Recent Storm Damage Posts

Which Storm Shutters Are Best for You?

9/18/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage behind paint on wall. Storm shutters can prevent a lot of unnecessary damage from high winds and storms, but nobody can stop the storm from happening.

If you live in Asheville, NC, you may need to protect your home from the high winds associated with tropical storms and hurricanes. Most storm damage comes from wind getting in your house through the windows and doors, then wreaking havoc from the inside out.

Storm shutters shield the glass from high winds and debris. They come in many different styles, each with its own merits. Here is a guide that can help you choose the best type based on your needs:

1. Your primary need is the ease of use. You want protection that can be activated quickly and without a lot of labor. Roll-down shutters are the best option for this need, but they are pricey. They are permanently and inconspicuously attached to the top of your windows where they can be operated by a single person using a motor or crank.

2. You want protection that looks nice. Bahama and colonial styles are accessible and functional. These attach to your home’s exterior and add architectural style while being ready to close for storms. They are not as costly as roll-down styles and not as labor-intensive as installing corrugated panels each time it storms.

3. You appreciate the lowest price. You are willing to trade some hard work to get quality materials at a lower price. Sturdy corrugated panels are labor intensive since they must be brought out of storage, sorted, overlapped, and attached with many bolts each time you need them. For a little more money, accordion-style shutters can be permanently attached in special housing next to each window, making it easy enough for one person to close them. Accordion styles are more expensive than corrugated panels and less expensive than the decorative options.

Storm shutters can prevent a lot of unnecessary damage from high winds and storms, but nobody can stop the storm from happening. At least you can rely on storm mitigation professionals to help get your home back to normal after a storm.

Black Water: Minimizing the Damage to Your Business

8/11/2021 (Permalink)

Dirty floor, mud in office building, flood damage to office Flood damage to a commercial office in Fairview, NC.

Black Water: Reducing the Impact on Your Business

No one will argue that flooding within any commercial building is a desirable circumstance. Water damage can take a toll on the flooring, walls and any belongings that come into contact with excessive moisture. It’s even more imperative that the situation is quickly and sufficiently tended to if you’re dealing with a black water issue.

Where Black Water Comes From

Oftentimes contaminated by a number of microorganisms and bacteria, this dirty water can infiltrate a building in a number of ways:

  • Flooding from storms will often carry contaminants and debris into interior spaces.
  • The overflow or rupture of sewage or septic systems can leak waste into your business.
  • Standing clean water can quickly become dirty and contaminated with mold and bacterial growth if left unchecked for a period of time.

It is especially important to handle the situation immediately if water has appeared inside your building due to any of these circumstances.

What To Do If Your Business Is Contaminated

Mold can begin to form quickly, often within 48 hours, so taking fast action is imperative. Make sure people are evacuated from contaminated areas to limit their exposure to bacteria and mold if water has been left standing. The following steps should then be taken to begin the cleanup process:

  • Remove any standing water as soon as possible
  • Thoroughly dry areas affected by water damage to limit the spread of mold and bacteria growth
  • Clean all salvageable affected items and dispose of those that can’t be adequately cleaned and disinfected

When Help Is Needed

Depending on the size of the area suffering from water damage or the level of black water contamination, working with professionals in Fairview, NC, can supply peace of mind that cleanup will be completed properly so that your business can return to normal. Beginning immediate water remediation is the key to quickly bouncing back from a flooding incident.

3 Tips for Preventing Winter Storm Damage to Commercial Structures

5/13/2021 (Permalink)

Floor of an office with mud, flooded office Flood damage to an office building due to a broken pipe.

Steps To Prevent Winter Storm Damage To Your Commercial Property

A winter storm has the potential to cause as much storm damage as a thunderstorm. Sleet, ice, wind and snow all pose risks to structures. There are some actions that can help prevent or mitigate the negative impacts of blizzards, snow squalls and other winter weather events on commercial buildings.

1. Winterize Exposed Pipes and Faucets
Sudden temperature drops may result in a pipe break, which can, in turn, lead to a water catastrophe that requires the services of a professional cleanup service in Barnardsville, NC, to handle. Insulating exposed pipes and outdoor faucets and taps can keep them from freezing and bursting. First, the water valves connecting to them need to be shut off and any attached hoses disconnected and stored in a sheltered location. Second, the water needs to be drained out. Finally, protective pipe insulation needs to be wrapped around each pipe and faucet.

2. Clean the Roof and Gutters
It is important to clean debris and gunk out of gutters before a winter storm. This will allow liquid to drain properly in the case of freezing rain. It is equally important to remove snow and ice from both the roof and gutters after the event. A pileup of packed snow can collapse the roof, and even if it doesn't, when melted it may cause mold and other damage. Water can also freeze in the gutters, creating ice dams whose weight can pull them off.

3. Caulk Cracks and Openings
Small holes and cracks around windows and other areas can allow cold air to seep in. Even indoor pipes may freeze if chilly winds enter the structure, lowering the temperature. Doing an inspection of the building and reapplying and applying caulk to any areas that need it can help prevent this.
A winter storm can cause a great deal of trouble if appropriate measures are not taken. Pipes exploding and roofs falling in are very real possibilities that can be warded off with a little extra work, so it is important to keep a close eye on the weather and prepare for severe incidents.

Preventing Mold After a Flood

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

Two air movers Use fans and a dehumidifier to increase evaporation speed and reduce moisture in the air.

How Do You Get Rid Of Mold After A Flood

Faced with flooding, business owners in Barnardsville, NC, have another worry to add to the list: mold growth. Since mold spores are always around, the aftermath of excess water provides an ideal environment for it to flourish. Immediately addressing the issue is essential to minimizing its spread.

Fast-Growing Fungus
When mold has moisture, a food source and a warm, humid environment, it can start to grow in 24 to 48 hours. The longer it sits, the increased chances of it spreading to another area. If the issue isn't taken care of, new colonies have the potential to form throughout the property. Below are a few ways to prevent mold growth.

If the outdoor humidity levels are lower, open the building to increase airflow and ventilation.
Remove saturated items, especially absorbent materials, such as ceiling tiles and paper.
Begin extracting any standing water.
If safe to do so, use fans and a dehumidifier to increase evaporation speed and reduce moisture in the air.

