Shocking Statistics from Hurricane Harvey, and Why You Should Prepare!

DKI is busy monitoring the floods in Houston and its surrounding areas, and working with our clients to ensure their safety during this tragic event. We have support from our member companies from all over the country, on the ground, to assist those impacted!

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Harvey is one of the worst flood disasters in U.S. history, with record-breaking rainfall. Here are some of its shocking statistics:

  • Up to 30% of Harris County, including Houston, is under water (NOLA)
  • Some areas received more rain in one hour than they typically receive during the entire month of August. (AccuWeather)
  • The Cedar Bayou recorded 51.88 inches of rain
  • A gauge at Clear Creek and one along Marys Creek reported rainfall totals of 49.4 inches and 49.2 inches, respectively

As a reminder, September is National Preparedness Month. While you should be prepared all year round, it’s surprising to learn that, although 8 out of 10 Americans feel unprepared for a catastrophic event, only 1 in 10 have taken the appropriate preparedness steps (recent data from the Red Cross)!

Please don’t allow a catastrophic natural disaster to sneak up on you! Prepare now!


If you or your clients have been impacted by the floods, please call our 24/7 emergency line for help right away: 866-277-2977!

Whether you’re suffering from extreme heat or dodging thunderstorms, it’s important to keep you and your employees safe! Since the weather can sometimes be unpredictable, be prepared for all conditions so you don’t have to think twice when working outdoors during severe weather.

First, and you’ve heard it before, but always do your research; identify potential weather disasters in your area. And, as you receive warnings for possible severe weather, continue to follow and listen to alerts from the officials so you are well prepared.

During a Thunderstorm

If you hear thunder, go inside! Lightning is a dangerous force that can severely injure those working outdoors. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), over 300 people are struck by lightning each year in the United States. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) advises that nowhere outside is safe from lightning strikes.

If you have workers working outside, add the following thunderstorm safety guides to your training manual and emergency safety kit:

  • Prior to working outside, check the weather report. If a thunderstorm is approaching, do not start or continue a task that cannot be quickly stopped.
  • Include a list of nearby fully-enclosed buildings that your employees can remain in for at least 30 minutes after hearing the last sound of thunder. If a building is not available, they must seek out a hard-topped metal vehicle with rolled up windows that can be used as shelter until at least 30 minutes after the thunder stops. Do not shelter in sheds, tents, or other places that do not provide sufficient protection.
  • Identify how long it will take your workers to reach safety wherever they may be working, and indicate these times, so they are prepared ahead of time.
  • Include a list of projects and areas to avoid. Stay away from any place that may make you a tall object to target (open space, tall trees, hilltops, utility poles, cranes, ladders, large equipment, rooftops, scaffolding), and anything that can conduct electricity (wiring, fencing, plumbing, any bodies of water).

During Extreme Heat

Workers who are exposed to hot and humid conditions outside are at risk of heat-related illness. Most common workers affected include those performing strenuous activity, wearing heavy or non-breathable clothing, those new to an outdoor job. Remind your employees to do the following if extreme heat is in your forecast.

  • Drink water throughout the day, and more than you normally would.
  • Avoid sugary beverages.
  • Wear and reapply sunscreen regularly.
  • Schedule work for earlier or later in the day to avoid the hottest parts of the day.
  • If you don’t have a required uniform, wear a hat and loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Take frequent breaks in shady areas.
  • Know the signs of heat illness:
    • Nausea
    • Dizziness
    • Slurred Speech
    • Irritability
    • Profuse sweating

During an Earthquake

Earthquakes can strike suddenly without warning, and all 50 states are at risk. It’s important to train your employees about safety during an earthquake – what they should do before, during, and after.

  • If you are outside, stay outside.
  • Avoid buildings, windows, utility wires, streetlights, fuel and gas lines; anything that can potentially collapse on you.
  • Once in the open, “stop, drop and hold on.” Get down low, and remain there until after the shaking stops. After the earthquake, look around and go to an open space away from damaged areas.
  • If you are driving, stop as quickly and safely as possible and stay in your vehicle. Avoid buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires. Once the shaking stops, proceed cautiously and avoid damaged roads.

4 Foolproof Tips to Have a Fun and Safe Family Vacation

Summer is coming to an end, and school is about to start up again for your kids. This is usually the time you try to schedule in that last family summer vacation. As you start your planning though, consider these safety tips.

