Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

The BNBEA

10/1/2021 (Permalink)

We’ve been keeping this under wraps for a while, but we figured why be secretive? We’re proud to announce that we’ve been nominated for the Buffalo Niagara Business Ethics Award for 2021!

This prestigious award goes to companies who “consistently demonstrate exemplary ethical behavior to employees, customers, vendors and our community” and is judged by a jury of business and community leaders from around Western New York.

We won’t lie… the application was a doozy! Weighing in at over 50 pages, it asked us to reflect deeply on our commitment to ethics over anything else. But we were extremely proud of what we found and we can’t wait until the finalists are announced in the next few weeks.

Thank you to the Buffalo Niagara Business Ethics Association for your consideration!

Growing and Hiring

10/1/2021 (Permalink)

We have some good news and some great news.

The good news is that we’re growing, which gives us even more opportunities to serve our community.

The great news is that we’re adding a ton of people to our team!

Right now, we’re hiring for nearly every position available at a SERVPRO franchise. We’re very selective about who we welcome to our SERVPRO family, but we’re super excited to be adding more members in every department.

In our production department, we’d love to hire production technicians who are detail-oriented, driven and inspired to help those in their community who are in need.

On our reconstruction team, we’re always on the lookout for people who combine their construction skills with a knack for customer service.

And on the marketing side, we’re expanding and adding representatives as we speak!

If you know of anyone looking for a rewarding, exciting and lucrative career, send them our way!

Employee of the Month - Mike H.

9/7/2021 (Permalink)

Every single month, we have a reason to celebrate. That’s because we take the time to honor and celebrate a member of our team who has exemplified the care, empathy and thoroughness that we strive to embody here at SERVPRO of West Seneca/Lancaster.

In September of 2021, that team member was none other than Mike Hofner, one of our longtime reconstruction specialists.

Truth be told, Mike Hofner gets nominated nearly every single month for the incredible work that he does with our reconstruction team. He is well-known not only for his attention to detail, but for how seriously he takes his responsibility for helping home and business owners get their lives back together after a disaster.

This month was no different. Mike Hofner was nominated after receiving a series of glowing praises from a customer who had suffered a garage fire. After finishing the scoped work that we’d agreed upon with the customer, Mike stayed after hours, at no extra charge, to help her to tidy up, including changing out some fluorescent light bulbs and tidying up.

We weren’t surprised to hear that Mike had done this, but we couldn’t be more proud. Thanks, Mike!

The Parking Pass

9/7/2021 (Permalink)

A paper with "Employee of the Month" written on it, tucked under a windshield wiper. The original parking pass.

We’re not sure if this is a little bit too “inside baseball” for the blog, but we found it so amusing and telling about the culture here at SERVPRO of West Seneca/Lancaster that we wanted to share.

A few months back, we awarded one of our favorite team members, Chuck, with the coveted “Employee of The Month” designation. It’s something we take very seriously here, and something that Chuck absolutely deserved due to his incredible customer service.

Chuck has an incredible sense of humor, and he immediately took the opportunity to show it. One of the first things he did was grab his car, back it into the owner’s parking spot, and make a handmade sign that said “Employee of The Month” which he stuck under his windshield wiper.

We weren’t sure if this were a lesson in ambition or a total mistake until the owner showed up and immediately starting laughing. She loved his gumption and the first thing she did was make him a proper, laminated “Employee of The Month” parking pass to use all month long.

Disaster restoration is a tough business, and we’re proud to say that we not only do it well, but we have fun together, too.

Employee of the Month - Chuck

7/1/2021 (Permalink)

Every single month, we hold a meeting for all of our technicians where we honor an Employee of the Month who has set a fantastic example for the team with their attention to customer service.

In June, that was Chuck. If you’ve ever been to our warehouse in the morning or the afternoon, then you’ve probably heard Chuck’s laugh. It’s cheerful, it’s contagious, and it puts just about everyone in a good mood.

