Recent Storm Damage Posts

Safety while walking on ice

11/21/2022 (Permalink)

With winter quickly approaching, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa would like to provide a few tips to help keep you safer while walking around when ice is possible. 

1. Wear snow boots or slip resistant footwear when possible. 

2. Walk slowly. Take shorter steps and shuffle your feet. 

3. Keep your hands free. Whenever possible try not to carry items or have your hands in your pockets. A helpful suggestions is to utilize a backpack during winter months when ice is possible. 

4. Avoid uneven surfaces such as curbs as much as possible. 

5. Use caution when entering and exiting your vehicle. Use the vehicle to hold on to if possible to reduce the risk of slipping.

6. Test an area with one foot before attempting to walk on a surface to determine if it is icy or not. Remember black ice cannot be seen. 

7. Be attentive and use caution when entering your home or a business. Water may be on the floors which can make them slippery.

Fascinating Hurricane Facts

7/1/2022 (Permalink)

  1. The term "hurricane" came from the Taino Native American word "hurucane" which means evil spirit wind. The term "hurricane" came from the Taino Native American word
  2. The term hurricane is only used in North America. Everywhere else in the world calls them tropical cyclones, except Asia where they are called Typhoons. 
  3. At least 40% of hurricanes that happen in the US occur in Florida. 
  4. Every hurricane is given a name. They are named in alphabetical order. So the first hurricane of the year will always start with the letter A. 
  5. Every second, a hurricane releases the same amount of energy as 10 atomic bombs. 
  6. The first man who every named a hurricane was an Australian weather man named C Wragge in the early 1900s. 
  7. The first time recorded that someone flew into a hurricane was in 1943 during World War 2. 
  8. All hurricanes begin life in warm moist areas over tropical oceans.
  9. The planet Jupiter has a hurricane that is bigger than the Earth itself and has been spinning for over 300 years. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa hopes you enjoyed these interesting facts as much as we did. 

Pet Preparedness Month

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

Every September is National Preparedness Week. That week is used to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. 

Since pets are just as important and are part of the family too, June is Pet Preparedness Month. They need to be included in your family's emergency plan. Make sure that when you are preparing, making a plan, and building emergency kits you keep your furry, feathered and scaled family members in mind too. 

Including your pets in your plan with cause less stress and worry when you need to make decisions during an emergency. Along with making a pet emergency kit make sure to consider things such as where will we go? Many hotels do not allow animals or the ones who do may book up fast? Do you have a backup plan and several options in case of an emergency? 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa wants you, your family and your pets to be prepared and stay safe if an emergency arises. 

Knowing Floods

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States, according to
Floods cause billions of dollars worth of property damage each year. Since floods can damage any property in almost any area, it is crucial to learn how floods form, the various types of floods there are, and then form a plan of what to do in case you are affected by a flood. 

  • Flash floods are caused by heavy rains or rapid snow melt. Usually flash flooding occurs with little to no warning. These floods are fast moving and can be dangerous, sweeping away anything in its path. 
  • Coastal floods are caused by strong winds or storms that that push powerful waves onto the coast causing flooding. 
  • River Floods are generally caused by extensive amounts of rainfall over an extended amount of time. 
  • Urban Floods occur when there is a lack of natural drainage in an urban area or the city drainage system fails to absorb the water from heavy rains.
  • Pluvial floods form in flat areas usually agricultural properties. These floods are the same as urban floods except they occur in rural areas.

Knowing which floods are possible in your area will help you better form a plan for what to do if you are affected by a flood. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is here to help restore your home to preloss conditions no matter how big or small your flood loss may be. 

Generator Safety

2/3/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa wants to make sure everyone is safe while using back up generators. Although helpful especially during power outages, using them safely is important. So if you have a generator that you plan to use for a power outage during severe weather, follow the safety tips below provided by the American Red Cross.

  • Never use a generator in inside a home, garage, basement, crawl space or any enclosed or partially enclosed area. Opens door and windows will not prevent carbon monoxide build up. 
  • Avoid electrocution by only using the generator on dry surfaces. If needed use under an open canopy. Never touch the generator with wet hands. 
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors in central locations throughout the home as well as outside of sleeping areas. Installing these will help provide early warning signs if CO is inside your home. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is available 24 hours a day to assist with any storm related restoration needs. 

Emergency Car Kit for Winter

12/20/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa knows emergencies are never planned. Because of this having an emergency kit in your car can help prepare you for an emergency if one should occur while you are driving.

Many people think of a first aid kit when the words emergency kit is used. Do you know what items should be included when building an emergency car kit?

