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Lessard P L U M B I N G & H E AT I N G


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OFFICE: 413 - 736-0066 413 - 736-4322 FAX: CELL: 413 - 222-3589 Tim Lessard Mass. Master License #12331



Opening Remarks

R E S T O R A T I O N A Publication from

INSTAR SERVICES GROUP Corporate Office 7439 Pebble Drive • Fort Worth, TX 76118 (817) 595-9988 • David J. Demos, President, CEO Gerald M. Burns, COO, Founder Rick Augustine, CFO Kim Crist, SVP, Editor Russ Lannom, SVP Maria Gonzalez, SVP Mid-Atlantic Division Mac Patterson, Founder Jim Wilson, Founder Greg Dillion, CO Abingdon, VA (800) 544-4497 Roanoke, VA (800) 479-7540 Harrisonburg, VA (800) 430-9707 Asheville, NC (800) 932-0433 Winston/Salem, NC (800) 910-0025 Wilmington, NC (800) 395-1006 Washington DC/Baltimore, MD (866) 369-8626 Nashville, TN (800) 555-8006 Memphis, TN (866) 508-7827 Knoxville, TN (800) 555-8004 Kingsport, TN (800) 639-7858 Lexington, KY (866) 299-5400 Southeast Division Rick Frankenfield, President John Crist, Vice President Tampa, FL (800) 446-1620 Clearwater/St. Petersburg, FL (800) 446-1620 New Port Richey, FL (800) 446-1620 Lakeland, FL (800) 446-1620 Punta Gorda, FL (800) 446-1620 Kissimmee, FL (800) 446-1620 Sarasota/Bradenton, FL (800) 446-1620 Atlanta, GA (800) 446-1620 Southwest Division Dave Davis, Founder Mark Owen, Founder Robert Owen, Founder Dallas/Ft.Worth, TX (800) 467-8275 Waco, TX (800) 303-5844 Houston, TX (866) 882-8480 Austin, TX (800) 793-4476 Belton, TX (888) 557-3473 San Antonio, TX (866) 619-1900 Denver, CO, (800) 303-5844 Northeast Division Joe Gillette, President Springfield/Chicopee, MA (800) 783-7668 Worcester, MA (800) 783-7668

REPORT CLAIMS 1-866-InStar-5 •

t gives me great pleasure to introduce the inaugural InStar Services Group magazine, Disaster Restoration. The support we have received from our friends and vendors in putting this publication together has been nothing short of amazing. This kind of cooperation and teamwork has made InStar the premier provider of disaster recovery services in the nation.


The past two years have seen us deal with issues of integration and branding. Nonetheless, due to the clear message emanating from all InStar employees, we still managed to grow our revenues and add five new offices to our footprint. In addition, we have restructured the marketing organization to streamline efforts and provide focused support to our various market segments. We also advanced our overall effectiveness through strategic planning sessions and operations meetings focused on best-practice implementation. Looking to the future, our revenue and profit growth initiatives revolve around two complimentary components. The first one involves an internal challenge to expand services and market share in our existing offices. On the national level, we are working toward this goal by forging preferred relationships with large commercial and multifamily customers. At the same time, however, we are committed to training our management teams to ensure seamless transitions as we widen our range of services. Our second tactic is to grow through expansion, adding new offices ourselves or through acquisition. Our goal for the inaugural issue of Disaster Restoration was to begin a lasting celebration of what we all know InStar will become. Our growth will create a tremendous opportunity for our customers and vendors. We believe communication is key to our mission, and to that end we aim for future issues to involve employees, customers, and vendors. So please accept our invitation and come along for the ride! To submit commentary or informational articles, please contact Kim Crist at

Dave Demos, President & CEO

In This Issue . . . 4 6 A Rising InStar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Multifamily Properties: It Pays to Plan Ahead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Fact or Fiction: Busting Mold Remediation Myths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Discussion Panel Q & A: Disaster Response and Recovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Are You PREPared? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Right as Rain: Williamson-Dickie Warehouse Restored Following Storm . . . . . . . . . . Disaster Preparedness: When Catastrophe Strikes! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

QuestCorp Publishing Group, Inc., 885 E. Collins, Richardson, Texas 75081 Phone (972) 447-0910, (888) 860-2442, Fax (972) 447-0911, QuestCorp specializes in creating corporate magazines for businesses. Please direct inquiries to: Victor Horne, This publication may not be reproduced in part or in whole without the express written permission of InStar Services Group or QuestCorp Publishing Group, Inc. For a new subscription or change of address call: (888) 860-2442 or fax: (972) 447-0911. Single-copy sales: (888) 860-2442. Single copy: $5.95. DISASTER RESTORATION


Right as Rain

By Thomas Wolf

Williamson-Dickie Warehouse Restored Following Storm

n April 2003, Williamson-Dickie, a major manufacturer of apparel and safety uniforms, sustained substantial damage to its 333,000-square-foot warehouse in Fort Worth, Texas. A storm packing high winds lifted sections of its metal roof, allowing rainwater to soak critical equipment.

jeans, women’s and children’s apparel, and Workrite safety uniforms. Water also threatened tools in the maintenance bins, as well as products and supplies stored inside the warehouse, which spans nearly six football fields.

