • First Aid supplies

Plan Ahead for Potential Home Repairs

Finally, take time to create a plan for repairing your home after a flood occurs. Talk to your insurance provider about the flood insurance you might need. Talk to others in your community who have been through home repairs and get names of contractors they’d recommend (or recommend you avoid). 

Educate yourself about flood damage. The more informed you are about what to expect, the less scary it will be to deal with the aftermath of a flood.

It’s always intimidating to plan for any natural disaster. It’s important to realize that even though you may never have experienced a flood, you’re not alone in the process.

While most homeowners may never have to deal with a flood, professionals in the restoration, insurance, and local and national governments have years of specialized experience with these disasters. You can benefit from their experience before the rain even begins to fall.

Winter Storm Preparation

1/15/2020 (Permalink)

Frozen tree branch When icy weather hits North Austin, will you be prepared? (Photo by Rafa G. Bonilla)

A Beautiful Austin January

This winter has been beautiful in Austin. Kids are playing in Walnut Creek Park, the Domain is filled with strolling shoppers, and restaurants still have diners choosing the patios. 

It’s a refreshing change of pace considering January is traditionally a rough month for Austin weather. If you’ve forgotten what Austin is like during a winter storm, check out these articles from and Texas Hill Country for a quick reminder of how quickly we Texans begin to lose our cool when an ice storm rolls into town.

Ice Storm Preparation

But don’t let the sunshine and clear roads give you a false sense of security. Use this as an opportunity to prepare for when a storm does come into town. There are three important steps to preparing for an event that forces you to go without electricity, water service, or a supermarket:

  1. Get a Kit: Keep enough emergency supplies on hand for you and those in your care until you can get back out on the roads or HEB is restocked: water, non-perishable food, first aid, prescriptions, and a flashlight.
  1. Make a Plan: Discuss, agree on, and document an emergency plan with those in your care. For homes, work together with your families and neighbors to help build community plan. For companies, contact SERVPRO of North Central Austin to develop an Emergency Ready Profile ® to get you back in business after a storm.
  1. Be Informed: Free information is available to assist you at and In a situation where roads are dangerous or phone lines are down, it can take longer for emergency services to reach those in need quickly. We all need to know how to take care of a sick or injured person until help arrives.

About SERVPRO of North Central Austin

SERVPRO of North Central Austin has been specializing in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after storms since 2010. In good weather or bad, we’re Here to Help®.

Summer brings risks of some serious storm. Pt. 1

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

A storm rolling in , big dark clouds. Summer Storms are dangerous too.

While the spring season is known for the potential for severe weather, the threat exists throughout the summer months as well. In fact, the potential for severe weather even increases in some areas. Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and runs through November 30th. The Eastern pacific hurricane season begins May 15th also ending on November 30th .

While it may be difficult to prepare for the unpredictable, there are steps you can take now to ensure you are ready when disaster strikes. SERVPRO of North Central Austin can provide tips and tools to help. Here are a few tips to consider when preparing for an approaching storm.

Before the Storm:

  • Build an emergency supply kit and develop a communication plan.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment before the storm arrives.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • If you are outdoors, get inside a building, home or hard top vehicle (not a convertible).
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, closer window blinds, shades or curtains.

Summer brings risk of some serious storms. Pt. 2

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Approaching. Dark dangerous clouds Summer Safety is important too!

During the Storm:

  • Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates.
  • Avoid contact with corded phones. Cordless/Cellular phones are safe to use.
  • Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • Unplug appliances and electrical items, like computers. Power surges from lightening can cause serious damage.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.

After the Storm:

  • Never drive through a flooded roadway.
  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk from the effects of severe thunderstorms.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
  • Call 9-1-1 if you need immediate assistance or if anyone is hurt. (Keep in mind they are probably getting multiple calls.)

Why take the risk? Call SERVPRO of North Central Austin. Where the professionals are always working to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Being prepared for a Storm and Flood.

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

Hard rains tearing shingles off of a roof Storms, Flood or any kind of damage. Call the professionals at SERVPRO of North Central Austin.

Sometimes a storm can bring some serious water damage, even a flood. Are you prepared for a flood? Most people aren’t, so here are a few tips to be storm and flood ready!

  • Water (A 3+ day supply; one gallon per person per day.)
  • Food (3+ day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food.)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Medications (7 – day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation/personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact info
  • Extra Cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Pet supplies
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Rain gear
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen
  • Camera for photos of any damage

What about Lightning?

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

Stay prepared for any disaster!

During a storm, a lot of things have the potential to cause some pretty serious damage.

Besides wind driven rain, a few other things can play a role.

Today, let’s talk lightning!

Some people think lightning never strikes the same place twice. However, lightning often strikes the same place twice, especially if it’s a tall, pointed object. Reportedly, the Empire State Building is struck nearly 25 times a year!

