Property Damage & Disaster Restoration Blog: Long Island & New York City

Mobile App to Aid In Case of Disaster On Long Island & New York City

Posted on Thu, Jun 07, 2012 @ 09:21 AM

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The FEMA App contains preparedness information for different types of disasters, an interactive checklist for emergency kits, a section to plan emergency meeting locations, information on how to stay safe and recover after a disaster, a map with FEMA Disaster Recovery Center locations (one-stop centers where disaster survivors can access key relie

f services) and Shelters, general ways the public can get involved before and after a disaster, and the FEMA blog. Terms of Use for the FEMA App: http://www.fema.gov/app.

Click on the FEMA logo to download the FEMA app for Android.  Available on Apple's iOS too. 

Tags: disaster, long island, FEMA, emergency, new york, new york city, disaster preparedness, disasters, disaster recovery

The Next Big Thing In Insurance Coverage Is Here

Posted on Tue, Dec 13, 2011 @ 10:16 AM

By Amy O' Connor | December 13, 2011

First Published in the Insurance Journal

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Some in the insurance industry are staking their futures on the reputations of others. That is, they are looking to insure reputational risk.

With the boom in social media, interest in reputational risk has itself boomed. The term refers to a company’s risk of having its reputation damaged because of certain events or incidents and the fallout that takes place because of these incidents. In some cases, the effects can be severe enough to put a company out of business.

In recent months, Aon (along with Zurich) Willis and Chartis have also come out with policies that address the exposures of reputational risk and offer risk management services to help corporations keep their reputations intact.

The Reputation Institute in London, England, deals with issues of reputation management and the strategic importance of reputation, its assets and effects on a company’s balance sheet. The Institute also studies how a company will be able to perform, or survive, if a crisis were to occur.

Seamus Gillen, senior adviser at Reputation Institute, says these new insurance policies are just the tip of the iceberg and there are whispers that insurers see this as the next big class of business.

“It has been understood and acknowledged universally that the crystallization of reputation risk creates or leads to value destruction,” he says. “The financial impact on companies which go through a crisis can be significant. Suddenly people all over the world and within financial media have been putting a term on that.”

The Reputational Institute doesn’t offer crisis management, but Gillen says that it often does end up inside companies that are trying to put out fires.

“We are more proactive – what framework companies need to put into place to manage reputation,” Gillen says.

Recently, the Reputation Institute has been increasingly asked to address reputational risk and give input on reputational insurance products, according to Gillen.

“Reputational risk as a concept is really coming into its own. Previously people talk about reputation and brand and PR and all that – now everyone is talking about reputational risk,” he says. “We are seeing a lot of markets reactions to that with the insurance industry seeking to set up products for clients.”

The Reputation Institute doesn’t offer insurance or work in the industry, but Giillen says it was approached recently by a major London insurer about partnering on an insurance product.

Gillen says his organization has stood on the sidelines when it comes to endorsing any insurance coverages or companies. But that is about to change. The institute will only issue an endorsement when it is sure it is the right fit and a worthwhile product. He said there is a deal being negotiated and an announcement could come soon.

“There is no shortage of crisis management people who want to work with us and we are likely to go into the market,” he says. “People need support to make their business a success. It is about taking philosophies of my reputation and risk management to create a coherent strategy. People are coming to us and saying, ‘how can you help me with this?’”

Robert Yellen, chief underwriting officer for the executive liability division of Chartis in New York, says the company launched its new ReputationGuard product because of what it was hearing from its corporate clients.

“At the board level, the number one non-financial concern [for companies] is reputation,” he says. “It is more and more common for the press to glob onto things that put a company’s reputation at risk. The old adage says, ‘It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.’”

Yellen says he has seen a few other coverages in the marketplace that deal with a crisis and insurance responses to the crisis itself, as well as pieces to the policy that deal with reputation and communication in a limited amount or context, but they use named or limited peril coverage triggers.

ReputationGuard was designed to help insureds cope with reputational threats, providing access to reputation and crisis communications firms Burson-Marsteller and Porter Novelli and coverage for costs associated with avoiding or minimizing the potential impact of negative publicity.

There are two categories of coverage:

  1. For reputation attacks: a public attack upon a company’s reputation. The costs of hiring communications experts from the Chartis panel and communications costs.
  2. For reputation threats: acts or events that the company believes, if made public, would have a material impact on the company’s reputation and would be seen as a breach of trust by the company’s stakeholders.

