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Fireworks Safety

Fireworks Safety

Depending on where you live, you may be seeing fireworks tents around town as we get ready for our nation’s birthday. What’s legal and illegal varies from state to state; check your local laws to find out what you can and can’t buy and set off.

But it’s important to remember that even legal fireworks pose some fire and burn risks. After all, they are designed to explode. More fires are reported on July 4 than any other day of the year and nearly half are caused by fireworks. As you prepare for your Independence Day festivities, keep these safety tips in mind.

  • The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to go to a public show put on by professionals
  • If you do want to buy your own, first make sure they are legal in your area
  • Alcohol and fireworks are a very bad combination – save the beverages for after the show
  • Read and follow all the cautionary labels and directions before lighting any fireworks
  • Keep a close eye on children at all public or private fireworks events; a responsible adult should supervise all activities – young children can even be burned by sparklers
  • Never allow young children to set off fireworks
  • Use fireworks outdoors only, and far away from buildings, vehicles, and wooded areas that could be burned
  • Keep a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of fire
  • Light fireworks one at a time; don’t stand over them while lighting, and move away quickly after lighting
  • When the show is done, douse spent fireworks with water and then dispose in a metal trash container far away from buildings and other combustible materials

Following these safety tips can greatly reduce your risk of injury and fire.  Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

 

Learn about Disaster One’s fire damage restoration services.

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Flooded Living Room

My Disaster One Story – From Sandy

As part of our 40th anniversary celebration, we’ve invited our clients to share a memorable Disaster One story with us. The following story is from Sandy, an insurance agent.

“One of my insureds had a water claim and their insurance carrier assigned a disaster company to take care of her. The disaster company had so many claims that they could not give her the proper attention she needed. They had started the process of cutting the walls out, taking baseboards up, and setting up fans to dry her out. Then they just left her there for weeks, always promising to come back and send a crew to start packing her out. They never came. The carrier fired this disaster company.

I started calling to try and find another disaster company to take over where this company left off. I was turned down by other companies; they did not want to get into a messy situation, trying to figure out what the other company had done.

I called Ron Johnson in Disaster One’s Greensboro office and he said, “Sure we will help.”

He sent someone over that day to inspect the damage and to scope out what needed to be done.  After that was done they went into action packing out my insured, helping her get moved out, and being there when they said they would be there. Ron and his crew saved the day for my insured; they took on a job when no one else wanted to touch it.  They kept me advised on their progress and when I would be able to get my insured back into her home.

No job is too tough for Disaster One.”

Thank you, Sandy, for your kind words and for choosing Disaster One to serve your insured.

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Disaster One 40th Anniversary

Disaster One Celebrates 40 Years of Restoration

Q: What do Kanye West, Orlando Bloom, Tom Brady, Liv Tyler, Ludacris, Kal Penn, John Mayer, and Disaster One have in common?

A: We all turn 40 in 2017!

That’s right – founded in 1977, Disaster One has been restoring futures for 40 years by providing disaster restoration services to homes and businesses affected by water damage, fire and smoke damage, storm damage, and mold damage.

Over half a million new businesses are started each month, but about 50% of them don’t survive five years according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And only a small portion – one-third – survive 10 years or more. That makes Disaster One’s 40 years in business an even more astonishing accomplishment.

Great team of dedicated people

Dedicated Disaster One Employees“I’m most proud of the team that we’ve put together,” said Disaster One president Rasmus Fenger while reflecting on the company’s milestone anniversary. “There is no ‘secret sauce’ in restoration – we have to do so many different things, and do them all well. Only by having a great team of dedicated people can it all come together.”

Today, Disaster One has grown from a small carpet cleaning service in Greensboro, NC, to a leading full-service restoration company with over 135 full-time employees in 9 offices serving the entire southeast United States. The company boasts three of only 655 people nationwide who have received the coveted Certified Restorer© designation from the Restoration Industry Association.

