The restoration industry is experiencing exponential growth as the incidents of natural disasters continue to rise. From violent storms and floods to earthquakes and wildfire, the number of annual natural disasters has quadrupled worldwide since 1970 with the United States among the heaviest hit countries. Wildfires pose a high risk for an estimated 900,000 properties across the U.S., and storm season has the capacity to cause billions in damages each year.

Disaster Response in The Restoration & Remediation Industry
Mahir Velani

“These are unprecedented times,” says a representative from BluSky Restoration Contractors, a leading restoration company in the United States. “With climate events increasing and the need for skilled, properly trained and certified disaster response teams at an all-time high, the restoration industry must continue to align its efforts and attack each large-scale disaster with a plan.”

Disaster Response Throughout the Country

Disaster recovery work has become a staple in the restoration industry, as large companies form storm response teams and answer the emergency calls that come when natural disaster strikes. Thousands of businesses across the country are working together to bring initial relief and reconstruction to communities experiencing the destruction left behind after a disaster. This effort has gone from a fragmented, disjointed affair to collaborative movements as restoration companies build their teams and refine their response strategies. Per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2020 saw a record $22 billion in weather-related damages. The prospect for industry growth is positive across the board, and as restoration companies grow, the response efforts become more coordinated and effective.

Coordinating Disaster Efforts

When weather and climate events are anticipated, storm response teams begin preparing for the impending call to action. From supply collection to travel plans, the best-organized efforts cannot always account for what’s coming, but a plan in place provides the foundation for quality response. Does this company have the proper and best disaster response tools and technology for the restoration job? From board-ups and temporary roofing to tree removal and generated power supplies, the first response brings bits of relief amid catastrophe and chaos. The best teams prioritize safety above all else, making their response quick but measured.

When fast response is possible, the loss can be less, but all remediation and loss containment is secondary to the safety of the response workers, the property owners, and any occupants of the property. Experienced project managers lead efforts to secure structures and begin the cleanup process. At first, glance, restoring the property to pre-loss conditions may seem next to impossible, but the best storm response teams understand that—once the initial shock passes and cleanup commences—the restoration process becomes methodical with promising results.

The Cleanup Process

First response efforts to a disaster kick off the cleanup process to contain the loss, secure at-risk structures, and contents and reduce the amount of demolition required before repairs can begin. As water sits and structures are exposed to the elements, damage can compound exponentially, leading to hefty claims and larger repairs. While government agencies are enacting mass movement and response, the smaller storm teams of the restoration industry are often easier to mobilize, and their presence in disaster response is invaluable. With the equipment, knowledge, and skill to effectively begin cleanup efforts, storm response teams are a welcome sight. The best plan cannot account for the exact needs in a cleanup effort, but well-trained teams understand that change is part of the assignment and work together to continue cleanup efforts, despite the many challenges that come with this type of work.

Reputable Restoration Response

Property owners are often scrambling after natural disasters strike, and choosing a reputable restoration contractor is important for peace of mind and the protection of property. A true test of a contractor’s intentions comes with their willingness to work with insurance. If a company discourages the property owner from contacting insurance, their advice may be questionable.

Insurance companies should always be the first call in a disaster situation, and reputable, respected contractors will work with the insurance company and the property owner to navigate the emergency situation. The best contractors will have references available and arrange an equitable payment setup that works within any insurance claim and the scope of the work. A contractor should never request full payment before the job is complete.

Restoration companies across the country are ready to respond when disaster strikes. With safety on the line, their job is a rapid, planned response that stabilizes the scene and prevents as much future damage as possible. With an all-hands-on-deck mentality and the training and equipment to succeed, the highly skilled members of restoration storm teams understand the risks and requirements to maintain the property and provide property owners with peace of mind in the midst of disaster.