by Lisa Burrell, Marketing and Customer Service Representative, TCR of Muskoka, Disaster Kleenup Canada
January allows us to enjoy one of the most scenic months in Muskoka� snowshoeing, sledding and winter walks�. all interrupted suddenly by an unexpected spill of torrential rains and high winds � causing ruin along our rivers and roads.
For a restoration specialist, a predictable call this time of year would include burst pipes, or a roof collapse� however, the calls that brought TCR of Muskoka out on this warm morning, demanded another approach.
As rainfall increases to 49mm, and winds blow to 90 kmh, we look in disbelief at our calendars – they are still turned to January! Our confidence in the weatherman fades�.
At TCR, though, we know about being prepared. Our summers are increasingly warmer and our winters arrive earlier. With the weather patterns constantly changing, we must continue to push our emergency response planning and proficiency. When something big hits Muskoka – an ice storm, a storm, or six tornadoes � we are ready to roll.
TCR�s Diary of the Storm
Wednesday January 9, 2008 – 4:00am � TCR is paged�first flood call � Glen is on site immediately � �the water won�t stop coming in…�
As the day continues�
- On site by 4:30am, a water technician immediately calls for backup – the water is rising.
- Installing a backup generator temporarily solves this problem � on to the next call.
- By 10:00am, we are at a claim count of 50 plus, and Canada�s major insurance companies are declaring the storm a CAT loss situation.
- TCR crew is now revisiting sites from the earlier morning to ensure water is subsiding � installing drying equipment and reassuring homeowners.
- 11:00am � TCR has exhausted all of their drying equipment � owner Mark Augustine calls another DKC member who promptly fills a cube van full of air movers, dehumidifiers, and air purifiers for immediate delivery to our warehouse.
- The mayhem continues into the evening, and the calls do not slow down until the next day.
- Revisit yesterday�s claims � ensure all equipment is positioned correctly and assisting with the drying process
- Power outages continue � brown outs are happening regularly, blackouts are still strong across the region � generators are humming away in the background
- The Big East River area residents are under an emergency evacuation warning
- Another crazy day! Claims continue to pour in � count reaches over 100
- Contents come back for sorting and drying � clothes to the cleaners � reassurance continues to our customers
- 5:00pm comes and goes�
- 8:00am – Revisit all customers again
- Throughout the day�pick up or redistribute equipment � we have revisited all sites � readjusted drying equipment, and ensured living areas are safe and secure
- Claim count is 175+ and rising
- 5:00pm – Dry out your boots � we�re working the weekend!
As a picture is worth a thousand words, see a few of the scenes we saw.
Although the peak of the workload was mainly past now, the team worked steadily through the weekend, with calls quieting Sunday morning. We brought in extra help from the local staffing agency to assist us. By Monday things were easing off a bit and we could start to work more normal hours with only a little overtime. Our last visit to a site with damage caused by the storm didn�t happen until January 18, and our focus then turned to content storage and inventory.
In the week following the onslaught, we serviced 175+ customer sites which had been damaged by the storm. Of these, 168 were insurance claims insured by 11 different insurance companies.
Following the emergency work and continuous site visits, our Estimators started to complete the required paperwork for the necessary structural repairs to proceed.
Helping all these people who suffered damage from the storm challenges our personal, technical and equipment resources. The sense of satisfaction from doing a good job, minimizing damage and helping so many in time of need brings its own rewards.
About TCR Muskoka
TCR of Muskoka, owned and operated by Mark Augustine, is your Disaster Kleenup Specialist, with over 15 years experience in the restoration industry. The independently owned company is part of the Disaster Kleenup Canada group that covers Canada.
The majority of our work is referred by the Insurance Industry, but we respond to all varieties of emergencies. Our services include restoration for both Residential and Commercial fires, floods, oil spills, frozen pipes, sewage back-ups, and windstorm damage. We operate 24-hours a day, seven days a week and boast quality service by skilled staff that includes carpenters, painters, cleaners, dry wallers, electricians and plumbers.
For a full view and description of our warehouse and the services, visit our website at www.tcrmuskoka.com.