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Animal Shelters Evacuating Animals As Hurricane Florence Approach

Category 4 Hurricane Florence is heading towards the East Coast as early as Thursday evening. The wind ease slightly in the morning on Tuesday but it quickly speed up to 140 miles per hour shortly afterward. The storm is likely to remain dangerous during landfall.

Hurricane Florence has prompted more than 1 million people to flee Carolina and Virginia. However, they are not the only ones that are evacuating. The staff in the animal shelter are also getting ready to relocate the animals to a safe place.

Many animal shelters are looking for volunteers to an animal with them when they leave. They are also asking people to donate newspapers, and food. A Norfolk shelter, has managed to evacuate 8 dogs and 18 cats to another animal shelter in Washington D.C. The animals will stay for a temporary period in the animal shelter in Washington D.C. until they are claimed by the owners.

Pet owners should take into consideration the needs of their pets in their disaster plans even though there are animal organizations that are ready to provide assistance. Pets with no one to take them may become missing and end up as strays by the time the owner comes back. If you are a pet owner, make sure your pet wear ID tag. You should also prepare an emergency kit for your pet that contains essentials such as food, water, and first aids.

There are also animals shelters that have taken up animals from shelters located in places that receive evacuation orders. Greenville Humane Society is full house with more than 200 animals onboard as it has taken in more than 60 animals from animals shelters situated in low areas. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has helped to rescue 37,000 animals in 2017.

Joe Elmore, CEO of the Charleston Animal Society revealed that they spent roughly $120k last year for preparation against Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria. There are lots of expenses to prepare the animals for the hurricane, for example, the cost of transporting the animal out of Florida.

Last year, they had to use a 12 year old trailer to transport hundreds of animals to safety. Fortunately, this spring, they had acquired a new trailer to transport the animals. The new trailer costs about $650K and is equipped with generators to maintain a cool temperature. Charleston has around 100 staff and 700 volunteers.

Hurricane Florence is giving HSUS Animal Rescue team a busy team in helping animal shelters to relocate. They have helped 25 animal shelters to get the animals mobilized within a few hours of requesting for help.

Hurricane Irma Arrives on the West Coast of Florida

Hurricane Irma has finally arrived on the Florida Gulf coast and it is bringing an outpouring of rain all over the central Florida. Hurricane Irma travels through the Florida Keys chains of islands after it is done with Cuba. When it arrives in Florida, it is a Category 4 hurricane with the wind blowing at a speed of 120 mph. By the evening, the hurricane has downgraded to Category 2 with wind traveling at a speed of 100 mph.

The storm first makes landfall on Marco island, an island near to the Florida west coast. They recorded a wind gust moving at a speed of 96 mph in Clearwater Beach. Another wind gust is also recorded in Egmont Channel and moving at a speed of 91 mph. Earlier, the wind was howling through Fort Myers. As the wind blows, tree branches snapped and alarms sound of vehicles can be heard every now and then.

A surge of more than 10 feet has been recorded in the low lying islands of Florida Keys. A lot of household stuff like furniture can be seen floating on the ocean water. Now, the ocean is filled with all kinds of hazards. Even sunken boats are appearing on the surface of the ocean water. Storm surge of up to 7 foot has also been reported in the Naples where the water level increase to over 2 meters within a period of 1 hour 30 minutes.

The government has already issued an evacuation order. At least 6.3 millions people have responded to the evacuation order and evacuated the area. President Donald Trump has approved the disaster and emergency aid. Over 160,000 people have put up at shelters that are available statewide until the storm is over.

The roads in the financial district of Miami are heavily flooded with over 2 feet of water and one of the main streets in Florida is so flooded that it looks like a river. Two cranes are destroyed by the powerful strong winds. The flood is forecast to cause the most extensive damage to the west coast. At least 3.4 million homes in Florida now do not have access to electricity.

It is forecast that Irma will make its way to the western part of Florida by early Monday before heading to the southeastern part of USA on late Monday or early Tuesday. The storm has caused 3 deaths in Florida so far. One of the men died on Saturday after he accidentally collides into a tree when the storm arrives.

The administrator of the county said they will be sending crews to check for survivors in every house on Monday. They are going to dispatch airborne relief team consists of C-130 military cargo planes to the homes in the Florida Keys.

