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

Changing Climate = More Disasters, Property Damage, Insurance Claims

Posted on Tue, Jan 31, 2012 @ 12:56 PM

disaster,disasters,property damage,disaster restoration,insurance,insurance claims,property loss,long island,new york,hurricane,climate change,weather,advanced restorationLast year's extreme weather across the U.S. — 2011 was the most expensive year ever for natural disasters — is raising concern among scientists and policymakers about the nation's ability to withstand a shifting climate.

Damage from tornadoes, floods, droughts, hurricanes and wildfires caused more than $200 billion in losses and 1,000 deaths across the nation last year. Florida escaped major damage, but saw record high temperatures over the summer, after a much colder than normal winter.

The conversation about climate change has to move beyond debates about greenhouse gases to discussions about making homes and infrastructure more resilient to weather, said Margaret Davidson, director of the Coastal Services Center for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Communities must reduce their vulnerabilty, she said during a forum on adapting to climate change at the American Meteorological Society meeting here.

Recent trends show the cost of natural disasters escalating while the government's financial ability to deal with those losses shrinks. Climate scientists anticipate an uptick in extreme weather as the global climate warms.

"You can see there's a train wreck coming and it has to do with Mother Nature," Davidson said.

In communities where disasters, such as floods and storm surge, occur frequently, the knee-jerk reaction is to rebuild the same roads and bridges that existed before and bigger, more expensive homes. Those "stupid" decisions cost the nation, Davidson said, adding that 70 percent of repetitive losses covered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency are in coastal counties.

Floods this year caused some of the most dramatic and costly damage. Hurricane Irene, which brought devastating and record-breaking floods to Vermont, hit the East Coast three times. The storm killed 45 people and inflicted $7.3 billion in damage. The cost of recovery caused tension in Congress when some leaders balked at sending relief to affected communities.

The Midwest and Northern Plains saw record floods from snowmelt and torrential rainfall that swelled the Mississippi, Ohio and Missouri Rivers.

Seven states in the Northeast and the Ohio Valley had their wettest year on record, with some seeing rainfall of up to 8 inches above normal, said Jake Crouch, a physical scientist with the National Climactic Data Center, a federal agency that publishes and annual State of the Climate report.

Meanwhile, the southern tier of the nation baked in drought. Texas experienced its greatest drought on record and saw raging wildfires that destroyed 1,500 homes. Nearly 60 percent of the nation plunged into drought last year, also breaking a record.

In 2011, 58 percent of the nation was either extremely wet or extremely dry, the highest percentage ever, according the report.

It was also a year of devastating tornadoes across the Midwest and the Southeast. The spring storm season sent waves of cold fronts colliding with the warm, moist atmosphere over the Southeast. The severe storms triggered 1,155 tornadoes, killing more than 300 people and causing $20 billion in damage.

The nation saw a total of 14 natural disasters that cost more than $1 billion each, breaking another new record, and underscoring the effect of climate extremes on people, Crouch said.

While scientists cannot blame any single disaster on climate change, they can point to trends and make comparisons between what they see and what changes are predicted in a warmer world. Last year fit with expectations that a warmer Earth would bring much more rain to the Northeast, drought to the Southern Plains, warmer than normal temperatures in the high latitudes, such as those of Norway and Siberia, and shrinking sea ice.

For the U.S., extreme drought and rainfall were likely a combination of climate change and regular climate variation related to sea surface temperatures in the Pacific, Crouch said. Last year was dominated by La Niña, a weather pattern triggered by cooler than normal Pacific seas.

An interesting obversation that Crouch noted, however, was that La Niña years tend to be cooler globally. Last year was the 11th warmest year on record and the warmest La Niña year on record.

 

Tags: property damage, insurance claims, insurance, new york, disasters, long idland, damages, extreme weather

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

insurance journal,advanced restoration,insurance,restoration,long island,new york,new york city

 

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

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

NOAA Expects Busy Atlantic Hurricane Season

Posted on Tue, Jun 01, 2010 @ 04:32 PM

hurricane

An "active to extremely active" hurricane season is expected for the Atlantic Basin this year according to the seasonal outlook issued today by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center - a division of the National Weather Service. As with every hurricane season, this outlook underscores the importance of having a hurricane preparedness plan in place.

Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the six-month season, which begins June 1, NOAA is projecting a 70 percent probability of the following ranges:

  • 14 to 23 Named Storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including:
  • 8 to 14 Hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which:
  • 3 to 7 could be Major Hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)

"If this outlook holds true, this season could be one of the more active on record," said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "The greater likelihood of storms brings an increased risk of a landfall. In short, we urge everyone to be prepared."

The outlook ranges exceed the seasonal average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes. Expected factors supporting this outlook are:

  • Upper atmospheric winds conducive for storms. Wind shear, which can tear apart storms, will be weaker since El Niño in the eastern Pacific has dissipated. Strong wind shear helped suppress storm development during the 2009 hurricane season.
  • Warm Atlantic Ocean water. Sea surface temperatures are expected to remain above average where storms often develop and move across the Atlantic. Record warm temperatures - up to four degrees Fahrenheit above average - are now present in this region.
  • High activity era continues. Since 1995, the tropical multi-decadal signal has brought favorable ocean and atmospheric conditions in sync, leading to more active hurricane seasons. Eight of the last 15 seasons rank in the top ten for the most named storms with 2005 in first place with 28 named storms.

"The main uncertainty in this outlook is how much above normal the season will be. Whether or not we approach the high end of the predicted ranges depends partly on whether or not La Niña develops this summer," said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. "At present we are in a neutral state, but conditions are becoming increasingly favorable for La Niña to develop."

"FEMA is working across the administration and with our state and local partners to ensure we're prepared for hurricane season," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "But we can only be as prepared as the public, so it's important that families and businesses in coastal communities take steps now to be ready. These include developing a communications plan, putting together a kit, and staying informed of the latest forecasts and local emergency plans. You can't control when a hurricane or other emergency may happen, but you can make sure you're ready."

The president recently designated May 23-29, 2010, as National Hurricane Preparedness Week. NOAA and FEMA encourage those living in hurricane-prone states to use this time to review their overall preparedness. More information on individual and family preparedness can be found at http://www.ready.gov/ and http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/intro.shtml.

NOAA scientists will continue to monitor evolving conditions in the tropics and will issue an updated hurricane outlook in early August, just prior to what is historically the peak period for hurricane activity.

NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit NOAA on Facebook.

Article Source: NOAA

Tags: wind damage, property damage, water damage restoration, hurricane damage long island, disaster kleenup interntional, restoration company, disrepair, disaster restoration, 2010 Hurricane Season, hurricanes long island, hurricane long island, hurricane damage, hurricane damage cleanup, hurricane, flooded basements long island

Long Island After the Storms: Replacing Damaged Building Materials

Posted on Sun, Apr 25, 2010 @ 04:29 PM

 

We have received hundreds of calls from people all over Long Island telling us they had and in some cases still have, water in their basement due to groundwater.  As in most cases, it was not covered by their insurance company.  Which means you have either cleaned it up yourself or paid a company like Advanced Restoration Corporation to mitigate the water damage for you. 

The basement is now cleaned up and dried.  But that brings up the million dollar question......what do you do with the basement now?  If it was a finished basement that you used as living space and/or work space, how do you rebuild?  Or do you leave it unfinished now not wanting to take on the un-budgeted expense of the reconstruction in the off chance of having to go through it all over again if we are hit with another series of severe storms.  That is a choice every Long Island homeowner who was affected by these recent storms has to make.  For the sake of this blog, we are going to assume that you have decided to go through with the reconstruction. 

Let me start by stating that building materials can get wet.  Sheetrock, carpet, and paint are all made with water at some point during their production processes.  Usually after the materials are dried they are stronger and more durable than before they were wet.  Wood can get wet.  The lumber yards are exactly that.  Yards.  Giant lots of land used to store building materials before they are sold and used to construct homes and buildings.  They are not called lumber garages.    Chances are the studs that make up your house had been wet numerous times before the builder used them to frame your home. 

It is not a question of if something gets wet is it unsalvageable.  It is a question of how quickly you react when building materials do get wet. The faster the action the greater the chances of salvaging ALL the affected building materials.

There is something you can do that not many people have caught on to yet and none of the professionals on TV talk about just because they have yet to go through the experience of having their home saturated by water.  You can rebuild with building materials that can withstand an intrusion of water. 

