Alliance Disaster Kleenup Ranks Amongst the Best

July 6, 2016 –  For the second consecutive year, ADK ranks as one of the best places to work in IL 

AllianceDisasterKleenup_2Alliance Disaster Kleenup (ADK), a member company of DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, today announced their recent honor as one of 2016’s “Best Places to Work in Illinois” in the category of companies under 99 employees. Continue reading “Alliance Disaster Kleenup Ranks Amongst the Best”

Panhandle Cleaning & Restoration Raises over $9k for West Virginia Flood Relief

panhandlefloodreliefJuly 22, 2016 – Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration, a member company of DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, today announced it raised $9,212.72 for the American Red Cross W.Va. Flood Relief at the annual country music fest, Jamboree in the Hills Pre-Party on July 13, 2016. Continue reading “Panhandle Cleaning & Restoration Raises over $9k for West Virginia Flood Relief”

Is Your Business Earthquake Safe?

July 22, 2016

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

Earthquakes can occur at any time of the year, day or night. Some are small tremors that are hardly felt, if at all; others can rattle buildings and become strong enough to damage structures, belongings and lives. It is important to take action before, during and after a quake to protect your business and employees. Follow the steps below to help support a quick disaster recovery. It is never too early to prepare. Start now!

NOW

Know your Risk

  1. Do you live in an at-risk area? Of the 50 states in the U.S., 42 experienced at least one earthquake from 1974 to 2003 (USGS). However, the states most commonly prone to earthquakes are:
  • Alaska
  • California
  • Nevada
  • Hawaii
  • Washington
  • Wyoming
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Utah
  • Oregon

If you live in or near these states, it is especially important to have an earthquake and, if applicable, a tsunami plan.

Identify your Hazards

Business continuity is at risk during any disaster, but identifying your risks to be prepared helps reduce the effect on your business. Be aware of these possible hazards:

The power will go out immediately, and depending on the restoration work required, may last for weeks. Do you have a back-up plan?

Your back-up power supply may assist in some ways, but depending on the damage to cell towers, phone and Internet use may be out of service for at least the initial day. Do you have a plan to remain in service if this prolongs?

Depending on your line of work, you may require a water supply, which may be broken or compromised. In some instances, it may take months to replace water pipelines because of the short supply and high demand. Do you have a water purification plan or a big enough reserve to last?

The standard transportation routes may be damaged, causing travel times to be delayed. Do you have an alternative route or transportation service to use in this case?

Create a Plan

An earthquake may not only damage your business model and the facility’s outer structure, but it can also damage your contents and employees. You can minimize this harm by securing your belongings, creating a plan of action and holding safety meetings.

Secure your belongings:

  • Move items away from doorways and exits.
  • Secure shelving units and filing cabinets.
  • Lock filing cabinets when not in use.
  • Move heavy items onto lower shelves.
  • Secure valuable electronics items such as computers and televisions.
  • Keep space cleared under your desk so you can “drop, cover and hold on.”
  • Back-up computer files on regular basis, and store these off site.
  • Install strong latches on cabinets to hold doors closed and keep items from falling out.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures.
  • Secure the refrigerator, and lock or consider removing wheels if applicable.
  • Hang mirrors and pictures on closed hooks.
  • Move flammable or hazardous materials to the ground or a lower shelf.

Prepare

  • Keep flashlights (and batteries) in easily accessible locations.
  • Store a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location.
  • Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio to notify you potential hazards.
  • Build a disaster safety kit in a plastic, waterproof container, if you haven’t already, and store in an easily accessible area.
  • Hold safety meetings, describing your emergency plan to staff.
  • Have employees fill out emergency contact sheets, including insurance information, allergies and medical issues
  • Assign specific tasks for employees (restock emergency kits, update employee emergency list, check smoke detectors, etc.)
  • And, just like in grade school, consider practicing earthquake drills – “Drop, Cover and Hold on.”

DURING

If you live in an earthquake hazard zone, you are probably aware that the majority of earthquakes aren’t even felt. In fact, California has experienced 39 tremors in the last four days – Doubtful every person in those areas felt every single one of those. However, if you do feel an earthquake, it’s important to check on its magnitude. Within one to two minutes, an earthquake’s location and magnitude are available www.data.scec.org and www.earthquakes.usgs.gov. In the event of a major earthquake, here is what you should do:

If you are inside:

Stay inside; do not go outdoors.

“Drop, Cover and Hold on.” Drop to your hands and knees under your desk or along an interior wall, cover your head and neck, and/or hold on to the legs of the desk.

Move away from windows and anything that could fall on you (unsecured cabinets, light fixtures, wall hangings)

Do not use elevators.

If you are outside:

Stay outside.

Avoid buildings, windows, trees, vehicles, signs, utility wires and power lines.

Get down low in a clearing, cover your head and neck and stay there until the shaking stops.

If you are on the road/driving:

Pull over to the side of the road or a curb and stop as quickly and safely as possible.

Set your parking brake and stay in the vehicle until the shaking stops.

Avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines and other hazards.

AFTER the Shock

Following the earthquake and aftershocks, continue to monitor safety advisories from the news, inspect your building and regroup with your team.

Inspect your building

Inspect the exterior and interior, making sure to note of any damage or suspicious activity.

  • Fire
  • Gas leak
  • Chemical spill
  • Structural damage
  • Damage to utilities
  • Power outage

If your building is structurally unsafe, or hazardous in any other way, you may need to evacuate.

Regroup

  • Check on your employees.
  • Tend to any injuries they may have endured during the earthquake.
  • Consider having them each call their emergency contact to confirm their safety.
  • Hold a meeting.
    • Is there anything you could have done differently; any other prevention strategies?
  • Restock your disaster safety kits, if need be.
  • Start repairing any damage.