Chartis is not excluding any business segments but is most interested in those with revenues of $500,000 to $2 billion.

Yellen says the product is targeted to middle-market companies because larger companies are more likely to have in-house teams to deal with these issues. The middle-market and smaller companies may also need more assistance in putting the proper risk management procedures in place.

“Everyone has a reputation at stake, that is a common theme among business,” says Yellen. “People can argue that small businesses, like generic component manufacturers, don’t care, but in the regions we sell to, that’s not a mentality we see. Everyone cares about their reputation.”

Willis is taking a more segment specific route with its new Hotel Reputation Protection 2.0 policy, which responds to incidents that lead to, or are likely to lead to, hotel business losses from adverse publicity through any medium, from traditional to new media.

The policy provides cover for lost revenue based on RevPAR figures, a performance metric in the hotel industry that measures revenue per available room. The coverage also covers the cost of hiring a crisis management consulting firm during the first weeks of an incident.

“This product provides immediate assistance to a client who is suffering an incident which through social media will damage their brand,” says Laurie Fraser, Global Markets Leisure practice leader for Willis Group Holdings in London.

Fraser says the product was predicated on research in reputation, causes of concern to hotels, worldwide figures for incidents and the magnitude. It was designed in consultation with hotels. In the first week the product was launched, there were 32 inquiries, according to Fraser.

“Brand and reputation is an area of increasing importance and concern, especially among our hotel clients,” says Fraser.

Gillen agrees that insurers have a huge opportunity to help companies prevent a crisis with insurance products and access to outside resources.

“Unequivocally, in my view the biggest value piece [of reputational risk insurance] is to help the client understand and help prevent a crisis from happening in the first place,” says Gillen.

Gillen says there is no shortage of reputational risks from social media and the Internet in general, from corporate manslaughter, money laundering, corporate corruption, and terrorism. Consumers also have more awareness of how to affect a company’s fate.

“Companies need to be very careful about where they position themselves in order to get where they want to go because it can be fatal if they don’t take it seriously,” he says.

The combination of all the potential risks, says Gillen, is enough to make reputational risk insurance a hot commodity.

“I think [reputational risk insurance] will take off because there will be enough people out there that want some reassurance and their boards wanting reassurance that the company has the best crisis responses in place,” he says. “This is probably an idea that’s time has come.”

Executive Concern

The concern over reputational risk is reflected in the results of a new survey by Lloyd’s. The 2011 Lloyd’s Risk Index polled 500 C-Suite and board level executives in North America, Europe, Asia and elsewhere to assess corporate risk priorities and attitudes around the world. Business leaders were asked to rank the biggest risks they now face. In 2009 reputational risk was ranked ninth, in 2011 it came in third.

According to Lloyd’s, a 2010 study (Oxford Metrica Reputation Review) of the world’s 1,000 largest companies found 80 percent of companies lose more than 20 percent of their value at least once in a 5-year period because of a major reputational event.

“Business fails to protect itself from reputational damage at its peril,” says the Lloyd’s report, which claims certain business practices can directly increase the likelihood of reputational risk, including operating in new territories without a thorough understanding of local geopolitics, as many international companies operating in Nigeria have discovered.

 

 

 

About Amy O' Connor

O'Connor is associate editor of MyNewMarkets.com.

 

Tags: insurance journal, long island, property damage, risk, insurance, restoration, new york city

Advanced Restoration, Water Damage, and Moisture Detection

Posted on Mon, Dec 05, 2011 @ 10:49 AM

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Advanced Restoration Corp. has been in business for over 20 years.  In that time we have seen the evolution of moisture meters in the water damage mitigation industry.  Through much trial and error with different brands and types of moisture meters over the years we have fine tuned our moisture detection equipment to utilize the best the industry has to offer.

Advanced Restoration Corp. has chosen to stock our Project Managers and Emergency Response Teams with the finest selection of moisture meters and moisture measuring instruments that are vital to any water damage mitigation.

Moisture meters are necessary on EVERY water damage to find the answers to these very important questions:

  • What Is Wet?
  • How Wet Is It?
  • Is Equipment Working Properly?
  • Is It Dry? 

We Utilize Every Tool In Our Toolbox

Advanced Restoration Corp. has many valuable tools at their disposal to detect moisture inside a structure.  They all should be utilized to get an accurate assessment of the moisture intrusion and extent of water damaged building materials.

