Spring is in full swing and while most of the U.S. population are enjoying the nice weather and some hope that the pandemic will be behind us by year’s end, the struggle to dry out and rebuild their homes and businesses continues for thousands of Texans in the aftermath of the February freeze.
A storm team of 6 from our SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney spent three weeks in the Dallas, Texas area in February helping to restore more than 30 residential and commercial properties. They have returned to Maryland with hundreds of pieces of equipment in four large trucks. But that’s just our story, one franchise.
Multiply that by 78 total SERVPRO crews from 38 U.S. states that mobilized to the affected states: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Kansas. As of mid-April, 26 SERVPRO franchises are still in Texas helping to restore damaged properties as part of our companywide Storm Response. Still much destruction and devastation!
Brian Petraitis, Storm Response Manager, Commercial Large Loss Division of SERVPRO® Industries, LLC, says the Texas storm response has been the largest event in the company’s history.
“To put this in perspective, an average year for storm we can see our teams invoice around 5,000 jobs in a full year. This is seen during years of heavy storm activity such as hurricanes. Our Storm teams will invoice over 5,000 jobs that were produced in only 1.5 months,” he says, noting that Hurricane Harvey provided 17,851 job leads.
The Texas freeze event, Petraitis says, has provided more than 40,000 job leads.
While it’s business for SERVPRO franchises, it’s one of the reasons our storm and emergency response teams are regularly trained and certified to be ready for such disasters, because time is of the essence when disasters strike, and it’s especially so for the people affected as well as other responders such as insurance companies. Quick restoration means home & business owners can reclaim their properties and start to pick up the pieces sooner; for insurance adjusters, it means less claim payout since longer restoration time can mean insurance companies have to put their insureds into temporary housing and such. It’s a win for all involved!
But storm response also means that our crews perform their jobs with the care and compassion our customers need, especially at times of distress and uncertainty. The nature of our business as fire & water cleanup and restoration companies is such that we may be imposing on personal properties and belongings that are of great monetary & sentimental value to our customers.
Speaking for SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney, as well as our sister franchises SERVPRO of Silver Spring North, Laurel & Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E, General Manager Jorge Gutierrez says it was a highly rewarding experience to have been able to help people in their time of need.
“Demand was so high for restoration services, that some customers waited weeks before being able to get someone out,” he says. “And through it, the people of Texas could not have been more understanding, grateful and more than all welcoming to us.”
The southern states suffered a massive freeze the second week of February. SERVPRO headquarters, based in Gallatin, Tennessee, initially received 26,000+ job leads from six states all pleading for help with drying out and restoring their homes and businesses. The job leads grew to 40,000+ and growing, as over time water emergencies can lead to further problems including mold and biohazards. As our franchise General Manager Gutierrez says, our teams tried to help the people of Dallas as much as we can, “but there are only so much manpower and resources.”
SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney is a full-service restoration company that specializes in the cleanup, restoration & reconstruction of residential and commercial properties after a fire, smoke or water damage. We also mitigate mold and mildew, and biohazards from your home or business, as well as thorough cleaning with CDC-certified products.
For a free consultation, call us 24/7 at 301-340-1313 or 301-323-8862. We are always here to help!
About the Author
Trinh Le is part of the marketing team at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney/Silver Spring North. She is the former real estate editor for The Gazette, a group of community newspapers owned by the Washington Post Co., and had been a news reporter and editor for over two decades before that. She still writes & edits on a freelance basis. She & her husband both work in Rockville and enjoy road trips and camping with their college-age son.