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

FEMA Re-opens Disaster Incident Period to include Severe Storms and Flooding From March 13 - March 31, 2010

Posted on Thu, Jul 15, 2010 @ 08:01 AM

Release Date: July 14, 2010
Release Number: 1899-014

Albany, N.Y. -- Federal and state officials today announced that the incident period of the severe storms has been re-opened to cover the period from March 13 - March 31, 2010 and three additonal counties  -- Otsego, Schoharie, and Warren - have been added to the declaration.

"I am pleased that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) quickly reviewed the information gathered by state and local officials and approved Governor Paterson's request.  The longer incident period will provide needed reimbursement for communities as they repair damages caused by the severe March weather," said Andrew Feeney Director, New York State Office of Emergency Management (NYS OEM).

Otsego, Schoharie, and Warren Counties join Nassau, Orange, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, in being declared disaster areas.

The amendment and additional counties to the incident period have been granted in response to Governor Paterson's appeal of June 29, 2010. The previous incident period was March 13-15. “By helping local and state governments recover, federal disaster assistance has a positive impact on  those communites,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Albie Lewis.

Government entities and certain private non-profits in the additional three counties may be eligible for federal aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA's) Public Assistance Program.  Aid may be available in one or more of the following seven categories: Debris Removal; Emergency Protective Measures; Road Systems and Bridges; Water Control Facilities; Public Buildings and Contents; Public Utilities, and Parks, Recreational and Other.

Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for all counties and tribes within the state. FEMA funds 75 percent of eligible costs.

Article Source: FEMA

 

Tags: disaster, long island storms march 2010, water damage basement flooding, water damage, FEMA, restoration company, flood damage, disaster restoration, flood, storm damage, storm, storm 2010, mold damage, flood water long island, flooded basements long island

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

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Do You Have Water or Wind Damage?

Posted on Sun, Mar 14, 2010 @ 10:31 PM

24 Hour Emergency Water Removal, tarping, and Cleanup Services

One of the worst things that can happen is having 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  damage that can be caused by a flood.  Our water extraction services have assisted many homes and business throughout Long Island and New York City.  We extract water due to:

Advanced Restoration Corporation  is a DKI Member Company

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HUD Inspector General Probes Mortgage Companies With Significant Claim Rates

Posted on Fri, Jan 15, 2010 @ 12:12 PM

WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Inspector General Kenneth M. Donohue and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner David H. Stevens announced today an initiative focusing on mortgage companies with significant claim rates against the Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance program.

HUD Office of Inspector General (OIG) subpoenas were served to the corporate offices of 15 mortgage companies across the country demanding documents and data related to failed loans which resulted in claims paid out by the FHA mortgage insurance fund.

Inspector General Donohue said, "The goal of this initiative is to determine why there is such a high rate of defaults and claims with these companies and whether there is wrongdoing involved. We aren't making any accusations at this time, we have no evidence of wrongdoing, but we will aggressively pursue indicators of fraud. We are members of the President's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force and today's activities reflect our commitment to seeking information on red flags that may arise from data analysis.

" This initiative was prompted, in part, by the FHA Commissioner, David Stevens, who was alarmed by the incidence of claims against the FHA insurance fund by a number of poor performing companies and reached out to the HUD OIG for assistance.

FHA Commissioner David Stevens said, "We are taking risk management extremely seriously. In addition to the policy changes we are implementing and additional changes we plan to announce later this month, we need to hold FHA lenders accountable for the high rates of defaults and claims against FHA. The Inspector General's initiative will help us determine whether there is fraud and better manage risk in the long run.

" The HUD OIG identified these direct endorsement companies from an analysis of loan data focusing on companies with a significant number of claims, a certain loan underwriting volume, a high ratio of defaults and claims compared to the national average, and claims that occurred earlier in the life of the mortgage. These are key indicators of problems at the origination or underwriting stages. The HUD OIG wants to see why these loans failed.