  1. Check the Weather

It’s important to always check the weather forecast before you book your trip. If you’re planning on lying on the beach all day, you may be sorry if a storm is headed in or you experience a rip tide warning during your stay. Also, check the weather reports again a week before and throughout the week you plan to leave, so you can pack appropriately. Weather can be inconsistent, and you want to ensure you and your family are fully prepared.

  1. Keep Your Home Safe

Have a trusted family member or neighbor occasionally check on your home while you are gone. They can pick up your mail and/or newspaper if you didn’t issue a mail stop, move your trash cans, water your plants, etc., just to show a little activity at your house. You don’t want to be a target for burglars. In addition, refrain from posting about your travels on social media. This can be done upon your return, and will avoid attempted break-ins while you are away.

  1. Travel Safely

Whether you are traveling by plane or car, make sure make sure everyone is properly buckled up, and keep kids occupied with books, toys or movies to avoid any distractions to the driver.

If you are driving to your destination, check that your vehicle has been properly maintained and is suitable for the road conditions during your trip.

  1. Plan for Emergencies

Emergencies happen, and everyone in your party should be prepared on how to handle one. Communicate your plan of action and keep an emergency kit on hand with supplies, first aid, important phone numbers and information.

Whether you plan to visit out-of-state relatives, or relax in a sunny beach location, following the above safety tips and communicating an emergency plan with your entire travel party, will help you have peace of mind and a fun and safe vacation.

Fourth of July Safety

Fourth of July is just around the corner, and while it is a great time of year to visit with friends and family – grilling, swimming and lighting up the sky with fireworks, it can also be dangerous if certain precautions are neglected. Remind your clients of these safety hazards, so they can safely celebrate America’s independence!

Outdoor Safety

With July being the hottest month of the year, it’s especially important to take extra precaution when exposed to the sun. Heatstroke can be severely damaging or fatal. So, be aware of the signs and follow these tips when planning to be outside.

  • Wear sunscreen and apply regularly.
  • Dress appropriately – Consider loose fitted and light-colored clothing, a hat, sunglasses, etc.
  • Drink water more often than usual, especially if also consuming soda or alcoholic products.
  • Seek out shady or air-conditioned areas to stay cool.
  • Limit your time outdoors in extreme heat.

Grilling Safety

If hosting or attending a barbecue, practice safety and prepare for possible fire hazards.

  • Only use your grill outdoors on a flat surface, and place well away from the home or anything that could catch fire.
  • Never leave your grill unattended, and keep children and pets away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean, and remove any grease buildup.
  • Keep your sleeves rolled up, and keep other loose clothing away from the grill.
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to put out grease fire.

Fireworks Safety

While fireworks have become a celebratory tradition for Fourth of July, they can also be very dangerous if not handled properly.

  • Familiarize yourself with your local, regional regulations about use of fireworks.
  • Before you even remove the fireworks from their packaging, familiarize yourself with all the instructions.
  • Choose a wide open, flat site outdoors, free from trees, grass and buildings that could catch fire.
  • Eye protection is strongly advised when lighting fireworks.
  • Make sure to keep water nearby to fully extinguish any used fireworks, and enough to quickly extinguish any potential fires.
  • Keep at a safe distance, as directed by the warning label, and ensure all spectators do so as well.

Growing Our Healthcare Initiative – Partnering with Gearhart & Associates!

DKI is pleased to announce we have partnered with Gearhart & Associates, LLC to bring even more knowledge and training to our member companies to maintain a safe environment for patients, families, staff and practitioners!

DKI offers its member companies growth and training opportunities throughout each year. Adding to this curriculum, the Gearhart hands-on healthcare course complements The Linders Health Institute training already provided to our DKI members. By participating in this additional initiative, utilizing containment systems with disinfection/decontamination technologies (STARC) in tandem with the development of Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) protocols, provides optimal risk management and infection control procedures and results. Taking our members from a theoretical understanding of ICRA to real world practical application, the course covers what can go wrong and how to avoid it, barrier management, installation and maintaining controls, liability risk management, pricing strategies, working with the hospital’s general contractors to become the “go to” for all their ICRA needs, and more.

Norris Gearheart, the founder of Gearhart & Associates, has been involved with disaster response, mitigation and restoration services since 1985 and holds multiple national and international certifications and professional designations. Prior to forming Gearhart and Associates, LLC, Norris was the Chief Operating Officer for TOMI Environmental Solutions, Inc. (OTCQB: TOMZ), a global bacteria decontamination and infectious disease control company, providing solutions for indoor surface decontamination through manufacturing, sales and licensing of their premier platform of hydrogen peroxide aerosols, products and technologies.