Professional Help
While those steps may help minimize it from spreading, getting the right help is essential for proper cleanup and avoiding future issues. This is especially important if the excess water came from a sewage backup or natural flooding. This type of water will also have bacteria and other contaminants that require additional safety measures for cleanup. When choosing a certified water and mold damage company, you get peace of mind that they will adhere to industry standards, have the tools and techniques to restore your business, and use an array of methods to clean and salvage as much as possible.
Although it may be easy to focus on all the extra water, mold growth needs to be a top consideration after any kind of water issue. Acting fast and finding the right expert to handle it makes it faster and easier to get back to "Like it never even happened."

3 Benefits of Storm Shutters

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

Residential equipment 1st floor Security shutter Installing storm shutters can be one of the best ways to protect the glass in your windows and doors

Three Benefits When Making Your Purchasing Decision

If your home is located in an area that experiences frequent high winds due to hurricanes or other severe storms, it may be beneficial to install storm shutters. 

1. Prevents Windows and Glass Doors From Breaking
Shutters protect windows and glass doors from wind, rain, and debris during storms. This protection makes it less likely that the glass may shatter, allowing flying debris to enter your home. It also increases safety and lowers the chance that you or your insurance company will need to pay to replace the glass due to storm damage. Your insurance company may offer a discount on your premium because of this. The opportunity for wind-driven rain to enter your home is also reduced, which can avoid substantial water damage that may require professional water mitigation in Montreat, NC.

2. Easy To Operate
Storm shutters can be opened and closed by one person, making them an easier option for protecting your home against high winds than other methods, such as boarding up your windows. Additionally, they are more useful for protection against sudden storms that you may not have time to prepare for in other ways. Once you have your shutters closed, you can spend the time you would have spent preparing your windows on other storm preparation.

3. Increases Your Home's Resale Value
Unlike temporary protection measures, shutters add value to your home. Adding storm protection features can be a good selling point for a home that is located in a region that experiences frequent strong storms.
The high winds from severe storms and hurricanes can cause significant damage to your home. Because of these three benefits, installing storm shutters can be one of the best ways to protect the glass in your windows and doors from being damaged during storms, creating a safety hazard and allowing wind, rain, and debris to enter your home.

How Standard Insurance Can Help Your Business After a Hurricane

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

commercial office, water and mud on the floor. Concept Commercial storm damage Commercial storm damage in a Royal Pines, NC office

Here Are The Ways Insurance Coverage Can Help

Experiencing a hurricane in Royal Pines, NC, can be difficult for a business, and the financial consequences can be devastating. These storms have the ability to cause massive amounts of damage to a building, much of which may be impossible for a temporarily closed company to pay for directly. If your business ever experiences hurricane damage, here are the ways insurance coverage can help.

Wind Damage
Depending on your location and policy, your storm insurance can cover different ranges of damage. These are possible coverage situations:

  • Only damage specifically stated in the policy is covered.
  • Only wind and hail damage is covered.
  • Any damage that isn't denied in the policy is covered.

Most policies cover wind damage caused by a hurricane. Aside from the range of coverage, there is a monetary difference as well. Many states and providers have specific deductibles for hurricanes (deductibles being the out-of-pocket expense policyholders pay before the insurance steps in). These deductibles are usually in the form of percentages, which means the property owner must pay a fraction of the storm damage restoration expenses.

Water Damage
A substantial number of property issues caused by hurricanes involve water damage, particularly if the storm occurs near the coast. Unfortunately, storm insurance providers often fail to cover flood-based expenses. Even if your property sustained damage from both wind and water, the wind issues may be all that's covered. This is important to check on before a storm hits. If your business is near a coast, it may be essential to find a policy that covers floods caused by hurricanes.
Understanding your storm insurance policy is vital for a commercial property owner. Hurricane policy requirements are different for every state, so be sure to research which one applies in Royal Pines, NC. If you should ever experience a hurricane, this information may be crucial to know for the sake of keeping your business going.

How To Properly Prepare for a Flood

10/21/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded road with trees and vegetation in background Dangers such as flash floods can cause lasting damage to your home in Fairview, NC

Keep Yourself Safe In Such An Event

Any type of severe weather can pose problems, but when facing a flood, there are a number of potential issues that can occur. Dangers such as rising flood water and flash floods can cause lasting damage to your home in Fairview, NC. Since these disasters can come quickly and without warning, it's important to make sure you're prepared to keep yourself safe in such an event.

Stay Alert
Knowing the emergency alert systems in place for your area can help you identify when a flood is coming. There are three major emergency alerts that can help you during a natural disaster:

Wireless Emergency Alerts: These will show up on your phone as a notification. Make sure WEAs are enabled in your settings.
Emergency Alert System: The EAS is a national public warning system but can be used by local authorities.
NOAA Weather Radio: This is a national network of radio stations that can deliver weather information.

Create a Plan
Creating a shelter plan, exit plan and communication plan can all help you be more prepared for a flood.
Consider putting together an emergency kit, too. In the event of a flood, it's dangerous to walk, swim or drive through flood water, meaning you may be on your own for a few days while you wait for rescue. Gather items such as a three-day supply of food and water, a first-aid kit and a flashlight.

Protect Your Home
A flooded building or home can cause water damage. If you're aware of a flood threat, take precautions to keep your home and possessions safe. Move valuables to a higher level so they don't get swept away, put important documents in waterproof covers and clean out drains and gutters. In the event of significant damage, call a storm restoration company.
There is a lot of potential damage that a storm can do to your home and your family, so it's important to prepare beforehand to protect yourself from flood water and damage.

Mitigating the Risk of Hail Damage to Your Commercial Roof

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Hail damage on a roof

When severe weather strikes in Asheville, NC, one of the associated risks it brings with it is hail. Roof damage caused by hail costs property owners over a billion dollars in repairs annually. There are some things you can do to reduce the likelihood that hail will cause damage to your roofing system.

Know Your Roof

The better you know your roof, the easier it will be to spot signs of potential damage. You should watch for the following:

  • Cracked shingles
  • Missing shingles
  • Loose or missing materials, including flashing
  • Peeling materials
  • Clogged or damaged roof drains
  • Tree limbs hanging over your roof

Repair and maintain any signs of damage or threats you identify. The better shape your roof is in, the better it will be able to withstand the onslaught of hail and the less likely you'll be to experience roof damage.
If you do experience extensive damage from hail and other associated weather risks such as high winds, never attempt to assess the damage yourself. There could be associated dangers of which you are unaware. Hire professionals who are trained to assess and restore damage to commercial buildings.

