Get your commercial facilities ready for the Atlantic hurricane season by taking a look at the FEMA flood map. The maps are updated every five years, so it’s a good idea to check them frequently and ensure your zone remains the same. Knowing what flood zone your company is located in can save your business time and money in the recovery process. It will also confirm whether or not you need to update certain items, such as your insurance policy or emergency plan.
Insurance coverage: Is flood insurance a part of your policy? Most policies don’t automatically include flood damages so be sure to review your policy to confirm which damages, and how much, will be covered. For those who’ve just recently been updated to a high-risk flood zone, now is a great time to add flood insurance to your policy. Speak to your broker today and be prepared.
Emergency plan: Businesses in flood zones, whether high or moderate risk, need to have a clear plan of how they’ll prevent potential damages leading up to the storm, and how they’ll...
Last month, AccuWeather estimated that the February winter storm left 4.3 million without power and amassed an economic loss that may rise to roughly $130 Billion. With no power to most commercial buildings, many businesses were forced to close for the subsequent days. Below freezing temperatures caused water pipes to freeze over and for some to burst. Roads, highways, and overpasses were covered in ice, which made it nearly impossible for essential deliveries and customers to reach businesses.
While all this was taking place, Cotton Global Disaster Solutions was able to provide businesses with one of our winter disaster response services. Our trained professionals were able to provide emergency backup power for a diverse set of commercial buildings, made roofing repairs to properties that were damaged by the snow, and also began to address...more
Cotton CommUNITY offers relief after the historic winter storm.
Following the devastating winter storm that hit Texas in February, the Cotton Teams worked together to provide relief across the state quickly. While Cotton GDS, Cotton Logistics, Cotton Culinary, and Stellar Restoration responded to our clients’ emergencies, Cotton CommUNITY focused its efforts on the residents living in the affected communities.
In just one day, the team secured approximately 4,000 meals to be donated to families in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. We partnered with ten locally-owned restaurants that were eager to give back, and, within 48 hours, each restaurant cooked, packaged, and served hundreds of hot meals...more
Texas, you are in our thoughts and prayers. There’s no doubt that this past week was long and arduous for us all. Some of us lost essential resources, and many suffered serious damages to their homes and properties. Even if you didn’t experience any of the above, chances are you still lost some sleep worrying about your loved ones. We understand how tired you are because we lived it too, but we want to remind you that Cotton is always here to help. Our teams have been working day and night to support our local businesses so that our communities can return to normalcy. I can’t stress enough just how grateful we are to our clients, partners, and most importantly, our families for making last week a little easier.
To our clients: You had a lot on your plate, from managing communications with your employees to monitoring your buildings during the storm and then escalating property damages to us. We know it was tough, but we appreciate your kindness as our teams navigated the icy roads and power outages. Most importantly, we’re grateful that you’ve entrusted us with your...more
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and everyone is sure to be looking for great gifts for their significant other (hopefully not at the last minute, but we won’t judge). In that same spirit, we wanted to share a special gift that business owners and leaders can get for themselves, or more specifically their business. We’re talking, of course, about a FirstAlert! membership.
Designed by Cotton Global Disaster Solutions as a way to help clients with a Master Service Agreement (MSA) get the most out of our partnership, the FirstAlert! Program is the perfect way for businesses to benefit from Cotton GDS’s personalized services. Members receive year-round support and training that helps teams and facilities be ready in case of a disaster. Here are just some of the perks included in a FirstAlert! membership.
24/7 Site Monitoring
Cotton’s Business Intelligence Center (BIC) uses state-of-the-art technology that allows us to monitor anything that could potentially harm your property, from daily activities, weather, to catastrophic events. If...more
During these winter months, you may notice your employees pull out the personal heaters for their workspace. In other cases, you may need to raise the room temperature due to the cold weather. Whichever situation you may fall in, be sure to know space heaters and other heating equipment can cause a fire during the winter.
If you fall into a situation where there’s a fire in your building, you should have your air ducts inspected and cleaned because they could be contaminated with smoke, which can lead to poor air quality and respiratory problems. Clean air ducts and a well-maintained HVAC system are essential for your business’s daily operations. If your property has suffered any fire damage, it’s time to get your HVAC system checked by professionals.
