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6 Tips For Creating an Emergency Preparedness Plan

6 Tips For Creating an Emergency Preparedness Plan

6 Tips For Creating an Emergency Preparedness Plan

An emergency can happen in an instant and it is imperative you have an emergency preparedness plan in place so you can keep yourself and your family safe. When a real emergency occurs, it can be easy to panic. If you are mentally and physically prepared in times of crisis, you can keep everyone calm--and most importantly, safe. Click To Tweet

Be Prepared

Preparation and practice are the keys to an effective emergency preparedness plan. An emergency plan should include a disaster supply kit and any other emergency essentials. All supplies need to be easily accessible and your plan needs to be easy to remember for the entire family. Write up an emergency checklist and perform practice drills so everyone will know what to do if and when a disaster or emergency strikes. Here are six indispensable ways to ensure you are prepared for any emergency.

1. Inventory Family Needs

It is important to consider specific needs of your family and home. Don’t forget any necessary items. Keep in mind medical supplies and medications. Make sure your emergency checklist includes emergency contacts, as well as important items to take from the house, such as vital documents, spare keys, and anything else that is necessary to have once you’ve left your home.

2. Go Bags

Grab it and go! Everyone in your family should have an emergency bag ready for any disaster. Each bag should contain water, blankets, non-perishable foods, clothing, and any other items needed once you leave the house. When filling your emergency preparedness bag, make sure to ask yourself “Does this meet my basic needs? Or is this a luxury?” Only pack the essentials needed for living. Our basic needs include water, food, clothing, and shelter. Everything else is a luxury.

3. Give Each Family Member a Role

Everyone in the family should have a role in your emergency preparedness plan. Discuss what responsibilities each person will have. Perhaps one child will gather the pet dog, while another is in charge of calling a loved one in another state to let them know what is happening. By assigning roles to each family member ensures that everyone knows what they are supposed to, and expected do during an emergency.

4. Regularly Review the Plan

Emergency plans aren’t effective if they are forgotten. This is especially true for families with children or elderly adults. It is crucial to regularly review and practice your emergency preparedness plan. Practicing every couple months is a good way to make sure your family remembers what to do when an emergency happens, and they will be less likely to forget what to do.

5. Strategize Meeting Places

One of the main things to consider when developing your emergency preparedness plan is where to meet once leaving the home. Depending on what type of emergency is occurring, people might not be leaving the house at the same time. By having a set meeting place is critical for reconnecting with your loved ones and keeping them safe. There might be different meeting places, depending on the severity of the emergency. Make sure to choose familiar and nearby places to meet and report to after leaving the home.

6. Share Your Plan

It is also important to share your emergency preparedness plan with your community. Tell your neighbors if you plan to come to their home if you have a fire. Or, encourage them to come up with and practice their own plans. Building a proactive network of people during an emergency can further safeguard your family and also allow you to help others in need.

Protect Your Property

Even though disasters can happen, it doesn’t mean we can’t be as prepared as possible. There are some ways to protect your home, even if you have to leave. For high winds or hurricanes, you can reinforce doors and windows with plywood. For floods, a Water-Inflated Property Protector (WIPP) can help keep your home and property safe and dry.

Your Emergency Preparedness Plan

Emergencies can come quite unexpectedly, but you don’t have to panic when you have an emergency preparedness plan in place. Don’t forget to plan ahead and have everyone’s go-bag all ready for when and if the time comes. Communicate with your family and community and, practice throughout the year to keep the plan fresh in everyone’s mind and your loved ones safe.

To learn more about how you can keep your family and home safe with an emergency preparedness plan, Contact Us.

3 Extreme Dangers of Winter Weather

3 Extreme Dangers of Winter Weather

A wintery day with snow on the ground is a truly beautiful sight to behold.  Despite this, it’s important to remember that the breathtaking beauty hides very real dangers. Each year as temperatures drop, Americans risk injury and death due to exposure to cold, car accidents, and CO poisoning caused by the improper use of heaters. Even when Sping begins to approach, the threat of flooding can linger.