Reinforce Structures on Top of Your Roof
You may have additional equipment that is housed on top of your roof. This could include HVAC equipment and solar panels. These items are susceptible to hail damage when they aren't properly equipped to withstand hail's force.
If your HVAC equipment isn't made to withstand the impact of hail, you can install protection around your HVAC unit. This might be hail guards or wire mess. Hail guards allow air to flow freely and can be designed to cover any outdoor equipment that needs extra protection.
Prior to purchasing solar panels, if you are in a hail-prone zone, you should research to make sure the panels are impact-resistant.
When hail strikes, your property doesn't have to be a sitting target. There are precautions you can take to mitigate potential roof damage and property loss.

How To Know if Flood Cuts Are Necessary

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

A flood cut requires a tear out of drywall to clean the contaminated area behind it

A flood can be devastating for a home. Homeowners who are the victims of an unprecedented storm often rely on professionals to restore their living spaces. Experts can clean up the damage from flooding using proven techniques such as flood cuts.

What Flood Cuts Are

It’s appropriate to implement flood cuts in the following situations:

  • Large amounts of water are in an area of the home.
  • Water contains pathogens or bacteria.
  • Moisture has negatively affected the walls of a home.

A flood cut requires a tear out of drywall to clean the contaminated area behind it. If left untreated, then a home may begin to suffer from rotting, mold and unpleasant smells. Professionals aim to restore a home to pre-flood condition in as little time possible. Flood cuts are an effective way to get to the source of an issue when less invasive methods don’t work.

How To Implement a Flood Cut
Restoration experts in Royal Pines, NC, have the right tools to do a safe flood cut. The first step is to remove the water flooding the area. They wear safety gear that allows them to come in contact with any contamination. Homeowners should not come close to flood water. Restoration often requires them to avoid areas such as their basement or living room until cleanup is complete.
Next, the professionals make a cut in the wall 12-18 inches above the water damage. They rip out the drywall, address any mess behind it, and put in a replacement wall.
Of course, there are other methods of cleaning a wall that doesn’t require cutting, such as injected drying that can still fix the damage. The experts can decide the approach that is best for a home.
Residential flood restoration is crucial for communities hit hard by a storm. It’s possible to restore a home suffering from even the most severe flooding so that its residents can again enjoy it to the fullest.

What To Do When a Storm Damages Your Roof

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

Roof collapsed in a Fairview, NC

Has a storm damaged your roof? If so, it’s best to act quickly. If left too long, a minor roof repair can turn into a major one.

Assess the Damage

After a storm with high winds, hail or heavy rain, be sure to inspect your roof for damage immediately. Here are some things to look for:

  • Curled, lifted, missing or broken shingles
  • Dented gutters or downspouts
  • Gutters clogged with shingle material
  • Missing or torn flashing around the chimney
  • Water stains on the ceiling or walls of your top floor

Request an Inspection
If you suspect you have roof damage, contact a licensed roofing contractor in Fairview, NC, and schedule an inspection right away. Make sure they take photos and provide a written inspection report for any potential insurance claim. It’s wise to schedule any roof repair as quickly as possible. For extensive repairs, a storm damage restoration company can manage the cleanup.

Take Action
Heavy winds can lift shingles and break the waterproof seal, potentially causing leaks that could damage your attic insulation and dramatically increase your energy costs. If water has leaked into the attic, make sure that the areas get dried out, and replace any damaged materials. A timely repair can spare you from repeating this process.

Be Proactive
Protect your roof from wind damage caused by flying debris or tree branches. Prune trees so that limbs can’t reach the house. If you’re in an area that is prone to high winds, make sure there aren’t objects in your yard or patio area that could damage your roof or break windows.
If you don’t address the need for a roof repair when you discover it, you risk causing further harm to both your roof and the structural integrity of your home. A trained roof inspector can find problems that might otherwise go unnoticed, which will save you money in the long run.

A Tight Building Envelope Is Essential to Prevent Water Damage

4/10/2020 (Permalink)

The most important role of the building envelope is control of the flow of air, water, and humidity

The first line of defense in preventing rain damage is a functioning building envelope. Also called a building enclosure, it consists of all the components of the outer shell of a building and is designed to be a physical barrier against the elements. Typically, this includes the

  • Roof
  • Walls
  • Windows
  • Outer doors
  • Foundation

The Envelope Has 3 Basic Functions

Not only does the enclosure prevent moisture from entering, but it is also an integral part of the support structure, especially for commercial properties. These buildings tend to have more of a skeleton frame, so the outer walls are often even more important to structural integrity than for residences.
It’s also the part of the building everyone sees, so aesthetics plays a key role. With today’s focus on energy savings, a pleasing exterior must also include a finish that is energy efficient.
However, the most important role of the building envelope is control of the flow of air, water, and humidity. In order of importance, the enclosure should focus on

Presenting a barrier against rain damage
Preventing unwanted airflow but still providing some ventilation
Improving heating and cooling efficiency

A Damaged Building Enclosure Is a Direct Path to Water Damage

Cracks in the foundation, shifting walls, and roof damage can all allow moisture intrusion. While energy efficiency is important, nothing overrides how much damage a tiny amount of moisture can do.
Surprisingly, the leading cause of rain damage from a bad envelope in Swannanoa, NC, is installation errors or bad materials. Therefore, it’s critical that you choose a reputable contractor when having a commercial building erected.
Over time, all building envelopes will develop small openings that allow water damage. This can cause black mold to grow, further damaging building materials. Once you suspect the enclosure has allowed moisture intrusion, you need a professional flood cleanup company to inspect for leaks and hidden damage. They can tarp and board the building to prevent further damage, locate and fix the leaks and then restore your building to its ideal condition.

Handling Crawlspace Cleanup After a Flood

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

If your crawlspace has suffered home flood damage, contact a water restoration company

You made it through a home flood and are now facing the very real storm damage aftermath. It’s critical that you don’t overlook any areas as you handle cleanup, especially the often-neglected crawlspaces. If not cleaned properly they can become major breeding grounds for mold that will quickly affect your entire home. Follow these steps after a flood in your Biltmore,NC, home to ensure your crawlspaces don’t become a casualty.