Some actions available to the HUD OIG are audits, investigations, and inspections and evaluations. In addition, we rely on the support of the Department of Justice (DoJ), and of State and local law enforcement. The DoJ is available to pursue both civil and criminal legal actions against wrongdoers. HUD is available to proceed with administrative sanctions such as suspensions, limited denial of participation, debarment, and civil monetary penalties.

The probe will be conducted by the HUD OIG's Audit and Investigation staff jointly. They will assess why these companies have high default rates, especially at this unprecedented time when the FHA mortgage insurance program represents such a significant percentage of mortgages currently in force in our country.

This probe is a new type of approach in which HUD OIG is focused on corporate offices rather than individual branch offices. This is a starting point for more detailed reviews if abuses are uncovered, and the HUD OIG anticipates that more probes may follow.

"The FHA market share has skyrocketed," Inspector General Donohue further said. "Our job is oversight. We work for the American taxpayer. Each loan on this list will be thoroughly examined and we will track down the reasons why it failed. Once we determine the causes, we will look to see whether there is a need for further review or remedial action. We want to send a message to the industry that as the mortgage landscape has shifted we are watching very carefully and that we are poised to take action against bad performers."

    The following companies were served OIG subpoenas today:

    First Tennessee Bank N.A., Memphis, TN
    Alethes LLC, Lakeway, TX
    Security Atlantic Mortgage Co., Edison, NJ
    Pine State Mortgage Corporation, Atlanta, GA
    Birmingham Bancorp Mortgage Corporation, West Bloomfield, MI
    Alacrity Financial Services, LLC, Southlake, TX
    Assurity Financial Services, LLC, Englewood, CO
    D and R Mortgage Corporation, Farmington, MI
    Webster Bank, Cheshire, CT
    Mac-Clair Mortgage Corporation, Flint, MI
    Americare Investment Group, Inc., Arlington, TX
    1st Advantage Mortgage, Lombard, IL
    American Sterling Bank, Independence, MO
    Sterling National Mortgage Company Inc., Great Neck, NY
    Dell Franklin Financial LLC, Columbia, MD

###

For more information, visit the HUD Website.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General is statutorily authorized to detect and prevent waste, fraud and abuse, and to promote the effectiveness and efficiency of government operations. The Federal Housing Administration provides mortgage insurance on loans by FHA-approved lenders throughout the United States and its territories. The FHA insures mortgages on single family and multifamily homes including manufactured homes and hospitals. It is the largest insurer of mortgages in the world.

Tags: 203(k) loan, property damage, foreclosures, hud loan, advanced restoration, restoration, suffolk county restoration, restoration company, disrepair, home repair, buying a home, refinance, 203k, 203k streamline, rehab, mortgage companies

Disaster Kleenup International (DKI) Going Green

Posted on Thu, Jan 07, 2010 @ 02:37 PM

Wood Dale, IL - Disaster Kleenup International (DKI), North America's largest disaster restoration contracting organization, announced today that they are the first organization to have achieved the Green Risk ProfessionalTM designation established by Vale Training Solutions.
dki, disaster kleenup international in ny

DKI made the decision to partner with Vale Training Solutions for Green Risks training in response to the market's demand for green building. DKI is the leading provider of quality emergency and reconstruction services for commercial, residential and insurance clients throughout North America and the curriculum provided in Vale's Green Risks courses has allowed DKI to continue at the forefront of industry trends.

"We have pioneered this movement by being the first and only disaster restoration and reconstruction organization to be green risk certified in building reconstruction and restoration services," said Dale Sailer, president of DKI. "DKI understands that in today's marketplace, individuals and organizations continually strive to do their part in building or creating green environments."

Property owners understand the long term advantages of 'going green' and insurance carriers have responded with green coverage for new environmentally sustainable construction or renovation following a loss.
Jon McCreath, President of Vale Training Solutions, says "As more carriers offer green coverage, independent adjusters, restoration professionals, and engineers must be adequately trained and possess the expertise and professionalism necessary to understand the makeup of green construction and building products, rating systems and insurance coverage."

