Property Damage & Disaster Restoration Blog: Long Island & New York City

National Weather Service Alerts Headed to Smartphones

Posted on Mon, Jul 02, 2012 @ 10:13 AM

From CNet.com

advanced restoration,national weather service,smartphone alerts,extreme weather,long island,new york,hurricane,storm damage,hurricane damazge,flood,flooding,flood watch

  June 28, 2012 4:09 PM PDT

Smartphone users will soon get a severe weather alert from the National Weather Service.

(Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Live in an area prone to flash floods, hurricanes, blizzards? Smartphone users will soon get a severe-weather alert from the National Weather Service, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The new nationwide emergency alert system, called the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), sends 90-character text messages to smartphones of people facing extreme weather conditions. Severe weather defined by the NOAA includes tornadoes, flash floods, hurricanes, extreme wind, blizzards and ice storms, tsunamis, and dust storms. Note that thunderstorms aren't on the list because they occur so frequently.

The text messages will pop up on smartphones, but they aren't traditional text messages. Because the alert system will be on smartphones, the signals will be triangulated so that weather alerts will be localized. The NOAA uses the example of a person from New Jersey traveling to California during an earthquake. That person would get an "Imminent Threat Alert" text message.

Only smartphones enabled to receive WEA messages will get them. Wireless carriers that support the service include AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, Bluegrass Cellular, Cellcom, and U.S. Cellular. Check with individual carriers for coverage, as some do not offer nationwide service.

WEA messages aren't exclusively weather related; smartphone owners will also get emergency alerts from the Federal Emergency Management System (FEMA), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Department of Homeland Security, and local and state public agencies.

This story originally appeared on CBSNews.com.

Tags: weather service, flash floods, long island, new york, hurricane damage, storm damage, extreme weather, smartphone alerts

New York Gov. Cuomo Announces Storm Aid for Long Island

Posted on Wed, May 02, 2012 @ 09:59 AM

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is providing $8.5 million to Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island. The money will be used to pay expenses from damage done last year by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

The storms caused widespread destruction across the state. Cleanup costs statewide are expected to exceed $1.6 billion.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency usually covers 75 percent of eligible disaster response and recovery costs.

Earlier this month, Cuomo announced the state would pay $61 million to 25 counties to cover costs for emergency shelter, road, water system and infrastructure repairs and other clean-up projects. Cuomo added $8.5 million for Nassau and Suffolk counties last week. 

Article Taken from the Insurance Journal

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tags: insurance journal, storm aid, long island, property damage, insurance, new york, storm damage, long island insurance

RIA Provides Clean Up Tips for After Storm Damage

Posted on Mon, Mar 05, 2012 @ 08:59 AM
restoration industry association,ria,restoration,insurance,disaster restoration,property damage, restoration contractor,long island,new york,advanced restoration,dki member companyThe Restoration Industry Association (RIA) has these tips for individuals impacted by the storms that have caused property damage to their homes and/or businesses.
  • Notify your insurance company of the loss.
  • Keep a notebook to track dates and times of conversations with individuals pertaining to your claim.
  • Secure buildings to prevent vandalism or further damage from weather.  Most insurance policies require homeowners to take reasonable action to protect a property from further damage. Tarp or board up open spaces only if safe and appropriate.
  • Shut off main water, gas and electricity supplies.
  • Save receipts for meals, hotels, toiletries, replacement clothing, prescriptions, etc.
  • Take photos of each room or area for future reference and insurance claims. This will provide a digital inventory of some visible contents. More information on what to do can be found in the Consumer section of the RIA website.    
  • If electrical appliances, including televisions and computers are damaged, do not turn them back on when power is restored. This can result in electric shock and/or do further damage to the appliance.  Electronics can often be cleaned & restored by contractors who know what they're doing.
  • When it is safe to enter a property, look for valuables and important papers (e.g., birth/marriage certificates, wills, tax records, etc.).
  • Beware of scammers offering restoration services. Check references and visit the Restoration Industry Association website to find a contractor.
  • Wear heavy rubber gloves or work gloves and thick-soled shoes, preferably not tennis shoes.
  • Wash your hands frequently -- especially before touching your face or eating.
  • Be careful of sharp items such as broken glass, nails, etc. while searching debris.
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
  • Do not use bleach to disinfect since it is corrosive and can react with other substances. Use household disinfectants.
  • Hard surfaces can be disinfected as well as some soft goods, depending on washability.
  • Transport computers, art work and musical instruments to a dry environment.
  • Damaged papers and books can be frozen temporarily to prevent further disintegration until they can be restored by a professional.
  • Homeowners may hire any company they choose for restoration work, not just a company recommended by the insurance company.