The National Safety Council recommends building a car safety kit with the following items included

  • Non perishable high energy food
  • Drinking water
  • Car phone charger
  • Jumper cables
  • Reflective vest
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Duct tape
  • Rain poncho
  • Compass
  • Flashlight
  • Cold weather items including warm clothes, snow shovels and brush, windshield washer fluid, and cat litter
  • Spare tire that is inflated and a jack and wrench
  • Reflective triangles
  • First aid kit

You should check and restock your kit every 6 months and change your kit by adding or replacing certain items based on weather conditions in your area as well as distance of travel. 

Winter Storm Preparedness

11/5/2021 (Permalink)

You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days. Depending on the nature of the disaster road conditions may prevent help from arriving in a timely manner. 

Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.  If the power goes out keep your pipes from freezing by shutting off the valve that allows water to come into your home. Then, open any drain valves and all faucets and let them run until the pipes are empty (it's helpful to identify these valves in advance). Next, flush all toilets and pour denatured alcohol into toilets and sinks to prevent water in the traps from freezing. Do NOT use automotive antifreeze in case there's trouble with your water system; you don't want the antifreeze to contaminate your drinking water. You may, however, use nontoxic antifreeze that's made for winterizing motor homes.

Be prepared for a power outage by keeping necessary items centrally located in your home. Take the time to ensure that everyone in your family is aware of the "kit." Periodically check your kit to see that batteries operate properly. The following is a list of items that are suggested to keep on hand:

1.     Flashlights for each family member

2.     Battery-operated radio and clock

3.     Extra batteries

4.     Containers of bottled water

5.     Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, powdered milk, baby supplies for infants

6.     Non-electric can opener

7.     List of important phone numbers

8.     First-aid kit

Following a disaster, there may be power outages that could last for several days. Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation. Be sure to include a manual can opener and eating utensils. The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand.

•Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.

•Choose foods your family will eat.

•Remember any special dietary needs.

•Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.

•Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.

•Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener

•Protein or fruit bars

•Dry cereal or granola

•Peanut butter

•Dried fruit



•Canned juices

•Non-perishable pasteurized milk

•High energy foods


•Food for infants

•Comfort/stress foods

Find these tips and more at If your home or business should suffer a loss give SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa a call right away. (815)416-0075.

Winter Tornadoes in Illinois

11/3/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know that 20% of Illinois tornadoes occur in fall and winter? According to the State Climatologist office for Illinois, during a 67 year time frame between 1950-2016 57 tornadoes occurred during the month of December in Illinois. On average there is 1 tornado in Illinois every 1-2 Decembers. 

A few of the tips to remember 

- Have a safe shelter in place and make sure everyone in your family knows where the spot is. 

- Have an emergency plan in place. 

- Have an emergency kit ready and stored in the safe location. 

- Have a way to receive emergency weather alerts. 

- If you have pets, get the pets ready and into the shelter area well before the tornado is nearby

For more information of how to prepare for severe weather events visit

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is ready to assist with any weather related restoration needs. We are ready to answer your call for help 24 hours a day. (815)416-0075.

Prepare for winter storms now

11/2/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know?

On average Illinois experiences 5 winter storms each year? 

Nobody ever plans an emergency, so planning for an emergency is the way to go. Below are a few tips to help you prepare for winter weather. 

- Make sure your emergency kit is stocked and winter storm ready. 

- During winter weather conditions, use sand to improve traction and products to melt ice on the walkways. 

- Have sufficient heating fuel

- Keep emergency heating equipment and fuel. Make sure you have enough to at least warm one room to livable conditions. 

- Winterize your home. This can also help reduce your heating costs. 

- If you do not have storm windows, cover windows in plastic. 

- Do not overexert yourself of work outside for long periods of time. 

To find all of these tips and more about preparedness visit

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa wishes everyone a safe and warm winter and we are here to help with any fire and water restoration needs. 

Be Prepared for Whatever Happens

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

Now is the time to prepare....Don't wait until severe storms are may be too late!!

Preparedness Saves Lives

There is nothing we can do to stop severe thunderstorms, lightening, tornadoes or floods from developing. However, there are things that everyone can do to minimize the impacts of severe weather on our lives. 

What you can do to be prepared:

1. Stay informed 

This can be done by monitoring a weather alert radio, local radio & TV broadcasts, NWS, web pages or various applications on computers and smart phones. 

Don't just rely on one method-especially storm sirens- which are not designed to be heard indoors by everyone. 

2. Have an emergency plan

Do this for your home, business, schools and when you are traveling. Designate places to go to seek safe shelter from a tornado or severe thunderstorm. Pick two places to meet in case you are separated from your family or co-workers. 

3. Prepare yourself and your home for an emergency

Learn how to use a fire extinguisher, how to administer CPR, and how to turn off electricity, gas and water supplies in your home. 

