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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Storm Damage Can Hit Anyone, Even if You Work for SERVPRO

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

The franchise owner, Earl Clarke, was on-site and helping out throughout the process.

During a recent storm event, one of our own team members, Amy Yates, had storm damage in her basement. Our team was working tirelessly on multiple homes with water and storm damage, but they found the energy to help out a co-worker even after all these hours. So, this week, we have a guest blog. Amy shared with me her side of the situation and her reflections about the experience.

On July 31, 2018, with the vast amount of rain we received, I, like many in the area, experienced a water damage. At the peak I was sloshing around in two inches of standing water throughout my whole basement. Although I knew I worked for the right company, I was still stressed about the many personal belongings which got affected.

I’ve always been empathetic towards those experiencing any type of damage as I know the panic and stress which accompanies such. I was able to remain calm. I put things in perspective, knowing others were dealing with far greater losses, and was actually able to give thanks that if water was going to invade my space: better it come up through the floor than down through the ceiling. I took 25 calls that night and my heart went out to everyone who was dealing with the overwhelming experience. One hard part about my job is not being able to service every single person who is need of help during these storm events and putting them on a waiting list. I was on that list, too.

This is where my story is different. I inherited my house and the water damage was in an area filled with items which did not belong to me including old furniture, lots of tools, equipment, a sundry of fabrics and old documents. Over the years I got rid of a lot of stuff but would get incredibly overwhelmed whenever I went into the basement. Basically, I would go downstairs to do laundry then dash back up to avoid a mild panic attack. My office manager understood my plight and told the franchise owner, Earl Clarke, about the water damage and the amount of contents. Together they rallied the troops, my fantastic co-workers who had been working tirelessly over several days assisting with one flooded basement after another, and met at my house after work. Earl instructed I get a dumpster on site so I called our vendor, Tom with Cavalier Container, who, without hesitation, said “I’m on it.” A dumpster was placed within an hour of my call. My whole office, my boss, and three team members from the Lynchburg location, helped me do what I have not been able to do myself, let go of a heavy burden, and create visible floor space for the first time in the 10 years I’ve lived there.

I have a terribly difficult time in asking for help and often a harder time in accepting it. I can’t begin to express how moved I was that 13 people came to my aid. They selflessly gave of themselves and gave me the tremendous gift of a multi-faceted lesson:

  1. Reaffirming I work for an amazing bunch of people who genuinely care – they walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk.
  2. Forcing me to ask for help and in doing so the help turned out to be greater than I could possibly imagine.
  3. Allowing me to let go of things I held on to for sentimental reasons – I am lighter for it (2.1 tons lighter to be exact) in more ways than one.
  4. Also reminding me that I am appreciated.
  5. Teaching me humility, and with that, I am experiencing an immense amount of gratitude.

I can’t begin to express how thankful I am for the people I work with. The integrity, honesty and genuine care is something quite unlike anything I’ve ever experienced at job before. Thanks to Tom and my great SERVPRO team, I am reminded of the quote by Dorothy Day, “We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.” I have gone downstairs several times over the last week and am in complete awe and filled with happiness!

We are so thankful to have Amy on our team, and this experience brought our team closer together. On-site, the team extracted the water, sifted through damaged contents, then set up our air movers and dehumidifiers. We are so thankful that we had the resources to help out our co-worker and this situation reminded our team of the importance of the work that we do.  We have the utmost respect for all our customers and we are honored to be able to continue to provide service during stressful events like water or fire damage.

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