Recent Storm Damage Posts

Please Don't Ignore Tornado Warnings!

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

Last Sunday night my wife and I were watching television and saw weather alerts on our local channels advising the threat of severe weather including possible tornadoes. The warnings are not atypical – however fortunately Delmarva does not experience many tornadoes. I have lived here for more than thirty years and have heard of maybe two or three. Needless to say, my mind was filled with more thoughts about the Game of Thrones episode I had just watched than thoughts of tornadoes.

At about three am we heard our cell phones blast a tornado warning advising that everyone in the area seek shelter. My wife got up and began to poke and prompt me to get out of bed and seek a safer place to shelter. I still did not take it or her seriously and simply rolled over and tried to get back to sleep. My wife gave me hell for being so lackadaisical and we laid in bed and heard the storm. It was very intense; but fortunately we were not in any danger zones and faired with no damage or injury. However, when I got up the next morning and turned on the local television channel I saw that there had indeed been a tornado.

About twenty miles west of our home in Lewes an EF2 tornado touched down near Laurel and tore a path of destruction about 100 yards wide and over ten miles long. It was not until I drove from my office over to Laurel to see the damage first hand that I began to scold myself for my stubbornness and my stupidity. Homes were obliterated, trees uprooted, roofs missing and debris was everywhere. Small and large structures shared the same misfortune and many families lost almost everything. I kept thinking over and over – THIS COULD HAVE HAPPENED TO US! My laziness and ignorance could have placed the life of my wife and our beloved dog in harm’s way. What made my guilt even worse was the thought that there is no excuse – I was given plenty of warning. The fact that there were no deaths or injuries from the storm told me that others had in fact heeded the timely alerts. Fortunately, I may have been the exception and not the rule.

The moral of this story is rather obvious – Pay Attention and Heed Warnings of Danger! If you suffered any storm damage – please call SERVPRO of Sussex County and we will be happy to assist with the clean up.

Tips for Proper Pet Care during a Disaster

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Tips for Proper Pet Care during a Disaster

   Whether it be an extreme Nor’easter or a Category 5 hurricane; we should all have a plan for our families and our own personal safety.  Many of us think of our pets as important family members and we should consider their safety as well.  We have all seen the heart wrenching images of lost pets from past storm events. If you have any uncertainty about proper protection for your pet during such an event; the Humane Society of the U.S. offers the following tips and guidance for such an event:

  • Do not leave your pets behind.
  • Apply a securely fastened identification tag to your pets’ collar and carry a current photo of your pet with you. Also include on the tag your name and phone number and the same information for a family member or friend who knows you and your pet. This will help to ensure that whoever finds your pet will be able to reach someone who knows you.
  • Transport your pets in secure carriers and keep them on proper leashes and harnesses.
  • Contact hotels in the safe location and ask if you may bring your pets. Ask the hotel manager to waive the no-pet policy in accordance with the disaster response and remember that most public shelters do not admit pets.  There are certain hotels who allow pets and a little google search may offer this information prior to the emergency.
  • Call friends, family members, veterinarians or boarding kennels in the safe zone to arrange foster care for your pets if needed.
  • Pack a week’s supply of food, water and other provisions, such as medications and cat litter.
  • Do not wait till the last moment to evacuate – most responders will not take your pets during emergency rescues.
  • Keep a list of emergency phone numbers. (veterinarian, local animal control, animal shelters and the number for the Red Cross)  

SERVPRO of Sussex County shares in the public hope that we all stay free from threats and disasters; but we respect the reality of their occurrence.  If you have any post storm questions or issues please call us at 302-856-9768 or visit our website: for more information.  

What is an Emergency Ready Profile and why every Business should have one?

9/1/2018 (Permalink)

What is an Emergency Ready Profile and why every Business should have one?

   Ben Franklin once said “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”  Winston Churchill said “Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.” Obviously most of us view both of these historical figures as being wise and charismatic.  It is the wisdom that we want to extract from each of these quotes when giving thought to emergency preparedness. 

   More than 50% of businesses close down following a disaster; and many never reopen.  This 50% or more suffer from the same symptoms; lack of planning and preparation.  They also have failed to learn the lesson learned by every other business who either weathered an emergency or lost some assets or everything.  Of the businesses that typically do survive; the majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Think of the pre-planning as an insurance policy.  Just as having auto insurance gives us peace of mind when we drive; an ERP (Emergency Ready Profile) gives a business peace of mind when facing the challenges of nature and everyday life.

  An ERP will speak trust to your employees and your customers and instill a sense that your company is ready for whatever happens.