4. Have an emergency supply kit

-Bottled water

-Non-perishable foods

-Flashlights with extra batteries

-Extra clothes and blankets

-an extra set of keys and cash

-Medication and a first aid kit

-personal hygiene items

-Pet supplies

-A weather alert radio

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is ready 24 hours a day to assist with your storm damage needs. Give us a call at (815)416-0075

Winter Storm of 2021

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

From the subzero temperatures to the record amounts of snowfall, the weather Illinois experienced in February of 2021 is one to not be forgotten.

Our team of trained professionals at SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa will surely not forget this winter. From roof leaks to broken pipes to ice dams, our team was working around the clock to assist as many homeowners as possible. During the winter storm our franchise alone fielded hundreds of calls for assistance due to damage to homes and businesses caused by the cold temperatures as well as snow and ice.

When the snow finally started to melt, the flooding of basements and low lying structures started to come in. We also experienced several power outages which caused sump pumps to not be able to function as well. 

Our team of professionals at SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa are highly trained and equipped with the most up to date technology for whatever weather Illinois throws at us. Because of this we are able to assist a large amount of home and business owners when the need arises. 

February Ice Dam Issues

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

The winter storm of February 2021 caused headaches for homeowners and insurance companies alike. As the accumulated snow started to melt it caused the perfect element for ice dams to form. 

In Illinois insurance companies report the highest level of ice dam claims in years. Generally during a polar vortex the highest level of claims comes from broken water pipes, however it is believed since more people are home due to the pandemic they were able to catch those issues early before they became major problems. 

Ice dams form when warming temperatures and heat escaping from the roof cause snow to melt and pool up on the eves of the roof. During the night when temperatures drop the water refreezes causing ice build up under the roof shingles. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa assisted several homeowners during the storm that experienced water damage due to ice damming. Ice damming issues were reported all over the country during the winter storm. Our trained professionals are here 24 hours a day to assist with any water damage needs.

We can be reached anytime day or night at (815)416-0075.

Excessive Rains

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

Whether the storms hit on a weekday or a weekend, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is ready to lend a hand with your water damage restoration needs.  Sump pump failures, storm drain back-ups and local flooding have become the norm during the Spring season. Over the last 3 years, Grundy & LaSalle counties have experienced their wettest May in history.  The month's normal rain total is typically 3.68”, and as of today, we’ve experienced almost 8”.  The surrounding rivers and lakes are at all time highs with regional flooding making life even more stressful. SERVPRO has access to the resources and personnel of 1,700 Franchises to handle major storms and disasters.  Our franchise network bands together in times of regional disasters to get through these difficult times quickly & efficiently.   We are storm and water damage specialists who get started promptly to get your property dry and back to pre-storm condition. Using advanced equipment and scientific drying techniques, we document the drying process to validate your home or business is ready.   Our quick response will help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs.  We’ll walk you through this unexpected disaster to make it "Like it never even happened."   Please contact our office at (815) 416-0075, 24/7 for quick response day or night.   

Is Your Home Winter Ready?

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

INSULATE EXPOSED FAUCETS AND PIPES. Outdoor faucet protectors and foam pipe insulation or tape are super cheap and easy to apply. The pluming you want to insulate are the pipes exposed in unheated areas of your house such as in attics, crawl spaces, basements and garages. Also, throw a faucet protector on any outdoor faucets after you have disconnected the garden hose.

CLEAN WINDOWS, LIGHT FIXTURES, AND BULBS. Day light hours are limited during the winter, so make the most out of the daylight hours you do have by cleaning your windows and removing any tree branches or bushes that may be blocking them. For streak-free windows, mix ¼ cup of vinegar with ¼ teaspoon of dish detergent and 2 cups of water. Once the sun has gone down get the most out of your lamps and light fixtures by making sure they are good and clean. Your home will appear 30% brighter if you simply clean your light bulbs.

SCHEDULE A FURNACE INSPECTION AND CLEANING. OK, I’ll admit it, this is a no-brainer. Why then do so many people blow this off? Maintenance includes cleaning soot and corrosion, replacing filters and checking the whole system for leaks and damage. Neglecting furnace maintenance can take years off the life of your furnace (a new unit costs about $4,000), drive up heating costs, and fail to keep you warm and comfortable during the winter months.

While you’re at it, schedule an appointment with a chimney sweep also. Having your chimney cleaned prevents carbon monoxide poisoning and chimney fires during the winter months.

SEAL UP DRAFTS. Sneaky cracks can let cold air in and warm air out during winter. Find drafts around window sills, electrical boxes, recessed lights and wall outlets. You can use a lit incense punk to detect sneaky drafts. Cracks can be sealed easily and inexpensively with a simple tube of caulk.

SWITCH THE DIRECTION OF YOUR CEILING FANS. Slide that switch on the base of your ceiling fan to the opposite direction. You want the blades to turn counterclockwise when it’s warm and clockwise when it’s cool.

Follow these five easy tips for a brighter, warmer and more hassle-free winter!