How Crawlspace Floods Happen

Your home can take on water from a hard driving rain, rapidly melting snow or even poor drainage. Flooding happens from the ground up, so the lower crawlspaces are often the first casualties of ground flooding. Flooding in these areas can lead to mold growth that rots the wood framing of your home and causes major damage.

Remove the Water

Once flood waters have receded, it’s time to get to action removing water. Old fashioned buckets may be enough to get out initial water. A shop vacuum is another good tool to have on hand to remove remaining water, so long as it’s not contaminated with human waste. That type of water is best removed by professionals.

Dry It Out

The most critical step in any crawlspace cleanup after a home flood is drying the entire area. Ventilating the crawlspace is the best and fastest way to ensure that it dries out before mold has a chance to take hold and cause major damage. Use fans facing outward to draw air out of the space rather than blow moisture in.
Your crawlspaces are out of sight and often out of mind. But they can be the ideal place for mold to take hold and cause major expense and headaches. If your crawlspace has suffered home flood damage, use the above tips. Or better yet, contact a water restoration company to evaluate the damage and help you take the steps you need.

What to Expect During Water Damage Remediation

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage to retail store in Swannanoa, NC

What to Expect During Water Damage Remediation

If your Swannanoa,NC, building has been damaged by water during a storm, then you will likely need some repairs to return it to its previous condition. If this is your first time having this kind of work done, you may not know quite what to expect from the flood cleanup company. The following are three important stages that will happen during this process.

1. Inspection

The first thing that the flood cleanup company will need to do is perform a thorough inspection of the building. During this step, they will look at each area of the building as well as its contents. This will allow them to locate all damage and determine its extent. They can then decide the best way to move forward and begin working toward making repairs.

2. Mitigation

Once the inspection has been completed, mitigation will need to be done. During this stage, steps will be taken to minimize damage and prevent it from worsening. This can include blocking off areas with tarps or boards to keep water from spreading, covering holes or broken windows, and moving items to a dry location. Water will also be removed from the building during this stage.

3. Restoration

The final step that will be performed by the flood cleanup company is restoration. While inspection and mitigation are done more quickly, restoration can be time-consuming. This is because this stage involves making all repairs on the building as well as replacing any materials that cannot be salvaged. It also includes minor repairs like repainting.
While returning your building to its pre-flood condition can take a while, you can rest assured that the cleanup and restoration company will complete the job as quickly as possible. Once it is finished, it will likely be difficult to tell that any damage has occurred. They can also help to salvage any furniture or other belongings that have been affected.

What Is a Flood Cut and Why Is It Important?

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Flood cut in a Black Mountain, NC home

If your home has experienced some flooding, it has probably sustained damage that has the potential for further harm if the moisture is not cleaned up thoroughly within the first 48 hours. If the water damage makes it through your walls and drywall, you may want to utilize the expertise of a flood remediation company to do a flood cut so you don’t have bigger mold problems in the future.

Flood Cut or Not?

A flood cut is a cut in the drywall 12 to 18 inches above where the water damage stops. This is not always necessary, and the professionals do try to save your wall and do as little structural work as possible while still keeping your home and its occupants safe. The main factors that make a flood cut necessary include:

  • The walls are filled with insulation
  • The flooding was caused by a sewage backup
  • The floodwaters contain bacteria or harmful pathogens
  • Clean floodwaters were left too long and became contaminated

As a general rule, when a wall is insulated, it will likely require a tear out because the insulation is like a sponge. Any sort of in-wall drying strategies will not work sufficiently or quickly enough. For walls that are not insulated, such as basement walls that are known to have the most flooding issues, a flood remediation company can use equipment to fully dry the walls and studs from the inside.
As a side note, if your home does need a flood cut, this is a good time to add additional electrical outlets. You may also want to install other types of cables in the wall at the same time.

Maintain Your Home

Consult with a professional in Black Mountain,NC, to know for sure whether your home needs a flood cut to maintain structural integrity and keep the house and contents safe from contamination. Give yourself peace of mind with a timely, thorough cleaning and avoid mold growth altogether.

The Process or Fixing a Leaky Roof

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

Leaking roof in Biltmore, NC

A roof leak in Biltmore, NC, might at first blush seem like a catastrophe. After all, having water coming into your place of business puts a sickening feeling into your stomach. A number of questions arise. Who do I call? How much disruption will this cause? How much will this cost? The first thing is to connect with the water damage professionals in your area. Look for a company that has an attitude of we are Here to Help. Once you have connected with a company you like, it's easy to learn more about its services. By having a trusted company for remediation services, you can rest a little easier when a challenging situation occurs.

The Steps To Fix a Damaged Roof

With a roof leak, it's crucial to stop the water from entering the building. A roofing professional can inspect the roof to look for missing shingles, cracks in the roof surface and worn out flashing systems. The following steps will then need to be taken:

  • The damaged areas of the roof will need to be removed
  • The affected areas will need to be dried out
  • The roof will need to be restored

Any collateral storm damage to the building will have to be addressed once the roof is fixed. In most cases, the interior ceilings will have water damage. If the damage is severe, the ceilings may have to be restored. Another important issue is the presence of high levels of humidity in the building. If this excess moisture remains then other problems such as abnormal wear and tear and black mold can develop. Therefore, the moisture should be removed professionally thorough fans, ventilation systems and other methods.
The problem of a roof leak is not completely fixed until the leak is stopped and any damage to the interior of the building is addressed. Then your company can go back to what it does best in a safe and clean environment.

Why Choose SERVPRO of Asheville East?

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

Choose SERVPRO of Asheville East for Storm Damage Restoration.

3 Reasons Why You Choose SERVPRO.

1. We're Faster to Any Size Disaster

When a storm hits your Asheville home or business, you need help immediately. Our quick response will help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs.

Learn More

2. We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists

As leaders in the storm and water damage industry, we have advanced training and expertise, not to mention a tremendous amount of hands-on experience. We use this training and experience to quickly dry your home and restore it back to pre-storm condition.

  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technicians

Learn More

3. We Have the Resources to Handle Storms and Disasters

We can scale our resources to handle any size storm or disaster. We can access resources from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country.