It is also believed that lightning only poses a threat when it is cloudy or raining. The truth is lightning often strikes more than three miles outside of a storm and has been known to travel as far as ten to fifteen miles before it even strikes the ground.

Many people are confused by the term “heat lightning” and think it only occurs as a result of a very hot summer day. The term “heat lightning” is used to describe lightning from a thunderstorm too far away to be heard.

Lightning can be scary and has the ability to do more than just make a loud noise. Keep SERVPRO of North Central Austin in mind the next time a storm comes your way!

Be prepared for the unexpected.

5/27/2019 (Permalink)

Call the CLEANUP TEAM that’s faster to any size disaster.

While the spring season is know for the potential for severe weather, the threat exists throughout the summer months as well. In fact, the potential for severe weather even increases in some areas. Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and runs through November 30th. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15th also ending November 30th.

While it may be difficult to prepare for the unpredictable, there are steps you can take now to ensure you are ready when disaster strikes. Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can provide tips and tools to help. Here are a few tips to consider when preparing for an approaching storm.

Before the Storm

  • Build an emergency supply kit and develop a communication plan.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment before the storm arrives.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • If you are outdoors, get inside a building, home or hard top vehicle (not a convertible)
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.

During the Storm

  • Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates.
  • Avoid contact with corded phones. Cordless/cellular phones are safe to use.
  • Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • Unplug appliances and electrical items, like computers. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.

After the Storm

  • Never drive through a flooded roadway.
  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk from the effects of severe thunderstorms.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.

Stay in Business after a storm!

2/6/2019 (Permalink)

You can't predict a disaster, but you can be prepared for one.

As a business owner or manager, you are a leader in your community, and have the opportunity to set an example for your employees, customers, and community to follow.

This year, join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types, and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared.

Disasters not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities, including businesses of all sizes. As an employer in your community, having a business continuity plan can help protect your company, its employees, and its infrastructure, and maximizes your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster.

Ready Business asks companies to take three simple steps: - Plan to stay in business - Encourage your employees to become ready - Protect your investment

Ready Business, an extension of the Ready Campagin, helps business owners and managers of small and medium-sized businesses to prepare their employeees, operations, and assets in the event of an emergency. At, companies can find vital information on how to get started preparing their organization and addressing their unique needs during an emergency.

Storms or Floods on the way to Austin? SERVPRO is ready!

8/13/2018 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Austin

SERVPRO of North Central Austin specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Austin, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 512-579-0189

Let us be the "Light" after the storm.

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Uprooted tree

KXAN's Chris Sadeghi published an article back in May of 2015 about one of our clients who was a victim of the Memorial Day Floods. See the original post here, or read below.

"WIMBERLEY, Texas (KXAN) — A Hawaiian vacation was just hours away for Joan Jenkins when she received a phone call that her Wimberley home was flooded. So she turned away from paradise and returned to a very harsh reality.

“When we rounded the corner, I just burst into tears because our house has never flooded and we have owned it for 40 years,” she said Friday as she sorted through her water-soaked belongings. Though her home was damaged and many possessions destroyed, it was what sat in the backyard which may have painted the most clear picture of what the community lost.

“It was a tree we called ‘Strong,’” she said. “We figured it was 400-500 years old and it is gone. It makes you think that nothing is permanent.”

That inevitability is one Texans have faced many times in the aftermath of May flooding which has ended lives, taken homes, and devastated neighborhoods.

Nothing is permanent. Not even sadness.

“You cry some more and then you get back to work,” said Jenkins.

As the sunshine shone bright on Friday, Jenkins, her friend Marilyn, and her daughter Jessica managed to find the bright side in a lot of things. While looking over what was lost, Jenkins found something.

“I found a love letter from my old boyfriend,” she said with a laugh as she stared at the piece of paper with the words “I love you” written repeatedly to take up the entire page. “I might call him and tell him he made my day!”

The three women even found it in them to crack a few jokes about how the upcoming Christmas might be the best in years.

“People tell me they never know what to get me because I have everything. Well, problem solved,” said Jenkins.

But the biggest silver-lining, according to Jenkins, has been the goodwill pouring into Hays County and Texas from volunteers and donations all over.

“It has been inspiring.”

It could be years before the area fully recovers from the damage, but for Jenkins it starts with a simple purchase. Herself, Jessica, and Marilyn wear all wearing the same burnt orange Texas Longhorns t-shirts on Friday.

“We are wearing identical shirts. Our $4 Academy t-shirts as we clean up,” she said. “As a team.”"

Stories like this give us hope that we can continue to help those who need it piece their lives back together after storm damage. If you have experienced water damage due to the recent rains, please call us 24/7 at 512-579-0189. We're here to help.

Take steps to prepare for Emergencies.