Will Harvey Flooding Be Covered By Homeowners Insurance For Texas Residents

Although homeowner insurance does provide some coverage on water damage, it does not provide coverage for flood damages. No type of flood damages is covered regardless of the source. So, you will need to purchase a flood coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to protect your home from the Harvey flooding. You can purchase the NFIP insurance through an insurance company that participates in the NFIP program. If you don’t know any insurer that participates in the NFIP program, you should contact the NFIP hotline number and ask for an agent referral.

With the NFIP flood insurance, you can claim up to $250,000 of compensation for damages on the home structure. Additionally, it also provide a coverage of up to $100,000 for the home contents. The contents coverage is not initially included so you have to purchase it separately to get coverage for contents that have been damaged by the flood.

The compensation will depend on the actual cash value of the home contents. The compensation for the home structure will be the same as the cost for building the house before it is damaged by the flood. The actual cash value is the original value of purchasing the item minus the depreciation value. Therefore, you will get lesser compensation for older items. The NFIP flood insurance can put a limit on the coverage of the belongings that are stored in the basement.

If you rent a home, you also need to purchase the NFIP flood insurance because the renter’s insurance does not provide coverage against flood. You will need to contact your landlord and ask him whether the home you are renting is already covered by the flood insurance before buying. It must be reminded that flood damages do not just happen to houses located near to sea and river but it can also happen to houses that are located inland. For example, many houses inland suffer from water damages as a result of the melting of snow.

You should take the action to buy the flood insurance policy now if your house is situated in a flood zone. It will be too late if you wait until the hurricane season to buy the flood insurance because of the 30 days waiting period for the activation of the policy. If you don’t want to purchase the flood insurance from the NFIP, you can purchase it from a private insurance company.

Many private insurance companies offer excess flood insurance for homeowners who want insurance protection for flood damages. Excess flood insurance may provide a higher coverage compared to the NFIP flood insurance. You can buy excess flood insurance from home insurance company or insurance agent that work for a specialized insurer.

US Evacuations in Preparation of Hurricane Mathew

The impact of Hurricane Matthew in the US is probably not going to be as devastating as how it has been in the Haiti. However, many people that live in the east coast of US, especially Florida and South Carolina has are already busy making preparation for the storms. Many people in Florida have rushed to the supermarkets to get ready the necessity supplies. Bottled water and batteries have already been sold out at many supermarkets in Fort Lauderdale.

There has been a long queue line at the gas station in Costco in North Miami Beach. There is one station that is out of gas but many cars are still queuing up. Some people in the east coast have already evacuated their homes. the hurricane has been downgraded when it arrive in Cuba bt forecasters pointed out the possibility of it upgrading to a Category 4 hurricane by the time it reach the each coast.

The four states that could be affected by the hurricane are Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina. The hurricane could arrive some time in between Thursday and Saturday so now is the time to make preparations. The hurricane center said that it is very hard to make prediction on how much damage the hurricane will bring when its wind is traveling on a coast that is parallel to the east coast in the USA.

There is traffic congestion on he highways in South Carolina with many people traveling in their cars to get the necessity items before the storm arrive. Tourists in North Carolina were advised to reduced their vacation stay. The governor in Florida, Rick Scott, has issued an emergency warning for the whole state because the same hurricane has did a devastating damage to the Miami region in 1992.

The most important thing is that no one in Florida will die from the hurricane. Seven people in the Caribbean island have already died due to the hurricane attack. Governor Rick Scott told the press that they have to make preparation for the hurricane as if it is a major hurricane even though they are not sure whether its effect will be as devastating as in the Caribbean islands.

Scott advised residents to leave right now because it will be hard to leave afterwards. The first mandatory evacuations have been issued for Merritt Island and Brevard barrier land. Residents have been asked to evacuate at 3 PM Wednesday. Schools in 25 counties in South Carolina have been shut down on Wednesday. There are several schools that will be used as temporary evacuation shelters. Governor Pat McCrory has issued evacuation warning in 100 counties as it is expected that the rain will reach up to 8 inches.

August and September are Historically Busy Months for Hurricanes

The hurricane peak season generally occurs in between the 17th August to the 2nd September. The entire hurricane peak season lasts for 17 days. It is a short period that makes up of the Atlantic hurricane season that starts from the 1st June to 30th November. Most of the hurricane storms that are classified in category 1 and category 2 occur in the peak period. You can also expect of a lot of more dangerous hurricane storms that are classified in the category 3, 4 and 5 to occur in this period.