What To Do and Not Do During Flooding

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded home in Montreat, NC

What To Do and Not Do During Flooding

During major flooding, the wrong steps can lead to serious consequences. Sometimes homeowners opt to stay in their homes while storms such as Hurricane Harvey rage, but the rising flood water, powerful winds, and electrical damages all pose significant dangers. There are some things you can and should do, including

Contacting your insurance agent

Working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get loans
Securing the services of a flood remediation and repair company

Until you've received an okay from the proper authorities, it's best to wait out the storm in a hotel, with family, or in another approved shelter.

Stay Out of the Water

There are several things you should not do in the meantime, for the protection of your family and your flooded home. One of the most important things you should not do is enter the water. Standing water could be electrically charged by underground power lines or downed lines. In addition to electrocution, contamination is a very real risk. The flood water could carry feces, harmful chemicals, and organic toxins.

Wait for a Safe Return to Your Home

Don't head into your home too early. It's understandable that you're anxious to return home, get repairs underway, and start buying new furnishings. However, water damage remediation professionals must have time to completely repair the home and address the possibility of mold growth before you move back in. These efforts may take weeks to ensure your family's safety.

Focus on Basic Care and Communication

Don't neglect the basics. Clean water may be in short supply. Gasoline prices are sure to rise. Phone lines are tied up. Instead of wading into your flooded home for DIY repairs, turn your focus to keeping your family safe and healthy. This means staying where clean water is abundant and conserve your gasoline. Find a place to keep your cellphone charged, so you can remain in communication with your family.
When torrential rain and winds fill your Montreat,NC, home with flood water, make sure you know how to keep your family safe. Recognize the appropriate steps to take and avoid unnecessary risks.

What Should You Do at Work When the Power Goes Out?

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Have your business ready if power goes out.

Skilled, experienced business leaders are prepared for just about anything that could occur in their company. If you run an organization, you have a lot to worry about, but do you have a plan in place if there’s a power outage at your Asheville, NC office? If you don’t, it’s time to get organized. If you know how you’ll react to this situation, it will help avoid confusion and possible interruptions to your business operations. 

3 Steps to follow when power goes out.

1. Protect Your Computers

Like most businesses, you probably rely heavily on computers to store massive amounts of data and to communicate critical information to colleagues and customers. If you’re not careful, a power outage could spell disaster for these devices if you haven’t saved your work. However, if you have an uninterrupted power supply (UPS), you won’t have to panic. Here’s how it works:

  • A UPS allows the computer to run on its own battery.
  • A UPS kicks on as soon as the power goes out and gives you ample time to save work and close out of programs.
  • A UPS ensures that you can recover any items after the power goes out

2. Use a Hotspot

Electronic communication dominates personal and professional life. You likely depend on an internet connection to conduct your work. When the power goes out, you can still stay online by using your electronic device and a hotspot. You could even head to a nearby café or store and see if you can pick up Wi-Fi there. 

3. Generate Some Peace of Mind

A great way to invest in backup power is to purchase a portable generator for your company. With this device, you can continue to power all of your equipment and devices, even during an outage. Make sure you consult a specialist about the size of generator you would need for your specific operations. 

Even if a storm or other issue has caused a power outage at your office, you can keep your business running. Consider implementing these solutions at work.

Call SERVPRO of Asheville East for more information on storm damage.

3 Types of Damage Caused by Hail

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

Cracks in asphalt stringle roof

Three Types of Hail Damage

If or when a hailstorm hits your business in Asheville, NC, you may suddenly find yourself with issues such as water leaks, roof damage and more. While cosmetic damage may only impact your building’s appearance, functional damage may lead to issues with water leaks and rot. Without a trained eye, it can often be difficult to tell which kind of damage occurred.

In this situation, the best solution may be to obtain commercial storm damage restoration from a company that can inspect your building, provides 24-hour emergency services and is faster to respond to any size disaster. Here are three types of hail damage a restoration company can help you find and repair.

1. Cracked Shingles

Depending on the size of hail and type of shingles on your commercial roof, cracked shingles may occur and be extremely difficult to spot. Hail only one inch in diameter may be large enough to damage 3-tab asphalt shingles.

2. Missing Shingles

Hail and wind often go together, and the combination of both may lead to missing shingles. Even one missing shingle can cause a gap that exposes the seam between one row of shingles and the row beneath. This gap may allow water to slip through beneath the shingles and eventually lead to further roof damage and a roof leak.

3. Wet Insulation

For those with fiberglass insulation, hail damage may cause water leaks that eventually reach the dry spaces between attic joists or walls. These areas often hold insulation, and water can decrease its effectiveness. Clumps in the fibers may form due to an inflow of dirty storm water and also increase your risk of mold growth.

These three types of damage can lead to ongoing problems if not addressed quickly. A commercial storm damage restoration company can help you inspect and repair your structure and any roof damage before further issues occur.

3 Ways to Prevent Mold Growth After a Flood

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth can still cause many problems. If it's not addressed.

Preventing Mold Growth

After a severe storm, you might sometimes experience flooding in your Royal Pines, NC home. This can cause quite a bit of damage to your property. In some cases, this can continue long after the flood has passed. Water damage can contribute to mold growth in your home, so be sure to take the necessary steps to prevent it.

1. Remove Water From Your Home

Because mold growth can happen quickly in a moist environment, it is important to remove any remaining water in your home as soon as possible. Make sure that all walls, floors, and belongings are completely dry as even small amounts of moisture might contribute to fungal growth.

2. Wash Any Soft Items

While it is important to dry everything, that won’t be enough for some items. Soft and porous belongings such as clothing, curtains, bedding and stuffed animals should be thoroughly cleaned if they were affected by the flooding. Flood water can carry contaminants, and if there are mold spores in these items, then it is only a matter of time before a growth occurs.

3. Hire a Professional Service

Perhaps one of the best ways to prevent mold from spreading in your home is to hire a water damage remediation company. These specialists can help with cleaning and repairing your home which will reduce the likelihood of developing a mold problem. They can also locate signs that mold has already started spreading and perform mold removal if necessary.

While mold may not pose much of a threat to the structure of your home, mold growth can still cause many problems. If it is not addressed, it can continue to spread throughout your house, creating unsightly discoloration on your walls and other items. It can also fill your home with an unpleasant, musty odor. To avoid this, be sure to remove excess water and clean up damage quickly.