The water infiltration could have ruined conveyor belts carrying containers of Dickie’s brand clothing — khaki pants, bib overalls,

Following an inquiry from Williamson-Dickie’s insurance company, InStar Services Group arrived on the job the day after the storm.


Getting Started

Once on the scene, InStar instituted a communications command protocol, a key step to any project’s success. Project Manager Janet Chisenhall met each day with Williamson-Dickie warehouse personnel, who guided InStar’s efforts. Seventy-five of InStar’s restoration experts worked seven days a week to clean up the site. Chisenhall notes that working around the warehouse’s three daily shifts constituted a major challenge. “We did our job between shifts and on weekends,” she says. “We knew that any downtime would cost Williamson-Dickie money.”

Seventy-five of InStar’s restoration experts completed the job in less than a month. 4


InStar divided its damage-control focus into three general areas: the warehouse structure; the warehouse machinery, such as roller and conveyor systems and storage bins; and the offices, where the work included

drying, making repairs, and performing selected demolition. “There was a lot to manage, and the logistics were very difficult,” says InStar General Manager Rob Walters. Because water leaked through the roof throughout the plant, all roller-conveyor systems, tools, and metal storage bins suffered flash rusting. Depending on the metal’s age and composition, Chisenhall says, more serious rust could have occurred within two weeks. InStar's team worked to keep this from happening.

Preventing Loss InStar’s crew immediately brought in dehumidifiers to dry out the office facilities. They also disassembled and hand cleaned approximately seven miles of conveyor belts and rollers using a liquid inhibitor to stop rust and prevent further corrosion. In addition, they removed wet ceiling tiles, sheetrock, and insulation, refurbished the damaged executive office, and draped plastic sheeting under the roof to catch any falling debris. In the aftermath of the storm, dust and debris collected on all horizontal surfaces inside the warehouse. InStar used its HEPAvacuum process to remove contaminated material from exposed bar joists, electrical fixtures, piping, and other areas. This process, along with the plastic catch sheets, also pre-

All in a Day’s Work InStar conducted the plant restoration in coordination with Williamson-Dickie plant management. Everyone worked hard to integrate all phases of the project, a task critical to successful, timely, and costeffective completion. InStar workers used the following steps to accomplish the warehouse decontamination: • They locked out and tagged the section of conveyors to be cleaned by plant personnel. • They decontaminated the conveyor system using its HEPA-vacuum process. • They removed all rollers from the conveyor system.

Williamson-Dickie never missed a beat in serving customers from the Fort Worth warehouse.

vented any fallout during the roof removal and replacement. Despite the project’s enormity, InStar accomplished the restoration in less than a month for a cost of $750,000. More importantly, Williamson-Dickie never missed a beat in serving customers from its Fort Worth warehouse.

and Ralph Lauren. Celebrities such as pop singer Justin Timberlake, Grand Ole Opry headliner Jerry Nix, and NASCAR driver Chad Chaffin have donned designs from this family-owned company.

• They reassembled the roller system. • Finally, they facilitated start-up maintenance and re-energizing by plant personnel. InStar workers also performed the following work to mitigate damage to office areas:

Rich in History

• They removed the cove base on one side of every wall and drilled holes to facilitate drying.

This accomplishment was especially important to a firm that keeps a constant eye on customer service. Williamson-Dickie is a company rich with history. Its roots go back to C.N. Williamson and E.E. “Colonel” Dickie, who began their business careers in the vehicle and harness business in Bryan, Texas.

• They hauled away wet or damaged ceiling tile and insulation. • They replaced ceiling tiles. • They applied MICROBAN, an anti-microbial fluid, to carpeted areas.

In 1918, they made what turned out to be a momentous decision when they and a few friends established the U.S. Overall Company. Then, in 1922, C. Don Williamson joined with his father and cousin and bought the firm, renaming it Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company. Williamson-Dickie still sells work clothes primarily to its blue-collar clientele. However, Dickies clothing can also be found in upscale boutiques next to designer labels like Armani

• They removed flash rusting from machine parts with EVAPO-RUST and SCOTCH-BRITE pads and then applied CP90, a rust inhibitor, to prevent further damage.

• They replaced all cove bases after the walls had dried. • They removed remaining debris. • They steam cleaned all carpeted areas to take out water marks.

A HEPA-vacuum process removed contaminated material from hard-to-reach areas.

• They sealed and painted any walls that suffered staining from water intrusion.



Disaster Preparedness

When orecasters predicted an especially busy hurricane season for 2004, and they couldn’t have been more dead-on. Because hurricanes can also spawn tornadoes, start landslides, and cause floods, this storm season has been exceptionally dangerous for Florida, the Atlantic seaboard, and the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico.