 


The Restoration Industry Association (RIA) has member firms worldwide. RIA provides industry leadership, supports science, and promotes best practices for cleaning and restoration through certification, training and standards development. More information is available on the RIA website: www.restorationindustry.org.

 

Tags: property damage, restoration contractor, insurance, restoration, storm damage, insurance company, cleanup, storm damage cleanup, insuerance claim, ria, restoration industry

When Hurricanes Strike Suffolk County, NY...Code RED is Ready!

Posted on Thu, Sep 02, 2010 @ 08:25 AM

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The Suffolk County Department of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services has contracted with Emergency Communications Network to license its CodeRED high-speed notification system. Suffolk will use this system to contact Suffolk Residence in the event of an actual or impending emergency, like Hurricane Earl.   
   
The CodeRED emergency notification system is an extremely high speed telephone communication service that can deliver customized pre-recorded emergency messages directly to SuffolkCounty homes and business at the proven capacity of millions of calls per day. Code Red also has high speed email and text messaging capability

The CodeRED system incorporates a mapping tool that will allow Suffolk Emergency Managers to send notifications to specific geographic areas by selecting them on a map. In addition with CodeRED we will be able to send notifications to predefined geographic areas such as villages, townships or zip codes.
 

CodeRED has provided SuffolkCounty with a calling data base that includes the residences and businesses within the county. To further enhance accuracy SuffolkCounty has supplemented this database with the data from our 911 call system. In addition the Suffolk Code Red system allows Suffolk residence to register two phone numbers and one email address to receive notifications. We urge all individuals and businesses to log onto the secure Suffolk County Community Notification Enrolment to add or update their contact information to ensure that they will be included when a message is sent.  The data collected will only be used for emergency notification purposes.

Click the link below to Sign Up to Receive Emergency Notifications  from the Suffolk County Code Red Emergency Notifcataion System: 
https://login.coderedweb.com/codereddataentry/Default.aspx?groupid=%2baCHAGsI63WWVa6aL1efKg%3d%3d

For more information on CODE RED, visit Suffolk County's Emergency Mangement CODE RED page.  

Tags: disaster, earl, long island hurricane season, restoration, storm damage, storm, hurricane, emergency preparedness, suffolk county code red, emergency notifications, suffolk county emergency management

FEMA Re-opens Disaster Incident Period to include Severe Storms and Flooding From March 13 - March 31, 2010

Posted on Thu, Jul 15, 2010 @ 08:01 AM

Release Date: July 14, 2010
Release Number: 1899-014

Albany, N.Y. -- Federal and state officials today announced that the incident period of the severe storms has been re-opened to cover the period from March 13 - March 31, 2010 and three additonal counties  -- Otsego, Schoharie, and Warren - have been added to the declaration.

"I am pleased that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) quickly reviewed the information gathered by state and local officials and approved Governor Paterson's request.  The longer incident period will provide needed reimbursement for communities as they repair damages caused by the severe March weather," said Andrew Feeney Director, New York State Office of Emergency Management (NYS OEM).

Otsego, Schoharie, and Warren Counties join Nassau, Orange, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, in being declared disaster areas.

The amendment and additional counties to the incident period have been granted in response to Governor Paterson's appeal of June 29, 2010. The previous incident period was March 13-15. “By helping local and state governments recover, federal disaster assistance has a positive impact on  those communites,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Albie Lewis.

Government entities and certain private non-profits in the additional three counties may be eligible for federal aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA's) Public Assistance Program.  Aid may be available in one or more of the following seven categories: Debris Removal; Emergency Protective Measures; Road Systems and Bridges; Water Control Facilities; Public Buildings and Contents; Public Utilities, and Parks, Recreational and Other.

Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for all counties and tribes within the state. FEMA funds 75 percent of eligible costs.

Article Source: FEMA

 

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"A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home"

Posted on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 @ 10:00 AM

The recent storms that hit the Northeast have caused major flooding and property damage to homes and businesses. The aftermath of the storms have property owners dealing with mold and moisture issues. 