In the past five years the company nearly doubled its number of locations, opening branches in Wilmington NC in 2012, Roanoke VA and Tampa FL in 2013, and most recently Myrtle Beach SC in early 2017.

Looking to the future

Looking to the future, Fenger stated, “We plan to keep growing, but not just for the sake of getting bigger. We grow so that we can be an exciting place to work and so that we can continue to be stronger and serve our clients better. This growth will include geographic expansion throughout the Southeast, but also, and perhaps more importantly, growing the branches we already have.”

“The feedback we get from happy clients means the world to me – not just what we’ve done but the way we’ve done it,” Fenger continued. “The only thing that could slow us down would be if we have trouble finding the right talent to help us grow, so we’re always looking for talent.”

At Disaster One, we’re humbled by the long-standing trust our clients have placed in us and we always strive to honor that trust by providing a great Disaster One Experience. Clearly, we’re not going anywhere and we’ll be here when you need us.

Call us at 800-277-4787 any time you need our help, 24/7/365.

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Hurricane Season 2017: What You Need To Know

Get Ready for Hurricane Season 2017

Leading weather experts are revising their forecasts and are predicting a more active than average hurricane season in 2017. IBM’s The Weather Co. now predicts 14 named storms, including 7 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes. Warmer North Atlantic sea surface temperatures, which historically have been associated with more active seasons, have been recorded in recent weeks. This trend, coupled with uncertainty surrounding the development and magnitude of El Nino, could be revised upward again with the next update in June.

Although Tropical Storm Arlene formed in April, the official Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1, 2017, and runs through November 30, 2017. And while Weather Channel meteorologists point out there is no strong correlation between the number of hurricanes and U.S. landfalls in any given season, it is always prudent to remain vigilant and be prepared.

What to do before, during, and after a hurricane

 

Hurricane Categories Explained

Category 1:

The lowest hurricane level, maximum sustained winds are between 74-95 mph. Still considered dangerous but typically no substantial damage to structures other than unanchored mobile homes.

Category 2:

Maximum sustained winds between 96-110 mph. Roof and siding damage can occur; shallowly rooted trees can be snapped or uprooted. Some damage to windows, doors, and roofing materials, but no major destruction other than to exposed mobile homes. Flooding can be expected in low-lying areas.

Category 3:

Maximum sustained winds of 111-129 mph, first level of major hurricane status. Large trees can be blown down; well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage, mobile homes can be destroyed. Extensive flooding can occur inland and may destroy smaller structures. Superstorm Sandy was a memorable category 3 hurricane in 2012. It was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 season.

Category 4:

Maximum sustained winds of 130-156 mph; extensive damage to roofs, windows, and doors, with complete failure of roofs on many smaller residences (mobile homes completely destroyed). Terrain may be flooded far inland. Joaquin was a category 4 hurricane in 2015 with 155 mph winds.

Category 5:

Rare but the most severe, they generate winds of 157 mph or higher and cause catastrophic damage; buildings can be completely destroyed. Flooding can cause major damage even very far inland. Memorable category 5 hurricanes include Andrew (165 mph in 1992), Katrina (175 mph winds in 2005) and Matthew (165 mph winds in 2016).

 

We can’t predict the first hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. this year, but we can guarantee Disaster One’s emergency response team will be ready to respond if it happens near you. We bring order and assurance to chaotic situations – if you ever sustain storm damage at your home or business, we’re just a phone call away. We’re standing by 24/7/365 at 800-277-4787.

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Church Bell

On the Job: Church Bell Restoration

In this edition of On the Job we take you (literally) inside a church bell.

 

Lando Baptist Church in Richburg, SC, was heavily damaged by a fire that officials believe was caused by a lightning strike. During the fire, the church steeple and roof collapsed into the sanctuary, destroying the entire first floor and causing extensive water and mold damage down into the basement. The steeple bell suffered major fire damage and corrosion.

church bell exterior before
church bell interior before
church bell exterior after
church bell Interior after

Disaster One Charlotte restoration technician Jose Miron completed the bell restoration project, the first project of its kind for our Charlotte branch.