Winter Preparation

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

1. Protect your pipes. Frozen pipes are among the most common causes of cold-weather damage. Start by wrapping basement and crawl-space pipes with insulation. During protracted cold snaps, open cabinets to allow warm air to flow around the pipes, and let water drip slowly from the faucets to prevent pressure from building up.

2. Reduce your polar ice cap. Roof ice dams caused by melting and refreezing can cause water damage to walls and ceilings. To minimize the danger, keep your attic no more than 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. Use a roof rake ($40 to $60 at Home Depot) to remove packed snow from your roof (don’t try to shovel your roof yourself). For more tips on how to protect your home, go to the Web sites of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes and the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.

3. Prepare an emergency kit (or two). Keep one in your house and one in your car, suggests Tod Pritchard, of Wisconsin Emergency Management. Include shovels and road salt (or cat litter); first-aid items; food, water and medications; a cell-phone charger that plugs into your car; a battery-powered radio and a flashlight (with extra batteries); a sleeping bag; insurance and emergency information; and some cash. You can get pre-made kits at the Red Cross Store. Also, keep your gas tank at least half-full all winter.

4. Install a home generator. Many insurers offer discounts for automatic backup generators (usually powered by natural gas or propane). A 7-kilowatt standby generator costs about $2,000 (not including installation) and can power a sump pump, a fridge, a heating system, a few lights and some electronics. Many manufacturers have online tools to help you decide how much power you need. A portable generator costs less than $800 for 7 kilowatts, but it probably won’t qualify for an insurance discount.

5. Get your insurer to pitch in. After all, the insurer saves money when you protect your home. Adding storm proof shutters may reduce your premiums by up to 35%. Snowbirds and frequent travelers, take note: You could get a break for installing a device that automatically shuts off your home’s water supply if it detects unusually high water flow—say, from a burst pipe ($499 at Home Depot).

6. Make sure you’re really covered. Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover water that seeps into your home from melting snow. For that you’ll need flood coverage; get price quotes at Snow melt can also overburden the storm water system; it usually costs just $50 per year to add a $10,000 to $20,000 sewage-backup rider to your home policy that pays if your sump pump stops working or your sewer line backs up. A battery-powered backup sump pump can help, too ($140 to $280 at Home Depot).

7. Stay warm safely. One of the biggest dangers from furnaces and other sources of heat is carbon monoxide poisoning caused by improper ventilation. Install a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home. Also, buy a sturdy screen to keep sparks in the fireplace, and dispose of ashes in a metal container.

Severe Weather Preparedness

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Severe Weather can happen whether you are prepared or not. The following are averages of extreme storms Americans cope with each year:

-10,000 severe thunderstorms

-5,000 floods

-1,300 tornadoes

-2 landfalling hurricanes

These storms are the leading cause of $15 Billion worth of damage and about 650 deaths per year.

Some ways to better prepare yourself for these many severe weather situation are discussed here. You will first need to become aware of what kinds of hazardous weather can affect you and how it will impact your home, work, and family. You should check the weather regularly and make sure to have access to sever weather alerts- whether it be an app or a NOAA weather radio. Another step you should take is to organize an emergency supply kit that can include: water & food (3-day supply of each), battery operated radio, first aid kit, flashlight, important documents, matches, etc.

Please contact SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa for more preparedness tips. Let us help you become “Ready for whatever happens!”

Tornado Warning VS Tornado Watch

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

A tornado warning is issued when a tornado funnel is sighted or indicated by weather radar. You should take shelter immediately.There is imminent danger to life and property. Move to an interior room on the lowest level of your property. 

A tornado watch is issued when weather conditions are right for a tornado. You should monitor the weather and have a plan in place. Review and discuss emergency plans and make sure to have supplies in your safe room. Be ready to react and move quickly if a warning is issued. Acting early and quickly helps to save lives.

Tornado watches are generally issued for large areas where conditions exist for a tornado to develop. Tornado warnings are issued for localized areas where a tornado has been detected. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa offers board up and roof tarping services. In the event of a tornado it is important to secure your property as quickly as possible to minimize secondary damage caused by vandalism, rain and wind. 

Illinois Tornado Facts

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

One of the most significant threats Illinoisans face is the threat from a tornado. Although tornadoes can occur at any time of the year tornado season is generally March though May in Illinois.

Here are a few Illinois tornado facts

-50% of tornadoes occur between 3pm-7pm. 

- The deadlier tornado in US history was the Tri-state tornado of 1925. This tornado killed 695 people as it tore through Illinois, Indiana and Missouri. Out of the 695 killed, 613 of those people were in Illinois. 

-The most common hour in Illinois for tornadoes to hit is 5pm. 

-The most common month for tornadoes is April.

-Centeral and Southeast Illinois are the most likely to be affected by tornadoes. 