We look forward to providing the healthcare industry new and innovative solutions to a complex and ever-changing environment.

The New & Improved Annual DKI Sales & Marketing Summit

Another year, another great DKI Sales & Marketing Summit! This time, with a new and improved agenda! Thank you to all our members who made this event a memorable and insightful experience. We are honored to have you all a part of our growing network!

Last week, DKI Headquarters held its 2017 Sales & Marketing Summit, welcoming some of the creative, driven professionals within our team from all over the country!

From California and Idaho to Texas, Florida, even Maine and places in between, all attendees arrived on Tuesday to prepare for two and a half challenging days of business strategy. Day one (Wednesday) kicked off with an opening speech from DKI’s CEO, providing the attendees some interesting background on the DKI Corporation, its values, and how our network has evolved over the last 40(plus) years.

Following the company overview, we dove head first into how to maintain our individual identities while upholding the solid reputation of the DKI Network, and continuing to provide a positive customer experience. This included understanding the differences between goal and task oriented individuals and how to effectively foster the strengths of each, identifying significant changes to improve your business and when to best make them, and utilizing DKI’s tools and resources to better your customer communication and response times. Days one and two were packed with roundtable discussions, group debates and guest speakers. In fact, there was so much content and impressive additional contributions from our DKI members that we almost ran out of time both days!

But, we certainly made sure to fuel ourselves with some of Chicago’s delicious food! Wednesday ended at Chicago’s famous deep-dish pizza place, Lou Malnati’s, where it turned out, our eyes were bigger than our stomachs! But, even through piles of pizza before us, the conversation kept flowing and our members continued to network and strategize with one another.

Then, Thursday night, following another full day of innovative strategy and group discussions, we stuffed our faces with some delicious barbeque at Sweet Baby Ray’s.

Though Friday was the last day, it did not disappoint. We wrapped up our agenda, learning a new approach to advance our commercial business, and introduced a new marketing materials portal, exclusive to our DKI members. Following the sneak peek of the online portal, we opened the last hour up for Q&A.

Overall, the feedback and engagement from this event was a huge success! We are honored to work with such bright and creative minds who truly care about their line of work and its customers. Last week demonstrated the value of company-wide conferences and this new enhanced format. We are excited to schedule another Summit later this year to include even more of our members and learn what is working for them in their region and what can be shared amongst all DKI member companies. Stay tuned!

GEHFM – What is it & Why Should You Encourage it?

May 5, 2017

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

May is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month (GEHFM). While having a reminder 31 days out of the year is better than just a single day, it is only a start to promoting a healthier lifestyle. But, if you are a business owner reading this, recognizing and encouraging GEHFM among your workforce will benefit the overall performance of your company.

It is recommended for adults to be physically active at least 30 minutes each day, but studies have shown that sometimes this just does not cut it when an employee dedicates the majority of their day to sitting – commuting to and from work, then working at a computer desk eight or more hours each day. Sitting for too long can have negative impacts on your physical and mental health. But, sometimes it is difficult to remember to move around when you’re stuck on a deadline.

Luckily, there are simple approaches to add activity to your work routine, without interrupting your work performance. In fact, by applying these, you will actually be more productive, happier and engaged at work. And, as we know, it takes individuals to form a functional team; without engagement from one, the team does not perform to their highest capacity, and overall productivity declines. So, see, business owners – Consider making health and fitness a priority in your entire workplace!

Here are some ideas to do so:

If you’re stuck on a deadline, and just “cannot leave your desk: Do some quick stretches. Push your chair back and lift and stretch your legs, stretch your arms, roll your head. Then, get up and jog in place or do knee kicks for 60 seconds.

If you’re stuck in meetings all day: Swap out the conference room pizza for some healthy sandwiches or salads. Take a five-minute break in the middle of your meeting to encourage everyone to stand up and do some yoga stretches or march in place.

On your lunch break: Grab a bite to eat, then take a walk around the office building. Bonus points, if you schedule a lunch break for all employees and walk to and from a lunch spot together.

While your computer reboots: Take advantage of that downtime, even for just one to two minutes, and take a walk around the office, or do some exercises right at your desk.

On your day(s) off: Some employers or business parks offer discounts for fitness classes, gym memberships, community activities, theme parks, etc. Check out if your business or facility offers anything that can help promote health and fitness near you that you may enjoy.

Remember, you may start promoting workplace health and fitness this month, but encourage your teams to apply this to their daily lifestyle at home and at work.