On the bright side, experts today know much more about hurricane behavior, and meteorologists can provide as much as a week’s notice to communities and states before a storm makes landfall. Although we cannot keep hurricanes at bay, we can prevent substantial damages by being prepared. But getting ready for such an event involves more than just chasing spiders out of the plywood, finding flashlights, and updating the canned mystery meat. For property and business owners, planning a quick-reaction strategy for before and after a storm is critical to minimizing recovery cost and downtime. Hurricanes create chaos when they come ashore. Any unfortunate city or town that gets in the way will likely be flooded, have power and communication lines knocked out, and be inundated by water and debris. Hundreds of homes and businesses will be destroyed. Most property owners will be miles away in safe zones and unable to act quickly once the storm passes.



By Nicole Achs Freeling

Strikes! So, how can property and business owners limit potential financial and property losses in the unlucky event of a hurricane? Not much can be done physically beyond “boarding up the windows and getting out of dodge,” says Dave Demos, President of InStar Services Group. Planning a disaster response ahead of the fact, however, can go a long way toward reducing the damage and getting repair and recovery underway quickly. According to Demos, the most important thing one can do is create and implement a detailed reaction program well before catastrophe strikes. InStar helps businesses accomplish this through its Priority Response Emergency Preparedness (PREP) program. Using the PREP process, InStar works with companies to draw up disaster plans and identify priority needs. Initially, InStar gathers data on the facility location and size, the site of emergency cutoff systems, and the communication, data, and power needs at each location. Then InStar, working with the client firm, determines a set of response priorities. If a storm does strike, InStar is ready to take action. The client needn’t worry about finding contractors — which can be impossible after a big storm — or about assessing what it will take to get back in business.

InStar knows the value of mobilizing its crews long before a hurricane hits land. “As soon as a storm gets named, we’re starting to talk about a response,” says Jim Wilson, a partner of InStar Services Group. Thanks to advance prediction and tracking techniques, “we usually know a week out if a hurricane is likely to hit,” says Wilson, who has been responding to hurricanes for more than 20 years. Right away, he says, “we’ll get clients [in the affected areas] on the phone.” When a hurricane approaches, InStar often helps clients board up and secure their buildings. InStar consultants also go over response plans with management, contact insurance adjusters, and, if the client is a national chain, identify which business outlets lie in the storm's path. As soon as the hurricane passes, InStar crews move in, bringing tarps, more plywood, generators, and drying equipment. The company also provides experienced contractors like estimators, carpenters, roofers, and water removal technicians. After a major storm, InStar might deploy a crew of as many as 400 to 500 employees and subcontractors. If necessary, the company can pool resources from all of its offices to meet the demand. “In

a major storm, every source can get

focuses heavily on getting a company up

strapped — generators, tarps, lumber,” says

and running as quickly as possible. This may

Wilson. “But if the storm hits in Florida,

include finding and securing interim facilities

there’s no tarp shortage in our other Instar

until the old ones can be rebuilt. When the


pressing needs of mitigating damage and getting a business back in operation have

Immediately after a hurricane strikes, InStar

been met, InStar then turns to the longer-

initiates the emergency response phase. This

term task of restoring damaged buildings

involves boarding up, sealing, and

and equipment to their prestorm condition.

securing damaged buildings, tarping roofs, establishing a power supply, and getting in

Fortunately, hurricanes have become much

drying equipment. The next step, according

less deadly over the past 100 years as the

to Wilson, entails recovering documents and

technology for predicting their movements

moving any valuable items that can be saved

has vastly improved. However, these storms

to a safe location. InStar helps with all these

have become much more costly in terms of

activities. For example, it often assists compa-

business loss and property damage. In the

nies in recovering damaged documents using

past 20 years, 15 hurricanes have struck the

freeze-drying and other restorative techniques.

United States, causing billions of dollars in

Fire Soot Water Damage Specialists Servicing All of New England

damages. With advance planning before the It’s not only the physical loss after a storm

fact, and quick, expert response afterwards,

Phone: 888-428-4808

that can be financially devastating. For a

property owners and companies can mini-

business, the cost of shutting down opera-

mize losses, hasten recovery after the storm,

tions involuntarily can quickly outstrip pro-

and get back to business as usual as quickly

perty damage. For that reason, InStar also

as possible.

“Let Us Manage Your Next Loss”





A Rising InStar By Scott Patton


full-service national restoration company requires a critical mass of manpower and equipment nearly impossible to achieve costwise for any one of their regional companies. However, by focusing on synergy, integrating their individual resources, and capitalizing on economies of scale, they realized their goal of greatly enhanced capacity and capability.

