3 Steps to Keep Your Business Safe Over the Holiday Break

June 30, 2016

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

With the Fourth of July around the corner, your business may be considering closing early tomorrow and taking a four-day (or longer) weekend vacation. And, why shouldn’t you? After working hard to maintain growing your business, you deserve some time away to recharge before heading into Q3. But, before you leave for an extended period of time, make sure your business is safe and secure.

Consider holding a brief morning meeting with your employees before a holiday break, to cover all important tasks before closing.

Remember: Your customer(s) may not be taking a break.

Discuss how to handle incoming phone calls and emails. If all employees will be on vacation, make sure to set up each email account and voicemail system, including the main office line, with an “out of office” message. State which dates you will be absent, and when you will return. Based on your industry and the services you provide, you may want to designate an emergency contact should your customers need someone immediately. Make sure to include this person’s contact information in your email/voicemail automatic message.

Use the buddy system.

Check in with your neighboring businesses to inform them you’ll be away from the office. If they plan to remain open during the time your business is closed, kindly ask them to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity. Consider leaving with them your emergency contact information in case an issue arises.

Secure your property while away.

Here’s a quick checklist for you to run through to secure your property and save electricity while your office is closed.


  • Computers and devices (printers, fax machines, televisions, etc.)
  • Breakroom appliances (coffeepots/Keurigs, microwaves, etc.)
  • Thermostat(s)
  • Office lights (You may have a timed one near the front of the office to remain on during normal business hours, to deter burglars from suspecting the office is vacant.)


  • Documents containing confidential information (credit card or personal employee information)
  • Money, checkbooks, credit cards (if leaving behind)
  • Windows
  • Doors

It’s Hurricane Season – Prepare Now!

June 23, 2016

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

Hurricane season is upon us. While most commonly running June 1 through November 30, it is not unusual to experience a hurricane outside of this timeframe as well. With sustained winds of more than 74 mph, hurricanes are the most destructive storms – having the power to crush buildings, uproot trees and spin loose objects into deadly projectiles. It only takes one hurricane to change your life. Don’t wait until it’s too late to prepare.

Depending on a hurricane’s intensity, speed and direction, these tropical storms produce a series of other weather-related threats to homes and businesses, such as:

  • Tornadoes
  • Wildfires
  • Severe hail
  • Earthquakes
  • Heavy winds
  • Increased flooding and mudslides
  • Storm surge

It’s essential to be aware of these threats and how they may affect your place of business. Ask yourself the following three questions to prepare your business for hurricane season.

Do you know if you work in an area where there is a threat?

First, identify where you work and the potential risks of that area. If you work in an area threatened by hurricanes, mostly commonly along the Atlantic Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Hawaiian Islands, be aware of your evacuation zone and familiarize yourself with the other zones around you.

Evacuation zones are coastal areas where there is a danger of strong winds and storm surge. There are six hurricane evacuation zones, ranked by the risk of storm surge impact. If your building and its foundation are not structurally able to withstand severe wind and water, or you live in Zone 1, the most susceptible zone to flooding, then you should plan to evacuate during a hurricane. Contact your local emergency management office to learn more about your zone and your local evacuation route, as some roads may be closed in the event of a hurricane.

Do you know the difference between a hurricane watch and hurricane warning?

Hurricane Watch: if it is possible for a hurricane to touch down in or near your area within 24 to 36 hours. If a watch is issued in your direct and outlying areas, remain alert.

Hurricane Warning: when a hurricane has been detected on the ground by weather radar. If a warning is issued, evacuate or seek shelter immediately.

It is essential to frequently monitor radio and television newscasts for information and instructions. Make sure to have a battery-operated radio in case the power cuts out.

Do you know what to do if a hurricane watch/warning is issued?

Always have a hurricane preparedness plan within your organization. It is never too early to begin planning. Since you are responsible for protecting your facility and employees, consider holding bi-annual trainings, before the beginning of hurricane season as well as during the season, to cover each part of your preparedness plan. Make sure to also inform new employees as they are hired.

Your plan should include an outline of employee tasks and who will perform each (member/team), an evacuation and continuity plan and a disaster kit.

List of Employee Tasks

Some tasks may require ongoing involvement to prepare for a disaster, while other tasks will only be necessary if a hurricane touches down. Make sure each employee knows his or her responsibility and how to properly perform each.

