Damage caused by natural disasters is on the rise across the country. This unfortunate reality of wild weather spells out a need for many people, left to return to their everyday life after the storms, fires or other natural disasters ravage their communities.
Hurricanes, wildfires, tsunamis, mudslides, earthquakes, floods, and tornadoes have caused billions of dollars in damages and untold loss and heartache in the past decade. In the United States alone, the value of damage from natural catastrophes soared from $25 billion in 1980 to $170 billion in 2017, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Entrepreneur magazine reports that consumers have increasingly sought out nationally known franchises and well-known names in the wake of devastation. Most important to grieving victims of natural disasters is to find a property restoration company they can trust at one of the worst times of their lives. That means someone recognizable and with the expertise to handle the job quickly and efficiently.
In Michigan, we’re largely spared many of the troubles caused by hurricanes and other tropical storms. However, throughout the state and across Metro Detroit, snowstorms, flooding, and severe summer weather have left many homeowners with damaged roofs, wet basements, no power and uninhabitable homes. While winter in Michigan is mostly tolerable, the threat of the “polar vortex” has become increasingly prominent in the last few years. The term “polar vortex” rightly sends a chill down the spine of property owners.
Cold arctic air migrates from the North Pole down south and hovers over areas not used to such cold temperatures, causing the “polar vortex” phenomenon. With pipes in homes and businesses not used to such cold, they can contract and burst. Burst pipes and flash flooding send water to the lowest ground–basements. But the expenses associated with a flooded basement can be contained if the damage is addressed quickly. To prevent pipes from freezing, property damage experts advise running warm water through pipes as well as insulating pipes.
As we’re in the thick of winter, the danger looms. Detroit’s third-heaviest snowstorm occurred five years ago, on February 1, 2015, when snow fell for 28 hours straight. Later that month, the most widespread and costliest storm in recent memory caused damage across 23 states.
Winter storms in the United States resulted in about $3 billion in insured losses in 2018, compared with about $1 billion in 2017, according to Munich Re, which tracks natural disasters worldwide.
Summer isn’t always sunshine in the Great Lakes State. On local channels, the top fourth of the TV screen seemingly always threatens with a tornado watch.
Although the state averages 17 tornadoes per year, according to the National Climatic Data Center, (a small number compared with Great Plains, the rest of the Midwest, the Mississippi Valley and the southern United States), the fear factor is high.
Locals know winds don’t have to reach tornadic proportions to cause devastating damage. A March 2017 windstorm left 1 million homes and businesses around metro Detroit without power for days.
With heavy rains comes flooding. Many people will not soon forget the floods of August 11, 2014, when several freeways were flooded, cars were stranded and the entire contents of basements destroyed. Even this past summer of 2019, many communities south of Detroit dealt with overwhelming floods for days.
According to the National Weather Service, the August 2014 storm caused nearly $1.8 billion in damages, the most damage for any weather event in the state’s history. For many people who inhabit Michigan’s beautiful coastlines and along inland lakes and ponds, the threat of flooding looms especially high. While life on the lake (or river) certainly sounds like a treat, torrential rains can overflow the bodies of water which, in turn, flood basements and homes along its banks. Constantly high water levels and flooding near bodies of water can also cause erosion, which leads to damage in homes and businesses.
Although we in Michigan haven’t had to deal with the tragic wildfires that have affected Australia and California, the state is not immune. Michigan had 431 wildfires in 2018, with nearly 3,800 acres burned.
Returning to Normal
As the old saying about weather goes, “You can’t change it by wishing it away.” The other saying we in Michigan grew up hearing is, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes, and it’ll change.” While this means good weather can come at any moment, it also means bad weather might jump — and you need to be prepared to deal with the aftermath.
When Mother Nature rips through, restoration companies help victims see sunny days again, by clearing the debris, ventilating properties and soaking up the stormwater and sometimes tears.
It’s an unfortunate fact of life, and natural catastrophes are on the rise. That means homeowners need to be prepared no matter the weather, by becoming familiar with home restoration companies they know and trust–someone to have on standby in case of an emergency.