While the name InStar will no doubt be associated with its strong construction and remodeling capabilities, the company intends to be recognized as the property restoration standard bearer through its unique work in disaster recovery. It’s at that moment when catastrophe strikes, damaging buildings and their contents with fire, flood, wind, water

pring’s arrival always indicates rebirth and new growth, so it is more than appropriate that InStar Services Group “sprang” to

life in April 2002. Faced by the many challenges of growing their then-separate region-

When catastrophic events such as hurricanes or tornadoes create widespread harm, InStar’s national recovery team can swing into action and deliver quick, cost-effective restoration services.

al disaster recovery companies, InStar’s seven founders looked for strength in numbers and joined forces to bring their respective firms to the next level. The moment they created InStar, it became the second largest privately held property restoration company in the United States, one ready to operate on a national — or even international — scale.

Laying the Foundation InStar could not have happened without the strong mutuality that existed among its founders. In the months leading up to the corporate launch, the well-known and highlyrespected owners of the four original companies laid the foundation of the soon-to-be national organization. Dave Demos of Action Fire Restoration in the Northeast; Mac Patterson and Jim Wilson of Jay Construction Company in the Mid-Atlantic region; Gerald Burns of Burns Services in the Southeast; and Dave Davis, Mark Owen, and Robert Owen of Total Restoration Services in the Southwest made their firms the cornerstones of a company that would dedicate itself to delivering property restoration and reconstruction services wherever and whenever disaster struck. Before they came together, InStar’s founding partners knew well from their years in the business that the surest path to growth was expanding their service areas. They also knew all too well that running a



Today, InStar has 28 service locations, nearly 600 employees, vast stores of equipment, and current revenues in excess of $90 million. The firm has also begun to gain recognition, climbing up from its niche in a specialized industry that is still somewhat in its infancy and still operating under the radar of most individuals and organizations that may come to need its unique services.

infiltration, smoke, and soot, that InStar managers and recovery experts apply their specialized skills. No matter what time of day or night, each InStar office stands prepared to help property owners and managers preserve, protect, and restore their homes or businesses from devastating property loss. When catastrophic events such as hurricanes or tornadoes create widespread harm,

InStar’s national recovery team can swing into action and deliver quick, cost-effective restoration services.

Order from Chaos With any property loss comes the potentially more costly disruption of “business as usual.” Most homeowners and businesses do not know where to turn when large-scale damage occurs, much less know how to go about getting back on their feet. InStar combines specialized training and field experience to address a wide spectrum of damage scenarios proactively and effectively. The company prides itself on bringing order back from chaos, allowing business and life to get back to normal quickly. To accomplish this goal, InStar organizes and manages a complex matrix of recovery services. The company’s experienced personnel can be counted on to dry out buildings, recover inventories, save critical documents, and restore IT equipment. They also know how to clean almost any type of building contents thoroughly, including personal property, high-value items, furniture, and critical production equipment.

Knowing what to do before fire and water damage occurs and what not to do afterwards is the best way to reduce adverse outcomes.

An Ounce of Prevention InStar also offers clients added-value benefits and unique assistance beyond its core recovery services. The company believes an ounce of prevention goes a long way and actively seeks opportunities to share its experience to help others minimize catastrophic loss. As a key service provider to the insurance, property management, and multifamily industries, InStar supplies informational brochures and conducts a variety of educational seminars and training programs detailing strategies participants can use to limit and manage their exposure to potential disaster. Knowing what to do before fire and water damage occurs

and what not to do afterwards is the best way to reduce adverse outcomes. For example, InStar’s Priority Response Emergency Preparedness (PREP) program offers commercial entities a tool that helps them discover specific vulnerabilities and then develop tactics and contingency plans to deal with their unique needs in an emergency situation. Invariably, this analysis points to the need to preselect key partners essential to a successful recovery. Here too, InStar fulfills a vital role as an experienced, active participant in an organization’s emergency plan. As InStar consultants often say, “Our business is putting you back in business.”



Multifamily Properties

It Pays to Plan Ahead By Rebecca Williams

ithout notice, disasters involving fire and water can damage property to the tune of millions of dollars. When this happens, it creates a huge strain on the resources necessary to repair and reconstruct hard-hit areas because everyone needs the same things — contractors, engineers, electricians, masons, and other essential workers — at the same time. Even raw materials such as lumber and cement are in great demand. That’s why preparing a community for a disaster before it strikes is so important.


to predisaster condition are already in place. While others are just Smoke and flame engulfed this multifamily property. beginning to survey the damage to their properties, InStar is at assets. The predisaster planning InStar prowork putting things back in order for its clients. vides for its multifamily property clients saves time and gets those properties back InStar has extensive experience in predisaster to predisaster condition quickly. At the same planning as well as commercial and residentime, it assures that the highest levels of tial restoration and reconstruction. This work safety and work quality will be established includes cleanup from hurricanes, tornadoes, and maintained. earthquakes, straight-line windstorms, flooding, fires, and other calamities. Committed to As nationally recognized experts in rehabilitatassuring minimal downtime and disruption ing multifamily complexes, InStar can plan

“ Preparing individual properties such as multifamily complexes for these occurrences is just as important. To that end, InStar Services Group works with its multifamily property clients to establish a response plan before they suffer a catastrophic loss. Then, if such an event does happen, InStar can be at the client’s site quickly with a team of large-loss consultants. Once there, InStar’s experts secure the area, gauge the scope of the loss, determine priorities, formulate a remediation and restoration plan, and deploy the necessary equipment and personnel. They help guide the property owner through every aspect of reconstruction, from providing insurance representatives with a comprehensive scope of work to conducting final inspections once rebuilding is complete. Since the response planning has already been done, the resources necessary to restore the property 10


Firefighters combat flames and try to reduce property damage.

