DKI Educates on Fire Damage Restoration in Ireland

September 30, 2015 – DKI_Ireland_9.28DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, met this week with DKI Ireland in Dublin, Cork and Limerick, Ireland to present a three-day course, “An Overview of Fire and Smoke Damage.”

Ken Larsen, Director of Education for DKI, along with DKI President and CEO Dan Cassara and President of DKI Ireland Pat Casey presented the course to over 120 insurance industry professionals throughout Ireland. It involved five sessions, each running 90 minutes, over a period of three days, September 28 through September 30.

The course covered material from Larsen’s book, Leadership in Restorative Drying, including the effects of delayed response, the chemistry of smoke, and the principles of smoke removal.

To learn more about the content of the course or to attend a local fire and smoke damage course near you, contact DKI at 844-DKI-CALL (844-354-2255) or [email protected]

About DKI
DKI, headquartered in Chicago, is the largest disaster restoration contracting organization in North America. DKI Franchise Member companies provide full service restoration to their customers: emergency response, water damage mitigation, fire and contents cleaning, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. DKI returns damaged property to its pre-loss condition quickly and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to our consumer, insurance, and corporate customers. For more information about DKI, visit our website at and download the DKI-sponsored Red Cross Emergency App

American Integrity Restoration and Team Hot AIR “Run for a Reason”

September 29, 2015 – Nora_Mercier_and_Family_postDKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, announced today that one of its Member Companies, American Integrity Restoration (AIR) is sponsoring the Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce Applefest 5K on Sunday, October 18 at 8 AM at the Riverfront Park.

For the past five years, the Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce has chosen a local family, or one with local ties, to sponsor in their annual “Running for a Reason” 5k race. AIR sponsors the event each year and donates $10 to the family for every registered Team Hot AIR runner. This year the race is in honor of Nora (Schwarz) Mercier, who was diagnosed last year with stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Nora, her two daughters and husband fight every day to make sure laughter and hope still spills from their home. If there is any message she could send, it would be to “savor the present moments, hug a little tighter and put your faith in God.”

If you wish to join AIR and Team Hot AIR, please register online at Don’t forget to write in Team Hot AIR, so donations can be given to Nora and her family.  All team Hot AIR runners will receive a free AIR “Running for a Reason” t-shirt, and the largest family to register and run will also receive a prize.  If you have any questions, email Allegra Weir at [email protected]

“It is important for us to help our customers and be of assistance during a trying time, as well as to give back to the community and families within our community.  Our Running for a Reason campaign is close to our hearts here at AIR,” stated Steve Weir, owner of AIR.

About American Integrity Restoration

AIR is a disaster restoration company serving CT, RI and MA, that specializes in restoring residential and commercial properties after fire, water, storm, and many other disasters. Founded on the simple principle “to be better than the average restoration contractor,” AIR set out to do things differently, and hire employees who shared core values of compassion, respect, hard work, dignity and technical excellence. For additional information, visit

About DKI
DKI, headquartered in Chicago, is the largest disaster restoration contracting organization in North America. DKI Franchise Member companies provide full service restoration to their customers: emergency response, water damage mitigation, fire and contents cleaning, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. DKI returns damaged property to its pre-loss condition quickly and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to our consumer, insurance, and corporate customers. For more information about DKI, visit our website at and download DKI’s Red Cross Emergency App

3 Tips to Better Your Sales Technique and Customer Service

Sept 29, 2015

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

Let’s face it – No one likes solicitors.

But, soliciting your business is how you develop leads, right? If so, how does this work when businesses and households hang signs near their doors, refusing solicitation, or solicitors receive the constant hang-up the second the receiver realizes the phone call is a “sales call?”

Be an Average Joe – Be relatable. If you do your homework ahead of time and try to “fit in,” they may be more compliant to listen.

Be empathetic

In this industry, we constantly deal with customers whose lives have just been turned upside down from a catastrophe. Strutting in to meet them with a big, cheesy smile on your face and enthusiastic voice, might not be the best approach in this situation. Be friendly, smile, shake hands, maintain eye contact while they listen, and while they speak. But, use a calmer voice, a personable smile. Customers react to outside emotions. Don’t sound as if you pity them; speak as if you are there to help them, and reflect that on your face, in your eyes – After all, that is why you are there, right?

Dress the part

Look presentable, but try not to stand out. If you are walking into an office setting, consider wearing slacks and a button-up shirt or a professional dress. However, this sort of ensemble may turn heads if you walk on to a construction site. We wouldn’t recommend wearing a ratty shirt and coveralls, but tennis shoes and jeans with a polo may be more appropriate in this setting. Know your audience and dress appropriately.

