MEMPHIS, TN--(Marketwired - September 21, 2016) - With the start of fall season, summer and its stormy tendencies may be winding down, but the experts at ServiceMaster Restore are urging home and business owners not to let their guard down. "We are in peak season for hurricanes, and now is the time to make sure you're ready -- whether you live in a coastal area that could take a direct hit, or inland, where high wind and flooding are possible," said Peter Duncanson, director of system development with ServiceMaster Restore, one of the largest disaster restoration companies in the United States and a ServiceMaster (NYSE: SERV) company.
There have been several named storms thus far in the Atlantic this season, and the frequency of storms forming near the U.S. is increasing. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  (NOAA), property damage due to hurricanes in 2015 totaled more than $41.4 million. The effects of these storms can range from immediate severe structural damage to permanent loss of keepsakes. NOAA's 2016 Hurricane Season Outlook predicts this year will be the "strongest since 2012," when Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast.
According to the 2015 ServiceMaster Restore Franchise Hurricane Preparedness Survey, the most common types of damage caused by large storms, like hurricanes, can range from property destruction and seepage of water up drywall to mold from lingering moisture and loss of important documents. Franchisees also shared that advanced storm preparation can help prevent many of these issues, even though most home and business owners are unlikely to take simple precautions, such as unplugging electronics or elevating furniture.
"Preparing before a storm is critical in managing the aftermath damage," says Duncanson, who also serves as chairman of the board of directors for the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). "We know how devastating storm damage can be for people, and we want to help them mitigate it as much as possible and be prepared to respond quickly."
Whether it's a hurricane or a severe thunderstorm approaching this season, the most important thing that all home and business owners can do to prepare is develop an emergency preparedness plan. This time-saving preparation ahead of inclement weather can help ease a potentially stressful hurricane season. Simple steps to take ahead of a hurricane or severe storm include:
- Secure loose outdoor items, such as patio furniture, and put away garden tools and children's toys
- Board up windows
- Ensure rain gutters are clear to allow water to flow
- Stock up on fresh batteries and emergency supplies, such as water, medication and non-perishable food, flashlights and radios
- Unplug electronics and elevate furniture and drapes inside the home
- Store valuables and important documents, like birth certificates and passports, in waterproof containers
- Create a call tree to provide notice of your safety with family living outside the area
- Create a photo and/or video inventory of essential possessions including serial numbers, make and model of item
Plan for Post-Storm Repairs
- Have information on-hand for professional restoration companies, so if damage occurs it can be minimized in a timely manner (within 24-48 hours of water damage)
- Review your insurance policy to know what's covered and have your policy information easily accessible
- Restock your emergency supply kit if necessary
ServiceMaster Restore professionals are trained, equipped and ready to repair and clean homes and businesses before, during and after any severe storm. With a number of regionally based large-loss command and control centers and 1,800 franchises worldwide, ServiceMaster Restore can mobilize across the country to handle any size job.
For more expert tips and information about hurricane preparedness, visit ServiceMasterRestore.com or YouTube, or like us on Facebook. For immediate assistance and clean up, call a live ServiceMaster Restore operator 24/7 at 1-800-RESPOND.
About ServiceMaster Restore
With approximately 1,800 franchised and licensed locations around the world, ServiceMaster Restore and ServiceMaster Recovery Management (SRM) serve customers through a global network of franchises available 24/7/365 to provide residential and commercial restoration services resulting from damage caused by water, fire or smoke. SRM is the large-scale commercial catastrophic disaster restoration unit of ServiceMaster Restore. ServiceMaster Restore is a business unit of the Memphis-based ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SERV), a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services. More information can be found at www.servicemasterrestore.com.
ServiceMaster (NYSE: SERV) solves the homeowner's dilemma. Every day, we visit more than 75,000 homes and businesses through our extensive service network of expert professionals. Technology powers our trusted experts to engage with customers so they can order, buy and receive services when, where and how they want them. Our well-recognized brands includes American Home Shield (home warranties), AmeriSpec (home inspections), Furniture Medic (furniture repair), Merry Maids (residential cleaning), ServiceMaster Clean (janitorial and residential floor cleaning), ServiceMaster Restore (disaster restoration) and Terminix (termite and pest control). Like, follow or visit us at facebook.com/ServiceMaster, linkedin.com/ServiceMaster, twitter.com/ServiceMaster, or servicemaster.com.
About the Survey
The 2015 ServiceMaster Franchisee Hurricane Preparedness Survey presents the findings of an online survey conducted by ServiceMaster from May 13-27, 2015 among a sample of 38 ServiceMaster franchise owners across the country offering hurricane preparedness and restoration services for homes or businesses.
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