Recent Storm Damage Posts

Tips to prepare yourself and your pets

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Two dogs, one beige and white and the other is black and white Your pets are a part of your family, take care of them.

A normal day can be turned upside down by severe weather causing damage and destruction to your home, cars, and other personal property. 

There are several emergency plans you can follow to keep your family safe. What about a plan for your pets? Have you planned for them?

1. Create a plan. If you need to leave your home, because of an emergency situation, do you have a plan on where you and your pet will stay? Think about hotels that are pet friendly or family or friends that can care for you and your pets.  Unfortunately, if you go to a Red Cross shelter, they don’t accept pets. Only service animals are allowed. Make sure you have a plan.

2. Make sure your pets can be identified. It’s important to make sure pets’ collars and tags are updated. If your pet has been microchipped, that’s excellent. This is one of the best ways to make sure you’re reunited with your pets if they’re lost for a short time after a disaster.

3. Have pet carriers ready to go. While leaving your pet carriers in plain site can be stressful for your pets, it’s wise to keep them in a place that’ll make them readily available in case of an emergency. Keeping them buried in your basement or up in your attic can make them difficult to access when time is of the essence. At a minimum, always keep leashes or harnesses near the door.

4. Practice makes perfect. Consider practicing your emergency plan with your family and pets. For pets other than dogs, a car ride can be stressful. By practicing ahead of time, your pets will hopefully become more comfortable with the process and going in the car. 

5. Play Hide and Seek. Stressful situations may cause your pets to hide. Be sure you know all their hiding spots in case you must evacuate your home quickly. 

6. Create an emergency kit. Because we live in Wisconsin, you may want to pack an emergency kit just in case you get stranded in your car during a winter storm. Creating a kit for your pets is no different. Your pets’ kit should include:

  • Additional leashes or harnesses
  • Food and drinking water
  • Bowls and litter boxes
  • Plastic bags for waste
  • Medications
  • Medical records
  • Photos of your pets
  • Favorite bed, blanket, and toys

7. Create a comfortable room. If you encounter severe weather and decide to shelter in place, make sure the room is comfortable for you and your pet. Preferably, the room should be clear of windows and items that could be toxic or dangerous to them.

8. Inspect your property. When you return home, check for things that may have moved or spilled. Check the floor to make sure there are no sharp items that could cause injury. Also look for exposed wires or dirty standing water. In both cases, you’ll want to make sure they’re remedied quickly.

9. Contact your veterinarian. If you return home and your pets seem out of sorts, contact your veterinarian for a thorough checkup. Pets can become unpredictable if they’re scared or sick.

In-Place Drying Used to Dry Basement

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

Carpeted room with carpet peeled back and drying equipment placed strategically to dry the carpet and the walls In-Place Drying Equipment Is Used To Save Carpet and Keep Insurance Claims Down

A strong rainstorm in July 2020 hit SE Wisconsin and this basement in Waukesha, WI  got flooded due to the hydrostatic pressure in the ground and the water having no where to go except into the basement.

Because this was rain water, SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was able to save this new carpet.  The carpet pad had to be removed in order to dry out the structure and the carpet more efficiently.  After lifting the carpet and removal of the carpet pad, the technicians at SERVPRO extracted the remaining water from the concrete and laid the carpet back down.  Then, specialty drying equipment designed to direct air flow down, was set up to dry that carpet and, believe it or not, the concrete underneath it.  Also, as the air flow hits the carpet, it will bounce off the floor and blow onto the drywall.  As a result, We can dry the carpet, concrete and drywall with one fan.

For all your emergency water damage and restoration needs, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  262-542-0900

Recent Heat Wave and High Humidity Actually Caused Mold

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Closet with furnace resting on floor that has rust and mold growth on the walls Heat Wave and AC Unit Leads To Mold Growth

Summers in Wisconsin are usually beautiful and we look forward to them.  However, each year we have a stretch of high heat and humidity where the instant you go outside we immediately begin to sweat.

This summer was no exception.  During a recent heat wave, many of us had our air conditioner units running for multiple days.  In this situation, the drain tube off the unit became clogged and the water backed up into the customer's closet.  The customer had no idea how much water was present.  After a week's use of continual usage of the air conditioning unit, she began to smell something strange coming from the closet.  Upon opening the door, she discovered that her carpet was saturated and mold starting to grow on the bottom of the walls, on the carpet tack strips and on the concrete subfloor.