  SERVPRO offers an ERP that will minimize downtime and replace business interruption with an immediate plan of action.  Knowing what to do, when to do it and who to call is essential in the critical time prior to an emergency.  The ERP is a start-up approach that offers critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery.  It provides a quick reference to important building and contact information.  SERVPRO applies more than 40 years of experience in dealing with both natural and man- made disasters to each ERP.

  The SERVPRO ERP provides the following:

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. This requires minimal effort to complete and offers maximum time savings in an emergency.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • It establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • It identifies the line or chain of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • It provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

Call SERVPRO at 302-856-9768 Today and Let’s get your business READY!

Stormy Misconceptions

8/30/2018 (Permalink)

Stormy Misconceptions

  The National Weather Service keeps record of the most severe storms to affect the state and the coast of Delaware. As a young boy growing up in this area, I remember people referring to the Storm of ’62 as the worst on record. They told stories of destruction that impacted almost the entire state and especially the coastal communities. Most would assume that such a storm would have been classified as a hurricane and more than likely had made impact between June and November. It was in fact a Nor’easter that occurred in March between the 5th and the 7th and became known as the” Ash Wednesday Storm 1962”. It was also referred to as the “Five High Storm” because it lingered off the coast for five high tides – but most of the damage occurred on Wednesday March 7, 1962 – Ash Wednesday.

 Merging low pressure systems and a strong surface high stalled the storm in the Mid-Atlantic and pounded the coast of Delaware for almost three days. The storm also occurred during the equinox. This created even higher tides along with continuous rain and strong winds. Wind gusts reached more than 70 mph and the storm surge was 3 to 5 feet above normal. Wave heights of more than 40 feet were measured off Rehoboth Beach and ranged between 20 and 30 feet in the surf zone. The entire boardwalk and many beachfront homes were destroyed.

  Bethany Beach was hit hard with wind gusts exceeding 80 mph and flood waters penetrated as far inland as Ocean View. The boardwalk and many businesses and homes were also destroyed.

  Beach erosion forced so much sand inland that many homes had their first floors filled with it and sand covered and closed many roads as well. The erosion also created another inlet; just north of Fenwick Island. Bayside to ocean side; virtually every coastal town had historical storm damage and 8 people were killed. It is estimated that the storm did more than $500 million dollars in damage based on our current dollar value.  It is amazing that there weren’t more lives lost.

  A storm of this magnitude had not hit Delaware since 1878. Nearly one hundred years had passed since the last killer storm. The infrequency of such events makes them more dangerous because most people doubt the likelihood of such a storm ever taking place in their lifetime.

  We are fortunate to have advanced technology to forewarn the public well in advance of such an event. Yet with each new storm we read about people who ignored warnings and paid with their lives. Assumptions that hurricanes are the most severe of storms are not always correct. Delaware has experienced many more Nor’easters than hurricanes and we should learn to heed the warnings and plan for such events.

  SERVPRO of Sussex County is ready to serve our community in the likelihood of any storm event – large or small. We offer Emergency Readiness Programs to ensure a safe and proper plan of action and we will be there to assist with the clean-up. For more information – please call us today at 302-856-9768 or visit our website at:

Severe Weather Tips

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

Severe Weather Tips

  We hope you are enjoying your summer and thankfully the weather has been fairly good for most of our summertime fun!  As most of us realize; however, our weather can change from dreamy to dreary very quickly.  We are now in the heart of hurricane season and everyone should hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. 

   When severe weather is approaching there may not be enough time to properly prepare your family and your property.  It is always a good idea to know what to do and when to do it.  In most cases locally; severe weather strikes in the form of thunderstorms with the potential for wind, thunder and lightning and heavy rain.  There are a few steps that each household should take to prepare for such events.

  • Secure your property and keep trees trimmed and remove dead branches and store any outdoor furniture or items safely. Branches, lawn chairs and garbage cans can quickly become projectiles in a severe storm and cause damage to your home, vehicles and property.  
  • Keeping your gutters and drainpipes clean will help to properly direct the flow of potentially damaging flood waters away from your home and crawlspace.
  • Check the condition of your roof. If repairs are needed; apply them before the bad weather strikes.
  • Prepare an emergency safety plan for your family and include methods of communication and an escape route to a safe meeting place.
  • Keep an eye on the sky and pay attention to local weather information.
  • If severe weather threatens; check on the elderly, disabled, the very young and pets and farm animals.


If severe weather does hit; please always remember that SERVPRO of Sussex County is ready 24/7 to help you to regain control of your life!  Please reach us at 302-856-9768 or visit us at