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At the time of the hurricane, PuroClean had five franchise owners based in Houston ready to help home and business owners with severe property damage. Another 26 franchise owners immediately traveled to the region to assist with the surplus of remediation jobs. While most of the visiting franchise owners stayed for two weeks, a handful stayed for more than two months helping with the hurricane relief. Different from other hurricanes resulting in jobs for PuroClean, Hurricane Harvey was mainly a water weather event, rather than a wind-driven one. When the wind subsided after a few days, intense rain continued, resulting in tens of thousands of flooded homes in Houston and its surrounding areas. Local rivers, creeks, and sewage systems overflowed, leading to even more flooding. Because all of the water creeping into homes of Texans had come from the hurricane or the sewage system, it was all contaminated, and any property it touched needed to be properly and professionally cleaned and/or restored.
While each job had unique damage to the property, all jobs consisted of clearing out all water from the job site, most often a house or apartment complex. Next, franchise owners and their technicians demolished any wood structures, drywall, carpets, tiles, and more that had been touched by contaminated water. In flooding situations with severe contamination like this, contaminants can reach up to two feet above the water line. As such, all drywall was removed up to two feet above where the water had reached. Metals and glass surfaces were cleaned with disinfectant, but everything else that had been in contact with the contaminated water had to be replaced, which was the case for almost all Hurricane Harvey job sites.
Since there were so many franchise owners aiding in the restoration of thousands of flooded homes, a command center was set up by the Regional Developers, headed by Bart Meador, to help streamline PuroClean’s services. When any homeowner called into any of the five local offices, the calls were redirected to this command center, where PuroClean staff would then evenly distribute the jobs to the local and out-of-town franchise owners.
In addition, to ensure every franchise owner and technician had the equipment and products needed to successfully complete each job, Meador held twice-daily calls with franchise owners and vendors. Every day, the group used these phone calls to discuss the daily forecast, anticipated rainfall, the hurricane’s direction, who was deployed where, how much equipment they had, and if they needed any additional products or supplies.
Hurricane Harvey was a devastating natural disaster that lasted between August 17 and September 2, 2017. The hurricane caused at least $125 billion in damages, displaced 30,000 people and broke rainfall records, with some parts of Texas receiving up to 40 inches of rainfall over a four-day period.
It also was an exemplary demonstration of teamwork and efficient systems for PuroClean.
Saving Hundreds of Homes from Total Destruction
As a result of these efforts, the 31 PuroClean franchise owners completed 327 jobs directly related to Hurricane Harvey, and each of these jobs were called into the command center during a single week period. Had PuroClean not mobilized so quickly to aid in hurricane relief, many of the restored homes would ultimately have been lost after being overtaken by flooding, contamination, and eventual mold.
PuroClean’s response to Hurricane Harvey was a true success which demonstrated how our franchise owners can rise to the occasion in times of national catastrophe. Insurance companies and property owners alike were pleased with our teams’ diligence and persistence in getting customers lives back to normal following the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey.