Recent Storm Damage Posts
Be Prepared in Tecumseh, KS: Tsunamis
Did you know tsunamis can hit any U.S. coast? While they are more likely to hit states on the Pacific coastline or in the Caribbean, it is good to know what to do if a tsunami does strike where you live or even where you may vacation.
Ready.gov says, “Tsunamis, also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called ‘tidal waves’), are a series of enormous waves created by an underwater disturbance, such as an earthquake, landslide, volcanic eruption, or meteorite.” Areas within a mile of the coast and less than 25 feet above sea level have a greater risk of being affected.
As with any emergency, be sure you have a plan in place prior. Know the evacuation plan, move inland or to higher ground, and avoid the beach. “The first wave may not be the last or the largest,” according to the National Weather Service.
After a tsunami, do not return to the affected area until officials deem it safe. While drowning is the most common hazard, there are many aftereffects, like flooding and contaminated drinking water.
SERVPRO of East Topeka is Here to Help
Be Prepared in East Topeka, KS: Tornadoes
A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes can happen at any time, peak tornado occurrences for Southern states are March through May and during the summer for Northern states. If you find yourself under a tornado watch, safely make your way to a sturdy East Topeka building, safe room, basement, or storm cellar. Winds can be over 200 MPH so it’s important to make sure wherever you find shelter is sturdy and that you stay away from all doors, windows, and outside walls. Use your arms to protect your head and neck to help prevent injury.
If you become trapped after the tornado, cover your mouth and nose with a cloth or a mask to avoid breathing in dust. Instead of shouting for help try sending a text, banging on a pipe or wall, and whistling. It’s important to save your phone calls for emergencies only. Phone systems are usually down or busy after a disaster like a tornado. Use texting and social media to contact your friends and family instead.
Be Prepared in Richland, KS: Thunderstorms
Thunderstorms are loud, powerful, and scary; but did you know that winds during a thunderstorm can reach over 50 MPH? There is also the possibility of flash flooding and even tornadoes. If you hear thunder or are alerted to an upcoming thunderstorm make sure to find shelter right away. If you take shelter at your East Topeka home unplug appliances and electronics, don’t run water, and don’t use landline phones. Electricity from lightning can run through plumbing and phone lines and can harm electronics plugged into outlets. If you are out swimming or doing other water activities get to land immediately and find a sturdy shelter or vehicle. If you must take shelter in a vehicle, find a car with a metal top and sides, DON’T touch anything metal.
Cutting down and trimming trees that are in danger of falling on your East Topeka property or others property can help prevent damage and injury during a thunderstorm. Buying and using surge protectors for your appliances and electronics can help protect your East Topeka property as well. If you come across a flooded runway it is safest to turn back. It only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock you down and only 1 foot of moving water to sweep away your vehicle.
Understanding NWS Forecast Terms in East Topeka, KS
(Courtesy: National Weather Service/NOAA, Department of Commerce)
Since SERVPRO of East Topeka does 24 hour emergency water damage cleanup we definitely keep an eye on the weather. Each time it rains or storms we can get a wide range of phone calls from overflowing sump pumps to leaky windows and roofs, so it’s important for us to follow and understand Weather Forecast Terminology. Here’s some helpful information that should help you understand what all those weather terms mean.
Understanding the terminology behind weather forecasts is an integral part of our everyday decision-making. Below are common weather terms and their meanings.
Sky condition describes the predominant/average sky condition based upon the amount of sky covered by opaque (not transparent) clouds.
Sunny or Clear: 0-5% cloud cover
Sunny or Mostly Clear: 6-25% cloud cover
Mostly Sunny or Partly Cloudy: 26-50% cloud cover
Partly Sunny or Mostly Cloudy: 51-69% cloud cover
Mostly Cloudy/Considerable Cloudiness: 70-87% cloud cover
Cloudy or Overcast: 88-100% cloud cover
Wind describes the prevailing direction from which the wind is blowing with speed in miles per hour. The numbers may vary in other parts of the country due to variation in terrain and elevation.
Sustained Wind Speed
0-5 mph: Light, light and variable or calm
5-20 mph: No description used
15-25 mph: Breezy
20-30 mph: Windy
30-40 mph: Very Windy
40-73 mph: Strong, dangerous high winds
74 mph or greater: Hurricane force
Forecast temperature describes the forecast maximum and minimum temperatures or in some cases, the temperature expected at a specific time. Temperature is reported in degrees Fahrenheit.