Jose first applied a corrosion inhibitor to neutralize and prevent further damage to the bell, and then meticulously utilized grinding tools to remove all existing corrosion. Small pockets of corrosion in the bell’s crevasses required a tool similar to a dental pick for complete removal.

He then heated and straightened the bell clapper, which was damaged when the steeple collapsed, and followed the same process to remove soot and corrosion. The final step involved several applications of gun oil to fully restore the bell.

Prior to restoring the bell, Jose also completed 2,000 square feet of mold remediation in the church basement and managed all packing, storage, and cleaning of the building’s contents that were damaged by smoke, soot, and water.

Disaster One’s large loss-structure division is currently completing the building repairs on this project, so the beautifully restored bell will soon have a new home.

 

In the before & after photos (left, top to bottom): soot- and corrosion-covered bell exterior before; bell interior before; bell exterior after restoration; straightened and repaired bell clapper; bell interior after restoration.

 

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Disaster One names new corporate trainer

Scott Marcle has been appointed to the newly created position of Corporate Trainer at Disaster One.

 

Scott Marcle, Disaster One Corporate TrainerMarcle returns to Disaster One after several years in other areas of the restoration industry. He previously served as an estimator with Disaster One from 2000-2010.

In his new role, Marcle will be responsible for training in all aspects of restoration and job management throughout the company and developing and improving company operating procedures. He will report directly to Disaster One’s vice president of restoration.

“We’ve discussed the need for a trainer for some time,” stated company president Rasmus Fenger in announcing the appointment. “I’m happy to welcome Scott back to Disaster One. He will ensure that our standards are being followed on a consistent basis and that those standards are the highest in the industry.”

Marcle holds numerous certifications from the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) and the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) including Master Fire & Smoke Restorer and Journeyman Fire & Smoke Restorer.

Welcome back to Disaster One, Scott!

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Hurricane Preparedness Week 2017

NC Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 7-13, 2017

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has proclaimed May 7-13 as Hurricane Preparedness Week.

 

With many NC communities still struggling to recover from last October’s Hurricane Matthew, it’s already time to start preparing for the 2017 hurricane season.

“Last fall, North Carolinians experienced first-hand the life-changing devastation of Hurricane Matthew, and we know from experience that any storm should be taken seriously,” said Gov. Cooper in a statement issued by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

The National Weather Service has developed a unique focus for each day of Hurricane Preparedness Week. Disaster One urges all North Carolina residents to familiarize themselves with these preparedness steps:

Sunday: Determine your risk – “Find out today what types of wind and water hazards could happen where you live.”

Monday: Develop an evacuation plan – “The first thing you need to do is find out if you live in a storm surge hurricane evacuation zone.”

Tuesday: Assemble disaster supplies – “You’re going to need supplies not just to get through the storm but for the…aftermath.”

Wednesday: Secure an insurance check-up – “Call your insurance company or agent…to make sure you have enough homeowners insurance.”

Thursday: Strengthen your home – “If you plan to ride out the storm in your home, make sure it is in good repair.”

Friday: Check on your neighbor – “There are…many ways you can help your neighbors before a hurricane approaches.”

Saturday: Complete your written hurricane plan – “The time to prepare for a hurricane is before the season begins.”

Disaster One responded to calls for help with hurricane damage and severe flooding in and around Lumberton, Fayetteville, Wilmington, and Raleigh, NC following Hurricane Matthew. While we hope you don’t experience this in 2017, rest assured we’re here and ready to respond whenever you need our help with storm damage repair.

To learn more, visit Hurricane Preparedness Week.

 

(Photo credit: By Ryan Johnson (City of Charleston) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

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Fire in downtown Raleigh

On the Job: fire in downtown Raleigh

Saint Patrick’s Day was not a day for celebration in Raleigh. A downtown fire of unknown origin began the previous night on the construction site of a wood-framed apartment building. Because the building had only been framed up and sprinklers weren’t yet installed, and a lot of lumber and materials were onsite, it went up like a book of matches according to witnesses. Making matters worse was a stiff wind to fan the flames even higher.