That’s why everyone on our team loves working on a job with Chuck. Working for SERVPRO of West Seneca/Lancaster can be very difficult sometimes. Our team makes some of the worst, most catastrophic disasters “like they never even happened.” Chuck has the rare ability to make even the most challenging jobs enjoyable, simply by being himself.

Our customers love him for the exact same reason. Even if they’ve suffered a loss that’s truly devastating, Chuck always finds a way to make them smile and feel reassured that everything’s going to be okay.

Thanks for everything, Chuck! We’re proud to have you aboard!

Thank you, Mayor Moses!

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

Mayor Thomas Moses thanking SERVPRO for their COVID-19 disinfecting. Thank you, Mayor Moses!

It seems like only yesterday that New York State first went into lockdown to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Somehow, over a year has passed since those orders first went into place and our entire world changed.

Overnight, people shifted from their daily routines into a "new normal." For many of us, that meant working from home five days a week.

Our first responders, however, never had that option. While most of us were locked down at home, they answered the call of duty and continued to go out into the community to keep us safe.

At SERVPRO of West Seneca/Lancaster, we're proud to support our first responders any way that we can. That's why, when lockdowns first hit, we volunteered our time to disinfect and protect every single police, fire and EMS agency that we could get into contact with.

We did a lot of work with the Village of Hamburg in those early days of lockdown. Months later, while we were interviewing the village's mayor for a Facebook Live event, he was kind enough to recollect the work that we did:

“I want to thank SERVPRO for stepping up to the plate in the beginning stages. It was two or three days after we got underway [with implementing COVID-19 regulations] and you called us and said ‘can we do anything for you in regards to disinfecting?’

We said ‘yes, we would appreciate that.’ You stepped up to our plate, took care of the Village of Hamburg Fire Department. We have 10 or 11 pieces of equipment, you came in, you sanitized all of that, and all the trucks. Our police department, you did all the cars. To this day, now, we disinfect after every call.”

Thank you for the kind words, Mayor Moses! We're proud to have done our part.

The Life of a SERVPRO Production Technician

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

Parent and child in Santa hats gazing at Christmas tree from behind. Is there anything better than the holidays?

Indulge us for a second. Let’s try a brief thought experiment.

Close your eyes and imagine that it’s midnight on Christmas Eve. Snow falls softly on your front lawn, illuminated red and green by gently glowing strands of lights.

Your children, if you’ve got any, are trying to force themselves to fall asleep so they can wake up on Christmas morning, storm down the stairs and open the gifts that have been tempting them from under the tree for weeks.

Your partner, if you have one, is fast asleep, dreaming of not just this Christmas, but the many Christmases that the two of you will share over the coming decades.

And you? You’re miles away, ankle deep in a sewage backup, doing your best to extract what you can. You’re a SERVPRO production technician, and it doesn’t matter that it’s Christmas Eve – you’re on call, and somebody needed your help.

Our production technicians have an enormously difficult job. They deal with the kinds of disasters and catastrophes that other companies wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. They do it with a smile and with an enormous amount of skill, training and knowledge. And they do it on Christmas Eve, if they have to.

It’s not just that they do the work. They do the work well, and they respond fast. How fast? They follow our 1-4-8 Response Guarantee, which dictates the following:

  • Within 1 hour of your call, someone will reach back out to you to schedule emergency service (even on Christmas Eve);
  • Within 4 hours of your call, someone will be on site to perform emergency mitigation;
  • Within 8 hours of your call, you’ll receive a verbal briefing on the scope of needed work.

In other words, if you’re the lucky homeowner who called us at midnight on Christmas Eve with a sewage backup, you should hopefully have enough of a handle on the situation by 8am to still open your gifts.

So next time you see one of SERVPRO of West Seneca/Lancaster’s elite production technicians out there, offer them a handshake. We ask a lot of them, and they deliver, every single time.

On Call, Even During the Bills Game

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

Football laying on its side on a football field. Football is a BIG deal here in Western New York.

