Disaster Zone

Disaster Business is Booming!

It is an unfortunate sign of the times that disasters are creating business opportunities.

by Eric Holdeman / May 24, 2011

Reconstructing cities like Joplin will not be done overnight.  While the response phase winds down and people turn from search and rescue to rebuilding it is important that it be done right. 


One unfortunate aspect of disasters is that hucksters come out and prey on unsuspecting disaster survivors in need of assistance in repairing their homes.  They go door to door and make promises that won't be kept and take people's money, sometime not doing any work, let alone shoddy work.  FEMA and local jurisdictions work to prevent those things happen, but sure enough, after every disaster the cockroaches come out.


On the other hand there are other reputable contractors and builders who can help with the rebuilding of a  city's infrastructure or the average home or business.  One such business that is launching a new disaster focused service is TechTrades  I spoke earlier today with Scott Abbott one of the owners there about their business model.  TechTrades specializes in certified Skilled Craftsmen. They are not wet behind the ears, fly by night contractors having been Founded in 1993. TechTrades’ with their OSHA and MSHA accredited support team works to understand their customers’ needs. They have a regular business that works daily with commercial, industrial and contractor companies, as well as government entities here in the United States and abroad.


Today they announced the launch of its Crisis Recovery Unit (CRU) to help bring swift, safe and secure recovery to cities, rural areas, parks, businesses and facilities impacted by natural disasters and major accidents.  The Crisis Recovery Unit (CRU) deploys 25-250 person “quick strike” teams with the right background and knowledge to execute short or long-term projects in response to tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, storms, and earthquakes. They have over 12,000 workers to draw upon and all of them are drug tested and certified in their trade.


This is not your "knock on the door" retail service to homeowners, but a surge capacity for contractors and governments.  One thing to be aware of is that they are not a union shop should you be in government and have a union workforce.  They are also not the cheapest workforce, but then you get what you pay for and they strive for quality and customer satisfaction.


Interestingly, even in this down economy one of their major challenges is finding good tradespeople who want to work and have the right skill set.  When they do find them many times they take on the mission of disaster response like any emergency manager.  They understand the mission and strive hard to get people back to a semblance of normal life.