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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!

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Disaster One employees obtain Certified Restorer certification

Disaster One employees receive Certified Restorer® certification

Two more Disaster One employees have attained the Restoration Industry Association’s coveted Certified Restorer® (CR) certification. Often called the “Ph.D. of damage repair,” this advanced certification is widely recognized as the pre-eminent restoration training program.

Pictured above, Steve Brown (left), vice president of restoration, and Mark Klamerus (right), Wilmington/Myrtle Beach branch manager, received their CR certificates during the 2017 International Restoration Convention held this month in Palm Springs, California.

4-step certification process

Before receiving Certified Restorer® certification, Brown and Klamerus were required to complete a four-step process. They first met pre-qualifying requirements that include either five years of restoration work experience or three years of supervisory experience. Then to become accepted as candidates for the CR Prep Course and exam, they completed rigorous training courses in multiple disciplines including fire, smoke & water damage restoration, structural restoration, contents restoration, health & safety training, and project management.

Finally, after completing the prep course and exam, they each were required to present a CR Formal Report which verified and illustrated the candidates’ communication skills when documenting actions taken on a restoration job. (If the CR is the Ph.D. of damage repair, you might think of this report as their doctoral dissertation.)

Since the Certified Restorer® program began in 1980, only 655 people have completed the process.

Brown and Klamerus are the second and third Disaster One employees to attain this certification, following in the footsteps of Greensboro branch manager Ron Johnson. Brown is a 22-year veteran of Disaster One, and Klamerus has been with the company for 7 years.

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Chips for Children 2017 at Greensboro Country Club

Chips for Children announces new location for 2017

We’re busy here at Disaster One planning Chips for Children 2017 and we’ve got exciting news today: Chips for Children is moving to the Greensboro Country Club!

Nestled in the heart of Irving Park at 410 Sunset Drive, Greensboro Country Club boasts impeccable ambiance, incredible cuisine, and ample onsite parking. We’re confident this new venue will be the perfect backdrop for an amazing casino night experience this year.

Our 4th annual Chips for Children fundraising event supporting the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Greensboro will be held on Friday, October 27, 2017. We hope you’ll join us for a thrilling evening of blackjack, roulette, poker, craps, auctions, prizes, and much more. All proceeds benefit the Clubs’ programs, which promote and enhance the development of boys and girls during critical periods of their lives.

Ticket and sponsorship information coming soon – stay tuned for updates!

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North Carolina’s 2017 Severe Weather Prepareness Week

2017 Dates: March 5-11, 2017
Statewide Tornado Drill:
March 8 at 9:30 AM

North Carolina’s winter has been unusually warm and quiet, but stormy spring weather will be right around the corner. March 5-11 is Severe Weather Preparedness Week in North Carolina.  This week the National Weather Service and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety are teaming up to bring this severe weather safety campaign to all of North Carolina’s residents.  Quiet weather days are the best opportunity to make sure you and your family know what to do during a severe weather situation, whether it is a tornado, hurricane, flooding or even a wildfire. North Carolinians should take a few moments this week to learn about severe weather safety and implement a safety plan, to help protect their homes, businesses and children.

Tornado Drills

Schools and government buildings statewide will hold tornado drills Wednesday, March 8, at 9:30 a.m. to practice their emergency plans. Test messages will be broadcast on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radios and the Emergency Alert System. All North Carolinian residents are encouraged to participate in the drill. Knowing the difference between a watch and warning is one of the most important details in severe weather planning. A Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Watch is issued by the National Weather Service when conditions are favorable for strong wind, large hail or tornadoes. Watches are typically issued hours before severe weather develops in the area, giving you and your family time to prepare for what may form later in the day.

Watches vs. Warnings

A Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Warning is issued when damaging and dangerous weather is on-going. A storm producing wind gusts stronger than 58 mph, hail larger than an inch in diameter, or a tornado would be considered for a Severe Thunderstorm Warning. When a warning is issued, this is when you need to put your plan into action. If a tornado is in your area, get into your tornado safety place.