- 64% of tornadoes that occur each year will happen between March-May. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa wishes you and your family a safe and happy Spring. If emergency services are needed due to a tornado, flood, fire or any other disaster give us a call 24 hours a day. (815)416-0075. 

Prepare for Severe Weather

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

Each year weather related disasters lead to around 650 deaths and $15 billion in damages. Severe weather can happen anywhere and anytime. Knowing the risks of severe weather, taking action, and being an example are a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your live and assist in saving the lives of others. 

The first step to becoming weather ready is to understand they types of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather can impact you and your family. You should form a shelter plan and it should include all types of local hazard scenarios. 

Put together an emergency kit and keep important papers and valuables  in a safe place. 

Share your story of getting prepared with friends, family and coworkers It may help them feel inspired to develop a plan as well. 

When fire or water damage pouts the things that matter most to you on the line, know SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is here to help. Our trained professionals are just a phone call away. 

Board Ups and Tarping

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

Your windows may need to be boarded up or your roof may need to be tapped after an emergency for safety, to protect your property or to prevent theft and vagrancy. Whether after a fire, storm, or other structural disaster, boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through— especially if it is your property that has been damaged. Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even worse. The process of boarding up after an unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself. Your SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa Professionals can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind. SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is available 24 hours a day to assist with any board up or tarping needs. 

If you should need any assistance with board ups or tarping cal our offices 24 hours a day (815)416-0075

Most Common Property Damages

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

The following list are the most common damages SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa gets calls for. Our trained professionals are ready to assist in restoring your home or business no matter what your emergency may be. 

  • Hail Damage
  • Roof Damage
  • Water Damage
  • Sewer Back Up
  • Freezing Pipes
  • Fallen Trees - There are many reasons a tree might fall, and whether or not it caused damage to property becomes important for the purpose of paying a claim. Different policies offer different types of coverage.
  • Ice dams forming on the roof
  • Weight of snow and ice on the roof causing damage
  • Wind damage (Which can include fallen trees and shingles or bricks flying off buildings and roofs)
  • Loss or displacement due to power failure (which may include food loss, depending on your type of policy)
  • Flooding due to melting snow, a sudden thaw, or excessive rainfall
  • Water infiltration into the home. This may or may not be covered depending on how the damage is happening. Always call to find out what you might be eligible for.

Although not all damages are covered by insurance, most are. SERVPRO of  Morris/Ottawa also offers self pay options for damages that are not covered by insurance. 

The major exception to most policies is flood damage. Flood damage is not usually covered by the home insurance company in the United States; you can find out more about national flood insuranceon the FEMA website.

Flooding Disasters

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

When people think of natural disasters flooding is not likely to be the first things that comes to mind. However flooding is the most common natural disaster. Flooding occurs in all 50 states and accounts for over 40% of all natural disasters. On average floods claim around 75 lives per year and cost over 5 billion dollars in damage. 

There are three main types of flooding

River and Lake Flooding- River and lake flooding is what most people think of when you think of flooding. Heavy rainfalls and snowmelt can cause water levels to rise overflowing banks and levies. 

Coastal Flooding and Storm Surge-This type of flooding happens regularly along coastlines due to the cycle of rising and lowering tires. Storm surges can also cause extreme coastal flooding. The surge developers during severe weather, tropical storms, and hurricanes. 

Flash Flooding- Flash flooding can result from a variety of causes, but the common denominator is that they developed quickly and are normally normally caused by heavy rainfalls. 

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is trained and prepared for all water emergencies. Our staff is available 24 hours a day to assist with any type of water emergency you may encounter. 

Summer Storm Safety

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is available  24 hours a day for all your emergency needs. Our trained professionals can help with fire and water emergencies any time day or night. We also provide board up and tarping services to prevent any secondary damage to your home or business. If you should need assistance give our office a call at (815)416-0075

Below are some tips on staying safe during the summer storm season.

Before the Storm

  • Build an emergency supply kit and developer a communication plan.
  • Unplug any electrical equipment before the storm hits.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could fly away or cause damage.
  • Close all windows, blinds and curtains.

During the Storm

  • Use your battery operated NOAA weather radio for updates from local officials. 
  • Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords. 
  • Unplug appliances not in use and electrical items. Power surges from lightening can cause serious damage. 
  • Stay away from windows and doors. 

After the Storm

  • Never drive though flooded roadways.
  • Stay away from storm damaged areas to avoid putting yourself at risk.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.

Flood Season is on its Way

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

According to the National Weather Service approximately 75% of all presidential disaster declaration’s are associated with flooding. NOAA lists the most common flood hazards in the United States as

-Flash Flooding

-River Flooding

-Storm Surge

-Burn Scars/Debris Flows(Caused by wildflowers)

-Ice/Debris Jams

-Snow Melt

-Dry Wash9Caused by heavy rains in dry areas)

-Dam Breaks/Levee Failures

Just because you haven’t experienced a flood doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. In fact 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program were in low risk communities. On average floods cost $3.5 million in annual losses in the US and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000.