  • Update your list of employee phone numbers (should be done each time someone is hired or let go)
  • Take pictures of and document all office supplies/equipment for insurance purposes
  • Board-up
  • Secure/Store exterior equipment
  • Secure/Store interior equipment
  • Shut off the electrical power (or lights and equipment)
  • Clean out the refrigerator

For more information about securing your property in the event of a hurricane, read our blog, “Stay Safe During a Hurricane.”

Disaster Kit

Always have on hand a disaster kit with necessary items to keep you and your employees safe during a hurricane. Make sure to store this in a waterproof container or bag to secure your items in case of flooding. The following should be included in your business’ disaster kit.

  • Battery-operated radios with National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio frequencies
  • Flashlights & fresh supply of batteries
  • Food (canned goods, non-perishable)
  • Water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Can opener (if applicable for non-perishables)
  • Personal hygiene items (soap, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, toilet paper)
  • First aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Raingear
  • Gloves
  • Blankets
  • Small emergency generator to recharge equipment
  • Insurance policy information, financial records
  • Current photos of the facility/equipment

DKI Commercial Solutions is always ready with crews around the country to assist you in your time of need. We continually work around hurricane season to remind our staff and member companies of the potential threats and how to respond. Should a disaster occur, please call our Emergency Response Line: 866-277-2977, and we’ll be happy to help get your business back to running with minimal or no business interruption.

Determine And Manage Common Workplace Stress

June 14, 2016

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

The workplace is full of frustrations, deadlines and demands. Unfortunately, throw in your personal strains too, and stress becomes a way of life. Stress is not uncommon, but can be damaging to your health, productivity and relationships. Determining your own stressors and how to manage them, is the first step to reducing stress.

Here are some common workplace stressors, and tips to manage each one:

Lack of Knowing; Solution: Weekly Team Meetings

Very little is more stressful than the uncertainty about the direction of the company, and/or your own contribution to the company. Before you partake on any new project, ensure your entire team is on the same page. If Marketing doesn’t follow suit with Operations, then promoting and selling your services or products will become an impossible task. To minimize confusion is the workplace, hold ten to thirty minute weekly meetings, covering each person’s highest priorities and the main objective of the company. Depending on the size of your company, you may want to hold a leadership team meeting first, then each of your department managers can meet separately with their respective teams.

Working Overtime; Solution: Clear Your Head

In a fast-paced environment with strict deadlines, it can appear at times impossible to not put in extra hours to meet your deadlines. However, it is important to clear your head and refresh now and then.

  • Take breaks, even for just two minutes.
  • Step away from work distractions.
  • Call a friend for a quick, positive, non-work-related conversation.
  • Take a walk around your building.
  • Take a power nap or rest your eyes for twenty minutes.
  • Eat your lunch in the break room or outside of the office, instead of at your desk.
  • Take a vacation.

If you’re feeling overworked, definitely prioritize your wellbeing over the job. Make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep, exercise, eating healthy, and finding time to visit with your support system – friends/family. If you are lacking in maintaining these four, take a look at your workload and determine where you can de-prioritize or distribute some projects. Talk to management or your team for assistance and support if need be.

Multi-tasking; Solution: Focus

Yes, multi-tasking will happen, but try to maintain focus on one project at a time. Multi-tasking breaks up your focus, and if you are working on two very separate projects, it can cause room for error. As emergency projects arise, be sure to prioritize your tasks to maximize your focus and efficiency, and minimize distractions and mistakes.

Change; Solution: Be Flexible

Change is oftentimes a positive thing. Without change, how are you able to compete, be innovative? Tell yourself, “change is a good thing,” and be flexible and willing to adapt to the change. Know where you stand within your company in case you are required to take on more projects. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to speak with management to better understand the occurring changes and how they will affect you. As we mentioned before, “lack of knowing,” is also a major stressor in the workplace.

DKI Volunteers with J.C. Restoration to Package Over 100,000 Life-Saving Meals

PRJC1June 7, 2016 – DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, today announced its corporate team successfully helped pack over 100,000 meals for hundreds of starving children in the developing world on Friday, June 3, 2016. The MobilePack was held through a partnership between DKI member, J.C. Restoration, Inc. (JCR) and Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) at JCR’s Rolling Meadows, IL campus. Continue reading “DKI Volunteers with J.C. Restoration to Package Over 100,000 Life-Saving Meals”