In other cases of a fire disaster, a section of your business may have been seriously damaged, which can halt your business. It’s important to ensure your customers, personal, and tenants are safe and away from the damage. Our experts will assess the damages and offer you temporary solutions to continue your business...more
Cotton Holdings, Inc. Acquires Stellar Restoration Services, Adding Roofing Restoration to Commercial Disaster Recovery Capabilities
HOUSTON, January 12, 2021 – Cotton Holdings Inc. (“Cotton”), a leading infrastructure support services company in the fast-growing commercial restoration market, today announced the acquisition of Stellar Restoration Services (“Stellar”), a provider of comprehensive roofing restoration services for hail and weather-related damage to commercial properties. Stellar will retain its name and operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cotton under the continued leadership of co-Founders Michael de la Mora and Rick Bailey, who will retain an ownership interest in the business. Financial terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.
The acquisition of Stellar is part of Cotton’s expansion strategy to meet the growing demand for commercial restoration services in North America and globally. Headquartered in Houston with an international logistics center and a number of regional offices, Cotton provides property restoration and recovery, construction, roofing, consulting, temporary workforce housing and culinary services to public and private...more
The start of a new fiscal year can inspire business owners to improve their facilities, services, and products. If capital improvements and renovations are a part of your 2021 plan, then Cotton Global Disaster Solutions has the solutions and experience you need to give your facilities a facelift without extended periods of downtime.
Cotton GDS has over 24 years of experience providing top-quality construction services for CapEx projects, which we leverage for our clients in order to enhance and improve the value of a client’s commercial property. Even something as simple as a new coat of paint is improved exponentially when done by an expert hand, although our experience goes far beyond that.
It can be easy to think that these renovation projects are simple jobs that you, as a business owner, can handle yourself, however, Cotton GDS offers key advantages that are critical to our success as a commercial contractor.
For one, our...more
Across the country, many are already feeling the chill. Of course, the winter season and its effects mean different things for different people. Many businesses find themselves dealing with specific emergencies when the cold weather starts rolling in. In fact, according to The Hartford, 15% of all small business property and liability claims come from freezing damage and winter-specific water damage alone. The best way to enjoy the season without dealing with winter damage is by keeping the following in mind.
Minimizing Roof Damage Due to Ice or Snow Accumulation
There’s nothing quite like a fresh snowfall to bring out the magic of the season. However, snow, alongside ice, can spell danger for a business. If a snowstorm brings a large amount of snowfall to the area, or if rain accumulates and freezes in large amounts, your business’s roof could be in trouble. The added weight can result in costly and potentially dangerous roof damage. As a...more
According to a study done by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2019 there were 120,000 non-residential fires in the United States, causing $4.3 billion in direct property damage. Though the top causes vary by industry, based on NFPA reports, the majority of fires in commercial properties are caused by cooking equipment, electrical distribution/lighting equipment, heating equipment, and arson.
- Call in The Fire Restoration Experts
- Educating your staff and tenants on fire prevention is a smart move for any business, but education can’t guarantee that a fire will never occur. Should your commercial property experience a fire, there are two people you should call – your insurance adjuster and a professional restoration company. With over twenty years of experience in commercial...
In August, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had to raise their predictions for the Atlantic Hurricane Season from 13-19 named storms to 19-25. With two months left in the season and 23 storms in, businesses should remain alert and refresh their emergency plans as needed.
To help you through the rest of the season, our team has put together the Cotton Hurricane Resource Hub with tips on pre-loss planning and how to recover your business after a storm. We’ve also included information about our services and case studies that showcase Cotton Global Disaster Solutions’ full suite of capabilities.
Each section of the Hurricane Resource Hub was designed to help business leaders and property managers with three very important preparedness topics - Make A Plan, Prepare for Disasters, and Have A Trusted Partner.
- Make A Plan
- Design an emergency plan that every employee can easily follow. Where will they go if they’re on the property...
4,000 Meals and Water Cases Distributed to Families in Lake Charles
In the weeks since Hurricane Laura’s destruction, Cotton GDS, Cotton Logistics, and Cotton Culinary have been working diligently to provide water damage mitigation, roof repairs, reconstruction, temporary facilities, and thousands of meals to businesses affected by the storm. In addition to helping our clients, Cotton wanted to give back to the community we’re a part of.
