Catastrophe Services, Inc. Blog

November 2015

• November 25, 2015 • No comments yet

Winter is coming, South Carolina. Which as disaster restoration pros (unfortunately!), you already know means a lot of storm and cold weather preparation. And, a danger of frozen pipes. The time to ensure their safety is now—not when the frost hits.

These pipe winterization tips, adapted from the American Red Cross, will help ensure your pipes make it through the winter.

  • Inspect exposed pipes once a year. Call a plumber if insulation looks thin or frayed. Newspaper, “heat tape,” etc., can provide some degree of insulation, but consulting a professional is always good idea. Pay close attention if you’ve moved in the past few years, as there may be pipes you’ve missed.
  • During cold weather, open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to let air circulate around the plumbing. If there are water lines in the garage, keep the door closed.
  • If cold is severe, lets faucets drip.
  • Keep temperature constant all day.
  • If going away, set the temperature no lower than 55 degrees F.
  • Drain sprinkler pipes, swimming pools, etc. according to manufacturer specifications only. Never put antifreeze into appliance lines.
  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe and take quick action:
    • Leave the faucet open.
    • Apply heat to the exposed pipe using a hair dryer or heating pad.
    • Keep applying heat until pressure is restored.
    • If the frozen area isn’t accessible or pressure doesn’t come back, call a plumber.

Catastrophe Services is your disaster restoration specialist in Columbia and across South Carolina. We help you get your life back following a disaster—but it’s better to prevent them. Watch this space for more tips on South Carolina home safety.



• November 25, 2015 • No comments yet

Last month, South Carolina experienced historic flooding that disrupted lives for several weeks and interrupted the basic fabric of life across the state. Homes, businesses, and loved ones were lost leaving a record number of people desperate for access to flood relief information and services.

On October 22, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which coordinates disaster relief, published this flood relief tip sheet for South Carolinians affected by flooding to get legal, financial, and mental health assistance.

Here’s a summary:

Unemployment Assistance

Flood survivors who lost jobs or businesses in federally-designated disaster areas are eligible to apply for unemployment assistance. Deadlines vary by county, but all occur during November; click through above for a full breakdown. Apply by using or call (866) 831-1724.

Call (888) 834-5890 for general information on flood-related unemployment assistance.

Free Legal Assistance

If you have flood-related legal issues but cannot afford a lawyer, call (877) 797-2227 ext. 120 or (803) 576-3815 between 9 am-5 pm Monday through Friday.

The service is provided through a partnership between the American Bar Association, the South Carolina Bar, and other state legal associations.

Free Crisis Counseling

Mental health professionals are available to help you cope at crisis centers across South Carolina. Call (800) 621-3362 or go to

Disaster Recovery Assistance

Flood survivors who sustained losses in federally-designated disaster areas are eligible to apply for assistance. Click here for a list of counties; call (800) 621-3362 or go to to apply.

Again, this is only a summary; click through to FEMA’s website for full information on flood recovery in South Carolina.

The recent floods are one of the worst disasters South Carolina has faced in decades. Catastrophe Services looks forward to working with you, our insurance partners, and federal, state, and local agencies to help you get your life back on track.

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