September 29, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.
By Cass Jacoby.
What to do after the storm now that Hurricane Ian is here!
Hurricane Ian is making landfall as we write this, but luckily RoofersCoffeeShop® is here to help you respond to the storm! We’ve gathered some resources for contractors as well as those of us landlocked miles away reading about the storm on our smartphones.
After the storm
After the storm has passed, you can help homeowners assess if there is any damage to the roof. By documenting the damage, noting the severity and taking photos, you are providing information that will be critical in the event they need to file a claim to help cover repairs.
Keep in mind that your phones will likely be ringing off the hook, especially following massive storms like we saw with Hurricane Ian. Consider an answering or virtual receptionist service like Ruby, that can help you manage the volume of calls.
You also might want to set up a dedicated email address that can help you manage the flow of inquiries for emergency response and repair service. An email address can be set up in minutes and can be forwarded to whoever on your team is handling the inquiries. Use something easy and memorable, like email@example.com.
Prioritizing your response
You also will need to put a plan in place to prioritize service calls. Many imagery providers like EagleView and Nearmap will provide before and after photos, often at no charge on their websites, following catastrophic storms. This can be useful in identifying which properties sustained the most damage and helpful to your company in determining which properties to visit first.
EagleView released the following statement relating to Hurricane Ian:
EagleView is closely monitoring conditions with Hurricane Ian and we are standing by to help. We hope that all of those in impacted areas stay safe. Our aircraft will be in the air as soon as it is safe to do so and all new imagery and data for the impacted areas will be expedited. As contractors and insurers mobilize to help homeowners resolve claims and start rebuilding after the storm, EagleView will be staffed and ready to expedite the process with high-resolution aerial imagery and property data, including roof measurements.
Check here for the latest information on EagleView’s post-storm imagery captures and disaster response for insurance carriers and adjusters. For the latest information on the path and landfall of Hurricane Ian, check here.
As a contractor, you are a key resource for property owners and a first point of education for helping them further protect their homes and buildings from storm damage. Help them plan ahead and prepare for future hurricanes, stay up to building code and navigate insurance claims. Remind them that should any more damage happen you are ready to help.
If your repair backlog is stacking up or you are struggling to get materials, consider offering your customers a long-term temporary solution like Stormseal, that heat shrinks to the home or building and won’t blow off like blue tarps. It lasts for up to a year or more and can keep properties watertight, protected from rain, wind, hail and future hurricanes. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers installed Stormseal on homes in Louisiana following Hurricane Ida and it withstood future storms. Remember that you must be certified to purchase and install the system and you can learn more here about becoming certified.
Talk to your peers
At RCS, we provide a Hurricane Relief Forum that allows you to post messages, see what others are talking about, ask questions and find what you need to start the rebuilding, repair and recovery process. It’s free to use and can be helpful in hearing how other roofing contractors are responding to their local communities.
I am not affected, but would like to help…
In response to impacts from Hurricane Ian, Volunteer Florida has activated the Florida Disaster Fund. The Florida Disaster Fund is the State of Florida’s official private fund established to provide financial assistance to our communities as they respond to and recover from times of emergency or disaster. In partnership with public, private, and other non-governmental organizations, the Florida Disaster Fund supports response and recovery activities.
Donations to the Florida Disaster Fund are made to the Volunteer Florida Foundation, 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and are tax-deductible. To contribute, please visit FloridaDisasterFund.org or text DISASTER to 20222.
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Cass works as a reporter/writer for RoofersCoffeeShop, AskARoofer and MetalCoffeeShop. When she isn’t writing about roofs, she is putting her Master degree to work writing about movies and dancing with her plants.
Photo credit: NPR