Thermal Imaging shows temperature differences in building materials.  It does not show what is wet.  Moisture Meters ALWAYS are used in conjunction with our thermal imaging cameras to confirm the presence of moisture hidden in building materials.

We Utilize Our Moisture Meters To:

  • Take relative humidity and temperature readings and apply psychrometric calculations in order to determine the specific humidity of the structure in various locations, including outside air and the exhaust of the dehumidification equipment.

  • Monitor the specific humidity levels to make sure our equipment is running properly, the ambient humdity levels continue to decrease in our drying chamber and we are not causing any secondary damage by accidentally increasing the humdity level (installation of air movers) without the proper dehumidification.

  • Take moisture content readings from various building materials and in a multitude of locations to determine the extent of the water damage and the progress of the drying of the building materials throughout the drying process.

  • This would also include getting a dry standard moisture content measurements of known building materials from other locations in the structure so we can use a comparison of measurements in finding out what is the normal moisture content if these building materials had not been saturated with water.

All these  measurements are recorded and updated daily so that we will have accurate information to know when the drying process is complete.

 
Click on the names below to see videos of some of our preferred moisture meters:

Tags: long island, water damage, moisture meter, moisture detection, moisture content, restoration, moisture, new york city

Emergency Water Extraction Services: Long Island and New York City

Posted on Fri, Nov 18, 2011 @ 09:47 AM

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One of the worst things that can happen is having an insurance claim due to a pipe break or water heater malfunction that causes a water intrusion to flood your basement or saturate your home or office.  Advanced Restoration's Disaster and Emergency Response Time minimizes the property damage that can be caused by a flood.  Our emergency water extraction services have assisted many homes and buildings throughout Long Island and New York City. 

We Perform Emergency Water Extraction / Water Removal Services Due All Forms of Water Instrusions.

Whether it is standing water or water trapped in the building materials, it is 500 times faster to physically remove the water by extracting than it is to evaporate it using structural drying equipment.

Why Thorough Water Extraction / Removal Is Necessary:

  • Reduces the overall costs for complete restoration

  • Minimized the chance of future mold growth

  • Reduces the need to replace saturated building materials including carpet, padding, and sheetrock

  • Claims get closed faster

  • Reduces the disruption of the home or building owner

Increases customer satisfaction

Advanced Restoration's Emergency Water Extraction Crew
 
 
More Water Extraction Performed by Advanced Restoration
 
 
 

 

Tags: disaster, extraction, wet building materials, drying equipment, response time, long island, water damage, structural drying, emergency, water extraction, water removal, new york city

The Power of Disaster Kleenup International (DKI)

Posted on Mon, Oct 24, 2011 @ 12:29 PM

It has been awhile since our last blog post.  In that time we have seen a few disasters hit the Long Island and New York City metropolitan area.  There was the flooding due to heavy rains on August 14th and Hurricane Irene that blew through here a few weeks later.  Unfortunately, both instances caused severe property damage to many homes and businesses throughout our area. 

Advanced Restoration's call volume increased 800% over those 2 months compared to the same time last year when there was no severe weather occurrences.  Our staff handled the tremendous increase in workload with the usual care and professionalism our clients are used to.  They were tremendous in assisting the plethora of very upset and distraught home and business owners. But honestly we would not have been able to pull it all off without our association with Disaster Kleenup International (DKI), which we have been a Member Company of for over 3 years. 

For those of you who might not be familiar with DKI here is a recap. 

Disaster Kleenup International is North America’s largest property damage restoration contracting organization.  Disaster Kleenup International (DKI) was founded in 1974 by a small group of restoration contractors seeking the benefits of a collaborative business and personal network.  In the early years of its history, the DKI organization focused on providing networking opportunities for Members and establishing a reputation in the marketplace for high-quality property restoration.  The DKI organization has expanded its offerings to include educational and training programs, co-operative buying opportunities, national networking events, corporate branding and marketing efforts and much more. 

The ability to provide quality disaster response planning and emergency response services to clients throughout the United States and Canada is a main reason that DKI is North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organizations.  With over 400 service locations throughout the United States and Canada DKI is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  DKI members return damaged property to its pre-loss condition quickly and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to our customers.