In the case of an evacuation, consider having your employees work remotely to reduce any business disruptions. If you have to evacuate, communicate this to your customers and provide alternative contact information to be reached. Change your voicemail systems and set up call forwarding to have all calls and messages sent to you or a point of contact, directly.

Joe Meyers of Hammer Restoration, Inc. Earns Certified Restorer and Water Loss Specialist Certifications

JoeMeyersHammerJuly 13, 2016 – Hammer Restoration Inc., a member company of DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, is pleased to announce that its branch manager, Joe Meyers, was awarded the Certified Restorer (CR) and Water Loss Specialist (WLS) certifications, making him the only CR/WLS in Mich. outside of Metro Detroit. Continue reading “Joe Meyers of Hammer Restoration, Inc. Earns Certified Restorer and Water Loss Specialist Certifications”

Communication is Key in Times of Need

July 6, 2016

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

Communication is the most essential tool to have for personal and business relations. It enables connections between people and allows for learning and growing.

In our industry, where emergencies occur on a daily basis, communication not only provides opportunity for growth and improvement, but also allows us to offer efficiency and agility in our services. By effectively communicating the problem, process and solution, less confusion occurs, which causes less questioning and room for error, which, in turn, saves time – increasing revenue and building customer loyalty.

That sounds great, but how do you attain effective communication? While most of us immediately think of speaking and writing, especially in a business sense, listening is also a vital component of possessing good communication skills.

Find the 5 W’s (Who, What, When, Where, Why)

Listen to your customer. Ask him/her questions that apply to the situation – right away – to avoid the otherwise back-and-forth time-wasting technique.

Who is your customer? Get his/her contact information, first and foremost, but also get to know him/her. Be friendly and personable. If this is an emergency, initial chit-chat may have to wait, but eventually get to know your customer to develop that unique, yet expected customer relationship.

What is the emergency? Where and when did it happen? Why did it happen (if applicable)?

Communicate to your team

Once you have the applicable and necessary information, relay it to the members of your team. Consider using a customer relations platform system, where each member of your company can easily organize, access and update customer information. This way the Project Manager and others, handling the emergency doesn’t have to ask the customer the exact same questions he/she already provided the answers for to your company. This will save time in completing the project.

This also builds huge points with your customer – to discover that your company communicates with one another to have the customer’s best interest at heart.

Convey the How (Your solution to the problem)

Fill your customer in on the process – every step of the way, but also explain why you’re doing what you’re doing. Remember, not everyone thinks like a restoration expert. Be patient and use simplified terms that anyone can easily comprehend.

Follow-up

After the restoration and mitigation is complete, follow-up with your customer. Make sure your company met or exceeded his/her expectations, and leave an opening for future conversation or restoration projects. Your relationship doesn’t have to end once the work is done.

Disaster Restoration Services Tackles Epilepsy

July 5, 2016 – DRS will participate in the 30th Annual Mud Volleyball Tournament for the Epilepsy Foundation of Connecticut

Disaster Restoration Services (DRS), a member company of DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, today announced they will be participating in the Connecticut Epilepsy Foundation’s 30th Annual Mud Volleyball Tournament. Continue reading “Disaster Restoration Services Tackles Epilepsy”

Returning to Work After a Holiday Break

July 5, 2016

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

Your vacation has come and gone, yet it may be difficult to let it go… The thought of your toes in the sand, watching fireworks shooting off over the calm, clear waters. Looking back on the weekend barbeque, enjoying good food and fun with family and friends. Whatever it may be, your mind may still be in vacation-mode, which could risk you jeopardizing your performance and safety at work. Here are some tips to get back to a business and safety mindset.

Allow time for the transition.

Arrive to work a few minutes early so you can chat with co-workers about your vacation, make a much-needed cup of coffee, and just acclimate yourself to the office environment. Take the time to properly set up your space so everything is easily accessible when it comes to buckling down and getting to work. If you rush back to where you left off before your break, you can easily become distracted, which may result in poor performance or not paying attention to safety hazards.

Review your calendar for the week.

It’s easy to forget a meeting when you’ve been out of the office for a period of time. Make sure to look over your schedule for that day and even a few days out. No one wants to throw together a presentation on a whim, just moments before the meeting.

In addition, it may be prudent to not overbook yourself on your first day back. Consider rescheduling new meetings to a future date to allow yourself time to check your mailboxes and meet any deadlines you may have.

Turn off your out of office message.

This one is sometimes overlooked as you jump right back into work, and forget that not everyone is aware you are, indeed, back. Most of these messages can be automatically configured to turn off through email once you return, but don’t forget to change your voicemail message.

Prioritize your tasks.

Again, you may not have a clear idea of everything that needs to be completed, but as you check your calendar and incoming messages, jot down these items. Then, review your list and prioritize your tasks. Don’t attempt to do everything at once, especially since your focus may not fully be in-tuned to work yet. Focus on the most important tasks first, completing one thing at a time. Realize that not everything will be completed in one work day – accept this – and be willing to leave some items for the following day.

Cut yourself a break.

Returning to work after a vacation takes time to transition. You may not be as speedy as you were before your trip. But, don’t push yourself. If you try to just “power through,” more mistakes may be made. Take breaks as you need. Again, not everything will be accomplished the first day back, especially if you’re trying to tackle a couple days’ or weeks’ worth of work.

It can be all too easy to put in extra hours, but take your breaks, make sure to eat lunch, and leave on time. If you tend to get caught up in projects, losing track of time, consider setting yourself reminders to take lunch and to wrap up for the end of the day.