National Volunteer Week: Find a MobilePack Near You

It’s National Volunteer Week, and DKI just volunteered to help turn world hunger into hope through DKI member, J.C. Restoration’s second annual Feed My Starving Children MobilePack on June 2, 2017.

Last year, over 500 volunteers throughout the community, including DKI’s team, generously gave their time, surpassing JCR’s goal of 100,000 meals with 116,640, enough to feed 319 children for an entire year! This year, the team has set their goal to pack 125,000 life-saving meals.

The meals, designed to meet the needs of severely malnourished children for an entire year, are vacuum-sealed and consist of vitamins, veggies, soy and rice.

Check out some highlights from last year’s event HERE, and stay tuned for our recap of JCR’s hosted MobilePack on June 1 and 2!

To learn more about the FMSC organization or find a MobilePack event near you, visit www.fmsc.org/get-involved/volunteer-info/volunteer-at-a-mobilepack.

Prepare BEFORE Disaster Strikes

April 21, 2017

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

October 16, 1989. It may not ring a bell, but I’m sure if you were or someone you know was living in California at the time, the following day rings clear – The 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake that killed over 60 people and injured more than 3,000. Or, how about August 28, 2005? The very next day, disaster struck the Central Gulf Coast with Hurricane Katrina, the largest and one of the strongest hurricanes in U.S. history!

How many of you were prepared the day prior to these events? How many of you are prepared now if tragedy hit your community tomorrow?

As we have mentioned before, disaster doesn’t always come with a warning; it’s important to always be prepared for the unexpected.

Discuss and follow the steps below with your family, friends, clients and/or staff members to keep your home or business and its residents safe during an emergency.

  1. Research and identify potential disasters for your area.
  • Storm/Flood
  • Fire
  • Earthquake
  • Power Outage
  1. Have an evacuation plan.
  • Have several methods to receive alerts (radio, social media, mobile app, etc.)
  • Include an escape shelter (somewhere safe, accessible)
  • Learn the routes in and out of your area in case of road blockages.
  • Include safety procedures for shutting down electricity, equipment, etc.
  1. Prepare emergency information.
  1. Build an emergency kit. Include:
  • Water and non-perishable foods (don’t forget the can opener)
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Dust mask
  • Extra clothing and blankets
  • Tools to help turn off equipment (wrench, hammer)
  • Cell phone chargers
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First aid kit and prescription medications
  • Important documents in water-proof sleeve or container

5. Practice

  • Run regular drills in your home and business to help everyone review and know what to do in the event of a real emergency.

Prepare Your Business for Severe Spring Storms

April 7, 2017

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

To quote the infamous American writer, Mark Twain – “In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four-and-twenty hours.”

While 136 may have been a bit of an exaggeration, spring weather, no doubt, can be very unpredictable, changing from sunshine to storms within a single day. And, lately, 2017 is turning out to be one of the most active and dangerous spring severe weather seasons. Make sure you and your business are always prepared for the varying conditions and their potential threats.

For instance, during a spring storm, your business is at risk from the following:

  • Power Outages
  • Communication Disruption
  • Transportation Delays
  • Employee Absence (from injury or no access to roads)
  • Damage to Facility and/or Equipment

Luckily planning for spring weather and these risks is very similar to planning for any severe weather event. Follow the guidelines below to ensure your safety and minimal business disruption.

Monitor Warnings: Monitor all local weather alerts on the radio, TV and Internet. Social media is also a good method for tracking the news, but only rely on reputable sources.

Seek Out Shelter: Always have an exit strategy. Know how to get out of your area if evacuations are issued, and know where to escape to. Make sure everyone within your company is aware of your emergency preparedness plan, and that you practice drills regularly so the response in an event is second-nature to all involved.

Have Back-Up: In case of a power failure, which is likely during a heavy storm, have on hand a backup generator and fuel to minimize downtime and continue to run necessary equipment.

Also, always backup your digital files on your computers on a regular basis. All copies should also be stored offsite in a safe location.

Perform Inspections:  Thoroughly inspect the exterior and interior of your facility, as well as your equipment.

Restock Your Emergency Kits & Check Your Smoke Detectors: Last, but definitely not least, ensure your emergency kits are properly stocked. Items to include: Flashlights (with extra batteries), blankets, clothing, water, non-perishable food, first aid kit, and important documents and files (insurance, medical information, etc.) you may need to stay away from your business for several days.

Also, if you haven’t done so recently, check the batteries in your smoke detector.

As you can see, the plan above is similar to all plans for a severe weather event. Just remember, once a warning is issued, you don’t normally have much time to prepare – So, take action now!