When catastrophic water damage happens to you SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is here to help get you back to normal quickly. We can also help you prepare for an emergency with an emergency ready profile. Give us a call today for more information.

Icicles and Ice Dams

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Icicles are pretty when looking at on your home during the winter months, however they can be dangerous to you, your home and your wallet. The obvious dangers are falling icicles and gutters detaching from your home due to the weight of the ice, but more importantly water can build up behind the icicles and enter your home. This can rot the wood in your roof and attic, possibly without your knowledge. It can also seep through and ruin ceilings and walls.

Ice damming  is caused by too much heat in the attic. If the temperature in the attic is above freezing and there is snow on the roof, the snow melts. When the snow melts, the water runs into the gutter. Since the gutter is not above the house where it can be heated, the water re-freezes into ice. As ice gets thicker it stops the water as it runs down the roof, making an ice dam. The water coming down the roof will eventually build up until it’s over the actual house again and does not re-freeze because it it is warmed by the attic. As the water gets deep enough behind the ice dam it pushes up under the shingles and into the house.

Removing as much of the ice as you can will help prevent this. Keeping watch of your attic is recommended. If you should find water coming in through the roof give SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa a call right away. We can help reduce the damages and stop the water from spreading and affecting other areas of your home, 

Myths about Flood Insurance

11/16/2018 (Permalink)

Myth: I receive flood insurance through my homeowners insurance.

Fact: Homeowners insurance policies do not normally cover flood damage. You must purchase a separate Federal flood policy. 

Myth: Even if my property does flood, it wouldn’t be very much.

Fact: Just 5 inches of water can cause over $25,000 worth of damage. 

Myth:Only those who live in a Special Flood Hazard Area can buy flood insurance. 

Fact:Floods can happen anywhere. Anyone can buy flood insurance. 

Myth: I don’t need flood insurance if I can get disaster assistance from FEMA.

Fact: A flood insurance policy response to flood events that may not be severe enough to result in a presidential disaster declaration. Before FEMA assistance becomes available, the flooding incident must be severe enough declared a federal disaster by the president. Federal disaster declaration are issued in less than 50% of flooding events. 

 To get more flood insurance facts, visit or call your local insurance agent 

What if the Power goes out?

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Winter storms bring the possibility of power outages. Be prepared with these 5 helpful tips. 

  1. Heating: Whole-house heating is difficult during a power outage. Even fireplaces will heat only one room. Do not light barbecues or propane heaters indoors; doing so can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Instead, look for propane heaters that are rated as indoor-safe or bundle up with blankets and coats.
  2. Lighting: Battery powered lights are always safest. However, candles and hurricane-style kerosene lamps can also be used indoors.10
  3. Food and Water: As soon as you lose power, begin filling all available containers with tap water. Cooking pans and even sinks can be filled up. If the municipal water source stops flowing, this will be your water for daily use. Canned foods and dry food that does not require cooking are best for long power outages.
  4. Refrigeration: You can keep food cool longer by shifting easily spoiled food from the refrigerator (eggs, greens, meat, seafood, etc.) to the freezer. Once you have made the transition, avoid opening the freezer door if possible.
  5. Entertainment: If the power outage continues for days, you will need entertainment that does not depend on electricity. Cards, books, and games are just a few of the activities people tend to turn to when the electricity has failed.

The Most Common Causes Of Storm Damage to Your Home

10/26/2018 (Permalink)

If any of the following issues occur in your home SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa is here to assist you 23 hours a day. Please give us a call at (815)416-0075.

  • Hail Damage
  • Roof Damage
  • Water Damage
  • Sewer Back Up
  • Freezing Pipes
  • Fallen Trees - There are many reasons a tree might fall, and whether or not it caused damage to property becomes important for the purpose of paying a claim. Different policies offer different types of coverage.
  • Ice dams forming on the roof 
  • Weight of snow and ice on the roof causing damage
  • Wind damage (Which can include fallen trees and shingles or bricks flying off buildings and roofs)
  • Loss or displacement due to power failure (which may include food loss, depending on your type of policy)
  • Flooding due to melting snow, a sudden thaw, or excessive rainfall
  • Water infiltration into the home. This may or may not be covered depending on how the damage is happening. Always call to find out what you might be eligible for. 

Although not all damages are covered by standard insurance, most of the above items are.


The major exception to most policies is flood damage. Flood damage is not usually covered by the home insurance company in the United States; you can find out more about national flood insurance on the FEMA website.