Mold Basics...

The key to mold control is moisture control.
If mold is a problem is in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem. It is important to dry water-damaged areas within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. 

  

Why is mold growing in my home?

Molds are part of the natural environment.  Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided.  Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air.  Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet.  There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

Can mold cause health problems?

Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing.  Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins).  Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.  Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common.  They can be immediate or delayed.  Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.  Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold.  Research on mold and health effects is ongoing.  This brochure provides a brief overview; it does not describe all potential health effects related to mold exposure. For more detailed information consult a health professional.  You may also wish to consult your state or local health department.

How do I get rid of mold?

It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust.  The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present.  Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors.  If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem.  If you clean up the mold, but don't fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back.

 

Mold Tips: 

Fix plumbing leaks and other water problems as soon as possible.  Dry all items completely.

Scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely.

Absorbent or porous materials, such as ceiling tiles and carpet, may have to be thrown away if they become moldy.  Mold can grow on or fill in the empty spaces and crevices of porous materials, so the mold may be difficult or impossible to remove completely.

Avoid exposing yourself or others to mold.

Do not paint or caulk moldy surfaces.  Clean up the mold and dry the surfaces before painting.  Paint applied over moldy surfaces is likely to peel.

If you are unsure about how to clean an item, or if the item is expensive or of sentimental value, you may wish to consult a specialist.  Specialists in furniture repair, restoration, painting, art restoration and conservation, carpet and rug cleaning, water damage, and fire or water restoration are commonly listed in phone books.  Be sure to ask for and check references.  Look for specialists who are affiliated with professional organizations. For more information on mold, visit the EPA website.

Source: Environmental Protection Agency

 

 

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What To Do After a Loss

Posted on Thu, Mar 18, 2010 @ 08:32 AM

Heavy rains and winds pummeled the New York Metro area this past weekend, causing major damage to many homes and businesses. If you experienced property damage, you need to know what to do after a loss. 

If you suffer a loss, the first thing to do is to notify your insurance company or its agent. You can do this by telephone, although it is a good idea to follow up with written notification. Remember, if you give the notice to your broker, rather than directly to the insurance company, you still have a responsibility to make sure that the insurance company receives notice of your claim.

It is also important to notify your insurance company promptly after any incident takes place that might result in a claim at some later date, even though no claim was made at the time the event occurred.

For example, if your dog bites a neighbor or a guest falls on your property, it should be reported to the insurance company even though you don't know whether any claim is actually going to be made against you. Your failure to notify the company promptly might allow it to deny coverage in the event a claim if filed against you at a later date.

It is also important to protect your property against further damages. For example, if the windows are broken, have them boarded up to protect against further vandalism or burglary. The cost of this type of protection is covered by, and would be reimbursed by your insurance company.

However, no permanent repairs should be made until your company or its representative has inspected the property. The company has the right to inspect the property in its damaged state, and can refuse to pay you for any damage that is repaired before inspection.

An adjuster will be sent from your insurance company to examine the damage and give you an estimate of the cost of repairs or replacement. You should also get an estimate from your own contractor to compare with the insurance company's estimate. Your contractor will probably charge a fee for this service but might credit that fee to your bill if you hire that contractor to repair and/or replace your property.

If you need assistance, your agent, broker or insurance company sales representative should help you fill out the claim form and help gather the materials you need to substantiate your loss.

In the event you are unfortunate enough to experience a major loss such as a fire or severe windstorm which has badly damaged or destroyed your home, and you are not in a position to negotiate a settlement with your company, you may want to consult an attorney or call a licensed public adjuster to act on your behalf with your insurance company.

Public adjusters are licensed by the Insurance Department. They represent you and not the insurance company. They will help you in taking inventory of your loss, securing your home from vandalism, contacting your insurance company, advising you on the extent of your coverage and help you secure the services needed to repair or rebuild you home. They will negotiate on your behalf with the adjuster from the insurance company.