Of course it is a bit more expensive to rebuild with this in mind and every homeowner is going to have see what works best for their budget and quality of life.  But here are some things to think about when rebuilding your basement:

Install ceramic tile as your flooring.  Carpet can get wet and be salvaged if dried timely and professionally, vinyl does not absorb the water but traps it underneath so that demolition is inevitable, the same with any type of wood flooring that would have to have a vapor barrier installed underneath  The best choice to finish a floor in a basement short of polishing the concrete is ceramic tile.  It is not a porous material so it does not absorb moisture and mold will not grow on the ceramic.  (Mold will grow on the dirt that is on the ceramic tile but will not start eating the tile away like it would on a porous material like sheetrock or carpet.)  And the grout allows the water vapor to escape from underneath the tile in the drying process.  Put an area rug on top of the tile that is much easier to remove and have cleaned that typical wall to wall carpeting.  

Do not use ANY vinyl.  I know vinyl makes it very easy to clean and keep on top off but it is the worst material (short of asbestos) to use as a finished building material.  Anything that vinyl covers that gets wet 99.9% of the time has to be removed.  Vinyl acts as a vapor barrier that traps the moisture behind it and does not allow the building materials to dry.  Which causes mold growth and usually increases the dollar value of the project.  Use standard wood base trim or carpet cove base.  They can both allow the walls to be dried in place or they both can be easily detached and reset once the drying process is over.

Use Concrete Board for the lower walls.  Do not install regular gypsum drywall on the lower walls.  Use concrete board that builders use in bathrooms to protect against moisture in the shower / tub areas.  They come in 4' x 8' sheets.  Just turn them on their side and install them on the lower 4' of the basement walls.  The great value of cement board is does not rot, warp, grow mold, or deteriorate, when subjected to water.

* If you decide that you are going to install standard drywall on the lower walls please make sure that the sheetrock is elevated 1/2" to 3/4" off the ground and is not sitting directly on the concrete.  If the drywall is resting directly on the concrete floor you will always have a transference of moisture from the concrete to to the dryer sheetrock which eventually will turn into a long term mold problem.  See the picture below. 


Use Only Flat Paint.  Any semi-gloss, high gloss or even eggshell finishes creates a vapor barrier that does not allow the materials behind it to dry naturally in the event of an intrusion.

Use American Clay Earth Plasters as your wall finishes American Clay Earth Plasters are a natural, environmentally friendly way to finish any interior. Non-toxic and made in the USA, these plasters are an alternative to cement, acrylic and lime plasters, offering superior color, richness, texture and depth not found with other finishes.  They also help control the inside ambient temperatures in the room(s0 it is installed on the walls.  They absorb excess moisture in the warmer months and release moisture n the environment during the colder dryer months.  This also gives it the ability to permit the drying of the building materials it is installed over.  

If you are in the Long Island and New York City areas and have any questions and/or need any assistance in dealing with your property damage claim please do not hesitate to contact Advanced Restoration Corporation.  We are Disaster Kleenup International (DKI) Member company.  DKI has over 150 member companies located throughout the United States.  Click here to find one in your area.

 

Tags: water damage long island, long island, property damage, water damage, dki, property damage long island, disaster kleenup interntional, disaster kleenup, replacing damage building materials, concrete board, american clay plaster, new york, advanced restoration corporation, reconstruction, disaster restoration, long island after the storms, replacing building materials

The ReUse People (TRP), Long Island Building Deconstruction, and Advanced Restoration Corporation

Posted on Fri, Apr 16, 2010 @ 08:14 PM

Advanced Restoration Corporation is proud to partner with The Reuse People (TRP) on all our Building Deconstruction projects to make the Long Island Community the Leader in Building Deconstruction and Building Material Reuse in New York and throughout the country.

By partnering with us, The ReUse People are able to expand into the Long Island market to promote Building Deconstruction and the salvage and sale of reusable building materials while diverting construction and demolition (C&D) waste from our overburdened landfills.

These services are among the first steps in the green building process. Furthermore, tax-deductible donations of reusable materials to TRP, a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation, provide a faster payback and better return-on-investment than any other product or service offered by the green building industry on Long Island.

How The ReUse People (TRP) Started

The ReUse People (TRP) started in April, 1993, with a drive for building materials to help the flood victims in Tijuana, Mexico. The drive, Project Valle Verde, was planned and coordinated with the mayors of Tijuana and San Diego, the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, the County Board of Supervisors, San Diego Gas and Electric Company, Waste Management, and the Building Industry Association.
 
