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Hurricane Katrina Cleanup

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by bushhawg73, Sep 10, 2005.

  1. bushhawg73

    bushhawg73 LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 7

    I am considering going to Alabama / Louisiana in the next few weeks. I would like to know if anyone has any suggestions in how I can legally find work doing debris / tree removal. We had a Hurricane (ok it was several hurricanes) last year and a LCO that I know made a lot of money just doing debris removal. This is my first year in Business and I really could use the income. I would ask the LCO that let me know about this last year but he has moved to Alabama. Maybe I'll see him there. I am aware if the FEMA and the US Army Corps of Engineers websites.
  2. nelbuts

    nelbuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    from SW, FL
    Messages: 1,053

    Well do like all the other jerks from all over the country did. Just knock on peoples doors. If I were you I would hook up with a local and work a deal with them under their license. If not then you will need a license. But I will say I hated guys from Ohio, KY, PA coming down here and taking my money and all the locals here. They came in like ants on a cookie and would cherry pick the jobs. Plus they had no local license.

    Just in case your wondering. If you don't get there in the next week or so then you will be too late. Oh and you better take more than just a pick up and a few saws. Chances are you will be sleeping in your truck so bring a gun too or you will lose everything. We did not have that problem here in Punta Gorda but when I went and offered my services FREE after Andrew I carried a pistol all the time and slept in a ten for 5 days. Had one bath during that time too!

    Is it worth it to be a storm chaser? Well the good thing is that for the most part you do not have to haul anything to a dump as the whole darn place will be a dump.
  3. South Florida Lawns

    South Florida Lawns LawnSite Platinum Member
    from usa
    Messages: 4,784

    I got a big dump trailer and a wheel loader. They charge by the load and not the weight:( . Had a couple friends go together with chainsaws and the loader. Since I had my company name I just got a lot of work from ads word of mouth and such. To be honest its a lot of work but in the end I think it was worth it.
  4. bushhawg73

    bushhawg73 LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 7

    That is not exactly the answer that I was looking for. I think that I said that I wanted to do this legally. YES I just reread my post and that is what it says. I am not sure why you think that someone took YOUR money but if that is your feeling then I would suggest that you contact you local Law Enforcement Agency. If you happen to call me at the Law Enforcement Agency that I work for then I will tell you to buy your own cherry picker next time so that you can compete. You know what they say "Put up or shut up".
    I have tried to conduct my new business venture in the most upstanding way possible. Most of the information I learned came from the good people at Lawnsite, Insurance and License info.

    Thank you good people from Lawnsite, I have learned so much from you that I can now operate my business legally.

    As for my additional equipment
    .40 cal Glock 23
    .40 cal Glock 27
    .45 cal Sig Saur P220
    12 Gauge Mossberg Shotgun 8 shot
    .223 Bushmaster AR15 Shorty Bull Barrel
    Ballistic Vest

    I think that I will make it, How about you.

    Lets MOW :cool2:
  5. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    I think to really make some money you would need a log loader truck or a serious dump truck. One of my tree service buddies went down to FL under contract and made several million dollars, with 4 or 5 crews w/ log loaders.
  6. dcplace2004

    dcplace2004 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 423

    and stay in your own area and not go into someone else's domain only to profit on other's misfortune and misery...just a thought...
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I see nothing wrong with going down there and doing work as long as it's done legally and ethically. The local resources have been clearly overwhelmed (judging by the amount of bitching they're doing about not getting help) and the sooner they can get that mess cleaned up the better.

    I would pick an area and start calling county and parrish governments. A lot of them have websites that can provide phone numbers. They can best steer you in the right direction and give you legal approval to be there.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Jerks is right, I don't like storm chasers since MOST of them are non-pro / fly-by-night organizations with no real roots where they came from, otherwise they couldn't afford it because they have too much to leave behind. Another way to say it is, these folk got nothing left to lose and it shows not only in their workmanship but in the entire way they carry themselves. Not to say we didn't need the help after Isabelle, but the feeling of all these money-grubbers suddenly rushing to grab our work is not pretty and those of us who have been through it know that ultimately, the long-term local Lco's pay the price for this (yeah cuz ppl don't got no money left but also a lot of ppl feel they got ripped off and/or just got a shoddy deal or basically that feeling you get when some Jack-of-all-trades works on your stuff). Most haven't a clue as to insurance work and even if they do, they done left all that back at home and it is up to the homeowner to follow through and you can bet you won't get paid on a fair percent of jobs (whether insurance based or not) and there is nothing you can do as nobody there will lose any sleep over it, not even law enforcement. Expect an attitude from local Lco's, especially the established ones. Far as the noobs, they're a dime a dozen and won't know how to tell the difference other than perhaps your out-of-state plates, but they'll leave you alone because they're just as scared and confused themselves. I didn't bother anybody myself but it did take restraint and the only reason is I didn't want to get in trouble, otherwise I would've done something about it in a New York minute.
    I'm sure they need the help down there, but you already mentioned money and the only help that is truly welcome is charity, even I don't have a problem with that, even IF it takes money out of my pocket, charity is ALWAYS welcome.
    But you are right, you will likely can stay out of having to dump stuff (for one you DO cherry pick, even the locals do it) but for another thing there will be a 2-hour+ line of cars in front of ANY and ALL dumps and most people will realize it's just not worth it.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Well now the big outfits like that, those I don't have a problem with most of the time.
  10. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    I think that it is rediculous to denigrate the fact that some companies are willing to go and help out, even profit, by going and doing storm damage repair. To say everyone is going down there is a "fly by night" operation is unfair. I too was considering a way to help out and keep some crews active over the winter months. Why not? They are not producing income otherwise and are still on the clock. There are not enough local landscapers to handle the cleanup and rebuilding.

    I will also say that I think you will see a lot of new companies formed, by inexperienced hacks, due to all the jobs that were lost down there.

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