On Thursday, September 10, members of the Cotton leadership team and volunteers from Cotton’s Community Response team loaded our box trucks and set up a drive-by distribution station in Lake Charles. Over the course of several hours, we distributed 4,000 meal packs and water cases to community residents.
None of this would have been possible without the generous help of our partners: Sysco,...more
To our friends, families, and neighbors affected by Hurricane Laura, the hearts of the entire Cotton Team are with you.
This week, we saw how quickly and drastically a hurricane can impact an entire city. As we returned to our office in Lake Charles and visited communities in the path of the storm, we saw buildings destroyed and homes torn apart. It’s not easy to see because these aren’t just buildings or physical homes; they represent our community. They’re where we dedicate our talents to provide for our families and house our most cherished memories of each generation. Each building has a story to tell, and it’s our story.
As part of this community, Cotton is heartbroken to see the destruction. We’ll be doing everything we can to bring normalcy to Lake Charles, Orange, Beaumont, and the rest of the communities impacted by Hurricane Laura. The road to recovery is long, but we are confident in its success because the community is resilient and optimistic.
The Cotton Team is currently in the field, assessing damages with clients and providing temporary...more
Article provided by Lance J. Ewing, Executive Vice President (EVP) of Global Risk Management for Cotton Global Disaster Solutions. He is former president of the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) and is a frequent keynote speaker on Crisis Management.
President John F. Kennedy once stated, “When written in Chinese, the word crisis is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” The year 2020 certainly has qualified as a year of both. COVID- 19, economic and job impacts, protests, riots and unrest would all qualify as danger or challenges for this year. On the other hand, the opportunities have been to work from home or anywhere, increased use and innovation of technology, Federal, state and local reassessments and improvements on handling a pandemic, an increase in medical supplies and equipment and, most importantly, a full review by businesses of their crisis management plan. The timeworn saying is that “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Clearly, 2020 demonstrates that planning is the key to success for...more
Cotton Roofing has been honored with one of the most prestigious awards in the commercial roofing industry. Excellence in Single-Ply (ESP) was established in 1998 as a means to recognize Carlisle SynTec Systems’ most loyal and dedicated authorized applicators. When partnering with recipients of this exclusive award, clients can rest assured they’ve trusted their business to the very best in the industry.
Awarded annually, only the most accomplished applicators achieve ESP status. Qualification is determined by sales volume, product mix, high-performance assemblies, and quality of workmanship.
The entire Cotton Team is proud of our roofing technicians and leadership for their continuous achievements and dedication to our clients. To learn more about Cotton Roofing’s capabilities, visit CottonRoofing.com.more
During a hurricane or tropical storm, high winds and excessive rainfall can destroy commercial properties and the important assets within them. Knowing what to do once the storm has passed will help businesses recover faster so they can get back to serving their community.
If your property has just gone through a hurricane, tropical storm, or another catastrophic event, follow the guide below to start the recovery process.
1. Hire a Disaster Recovery Company
The first thing your business should do following a severe storm is to engage a full-service disaster recovery firm to assess the damage, develop a scope of work, liaise with insurers, and carry out necessary services.more
Getting a business or organization back up and running after a high-impact weather event or catastrophe can be challenging, stressful, and costly. However, proactive measures and a strong recovery plan can minimize some of those threats and help a business return to normalcy more efficiently.
The following checklist is designed to help business leaders formulate a plan that protects their people, organization, and assets before a hurricane or tropical storm arrives.
WHAT TO DO NOW
Set up a system that helps you locate and communicate with employees, clients, and partners during a hurricane or other disaster.
Know your inventory of assets, where they’re located, and how to protect them from water, wind, gas shortages, and power outages
Plan ahead by consulting with a disaster recovery company regarding business continuance and recovery of property.
PREPARATIONS BEFORE LANDFALL
Continuously monitor weather reports...
By now, many businesses have reopened and are navigating the unknown with caution. New safety protocols have been put in place and day-to-day operations have shifted to meet the needs of the business, as well as those of the consumers.
We understand that your primary goals are maintaining a safe space and avoiding further business interruption, which is why Cotton Global Disaster Solutions remains at your side. Our team is ready to help you with cautionary measures and required disinfection as needed.