As a satisfied repeat customer, she called SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County to help with the cleanup and mold remediation.  The owner was very happy with our past service and was equally happy this time.  

As a water damage restoration company, SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County has certified water restoration technicians and has the experience to get rid of the dangerous, smelly mold.  Call 262-542-0900 with all your water damage and mold remediation questions or needs.

SERVPRO Accepts The Unique Challenges: This Case, Terrain and Location

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

Side by side photos, one of trees that fell on a shed and another showing a meandering trail up a hill to a house SERVPRO Is Willing To Help On All Jobs, Even Unique Ones Like This

During a straight line wind storm in August, a homeowner's shed was knocked down when several trees blew over onto the shed. This particular location proved difficult to handle due to the 100 foot steep slope the property is located on and the slippery and overgrown path.

Removing heavy debris by hand up a steep grade is demanding physical labor that some companies may not want to take on.  However, SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County welcomes challenging job sites like these. Our staff has the willingness and ability to meet challenges from a logistic standpoint that other companies may not be properly prepared for.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County takes into consideration all aspects of challenging job sites.  The safety of our crew is paramount and we take every precaution and plan ahead in these unique situations to avoid any injuries to our crew or damage to our customer's property.

The next time you have a challenging job that requires a company who "thinks outside the box" to complete, please consider SERVPRO of SW Waukehsa County. Give our office a call today to help with your unique situation. 262-542-0900

SERVPRO Helps Family Of Child With Health Conditions

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on drywall Mold Like This Will Cause Health Effects

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was recently called to a property with concerns of mold.  Upon arrival and after the scope, it was determined that a fair amount of mold was discovered under 3 windows in 3 different bedrooms.  The major concern for this family was that their youngest daughter has a rare heart condition that does not interact well with mold.

After assessing all the rooms and developing an action plan, all the affected rooms were sealed up with plastic, the contaminated drywall and insulation was removed and air scrubbers used to clean and decontaminate the air.  In this photo, you will see the amount of growth that was discovered on the drywall in the bedroom.

The owner was very happy with our services, our knowledge and professionalism.  

For all your water damage and mold related issues, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  262-542-0900.

Lightning During Storm Causes Fire to Residential Dehumidifier

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

One gallon container and water bottle with black soot that fell Heavy Soot On Items Caused By a Dehumidifier That Burned From A Lightning Strike

A recent thunderstorm with lightning caused this structure in Milwaukee, WI to have a fire with significant smoke damage.  The energy in the lightning caused a power surge in this business and the dehumidifier could not handle that surge and a fire began.  This before picture shows the soot and mess left behind after the fire was put out and the smoke cleared.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was called to scope the damage and clean up the mess.  You can see in the photo how the soot fell onto the gallon jug and on the water bottle.  All horizontal surfaces, including the carpeting, had this same heavy soot fall.

The first step in this process was to speak with an insurance adjuster and develop an action plan.  SERVPRO, along with the owner of the building and the contents, worked together to help determine what items would be salvageable and what items would be considered a total loss.  Then the items that are non-salvageable are inventoried and photographed and discarded.  All remaining items are inventoried and photographed and then cleaned and disinfected by the certified fire & smoke restoration technicians at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.

For all your fire damage needs, call on the professionals at SERVPRO to help make it "Like it never even happened."  262-542-0900

Lightning Tips

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

A severe thunderstorm has many damaging and life-threatening perils, such as wind, hail, and lightning. Lightning strikes the United States approximately 25 million times a year. While most lightning occurs in the summer, people can be struck at any time of year. In the United States, lightning kills 47 people per year and injures hundreds more. 

Here are some lightning myths and safety tips to keep your family safe.