If you’re from Western New York, or you’ve ever been anywhere near the city of Buffalo on a Sunday, then you know that people here take the NFL very seriously. When the Bills are playing, the whole region is watching. It doesn’t matter how much yardwork you have to do, or if you promised to call your parents on Sunday, or if the dog is begging for a walk – everything’s on pause until the game is over.

That is, unless you’re in the emergency services business. Pipes burst no matter if it’s football season or not. Fires happen even when the Bills make the playoffs. And SERVPRO is here to respond, 24/7/365, faster to any size disaster.

In fact, we were in this exact situation not too long ago. A new loss came in on a Sunday afternoon. As we took the call and spoke to the property owner, he couldn’t help but laugh as he heard “The Bills make me want to shout” echoing from the next building over.

And while the entire city held their breath as the Bills somehow blew a huge lead and let the game come within three points near the end of the fourth quarter, we arrived on the scene of the loss and got to work, because that’s what we do, no matter what.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas or the Bills are in the Super Bowl – when you call us, we answer and we act fast. That’s the SERVPRO of West Seneca/Lancaster promise.

4 Steps to Creating Your Family Emergency Plan

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

National Preparedness Month 2020 Logo September is National Preparedness Month... are you prepared?

At SERVPRO of West Seneca/Lancaster, we help families deal with disasters every single day.

What’s the key to mitigating damage and distress stemming from a disaster? Being prepared. We’re here to help you do just that.

September is National Preparedness Month, and the heart of being prepared is making a plan. You never know when disaster will strike, so it’s vital that you and your family know what to do when something unimaginable takes place. Do you know where to go? How you’ll contact each other if you’re separated? How you’ll reconnect if you can’t get into contact with each other?

If the answers to these questions aren’t an emphatic “yes,” then you need to make a plan. We’ll go over the basics and link you to the best resources from Ready.gov to get started. While making an emergency plan may sound daunting, it really boils down to four steps.

  1. Ask questions and gather information.

First things first, let’s take stock of where you’re at. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings? Often, these come directly to your mobile device as WEAs (Wireless Emergency Alerts).
  2. What is my shelter plan? Are you prepared to shelter at home for an extended period of time?
  3. What is my evacuation route? Do you know where to go if you need to evacuate? If you have pets, do you know if they can come with you?
  4. What is my family/household communication plan? Do you know where to meet if you’re separated when disaster strikes?
  5. Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit? Is it easily accessible and well maintained?
  6. Have I updated my plans to account for the latest guidelines put out by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) related to coronavirus?

The answers to these questions should guide your next move. Often, we think we’re more prepared than we actually are – make sure you ask yourself a few “what if” questions to really check your preparedness. What if cell phone service is disrupted? What if your family isn’t together when disaster strikes? Knowing what to do in these types of contingencies is important.

  1. Consider your household’s specific needs.

Your plan must be more than thorough – it has to be workable with your family. Everyone has different needs and different strengths that will affect how your plan should be executed. You’ll have to make arrangements for the very old, very young, those with medical needs or disabilities, and your pets. Think about the following as you make your plan:

  • Different ages of members within your household
  • Responsibilities for assisting others
  • Locations frequented
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
  • Languages spoken
  • Cultural and religious considerations
  • Pets or service animals
  • Households with school-aged children
  1. Sit down and fill out your plan.

Ready.gov has made it simple to actually fill your plan out once you have all of the relevant information gathered – just download their template. Feel free to add any information you think is necessary for your family to be prepared.

  1. Communicate and practice.

Having a plan is great, but your family needs to be ready to put it into action. Call a family meeting to go over the plan with everyone involved in detail. Print out copies that everyone can carry with them when they’re out of the home. Finally, practice what you can! An emergency drill might seem like a weird way to spend your next family evening, but practice makes perfect.

Updating Your Emergency Kit for COVID-19

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Face mask and text "COVID-19" spraypainted in black on white wall. COVID-19 has changed everything, including emergency planning.

COVID-19 has changed everything, as we’re sure you have heard on every single TV commercial in the past three months.