Clean and maintain your equipment

While good hygiene and physical appearance is important, so is having well-kept clean equipment and supplies. If you believe in equipment maintenance, then your potential customers may believe you will take good care of their property.

When the Lights Go Out – Power Outage Tips for the Office

Sept 22, 2015

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

A power failure is one of the most common business interruptions. Whether the cause is weather related, due to a fallen tree or human error, a power outage can be inconvenient and impact business operations. Follow the tips below to help minimize your business interruption during a power outage.


First and foremost, create an emergency plan and communicate it effectively to all your employees. Many business preparedness plans can overlap. If you have an emergency plan in place for a storm or fire, it should also be effective to use during a power outage. Consider designating a “leader.” This person should be able to locate your electrical panels and know how to shut off power.

Prepare an emergency kit. Make sure to include flashlights with extra batteries, non-perishable food and water, an emergency charged cell phone with emergency contacts, and a first aid kit. Keep this entire kit within reach of all employees, in case of an emergency.

Sometimes a warning is given for a power outage. Monitor the news and be on alert for “heavy winds” and other storm warnings that can potentially cause the power to shut off.

Consider installing emergency lights that power on when the power goes out. Ask your local building supply retailer about these, and make sure to follow building codes for installation.


Check with your neighboring businesses to see if they have power.

Continue to monitor the news for updates. Since your computers and TVs will be shut off during this time, consider purchasing a battery-powered radio or TV. You can keep this in your emergency kit.

Make sure to constantly save and back-up your computers throughout the day. If you receive warning of a power outage, turn off all office equipment, including computers and coffee machines. If appliances are powered off, this can reduce the electrical load to be restored.

Keep all refrigerators closed. Depending on the time lapse of the power outage, you may need to throw out food products. Refrigerated food can last up to four hours in a closed unit. Freezer items are still good/frozen for up to two days if door is kept shut.

You may need to evacuate employees, based on the threat of the power outage.

Do not try to repair power lines or remove trees/poles that may have fallen on these – Leave this work for the experts.

Take caution with electrical wires. If the power returns, these can become very hot.


Take your time powering everything up again. Start with the most important equipment first. Powering everything back on at once can cause electrical overload. Make sure everything is operating correctly.

Throw out any food that may be spoiled.

Restock your emergency kit, if need be.

For more information about business emergency plans, check out Be Prepared…When Disaster Strikes.


Hurricanes – Fact or Fiction?

Sept 14, 2015

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

Lately, there has been a lot of commotion surrounding the topic of hurricanes (Danny, Fred), and we have been monitoring several recent Tropical Storms – Erika, Grace, Henri. But, can these hurricanes reach us in-landers? Do we really have to worry about these tropical storms, when they don’t develop into more?

There are several misleading theories about hurricanes and hurricane preparedness. For this week of National Preparedness Month: Hurricanes, let’s put some of these myths to rest so we can safely prepare for the next hurricane occurrence.

Myth: Only areas along the coast areas are at risk.

According to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, damaging winds can strike as far as 100 miles inland, and hurricanes can produce heavy flooding which may pour into areas inland, leaving behind extensive damage.

Remember these guys? Tropical Storm Allison (2001), Hurricane Ike (2008), Hurricane Irene (2011)

Myth: It’s just a tropical storm…

Don’t underestimate them. While tropical storms don’t deliver the same violent winds and massive storm surge as hurricanes do, they can bring unbelievable rainfall and flooding.

With $9 billion in U.S. damages, Tropical Storm Allison (2001) exceeded several succeeding hurricanes: Hurricane Isabel (2003), Dennis (2005), Gustav (2008), Isaac (2012)

Myth: Winds are the deadliest aspect of hurricanes.

Wind only accounts for 5 to 10 percent of U.S. deaths from tropical storms. Whereas, three out of four of U.S. deaths caused by tropical storms are from the storm surge, and another one in four of these deaths are from rainfall flooding. Too many people underestimate the power of moving water, especially in inland floods.

A good tip for hurricane preparedness (from TX and FL) is: Run from the water; hide from the wind.

Myth: Taping up your windows will prevent them from breaking.

All that tape prevents is the window shattering into tiny shards of glass. Rather, you will have large shards of glass to clean up. The best protection for your windows is to cover them with plywood or special shutters.

Myth: Cracking your windows during a hurricane will equalize the pressure.