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If it was not for this association we would not have been able to service the influx of calls we received during those catastrophes.  On Sunday August 14th, the first two calls we received utilized over 250 pieces of our drying equipment.  Between those two jobs and all our running jobs we only had a few more pieces of equipment left to service all the other calls that were coming into our office.  I placed a call to DKI Member Company Royal Plus in Maryland, and less than 8 hours later they had an eighteen wheeler filled with over 750 pieces of drying equipment at our office to help us service all our customers.  The truck was onsite here at my office for just under two weeks.  And when Hurricane Irene hit Long Island, Royal Plus sent that truck back up again so we could service all our clients that were affected.  Also with the other New York DKI Member Companies, we were referring losses to each other based upon our geographical area.  It was all about servicing the client while putting aside each companies personal interests.

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Besides the equipment rental, every DKI Member is always around to give me their advice or share an experience that they learned from.  I have learned so much just from the Member Companies in the DKI Northeast Chapter.  It has been invaluable. 

Tags: hurricane irene, long island, property damage, dki, advanced restoration, disaster kleenup international, new york city, severe weather

Got Mold? What Every New York Homeowner Needs to Know

Posted on Thu, Jun 02, 2011 @ 05:19 PM
mold,mold removal,mold abatement,mold remediation,long island,new york,indoor air quality,mold contaminationLong Island and the rest of New York and the Northeast was devastated from the recent flooding caused by torrential rain, wind, and storm damage. A majority of flooded basements across Long Island were caused by ground water due to over-saturation of the earth.  Insurance companies do not cover ground water under their policies. 

You have to have a separate Flood Insurance if you fall into the Flood Coverage Area.  And that only covers ground water damage to structures that are above grade.  Basements are not above grade so they would be excluded from those policies if they were flooded. 

That means there were many Long Island homeowners that had flooded basements that were not covered by their insurance policy.   

For some people this is too much.  There are a lot of people in hardship right now across Long Island due to the economic times we live in.  If they did not hire a professional restoration company or water damage cleanup company like Advanced Restoration Corporation, they had to extract / remove the water themselves or rely on friends and/or family to help them out.

Just because the water is removed, does not mean your job is over.  The wet porous building materials need to be removed, or dried along with the structural wood members so their moisture content levels are reduced to regional acceptable standards.  
And some people will just ignore the water in the basement or the leaky roof, thinking it will dry out on its own.  And technically, everything that gets wet will eventually dry, if it can.  And not every water intrusion causes severe mold contamination.  It all depends on the size of the area and the lenght of time the area has been wet without any attention.  

At this  point you should ask yourself this:
  • How long will it take?
  • Can the wet building materials dry out before mold contamination can occur (usually 48-72 hours in optimum conditions)?

If wet building materials are not addressed in a timely fashion then the problem magnifies exponentially over time until it becomes a much bigger and more expensive issue.

The issue of mold has always been an extremely hot topic in both the insurance and restoration industries. Over the past few years there has also been a great deal of media attention on the subject of mold remediation. Articles have appeared in major publications such as The Wall Street Journal as well as televised on popular shows such as 48 Hours, Primetime and even Oprah. In some cases, a homeowner is shown speaking to a reporter explaining how the mold has completely ruined their home and belongings to the point that the home had to be burned down by the local fire department because there was no other way of solving the contamination issues.

This type of media attention may help with ratings and sales of newspapers and magazines but it is certainly not realistic. It is important to understand that mold is ubiquitous and the goal of remediation is to bring the indoor air quality to an acceptable level.  Should moisture be introduced into the indoor environment, mold growth will likely occur.  In nearly every case of fungal contamination, a home and many of its contents can be cleaned of mold growth. What is never mentioned is how this can be achieved. We can recommend and apply several proven techniques such as "HEPA sandwich" cleaning or baking soda blasting. Because the media is not educated in the field nor do they fully understand, the public is often misled and does not understand the very real dangers of fungal contamination.

Another way to look at the current mold situation is to compare it to the asbestos issues we encountered in the 1970's and 1980's. The media was undoubtedly responsible for magnifying the fears of the public. As the demand for abatement quickly increased many companies rushed to capitalize on the situation without being experienced or formally educated. This in turn leads to bad advice and overreaction. If mold remediation contractors are able to accurately educate and communicate with homeowners and insurance companies these issues could be resolved without unnecessary expense and anguish.

Mold contamination and mold remediation may not be as bad as the sensationalized media makes it out to be. Although there is definitely some health risks associated with mold exposure, in particular Stachybotrys or black mold, it is important that it is dealt with appropriately. Regardless of the level of contamination to your residential, commercial, or industrial building on Long Island and New York City, you can rest assured that we posses the technology, education and ability to successfully complete your project in the most efficient and cost-effective way. Please do not hesitate in calling us for information or guidance on any of your mold related projects. We are here to help in any way possible. We are members of the Indoor Air Quality Association and hold our certifications through the IICRC and RIA.