To better understand the different procedures - cautionary and required - and what to expect, download our whitepaper below and share it with your team.more
The Cotton Team is grateful for the first responders who continuously work to protect our communities, despite the risks. In Puerto Rico, our team showed their appreciation by providing complimentary vehicle disinfection for the police officers and municipal employees of Toa Baja, Guayanilla, Loiza, and Guaynabo.
Since opening our office in Guaynabo in 2018, the community has embraced our team and trusts us to restore their businesses. Being able to give back to those who have graciously welcomed us was both an honor and a privilege. As we look to the future, we hope to expand our community outreach efforts and restoration services to better serve business leaders and their communities in Puerto Rico.
To all of the first responders, thank you for your courageous and selfless acts. The Cotton Team appreciates and admires you. Visit cottonpr.com to meet our team in Puerto Rico, or call 939-286-6190 to speak to a local representative.more
Review your emergency plan and prepare your company for the hurricane season.
Hurricane season is quickly approaching and experts from Colorado State University (CSU) predict it will be another above-average year. According to CSU’s research, 17 named tropical storms will form, eight of which will become hurricanes, and four of those are expected to become major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5).
Whether your business is located along the coast or hundreds of miles inland, you should prepare your property and employees for potential tropical threats. After 25 years in the commercial restoration industry, Cotton Global Disaster Solutions has witnessed the importance of having a plan for every stage - before, during, and after the storm. Knowing how to react could help save lives and reduce business interruptions.
To help you plan, we’ve gathered valuable information that can easily be saved and shared with others. In addition, continue to monitor the latest health guidelines from the...more
American communities are getting ready to reopen for business, but before doing so, extra precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of your guests, tenants, and employees.
Before setting a return date, assign a cross-functional team to develop a re-entry plan that keeps your employees and building safe. This team, which should consist of representatives from your HR, Legal, Risk Management, Operations, and Safety teams, must reference and follow the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your business’s local and state governments.
In addition to the requirements defined by the CDC and elected officials, your team can use this helpful 3-phase guide to plan your business’s reopening:
PHASE 1 – Prepare your physical workplace
Clean & Disinfect. Hire a professional team, like Cotton Global Disaster Solutions, to properly...more
When it comes to weather, the spring season could be very nice or it could be rather alarming. That’s because, during this time of the year, the world is transitioning from cold weather to warm temperatures, or the opposite if you’re in the southern hemisphere.
When cold and warm air masses collide, they often create storms and unfavorable weather conditions. Depending on what part of the country you live in, you could get flooding, tornadoes, ice, excessive heat, or high winds, all of which could damage your property. As your trusted partner in remediation and restoration, Cotton Global Disaster Solutions is here to help you prepare your commercial property for the unexpected and will be here, after the storm, to restore your business.
To better prepare for unexpected weather conditions, it’s important to know the difference between a storm warning, a watch, and an advisory. Knowing the difference will help everyone take the proper steps to protect themselves and their property.
Flood Warning vs. Flood Watch
A flood warning is issued when...more
Since 2004, hotel chains and resorts, both in the U.S. and internationally, have relied on Cotton Global Disaster Solutions’ expertise and services to get them back in business in the shortest possible time.
From North America to the Caribbean, Cotton GDS has been instrumental in the recovery of some of the world’s most significant disasters.more
Electrostatic spraying is a method widely used in commercial cleaning due to its ability to efficiently disinfect every surface. The process involves applying an electric charge to a liquid, such as a cleaner or disinfectant, which is then dispersed into many positively charged particles seeking a negative surface to connect with.
This technique states that like charges repel and opposite charges attract. Since opposite charges attract, the positively charged liquid particles don’t want to stick together. As they are sprayed out of the nozzle, the particles become repelled by each other and will only stick to negatively charged surfaces. This allows for a full, even coat of liquid on the surface.
The biggest benefit to electrostatic spraying is that because the particles only stick to bare surfaces, or those not already coated by the disinfectant, getting an even coat is possible, even on hard-to-reach surfaces and crevices.
Another great advantage of using electrostatic spraying for disinfectants is that it eliminates the need to wipe the surfaces. With...more
Cotton Global Disaster Solutions would like to thank every healthcare professional for their hard work and selfless attitude during these trying times. Your ability to care for others and bring them hope and a smile, even on the longest of shifts, is admirable and truly appreciated.
