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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Storm Damage Blog Posts

Plan Ahead When A Storm Is On Its Way!

10/25/2021 (Permalink)

During this time of year in Mount Prospect and Des Plaines, we can experience a lot of rain which can lead to thunderstorms. It is important to be prepared and have a plan in place. Talk with your family and create an emergency plan for thunderstorms, floods, and tornadoes. Think about an emergency shelter and evacuation plan. Below we have a few suggestions to make sure you and your family are ready for whatever happens. 

Seek shelter

There are many different natural elements which can occur and be harmful when outside during a disaster. Therefore, during a storm, it is important to seek shelter and be safe. If your inside, a good place to be is at the lowest level of your home. If you have a basement or storm cellar you can hang out in until the storm passes. 

Keep an emergency kit ready

Consider putting together a kit of things you may want to have on hand during a storm. Items you may want to include would be water, non-perishable food, flashlights, blankets extra batteries, a radio, and a first aid kit. 

Protect your electronics

Your electronics can get fried if they are not properly protected. Plug electronics into a surge protector to avoid damage during a storm. 

Go inside when you hear thunder

If you hear thunder, it is likely that lightning is also occurring. Lightning can be dangerous, therefore, make sure to go inside when thunder occurs. 

Prepare for power outages

Have battery-operated flashlights and lanterns in easy to get to places. Check on these items from time to time to make sure the batteries still work, replace them if necessary. Also, think about keeping the refrigerator and freezer doors shut to keep food from spoiling. If these food items rise above 40 degrees for 2 hours or more, they should be disregarded. Call your local power company to inform them of the outage and to get information regarding when the power should be restored. 

Stay away from power lines

Do not go near power lines should they fall to the ground, they can be very hazardous. Call 911 if you see downed power lines. 

If you have an emergency does strike your home during a thunderstorm, SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines are ready to help get your life back to normal. Call us any time day or night, we are always ready to help. (847)956-1880.  

What about Lightning?

10/1/2021 (Permalink)

During a storm, a lot of things have the potential to cause some pretty serious damage.

Besides wind driven rain, a few other things can play a role.

Today, let’s talk lightning!

Some people think lightning never strikes the same place twice. However, lightning often strikes the same place twice, especially if it’s a tall, pointed object. Reportedly, the Empire State Building is struck nearly 25 times a year!

It is also believed that lightning only poses a threat when it is cloudy or raining. The truth is lightning often strikes more than three miles outside of a storm and has been known to travel as far as ten to fifteen miles before it even strikes the ground.

Many people are confused by the term “heat lightning” and think it only occurs as a result of a very hot summer day. The term “heat lightning” is used to describe lightning from a thunderstorm too far away to be heard.

Lightning can be scary and has the ability to do more than just make a loud noise. Keep SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines in mind the next time a storm comes your way!

Insurance Tips For Making a Storm Claim

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines, we work closely with many Insurance companies. One in particular is American Family Insurance. Here are some tips from them on making a storm damage claim. 

Act Quickly. Filing a claim with your insurance company in a timely matter is very important. Most insurance policies limit your time to file a claim, so being quick is essential. You will want to repair the damage before it has a chance to get worse.

Review your policy. Every insurance policy and claim is different. If you know what your policy covers, you will be better prepared to plead your case. 

Document everything. Keep a log of the storm and the damage. Do NOT start to clean up until you have documented as much of the damage as is safe and wait to handle the big messes until a claims adjuster has assessed the situation. 

Mother nature likes to shake things up and if your home didn't weather a storm as well as you'd hoped it would, keep these tips in mind to help you along the way. 

If you have experienced storm damage in your home or business call SERVPRO. We specialize in finding, assessing and repairing damage from storms!

Flood watch or warning. What is the difference?

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

When a storm hits your home, SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines has the storm damage experience and expertise with the capabilities and professional personnel to quickly respond to your storm damage concerns. 