“Without your help I would have been camped out for the night to watch the building after our first loss on July 4, 2001. I commend your staff for being professional and prompt with all aspects of the fire rebuilding. This was not my first major fire situation to handle in 15 years in the apartment industry, so I can say your company has been the best overall general contractor and fire restoration company I have ever worked with.” — Tammy Williams, Audubon Park, Nashville, Tennessee

for every client, InStar’s industry-certified personnel employ the most innovative technologies and methods to provide competent, caring restoration of facilities and their contents. All InStar personnel are IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified in water restoration, in addition to meeting the requirements of the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA). The caliber of InStar’s performance is reflected in the clients it serves. These include the 15 largest property management companies in the nation. InStar’s work with multifamily properties, like all of its engagements, is characterized by quick response, limited disruption, and maximum protection of customer

and execute your nondisaster reconstruction projects as well. Because of its broad-based resources, the company can tailor a contract to meet the specific needs of any multifamily property. Since customer convenience is always an important part of InStar’s service, the firm can conduct mold control and predisaster planning seminars on site as well. No one thinks a disaster will happen until it does. That’s why the professionals at InStar make sure vulnerable companies are equipped to recover quickly and cost-effectively from any unexpected catastrophe.


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Fact or Fiction



or property owners and insurance companies, mold is, not surprisingly, a four-letter word. Dealing with this pesky and sometimes dangerous substance can be difficult and costly. As if that’s not enough, mold damage assessment and remediation is also a field of restoration plagued with misunderstandings and incorrect information. I would like to take a moment here to “bust” a few of the misconceptions I’ve encountered in my seven years of working in this area.

This approach does not account for regional differences in outdoor mold counts. We routinely achieve clearance tests in Florida with mold counts hundreds of times higher than the air in desert states. If a Las Vegas home fails a clearance test showing 200 colony forming units (cfu) of Aspergillus Versicolor inside and 150 cfu outside, what can be said of the clearance test that passed in Mississippi with 487 cfu that matched the outside air count?

Clearance Testing

In the future, I hope to see a test standard based on regional averages of mold counts, one that establishes target levels of mold contamination that will at least provide a consistent clearance sample.


There is no question that post-remediation testing can give documented closure to a mold project. All the parties involved can breathe easier knowing the mold has been successfully removed. The misconception here is that these tests look for a standard mold level from one place to the next. Unfortunately, there are still no established threshold limits for mold exposure. Most tests simply compare the indoor air quality with that of the immediate outdoor air. A “successful” test merely shows that the air inside is at least as free of mold particulates and species as that outside.

Equipment Costs One of the most frequent complaints I hear from the insurance industry concerns the outrageous fees levied for equipment charges. Over a long-term project, daily equipment bills can add up to a sum that would pay for the equipment several times over. For instance, in one case, a youth center building was damaged and it took several months to get the special material needed to replace the roof. The equipment fees to keep the building dry and mold-free during that time came to $90,000 — whereas purchasing the equipment outright would have cost only $15,000! InStar never charges more than 50 percent of the costs for any equipment used in mold remediation. Once that 50 percent threshold is reached, we stop levying equipment



By Greg Boling

fees, no matter how much longer the project goes on. Let’s face it, it is simply unethical to levy bills that exceed a piece of equipment’s value, let alone charge to the point where a company could purchase two or three new machines with the proceeds!

The Fear Factor Sometimes mold remediation takes place while the insured still occupy the building. Or maybe the occupants come by while the building is being cleaned. Imagine how they feel when they see workers wearing Tyvek coveralls and respirator masks! Seeing these moon suits without question increases the anxiety of anyone already subjected to years of “toxic black mold” hype. However, there’s no cause for added stress. The best way to deal with this misconception is simply tell people what’s going on. The workers doing these tasks clean up mold contamination five days a week, year after year. For this reason, they need to reduce the possibility of being chronically exposed or experiencing massive contamination from a single mold release during demolition. The insured should understand that remediation experts are comfortable working around mold and wear this equipment as a precaution because of their consistent, long-term exposure.

Dead Mold vs. Living Mold Current mold remediation standards focus on removing mold from a structure rather than just killing it. The reason, of course, is that dead mold can contain the same allergens and mycotoxins as living (viable) mold, something most people probably do not understand. In fact, spraying bleach onto mold growth can eject millions of mold spores into the air, increasing rather than decreasing contamination.