3 Ways Hail Can Damage a Business

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Hail can damage your roof

Hail Damage

If your business in Weaverville,NC, is impacted by hail, some issues, such as roof damage, are obvious. However, problems from storms are not always evident. Fortunately, if you are aware of the ways hail can affect your business, you can better prepare before it occurs.

1. Water Damage

When a hailstorm hits, many people do not think that water damage will happen as a result. However, hail can cause issues in a building if there is a problem with the roof or if ice chunks have broken a window and have allowed rain to enter the property. Attics and rooms that are closest to the roof are especially likely to experience water damage, which can in turn cause mold if the source of the moisture is not quickly eliminated.

2. Roof Issues

Unfortunately, hail often results in a building sustaining major roof damage. Even hail that appears small in size can cause shingles to become cracked or come off. If an area on your building’s roof has lost or damaged shingles, this can increase the likelihood of a leak, which may lead to even more problems in the interior of your business.

3. Destruction to Siding

While hail can cause roof and water damage, it can also harm a building’s siding. Material that is older is more likely to crack as a result of hail, and strong winds combined with ice can cause siding to come off of a building entirely. If your structure’s exterior needs to be replaced and your business is located in an area that is prone to storms, it can be helpful to install siding that is made of more durable material.

Knowing that heavy storms can cause water, siding and roof damage can make it easier to take steps to prevent major hail damage from occurring. If your business has been impacted by severe weather, it could be useful to work with storm restoration experts.

7 Flood Safety Tips To Be Evacuation Ready

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Safety is first during a flood in your area

When you learn of flood warnings in your area, you must be ready to leave quickly. Your chance of successfully evacuating depends on being properly prepared. Here are 7 safety tips to get you evacuation ready for a flood disaster:

1. Know the flood risk in your area. Check flood maps for your property’s risk. Also note the topography of the surrounding area. Where are rivers, creeks, high areas and low areas?

2. Know evacuation routes and alternatives. Check local authorities for existing routes. Increase your flood safety by anticipating areas that may be impassible such as small creeks that could channel larger amounts of water, low areas and bridges.

3. Know your destination. Have enough supplies to reach your destination and make sure your family knows where to find you.

4. Keep your car filled with gas. You won’t have time to wait in line at a gas station when evacuating, or worse, risk not getting gas due to a shortage from demand in the local area.

5. Keep emergency cash ready. ATMS will have long lines and quickly run out of cash.

6. Keep a “go bag” so you can leave fast. Having some personal items as well as non-perishable food, water and medications in a bag is a great way to prepare for a fast departure.

7. Make a communication plan. Remember that communications can be disrupted during disasters and flood safety includes having a plan for this. Designating a distant friend as a point of contact for your family is best.

Flood safety includes returning home to Asheville, NC, only after the flood waters recede and local authorities determine it is safe. Do not drive through flood waters and do not go around police barricades, which are there for your safety. You will have a big job ahead of you with cleanup, but a professional remediation company can guide you through the process.

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Storm Preparation for Your Home

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Storms in Asheville, NC can happen abruptly, so it helps to be prepared. There are many steps that can be taken ahead of time to ensure your home is ready for storm season. Don’t wait until flood water is threatening your property to take the necessary precautions.

Outside Checklist

Take a survey of the outside of your home before a storm hits. Here are some of the most common things to look for.

• Roof: Check for any potential leaks so they can be fixed prior to the storm. If there are loose pieces, fasten down as much as you can. Even though most people think of water damage coming from the ground up, it can also come from above, so ensuring that the roof is solid and secure is a great place to start.
• Outside furniture: Review all your objects that dwell outdoors. Anything that isn’t secured already should be put away inside or fastened for stability. Beyond concerns of a flooded building, loose furnishings could also be swept away.
• Gutters: Flood water happens when there is an overflow in a specific area. You will want to clean your gutters and establish that they are attached securely to help the water flow in the appropriate areas. Having clogged gutters can prevent the water from channeling where it shouldn’t go and causing water damage to your home.
• Windows: Just as dams prevent water from flowing in specific areas, boards or storm shutters can be important deterrents for the impending storm. Often wind is a companion to water in strong weather. Barricading doors and windows can help to prevent destruction.

Prior Preparation Is Key

Completing an analysis of the outside of your home will show you where the weak points of entry are for flood water. If there is anything that you are unable to repair or protect on your own, calling a storm damage specialist prior to the inclement weather can help comfort you once it hits. Preparing your house for storms is a beneficial way to prevent a flooded building or water damage. Visit for more information on water damage. 

File a Flood Damage Claim in 4 Steps

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

Even though you may be overwhelmed by the aftermath of flooding in Asheville, NC you shouldn't hesitate to file a flood claim to cover damage to your home. Make sure that you keep the name of your insurer and policy number on hand during the disaster and are aware of the extent of your coverage.

1. Notify your insurer as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the flood, it may take insurance companies some time to process claims. It is a good idea to start the insurance claim process, document damage, and take the first steps toward limiting the extent of secondary damage by starting cleanup and remediation as soon as you can.

2. Document all flood damage. Take photographs of all damaged property, structural damage, and standing water. You should also make a complete list of damaged and lost items that includes dates of purchase, values, and any receipts you can find. Once you have documented the damage for your flood claim, you may dispose of affected and ruined items so that they do not pose a mold hazard.

3. Talk to an adjuster about your claim. An adjuster will contact you after you file your claim to discuss the damage and your coverage and help you prepare a sworn statement of the amount of damages you are claiming accompanied by supporting documentation.

4. File Proof of Loss within 60 days. File Proof of Loss documentation with your insurance companies within two months of a flood. The National Flood Insurance Program and insurance companies can only make payments once Proof of Loss is on file.

Maintain a reliable method of contact such as a cell phone number or email address so that an adjuster can contact you regarding the status of your flood claim. Depending on the extent of damage to your home, you may also want to contact a residential damage restoration service.

Visit for more information on storm damage. 

Fight Back Against Flood Season

1/19/2018 (Permalink)

If you’re on the edge of a flood in your Asheville, NC home, it’s important to be well-prepared. Flood water can result in expensive damage to your property and contents. While you might not be able to stop the storm and may need a specialist’s help to clean up after, you can follow a variety of steps to fight against the flood in advance.