The severity of the hurricane storm is based on the atmospheric pressure that predicted in the weather forecast station. Low atmospheric pressure means that the hurricane storm will be intense while high atmospheric pressure means that the hurricane storm will be weaker and not serious. The lower the atmospheric pressure, the more damages the hurricane storms will bring.

The most powerful hurricane storms tend to ramp up during this period that starts from the middle of August. At the end of the period in early September, the strong wind from the hurricane will be diverted to the Gulf of Mexico and Southeast Coast. However, its strong wind will be disrupted with wind shear factors. The reason why there are so many storms in this period are influenced by both the dynamic and thermodynamic factors.

Wind shear which is responsible for tearing apart the strong wind gradually weaken in June after being the strongest in May. The wind shear plays an important role in tearing the tropical wind so that they cannot become intense and develop into a hurricane. The wind shear will become the weakest in August. The hurricane season reach the peak with the wind shear reaching the minimum in the deep summer coupled with the dynamic and thermodynamic factors.

The wind shear will increase starting from the middle of October as the winter approach. The wind shear along with the warm temperature in the and the warm temperature on the sea surface have contributed to the development of the tropical wave to be formed over the Atlantic ocean. All these factors makes a suitable environment for the development of the hurricane storm.

The most important thing is that you must always be alert and prepared when nearing the peak hurricane season. If you are unprepared, you will be more likely to be affected by the storm. A single powerful storm can destroy your home and ruin the year for you if you did not prepare it against the hurricane storm. To protect you family from emergency flood risks, you can come up with a family emergency plan. You should always plan for another safe location which is far from your home.

Major Hurricane Avoids U.S. But Flooding Disaster Still Possible

Tropical storm Joaquin has now officially been upgraded to Hurricane Joaquin, a category 4 hurricane with winds clocking in as high as 115 miles per hour. Right now it is still just off the Bahamas, and several islands are taking a pounding. Nassau for example has been punishing rains and winds, and expert forecasters predict that this Hurricane will grow even more intense before traveling a path which nears the U.S East Coast. Luckily so far in the Bahamas there have been no reported casualties as yet.

The effects are already being felt on the East Coast of the United states. There is already a high tropical moisture count along the east coast. Some areas along the East Coast are expected to get a foot or more of rain, before the storm even hits the coast, if it’s path does indeed cause it to make landfall in the U.S.A. Charleston for example is predicting 12 to 18″ of rain, while Asheville is expecting 5 to 8″ of rain. Portland, Maine is already flooding due to this storm. Cambridge ma has already experienced flooding problems due to the rain as well. Indeed all along the East Coast, the effects of this storm are readily apparent.

Several East Coast states already have flood advisories ongoing. It only takes 3 inches of rain to fall in one hour to cause flash flooding. Areas in 15 states have ongoing flash flood advisories. The potential for massive amounts of water damage, not seen since Hurricane Sandy looms overhead. Several states are experiencing a feeling of deja vu, as Hurricane Joaquin nears the U.S coast. It remains to be seen how this storm will play out. One thing is certain, and that is heavy rains will continue till as late as Monday, Oct 5th along much of the East Coast of the United States.

One key difference between Sandy and Hurricane Joaquin is rainfall. Rainfall was not so much of an issue with Sandy, it was more the high winds which caused so much devastation with Sandy. With Hurricane Joaquin however, rainfall is and will continue to be a major issue. This is due a combination of a stalling frontal boundary combined with a intense layer of tropically moist air flowing into and over, and around it, from either the Hurricane itself or another non-tropical low. This is already resulting in widespread torrential rainfall. There are factors at play which is left unchecked will result in torrential rains hitting a much larger area than Sandy. A swath of moist air from the Gulf Of Mexico is already causing major flooding in some areas of Virginia and North Carolina.

The condition are ripe for wide spread water damage across much of the East Coast. Several computer models have shown that several states could receive between 5 to 10 inches or more of rain, in but a short time. Residents of the East Coast are advised to have plans in place for emergencies related to flash flooding and flooding in general.

Hurricane Danny the First of 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Hurricane Danny is continuing to strengthen and hold its own as it moves to the east of the Lesser Antilles in the Central Atlantic Ocean. The satellite imagery monitoring the system has indicated that the convection is more organized around the center of the circulation on Thursday morning rather than Wednesday.

Compared to other systems, Danny is still small and these types of cells are prone to sudden changes in intensity; this means that strengthening of the system as a whole is finally going to happen.