On April 23 and 24, contractors, other private companies, public agencies and the citizens of San Diego donated over 400 tons of building materials valued at $1.2 million. Twenty-seven tractor trailers crossed the border carrying this material in an unprecedented demonstration of bi-national cooperation and assistance.
 
The success of Project Valle Verde demonstrated the need for used building materials and the impact of this need on our already overused and over committed landfills.
 
The ReUse People started as Building Materials Distributors in San Diego in 1993 and, due to a name conflict with an existing corporation, the name was soon changed to The ReUse People.

Who Benefits from Our Partnership On Long Island?

  • All of us through a better environment on Long Island
  • Low income families who cannot afford to buy new building materials
  • Building deconstruction can also lead to the creation of new jobs and businesses
  • Building owners by virtue of tax donations
  • Architects, builders and contractors through better service to their clients
  • Reduced unemployment strengthens the Long Island economy directly as well as indirectly in areas such as retail sales and housing

While we obtain reusable building materials from a variety of sources, our own deconstruction efforts and those of over 30 TRP-Certified Deconstruction Contractors throughout the country contribute over 90 percent of them.
 
Whether you are an architect, general building contractor, building owner, or government agency on Long Island we stand ready to provide you with a package of benefits including:

  • Environmentally sound demolition (We like the words building deconstruction)
  • Building materials salvage
  • Advanced Restoration Corporation's skilled building deconstruction technicians
  • Tax donations for all the materials donated to The ReUse People (TRP)
  • Lower overall project costs
  • The assurance that someone, somewhere reuses the salvageable building materials generated from your project(s) on Long Island

 

The ReUse People (TRP) President - Ted Reiff

 

Prior to founding The ReUse People (TRP) in 1995, Ted Reiff was managing partner with an investment banking firm that provided financial services to young technology companies. Now, in addition to guiding TRP's national expansion program, he consults with private companies and government bodies on a variety of demolition and waste diversion projects. A graduate of Ohio State University and a licensed demolition contractor, Ted served three terms as board president of I Love a Clean San Diego and is an advisor to Urban Habitat Chicago.

 

The ReUse People (TRP) Long Island Regional Manager - Mike Yurish

Mike holds a B.S. degree in environmental science from SUNY Purchase, New York, and has been an amateur deconstructionist for some 20 years. He serves on the board of directors of the ReCONNstruction Center in New Britain, Connecticut, and is a licensed realtor and appraisal trainee in New Jersey. A resident of Connecticut, Mike currently works as a senior print technician for a major printing company.  

Advanced Restoration Corporation - Eric Martin

 

Eric Martin has been in the family business for over 16 years.  He is certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) in Water Damage Mitigation and Advanced Structural Drying as well as holding his certification by the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) in Mold Remediation.  Eric has worked in New York City for 8 months after 9/11 cleaning up the building surrounding Ground Zero.  He also worked in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.    A Green Risk Professional from Vale Training Institute he is also a member of the Communications Committee from the U.S. Green Building Council's Long Island (USGBC-LI) chapter in charge of handling USGBC-LI's social media accounts.

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Advanced Restoration Corporation is proud to partner with The Reuse People (TRP) on all our Building Deconstruction projects to make the Long Island Community the Leader in Building Deconstruction and Building Material Reuse in New York and throughout the country.

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Property Damage: Long Island After the Storms of March, 2010

Posted on Sun, Apr 11, 2010 @ 04:04 PM

Long Island, New York City 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 groundwater under their policies. 

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

That means there were many homeowners throughout Long Island and New York City 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, a DKI Member Company, they had to extract / remove the water themselves or rely on friends and/or family to help them out.

But just because the water is removed or extracted, that does not mean the job is over.  The wet porous building materials need to be removed, or dried along with the structural wood members and concrete 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 receiving 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. 

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.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mold Removal / Mold Remediation Services Long Island & New York City

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Advanced Restoration Corporation

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Long Island Building Demolition
 
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Advanced Restoration Corporation
 
a DKI Member Company

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What To Do After a Loss

Posted on Thu, Mar 18, 2010 @ 08:32 AM

Heavy rains and winds pummeled the New York Metro area this past weekend, causing major damage to many homes and businesses. If you experienced property damage, you need to know what to do after a loss. 