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Emergencies are unplanned, but not unexpected; here are some tips to be prepared when caught off guard

In recent years, many forms of disasters have affected the United States. Flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, and blizzards are natural disasters that can threaten your home, business, and community.

If you've seen the news, you know that emergencies can happen unexpectedly in communities just like yours, to people like you. We've seen tornado outbreaks, river floods, flash floods, historic earthquakes, tsunamis, and even water main breaks and power outages in U.S. cities affecting millions of people for days at a time.

Here are three steps to help you prepare and plan in the event that you must go for three days without electricity, water service, access to a supermarket, or local services:

  1. Get a Kit: Keep enough emergency supplies on hand for you and those in your care - water, non-perishable food, first aid, prescriptions, flashlight, battery-powered radio - for a checklist of supplies, visit
  2. Make a Plan: Discuss, agree on, and document an emergency plan with those in your care. For sample plans, see Work together with neighbors, colleagues, and others to help build community resilience.
  3. Be Informed: Free information is available to assist you from federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial resources. You can find preparedness information by:

- Accessing to learn what to do before, during, and after an emergency.

- Contacting your local emergency management agency to get essential information on specific hazards to your area, local plans for shelter and evacuation, ways to get information before and during an emergency, and how to sign up for emergency alerts if they are available.

- Contacting your local firehouse and asking for a tour and information about preparedness.

Police, fire, and rescue may not always be able to reach you quickly, such as if trees and power lines are down, or if they're overwhelmed by demand from an emergency. The most important step you can take in helping your local responders is being able to take care of yourself and those in your care; the more people who are prepared, the quicker the community will recover.

As FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate reminded us, "Individuals and families are the most important members of the nation's emergency management team. Being prepared can save precious time if there is a need to respond to an emergency." For more information on NPM, and for help getting prepared, visit, or call 1-800-BE-READY, 1-888-SE-LISTO, and TTY 1-800-462-7585 for free information.

Next month (September) is National Preparedness Month, and SERVPRO of North Central Austin wants you to be aware of the steps to take to help prepare for a natural disaster. For more information on disaster preparedness, visit, or call SERVPRO of North Central Austin; our professionals can help your business prepare for the unexpected by offering an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP). The profile is designed to be a quick and easy snapshot of your business, providing critical facility information needed for detailed emergency preparation. For a customized Emergency READY Plan, contact us at SERVPRO of North Central Austin today, at 512-579-0189.

Emergencies are unplanned, but not unexpected; here are some tips to be prepared when caught off guard

Learn about ERP

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

Establishing an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) to make sure you're ready for whatever happens.

No matter where you live, it is important to be informed and prepared for any natural disaster that may occur. Natural disasters often strike without warning, leaving behind a trail of destruction and devastation. Though Mother Nature's disasters are often unpredictable, there are steps you can take to ensure you are prepared.

Contact SERVPRO of North Central Austin to establish an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your property. SERVPRO's ERP serves as a quick reference document, detailing important building and contact information for your property in the event of an emergency. The ERP is an ideal supplement to any existing preparedness plan, or may be used as a standalone document. Knowing what to do and who to call in advance is the key to timely mitigation, and can minimize the effects of any weather-related disaster, water, or fire damage to your business.

When disaster strikes, make sure you have experienced professionals on the line. No matter how big or small, SERVPRO of North Central Austin will be ready to help make your property damage "Like it never even happened."

Be Hurricane Ready!

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricane readiness information

For the Atlantic, hurricane season begins June 1st and runs through November 30th. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins in mid-May, and also ends November 30th. Hurricanes can be life-threatening, as well as cause serious property-threatening hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds, and tornadoes. Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Plan an escape route, take inventory of your property, and take steps to protect your home or business.

As a leader in storm and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of North Central Austin has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition. Our restoration process puts an emphasis on scientific drying techniques, progress monitoring and documentation.

In addition to our own resources, we can access equipment and personnel from over 1,650 Franchises across the state and country. We can even call upon strategically located Disaster Recovery Teams for catastrophic storms and major events.

For more tips and preparation details, visit the Ready campaign website at

SERVPRO is "Ready for whatever happens."

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team is always on standby to help SERVPRO of North Central Austin handle even the largest of jobs.

When a storm or disaster strikes your home or business, SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team is poised and "Ready for whatever happens." With a network of more than 1,700 franchises nationwide, the SERVPRO system strives to be faster to any size disaster. Strategically located throughout the United States, SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team is expertly trained and readily equipped to handle the largest storms and highest flood waters. Providing experience, manpower, equipment, and other resources, the Disaster Recovery Team is always on call and available to assist SERVPRO of North Central Austin. SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team has responded to hundreds of disaster events. In the aftermath of a disaster, there is only one objective: to help you make it "Like it never even happened."