Recently, InStar Services Group earned its certification and license to use a revolutionary chemical that neither kills nor removes mold but rather neutralizes it through a fogging process. The treatment eliminates the allergens and toxins in the mold, whether dead or alive, rendering it harmless. The technique is particularly useful when mold counts are high, but no mold is visible. The fogging technique is far more cost-effective than having to HEPA vacuum and then wipe down walls, ceilings, carpet, and furnishings. In fact, it can cut remediation expenses by 50 percent or more.

useful about five percent of the time. In those instances, they addressed specific concerns and determined the exact scope of the work. Certified mold remediators, such as those on staff at InStar, have been trained to correct a mold problem. Frankly, we don’t need to know how to do this work. What we do need to know is whether the building air is contaminated.

PreTesting for Mold

If tests show the air is bad, we need to do mold remediation to the building and everything in it. If the tests show the air is as good as the outside air, then we simply need to isolate the area where the mold is growing and remove it from there.

Two questions I hear often are: is it always necessary to have pretesting done and should a protocol be written by a third-party investigator? The misconception here is that pre-tests need to be done and third-party protocols need to be used. I have read hundreds of protocols and only found them

A mold remediator doesn’t need to know what kind of mold was found or see the counts of every type of mold from every sample location. All we need to know is what part of the building requires remediation. Tell us this, and we can get to work.

InStar District Vice President Greg Boling has more than 20 years experience in helping companies recover from water and fire damage. Certified as a mold remediator by both the Indoor Air Quality Association and Indoor Environmental Sampling and Consulting, he has overseen numerous major remediation projects, including cleanup at the Naval Credit Union Headquarters, Bank of America, two Eckerd Drug stores, 13 churches, two hospitals, over 35 commercial office buildings, and 225 residences. A graduate of Georgia Military College with a degree in business administration, Boling has been working in the field of restoration since he graduated college, first for Sunstate Cleaning Service of Tampa and then for InStar, where he has worked since 1983. Boling has spoken to numerous groups and trade associations on a variety of restoration topics and has testified as an expert in more than a dozen court cases surrounding property loss and damage.




• Commercial • Residential • Industrial • Telephone • Communications Systems • Quality Work • Reasonable Rates

451 Springfield Street Wilbraham, MA 01095

(413) 596-5766



Discussion Panel Q & A

Disaster Response and Recovery I

n each issue of Disaster Restoration, a team from InStar Services Group will discuss hot industry topics and answer some frequently asked questions about the current subject. This time around, InStar’s Jerry Burns, Dave Davis, Greg Boling, Greg Dillon, and Jim Wilson talk about disaster response and recovery, an appropriate choice given the fact that hurricane season began June 1, 2004.

Q: A:

I insure a manufacturing facility that had a fire. The business interruption coverage is $500,000 per day, and the product value is $30 million. How would you respond to the damaged site?

First, we would qualify the loss over the phone, asking questions such as, what is the facility’s overall size, how much of it was affected by the fire, what type of material(s) burned, what materials were used in the building’s construction, has production been shut down due to the fire, and how much standing water is still in Jerry Burns the building? In conjunction with qualifying the loss, we would send a large-loss consultant to the site to ask further questions, establish the scope of damages, and define a critical path to restore the facility as quickly as possible. After these steps, our mobilization team would begin transporting equipment, supplies, and personnel to the loss site.

Q: A:

How does your company respond to major catastrophic storms?

If the storm is a hurricane, we have the luxury of knowing when and where it will strike. This allows the InStar CAT team to place manpower and equipment in a strategic safe area where we'll be ready to respond the minute the storm blows over. We would also establish a command center. As you know, planning and organization are key to providing superior service. Dave Davis When responding to tornadoes or other unexpected storms, we send out our catastrophe team leaders to assess damage and set up a command center. Once our team leaders have evaluated the situation, we move our CAT team in and begin servicing the client.

Q: A:

I had a fire in my large production facility and need to get back into production fast. How can I get an estimate of the cleanup costs quickly?

Our large-loss consultants have years of experience in costing, supervising, and implementing fire-damage recovery services. They can usually provide a “not-to-exceed” cost within an hour of the site inspection. Of course, some actions require specialty services. In those cases, the subcontractors have to visit the site and make their own estimates. For example, fire damage Greg Boling at one location we responded to was compounded by the release of etching acids used to manufacture integrated circuits. Before we could calculate our price, we needed to know the best way to neutralize the contamination. For that, we had to wait for laboratory analysis. continued next page DISASTER RESTORATION


Q: A:

What are your capabilities for providing adequate equipment and supplies to multiple locations? Will having to do this affect your day-to-day business?

InStar owns one of the largest equipment inventories in the United States, totaling more than $2 million in value. We also have contracts with many equipment vendors and the resources to purchase additional equipment. As for supplies, we have contracts with a number of vendors that can drop-ship anything we need. In addition, each of our 28 offices has many of the necessary supplies already in stock. Because of this, a call to service multiple catastrophic events would not affect our day-to-day business operations. Greg Dillon

Q: A:

In the event of a major catastrophe, what size workforce can you deploy to an area?