If you suffer a loss, the first thing to do is to notify your insurance company or its agent. You can do this by telephone, although it is a good idea to follow up with written notification. Remember, if you give the notice to your broker, rather than directly to the insurance company, you still have a responsibility to make sure that the insurance company receives notice of your claim.

It is also important to notify your insurance company promptly after any incident takes place that might result in a claim at some later date, even though no claim was made at the time the event occurred.

For example, if your dog bites a neighbor or a guest falls on your property, it should be reported to the insurance company even though you don't know whether any claim is actually going to be made against you. Your failure to notify the company promptly might allow it to deny coverage in the event a claim if filed against you at a later date.

It is also important to protect your property against further damages. For example, if the windows are broken, have them boarded up to protect against further vandalism or burglary. The cost of this type of protection is covered by, and would be reimbursed by your insurance company.

However, no permanent repairs should be made until your company or its representative has inspected the property. The company has the right to inspect the property in its damaged state, and can refuse to pay you for any damage that is repaired before inspection.

An adjuster will be sent from your insurance company to examine the damage and give you an estimate of the cost of repairs or replacement. You should also get an estimate from your own contractor to compare with the insurance company's estimate. Your contractor will probably charge a fee for this service but might credit that fee to your bill if you hire that contractor to repair and/or replace your property.

If you need assistance, your agent, broker or insurance company sales representative should help you fill out the claim form and help gather the materials you need to substantiate your loss.

In the event you are unfortunate enough to experience a major loss such as a fire or severe windstorm which has badly damaged or destroyed your home, and you are not in a position to negotiate a settlement with your company, you may want to consult an attorney or call a licensed public adjuster to act on your behalf with your insurance company.

Public adjusters are licensed by the Insurance Department. They represent you and not the insurance company. They will help you in taking inventory of your loss, securing your home from vandalism, contacting your insurance company, advising you on the extent of your coverage and help you secure the services needed to repair or rebuild you home. They will negotiate on your behalf with the adjuster from the insurance company.

A public adjuster may not charge a fee more than 12.5% of the recovery amount and must get a signed compensation agreement from you in which the amount of compensation is clearly stated. Such agreement may be cancelled up to midnight of the third business day after the date on which you have signed the compensation agreement. In addition, public adjusters may not solicit your business between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Another alternative to consider when an agreement cannot be reached between you and your insurance company is the appraisal process. Every homeowner, tenant, cooperative apartment and condominium policy issued in New York contains a provision whereby you and your company select a competent and disinterested appraiser. The two appraisers, in turn, select an umpire. Each appraiser must evaluate the loss and determine the value of each item. Any disagreements between the appraisers regarding the value of any items are submitted to, and settled by the umpire. The costs of this process are paid by the policyholder and the insurance company.

Source:  NY State Insurance Department

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Catastrophe Experts Call for Quick Action on Catastrophe Protection

Posted on Wed, Mar 10, 2010 @ 04:12 PM

Former FEMA Director: The status quo is not acceptable

WASHINGTON, March 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- James Lee Witt, the former Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the current co-chair of ProtectingAmerica.org today urged a subcommittee to the House Financial Services Committee to move quickly to enact legislation that would help American families and communities be better prepared for and protected from the devastation caused by massive natural catastrophes such as earthquakes and hurricanes.

"A catastrophic event, whether an earthquake striking one of our great American cities, or a massive hurricane making landfall near any of the metropolitan areas from New York to Houston, would cause such enormous damage that our economy would be stunned, private resources quickly depleted, and an immediate federal bailout of hundreds of billions of dollars could potentially be required," Mr. Witt stated.  

"The American public has lost its appetite for bailouts.  Clearly the nation, our families and our communities would be better served by a program that uses private insurer dollars to pre-fund coverage for the eventuality of the next massive hurricane or devastating earthquake," Witt said. "There is no place in the country that is immune from catastrophic natural events, and the stakes are higher than ever.  Major cities along the coasts, and throughout the West and Midwest, are threatened by devastating earthquakes or hurricanes.  The human, physical and economic toll that such events would take would be unfathomable," he said.

"To put it simply, the status quo is not acceptable.  There is an urgent need for a comprehensive and integrated program that strengthens America's financial infrastructure, improves mitigation and readiness to prepare and protect our families and communities before and during catastrophe, and creates a privately-funded backstop that assures that resources will be available to rebuild, repair and recover as quickly as possible," Witt said.