Here is some descriptions of flood terminology to help you better prepare.

Flash Flood Watch:A Flash Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flash flooding. It does not mean that flash flooding will occur, but it is possible.

Flash Flood Warning:A Flash Flood Warning is issued when flash flooding is imminent or occurring.

Flood Watch:A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.

Flood Warning:  A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.

5 Things Homeowners Should Do if Mold Damage Happens After a Flood

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

wet floor, three air movers placed on wet floor Storm water cleanup

Take The Following Steps To Protect Your Property

When a home in Mount Prospect, IL, is impacted by floodwaters, the property becomes susceptible to mold growth. Microscopic spores take off, spreading within the space. Spores grow when they interact with liquid and organic matter. Once this reproduction starts, it's hard to control. The organisms multiply quickly within 24 to 48 hours. It's important that residents take the following five steps to protect the property.

1. Remove Moisture
Any standing water is a mold concern. Work quickly with a water restoration company in Mount Prospect, IL, to evaluate the extent of exposure; then, immediately work to dry out the rooms. Place industrial dehumidifiers in wet zones, allowing the devices to extract humidity from the air and structure. In addition, any additional water should be pulled out of the residence using a wet vacuum.

2. Reduce Spore Levels
Fungus thrives not just on the surface of objects but within them as well. Therefore, the best method to hinder mold growth is to physically reduce the contamination. Anything porous and damp should be extracted. Tear out drywall, ceiling, and carpeting if it was exposed. These cannot be cleaned with chemicals.

3. Apply Antimicrobial Formulas
Nonporous items may remain, but they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water. Any lingering fungal or bacteria infestations may be handled by applying an antimicrobial spray.

4. Clean Contents
Don't just focus on the house. Also, consider what is inside the space. Furniture, pictures, and other valuables may be harboring spores. Content cleaning specialists have high-tech equipment to salvage some of these important pieces. Work with the remediation team to see what may be kept and what needs to go. It's important to evaluate everything.

5. Replace Saturated Materials
New drywall and flooring may take time, but the actions permit a fresh start for the residents and assist in providing a cleaner space. Once the room has been sanitized properly, the new materials may be brought inside.
Mold growth doesn't take a long time; in fact, once a flood occurs, the issue could begin overnight. For this reason, homeowners should act quickly to mitigate the destruction, concentrating on maintaining a dry space and eliminating fungal numbers.

3 Measures To Stop Flooding

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

The Thames Barrier in England The Thames Barrier in England consists of hollow steel-clad water gates

Here Are Three Innovative Flood Prevention Systems

High water can cause flood damage inside of commercial buildings. Cities that sit near large bodies of water or in areas that are at a high risk of hurricanes are among the most vulnerable locations. However, even dry climates can flood on occasion. There are many methods cities can use to protect infrastructure and inhabitants from rising water. Technical advances are being made, and new systems are being developed all the time. Here are three innovative flood prevention systems that cities around the world are using to help keep flood waters away.

1. The Maeslant Storm Surge Barrier
The Maeslant Storm Surge Barrier in the Netherlands is one of the largest moving structures in the world. This unique apparatus contains computerized walls and water tanks inside the barrier. When the weight of the rising water pushes the walls down, it stops the flooding and keeps the water from passing to the other side of the barrier.

2. The Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico
The Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico, or MOSE, is a system of 78 barriers that block high water from entering the town of Venice. Each of the 78 partitions are designed to work independently and can be maneuvered to hold back water rising from the Adriatic Sea.

3. The Thames Barrier
The Thames Barrier in England consists of hollow steel-clad water gates. When open, ships can easily pass between the gates. When the water begins to rise, hydraulic rocker beams are used to close the gates and stop flooding. To avoid flooding on the other side, a small amount of water continues to pass through the bottoms of the barriers.
Large cities have many options for stopping high water before it reaches civilization. When safeguards are not in place, unnecessary flooding can occur. If your business in Mount Prospect, IL, has experienced flood damage, call a professional remediation company to get your business back to normal as quickly as possible.