Take These 5 Steps to Travel Safely This Winter

11/23/2017 (Permalink)

We in the Chicagoland area are all too familiar with winter storms. A winter storm can bring dangerously low temperatures and leave you stranded in your car. Travel safely this year by taking these 5 steps:

  1. For starters, don’t travel if a storm is likely to hit your area. If you must travel by car, let a family member or friend know you’ll be on the road and have them check in with you to be sure you arrived at your destination as planned.
  2. Carry an emergency kit in your vehicle with the following: a shovel, sand for traction, a blanket and extra warm clothing such as a winter hat and gloves, and a portable cell phone charger.
  3. Be sure your wiper blades are working good. Wiper blades should be replaced every 6 months to one year, or as soon as you notice a decrease in driving visibility.
  4. Make sure your car’s washer fluid is well filled. It’s worth taking a peek under the hood of your vehicle to see how much fluid you have; if you wait for the warning light to come on you may run out before you can make it to your destination. At the very least, stop at a gas station and fill up with washer fluid if your car’s washer fluid warning light does come on. Follow this link if you have never filled your car’s washer fluid to see how it’s done:
  5. Check your tires for adequate traction. You can use a tread depth gauge, or if you don't have one, you can use a penny; just insert a penny into the tire tread grooves with Lincoln's head facing down. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, your tires are at 2/32nds of an inch or less of remaining tread and need to be replaced right away.

Major winter storms can cause big problems for those who are unprepared. Take action this year and be prepared ahead of time.

Do I Need Flood Insurance in Morris / Ottawa?

11/1/2017 (Permalink)

Homeowners are often surprised, rather unpleasantly, to find out that they do not have flood insurance. In fact, over 75% of homeowner’s find out too late that they should have gotten flood insurance, but didn’t.

Your realtor is supposed to make sure you, the home buyer, is made aware if your newly purchased home is in a flood zone. If your realtor did not inform you either way, call him or her up and ask! You can also check to see if your house is in a flood zone by creating a free account on and search for your property there.

If you find out that your property is located in or near a flood zone, you can also check out, where you can get a ballpark estimate on how much flood insurance will cost you.

The most common flood insurance available is offered through a federally regulated program known as the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), managed by FEMA, offers flood insurance to homeowners in communities that participate in the program.

NIFP has two policies: One that covers your actual home (building property), and one that covers your personal property. Premiums vary depending on your property's flood risk. You’ll have to get your flood insurance through an insurance agent; you cannot buy it directly from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). can also help you find an agent if need be.

Lessons Learned From Disaster Management Experts

10/11/2017 (Permalink)

Life Lessons Learned From Disaster Readiness Planning, Part 1

At first thought, you might think that planning and preparing for an emergency or disaster has nothing at all to do with being well prepared for real life, every day challenges, but I’ve found that the very principles employed by experts in the in the fields of emergency response and readiness are the very same ones that help us to be well prepared in other areas of life. Read on a little bit, and see what I’ve found:

Know Why

Before embarking on any important mission, know your motivation for embarking on it. In other words, know your “why”. Knowing why you need to accomplish any mission, whether it’s preparing for a natural disaster or a career or a personal goal, brings the most important things about that mission to the surface; allowing you to keep the important things front and center at all times. It also provides motivation for you to draw upon when you run into difficulty, distraction, drudgery and discouragement.

Here are a few rules to follow when discovering your why (or whys). Clearly define your why. No wishy washy or fuzzy, ill-defined reason will do; this is much too important. Make sure your why is important to you; if it’s not it won’t matter enough when the going gets tough, and the going always gets tough at some point. Finally, memorize your why so you can draw upon it in times of need.

Check out this YouTube video of Michael Jr. about why you should know your why, He’s hilarious, but he also makes the point perfectly in three minutes.

Set Small Easily Achievable Goals (aka Micro-goals)

When dealing with the general public goals have to be easy, or compliance will tank and nothing will get accomplished. This is because the average person is not a highly motivated, over-achieving, type A, super-freak personality. I’ll confess that I’m not this type of person. That’s why I love micro-goals!

The idea is to make goals that are ridiculously easy to achieve. Make goals that are almost impossible not to achieve; at least in the beginning. Then build on your goals, baby step by baby step. For example, if you want to start jogging to get healthier, don’t decide to run 5 miles your first day. Start with a jog you know you’ll accomplish, such as a trip around the block, or even a walk around the block. You’ll never tell yourself you don’t have enough time or energy to do this. You can’t lose! The next day add a block, or a half a block, or a quarter of a block. Whatever you know you can achieve.

Each goal achieved builds on the previous goal accomplished, and before you know it, you’ll find yourself doing quite well. For more information on micro-goal setting, see the Psychology Today article, “Why goal setting doesn’t work”, by Ray Williams.

Be Ready - With a Disaster Preparedness Check List for Your Morris/Ottawa Home

9/27/2017 (Permalink)

Be ready for a local disaster with this emergency supply check list. Exact needs will vary somewhat depending on what region of the country you live in and your particular circumstances, so check with your local emergency management services at for local recommendations.