  1.  Lightning never strikes twice. While each storm produces different lightning strikes, an object can be struck more than once. An object’s size and location can make it an ideal target.
  2.  If I don’t see rain or dark clouds, I’m in the clear. Lightning can travel several miles from the center of a thunderstorm. Even if your skies are blue, if you can hear rumbles of thunder it may be wise to seek shelter.
  3.  Seeking shelter under a tree will keep me safe. While standing underneath a tree will keep you dry from the rain, or provide some protection against small hail, it won’t protect you from lightning. Being struck by lightning while underneath a tree is the second leading cause of lightning related deaths.
  4. Only tall objects get struck by lightning. Lightning can strike anywhere. However, tall pointy objects do have a better chance of being struck. But as you learned from my encounter above, it can hit the ground and disperse.
  5. Lightning can’t hurt me if I’m indoors. Staying in your home in an interior room during a storm offers you the best protection. However, if lightning strikes your home, it could run through cables, wires, plumbing, and electrical appliances.

Safety Tips

  1. Always keep an eye on the weather. Whether you’re taking a day trip or an extended vacation, always be aware of the weather. Not only will it help you pack appropriately, it can keep you and your family safe.
  2. Seek shelter. If you hear a rumble of thunder, it’s time to go indoors. Not only can lightning travel for miles, high wind, hail, and torrential downpours can also be dangerous. If you’re driving, consider pulling off the road and finding a safe location to take cover. If you must remain in your car, avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity. Lastly, avoid seeking shelter in tents and pavilions as they don’t provide adequate protection.
  3. Turn off the water. Since lightning can travel through your home’s plumbing, it’s best to avoid using sinks, bathtubs, and other appliances that use water during a thunderstorm. You can take a shower or finish the dishes once the storm leaves your area.
  4. Don’t use your electronics or appliances. Avoid using anything that’s connected to an electrical outlet. This includes computers, gaming systems, and household appliances. Lightning can travel through your home’s wiring. Grab a book to read, or simply relax until the storm is over.
  5. Scatter. If you’re enjoying a family reunion and a storm quickly rolls in, scatter. Lightning can strike the ground and disperse causing injury. By moving apart, you can reduce the number of injuries to your family.
  6. Don’t forget about your pets. If your pet loves being outside, don’t forget about it as you scramble to close your windows. Dogs that are on metal runners or that are leashed are more susceptible to lightning strikes.
  7. Call 911. If your house is struck by lightning and you think a fire may have started, get your family to safety, and call 911 immediately. Don’t spend too much time investigating or trying to put it out yourself.


Flooded Basement in Waukesha, WI

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

flooded basement with contents This flooded basement was caused by a storm that produced heavy rainfall.

A storm had caused this flooded basement in Waukesha, WI. There was 2"-4" of water that came in through a drain that couldn't keep up with the rainfall. The picture shows the rooms and content that was affected by this water intrusion.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha was called in to dry out the affected basement. The excess water was removed with a submersible pump, then the affected contents were removed and determined if they were salvageable or not. Once the content was removed, it was time to remove all the affected material that could not be dried in place; like drywall, vinyl, and insulation. Dehumidifiers and air movers were then placed to dry the rest of the affected structure.

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha at (262)542-0900 for any questions regarding water damage cleanup.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County Returns Contents On Demand

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Indoor Storage Crates Used by SERPRO of SW Waukesha County Example Of The Indoor Storage Crates Used by SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County In an Indoors, Environmentally Controlled Warehouse

A recent storm lead to such sever water and tree damage that it caused the home foundation to shift which was then declared a total loss by the insurance adjuster.  This required that a full contents pack-out be completed in order to save all salvageable items and document all non-salvageable items.  In order to complete a pack-out, SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County technicians must examine each piece for damage and determine if it can be salvaged.  Each piece is then photographced and documented accordingly.  For salvaged items, the SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County technicians must wrap the item in bubble wrap and document in which box that item is being kept in.  This is important because if the owner of that item needs access to it before the contents are delivered back to the owner, SERVPRO must have a way to easily identify that item and know what box it is kept in.

Recently we had a customer who needed to pick up her satellite TV box and remote control.  This customer was being charged a monthly rental fee by the satellite TV provider even though she will not be able to use this equipment for over 6 months until her home is completely rebuilt.  This customer called and asked for the item.  The SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County office team reviewed the documents and found the items and was able to determine EXACTLY what box those  items were in.  Within a manner of minutes a SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County technician accessed the crate where the box was stored, found the appropriate box and had the item removed and is now waiting for it to be picked up.  The management team at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County is very proud of it's pack-out procedure and is happy that we could locate this customer's items within minutes and make her happy.