As part of National Preparedness Month, we’re here to tell you that coronavirus has also changed disaster planning. Specifically, it may be time to update your emergency kit. The CDC has issued some new guidelines that you should be aware of. We’ll go over the basics, then we’ll touch on the new additions.

Your Core Disaster Supply Kit

To put together a disaster kit, store everything in airtight plastic bags and then stow in an easy-to-carry container. You shouldn’t have more than one or two bins or duffel bags to worry about.

Your classic core supply kit should include the following:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

New Supply Guidelines Issued by the CDC

The CDC has come out with new recommendations on emergency supplies that may help you to update your own kit. Some have to do with coronavirus, while others are - You should now include the following in your kit:

  • Cloth face coverings (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
  • Prescription medicines
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler's checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Maintaining and Storing Your Kit

Your kit should have a pretty long shelf life, but for best results, keep in a cool dry place and keep any boxed food in tight plastic or metal containers. Replace expired items as needed and plan to revisit your kit once per year as your needs change (perhaps during National Preparedness Month!).

Remember – being prepared is the key to getting through a disaster! Taking the time to create a kit can be the difference between a bad few days and an absolute nightmare.

Introducing Our New Marketing Manager, Dan Bauer

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

Male SERVPRO employee smiling in front of 2020 Vision poster. Meet Dan!

Hello! I’m Dan Bauer, the new Marketing Manager here at SERVPRO of West Seneca/Lancaster.

I just wanted to post a quick blog post and introduce myself to everyone out here. I couldn’t be more excited to join the team over here, and I’d love to tell you why.

For years, I worked at marketing and branding agencies in Western New York. I worked with clients in all sorts of different industries, all over the world. For the last few years, my focus was on luxury hospitality and retail. We’re talking $5,000 necklaces, $3,000 handbags and $20,000-per-night penthouses.

Working with clients like that was an interesting challenge, and when Lyn and Thom first approached me about jumping ship and joining SERVPRO, I’ll admit I was a bit hesitant. Would I be a good fit for restoration and mitigation? After years of selling things people didn’t really need, would I be up to the challenge of educating people about something they did need?

After seeing the culture that the Brauns have created here, though, I was convinced. Unlike basically every other company I’ve worked with, who were obsessed with selling, SERVPRO of West Seneca/Lancaster is a place that is uniquely dedicated to helping. We’re there for people who are dealing with catastrophes. We can help them when they are having the worst days of their lives. We can make it “Like it never even happened,” combining the resources of an international network with the personal care of a local, family-owned business. What could be better than that.

I plan to be here, serving my community, for the rest of my working years. I look forward to getting settled and helping anyone who comes my way.

Have a great day!

Introducing Cassie, Our Office Administrator

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

Female SERVPRO employee with blonde hair facing the camera. Meet Cassie!

Have you called SERVPRO of West Seneca/Lancaster lately? If so, you might have noticed a new voice on the other end of the phone – Cassie Mueller, our new Office Administrator.

Cassie’s actually been with us since January, but she’s really come into her own learning the company as we all learned to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic, and we couldn’t be more proud of her. She’s definitely a character, equally likely to post an inspirational quote on our bulletin board as she is to hit you with a well-timed side eye, and its qualities like that that make her a joy to work with.

We asked her five questions to get to know her a little bit better.

Q: What food would you get rid of if you could?

A: Grapefruit! I hate it!

Q: What fictional character’s life would you most like to live?

A: Stitch. He lives on the beach. (Editor’s note: you can live on the beach and not be a tiny blue alien.)

Q: What’s your go-to karaoke song?

A: Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

Q: Which celebrity do you most resemble?

A: Emily Osment. (Editor’s note: this is apparently someone from Hannah Montana. This answer made is feel old, too.)

Q: Caption this cartoon.

A: How I felt when you asked me these questions.