  • Keep at least 3 gallons of clean drinking water per person in your household
  • Keep 3 days’ worth of non-perishable food for everyone in your household
  • Enough blankets or sleeping bags, some extra cloths and shoes
  • At least $1,000.00 cash
  • Map (don’t depend on your GPS)
  • Gas can
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Duct tape
  • Can opener or multi-tool
  • Wrench and pliers
  • Flash light
  • Radio
  • Spare batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • List of emergency contacts
  • Matches or a lighter
  • A container for prescription medications
  • Mobile phone charger
  • Whistle or flare gun

Update and renew the supplies on this list annually.

Will you be ready?

How quickly your Morris/Ottawa company can get back to business after a tornado, fire, or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today

9/13/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that September is National Preparedness Month? In recent years the United States has been affected by many different types of disasters including flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes (like Harvey and Erma), wildfires, blizzards, and more. These natural disasters can threaten your home, business and community. During National Preparedness Month, SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa wants you to be aware of the steps to take to help prepare for mother nature’s worst.

How quickly your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire, or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency. While each situation is unique, your

organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies. The following are common sense measures business owners and managers can take to start getting ready. A commitment to begin planning today

will help support your employees, customers, the community, the local economy, and even the country. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for

survival. Review the following questions to learn if your company is prepared.

Be Informed

Do you know what kind of emergencies might affect your company? Do you know what you

will do in an emergency situation?

Develop a Business Continuity Plan

Do you know which staff, procedures, and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep operating? Do you have backup plans for those operations? Do you know what you will do if your building or plant is not accessible? Do you know what you will do if your suppliers are impacted by a disaster? Are you ready for utility disruptions?

Prepare Your Emergency Plan

Do you have an evacuation and sheltering- place plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with employees before, during, and after an incident? Do you have copies of building and site maps with utilities and emergency routes marked? Are your employees trained for medical emergencies?

Practice the Emergency Plan

Have you practiced your plan recently? Do you practice and coordinate with other businesses in your building or industrial complex? Have you reviewed your plans in the last 12 months?

Review Insurance Coverage

Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster?

Secure Your Facility and Equipment

Have you secured all the ways people, products, and supplies get into your building? Have you conducted a room-by-room walk-through to determine what can be strapped down?

Improve Cybersecurity

Do you regularly install patches to your software? Have you installed a firewall on your computer? Do you regularly update your antivirus software?

Promote Family and Individual Preparedness

Do you encourage employees to have a personal emergency supply kit and a family communication plan? If you answered “No” to any of these questions, visit and learn how to better prepare your business.

Emergency Storm Tips for Morris/Ottawa Residents

3/17/2017 (Permalink)

Take precautions

Find out about weather warnings in effect in your region or in the area where you are planning to travel. Take such warnings into account when you plan your activities.


Prepare yourself when a windstorm is forecast

When the meteorological service forecasts a windstorm, fasten anything that can be blown away outside your home to prevent dangerous situations and injuries.

Postpone all unnecessary travel. If you absolutely have to travel, visit a web site like to find out about weather travel warnings.


Take precautions during extreme windstorms

Follow these tips in the event of extreme windstorms or events such as tornadoes:

  • If you can shelter in a building.
  • Take refuge in your house, preferably in the basement.
  • Take refuge in a solid building that can withstand strong winds.
  • Stay far away from doors and windows and keep your back to them.
  • Do not use the elevator in a building.
  • Evacuate in a timely manner your mobile home or any other shelter that the wind could sweep away. Also evacuate your home if you receive evacuation instructions from the authorities.


If you cannot take shelter in a building:

  • Take refuge in a ditch or other depression in the ground, lie face down on the ground and protect your head with your hands.
  • Avoid taking shelter under a bridge, viaduct or overpass, since winds are more intense there.


After a windstorm, make your environment safe

  • Barricade the windows
  • Lock the doors
  • Cover damaged areas

Make sure that your home is safe after a windstorm. Inspect the premises for damage.

  • Check the roof.
  • Check structures that might have been weakened, such as the shed.
  • Pick up debris scattered by the wind.
  • Never touch downed power lines or electrical installations. Call Hydro-Québec at 1 800 790-2424 if you notice a downed power line.


If windstorms have damaged your home inform:

  • Your insurer, to have the damage recorded
  • The financial institution that granted you a mortgage loan, to declare the damage
  • Increase the security of your home to keep away looters and inquisitive individuals if extensive work must be carried out before you can return to your home. Be sure to:


CALL SERVPRO of Morris / Ottawa. SERVPRO responds immediately to your flood and storm damage emergencies. We have the storm damage restoration experience and specialized equipment to restore your Morris home or business back to pre-storm condition. Call (815) 416-0075.