For all your fire and water damage needs or questions about doing pack-outs, please call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at 262-542-0900.

Potential Causes Of Water Damage In Your Home

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Water On Concrete Flow In Unfinished Room Of Basement Water On Concrete Flow Due to Sump Pump Failure Caused By Power Outage

When a person thinks about water damage, they often think of severe weather conditions.  However, there are many other items in your home or business that may be a cause of water damage.  Water damage is something that many homeowners will face. 

There is a significant difference between water damage and gradual water damage, which has an impact on homeowner’s insurance claims. Examples of gradual damage are circumstances that have been happening over time, like plumbing issues in the walls causing damage to the walls, ceilings or floors, or water damage caused by cracks in the foundation.  Unfortunately, many gradual water damage issues are not covered by homeowners insurance, while storm-related water damage usually is.

According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), the leading causes of water damage are:

  • Plumbing supply system failures. This involves frozen pipes that can burst because the water pressure builds up due to freezing water in the pipes or when the supply system materials fail, causing pipes to leak or burst. They also found that homes with ages of 16 to 40 years made up a larger portion of supply system material failure claims.

  • Plumbing drain system failures. This can occur when a sewer drain backs up and overflows into a home, or from material performance issues. 

  • Toilet failures. Toilets cause the second highest number of residential water damage losses after plumbing supply system failures and are the result of faulty fill valves or clogged drain lines. 

  • Water heater failures. If your water heater has reached its life expectancy, the tank begins to rust and corrode, which can result in leaking or bursting issues. 

  • Washing machine failures. These are typically caused by supply hose failures, machine overflows and drain line failures. 

If your home or business has experienced water damage, call the certified water restoration technicians at SERVPRO SW Waukesha County 262-542-0900. We are available to help with the cleanup and restoration and make it "Like it never even happened."  

Ice Dams in Wisconsin

11/9/2019 (Permalink)

Ice forming on a gutter Ice Dams can create some water damage on your home #SERVPROsouthwestwaukeshacounty #wisconsinwinter #icedams

Fox6 News Does Story About Ice Dams With SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County March 2019 was a very cold month in Wisconsin. The extremely cold weather caused thousands of homes in Southeastern Wisconsin to develop ice dams on roof tops. Weather related stories are always important to the community which is why Fox6 News asked to interview Todd Szada, co-owner of SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County, and to do a news story about a typical home with current ice dam issues.   

Icicles hanging along the edge of your roof are an indication that water is freezing on the roof before it can run off.  They may be cute to look at, but you do not want them.  When you see icicles hanging down, then you likely have ice dams forming above them.  It's also possible that you have got warm air escaping through seams where your roof meets masonry like a chimney.  In both cases, you want to find a solution to eliminate these problems.  

Tips to Prevent Ice Dams

1. Use a roof rake during heavy snow

2. Be sure that debris is cleared from rain gutters; leaves, twigs and small branches

3. Clean out the cage-like drain hubs where leaves, dirt and debris tend to collect on the roof.

4. Cut back tree limbs hanging over the roof before winter hits

5. Inspect your roof for holes, indentations and compromised seams

6. Schedule periodic inspections of the roof

7. Have an insulation professional determine if  you have the proper amount of insulation and ventilation in your home or business.  

If you have any questions about water damage in your home or business, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at 262-542-0900


11/6/2019 (Permalink)

 orange pumpkins covered in wet white snow Snow fall on Halloween in Waukesha 2019

When the weather man called the forecast, I think the majority of us wanted to call his bluff. It wasn’t until the day of all hollows-eve when we arose to the sight of heavy snow flakes falling from grey skies.

This was a record breaking event for Milwaukee. Beating the last record of 4 inches back in 1926. While we were shocked, this isn’t the first time the east coast has seen heavy snow fall before Santa makes his way to town. In 2012 what was left of Hurricane Sandy caused an inland blizzard of up to 2 feet of snow on parts of Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina. Mind you, that was right before November as well. So although uncommon, not completely rare.