These past few weeks have reminded us all how valuable and courageous healthcare workers really are. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, our nation’s doctors, nurses, and medical staff have worked relentlessly to care for their patients and keep our communities safe.
Cotton GDS is committed to supporting our healthcare heroes on the frontlines as we come together to end this global pandemic. To show our gratitude, Cotton GDS, in partnership with Cotton Foundation, mobilized Cotton Culinary to deliver fresh lunches to 1,500 healthcare workers in Austin, TX. Other Austin-based companies also participated in our initiative, donating thousands of pre-packaged snacks and beverages.
Over the course of three days,...more
While every region of the world continues to navigate the implications of COVID-19, Cotton GDS is here and ready to help your business remain a safe place for employees, tenants, and all of your guests.
With over 20 years of helping businesses clean and disinfect their properties following biological and environmental incidents, Cotton GDS has the experience and resources necessary to perform the proper cleaning and disinfecting protocols. Whether you’re needing the service for prevention or following a presumptive or confirmed COVID-19 case, Cotton GDS can help.
Cotton GDS offers the following services for the cleaning and decontamination of your commercial property:
CLEAN & SANITIZE SURFACES
Wipe Down of Horizontal Surfaces
Sanitization of Vertical Surfaces
CDC-Approved Cleaning Agents
BROAD SANITIZING SOLUTIONS APPLICATION
Electrostatic Disinfectant Spray
Micro Mist Sanitization
It’s been three weeks since the devastating tornado woke Nashville residents from their sleep, destroying homes, businesses, schools, and more. The damages were extensive but we have been amazed by Tennessee’s resilient spirit during these trying times.
Cotton crews have boots on the ground, helping Tennessee business owners navigate the situation with their insurance provider and rebuilding their properties to their pre-event state. Our goal is to bring normalcy to not only the business owners but also the communities they serve.
The road to recovery is long but all Cotton companies are working around the clock to get the vibrant city of Nashville and surrounding areas back to their pre-event state as soon as possible.
Thank you to our crews and their families for doing all they can to help our friends in Tennessee.more
Owning and managing a business takes a lot of heart so when challenges arise, place your business in good hands with a partner you trust. Cotton Global Disaster Solutions can help you with everything from disaster recovery to everyday maintenance repairs and everything in between. We will respect your time, your money, and your vision because, like you, we care about your business.
In choosing Cotton, you’re choosing:
Certified restoration crews available 24/7, 365 days a year.
Trusted partners in restoration and disaster recovery among various industries.
Adherence to OSHA standards, plus local, state, and federal regulations.
State-of-the-art equipment and innovative thinking.
Our services include:
2019 came with its fair share of hail, rain, and wind, which could’ve damaged your roof. Whether the damage was minor or severe, the Cotton Roofing experts would be happy to assess your facility’s roof and ensure it’s ready for the unexpected.
We don’t know what weather events 2020 will bring, but having your building’s roof in good health could prevent extensive damage to your overall facility and business operations.
Cotton Roofing is a full-service commercial roofing contractor with the skills to quickly assess a client’s roofing needs and implement repairs or install a new roof as required. Our teams are certified and approved in the application of a variety of commercial roofing systems, including modified bitumen, silicone and acrylic coatings, metal, TPO commercial...more
We’re shifting gears from tropical storms to winter hazards and we’d like to help you prepare. Extreme winter weather can have a negative impact on utilities and other services, sometimes leaving communities without power for hours. Should this happen in your area, will you be ready?
The Department of Homeland Security breaks winter preparation into three categories: Prepare Now, Survive During, and Recognize and Respond.
Preparing now means checking on colleagues, family and neighbors to make sure they have everything they need, such as medications, generators, and food to last them a few days. It also means checking carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms to ensure they’re working properly and leaving the faucets on to avoid frozen pipes. Encourage employees to create an emergency kit to keep in their cars since storms can happen quickly and unexpectedly.
If a winter...more
There is no such thing as being “too safe” when it comes to cybersecurity. The more precautions you take, the better chance you have at protecting your information and the information of those you interact with. We’ve outlined the different types of cyberthreats to help you quickly identify them and avoid falling for their traps.
Social Engineering is the process of deceiving and manipulating people into performing actions or giving away confidential information that may be used for fraudulent purposes. The most common form of social engineering is phishing. Phishing attacks usually come in the form of a fraudulent email that asks users to click a link and enter their personal information. The email will look like it’s coming from a trusted source but will usually contain typos or unusual URLs.