McCreath continued, "GRPTM adjusters and restoration professionals provide the expertise necessary when buildings are insured with 'upgrade to green' endorsements or where restoration/repairs include green measures to replace damaged traditional products" DKI is the only Green Certified Services Organization that is adequately trained to provide a superior level of knowledge, expertise, professionalism and customer service to property owners, managers, facility directors, and insurers of green buildings. Not only does DKI understand the makeup of green buildings, products used in green buildings, rating systems and insurance coverage as it relates to these elements, but DKI can ensure that if a green building sustains damage, the building will be restored using the most efficient green products in the marketplace.

About DKI
Disaster Kleenup International, Inc., headquartered in suburban Chicago, is the largest disaster restoration contracting organization in North America. DKI member companies provide full service restoration to their customers: emergency response, water damage mitigation, fire and contents cleaning, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. DKI returns damaged property to its pre-loss condition quickly and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to our consumer, insurance, and corporate customers. For more information about Disaster Kleenup International, Inc., contact Michele Donahue at (630) 741-7262.  Advanced Restoration Corporation is a DKI Member Company that services the New York Metro area. If you require Emergency Service in New York, please call (800) 693-6263.

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Ice Dams and Protecting Your Home!

Posted on Wed, Jan 06, 2010 @ 08:11 PM
As if we need more snow, another storm is expected on Friday. Whenever there is snow, you are guaranteed to have troublesome ice dams to follow. Ice dams can cause major water damage and flooding to your home, which requires immediate attention.
ice dams, water damage,water extraction
As winter advances through cycles of freezing and thawing, buildings and homes experience ice buildup and roof damage. In general, ice dams are formed when attic heat moves up to warm the roof and melts snow at or near the ridge. Snow melts, runs downward and hits the edge of the cold roof, resulting in re-freezing snow. These cycles cause ice to accumulate and back up under shingles. Damage appears in the form of soaked insulation, stained, cracked and damaged sheet rock, damp, smelly, rotting wall cavities and stained, blistered and peeling paint.

Preventing Ice Dams
To prevent an ice dam, don't heat the roof, keep it cold. That way, the snow on the roof eventually dissipates without making large amounts of meltwater. The underside of the roof deck should not exceed 30 F. The best way to maintain low temperatures is by ensuring that there is adequate insulation and sealing gaps that let warm air pass into the attic from the house. The attic must also be ventilated, so that cold air is introduced into it and heated air escapes rapidly. Some remodeling contractors are under the impression that heat passing through the attic helps prevent ice dams, when just the opposite is true. Although excess heat moving from the attic through the roof rapidly melts snow, once the meltwater touches the cold eaves, it quickly freezes and forms an ice dam.

If you have a furnace in the attic, it may not be possible to prevent ice dams. Increased insulation, however, should help. First, insulate the areas between the roof rafters. It is important to keep an air space between the roof deck and the insulation in order to prevent a condensation buildup that can delaminate the roof deck. Prior to insulating, install polystyrene rafter air channels, which are available at home centers. Next, lay insulation blankets over the furnace's heating ducts to help reduce the heat buildup in the attic. If there's a hatchway into the attic, build a cover for it out of rigid poly-styrene insulation.

If the gable and ridge vents do not generate sufficient air movement to dissipate the heat, you will need a motorized vent at one end of the attic to exhaust the heat, and an adequately sized vent on the opposite end of the attic to draw in cold air from the outside.

Check your home carefully when ice dams form. Investigate even when there doesn't appear to be a leak. Look at the underside of the roof sheathing and roof trim to make sure they haven't gotten wet. Check the insulation for dampness. And when leaks inside your home develop, be prepared. Water penetration often follows pathways difficult follow. Don't just patch the roof leak. Make sure that the roof sheathing hasn't rotted or that other less obvious problems in your ceiling or walls haven't developed. And then detail a comprehensive plan to fix the damage. But more importantly, solve the problem.

If you experience water damage that requires a water damage/flood restoration expert, please contact Advanced Restoration at (800) 693-6263. Advanced Restoration is a full service property damage restoration company that can respond 24/7 to your water damage situation. We use state-of-the-art equipment to handle structural drying. Our professional staff is also available to handle mold situations that may occur as a result of a water loss. Our service area includes Nassau County, Suffolk County and the New York boroughs. Enjoy the snowfall and stay dry!