Near 40: Approaching 40 or a range from 38 to 42
Around 85: Range of temps from 83 to 87
Lower 50’s: Temperatures of 50 through 53
Middle 70’s: Temperatures of 74 through 76
Upper 30’s: Temperatures of 37 through 39
60’s: Temperatures of 60 through 69
Probability of Precipitation (PoP)
Probability of Precipitation (PoP) is the likelihood of measurable precipitation (or water equivalent of frozen) precipitation falling during a specified period in the forecast area. Measurable precipitation is equal to or greater than 0.01 inch (0.2 mm) over a period of 12 hours, unless specified otherwise.
At times, NWS forecasters may use “occasional” or “periods of” to describe a precipitation event that has a high probability of occurrence, i.e., they expect any given location in a forecast area to most likely have precipitation, but it will be of an “on and off” nature.
20%: Slight chance
80-100%: Rain/Snow, etc.
Information shared from the NWS website.
Why is knowing Wind Chill in East Topeka, KS Important?
Since SERVPRO of East Topeka does 24 hour emergency water damage cleanup from frozen pipes we definitely understand wind chill. When temperatures drop into a deep freeze we can get quite busy. When Mother Nature decides to add heavy winds to the already low temperatures we know we'll get even busier! The combination of freezing temperatures coupled with the driving winds blast frigid air into areas of your East Topeka home and/or business and cause damage that would otherwise likely be okay.
Now, what does wind chill mean to you and how can it affect you when you're outside?
Wind chill describes the rate of heat loss from exposed skin due to the combined effect of wind and cold. As wind speed increases, heat is lost from the body at an accelerated rate lowering the body temperature. Dangerous wind chills begin at -19 F (-29 C). Winds of more than 45 mph (39 Kt; 20 m/s) add little to the chilling effect. Wind chill can also affect animals.
As a bonus, what is the heat index?
The heat index or the "Apparent Temperature" is a measure of how hot it feels due to the combined effects of air temperature and relative humidity (RH). Heat-induced danger begins at 105 F (41 C).
SERVPRO of East Topeka proudly serves those in need! We will be on site quickly and our staff will give you the personalized attention you deserve. We specialize in the cleanup of water damage, fire damage, smoke damage, mold removal, trauma cleanup, vandalism cleanup, carpet cleaning and duct cleaning. Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened." Visit our website for assistance, www.SERVPROeasttopeka.com. Call us to speak to a qualified team member, 785-220-7147.
Weather Warnings on the Go in East Topeka, KS
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency messages sent by authorized government-alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. Government partners include local East Topeka and Kansas state public safety agencies, FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service. There is no sign-up required. Alerts are sent automatically to WEA-capable phones during a threatening weather emergency.
According to weather.gov, alerts received at the right time can help keep you safe during an emergency.
The types of alerts the National Weather Service will send out are typically about tsunami warnings, tornado and flash flood warnings, hurricane, typhoon, storm surges and extreme wind warnings, as well as dust storms and snow squall warnings.
When you receive a WEA, follow any action advised by the emergency message, especially if it involves an immediate East Topeka evacuation. Seek more details from your preferred television or radio station, NOAA Weather Radio, or another trusted source of information.
Dangers of Extreme Cold in Tecumseh, KS
While your East Topeka home may be damaged due to winter weather and extreme cold, your personal health is also at risk.
Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, as well as heart attacks from overexertion, according to Ready.gov. That is why it’s important to be aware of the effect extremely cold temperatures can have on you.
Frostbite is caused when your skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Physical symptoms include white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy, and numbness.
Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature caused from long exposure to cold weather. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. If someone’s body temperature is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, seek medical attention immediately.
To avoid these conditions, stay indoors in East Topeka, if possible. If not, dress in layers to stay warm and keep dry.
Lightening in East Topeka, KS
Shocking Facts about Lightning
Lightning is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities. Though the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are only around 1 in 500,000, some factors can put you at greater risk for being struck. Here are a few lighting safety tips.
Be aware. Check the forecast before participating in outdoor activities in East Topeka. If it calls for thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity, or make sure adequate shelter is available.
Go indoors. Remember the phrase, "When the thunder roars, go indoors." Find a safe, enclosed shelter when you hear thunder. Safe East Topeka shelters include homes, offices, shopping centers, and hard-top vehicles with the windows rolled up.
Avoid windows, doors, porches, and concrete. Do not live on concrete floors and avoid leaning on concrete walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.
Avoid water. Do not bathe, shower, wash dishes, or have any other contact with water during a thunderstorm because lightning can travel through a building's plumbing.