Proud to Protect Our First Responders

5/26/2020 (Permalink)

Male SERVPRO technician in Tyvek fogs a Lancaster Police vehicle with hospital-grade disinfectant. When we say we're "here to help," we mean it.

What does SERVPRO mean to us? Not just providing the highest standard of cleanup and restoration available. To us, being a part of the SERVPRO family means taking care of our community whenever and wherever we get the chance.

During the height of the coronavirus pandemic in our region, we committed ourselves to doing what we do best to help our first responders stay safe. Pro bono, our technicians traveled to 24 different police, fire and EMS agencies in the area to sanitize their vehicles and their stations. In all, we cleaned more than 536 police cars, fire trucks and ambulances over a six-week period.

The way we see it, our first responders rose admirably to the call of duty in an unprecedented time. These heroes put themselves in harm’s way each day to save lives. Helping them to feel a little bit more protected from COVID-19 was the best way we could think of to say “thank you.”

Production Manager Chris Ferguson put together this incredible video chronicling the work that we did – check it out!

We're Here to Help Our Community's Kids

5/26/2020 (Permalink)

Screenshot of news story "Cleaning service, daycare team up to keep kids safe during coronavirus pandemic" showcasing SERVPRO Thank you to Channel 4 for hanging out with us!

One of the most rewarding things about SERVPRO is that we provide more than cleanup and restoration. At our best, we provide our community with peace of mind that we’ve taken care of them at the highest standard possible.

That’s why it was so rewarding to work with local daycare Lakeview Children’s World to clean, disinfect and sanitize their business before they open back up to the community at large. Sandy Smith, the daycare’s owner, is truly and deeply committed to the well-being of the children in her care, and we’re proud to be able to be a part of that.

Channel 4 News was also kind enough to send a reporter out to chronicle the process. We were happy to give them a bit of “behind the scenes” access to show their viewers just what it takes to really deep clean and sanitize a business.

Check out their story here, and stay safe!

Why Choose SERVPRO of West Seneca/Lancaster?

9/27/2019 (Permalink)

living room destroyed by fire black walls When fire and/or water damage devastates your home, choose the professionals at SERVPRO of West Seneca/Lancaster

Why should you choose SERVPRO of West Seneca/Lancaster? Is it because we are available 24/7 every day of the year? Or because we are the number 1 Restoration company in the area? Or because we can handle any size disaster? All of those things are great, but the reason why you should choose SERVPRO of West  Seneca/Lancaster is because of the people who work here. Our staff is dedicated to getting you and your home back to normal after a disaster. Our staff cares about you, and your experience working with us. Our office staff will guide you through the entire process, and answer any questions you may have. You will know who is walking in and out of your home every day, and can expect updates through the entire job. Our expert technicians can answer questions you may have while onsite, and treat you and your home like it is their own. We understand that this is a stressful time for you, and we strive to make it the best experience possible.

So, when it comes time to trust a company to handle your fire and/or water damage, choose the company that cares. Choose SERVPRO of West Seneca/Lancaster. Please call our office at (716) 674-1103 to make your fire and/or water damage, “Like it never even happened."

The Number 1 Restoration Company in WNY

9/27/2019 (Permalink)

green servpro truck parked in front of house with block of text in front of it Only the professionals at SERVPRO of West Seneca/Lancaster can make fire & water damage, "Like it never even happened".

Fire and/or water damage can be devastating to deal with. Not only is your life put on hold, but the stress that comes with it can be overwhelming. So, when fire and/or water damage happens to you, trust the experts at SERVPRO of West Seneca/Lancaster to make it, “Like it never even happened”.

Our professional technicians have the proper training and equipment to handle any size disaster that may arise, and know how to mitigate the damage quickly in order to prevent further damage from occurring.

Our technicians are available 24/7, because fire and/or water damage rarely happens within normal business hours. And, we guarantee that someone will be onsite within 2 hours of you notifying our office of a loss to begin assessing the damage. If you experience fire and/or water damage give the experts at SERVPRO of West Seneca/Lancaster a call at (716) 674-1103 immediately.