There will definitely be some dry air present around Danny for the next week, and this will be one of the few hurdles that the system will have to overcome in order to strengthen to hurricane status. Vapor imagery has detected that there is a reservoir of dry air north of Danny, and it extends westward into the Caribbean Sea where the system is currently at.

Dry air does in fact hamper tropical cyclones, as it encourages the development of stronger thunderstorm downdrafts. By then, it will either knock out the thunderstorms so they do not occur at all, or push them in another direction. The air is also very stable, which means that it will suppress upward columns of air that are essential to the maintaining of current storms or to form new thunderstorms.

Wind shear, which is the change in wind speed with height either in speed or direction, can blow the convection away from the center of a tropical system. If it is strong enough, it can even rip apart already existing tropical cyclones.

The environment has been quite hostile, as there were record mid-July through mid-August Caribbean wind shears. Hurricane Danny will remain far enough to the south over the next couple of days and will remain in an atmosphere with light wind shear.

If the atmosphere directly surrounding Danny remains at least somewhat moist, the system will more than likely become the first hurricane of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season as soon as Friday night or Saturday. As far as meteorologists can tell, Danny will move towards the west-northwest over the course of the next several days.

Computer models are forecasting that it may not reach the longitude near the eastern Caribbean Sea until Monday, so that means that there will be much more time to monitor the overall progression of the system and any changes that may occur within the time frame.

Given the fact that dry air and wind shear will be present over the eastern Caribbean Sea, it is a possibility that Danny will begin to weaken once it reaches the area of the Lesser Antilles. As a whole, it is still too early to determine if this system is going to bring any significant impacts to those islands in the long-term. Interests in the Lesser Antilles, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico should continue to monitor the progress of Danny.

Check back with The Weather Channel or AccuWeather for continuous updates on Tropical Storm Danny and other possible systems surrounding it.

Fall Maintenance Checklist

Fall is the perfect time to begin prepping your home for the cold winter months. Here are some tips to help you easily prepare your property for colder weather so it can come out on top when the elements are harsh.

  • Regularly clean your downspouts and gutters. Make sure the drainage areas are not blocked by leaves or any kind of debris. If you want to make the job even easier, you can consider buying gutter guards.
  • Use a screwdriver to test the trim around your home for cracks or holes. If there are any holes, use caulk to fill them or consider completely replacing the wood.
  • Inspect your roof, or have a professional inspect it for missing shingles or cracks. If the shingles are buckling, replace them. If there’s a lot of damage, you should probably replace the whole roof. Also check around skylights, pipes, and chimneys. If you have any gaps, heavy snow and ice will make its way in.
  • You’ll want to prevent your exterior pipes from freezing and bursting when the temperatures get extremely frigid, so turn off the valves to the exterior hose pipes. Run the water until they are completely empty, and make sure that all water is drained from them. If you don’t, water will freeze in them and damage the pipes.
  • Have your fireplace inspected, cleaned, and repaired if necessary to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Insulate any exterior pipes with heating tape or any other warming substance. It will save you time and energy in the winter, while preventing any freezing.
  • Contact a professional heating contractor to inspect and service your heater or furnace to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Check your attic to make sure that the installation is installed properly. To install attic insulation, unroll it with the paper side out. Install small pieces of insulation between the joists on the attic floor, and make sure not to step between them.

Because there will be a change in temperature and humidity and normal wear and tear can cause window seals to crack and shrink dramatically. Make sure to check your windows and doors inside and out for any type of leaks or drafts. Caulk any cracks or install weather stripping around windows and doors, including your garage door. Replace any screens with storm doors and clean them if possible.

Next is lawn care.

  • Rake up leaves that settle on your lawn. Large leaves in particular, especially when they get wet, and they can compact to the point where they suffocate your lawn and lead to insect and disease problems.
  • Put the leaves that you raked up in the compost pile or you can even use it as much. Don’t waste the fallen leaves because they’re a good source of nutrients. You can also add them to your flower beds, using them as a “winter blanket” for your garden.
  • Each fall, you should do a check up of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace them with new batteries. These are vital aspects of your home.
  • Always install your carbon monoxide detectors according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In most cases they should be installed near potential sources of the odors byproduct, and within ear shot of the living and sleeping areas.