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Wind Damage to Your Home: Wind Advisory in New York

Posted on Tue, Dec 29, 2009 @ 08:54 AM
Heavy winds are pounding Long Island today and the National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for parts of New York. 

During a severe storm or a hurricane, homes may be damaged or destroyed by high winds. Debris can break windows and doors, allowing high winds inside the home. In extreme storms, the force of the wind alone can cause weak places in your home to fail.

Some helpful tips regarding wind damage and preparing for storms are listed below: 

The Roof
During a windstorm, the force of the wind pushes against the outside of your home. That force is passed along from your roof to the exterior walls and finally to the foundation. Homes can be damaged or destroyed when the energy from the wind is not properly transferred to the ground. The first thing you should do is determine what type of roof you have. Homes with gabled roofs are more likely to suffer damage during a hurricane. A gabled roof looks like an A on the ends,with the outside wall going to the top of the roof. The end wall of a home with a gabled roof takes a beating during a hurricane or wind storm, and those that are not properly braced can collapse, causing major damage to the roof.

Exterior Doors and Windows
The exterior walls, doors, and windows are the protective shell of your home. If your home's protective shell is broken, high winds can enter and put pressure on your roof and walls, causing damage. You can protect your home by strengthening the doors and windows.

Double Entry Doors
Most double doors have an active and an inactive or fixed door . Check to see how the fixed door is secured at the top and bottom. The bolts or pins that secure most doors are not strong enough. Some door manufacturers provide reinforcing bolt kits made specifically for their doors. Check with your local building supplies retailer to findout what type of bolt system will work for your door.

Double-wide Garage Doors
Double-wide (two-car) garage doors can pose a problem during storms because they are so large that they wobble as the high winds blow and can pull out of their tracks or collapse from wind pressure. If garage doors fail, high winds can enter your home through the garage and blow out doors, windows, walls, and even the roof.

Check the track on your garage door. With both hands, grab a section of each track and see if it is loose or if it can be twisted. If so, a stronger track should be installed.

Storm Shutters
Installing storm shutters over all exposed windows and other glass surfaces is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your home. You should cover all windows, French doors, sliding glass doors, and skylights. There are many types of manufactured storm shutters available. For more information on manufactured shutters, check with your local building supplies retailer. If you install manufactured shutters, follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

The recommendations discussed here are not intended to replace local building code requirements or to serve as the only options for protecting your home from hurricane wind damage. For more information on protecting your home from hurricane wind damage, contact your local building official; your local building supply retailer; or a building professional.

Advanced Restoration is a property damage restoration company that is trained and ready to respond to any disaster situation, including wind damage to your home or business. We are a preferred vendor for many insurance carriers and have been serving Long Island and the NY Metro area for 20 years. 

Do you have a property damage situation you need help with? 
Call us today at (800) 693-6263!

 

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Time to Light Your Fireplace

Posted on Fri, Dec 18, 2009 @ 09:28 AM


The holidays are just around the corner, and that means families will be entertaining around their fireplaces.fireplace, fire tips,fire damage

Fire safety is a primary ingredient to enjoying the holiday season.  Some firepalce tips include: 

Installation & Use

  • Check the fireplace to make sure it complies with the local building codes.
  • Use protective devices like glass doors or a screen which stops sparks.
  • Install a removable cap on the chimney.
  • Avoid using flammable liquids or garbage to start a fire.
  • Clean out all flammable materials near the fireplace.
  • Use only seasoned hardwood and approved fire tools.
Cleaning
  • Make sure the previous ashes are cleaned out before starting a fire.
  • Use non-combustible containers to remove ashes and remove immediately from the home.
  • Fireplaces require annual inspections and cleaning by a certified chimney sweep.
  • Regular maintenance is needed to remove obstructions and creosote.
Safety

  • Only close the damper when the fire has completely gone out.
  • Never leave a fire burning unattended.