On an evening when children should have been excited to collect all their treats, and show off their costumes; many counties in southern Wisconsin had to reschedule their Trick or Treating activities for the weekend following the Holiday. Waukesha received up to 5 inches in some parts of town! Though it did not appear that these kids were in any level of disapproval, as we saw many snow angels following the unexpected event.

Does this mean that we are in for a frightful winter wonderland to come? Some believe that this may be the case. The best thing you can do, is try your best to be prepared.

In the event that a disaster happens.. always remember SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha is always here to help! 262.542.0900.

Hail is a Nasty Bugger

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

a Caucasian hand holding a hail ball outside Hail the size of golf balls can cause serious damage.

Hail damage can have HUGE repairs and costs. The good news is, it may be covered under your insurance. The bad news is.. The severity can gather in lengths we wouldn't wish upon anyone!

While you aren't Mother Nature herself, and you can’t predict a storm, you can take steps to protect yourself, your car, your home and your business from hail damage.

Hail Safety Tips -

  • Don’t go outside 
  • Stay away from windows
  • Lock up your pets indoors
  • Don’t take shelter in a ditch or anywhere that can flood. Trees aren’t preferable for shelter because they can drop branches.
  • If you can’t find shelter, protect your head as best as possible.

Hail Tips for your Car-

If You Aren’t Driving

  • Keep your car in the garage.
  • If you don’t have a garage, put blankets or your car’s floor mats over the windshield to protect it before the storm.

If You Are Driving:

  • If you are driving during hail, pull off the road as soon as safely possible. Hail damage is greater when a vehicle is moving.
  • It’s best to pull beneath a covering, such as a gas station or parking garage.
  • If it’s not possible to get cover, get your car out of traffic and angle it so the hail hits the windshield.
  • Stay inside your vehicle. If possible, lie down away from the window or put a coat or blanket over your face to protect it from breaking glass.

Last but not least, after a storm, check the interior and exterior of your roof for loose shingles or sheathing (plywood nailed to the rafters) and other signs of disrepair such as leaks. Make sure your storm drains and gutters are clear of debris. 

While precautions can prevent a lot of hail damage, some damage may be inevitable. Keep everything in mind, because the damage can be costly and the repairs can be timely. 

The Climates Effect on Southern Wisconsin

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

flooding on the street, yellow warning sign that reads "High Water" Flooding over Waukesha has been consistent over the last few years due to all of the storms that have passed through Southern Wisconsin.

Today In New Berlin, Wisconsin; the sewers have become so backed up from last nights’ storm that the sewer system from the city is causing water main overflow into the homes of its residents. Do you know what to do when something like this happens, and do you have an Emergency Ready Plan?  Most importantly you will need access to food, water and electricity.

Due to all these storms, we have noticed an increase in the number of water losses in Southern Wisconsin. It is important to be mindful of the impact that water can have to your home. As a storm can happen within an instant, and it only takes 48 hours for mold to start to grow.  In the event that you do experience any issues, SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha has a procedure that has been proven effective time and time again.

Our initial steps and the information we need are as follows:

  • General Information- Contact Information.
  • Has the Source been stopped?
  • What has been affected, How many rooms do you see that are effected right now?
  • What type of flooring do you have in each room. Is there drywall? Do you notice safety hazards?
  • Is there standing water?
  • What year was the house built? Do you notice any water on the drywall, wood paneling?
  • What is your time frame for repairs?
  • Have you contacted your insurance company? ***Please note that we always recommend you contact them first to distinguish what type of insurance coverage you have. An average of $2500 is the cost for most typical water losses.

After all of the standing water is removed, the first step we will take is to remove the flooring. Be aware, If you do not remove the flooring you may risk mold growth. Once the flooring is out we will then remove the padding and the trim along the base of the floor. If you have a gap in between the floor and the wall, even if it is only an inch, water can still seep through and again that standing water has the potential to cause mold growth. Now, as long as the dry wall isn’t touching any water you may not need to worry about removing it, but that is we want to make sure of. The next step would be to get the access water that is on the remaining surfaces to dry as quickly and as best as possibly. The more dehumidifiers that you have the better that you’ll be. Little do some people know, drywall actually has the potential to dry out thoroughly as long as it is only a little damp. If you are touching it and its mushy, that is a problem and it has to be removed. Call us immediately to assess your situation, the faster you remove the water, the better.