How to Protect Your Home or Business From Storm Surges

When owning a business or home in a coastal area, it is important to know that there is always a possibility for damages when hurricane season rolls around. While hurricanes winds usually cause a large amount of damage on their own, the storm surge that follows usually causes most of the flood damage. A storm surge is created when a hurricane is more powerful than the force of the 120 mph winds. Unfortunately, this is bad news for the 4.2 million residents that line the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, and the $1.1 trillion worth of property that is vulnerable to severe flood damage. To add to that, over half of the U.S’ economic productivity is present along coastal zones. Floods are unpredictable and unpreventable, but you can prepare now to reduce resulting damage from water, and the impact that it leaves upon your residence.

There are a couple types of damages that are caused by storm surges, and they are as follows: loss of business, damage to coastal roads, mold growth in buildings, building damage or displacement, damage to the property itself and assets, and port closures. All of these are equally damaging and stressful events that no home or business owner should have to go through, yet it happens yearly through hurricane season.

Hurricane season follows on the tails of springtime storms, and the best way to reduce the damage caused by storm surges is to be proactive and take preventative steps well before the start of hurricane season.

The first tip would to build higher or to reinforce your building structure. If you own the building and it is economically profitable, you should determine the base flood elevation of your business’ property and build above that point. Otherwise, you should consider hiring someone to reinforce the building structure.

If your building is located in a two-story property, go higher. You should move the computers, technical equipment, and valuable assets to the second floor of the building. This is a smart move, as it will protect against your items getting wiped out during a storm surge.

Install back-flow valves in the buildings sewer lines, as this will prevent municipal sewage from entering your property if there is a storm surge. Elevating electrical systems like switches, and outlets, above your areas flood level is also a smart move. You could also use cinder blocks to raise appliances.

Always choose materials that have a high evaporation rate and that will dry fast. Wet drywall and wet carpeting are very vulnerable to the growth of mold, which will be an ongoing issue if it isn’t taken care of accordingly. Upgrade any of your building materials to ones that dry quickly when they get wet, such as wood flooring.

It is in your best interest to invest in some hurricane shutters. If money is tight or if the demand for hurricane shutters is high, you can also use plywood. You can bypass all of the commotion at a lumber store by installing commercial-grade hurricane shutters over windows and doors.

You can avoid flood damage restoration by preparing right now for unexpected floods and storm surges. Even with little time to prepare, taking inventory of your valuables and determining a plan of action can save you time, energy and money.

If you are in need of flood damage restoration, you should contact a team of professionals that can accurately restore your property back to pre-loss condition.

Why the Demand for Contractors Has Risen in Recent Years

As we enter severe weather and storm season, it is imperative that storm damage repair, water removal specialists, and restoration companies are prepared for the large loads of work coming in. The demand for these types of professionals is increasing each year, as the weather is becoming more unpredictable and more intense each year. It is important to call a restoration firm after sustaining any major damages to your home or business, because these experts have training, experience, and most of all, specialized equipment for the job.

If your basement has recently flooded and you are in need of basement flood contractors, extreme cleanup services is the company to call.

While it may be easy to try and take on this job on your own by heading to the nearest hardware store and renting some equipment, it isn’t the best option.  Unless you know the proper safety protocol, have experience with using high power machinery, and know the specialized cleaning techniques, than you may be doing more harm than good. Professionals in the field of water damage restoration and storm damage repair have been trained through the IICRC, and have undergone strenuous coursework and training exercises to earn them a certification. Most technicians working for restoration companies have years of experience in the field and know the proper techniques and safety protocol when it comes to restoring a property. Knowledge of these techniques and protocol is vital to the well-being of your property as well as the inhabitants of your property.

Also, depending on the type of water damage present on your property, the floodwater could be dangerous to your health. There are three categories of water damage (clear, grey, black), and each can be equally harmful to your health. If there is black water present on your property, it is imperative that you call in a team of professionals to quickly extract the contaminated water from your property. Restoration companies use specialized equipment to extract the water and dry out your home or business, and it is only available to these professionals. That is why so many property holders are beginning to call restoration companies more often.

This specialized equipment can reduce the down-time for businesses, and can quickly remove water and dry out a residential property as well. This equipment includes anything from high powered air movers, desiccants, portable and truck mounted extraction units, hygrometers (used to detect the source of the water in walls and flooring), and TES & Injectidry systems that will quickly remove any lingering moisture from your property.

Compared to 10 years ago, the need for contractors in this field has skyrocketed due to the advances in technology of the equipment being used. Many home and business owners now feel that it is more efficient, and saves more time, to call in a team of professional contractors. By doing this, you’re saving yourself some valuable time and taking the stress off of your shoulders so you can concentrate on other things.