5 Ways to Flood Proof Your House

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

A sump pump installed in a basement of a home with a water powered backup system. Take good care of your sump pump

Flood Safety Measures

Flooding is one of the most common natural disasters that homeowners in the United States have to deal with. Water damage can wreck havoc, costing you hundreds, if not thousands, in primary and secondary damage. Protecting your home in Mount Prospect, IL starts with taking precautionary flood safety measures. Abide by the following safety tips to help flood proof your property.

1. Protect and Relocate Valuable Possessions.
Any important possessions that aren't waterproof need to be sealed in containers and relocated to high shelves on the top floor of your home. This includes important documents, irreplaceable family heirlooms and electronic devices.

2. Install a Back Flow Valve.
Interior and exterior water valves can help prevent sewage and ground water from backing up into your home. Install these devices on all pipes that enter the home, just to cover all your bases.

3. Modify Indoor Electrical Systems.
The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety recommends that all sockets, wiring, switches and circuit breakers sit at least one foot above the projected flood level. If any of your equipment is below this line, then you need to practice proper flood safety by modifying and moving the devices.
4. Control Water Flow Outside Your House.
Your property is significantly less likely to flood if the water is redirected in the opposite direction. Most homes are built on somewhat elevated surfaces, but you may still need to take additional measures. Modify the slope of the ground near your property so that the water runs away from the house.

5. Take Good Care of Your Sump Pump.
Your home's sump pump is designed to drain ground water and prevent flooding. However, it can't perform its job correctly if you don't practice proper machine maintenance. Make sure to regularly remove accumulating debris, test the pipes and change the backup batteries when necessary.
The above flood safety measures can help prevent you, as a homeowner, from having to deal with unnecessary water damage. If your property has fallen victim to water damage caused by flooding, then you need to contact flood remediation experts as soon as you can.

What Measures Exist to Stop Flooding?

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

The Thames Barrier in England Engineers designed the Thames Barrier on the Thames River in England to be beautiful as well as functional

What Measures Exist to Stop Flooding?

Hurricanes and powerful storms cause serious devastation. Coastal regions lie in the path of storms as they come off the water, while cities with poor drainage options are subject to damage from high water accumulating with nowhere to go. You may want to look into what flood prevention methods are in place for your business in Mount Prospect, IL. Large cities across the world have come up with several ingenious ways to stop flooding in its tracks.

1. In England
Engineers designed the Thames Barrier on the Thames River in England to be beautiful as well as functional. Shiny steel shells spaced out across the river house hydraulic beams that turn the gates open and closed as needed. The gates are normally left open for ships to pass through. They revolve shut as necessary to prevent excess water from flowing through and threatening the water level of the Thames River.

2. In the Netherlands
In the Netherlands, along the Nieuwe Waterweg waterway, computerized walls close the Maeslant Storm Surge Barrier and water fills tanks along the barrier. The weight of the water pushes the walls down to keep the water from flowing through. The Hagestein Weir, along the Rhine River, uses to enormous arched gates to control water flow and generate power. The hinged gates are stored in the upright position and rotate down to close the channel and prevent problems caused by high water.

3. In Japan
Japan has a long history of flooding. A system of canals and sluice-lock gates have been designed over the years to protect the high-risk region. Hydraulic motors power many water-gates in Japan, where water pressure causes the gates to open and close without the need for electricity.
Research the flood history in your area and have a plan in place if your business suffers devastation from high water. Prevention is the best option, but commercial storm damage clean up experts exist to help when disaster strikes.

How To Prevent Further Damage After Flooding

8/10/2020 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in a bedroom Drying equipment in a Mount Prospect, IL home

How To Protect Your Home From Further Damage

Standing water can lead to mold growth in as few as 24 hours. Fortunately, acting quickly can protect your Mount Prospect, IL, home from further damage.