A public adjuster may not charge a fee more than 12.5% of the recovery amount and must get a signed compensation agreement from you in which the amount of compensation is clearly stated. Such agreement may be cancelled up to midnight of the third business day after the date on which you have signed the compensation agreement. In addition, public adjusters may not solicit your business between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Another alternative to consider when an agreement cannot be reached between you and your insurance company is the appraisal process. Every homeowner, tenant, cooperative apartment and condominium policy issued in New York contains a provision whereby you and your company select a competent and disinterested appraiser. The two appraisers, in turn, select an umpire. Each appraiser must evaluate the loss and determine the value of each item. Any disagreements between the appraisers regarding the value of any items are submitted to, and settled by the umpire. The costs of this process are paid by the policyholder and the insurance company.

Source:  NY State Insurance Department

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New York: Being Prepared for the Unexpected!

Posted on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 @ 02:52 PM


Emergency Preparedness 
Emergency preparedness is no longer the sole concern of earthquake prone Californians and those who live in the part of the country known as "Tornado Alley." For Americans, preparedness must now account for man-made disasters as well as natural ones. Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.  Heavy snow is expected to hit the Northeast today. 

Blizzards, heavy snow, freezing rain and sub-zero temperatures hit hard and frequently across the state. Even if you think you are safe and warm at home, a winter storm can become dangerous if the power is cut off. With a little planning, you can protect yourself and your family from the many hazards of winter weather, both at home and on the road.

BE AWARE OF THE FORECAST

  • Winter weather advisory. Formerly called a "travelers' advisory," this alert may be issued by the National Weather Service for a variety of severe conditions. Weather advisories may be announced for snow, blowing and drifting snow, freezing drizzle, freezing rain (when less than ice storm conditions are expected), or a combination of weather events.
  • Winter storm watch. Severe winter weather conditions may affect your area (freezing rain, sleet or heavy snow may occur either separately or in combination).
  • Winter storm warning. Severe winter weather conditions are imminent.
  • Freezing rain or freezing drizzle. Rain or drizzle is likely to freeze upon impact, resulting in a coating of ice glaze on roads and all other exposed objects.
  • Sleet. Small particles of ice, usually mixed with rain. If enough sleet accumulates on the ground, it makes travel hazardous.
  • Blizzard warning. Sustained wind speeds of at least 35 miles per hour are accompanied by considerable falling and/or blowing snow. This is the most perilous winter storm, with visibility dangerously restricted.
  • Wind chill. A strong wind combined with a temperature slightly below freezing can have the same chilling effect as a temperature nearly 50 degrees lower in a calm atmosphere. The combined cooling power of the wind and temperature on exposed flesh is called the wind-chill factor.

BE PREPARED AT HOME

  • Keep a battery-powered radio and flashlights in working order; stock extra batteries.
  • Store food that can be prepared without an electric or gas stove.
  • Stock emergency water and cooking supplies.
  • Have candles and matches available in case of a power outage.
  • Have sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off.
  • Have some kind of emergency heating equipment and fuel (a kerosene heater, a gas fireplace or wood-burning stove or fireplace) so you can keep at least one room of your house warm if power is cut off. (See the fact sheet "Staying Warm in an Unheated House.")

RIDING OUT A STORM AT HOME

If you are isolated at home, listen to the radio or television for updates on weather conditions. Conserve fuel by keeping your house cooler than usual and by temporarily "closing off" heat to some rooms. When emergency heating methods must be used, maintain adequate ventilation to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. (See the fact sheet, "Staying Warm in an Unheated House.")

Dress accordingly. Layer your clothing; many layers of thin clothing are warmer than single layers of thick clothing. If you need to go outdoors or the heat is off indoors, wear mittens; they are warmer than gloves. Wear a hat; most body heat is lost through the top of the head. Cover your mouth with scarves to protect your lungs from directly inhaling extremely cold air.

If shoveling snow isn't critical, don't do it. If you must shovel snow, take your time and lift small amounts. Over-exertion can bring on a heart attack - a major cause of death during and after winter storms.

Stay safe and stay warm!

Related Article:  Ice Dams and Your Home

Source: NASD

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Ice Dams and Protecting Your Home!