No house is airtight, so it will equalize regardless. Not to mention, opening a window will only allow violent winds, rain and debris inside your home.

Myth: The upper floors of a multi-level building are the safest.

Wind speed increases the higher you go, which can blow out windows and rip off siding. Plus, rising water could cause structural damage to the lower levels.

What to do if Driving Near a Wildfire

Aside from the traffic buildup in these situations, are you aware of the driving risks associated with wildfires? Do you know how to avoid these areas, or stay safe while driving?

In the event of a wildfire in your area, here are some safety and prevention tips to follow when you’re on the road:

  1. Smoke can quickly change direction and density. It’s best to avoid these areas altogether, if possible.  Consider taking a different route to your destination – one that completely avoids the affected area.
  2. Know the current road conditions and the potential risks of the area, before you begin your drive.
  3. Keep all windows, mirrors, and headlights clean to ensure the best visibility, since smoke and dust can buildup and cause your vision to be slightly impaired.
  4. Drive slowly and remain three car lengths behind the car in front of you. The smoke can be very dense, which makes it difficult to see in front of you. Allow enough time and room to brake if need be.
  5. Always keep your windows rolled up while driving near wildfires and smoky areas.
  6. Turn on your headlights if visibility is impaired, but do not use your high beams, since these may distract surrounding motorists.
  7. Always carry an emergency kit in your vehicle, including a cell phone.
  8. Consider keeping a map in your car, in case your location is outside cell reception, and you need a quick alternative route.

Again, driving near a wildfire is extremely dangerous due to the inconsistency of smoke density, and should be avoided entirely, if possible. If it is unavoidable, however, make sure you are aware of the road conditions and precaution tips to ensure safe traveling.

J.C. Restoration, Inc. Named to Qualified Remodeler’s 2015 Largest Remodeling Firms in the U.S.

September 2, 2015 – DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, announced today that one of its Member Companies, J.C. Restoration, Inc. (JCR) has earned the number 61 spot on Qualified Remodeler Magazine’s 2015 edition of the Top 500 Remodelers in the United States. JCR has appeared on the list since 2007.

The Qualified Remodeler Magazine Top 500 list has been published for the past 38 years and is based on each company’s gross volume from the previous year. The magazine’s list also takes a look at current year volume projections, number of employees, years in business and accreditations. Remodelers on the Top 500 list are involved in the following types of projects: kitchen and bathroom remodels, room additions, whole-house remodels, insurance restoration, design-build services and light commercial projects. The entire article can be found in the August issue of the magazine or at

“It is an honor to receive this acknowledgment from Qualified Remodeler Magazine,” General Manager Steve Rost stated. “J.C. Restoration is pleased to continue to be selected as a Top 500 Remodeler year after year.”

Companies on the Qualified Remodeler Top 500 List see big opportunities in a higher number of leads, bigger jobs and the ability to increase pricing and hold margins this year.

About J.C Restoration:

J.C. Restoration is one of the fastest growing independent restoration companies in the Midwest. Since 1982, JCR has been successfully restoring damaged properties in the greater Chicagoland area for thousands of Home and Business Owners. JCR offers complete emergency mitigation and restoration services for properties affected by Water, Fire, Smoke, Storms, and Mold. Our Emergency Response Teams are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week– with vehicles fully stocked and ready for immediate dispatch. Restoration Services include: Building / Structural Damage, Water Damage, Fire Damage, Emergency Clean-up, Certified Mold Remediation, Contents Restoration, Document Restoration, and Commercial/Large Loss Services. To learn more about J.C. Restoration, please call 800.956.8844 or visit

Flood Your Business With Preparedness

Sept 1, 2015

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

For National Preparedness Month, Week 1: Floods

Floods are the number one natural disaster in the United States, and all 50 states are subject to flash floods. It’s important to be aware of the risks associated with flooding and know how to prepare and stay safe in the event one should occur near you or your place of business.

Did you know?

Flash floods can often carry water as high as 10 to 20 feet, and it doesn’t take much water to sweep a person off his/her feet or float a vehicle!

  • Six inches of rapidly moving flood water can sweep a person off their feet. Stay away from moving water.
  • Less than two feet of water can float a large vehicle.


  • Flash Flood Watch = Flash flooding is possible to occur. Stay alert!
  • Flash Flood Warning = Flash flooding is occurring. Move to higher ground immediately!

To keep you and your business safe, read some of our before/during/after tips. Also, check out FEMA’s Organization Flood Preparedness Playbook