Tree Damage

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

A large tree has fallen into a lake cabin home The photo shows the tree that fallen onto the lake cabin home.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County was called out to a property by an insurance adjuster. This insurance adjuster received a call from his insured stating that a large tree fell on their lake cabin. This adjuster asked SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County to go out and assess the damage and figure out what needs to be done. When SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County arrived, the crew saw a large tree had fell onto the house. The tree fell through the roof breaking the shingles and the roof decking then also went through the second story floor and into the main level kitchen and living room.   This tree is an estimated 2 to 3 tons of weight resting on the house, making it a very unsafe structure to be inside of. 

It was quickly determined that an emergency board of could not be done on the structure due to the size of the tree in the instability of the cabin. During the initial assessment of the property, SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County, the homeowner and the adjuster had indicated that this most likely was going to be a total loss and should be escalated to a large loss claim, which it was. SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County began working with the large loss property adjuster and recommended that a structural engineer be brought in to assess the structural stability of this building. 

While waiting for an engineering firm, arrangements tried to be made with a tree removal vendor to remove the tree. Due to the location of this cabin on the hill that was built next to, there was no way for a large enough crane to access this home in order to lift the tree off of the home. Therefore, a carpenter was hired to build a temporary structure underneath the tree to support the weight so then the tree could be cut in sections and removing the weight from the cabin.   After waiting approximately two weeks for this temporary structure to be built and the tree removed, SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County came back to the cabin to do a full content pack-out. 

Now that the tree challenge was met, the next challenge was to figure out how to get all of the contents out of the cabin and up the steep hill, which had approximately 55 stairs. SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County’s main concern is how to safely and effectively load up vehicles to haul away the contents.   The idea was presented to utilize an ATV pulling a wagon and utilize the ATV to go up this hill with the contents. The incline of this hill was more than 45° degrees which made this quite a challenge. SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County is willing to do most anything to help our customers. After a couple test runs going up and down the hill in determining that the ATV was powerful enough to make it up the hill with contents, the first load of boxes were moved up the hill.  SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County was pleased to see that this idea worked perfectly. This process continued until all contents were moved up the hill. Utilizing the ATV, SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County was able to not only move boxes and other contents but also move the refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer, and two mattresses. 

 It would have taken approximately two full days with six technicians to box up and haul all of these content by hand. This would’ve caused possible injury but obviously a lot of physical strength and exertion. Because SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha had the idea of using the ATV we had this pack-out accomplished in six hours.   

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County is often met with challenges that take some creativity in order to solve it. But in every instance, we somehow figure out a solution. That is what teamwork is all about and that is how SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County likes to get projects accomplished. 

FEMA Assistance

10/30/2018 (Permalink)

#disasterassistance #storms #readywisconsin

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker is encouraging individuals, families, and businesses impacted by recent flooding and storms in eight Wisconsin counties to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for possible disaster assistance. Last week, President Donald J. Trump approved federal disaster aid for individuals, families, and businesses in Crawford, Dane, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Sauk, and Vernon counties.

“We’re encouraging everyone who sustained damage in these eight counties to register with FEMA at to receive possible assistance,” Governor Walker said. “Even if you’ve already called 2-1-1 to report damage, we still need you to register with FEMA. I thank President Trump for approving the declaration, and we are pleased that FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are ready to provide this much-needed assistance.”

Residents from the counties listed that sustained flood damage at home or at their business can register online at or call 1-800-621-3362. If you use 711 or Video Relay Service, call 800-621-3362 or for TTY call 800-462-7585. The toll-free numbers are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Governor Walker reminds homeowners and businesses they still must call FEMA to register even if they called 2-1-1 or their county emergency management office initially to report damage or if they met with a FEMA representative last month during damage assessments. “If you are not sure you are registered, call 1-800-621-3362 and a FEMA representative can provide assistance,” Governor Walker continued.

FEMA assistance may include grants for rent, temporary housing and home repairs to primary residences, as well as funding for other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical, dental or funeral costs. If you have insurance, first file a claim with your agent. FEMA may still be able to assist with disaster-related expenses that were underinsured or not covered by your policy.

