Hurricane IRMA-Destruction in Central Florida
Hurricane Irma swept through Central Florida causing devastation on many levels. We were fortunate enough to not have the maximum amount of damage forecasted, but that doesn’t mean that the damage wasn’t enough to hurt.
As a restoration company, we received THOUSANDS of phone calls. In general, people know that they need to call a company like ours for help after a natural disaster like Irma. We actually received some phone calls before the storm hit, because people understood the need to be prepared. With everything going on, there are some things that go unnoticed, and as I write this, I find the need to share those things. They are important because they truly show the spirit of our company.
Before the storm hit we had a plan in place that would allow us to help as many people as possible, as fast as possible. We are a 24/7 service company for emergency service, but typically, after 5:00 in the evening and until 8:00 in the morning, we have our calls answered by a service. That way we can allow our staff time to sleep! We knew though, that we needed to have someone on staff answering the phones once the storm hit, because they would be the best ones to answer questions, offer some hope, and get people in line for service. We had two employees that agreed to do this. They tirelessly answered calls for days.
Because we are part of a national system of franchises, SERVPRO corporate called in the cavalry to assist the local franchises. Once each local office was at their limit, we could easily dispatch out one of our sister franchises. That allowed us to get someone out as soon as possible, instead of having to turn people away or wait for weeks for service. There were franchises from all over the country that came in to help, many of them even came directly from helping in Texas after Harvey.
From a business standpoint, right after a storm is a time for restoration companies to make money. What I found interesting though, was that instead of sending people out to try to secure the biggest jobs, Scott Tracy, the owner of our franchise, was busy making sure that the employee’s families were safe. He even went out and bought additional generators for those families to use so that they wouldn’t have to be without power at their home. He was busy with trying to take care of those around him.
Our office was without power for 9 days. We serviced as many people as possible by working from our General Manager’s home. Her kitchen table was turned into a mobile office. We could do almost everything we needed to in order to help our customers and get the information to our production team that they needed.
These things all add up to one big picture, our franchise is led by a team of people who CARE, not just about the bottom line of the business, but about the community and their staff. When the next storm hits, remember that a company that cares about their employees will care more about their customers too. SERVPRO is always here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”