Sever Weather Tips

Understand The Risks

The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family.  Check the weather forecasts regularly and visit readync.org to learn more about becoming prepared.

Prepare and Take Action

Pledge to prepare by visiting readync.org. Take the first step to make sure that you and your family are prepared for severe weather.  This includes building an emergency kit, filling out a family safety and communication plan, keeping important papers in a safe place, and having multiple sources for weather alerts.

Be an Example

Once you have taken action, get involved, and share your story with your family and friends.  Studies show that many people use social media in the event of a disaster to let relatives and friends know that they are safe.  This is an important trend because people are most likely to take preparedness steps if they observe the preparations taken by others.

Daily Events

The National Weather Service will be highlighting ways individuals can prepare for the severe weather season by providing events and resources to help you take action.

Daily Topics:

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Change smoke detector batteries

Change your smoke detector batteries when you "Spring Forward" or "Fall Back"

It’s a good habit to form. If you use battery-powered smoke detectors in your home or business, change the batteries each spring and fall as you turn your clocks forward or back when Daylight Saving Time starts and ends.

No, there’s nothing magical about doing these tasks at the same time – it’s just an excellent way to link the tasks in your memory and avoid having a dead smoke detector. The last thing you want is to find out your batteries are dead by having a fire in your home or office and the detector fails to warn you!

(While we hope that never happens, Disaster One is here for you if you ever need fire damage cleanup and restoration.)

It’s recommended that the battery in every smoke detector be changed at least annually. If you didn’t change them at the last time change, then you definitely want to do so at the next change.

By the way, most of us rely on mobile devices whose clocks change automatically when the time changes. The challenge we face is remembering all of the other clocks that need to be changed manually. Here’s a few that we sometimes overlook:

  • Microwave/oven clocks
  •  Coffeemaker clocks
  •  Programmable thermostat clocks
  •  Car radio clocks
  •  Alarm clocks
  •  Mantel clocks
  •  Wristwatches (yes, some folks still wear them!)

Do you have other tips? Add them in the comments section.

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A damaged and leaking roof can lead to water damage.

Top 13 ways to prepare for spring

Spring is almost here. After enduring the long cold winter, it’s finally time to start thinking about warmer temperatures again. Now is the time to prepare for spring and fix any issues that have surfaced due to winter storms. The Disaster One team shares these tips to help you inside and outside your home or business.

  1. Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors. It’s a good practice to change the batteries when you change your clocks at the start and end of Daylight Saving Time, but do it now so you don’t forget.
  2. Check flashing, caulking, and shingles on your roof for damage from winter weather. These are prime opportunities for water to enter your attic and cause damage.
  3. Clean leaves and other debris from gutters and downspouts and inspect for damage. Clogged gutters can cause water to overflow and damage fascia or soffit boards, and the repairs can be costly.
  4. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, purchase one and store it in an accessible place. If you already have one, inspect it and confirm it’s filled and ready for use.
  5. Inspect electrical outlets for fire hazards such as frayed wires or loose plugs. While we’re on the subject, don’t ever overload outlets or extension cords.
  6. Have a professional HVAC technician inspect and service your air conditioning system (get this done before warm weather hits or you may be in for a wait). While you’re at it, replace all of your filters.
  7. Check your water heater for leaks, corrosion, or other damage. Your water heater works harder in cold weather; make sure it survived and is ready to keep going.
  8. Clean lint, dust, and other materials from your clothes dryer exhaust duct. Thousands of fires are caused by clogged dryer vents each year.
  9. Inspect washing machine hoses for leaks and replace as necessary. Believe it or not, we respond to countless water damage losses caused by broken washing machine hoses every year.
  10. Check siding for any pieces that may have come loose during winter storms. Reattach or replace them or hire a professional to repair them.
  11. Trim trees and remove dead or loose branches. Falling branches are a leading cause of roof and other structure damage.
  12. Trim bushes back from crawlspace vents. These vents need to be unobstructed so they can allow outside air to circulate under floors and prevent moisture buildup that can encourage mold and rot.
  13. Check caulking and insulation around windows and doors and seal as needed to keep warm air out. A little time and money now could save big bucks in cooling costs later.

