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Meet Our Team: Matt

Our blog series “Meet Our Team” continues this week. We 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.

Matt Lampert Disaster OneToday we’re pleased to introduce you to Matt, a project manager in our Charlotte office. A native of Waynesboro, VA, Matt has been with Disaster One for 20 months. In the last 8 months he’s been named Project Manager of the Month twice and tied for first place for Disaster One’s Customer Service Award, which is based on customer feedback.

What are you working on right now?

I’m currently working on a couple large fire losses in Charlotte and Monroe, NC, and helping get the Charlotte branch’s new project manager up to speed.

What inspires you to do what you do?

Wanting to continue to further my education within the industry and be as productive as possible for the Charlotte branch and for the company.

What aspect of your job do you enjoy the most?

The team atmosphere in Charlotte and getting out and experiencing different things on a daily basis.

What is your proudest moment at Disaster One?

Winning PM of the Month two straight months.

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

Weekend road trips to the mountains and beach, trying out new craft breweries, and projects around the house.

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

I played collegiate soccer at Bridgewater College in Harrisonburg, VA.

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Roof hail damage repair

My Disaster One Story – From Jesse

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 Jesse, a Greensboro homeowner.

“We have had a Nationwide homeowners policy since the 1960s and have, thankfully, not had to make a claim until recently. We have always heard horror stories about the claims process from many insurance companies.

A few weeks ago, we contacted our agent concerning hail damage to our roof. He was very accommodating when we talked with him. An agent from Disaster One in Greensboro, NC, was at our house in two days to check the roof. The young man, Noe Salas, was also very courteous and professional. In a few days a claims associate from Nationwide called to inform us that the claim had been approved for the total replacement of the roof.

The roof was replaced on April 21, 2017. It was very obvious from the manner in which they unloaded the shingles and equipment and proceeded to get to work that this group knew what they were doing. The job was completed and the site was cleaned up.

We are writing this letter because we feel that each of these people should be recognized for the outstanding manner in which they performed their duties. Our claim story is very positive and satisfactory.”

Thank you, Jesse, for your kind words and for choosing Disaster One to serve you in your time of need.

 

(Photo credit: CharlotteProRoofing.com (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

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Meet Our Team: Rodney

Our blog series “Meet Our Team” continues this week. We 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.

 

Meet our team: RodneyToday we’re pleased to introduce you to Rodney, a Large Loss Water & Mold lead restoration technician. A native of Columbia, SC, Rodney has been with Disaster One for three years.

What are you working on right now?

We just started work on a loss in New Bern, NC, at an apartment community. They had flooding from Tropical Storm Cindy that affected 16 units. We’ve got 11 people including temps on the job.

What inspires you to do what you do?

I like the feeling of being able to help people in their time of need. I have great coworkers – we’re always learning new things about restoration, and we keep each other inspired.

What aspect of your job do you enjoy the most?

Every day is going to be different. Also, there’s opportunity for advancement and great on-the-job training with Paul Miller, Steve Brown, and Chris Maness.

What is your proudest moment at Disaster One?

I found Disaster One online. I was working with a carpet cleaning company at the time and I wanted to get into full-time restoration. One of my proudest moments was the day I got hired; it’s been full steam ahead ever since. But probably my very proudest moment was going back home to Columbia in 2015 [the epicenter of historic flooding after Hurricane Joaquin] to help my fellow South Carolinians get their lives back in order.

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

I like to shoot pool, and I love to barbecue. You know I cater, that’s my biggest thing.

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

That’s a tough one, there’s not a lot of mystery to me! I pride myself in being a people person; you get the same “me” every day.

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40 Tips From 40 Years

40 Tips from 40 Years

Top 40 Tips from 40 Years of Restoration

 

In 40 years, we’ve amassed a lot of experience with all kinds of disasters. Many of them could have been prevented with the right preparation and maintenance. Therefore, in observance of our 40th anniversary in 2017, we present our top 40 tips from 40 years of Restoring Your Future.

  1. Inspect washing machine and refrigerator hoses for leaks and replace as necessary.
  2. Check your water heater for leaks, corrosion, or other damage
  3. Flush your water heater
  4. Make sure your bathtub is thoroughly caulked so no water can get between the tub and wall.
  5. Disconnect garden hoses and drain sprinkler systems before winter cold begins
  6. Fix foundation cracks to prevent flooding in crawlspaces or basements
  7. Check flashing, caulking, and shingles on your roof for damage that could cause leaks
  8. Check caulking and insulation around windows and doors
  9. Seal leaks that let cold air into spaces where pipes are located
  10. Insulate any pipes that are in your crawl space and attic
  11. Check siding for any pieces that may have come loose during storms.
  12. Secure outdoor furniture, garbage cans, and other objects that could become airborne in high winds
  13. Use extreme caution around fireworks – they can cause serious injury and fires
  14. Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms when you “spring forward” and “fall back”
  15. Test smoke alarms at least once a month by pressing the test button
  16. Replace all smoke alarms when they are over 10 years old
  17. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, purchase one and store it in an accessible place
  18. Clean lint, dust, and other materials from your clothes dryer exhaust duct.
  19. Inspect electrical outlets for fire hazards such as frayed wires or loose plugs.
  20. Never leave a grill unattended while cooking
  21. Check fireplaces for soot or creosote buildup
  22. Create a fire escape plan
  23. Always store matches and lighters out of children’s reach and sight
  24. Store oil, gasoline, paints and varnishes in a shed away from your home
  25. Never use flour or water to extinguish a cooking fire
  26. Use the proper gauge extension cord for the equipment it is operating, especially with power tools and high-wattage appliances
  27. Don’t put a live Christmas tree close to a fireplace or heat vent
  28. Never run extension cords under rugs or blankets
  29. Use only nonflammable holiday decorations
  30. Make sure the kids know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothes catch fire
  31. Clean leaves and other debris from gutters and downspouts
  32. Have a professional HVAC technician inspect and service your air conditioning system at the beginning of spring
  33. Have a professional HVAC technician inspect and service your furnace at the beginning of autumn
  34. Replace dirty furnace filters
  35. Trim trees and remove dead or loose branches from near your home or business
  36. Trim bushes back from crawlspace vents
  37. Install storm doors and windows
  38. Make sure everyone can unlock all locks and open all windows and doors quickly in an emergency
  39. Keep flashlights with fresh batteries on hand in case your power goes out
  40. Prepare an emergency supply kit containing non-perishable food, first aid kit, medicines, flashlights, cash, toiletries, and important documents

Thank you for allowing Disaster One to serve your disaster restoration needs since 1977. It’s been our privilege to bring order and assurance to your chaotic situations for the past 40 years and we look forward to serving you for the next 40!

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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!