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Common Origins of Fire Damage

Posted on Fri, Dec 18, 2009 @ 09:11 AM
Fire Startersfire,smoke damage,water damage
Fires have their origins and are classified accordingly.  Like any other kind of manmade disaster they have a starting point. The following are the most common starting points of fire along with some description of how they generally start:

Electrical - fires that originate from this source are due to overblown fuses and short circuits that throw spark.  Frayed wires which overheat in time make combustion possible.  Improper wire connections within the house structure must be promptly corrected.  Many fires that come from an electrical source do not emit any flame at first to show that fire is present.  But a smoke coming from any electrical source should not be taken lightly because of the fact that electrically originated fires are not known to cause a full blown flame.

Candles - candles are normally used when electric power is out and during special occasions.  To be on the safe side, trim the candle's wick once it gets too long making the flame too large. Remove any flammable material like paper, linen, etc that may be caught by the flame.  Always position the candle at a safe distance from wind blown curtains, and use appropriate candle holders that will hold the candle upright to prevent it from toppling and causing a fire.  Be sure to put off any lighted candles before going to sleep.

Smoking - it is better not to smoke inside the house, but if you do then make sure to use ashtrays and to put out the cigarette before you retire to sleep or rest.  Also make it a habit to throw your unlit cigarette butts into proper waste receptacles to avoid littering.

Cleanup and Restoration
In case of a fire disaster, most residential owners due to the lack of any financial resources may want to do the cleaning and restoration procedures by themselves along with the other family members.  While this may sound practical and cost saving, the truth is you are facing a very daunting task of cleaning up the mess and restoring the house to its pre-fire disaster condition, consequently spending more money than expected. 

It would also entail an unnecessary length of time to accomplish the task because you do not have the appropriate tools, equipment and gear necessary to do the job efficiently and properly.  It is commonly suggested that an expert or professional fire damage cleaner is hired to do the job.  For at least they have the experience, the knowledge, correct equipment and adequate manpower to engage with the after effects of the fire.  Just make sure that the professional fire damage cleaner you hire has all the legal documents and certificates to prove that they can do the task of proper cleaning and restoration.

Fire may be inevitable but with the steps and tips above, it can be prevented or at least, damages may be mitigated.

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Completing Your Dream Home with the FHA 203K Loan

Posted on Wed, Dec 09, 2009 @ 04:05 PM
Another challenge with the existing home inventory on the market is the condition of the property.  Whether it is REOs, foreclosures, short sales, or not, less people are presenting homes for sale in pristine condition.

The FHA 203k loan can help. The 203k can give the buyer the ability to have one loan to purchase and renovate their home at the same time.

Similar to a traditional mortgage with a construction loan added on top, the 203k can be used for the following:
  • Remodeling bathrooms and kitchens (even built-in appliances) 
  • Replacing a roof, gutters and downspouts
  • Adding a second story, afamily room,another bath, etc.
  • Completing a basement or attic
  • Upgrading plumbing, heating, air conditioning or electrical service
  • Installing new siding, energy efficient windows and doors
  • AND MUCH MORE!
It is important to hire a general contractor that is familiar with the 203k process and requirements.  Advanced Restoration Corporation, a 203k contractor, was recently featured on NBC News4 New York regarding 203k loans, along with Continental Home Loans.

For more information on 203k loans in New York, please contact the following:

203k Contractor:
Company:  Advanced Restoration Corporation
Contact:  Gary Matzelle
Phone:  (516) 903-4107
Email:  [email protected]

Mortgage Banker:
Company:  Continental Home Loans
Contact:  Robert Flower
Phone:  (917) 584-9292
Email:  [email protected]

Looking for REO/Foreclosures?
The REO People
Thomas Becker (Licensed Real Estate Salesperson)
Phone:  (631) 873-8150
Email:  [email protected]

Tags: disaster, foreclosure, 203(k) loan, property damage, restoration companies, fha, hud loan, reconstruction, restoration, homeowner tips, restoration company, disrepair, resources, refinance, 203k, hud, 203k streamline, rehab

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