Disaster One teams respond to Raleigh Fire Adjacent to the construction site stands the Link Apartments Glenwood South, managed by a long-time Disaster One client. As the fire raged, a large construction crane collapsed onto a nearby building, narrowly missing the Link.

The Link didn’t escape unscathed, however. Increasing heat set off sprinklers installed on the outside of the building which cover tenants’ balconies. Several windows later exploded due to the extreme heat, allowing water inside; sprinklers inside the apartments were next to go off. Meanwhile, the Raleigh Fire Department was busy hosing down the building to prevent it from catching fire.

Ultimately more than 60 of the building’s approximately 204 units were impacted by water and smoke damage.

Disaster One received the call to perform water mitigation and cleanup. Before the flames were completely extinguished, Disaster One teams from Raleigh, Roanoke VA, Greensboro, Fayetteville, Charlotte, Atlanta, our Large Loss division and corporate headquarters began converging on the scene.

As soon as fire and police officials deemed the building safe to enter two days later, our teams diligently worked twelve-hour days with a singular focus of drying, selective demolition where needed, cleaning, and restoring the building.

At times Disaster One has had as many as 200 workers on site and has fully gutted 25 units. Mitigation continues some thirty days later.

The repair phase is expected to begin soon and there is still a long road ahead; watch for further updates.

An apartment fire is never welcome news, but if it happens to you, rest assured Disaster One stands ready to provide expert fire damage restoration. Don’t hesitate to call us at (800) 277-4787.

Disaster One response to Raleigh Fire
Disaster One equipment on site of Raleigh fire damage

 

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April Miller, Disaster One

Meet Our Team: April

Welcome to the first installment in our new blog series “Meet Our Team.” We’ll periodically post a brief interview with one of our team members to let you see inside Disaster One and learn more about who we are.

 

Today we’re pleased to introduce you to April, a contents department manager with Disaster One. A Greensboro native, April will mark 20 years with us this September. She’s responsible for overseeing the team that cleans and restores our customers’ contents that have been damaged by water, fire, smoke, or mold.

What inspires you to do what you do?

I like the craziness. I get to meet different people every day from all walks of life. It’s a huge challenge, and I like the feeling of doing something good for somebody.

What aspect of your job do you enjoy the most?

I like seeing things put back together, seeing the finished product.

What is your proudest moment at Disaster One?

When I was given the opportunity to be contents manager; that’s my proudest moment.

What do you like to do when you’re off work?

I like to spend time with my kids, go to the beach, and I like to cook – I love trying new things. But I spend most of my time at my second job: cleaning my house.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

I’m good at surf fishing; it’s one of my favorite things to do.

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PTAA 2016 Diamond Award

Exterior Contractor of the Year (Again!)

Disaster One has once again been recognized by the Piedmont Triad Apartment Association (PTAA) as its Exterior Contractor of the Year.

 

PTAA 2016 Diamond AwardThe association presented the award at its annual Diamond Awards program on April 6, 2017. This is the fourth time since 2011 that Disaster One has received this prestigious award from the PTAA.

Vendor award winners are selected from nominations submitted by the PTAA’s apartment communities and property management company members.

In presenting the award, PTAA officials stated:

“In an emergency or disaster situation, it’s nice to be able to depend on a company that has served our community for 40 years with expertise and professionalism. In addition to providing amazing service after a disaster, Disaster One has hosted “lunch and learn” seminars to help their customers better prepare. They are active PTAA member and continually support our industry. One customer said, ‘Disaster One is a reputable company to do business with; transparent, fair, and willing to communicate intelligently with clients about the often complex processes necessary in disaster recovery.’ Congratulations to the Disaster One team! Truly one of a kind.”

 

We are very humbled by these kind words and we’re grateful for this great honor from the Piedmont Triad Apartment Association. Thank you, PTAA!