These tips can help you avoid problems from numerous sources. But rest assured if you do experience damage to your home or other structure, Disaster One is here to help.

Our emergency response team is available 24/7/365 to respond to your need. Call us at 800-277-4787 or contact us online any time.

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Disaster One expands into Myrtle Beach

Disaster One expands into Myrtle Beach

Disaster One continues to expand its presence with the opening of its newest office in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, effective February 15, 2017.

We’ve been providing disaster restoration services in Myrtle Beach and surrounding areas in South Carolina from our Wilmington, NC office for several years and this new office will allow us to serve our greater Myrtle Beach area clients better and quicker than ever before.

If you experience water damage, storm damage, fire or smoke damage, or mold damage in or near Myrtle Beach, you can contact us at (843) 284-6920. Visit Disaster One Myrtle Beach to learn more.

 

Read the full news release here.

 

The new office is located at:

Disaster One
2111-1 S Hwy 17
North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582

(843) 284-6920

 

(Photo via Good Free Photos)

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Frozen Pipes Ahead

Frozen Pipes: How to Avoid a Disaster

Want to join the nearly half million American homes and businesses that suffer water damage from frozen pipes? Want the expense of dealing with flooding, structural damage, and possibly even mold? We didn’t think so.

As winter cranks up and temperatures fall, we’ve entered the frozen pipe season again. But you can dramatically reduce your chances of joining this unwelcome club by taking a few simple steps.

Why do pipes freeze?

Your pipes can freeze for any combination of reasons:

  • Quick drops in temperature to 20 degrees F or below
  • Extended hours below 32 degrees F
  •  Poor insulation
  •  Setting thermostats too low

How do I keep my pipes from freezing?

You can’t keep the temperature from dropping, but you can protect your pipes.

  • If you haven’t already done so, insulate any pipes in your crawl space and attic. Pipe freezing is especially an issue in warmer climates where pipes run through un-insulated or under-insulated spaces like these. Pay attention to pipes that are adjacent to exterior walls inside your structure as well. Both hot and cold lines should be insulated.
  • Seal leaks that let cold air into spaces where pipes are located. If it’s cold enough, even a small opening could let in enough cold air to freeze a pipe.
  • Disconnect garden hoses and drain sprinkler systems to reduce the chance of freezing at those points.

When a hard freeze is coming:

  • Let warm water trickle from faucets overnight, particularly on an exterior wall or at the end of a long stretch of unprotected pipe.
  • Open cabinet doors, especially near exterior walls, to allow heat to reach uninsulated pipes under sinks, etc. (Make sure harmful cleaners or other household chemicals are out of the reach of children.)
  • Don’t turn your thermostat down below 65 degrees during extreme cold. Further drops in temperature could be enough to cause a problem, especially inside walls where pipes are located. Your heating bill may go up a little, but that’s better than an expensive repair job if a pipe freezes and bursts.

My pipes froze…now what?

Don’t assume your pipes will automatically burst if they’ve frozen. No reason to panic yet.

  • Turn on your faucets and leave them on. As the frozen area starts to melt, water will start moving again and help more ice to melt.
  • Try to locate the frozen area of the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the frozen area if possible. You can use an electric heating pad, electric hair dryer, a portable space heater, or wrap the pipes in towels soaked in hot water. CAUTION: never use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater or other open flame that could create a fire hazard. Such a device could also boil the water, causing the pipe to explode.

If these steps don’t do the trick, or if you can’t find the frozen area or don’t feel confident about performing these steps, call a licensed plumber.

What if a pipe bursts?

Turn the water off at the main shutoff valve and leave the faucets on. Call a licensed plumber immediately to repair the pipe.

If the worst does happen and you sustain water damage, rest assured Disaster One is here to help. Our trained and certified technicians are on standby 24/7 for emergency restoration response. You can call us at 800-277-4787 or contact us online any time of day or night.

Do you have other tips for preventing frozen pipes?