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Jarvis Restoration Blog

How to Prepare for Any Home Emergency or Disaster in California

Living in California usually means great weather and a laid back lifestyle most of the time, but even in this paradise weather can turn nasty. One of the trickiest parts of living in California is that when poor weather hits, residents are usually unprepared for it. Due to this, our homes are usually not proofed for some of the worst, albeit common, natural disasters that can befall California. Fortunately, there’s Jarvis Restoration. We specialize in repairing homes from even the worst water, fire, mold, and other natural damages. With us, even the most compromised home can make a full recovery, and we do it all for a great price and in a timely manner.

Water Damage

Water damage is one of the more common home emergencies because it can happen at just about any time. Whether it’s a leak in the roof, a pipe that’s burst, an overflowing tub or toilet, or some other problem, water damage can befall any home at virtually any time. It is difficult to prepare for water damage as you don’t usually know when it’s coming.However, when living in California flooding, mudslides, and seasonal heavy rains are something you can prepare for. Especially when dealing with weather systems like El Nino, it’s best to have a plan in place in case the worst happens.So when it comes to water damage, prepare by doing the following:

  • Purchase Flood Insurance: If you live in an area that gets flooded easily, flood insurance is a worthy investment. This could take care of any restoration costs that may come up after a flood such as replacing floors, furniture, walls, and some belongings.
  • Have a Plan: In the event of unforeseen water damage, make up an action plan of what to do next. This could include everything from drying and cleaning methods to which company to use if the damage is extensive and restoration is needed.
  • Safeguard What You Can: Floors, furniture, the roof, and more – whatever can be safeguarded, waterproofed, or otherwise protected from water damage should be taken care of beforehand. This could simply mean sealing the roof to prevent from leaks, having regular inspections to ensure pipes are strong, or replacing certain parts of water appliances before they get old, rusted, or otherwise useless.

Fire Damage

Less common and predictable is fire damage. Fire damage can be minor or extensive, but it is usually always shocking and devastating. The best way to prepare for fire damage is to prevent it by any means necessary. This may include taking the following steps:

  • Inspecting Electrical Wires: Have a professional check electrical wires to ensure they are not faulty, old, or otherwise compromised. Electrical fires are the most common fires to start in a home, so doing your part to prevent these is half the battle.
  • Check Your Smoke Detector: Smoke detectors need to be checked every few months to make sure they’re working properly. Do regular checks, have batteries handy, and repair them if they are broken as soon as possible. This is your first line of defense in case of a fire, so be sure that it is working well at all times.
  • Don’t Leave Standing Candles: Never ever leave a lit candle standing idle anywhere in your house if you are not present. Even if you think nothing will happen, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Leaving a candle idle can lead to serious fires that can cause irreparable damage.
  • Turn of Lights and Appliances: Be sure to turn off the oven, stove, lights, and other appliances that use electricity and heat. While lights are less likely to cause a blaze, the stove, oven, microwave, and heater can do so if not monitored.

Mold Damage

Mold damage can be incredibly dangerous if left unchecked. It can cause serious health problems for you and your family as well as severely compromise the structural integrity of your home. Prepare for and prevent mold damage by doing the following:

  • Clean Standing Water: Unattended water on any surface in your home can lead to rot and mold, so it is best to never leave a wet spot. A simple spill on wooden flooring or the carpet, an unchecked leak in the roof, or consistent spills on the bathroom floor can lead to mold growth.
  • Check the Attic/Basement: Mold thrives in the cold, damp, and dark, and your basement or attic are the perfect places for it to grow. Moisture can get in if there is an insulation and sealing problem, or if there is organic matter that mold can thrive on. This includes cardboard boxes, old clothes, paper, and even furniture. Check on your attic or basement regularly to ensure that it’s sealed tight against moisture and that belongings are stored safely.

Earthquake Damage

Perhaps the most common natural disaster known to California is the earthquake. Since much of the state affected by the San Andreas Fault, earthquakes are a very real danger for all Californians. Earthquake damage, then, can be incredibly devastating, especially because there is no way to predict a coming earthquake. Prepare by doing the following:

  • Make an Earthquake Kit: Since earthquakes can hit unexpectedly, it is so important to have an earthquake kit with all the necessary supplies handy. You don’t want to be caught without food, water, medical care, and clothing, so add these items to your kit. Be sure to store the kit in a safe, dry place and purchase nonperishable snacks. Remake your kit every few years to ensure you have good sized clothing, non-expired food and medication, and fresh supplies.
  • Purchase the Proper Insurance: Talk to your insurance company about earthquake insurance. This may come in handy if the earthquake damages your home or other parts of your property that can be fixed. It will save you money, and gives you a chance to make your home even stronger than before.
  • Practice Earthquake Safety: One of the biggest lifesavers during an earthquake is knowing how to protect yourself. Have your family practice earthquake safety such as standing in doorways, hiding under tables, and protecting your head from falling objects. Have a plan in place for pets as well, as they are more likely to lose control during this disaster.

Wind Damage

Finally, there is wind damage. The Santa Ana Winds can do a number on your home if you aren’t careful, making this another emergency to prepare for. Strengthen your home against the winds by doing the following:

  • Remove Large Trees Around the Home: If possible, it is smart to remove large trees growing around your home. These trees can be blown over during a windstorm and may fall onto your car, roof, fence, or something else, causing serious damage. If the tree is not on your property, talk to your neighbors or the city about its removal.
  • Take Your Belongings Inside and Secure Others: Outdoor furniture, tables, apparatuses, and other outside materials can be blown away during a windstorm, costing you lots of money. If possible, take smaller items inside when the wind starts blowing, and secure others using rope, tarp, or another sturdy tool.
  • Protect Windows and Doors: Damage and injury from windows or doors are actually fairly common during a windstorm. This can be very dangerous and can lead to permanent damage if not properly taken care of beforehand. Learn how to do so here.

 In each of these scenarios, your best efforts may not be enough to save your home from damage.

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