APTs (Advanced Persistent Threats) are those in which an unauthorized user infiltrates a network undetected and stays in the network for a long period of time. The purpose of these threats is not to damage the network but to steal information...more
As families and businesses begin to recover from the destruction of Hurricane Dorian and Tropical Depression Imelda, please know that Cotton Global Disaster solutions have all who were in the path of the storms in our thoughts and prayers. Cotton Global Disaster Solutions is on the ground in the Bahamas and Southeast Texas providing critical services to help restore communities, reduce business interruption and assist those helping with relief efforts. After seeing the storm’s devastation first-hand, we know how hard the struggle will be to rebuild, but we want to extend a message of hope and assurances that you are not alone.
Cotton’s 24/7 Emergency Watch Center closely monitored the two storms and tracked their development in real-time. Our priority was to keep clients alert of their safety and begin the implementation of their business continuity plans. Prior to landfall, Cotton deployed its disaster response, logistical support, emergency food services, and management teams to the regions.
With hurricane season still in full swing, we encourage...more
When construction is required as a result of a disaster, repair, renovation or other issues, call Cotton Global Disaster Solutions. We are a full-service general contractor specializing in property loss, providing a seamless transition from mitigation and recovery operations to repairing and rebuilding.
COTTON’S VALUE TO YOU
- One company: When many decisions are being made under difficult conditions, working with a single company will help reduce your stress.
- Head-start: Cotton’s involvement in the clean-up phase of a project means our construction specialists are aware of your reconstruction and build-out requirements, reducing delays.
- Innovation: Thorough knowledge of your project allows our specialists to identify innovative solutions that will make the construction phase more efficient and cost-effective.
From clean-up and demolition to construction, remodeling, plumbing,...more
Business Recovery Edition
Speed is key to restoring vital services following natural and man-made disasters. The Cotton team understands the pains of business interruption, which is why Cotton Global Disaster Solutions offers 24/7 emergency restoration services. Cotton has developed streamlined processes that are instrumental in recovery efforts due to large losses and major events.
Cotton provides continuity of operations in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. With state-of-the-art equipment and innovative techniques, Cotton has resources in place to ensure a successful return to your daily operations.
Contact Cotton GDS if your organization is in need of the following services:
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season to be near-normal with regards to the number of named storms and hurricanes. The NOAA predicts between 9 to15 named storms of which 4 to 8 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). It’s more important now than ever to prepare for hurricane season to protect your family, properties, and self from disaster.
Preparing for severe weather (e.g. hurricanes, tropical storms, and torrential downpours) can make a difference in how quickly you respond. Don’t wait until a hurricane is approaching before considering your family's preparedness. History teaches that a lack of awareness and planning are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. Knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take can reduce the effects of a severe weather...more
Historic flooding threatened to inundate homes and businesses in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and surrounding areas in late May. Upon seeing that the city had set up a sandbag distribution point at Oral Roberts University, Cotton Team members jumped into action.
Cotton employees from Houston who were in the region to assist with restoration work picked up shovels and assisted the city, filling sandbags for residents who needed them. The heavy rains and flooding reminded them of the devastation and subsequent help after Hurricane Harvey.
"The same way we received help from Oklahomans during Harvey, we wanted to come and help,” explained Josh Rios, Cotton supervisor.
Read more at TulsaWorld.com.more
May is National Building Safety Month, an annual awareness campaign presented by the International Code Council. This year’s theme is “No Code. No Confidence.” The campaign, now in its 39th year, reinforces the need for the adoption of modern, regularly-updated building codes, and helps individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures.
Cotton can bring buildings into code compliance and improve their safety before damage and losses can occur. If your building hasn’t been inspected recently for code violations, call Cotton today to request a walkthrough. In addition to code compliance, we can discuss and update your business continuity plan in the event of a disaster or emergency. With our experts’ help, you will have complete confidence in the safety of your business.
With hurricane season...more
The start of Hurricane season is weeks away, but severe weather doesn’t stick to a calendar. When spring comes, so does damaging winds, an increased threat of tornadoes and flooding rains. Be prepared for another year of severe weather with these tips:
- Communicate with your employees: You should already have an emergency plan, but do all of your employees know it? Do they know how to prepare and where to go? Communicate your emergency plan every year at the start of severe weather season.
