The Storm is Fast Approaching

Use These Quick, Easy Tips to Prepare Your Family

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 3:40 pm EDT



MEMPHIS, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tropical Storm Fay is moving past the Caribbean toward the north and is projected to cross the coast of Southwest Florida and into Central Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday. Maximum sustained winds are currently near 60 MPH but could reach hurricane strength prior to making landfall in the US. In advance of the storm, the disaster restoration experts at ServiceMaster Clean share the following tips for storm preparation:

Hurricane/Tropical Storm Preparation Tips:

  • Make a decision about evacuating even before it becomes mandatory. Do not wait until the last minute to evacuate, plan on leaving at least 24 hours before landfall.
  • Remember when the storm hits land, it may pick up speed and travel over many states as a tropical storm category. If you evacuate, consider the storms expected path.
  • Make sure to have your important contact numbers (family, physicians, friends) and copies of insurance papers with you as youre leaving the home.
  • If you evacuate, turn off all main utility shut-off switches in the home.
  • Check your insurance coverage - flood damage is often not covered by homeowners insurance.
  • Go to the bank and get plenty of cash a couple days before the storm hits.
  • Try to fill up your gas tank prior to landfall to avoid long lines and gas stations being out of fuel.
  • Have a weeks supply of water on hand, plenty of extra non-perishable food items and refill necessary prescriptions for you and your pets.
  • Be in contact with your childrens schools to understand the school closing procedures and evacuation policies.

Water damage restoration is an emergency business. That's why ServiceMaster Clean® is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Water damage claims increase substantially if prompt action is not taken to contain the damage. Call ServiceMaster Clean at 1-800-RESPOND (737-7663). In the meantime, here are some ways to mitigate the flood damage until a disaster professional arrives:

What to do if your home or business suffers water damage:

  • If the outside temperature is above 60 degrees, use dehumidifiers if available.
  • Use fans to circulate the air and assist drying.
  • Remove as much water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe furniture dry.
  • Lift draperies off carpet, loop through a coat hanger, and place the hanger on the drapery rod.
  • Prop up wet furniture cushions for even drying and place small wood blocks or aluminum foil under furniture legs.
  • Remove wet area rugs or other floor coverings and open furniture drawers, closet doors, and luggage to enhance drying.
  • Move photos, paintings, and art objects to a safe, dry location.
  • Remove wet fabrics and dry them as soon as possible. Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
  • Remove damp books from shelves and spread out to dry.
  • If damage occurs during a cool season, leave heat on; if in summer, use an air conditioner if available.

Important warnings on water damage:

1. Do not use an ordinary household vacuum to remove water.

2. Do not use electrical appliances while on wet carpet or wet floors.

3. Do not go into rooms with standing water if the electricity is still on.

4. Do not lift tacked down carpet without professional help. Lifting the carpet incorrectly could promote shrinkage.

5. Do not wait to call for professional help. Damage from the water and bacteria growth can begin within hours.


1. Please contact us at (901) 597-1380 if you would like to use b-roll footage of ServiceMaster damage restoration specialists working to remove water from flooded homes.

2. Interview opportunities with a Flood Research and Cleaning Expert. Please contact us if you would like to schedule an interview with Peter Duncanson, Director of Training and Technical Support for ServiceMaster Clean. The cleaning professionals at ServiceMaster Clean® use advanced products, procedures, and equipment to assure the highest level of cleaning performance and protection for property and furnishings.

3. Ready-to-use subject matter expert quotation for newspaper or broadcast publication: When disaster strikes your home or business, all you want to do is get your life back to normalfast, says Pete Duncanson, Director of Training and Technical Support for ServiceMaster Clean. Our local service technicians are trained to respond immediately, because damage from water and bacteria growth can begin within hours. Call 1-800-RESPOND (737-7663) to reach a disaster restoration specialist in your area.

4. Websites or can help you further prepare for an incoming hurricane and give you advice for recovering from the storm once it passes.


ServiceMaster Clean
Gina Evans Kamler, 901-597-1380