We first send our CAT team managers to the disaster location to assess what damage occurred. We then dispatch as many people as necessary to service our clients. If the event is a hurricane, we place our people in a safe area close to the storm ahead of time to facilitate immediate availability once the danger passes. We always focus on providing the emergency response needed without overstaffing. InStar has 28 offices across the country and a staff of more than 600 full-time employees. We believe our size and our capabilities allow us to serve all of our clients quickly in the most appropriJim Wilson ate and most cost-effective manner.

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Are You PREPared?

A disaster recovery action plan saves time and money after a crisis By Kim Crist

hether you are a claims adjuster, risk manager, or property manager, at some point you will face the monumental task of recovering from a catastrophic loss. This is the time in your career when all eyes will be watching to see whether you fail or succeed. Loss is inevitable. What counts is how well prepared you are to manage and mitigate its extent and, in turn, minimize the cost and disruption to Kim Crist your business or client.

self-insured companies such as Eckerd Drug, Dollar General, and Wal-Mart, knowing who to turn to and what resources have been allocated to them has, and will, limit business interruption. InStar’s proven record of saving product and inventory and getting businesses up and running quickly also reassures clients that their losses and downtime will be minimized.

Planning for the Unexpected

Agents and brokers who have brought InStar in on the disaster recovery bidding process have found that the PREP program sets InStar apart from competitors that do not offer a similar service. Hence, InStar can offer added value in securing client contracts. The value of PREP enhances the agent-client relationship, but the program also provides a true means of controlling a loss when a catastrophic event occurs.


InStar Services Group specializes in predisaster recovery planning. To give clients the best service possible, InStar developed its Priority Response Emergency Preparedness (PREP) program. InStar designed this tool in particular to help clients identify any potential vulnerability at their facilities to destructive events (storms, earthquakes, explosions) and prepare a response. The PREP process is key to emergency preparedness and recovery. InStar’s risk assessment involves identifying the most likely threat to a company or management group and then developing the best procedures and techniques for handling the effects of water intrusion, fire, smoke, or any other source of potential damage. In essence, the company lays the foundation for restoring critical facilities and systems by helping clients think about and prepare for the unexpected.

Knowing Where to Turn The PREP program provides value to all of InStar clients but in many different ways. For

“It is comforting that in the event of a disaster we now have a plan in place to protect our inventory and eliminate major service disruptions to our customer base,” says Brad Thomas, Director of Operations for Performance Food Group in Lebanon, Tennessee.

InStar ahead of time. As a preferred provider, InStar guarantees the personnel and equipment necessary to get the restoration job done. In addition, its trained, uniformed professionals have the information they need on file for each client's facilities, which significantly expedites the recovery process. During a major event such as a hurricane or tornado, insurance company adjusters and independent general adjusters are reassured about the cost of disaster recovery when their customer has a signed PREP contract in hand. The forethought shown in engaging InStar removes the element of surprise and often reduces the likelihood of other perils, such as mold growth. In addition, clients that have signed InStar’s time-and-materials rate sheet upfront leave less room for public adjusters and fly-by-night restoration companies to take advantage of an event, which can escalate claims. InStar always advises clients that nothing is more important than protecting human health and safety. Beyond that, it also tells companies or organizations that getting PREPared can save them time and money in a crisis. A well-thought-out, detailed response plan, such as the ones generated through InStar's PREP program, can help protect property, reduce liability, limit operational dysfunction, and minimize disruption and downtime.

“Following a devastating fire at the Gibson world headquarters, InStar was there in moments to assist me in taking charge of the cleanup,” says Ric Olsen, Risk Manager and Director of Security at Gibson. “Gibson prides itself in manufacturing world-class musical instruments and values vendors like InStar that provide world-class service.”

Recovery Made Quickly The experience of InStar’s property management clients provides further testament to the success of the PREP program. During large catastrophic events and even singlesource losses, tenants have been put at ease by the quick mobilization and recovery action their property manager ensured by engaging DISASTER RESTORATION


PREP Frequently Asked Questions What exactly is PREP? PREP is a no-cost, prearranged plan to mitigate business or community disruption in case of a disaster. One of our InStar marketers will sit down with your facility director, risk manager, or some other appropriate representative to discuss plans to deal with a variety of emergency situations before they happen. We gather information such as location of all facilities and what the specific needs of a particular site are prior to a disaster so we can respond quickly and limit damage. For example, we’ll know how much tarp you’ll need to cover up your damaged roof or how big a fence you’ll need to keep intruders from coming onto your property following a fire.

What are the advantages for a company participating in this program? We guarantee that its needs will be met should disaster strike. If a big storm hits, it may be difficult to find a contractor to address the needs of your business immediately. With PREP, there’s no worry; you’re covered. We keep all important information on file, including the type and size of the facility, so when you call, our certified restorers know exactly what to do to speed your business recovery.