1. Content Storage

If you have a second story, take your valuables and store them up there. If not, you can always store your valuables on tables or shelves. The point is to get them to a higher level where they may remain untouched by water damage from a flooded building. Using closeable plastic bins can also help. Even if water manages to get through, they are easier to deal with after getting wet, as opposed to wet cardboard.

2. Valve Check

Make sure you check the backwater valve before the storm. If it isn’t in working order, then you could end up dealing with the sewer backing up into your home. Water contaminated by sewage can be more toxic and damaging. If you have the chance, check your valve in advance.

3. Vehicle Relocation

Vehicles can be damaged by flood water. If you can get your cars to higher ground, you may be able to protect them from any damage. From mold problems to engine issues, there are several problems that occur when there is a flood. Once flooding starts, you may not be able to get your car out right away, so take care of it in advance.

After a flood, there is a high chance that there will be damage done. At least there are ways you can lessen the damage from flood water. You can do this by making sure your contents are stored safely, that your valves are in working order and that your vehicles are safely stored.

Visit SERVPRO of Asheville East at for more information about storm restoration.

Sewage Backup After Heavy Rains

12/15/2017 (Permalink)

Sewage Backup After Heavy Rains

Heavy raining and other storms in Asheville, NC can wreak havoc on your business. Most people know about the damage that strong wind, flooding, and lightning can cause during these storms. However, many people are surprised to learn that sewer backup is a significant concern as well.

When your area floods, your business is at risk at having sewage come up the pipes. Of course, sewage in your commercial building is terrible for business. That’s why it’s important to understand what causes this damage and what to do about it when it happens to you.

What Causes Sewage Backup During Rain

When rain water comes down heavily and saturates the ground, it can cause a city’s sewage system to overload. Since most municipal sewage systems are aging and damaged to some degree, this can cause waste to come back up the pipes and into homes and businesses. A few other factors contribute to sewer backup:

• No sewer backflow prevention device in the building
• Combined storm and sewage pipelines
• Damage from tree roots
• A blockage in the city’s sanitary main

Any combination of these factors can lead to what is known as “black water,” or sewage, spilling into your business.

How to Prevent It

You can help prevent black water from entering your business. However, there are no guarantees. With heavy enough rains, backup is still possible. You can take these steps in your building to mitigate that risk:

• Install a prevention valve
• Replace plumbing with plastic pipes that trees can’t damage
• Repair any damaged lines

These solutions involve costly and time-consuming repairs. However, you can also help prevent backup by keeping your pipes as clean as possible. Be sure to dispose of grease and paper products properly.

What to Do

If sewer backup affects your business after heavy rains, be sure to call a professional cleanup crew in Asheville, NC. While you could try to clean it yourself, an expert crew is better equipped to disinfect your business correctly.
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The Process of Professional Storm Damage Restoration

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

The Process of Professional Storm Damage Restoration

As human activities continue to interfere with the natural stability of ecosystems, natural disasters continue to affect people. The impacts of natural disasters can be catastrophic since they lead to many losses. Natural disasters such as storms may cause flooding, hurricane damage, tornadoes, river flooding, snowstorms, and ice damming or ice damage from ice dams. Storm damage leaves you with different types of damages including water damages due to flooding, structure damages, roof leak, and roof damage. When you want to restore your home after a wind damage, it is important for you to seek services from companies that provide professional storm remediation. A flood pump will ensure ground water is pumped out quickly since frozen pipes will not allow water out.

Below are the steps that you could follow suffering a storm damage to ensure that you reduce the losses that result from flooding:
i. Emergency contact. The first step in professional storm restoration is contacting your water restoration company to inform them of the damages and levels of ground water due to flood water. Most storm restoration companies provide services on a 24/7 basis and you will be able to contact them anytime. If there is roof damage due to roof leak and require immediate roof repair, you should inform the storm restoration company.

ii. Focus on your health and safety first. Storm disasters come with water damages and it is necessary to ensure that you switch off all power sources in your home or business. It is also important to note that storm remediation process begins immediately your water restoration company personnel arrives on the site. The level of river flooding, wind damage, flood water, ice damming, hail damage, ice damage, and river flooding in your property will determine the number of frozen pipes. Restoration should begin immediately after the storm or after the water levels have gone down. You should also use a flood pump to get rid of the flood water and ground water that may be the source of water damage to your property. Block broken water pipes to limit water inflow and minor roof leaks fixed.

iii. Documentation of storm damage: Documentation of all damages be it storm damage, water damage, wind damage, hurricane damage, ice damage from ice dams, hail damage, and roof damage is necessary, as they will help you in filling insurance claims. In there is ground water that has found its way into your house, use flood pump to get rid of it. This should be carried out as soon as you are able to access your property safely and you can do it through taking photographs and recording videos. Ice damming resulting from ice dams lead to frozen pipes that affects the water supply.

iv. Contact your insurance company. You should also make sure that you contact your insurance agent to allow him or her conduct any required inspection on your damaged property. Contacting your insurance company should be made as quick as possible to initiate the compensation process.

v. Consider looking into Federal Disaster Assistance: The federal government always seeks to help victims of wind damage and river flooding afford proper storm remediation. If you live in an area that has been declared as a disaster area, you can seek low-cost loans that may be provided by the federal government to facilitate home restoration services of your home such as repairs for a minor roof leak, management of water damage, wind damage, hurricane damage, hail damage, and roof damage

vi. The home restoration process involves restoring your home to its initial state. It will involve window and door replacement, furniture and content replacement, home restoration of electric and water supplies, and debris removal. Hail damages require a water restoration expert to help you carry out proper roof repairs where necessary. Frozen dams and frozen pipes caused by ice damming from ice dams should be heated up to restore the normal supply of water. Water restoration processes also involve the use of dehumidifiers to get rid of moisture and water suckers to pump water out. Roof repair will also be necessary to fix minor roof leaks.