Drying the Property

After all people and pets are accounted for and it is safe to return to the property, the most important way to prevent further damage is to dry out the property as quickly as possible. You can use pumps, specialized vacuums, and buckets to remove the standing water. Then dehumidifiers and fans can be turned on to dry out porous items. If the humidity outside is low enough, you can open the windows and doors to increase airflow and speed the drying process. It may help to take some items outside to dry in the sunshine. The faster items dry, the less likely they are to foster mold.

Cleaning the Property
Unfortunately, mold growth is not the only concern after flooding. Floodwaters are often contaminated with bacteria. Because stagnant water can become a breeding ground for microorganisms, even clean water can become contaminated if left for more than 48 hours. The type of cleaner you should use depends on the source of the water, how long the water has been present and the item being cleaned. There are a variety of specialized cleaners available, as well as bleach and vinegar.

Restoring the Property
All items that cannot be fully cleaned and dried should be thrown away immediately. Remaining items may be able to be restored to their pre-flood conditions. Depending on your skill level, you may be able to do some repairs yourself. However, more intricate repairs, such as antiques and electronics, often have to be performed by a professional.
No matter how quickly you respond to flood damage, your home will need to be cleaned, dried, and restored. Whether you are dealing with mold growth or severe water damage, a certified restoration team can help you get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

How to Remove Odor Caused By Contaminated Water

5/2/2020 (Permalink)

Worker scrubbing the floor with a brush, wet floor surface Hard surfaces are easier to clean but can still contribute to a bad odor if it was not scrubbed properly

How to Remove Odor Caused By Contaminated Water

Contaminated water can damage your North Des Plaines, IL, home in a variety of ways, from mold growth to ruined building materials. One thing that you may not necessarily expect is a lingering odor. If this has become a problem for you and the smell is lasting longer than you anticipated, some of the following may help.

1. Wash or Removed Affected Belongings
Sewage loss and flooding both involve highly contaminated water that can fill your home. This water can easily be absorbed by porous materials, like upholstered furniture, stuffed toys, clothing, and carpeting. If these are not cleaned, the odor will remain. Some items may need to be thrown out if you are unable to clean them thoroughly.
2. Clean Surfaces
Hard surfaces are easier to clean but can still contribute to a bad odor if it was not scrubbed properly after coming into contact with floodwater. With these items, a cloth and antibacterial cleaner should be able to get the job done.
3. Check For Mold
If you have had water damage in your house, then it is possible that you have some mold growth as well. This fungus can grow and spread in as little as a day when provided with the right conditions, which include plenty of moisture. A mold remediation specialist can inspect your home for growth and perform removal if necessary.
4. Use an Air Filter
Sometimes, you may still be noticing a bad odor even after thoroughly cleaning your home. If this happens, then the smell might be lingering in the air. Using an air filter or cleaner can help in this case. This equipment removes bacteria and other contaminants from the air, eliminating the source of the odor.
Bad smells after flooding or plumbing backups are often caused by mold growth and contaminants carried by the water. If you remove these from the building, then the odor will most likely go with it. Make sure to thoroughly clean your home or business to reduce the chances of any further damage.

Tips for Keeping Your Roof in Good Shape

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

Leaves and sticks piling up in a valley of a roof. There may be some leaves, sticks or other debris caught on your roof

Tips for Keeping Your Roof in Good Shape

When it comes to storm damage North Des Plaines, IL, one of the main areas most vulnerable to damage is your roof. A roof can be expensive to repair, and when it has been damaged, it can take a while for storm cleanup specialists to clean up the debris. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to help keep the roof in good shape. Performing some routine maintenance from time to time can increase the lifespan of your roof, and can help prevent a roof leak or storm damage.

Clean the Gutters

Cleaning the gutters is one of the most important things to do when it comes to roof maintenance. Gutters often become clogged with debris, including:

  • Fallen leaves
  • Sticks and branches
  • Bird nests
  • Pieces of the roof
  • Plants

These items can easily clog your gutters, preventing them from eliminating water like they are supposed to. It isn't the most pleasant task, but cleaning the gutters will help water flow through the gutters smoothly.

Remove Branches That May Fall

Falling branches can be devastating to a roof, and often will destroy it completely. Pay attention to branches that could fall on your roof. A storm large enough to cause wind damage can cause a branch to fall. This is particularly important for the fall and winter months. As snow moves in, it can put extra weight on the branches, causing them to snap. Consider hiring someone to remove branches that are threatening your roof.

Remove Debris on Roof

There may be some leaves, sticks, or other debris caught on your roof. Over time, this can weigh the roof down, causing a roof leak to happen. Prevent this by eliminating debris that may have fallen onto your roof. After a snowstorm, try to remove some of the snow from the roof to prevent a cave-in.
These steps should help you with preventing a roof leak or any other roofing problems. Do this maintenance to help keep your roof in good condition.  

The Cost Difference Between Mitigation and Restoration During a Flood

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Flood waters outside with sandbags setup to prevent flood from spreading Floods are the most expensive natural disaster in the United States

Floods continue to be the most prevalent and expensive natural disaster in America. While preventative measures provide quicker and less expensive alternatives to the cost of hiring a flood cleanup company, many property owners do not mitigate against flood damage. This results in high costs and a lengthy restoration process.

Flood Prevention

One of the best preventative recommendations for flood damage is flood insurance, which property owners may purchase through the National Flood Insurance Program, managed by the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA), for an average of $700 per year.

Some other preventative methods include the following:

• Sealing basement walls with compounds that are waterproof
• Installing reflux valves to prevent drains from backing up
• Moving heat and electrical sources to higher levels
• Backing up data to the cloud
• Making a flood plan, including work-from-home opportunities

Once in place, these measures offer protection, year after year. Even better, property owners can usually have the cost partially or fully covered by FIMA.

Flood Cleanup

In contrast, property owners who did not take preventative measures must hire a flood cleanup company out of pocket. Every day the business is closed is a day of income lost, while the company may have salaried staff to pay.

Drying out the business may take the restoration company a few days, and this can only begin after the flood waters recede. Restoration to pre-flood conditions may only require an additional few days, but in worst case scenarios, it may take a business a while to completely rebuild. Not surprisingly, FEMA estimates that 40 percent of small businesses, many of which do not invest in preventative measures, fail to recover from natural disasters.

When it comes to flood damage, prevention is always better than a cure. Sure, a reputable flood cleanup company may restore your place of business in a matter of days, but investing in proactive measures is the best approach to natural disasters in Mount Prospect, IL.

What To Do Now To Prepare For A Flood

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Parking garage flooded with black water Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States.

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States.

  • Know types of flood risks in your area. Visit FEMA's Flood Map Service Center https://msc.fema.gov/portal for information.
  • Sign up for your community's warning system (EAS) The Emergency Alert System.
  • If flash flooding is a risk in your location, monitor potential sign, such a heavy rain.
  • Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response.
  • Gather supplies in case you have to leave immediately or if services are cut off including medications, pet needs, batteries or and other critical equipment.
  • Purchase or renew a flood insurance policy. It typically takes up to 30 days to go into effect. Get Flood coverage under the(NFIP) the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password protected digital copies.
  • Protect your property by moving valuables to higher levels, declutter drains and gutters, install check valves and consider a sump pump with a battery.

Remember that SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines, 847-956-1880, is available 24/7 to help you if the need should arise. Call us ANYTIME! 

Build an Emergency Kit

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

Fire alarm with sign "this is not a drill" Being prepared ahead of time is the best way to reduce stress during an emergency.