What are the disadvantages? There’s really no downside to PREP. The only upfront commitment to the program is the time an InStar marketer spends with your managers to prepare the information necessary to ensure a rapid response to an emergency situation. We consider it time well spent.

What are the costs and is there a contract? There are no upfront costs. There can be a contract that ensures commitment and that guarantees InStar does the work. We discuss general pricing, such as labor, equipment, and supplies that would be necessary in a worst-case scenario. But no contract is signed until a disaster plan gets designed and priced, and your company agrees to the extent of the program.

Is this a contingency plan? No. But there are contingency planners in this industry. They actually charge customers for planning costs, such as creating backup systems for computers, emergency power, etc. There’s no upfront charge for PREP. You only pay for the services needed should disaster strike.



Heat | Air | Refrigeration Commercial & Residential 7780 Mesa Drive Memphis, TN 38133

(901) 383-2880 (901) 384-3379 fax

Resource Directory ACCOUNTANTS Sanderford & Associates . . . . . . . . . see page 14


DUCT CLEANING Affordable Duct Cleaning . . . . . . . . see page 11 Airtek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . see page 19


Class Action Promotions . . . . . . . . . see page 14

Gallerani Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . see page 14

J.B. Edwards & Associates . . . . . . . . . see page 2

Williams Electric 267 Douglas Ave. • Waco, TX 76712 (254) 772-7921 • (254) 399-9173 fax

ATTORNEYS Locke Liddell & Sapp, L.L.P. . . . . . . see page 18 Thacker & Smitherman, P.A. 407 South Ewing Ave. • Clearwater, FL 33756 (727) 446-0525 • (727) 447-8388 fax

CABINET MAKERS EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES Tech Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . see page 11

COMPUTER SOFTWARE Simsol Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . see back cover

CONSTRUCTION SERVICES Rostel Construction, Inc. . . . . . . . . . see page 11

DRYWALL CONTRACTORS Howe Drywall Service . . . . . . . . . . . . see page 7

EMPLOYMENT SERVICES Reliable Temps, Inc. 630 Silver St. • Agawam, MA 01001 (413) 786-9941 • (413) 786-9944 fax

EQUIPMENT RENTALS Sunbelt Rentals, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . see back cover

FLOORING Advanced Carpet and Interiors . . . see page 13 Mohawk Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . see page 9

GARMENT RESTORATION Roger’s Garment Restoration . . . . . see page 27

HEATING/AC SERVICES Lawrence Services 245 Preston St. • Jackson, TN 38301 (731) 424-1910 • (731) 427-9307 fax Rougeau, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . see page 18

INSURANCE CLAIMS SERVICE Casualty Adjusters Guide . . . . . . . . see page 14

INSURANCE / RISK MANAGEMENT Aon Risk Services of Texas, Inc. . . . see page 11

LUMBER J.R. Kakley & Sons, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . see page 11

MAINTENANCE SUPPLIES Century Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . see page 2 Zep Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . see page 16

PACKAGING & SUPPLIES Associated Paper & Supply 4101 W. Linebaugh Ave. • Tampa, FL 33624 (813) 961-6659 • (813) 968-5783 fax

PAINT SUPPLIES Sherwin Williams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . see page 7

PLUMBING & HEATING Lessard Plumbing & Heating . . . . . . see page 2

PRINTING Pronto Business Cards 204-A 9th Ave. South • Safety Harbor, FL 34695 (727) 726-8120 • (727) 725-3076 fax E-mail:

RESIDENTIAL / EMPLOYMENT SCREENING MAF Background Screening 134 S. Tampa St. • Tampa, FL 33602 (800) 226-7757 • (800) 226-7785 fax

RESTORATION CLEANING SERVICES / SUPPLIES Cleaners Closet, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . see page 9 CRDN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . see page 14 The Dry Cleaner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . see page 7

ROOFING & SHEET METAL All-Tex Roofing, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . see page 16

SAFETY PRODUCTS Aramsco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . see page 2

SURFACE CLEANING All-Brite Surface Cleaning, Inc. . . . . see page 11

WELLNESS SOLUTIONS Stetson’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . see page 13 DISASTER RESTORATION

19 Supplying Rental Solutions To The Remediation Industry In Any Emergency! 24-Hours A Day, 7 Days A Week

800-826-3635 Air Scrubbers • Negative Air Machines Refrigerant & Desiccant Dehumidifiers to 15,000 CFM Generators • Electrical Distribution Panels & Cabling Design, Erect & Dismantle Scaffold Services Last Year Our Team Responded To After Hours Calls: 96% in Less Than 30 Minutes! • 99% in Less Than One Hour!

InStar Services 7439 Pebble Drive Fort Worth, TX 76118

Disaster Restoration Magazine - Vol 1, Issue 1  

A publication from InStar Services Group /

Disaster Restoration Magazine - Vol 1, Issue 1  

A publication from InStar Services Group /