FEMA Disaster Survival Assistance crews will begin outreach in Sauk and Dane Counties Tuesday afternoon to explain the program and to encourage flood victims to report damage. FEMA field personnel will be wearing FEMA shirts and carry official badges.

The SBA opened a Business Recovery Center in Madison and will be opening another office in Viroqua on Thursday to help businesses and private nonprofit organizations affected by the storms. SBA officials can provide information about applying for disaster loans. The locations are 740 Regent Street, Suite 100 in Madison and 318 Fairlane Drive in Viroqua. Both offices are open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Several other counties that also sustained damage from flooding and tornadoes are still under review by (FEMA) for the Individual Assistance Program. The counties under review are Adams, Columbia, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Jefferson, Marquette, Ozaukee and Washington. Governor Walker said the state will continue to work with affected individuals and businesses to provide disaster relief.

Information about the various state and federal disaster programs that are available are located at

SBA Engagement related to Presidential Disaster Declaration

In response to the Presidential disaster declaration made over the weekend, SBA now has disaster assistance staff in place in our Madison office to assist affected businesses (large and small), homeowners, renters, and non-profits. Another location may open next week.

Please share this information in the affected counties: Crawford, Dane, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Sauk, Vernon, Adams, Columbia, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Rock, Trempealeau and Wood.

  • Twitter
  • Link to news release for opening of Business Recovery Center
  • Southwestern Wisconsin’s businesses, non-profits, homeowners and renters affected by August and September flooding and storms can now visit the SBA’s Business Recovery Center in Dane County for assistance. The address is 740 Regent Street, Suite 100, Madison, WI 53715. The office is open from 8:00 am-5:00 pm Monday-Friday. Counties eligible for assistance include: Crawford, Dane, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Sauk, Vernon, Adams, Columbia, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Rock, Trempealeau and Wood. Read more about SBA assistance for these counties.

Questions? Contact Robin Dittberner, Economic Development Specialist, Wisconsin District Office, U.S. Small Business Administration, (608) 441-5521

Weekend Weather

7/20/2018 (Permalink)

Starting today, 7/20/18 and continuing through the weekend, the central and eastern states will experience multiple rounds of large storm complexes and lines of thunderstorms. These types of systems have the capability of extremely high rainfall rates which cause isolated flash flooding. In addition to the flooding concerns, there is also a slight risk of widespread wind damage.

This round of severe weather is due to an unusually sharp upper-level plunge of the jet stream by July standards carving into the Midwest and Southeast, punching over warm, humid air near the surface.

Flash Flood/Flood Safety Tips:

1. Nearly half of all fatalities in a flash flood involve a person driving a vehicle. Do not drive into a flooded area – Turn Around Don’t Drown! It takes only 2 feet of water to float away most cars. It’s amazing how powerful we feel when we get behind the wheel – don’t do it!

2. It takes only 6 inches of fast-moving water to sweep a person off their feet – don’t walk through a flooded area!

3. If you are camping in a river valley, move to higher ground if thunderstorms with heavy rains are in the area. Do not attempt to drive away.

4. Don’t operate electrical tools in flooded areas.

5. Most flash flood deaths occur in the middle of the night when it is more difficult to see rising water levels judge the depth of water covering road surfaces.

Severe Thunderstorm Straight-line Winds:

1. Don’t underestimate the power of strong thunderstorm winds known as straight-line winds – they can reach speeds of 100 to 150 mph. Hurricane-force winds start at 74 mph. Wisconsin does experience these kinds of winds!

2. If a severe thunderstorm warning contains hurricane-force wind speeds seek shelter immediately (as you would for a tornado situation).

3. Stay away from windows and go to the basement or interior room/hallway. Do not use electrical appliances.

4. Be aware that tall trees near a building can be uprooted by straight-line winds – that tree can come crashing through the roof of a home and crush a person to death.

5. Powerful straight-line winds can overturn a vehicle or even make a person air-borne when they get up over 100 mph!

6. One type of a straight-line wind event is a downburst, which is a small area of rapidly descending rain-cooled air and rain beneath a thunderstorm. A downburst can cause damage equivalent to a strong tornado!