Be Prepared at your home or business with an Emergency Kit. Ready.gov suggests you have enough supplies to last for at least three days. Below are some suggested items to include in your kit:

  • 3-day supply of non-perishable foods
  • Water (one + gallon per person per day)
  • Prescription medication
  • Sleeping bag or blankets
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Hygiene products
  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries
  • Cell phone charger
  • Change of clothes
  • Matches in waterproof container
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Pet supplies
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Important documents such as insurance policies, ID's, and bank records in a container

You can also keep a condensed emergency kit in your vehicle as well. For a more extensive list, check out Ready.gov. and remember, if needed; we are her to help you, call SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines at 847-956-1880.

4 Tips for First Responders During and After a Flood

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

CPR training medical procedure - Demonstrating chest compressions on CPR doll in the class CPR training medical procedure

4 Ways You Can Help As a First Responder

When extreme weather hits Mount Prospect, IL, what happens during the initial flood response is of the utmost importance. Whether it’s performing simple first aid or contacting a water damage restoration company, acting quickly and intelligently can help prevent further injury to both people and property. If you're one of the first on the scene after a flood, here are four ways to increase your power to help as a first responder.

1. Get CPR Certified

In a perfect world, everyone would be CPR certified. If you find someone unconscious during a flood, it's imperative to start chest compressions quickly. (Providing mouth-to-mouth is no longer necessary.) Springing into action immediately can buy the paramedics valuable time.

2. Remember RICE

If someone suffers a sprain or strain during the chaos that can accompany a flood, remember RICE:

Rest the affected area.
Ice it to lessen swelling.
Compress the area with a bandage or other wrap to minimize swelling.
Elevate the injury.

Even if you don’t have all of the necessary supplies on hand, following as many of these steps as possible, as promptly as possible, can kick-start the healing process while you wait for help to arrive.

3. Know How To Treat a Wound

As a first responder, you don't have the luxury of being squeamish about blood. If someone on-site is bleeding heavily, you should apply pressure to the wound with a clean cloth. If he or she bleeds through it, apply another layer on top of the soaked one. If you can raise the wound above the injured person's heart, do so. If there's debris in the wound, exercise caution around it, but don't remove it.
4. Get Your Shots

For those who are first responders in a professional capacity, such as paramedics, the Centers for Disease Control requires immunizations for two diseases: hepatitis B and tetanus. As a layperson, keeping your immunization record up to date can help prevent the spread of disease as well.
A well-prepared first responder can mean the difference between life and loss. Remember these four tips to increase your odds of safely helping others during a flood.

When Storms or Floods hit, SERVPRO is ready!

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Rain and hail hit the roof of a house Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage!

SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 847-956-1880

3 Reasons Not To Drive During a Flood

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

Cars in black flood water in a parking garage Heavy rains can cause flooding and make driving extremely risky

During a severe storm, heavy rains can cause flooding in Mount Prospect, IL. While it can be frustrating to be stuck at home, there are very few reasons to risk driving on a flooded street. On the other hand, there are plenty of reasons why you should avoid driving during a flood.

1. You could lose control of your car. Even a small amount of water can result in hydroplaning, which is when your car’s tires lose traction against the road. When there are flooded roads, the risk of losing control of your vehicle is even greater. Just two feet of water is enough to wash away most cars, and smaller automobiles can be carried away with even less. If this happens, you may end up having to abandon your vehicle.

2. It can be difficult to see the condition of the roads. Water isn’t the only thing that can present an issue during a storm. A flooded street can easily hide debris, sinkholes, and other road damage. Flood water can fill holes in the road, making it look safe to drive on even though there may be hidden dangers lurking beneath the water.

3. You could damage your car. Most cars are not designed to travel in high waters and could suffer a lot of damage if you attempt to drive on a flooded street. If the water is high enough, it can enter the engine or other parts of the car. Not only can this affect your safety while you are driving, but you may also end up needing to spend money on water damage repair.

Driving during a flood is risky and dangerous. The water can pose threats to both you and your vehicle. One of the best travel tips for driving in a storm is simply not to. When there is a flood in Mount Prospect, IL, you should try to stay inside and off of the roads whenever possible.