Posted on Wed, Jan 06, 2010 @ 08:11 PM
As if we need more snow, another storm is expected on Friday. Whenever there is snow, you are guaranteed to have troublesome ice dams to follow. Ice dams can cause major water damage and flooding to your home, which requires immediate attention.
ice dams, water damage,water extraction
As winter advances through cycles of freezing and thawing, buildings and homes experience ice buildup and roof damage. In general, ice dams are formed when attic heat moves up to warm the roof and melts snow at or near the ridge. Snow melts, runs downward and hits the edge of the cold roof, resulting in re-freezing snow. These cycles cause ice to accumulate and back up under shingles. Damage appears in the form of soaked insulation, stained, cracked and damaged sheet rock, damp, smelly, rotting wall cavities and stained, blistered and peeling paint.

Preventing Ice Dams
To prevent an ice dam, don't heat the roof, keep it cold. That way, the snow on the roof eventually dissipates without making large amounts of meltwater. The underside of the roof deck should not exceed 30 F. The best way to maintain low temperatures is by ensuring that there is adequate insulation and sealing gaps that let warm air pass into the attic from the house. The attic must also be ventilated, so that cold air is introduced into it and heated air escapes rapidly. Some remodeling contractors are under the impression that heat passing through the attic helps prevent ice dams, when just the opposite is true. Although excess heat moving from the attic through the roof rapidly melts snow, once the meltwater touches the cold eaves, it quickly freezes and forms an ice dam.

If you have a furnace in the attic, it may not be possible to prevent ice dams. Increased insulation, however, should help. First, insulate the areas between the roof rafters. It is important to keep an air space between the roof deck and the insulation in order to prevent a condensation buildup that can delaminate the roof deck. Prior to insulating, install polystyrene rafter air channels, which are available at home centers. Next, lay insulation blankets over the furnace's heating ducts to help reduce the heat buildup in the attic. If there's a hatchway into the attic, build a cover for it out of rigid poly-styrene insulation.

If the gable and ridge vents do not generate sufficient air movement to dissipate the heat, you will need a motorized vent at one end of the attic to exhaust the heat, and an adequately sized vent on the opposite end of the attic to draw in cold air from the outside.

Check your home carefully when ice dams form. Investigate even when there doesn't appear to be a leak. Look at the underside of the roof sheathing and roof trim to make sure they haven't gotten wet. Check the insulation for dampness. And when leaks inside your home develop, be prepared. Water penetration often follows pathways difficult follow. Don't just patch the roof leak. Make sure that the roof sheathing hasn't rotted or that other less obvious problems in your ceiling or walls haven't developed. And then detail a comprehensive plan to fix the damage. But more importantly, solve the problem.

If you experience water damage that requires a water damage/flood restoration expert, please contact Advanced Restoration at (800) 693-6263. Advanced Restoration is a full service property damage restoration company that can respond 24/7 to your water damage situation. We use state-of-the-art equipment to handle structural drying. Our professional staff is also available to handle mold situations that may occur as a result of a water loss. Our service area includes Nassau County, Suffolk County and the New York boroughs. Enjoy the snowfall and stay dry!

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Own It...Then Make It Your Own

Posted on Thu, Jul 02, 2009 @ 03:32 PM

Did you know that Wells Fargo Home Mortgage has a Purchase & Renovate Loan?

The program offers financing that enables you to immediately turn the house you just bought into the home you always wanted. Add a bath, cook up a new kitchen, repai, renovate or extend- all with a single loan at attractive first mortgage rates.

Built-in benefits to make home improvements:

More Money
The loan amount is based on the value of your home after the home improvements have been made.

Lower Monthly Payments
Purchase and improvements are financed simultaneously, so renovation costs are spread out through the entire term of the loan.

Tax Benefits
Interest on renovation costs is included in the first mortgage, so it may be tax deductible.

Speed
Renovation can begin immediately after closing

Single-close Simplicity
Just one application, one set of fees and closing costs, one monthly payment.

Flexibility
No required improvements or restrictions on repairs, luxury items such as pools and spas may be included.

Options
Fixed and adjustable rate mortgage programs.


Advanced Restoration Corporation is a family-owned and operated full-service property damage restoration company with a combined 75 years experience in dealing with Fire Damage Restoration, Water Damage Restoration, Flood & Storm Damage, Mold Remediation, Smoke Damage Restoration and Reconstruction. We service Long Island (Nassau County, NY; Suffolk County, NY) and the New York Metro area. Have us renovate your next home!

Tags: fire restoration, water damage restoration, mortgage, wells fargo, advanced restoration, water extraction, homeowner tips, restoration company, flood damage, storm damage, refinance

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