A Sensitive Situation
Imagine the stress as one hears that flooding in your area is imminent and the suggestion to evacuate is no longer a suggestion but rather an order. What do you take besides your loved ones? Logistically, there is little time to decide and precious little time to gather up those important possessions, not to mention the limited room. The thought of the potential clean up and what lies after the flood is over shadowed by the fear of the unknown as those in the destructive path follow advice from those with disaster experience. Some travel on auto pilot, some choose to ignore the warning; others follow the lead while some give in to panic. Whatever the choice, this is no longer a typical day.
As a professional Restoration Contractor, we employ teams of front line technicians who stand ready 24/7/365 to help in a myriad of situations. We are trained to know what to look for following a peril and we have numerous tools at our ready to help diagnose the problem and reverse the effects of the disaster. All too often, however, we as professionals pay far too much attention to the structure while forgetting that the structure is not the only battered remnants of the disaster. The human psyche is resilient, but even the strongest soul needs help healing during a loss and it only makes sense that the Restoration Contractor, as one of the first responders, helps to heal that loss. We need not think as a psychologist would, nor do we need the training and degrees that accompany the teachings of a counselor. We need only empathise with the victim and provide a bit of compassion, always remembering that this is likely the first time this client is experiencing this type of loss. Grasping this is the key to helping our clients with compassion, understand and sensitivity.
Jeff Skrilow, CR, WLS, President
Paying It Forward
The Year 2000, also known as Y2K, signified change on so many levels. Many extremists believed the world would end, companies feared extreme data loss and the artist formally known as Prince was excited to play his 1999 hit (17 years later). I remember seeing a movie entitles, Pay It Forward; an amazing story about a child who “believed in the goodness of human nature.” I still remember the feelings this movie invoked within me.
Throughout the many changes that occurred 12 years ago, the thought of paying it forward still remains. The overall premise of the movie continues to have a strong effect on my actions and many others in our community. On the receiving side, I have been at Starbucks and various other NEPA coffee shops only to find that someone had paid for my coffee. This reminds me of a recent story.
Damage Control Inc. continues to be a strong supporter of the Nicholson Fire Company. While visiting their monthly soup sale I usually visit the small business owners in the area. This March, while purchasing a few items in an antique shop i was recurrently pulled to a small table in the back of the store. There was clearly something that differentiated itself from the surplus of items in this establishment. Before leaving I went back to check the price and realized the tag said “on layaway.” So I went to pay for the 6 or 7 items, yet still kept thinking of the table. While being rung up I blurted out, I would like to pay for the table in the back that is on layaway.” The woman immediately started to cry as she took in the meaning of what was being said. The she quickly explained that there is no one that deserves such a generous act of kindness as the man who put the table on layaway. The tears of happiness were exchanged for charming stories that quickly turned to laughter and heartfelt smiles of a person I may never meet, yet will always remember with fondness.
Trevor McKenney: “What did you ever do to change the word?”
Christopher McDonald, Business Development Manager
During the fall of 2011, the Damage Control team provided services to several communities severely impacted by flooding. While working alongside those living in these communities, it became evident that no one was going about it alone. The selfless acts from friends, neighbors, local businesses, and complete strangers allowed people who were overwhelmed to see they had the support needed to rebuild their lives. Residents who were not affected by the disaster gave aid to those who had lost everything, while those people returned the generosity by lending a hand to their neighbors. Volunteers reached out to those who could not help themselves by way of shelter, food, clothing, cleanup, and moral support. Busloads of college students arrived in one community to assist while businesses set up tents to provide food and beverages to local residents and all volunteers. Supplies poured in from all around to ease the burden placed on these flood victims. Barriers and walls were broken down as everyone pulled together and became what would be the definition of a true community. In the end, no one looked for recognition nor did they want to be reimbursed for their efforts. Payment came in the way of a handshake, a thank you, or an embrace between people whose paths may never have crossed had it not been for the disastrous events that took place.
Mark Bickelman, Operations Manager
Lending a Hand
Many people are aware of Damage Control’s efforts to help those in need. We are involved with causes such as Camp Cadet, American Red Cross, Children’s Miracle Network, St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen, and many other local schools, charities, and first-responders and non-profit organizations. In a disaster situation, Damage Control and its employees will set up and help in any way we can, as we did after Hurricane Katrina and the flooding in our area in September 2011.
What you may not know is that we also help each other. One of our Core Values is “Work Environment,” which states, “Maintain a family like atmosphere with compassion, understanding and humor, to foster individual growth.” We feel so strongly about this that we made it a Core Value. That means it is something so important that we are promising to keep it throughout the life of the company. You can see evidence of this by overhearing conversations among our employees. On any given day, you can hear someone giving advice to a co-worker, sharing in a celebration of a happy life event, lending an ear in hard times or offering to help with a home improvement project.
A very important part of our job is helping customers, and not just by drying or cleaning their homes. In an industry in which we often see or speak with people on one of the worst days of their lives, we need to show the utmost understanding. When people are in a situation where they have a loss, the smallest thing you say or do and the way in which it is said or done, can mean so much to them. This can work positively or negatively, so we make sure our employees are able to deal with these situations in a compassionate way. This isn’t something you can teach so we need to hire with this in mind.
Whether it is for others or for each other, Damage Control is always here to help.
Cindy Jackson, Office Manager
One of Damage Control’s core values is respect. I witness this almost every day, with a story fresh in mind from a few weeks ago. A friend of mine needed help moving and I was able to borrow the cube van for the weekend to help. This may seem like a small gesture but being able to use that van made the job a lot easier for all concerned. This is one type of action that sets the tone for everyone that works here. Helping others can be contagious if given the right atmosphere to spread, much like paying it forward.
Daniel Snipes, Project Manage