To reduce the damages of flooding, flood water should be pumped first through the use of a flood pump. Other types of damages such as wind damage, water damage, hurricane damage, hail damage, ice damage, and roof damage could be mitigated through roof repair and other forms of storm remediation. The urgency through which the home restoration company shall respond to your emergency call and the steps they will take toward storm restoration will determine the success of the storm remediation.
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Flood Damage Factors to Consider

9/21/2016 (Permalink)

To Be Helpful and Restore Your Flood Damaged Home in Biltmore, Call SERVPRO

SERVPRO Can Mitigate Flood Damage and Relieve Your Stress

It doesn’t matter if a flood is caused by falling water, ground water, or a malfunction in your home water system. Whatever the case, you will need to act quickly after the flooding to make sure your family and home remain safe and to give you the best possible outcome with your insurance company.

You will want to call us, the professionals, at SERVPRO right away when you experience any flood damage in Biltmore. With all water damage, you are always at risk for the growth of dangerous mold within just forty-eight to seventy-two hours. This is not much time, so it is imperative that your property gets dried out as soon as possible, and this is not likely without the professional equipment that trained technicians can bring into your home. The earlier you get started in recovering your property, the chances that your restoration will be simpler and less expensive will be better.
You will also want to call your insurance company as soon as possible. They are the ones who can help you figure out what is covered under your policy. Our professionals at SERVPRO can also help you deal with the insurance company. Together, we can tell you how to prevent any additional damage by getting rid if the water as soon as possible, and assisting you with the claims paperwork.

While you are waiting for our SERVPRO team to arrive, there are a few things you can do including:
Be Safe – if any of the water damaged areas include electrical appliances, keep out of the area. Do not risk electrocuting yourself.
Stop the Water Flow – if there is a pipe that is burst, turn the water main off. If there is a leak from your roof, place a bucket underneath it.
Clear Belongings – take out any light furniture, electronics, or other items out of the water’s path.

Please do not try to restore the flood damage yourself. You will need our technicians who have the proper equipment and experience so that the growth of mold can be prevented and your home can be restored. With fast water extraction, we can mitigate secondary water damage to your personal belongs and building materials.

When you experience flood damage, make sure to contact us at SERVPRO of Asheville East 24/7 by dialing (828) 255-4535. We will arrive at your property quickly and come up with a plan of remediation to restore your property to its pre-loss state "Like it never even happened."

Flood Damage Can Be Fixed By Professionals in Your House

5/28/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding Means Swift Water Removal to Salvage Your Property in Black Mountain. Call SERVPRO

SERVPRO Can Restore Your Storm Damaged Property

Some areas of the U.S. are more prone to Black Mountain Flood Damage problems than others. Even though this is true, it also important to note that flood waters can affect any home since there are a number of causes for flooding. From an extended period of heavy rains caused by thunderstorms to broken pipes in the basement, any homeowner may need this kind of assistance. It does not matter where the flooding or water comes from because the aftermath can produce the same or similar problems. By hiring an experienced professional team from SERVPRO, we can assist you in returning your life to normalcy.
With this in mind, here are three essential Black Mountain Flood Damage services that our professionals are known for providing to the homes that have been affected.
#1 - Removes Excess Water
The aftermath of any flood can be a very distressing time for everyone involved. In fact, it may take some people a little while to wrap their mind around the extensive damage that flooding actually causes. However, once the owner and their family begins to realize the adverse effects, they usually want to start the recovery process as quickly as possible by contacting one of our professional representatives. Therefore, one of the first things that our team will begin to do is remove all of the excess water to minimize the potential for secondary water damage. Our team can do this process swiftly because we are equipped with the expertise and advanced industry water removal equipment from truck-mounted power pumps to wet-vacs, and mops.
#2 – Dry Out the Home to Prevent Mold
When the excess water had been removed, the next step or services that needed to be provided is to dry out all of the items in the home to prevent problems in the future with mold or other related issues. Fortunately, our IICRC certified and skilled crews have our equipment and tools to take care of these matters. So, we may begin this part of the process by drying the floors, furniture, clothing and other areas in the home that were impacted by the flood waters.
#3- Provides a Final Inspection
Before our crew leaves the site, we will also complete an inspection to see if the extensive flood damage has been restored. The flooding could have traveled into areas that cannot be easily seen without the appropriate detection devices like moisture meters and hygrometers. This inspection is to ensure a complete restoration of these issues, and you will receive documentation attesting to the return of your house to its pre-loss condition.
Call us 24/7 to respond to your flooding problems so that we can quickly restore your property. Dial 828-255-4535 to contact SERVPRO of Ashville East.

Asheville Hurricane and Tropical Storm Preparedness

6/11/2015 (Permalink)

Pay attention to forecasts and official communications.

Hurricane and Tropical Storm Preparedness

Every year, Asheville tropical storms and hurricanes cause devastating loss of life and millions of dollars in damages to communities. All who live in areas prone to these storms should take the following preparation steps to ensure the best chances of survival.

Pay attention to forecasts and official communications. Tune in to your local television and radio news stations for the latest updates on storms, and keep a battery powered or hand crank radio on hand in case the power goes out. Note the location of local shelters and evacuation routes, when given.

Prepare your home before damaging winds arrive. Secure outdoor furniture or bring these items inside the home. Fortify windows by applying tape on the inside. This helps to prevent them from shattering and producing sharp projectiles in high winds. Finish the job by boarding them up on the outside to protect them from flying debris. Map the location of your gas, electric and water shut-offs. If a storm is imminent, shutting off these utilities can prevent flooding from burst water pipes, fires, and electrocution. 

If there has been no order to evacuate and you plan to remain in your home throughout the Asheville storm, ensure you have adequate supplies on hand. Always assume that it could take several days before aid workers reach you. Fill your bathtub with water for washing and related needs, and fill gallon jugs with potable water for cooking and drinking. Plan to have at least three days worth of food and water on hand. Your food items should all be non-perishables that do not require cooking. If you have alternative cooking methods, such as camp stoves, use these only outdoors in a well-ventilated area to prevent accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Other supplies to have available include flashlights, spare batteries, pet food, prescription medications, rain gear, and a first aid kit. 

Keep your vehicle’s gas tank filled in case you need to evacuate. Also, include bottled water, emergency food, a small first aid kit and flashlights in case you become stranded. Do not assume that just because no evacuation orders are in effect that your area will remain safe. Be prepared at all times to evacuate quickly. 

Asheville hurricanes and tropical storms cannot always be avoided. However, by preparing well you will increase your chance of survival. Do not second-guess the power of storms. Obey evacuation orders without hesitation.