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Ever relocate to storm hit areas for service?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Ramairfreak98ss, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    Im not talking about attempting price gouging or taking advantage of those who are in need of major services/labor...

    Just as Ike has hit the coastline of Texas hard, and seems each year something of this nature is taking place around the US on the eastern half, have you ever considered doing work in these areas for a week/month or more than a month?

    I know at least two of our guys would be all for working longer hours and going somewhere "outside" of our normal areas, and especially outside of our darn state of NJ.

    My aunt lives south of Dallas and said a lot of smaller trees were down, and it got me thinking of how much worse it is around the coastline and inward.

    I've always mentally dedicated my "future" efforts to help with animal recovery efforts if they were needed in such cases as when Katrina hit. At that time i just was unprepared and never acted.

    In such ravaged areas. Even if only myself and the two guys went down with a few trucks and equipment, we could handle everything from downed trees, debris removal, basement pumping "slow but could do it", pressure washing and so on.

    I would assume if we brought one enclosed trailer, the dump trailer, tractor/loader type equipment with built on chipper, tree removal equipment we surely could help these areas.

    Even at standard labor rates for what we could charge for the work in NJ on any given day, for as many hours as you'd be working 8-13hr days in these areas, we'd surely be more busy than any week on average in our local area.

    I'm about a week away from the purchase of a jet ski, for just personal use only, finally one "fun" non business related item, and then see guys on tv in boats/jet skis helping in rescue efforts and searches.

    We could be down to even a place like Texas in as little as about two days time so we could help in efforts "for free" prior to the floodwaters receding and then start cleanup work immediately after.

    My only worries are legalities. I know in NJ, we had MAJOR flooding a couple years back in the capital city of Trenton, NJ, very close to us. Because my company was not registered with Fema or some NJ disaster management agency, when i finally went to talk to the people face to face, they treated me like utter "siht" and couldnt care less. Meanwhile, people along the river had homes that were totally flooded out and downed trees on every single property. The police set up barricades to these areas and we couldnt even get past them with truck or on foot to go door to door verbally to find out if anyone would want our services. I was willing to just set a flat rate for tree removal for a few of us to handle each property, well below my normal company costs. Sure was a crappy situation.

    What are your thoughts or besides either profiting or possibly loosing money in the end, what would you have to contend with or worry about? Would there be 500 other landscape management companies deployed to these areas already and you'd have to turn into a marketing salesman just to get some work?

    New Orleans STILL isnt cleaned up fully, so i know fema isnt doing all the work paid by taxes:confused:
  2. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    If you were in TX would you hire a guy from NJ to do work for you after a disaster? Also, would you take a check from them for the work? And where are you staying again?
  3. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    Well if they've got it together enough to drive that far, i guess you could generalize it either way, theyre either there to rip you off and walk away or really motivated/honest/well established to do something of this nature.

    Taking a check, eh, never thought of it, i guess in all accounts, it cant be any worse than the plenty that have burned us in the last year alone in NJ. I have people mailing us checks on past due depts that the courts have sided with us in that they owe the monies, and they bounce those checks, one woman has costed us more in two bounced checks than the two checks would have credited her 12mo. past due account :/

    And were not talking hardscape, irrigation/lighting installs and other work that would need long warranties. Were talking, come in cleanup, remove/demolish etc, leave and get paid. It would be more cut and dry about when the job is complete and the payment would be handed over.
  4. lawnjockey56

    lawnjockey56 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 227

    having been through one in fla i can tell you everyone there is helping one another-its not really something youd market man
  5. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,821

    I know plenty of people who went down and helped the government(Federal) after Katrina and probably helped the public for cash on the side. The government paid big money to run bobcats and chainsaws etc etc. They provided you a place to stay
  6. DoetschOutdoor

    DoetschOutdoor LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S. IL
    Messages: 1,818

    A few guys from around here that I know have went down south after Katrina. Several had their own companies up here and sent guys down there with a dump truck or two. I havent talked to them in about a year but I know they were doing it steadily for 2 years.

    What would you do about your business where you live? Would you just be sending some of your guys down or what?
  7. z71tiger

    z71tiger LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    there are more out of state license plates than louisiana plates here right now
  8. IMAGE

    IMAGE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 1,134

    How do I get in on this? I was just thinking the same thing yesterday. 2 guys, a dump trailer, chain saws, and a skid steer with grapple bucket.

    How do you get paid by the govt? Or do you just roll into town with a big sign that says "Storm Cleanup"

    Charles, you got any contact info on that?
  9. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    If any of you are seriously interested in assisting in clean-up efforts in LA or TX, PM me; I have connections with most of the major disaster contractors working in these areas. The bulk of the "government work" is focused on the loading and hauling of C&D, with yardage rates ranging from $4.50 - $7.00.

    To truly be an effective and profitable operation, you need at least two trucks, two 30+ cu. yd. trailers, and a skid steer with grapple bucket. Even more efficient would be a knuckle-boom truck with an even larger capacity.

    Like I said, if you're interested, PM me. And yes, there is $$$ to be made...
  10. IMAGE

    IMAGE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 1,134

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