Losing a house to a disaster can take a huge emotional toll on homeowners and their families. Josh Contraguerro, Vice President of Marketing, explains how Panhandle Cleaning & Restoration goes above and beyond to help them recover.
Often, during a presentation or conversation about disaster cleanup and restoration, the emphasis is placed on the damage and repair of the structure alone. As unbelievable as it may seem, I try to make the reconstruction aspect a small portion of my presentations and conversations. Why? Well, focusing on the structure of a house seems impersonal to me when a family or business owner may potentially lose some of the most treasured items in their lives.
We could build any structure with four walls, a few windows, a door and a roof and call it a house. But we cannot build what really makes a house your home. The personal items that mean the most to people cannot be replaced. Our expectations are to give a family or business owner a feeling of normalcy and relief as quickly as possible.
Anyone can see reconstruction progress being made on a house after it’s been damaged. However, this is not the part of the job that leaves our company feeling capable and full of joy. We take pride in some of our procedures that ensure the homeowners and families get their “home” back, not just their “house.”
How Panhandle Helps Restore the Feeling of Home
- The moment we arrive on the scene of a fire, we begin to create a feeling of comfort and support by providing the family with assistance items. We like to supply them with toiletries, clothes and blankets, plus toys or activities for any children. We ensure that we do everything possible to lessen the burden of these victims.
- 24-hour emergency turnaround on articles of clothing and soft goods. This service allows the family to have their belongings back in their possession and avoid the time and expense of replacing them while the restoration process continues.
- We remember the belongings money can’t buy. Many people forget about the priceless items they have in their home until the unthinkable happens. Photo albums, wedding dresses, hand-built furniture, beloved toys, family heirlooms and collectibles are just a few prized possessions. During a fire job, these items are the first we gather and document once the structure is secure from further damage.
Once the personal property is collected and inventoried, the restoration process begins. There are several measures taken to restore the items, including the use of our Esporta Wash System. Once the restoration of personal property is complete, the items are returned to the owner. In this industry, there is nothing that can compare to placing a restored 3rd generation family heirloom back into the hands of its owner after it was completely blackened by soot. Or, seeing a little girl’s unforgettable grin when she reunites with her doll that her parents could never imagine replacing. The stories are endless but with each a cherished memory remains.
It may seem that these “items” are merely a small piece of a giant jigsaw puzzle during the reconstruction process. However, without those small personal prized possessions, you would only have your “house,” not your “home.”