Witt testified before the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity and Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises in support of HR 2555, the Homeowners' Defense Act, a bill sponsored by Rep. Ron Klein (D-FL) and more than 70 cosponsors from across the nation.

The bill would provide more protection at lower cost for consumers and provide additional capacity and stability to the market.

The bill would also mandate and help finance enhanced mitigation and prevention through better land use planning, establishment and enforcement of stronger building codes and better education training and equipment for first responders.  

An earlier version of the Homeowners' Defense Act passed the House of Representatives in the last session of Congress by a bipartisan margin of 258-155.

ProtectingAmerica.org is a non-profit organization with over 300 members including the American Red Cross, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, and other emergency responders, emergency management officials, police organizations, Allstate and State Farm Insurance, and large and small businesses.  The organization has more than 20,000 individual members.

ProtectingAmerica.org is co-chaired by James Lee Witt, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Admiral James M. Loy, former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and former commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.  

A Nation Exposed

  • Risk experts and modelers suggest that 57 percent of the American public resides in areas that are prone to earthquakes, hurricanes or other disasters.  
  • Twenty states, including Hawaii and every state that borders the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, face the threat of hurricanes every year.
  • The largest earthquake to ever rock the continental U.S. emanated from New Madrid, Missouri in 1811 and affected an area that stretched from Mississippi to Michigan, from Pennsylvania to Nebraska.
  • Eight out of the 11 most costly U.S. natural catastrophes have occurred since 2001.
  • Since 1900, 11 hurricanes have made direct hits on New England; six of them on the New York coastline.  The "Long Island Express," a massive hurricane that in 1938 made landfall in Long Island and raced through Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, killed 700 people and left 63,000 people homeless.  If the same storm struck today, damages would exceed $100 billion according to risk modelers.

About ProtectingAmerica.org

ProtectingAmerica.org is a non-profit organization consisting of emergency management officials, first responders, disaster relief experts, insurers and others.  Its members include the American Red Cross and more than 300 other organizations and businesses.

At the core of ProtectingAmerica.org's mission is the establishment of a comprehensive, integrated national catastrophe management solution that will better prepare and protect American families, communities, consumers and the American economy from catastrophe.   

ProtectingAmerica.org is working to increase public awareness and enhance consumer education; advocate for better coordination with local, state and federal mitigation and recovery efforts, and strengthen emergency response and financial mechanisms to rebuild after a major catastrophe.

The organization supports comprehensive federal legislation that would establish a privately financed national catastrophe fund that would serve as a backstop to state catastrophe funds.  The funds' private deposits and the majority of its earnings could only be used to cover replacement and rebuilding costs following major catastrophic events.  A portion of the funds' earnings would be dedicated to increase public and consumer education, strengthen first responders, and enhance building codes and their enforcement.

 

SOURCE ProtectingAmerica.org

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Why Hire a Property Damage/Disaster Restoration Company?

Posted on Tue, Jan 19, 2010 @ 12:01 PM
Fire & Water Damage Restoration 

fire, smoke, disaster,water damage
If your home or office has experienced fire or water damage, you may want to seek a professional that can help you repair and restore your building.

Natural disasters, such as floods and fires can leave commercial and residential buildings with mold and smoke damage. Both are major contributors to property loss and need to be taken care of in order to save the structural integrity of your house or building.

Water damage can either be immediate, such as flooding, or be more gradual, such as water spots on hardwood floors or even walls. However slow or fast water damage occurs, it is important to remove any carpet, dry the area and hire a professional for removal or extraction in case of mold. Restoration can include everything from inspection of the area to asses where the source is and how much damage has occurred, cleaning and sanitizing the area, and deodorize any smells. All this is done with special equipment.

If you have experienced fire damage that has left smoke stains, ceiling damage, or lots of soot, this too needs to be dealt with by a professional restoration company. Fire damage can be covered by fire insurance, so make sure to check if you can get any financial help to cover losses.

When damage has occurred to your home or office, whether in the basement or on the roof, you need to seek professional help to restore damage and save your property. Damage can easily spread, and if not handled properly can cause worse problems.

What is DKI?
Disaster Kleenup International, Inc.
is a network of the leading, independent property damage restoration contractors across North America. DKI member companies (see www.AdvancedRestoration.com in New York) 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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