Be Prepared

It’s important to prepare yourself and your home in advance of adverse winter weather conditions. Weather stripping windows and doors, making sure your vehicle is winterized and having an emergency plan ready are just a few ways to prepare. There is a lot to think about when preparing for the cold season, so it’s crucial that you understand the dangers of winter weather:

1) Low Temperatures

Low temperatures put you at higher risk of hypothermia. When hypothermia sets in, your body jumps into action to protect your vital organs. Blood rushes to the core to keep your heart and lungs warm. However, that lack of circulation and blood in your extremities can causes them to freeze. In cases where the body temperature drops below 96, hypothermia sets in.  Symptoms include confusion, exhaustion and slurred speech.

2) Decreased Visibility

During snow storms and heavy snowfall, visibility might be restricted.  This can happen suddenly and without time to reach your destination, which is why it’s critical to heed weather warnings. Avoid driving, and stay close to home when the threat of winter storm warnings loom. In poor weather conditions with low visibility, it’s easy to get stuck or turned around.  This is made even more dangerous by dropping temperatures, which can form dangerous black ice on the roads

3) Carbon Monoxide Risks

During the winter months, people are at an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, invisible gas produced when fuels are not completely burned during use. Automobile exhaust is the most common source of CO, but generators, gas ranges and furnaces also produce it. When appliances and furnaces are improperly adjusted and used in poorly ventilated areas, dangerous amounts of CO can build up.  This is especially true if heavy snowfall has covered up air vents in your home.  Invest in a CO detector, and be sure to use gas-powered devices only as directed.

Snowmelt

As the weather begins to warm, you might think that the worst is over. However, the last risk of winter weather is snowmelt flooding. If there is packed snow and ice on the ground, warmer temperatures may translate to a lot of runoff, which can increase the risk of flooding. Areas near creeks, lakes, or mountain bases are in more danger than other areas. In the event of snowmelt flooding, the use of an Aqua-Barrier Cofferdam will be needed to dewater and make necessary repairs.

Protect Yourself From the Dangers of Winter Weather

Between the snowfall, temperature hazards and possibility of snowmelt flooding, winter packs a lot of dangers. It’s important to plan ahead, stay calm, and stick to your emergency plan.  Once the immediate danger has passed you can start assessing damages for repair.

To learn more about options for flood prevention and dewatering, Contact Us.

Top 10 Worst Floods in US History

Top 10 Worst Floods in US History

Despite US dominance as a developed powerhouse, the country experiences some of the worst natural disasters in the world. Hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and tornadoes occur regularly all over the nation.  Advanced weather forecasting and satellite tracking offer warning, and evacuation orders help save lives.  Prevention is crucial to avoid greater tragedy.

Common Traits of the Worst Floods

The worst floods in US history occurred over more than a century in different parts of the country.  Still, there are commonalities in the destruction. Few of the floods were expected, and most regions lacked an adequate warning system for residents. In several cases, problems with dam stability was noted and ignored. Here are the top 10 worst flood events in US history:

1) Johnstown

On May 31, 1889, the South Fork Dam in Johnstown, Pennsylvania collapsed, leading to devastating flooding. The region had previously experienced heavy rains, which clogged the dam spillways.  There was more than $453 million in property damage, and an estimated 2209 people perished.

2) St. Francis Dam Failure

The St. Francis Dam was opened in 1926 after two years of construction. Not long after construction was complete, cracks began to form on the surface of the dam. It collapsed on March 12th, 1928, killing 431.  

3) Ohio River Flood

The 1937 flood of the Ohio River, left an estimated 350 people dead and nearly 1 Million homeless. Rains and flooding persisted for a solid month, from January 5-February 5.

4) Great Dayton Flood

The greatest natural disaster in Ohio’s history was the Great Dayton Flood, which killed 360 people,displaced 65,000 and destroyed tens of thousands of homes and businesses.

5) Great Mississippi Flood

The Great Flood of 1927, flooded the lower Mississippi River valley in April 1927.  It was one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States. More than 23,000 square miles of land was submerged, hundreds of thousands of people were displaced, and around 250 people died.The flooding impacted areas in Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

6) Black Hills

On June 9, 1972, heavy thunderstorms caused flash flooding throughout Rapid City and the eastern foothills of the Black Hills, North Dakota. The flood destroyed homes, vehicles, businesses, bridges, and claimed the lives of 238 people.