Please do not hesitate to Contact Us for any assistance or guidance if you have or even think you have a mold issue in the Long Island and New York City areas.  We would be more than happy to speak with you.


Tags: mold abatement, long island, mold, new york, mold remediation, new york city, mold removal, indoor air quality, flooded basements, wet building material, mold contamination

Learn How EPA Lead Regulations Impacts New York Insurance Industry

Posted on Sun, May 16, 2010 @ 09:14 PM
New York Disaster Kleenup International (DKI) Member Company Long Island
 
 

New York DKI Member Companies Host Seminars On How the New EPA Lead Regulations Will Impact the Insurance Industry on Long Island and New York City.

In April 2010, new rules on lead contamination developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) went into effect for contractors that disturb painted surfaces in buildings constructed prior to 1978. These Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RPR) regulations require all contractors to:

  • Become an EPA certified firm
  • Have certified lead renovators on staff
  • Check painted surfaces to determine if they contain lead
  • Utilize specific types of engineering controls, containments and work practices
  • Perform specific cleaning tasks, verification and test their work area

Unfortunately, these new EPA Lead Regulations will have a major impact on the Insurance Industry on Long Island and New York City.  Insurance Companies, Insurance Agents, Insurance Brokers, and Insurance Adjusters will all have to adjust to the new regulations that are now required of restoration contractors on property damage claims in structures built before 1979.

Please visit New York DKI Member Company Website for the Lead Seminars

Register In Advance.  Registration is Mandatory.

                                                On the Web:     http://www.dki.li/

                                                By Phone:         1-800-734-9947

                                                By Email:   emartin@advancedrestoration.com

Dates: Thursday June 17th, 2010 @ Westchester Hills Golf Club

           Friday June 18th, 2010 @ Brookville Country Club

Time:  Registration @ 8:30am

            Seminar @ 9am - 1pm

            Lunch @ 1pm - 2pm

Continental Breakfast and Snacks Served

 
New York DKI Member Companies are fully trained and certified to handle ALL lead issues that may arise on property damage claims. 
 
 
About New York DKI Member Companies – The New York Disaster Kleenup International (DKI) Member Companies sponsoring the seminars on the new EPA Lead Regulations service Long Island and New York City.
 
 

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All Pro Cleaning and Restoration

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                                    Branch Restoration

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                                    Milro Restoration

                            milro restoration dki member company long island new york city

Disaster Kleenup International (DKI) is a network of the leading, independent property damage restoration contractors across North America.  DKI member companies provide full service to their customers: Emergency response, water damage mitigation, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, returning damaged property to pre-loss condition fast and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to their consumer, insurance, and corporate customers.

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About Dr. Michael Pinto: CSP CMP CEO Wonder Makers Environmental, Inc.

dr. michael pinto wonder makers ceo,epa lead certified trainerWonder Makers Environmental, Inc., a manufacturing and environmental consulting firm that specializes in identification and control of asbestos, lead, IAQ, mold, industrial hygiene, and chemical problems. Mr. Pinto is the author of over 150 published articles and several books including, Fungal Contamination: A Comprehensive Guide for Remediation. He completed doctoral course work in environmental engineering and holds numerous certifications in the environmental and safety areas including Certified Safety Professional and Certified Mold Professional.

 

Dr. Michael Pinto Wins Restoration Industry Association’s (RIA) Martin L. King Award 
 
Given annually, the Martin L. King Award recognizes an individual's exceptional service and dedication to the restoration industry. Pinto was honored for his efforts as an industry instructor on a variety of environmental and restoration topics, his monthly column in Cleaning & Restoration magazine as well as articles in other industry publications, his innate ability to take complex issues and distill them down to their essential points, his unwavering efforts to consistently advocate for "doing things right," and for supporting the industry and practices that truly do "make it better" for everyone.
Martin King, CR, ASA, RIA's technical advisor and creator of the Certified RestorerSM program said, "In this instance, instead of honoring the recipient with this award, the award is honored by its recipient."
 

Tags: long island, dki, insurance industry new york city, branch restoration, milro restoration, advanced restoration corporation, disaster kleenup international, insurance industry, insurance industry long island, new york city, epa lead regulations, epa lead regulations impact on insurance industry, white plains, westchester county, dki member company, all pro cleaning and restoration

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