7) Los Angeles

The Los Angeles disaster killed 144 people and left the area with repairs lasting for years.  This flood prompted the country to the plans to protect the region from the unpredictable nature of the Los Angeles River.

8) Columbus, Ohio

This flood in 1913 occurred between March 23 and March 26, after major rivers in the central and eastern United States flooded, killing 90. This flood prompted federal and local government officials to change the management of waterways and develop flood prevention measures.

9) Laurel Run Dam Failure

As early as 1943, the spillway at the Laurel Run Dam was identified as inadequate to handle a large storm. It was advised that it be upgraded. Another dam assessment in 1959 noted that the spillway wasn’t large enough. Despite these findings, no action was taken to increase the spillway capacity at the dam. In 1970, the dam was classified as a hazard risk, yet again, no action was taken. On July 20, 1977 during a torrential storm, the dam failed, killing 40.

10) Austin Dam Failure

On September 30, 1911, the Austin dam failed and destroyed much of the town of Austin. The property damage was around $10 million. It resulted in the deaths of 78 people.

Lessons Learned From the Past

The value of these disasters are the lessons learned from them. They prompted major reform in infrastructure, warning systems and accountability. Federal funding increased for public works, and disaster relief funds were established. With increased warning systems, people are better able to protect their property and themselves.  With tools such as the Water Inflated Property Protector, there are more resources to combat flood damage.

For more information about how to protect your home or business in the event of a flood, Contact Us.

Your Essential Guide to Flood Recovery

Your Essential Guide to Flood Recovery

The impact of a flood doesn’t end when waters recede. The damage left in the wake of a flood isn’t limited to homes but can impact workplaces, schools, and infrastructure. This halts normal life and can make those affected feel powerless. It’s important to have a plan to guide you through this difficult time.

The Importance of Stress Management in Flood Recovery

The devastation of a flood can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to know where to start. It’s crucial to keep your emotional wellbeing in mind.  Although it’s an incredibly stressful process, pace yourself by taking recovery one step at a time.

Get Organized

The first step in flood recovery is organization. Take inventory of everything you have, then make a list of items you still need to salvage or replace.  Prioritize items of particular value or importance, and note where they can be found in your home.  

Assess the Damage

Once it’s safe for you to survey damage to your home or workplace, be sure to bring a digital camera.  Before you remove any water or make any repairs, fully document the damage by taking photos or video. This is important to do before you make any attempts to dewater or make repairs. Even if you don’t have flood insurance, pictures are helpful and sometimes necessary when applying for government disaster assistance. Keep in mind that flood water may be contaminated by sewage or household chemicals. Wear rubber gloves and boots any time you come in contact with flood water.

Register With FEMA

When a region has been officially declared a “disaster area” by the government, property owners have access to more significant resources. This can include access to financial assistance and temporary housing. Your flood insurance company may have more information, but if you don’t have that, you can contact FEMA directly.

Salvage

Mold can develop in as little as 24 hours after a flood. Once you’ve documented the damage, it’s vital to remove wet material, such as carpeting and bedding. If furniture is submerged for more than a day, those items will likely need to be disposed of.

Weigh Future Options

Deciding whether to rebuild your home or cut your losses and move is a difficult one. This dilemma weighs financial concerns, sentimental attachments, and future risk.  This is especially true for homes that are not in floodplains or previously considered to be at risk for flooding. It can help to speak with a professional about what the best options are.  

Practice Prevention

Looking towards the future, it’s important to make sure you have a plan of action for flooding. Keep all vital documents, such as birth certificates, passports and emergency cash in one location. Keeping these items secure and portable will allow you to grab them quickly in the event of an impending flood.  Learn more about flood insurance policies available to you, and consider investing in a temporary inflatable bladder dam to protect your home from flood damage.  

Hope For The Best, Plan For the Worst

Flooding can happen almost anywhere, but especially if you live in a low-lying area near a body of water, such as near a river, coastline or bayou. While no one wants to think about natural disasters, it’s important to prepare for anything.  Keeping an emergency kit with important documents, food, water, and clothing, is always a good idea. Being proactive in the face of uncertainty can give you a sense of control and reassurance to carry you through difficult times.

Contact Us to learn more about inflatable water dams for flood prevention.

Your 2018 Spring Construction Outlook

Your 2018 Spring Construction Outlook

Construction is a booming industry, with few indications that it will slow anytime soon. Although the future looks bright, it’s important to observe a cautious optimism. Accordingly, you’d do well to prepare your employees, equipment, and business for the road ahead. A bit of preparation can make a world of difference when it counts.

Spring Construction Outlook: Things to Consider

Spring is a period of growth and change. The temperatures rise and the slow pace of winter life starts to speed up. Before things get too busy, take stock of your readiness. Get organized, make plans and set goals. This will enable you to stay focused on the things that are important to you.

1) Snowmelt Flooding

When snow falls in freezing temperatures, it accumulates on the surface of the soil. Once temperatures rise and it begins to melt, water from snowmelt behaves like rain. Flooding can occur when there is more water than the soil can absorb or can be contained in nearby rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. This can happen quickly, creating a raging river where there was once a drainage ditch. Protect your construction site from snowmelt flooding with an inflatable bladder dam. This will ensure that none of your progress is compromised.

2) Tool and Equipment Inspection

Preventive maintenance is essential to the regular care and inspection of tools, equipment, machines, and vehicles. Routine inspections limit downtime and extend productivity by ensuring that everything is in working order. Keep in mind that maintenance tasks are potentially hazardous and can result in injury. Workers should be vigilant in maintaining both worksite and equipment.

3) Prepare for 2018 Hurricane Season

Are you in a hurricane zone? Engineering and construction firms should take extra care in protecting themselves from hurricanes. Construction sites are vulnerable because of incomplete structures and exposed materials that are easily damaged by water. Don’t wait to prepare for a hurricane until it’s imminent. This can be a costly mistake. Give yourself adequate time to protect the project, and have an emergency plan for worst-case scenarios.

Staying Prepared

Preparation is key to a successful spring construction outlook. Preventative maintenance and planning will make a huge positive impact on your business. An old adage says, “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.” This is especially true in construction.

Contact Us to learn more about inflatable bladder dams for dewatering and flood protection.

Cofferdams: 3 Things to Look For in 2018

Cofferdams: 3 Things to Look For in 2018

2018 arrived in much of the Northern United States with record-breaking snowfall and precipitation.  Beyond the obvious hazards of icy and impassable roads, freezing temperatures and dangerous snowdrifts, a secondary crisis could occur as warmer weather approaches and snow begins to melt.

The Secondary Crisis

As such a massive amount of snow melts, the behavior of the water it produces can become erratic.  Gurgling creeks can become rushing rivers, destroying vegetation and structures along the way, resulting in devastating damage and irreparable erosion. To protect the stability of the region, and protection of property, both private residents, and cities alike should consider utilizing cofferdams.

1. Avoid Flood Damage.

To protect your home or business from melting snowfall flooding, an inflatable cofferdam is an economical choice.  In addition to possible structural and sentimental losses, allowing generators and electrical systems to flood can be dangerous and costly as well. Remember that it’s much cheaper to invest in preventative measures, such as cofferdams, than it is to rebuild your home or business!

2. Protect the Environment.

Cofferdams are temporary and do not result in permanent aesthetic or structural damage.  This is great not only for the value of your property but for the well being of the environment around you. Easy to set up and remove, systems like the residential WIPP system (Water Inflated Property Protector)  provide a simple solution to protect what’s yours.

3. Make Repairs.

As a measure to quickly repair property or equipment that may be under floodwaters, a cofferdam can prevent water from returning to the repair site once it’s been pumped out.  Acting as a temporary barrier, it allows workers safe and easy access to the job site and ample time for the area to recover before removal.

Come Prepared in 2018

The weather is unpredictable with far-reaching effects that can linger for a long time.  It’s more important than ever to utilize the tools available to you in the event of a natural disaster.  Looking ahead, the value and importance of inflatable cofferdams and related products in construction will only increase.

Contact Us to learn more about inflatable cofferdams and other dewatering and flood protection solutions.