- Refresh your emergency kit: For those who may have to ride out a period without power, make sure you have supplies that work. Check food expiration dates, refresh bottled water supplies, replenish anything that has been used.
- Have emergency phone numbers in writing: The aftermath of destructive weather can be chaotic. Post emergency phone numbers in a place where your employees can access them: utilities, insurance companies, company leadership and other important stakeholders.
An excerpt from Cotton’s EVP of Risk Management Lance Ewing’s column from Best’s Review
Alan King, the comedian and actor, once quipped, “the other day my house caught on fire. My lawyer said, 'Shouldn't be a problem. What kind of coverage do you have?' I said fire and theft. The lawyer frowned. 'Uh oh, wrong kind of insurance. Should be fire OR theft.'” Or so the story goes.
Insurance policies are truly claims policies. Insurers pay their premium with the anticipation that the claim will be paid when the loss occurs to their business or property. Yet many times, that is not the case.
When there is a claim dispute, many corporate risk managers and homeowners jump from receiving the denial of the claim to “Let's sue the insurance carrier.” A better philosophy for a denied property claim would be: Negotiate, mediate, arbitrate and only then litigate. Litigation against an insurance carrier should be the arrow of last resort in the quiver. Litigation puts the outcome of the dispute in the hands of a third party and removes the decision-making from the two...more
You already know that Cotton will be there for you in an emergency, but did you know that Cotton will also be there for you when you’re ready to spruce up your business? If you’re looking at aging decor or spaces that no longer work for your growing company, we also shine at construction projects and quality interior renovations.
Benefits of choosing Cotton:
- A single point-of-contact for your entire project
- Assurance that your building can remain occupied and functional while construction is ongoing
- Off-hours construction for completion of loud or disruptive projects
- Flexibility to add projects as work progresses
- Professional, safety-focused workforce
Services we provide:
- Finish work
- Energy efficiency upgrades
You know that we are experienced in being an agile company, so you can rely on us to get your project done efficiently, correctly and on-time. Contact Cotton today to start building the future of your...more
Two years in a row of destructive hurricanes have proven that having a business continuity plan is vital for the health and success of any organization. Disasters come in all shapes and sizes, anywhere in the world, and any iota of preparation can save lives and minimize disruption of your operations.
Cotton can help you refresh your business continuity plan with our first-hand knowledge of current and future risks. Our experts have helped businesses through many scenarios; here are just a few that your business should consider:
- How long can your business survive an operational interruption?
- When was your corporate emergency plan developed?
- Does your business have an alternate operations center if your primary workplace becomes inaccessible?
- What would happen if you lost temporary access to your company’s financial assets?
- Are all hazardous chemicals contained in compliance with current health, safety and environmental standards?
There is much more that Cotton can think through with you as you start the new year with...more
Safety is not just a requirement at Cotton, it’s a core principle. Our team encourages safe work practices at all times, on every job site. This holiday season, we encourage our clients and employees to stay safe at home, too. Here are some tips and reminders to help all of us keep safety top-of-mind:
- According to the National Fire Prevention Association, faulty electrical equipment is the cause of 40 percent of Christmas tree fires. Make sure there are no exposed or frayed wires, loose connections or broken sockets on your Christmas lights. And be careful not to overload your electrical circuits.
- Fireplaces are cozy, but they need to be used carefully. Get your fireplace cleaned and inspected for improper venting every year.
- Some decorative holiday plants can be poisonous and should be kept out of reach of children or pets. This includes poinsettia, mistletoe berries, holly berry, and Jerusalem cherry.
- The National Fire Protection Association reports that 12 percent of home candle fires occur in December. Don't burn candles near trees,...
As winter approaches, it's time to prepare your business for cold weather and storms. In addition to checking windows for leaks and ensuring your heating system is functioning properly, you should give some thought to your roof.
Roofing professionals advise businesses to get their roofs inspected not just once, but twice per year - ideally in the spring and fall. By doing so, you protect your company’s assets, ensure the comfort of your workers, and prolong the life of your roof.
Here are few other measures you can take as a business owner or facility manager to prepare your roof for winter and ensure year-round protection:
Gather all of your roofing documents into a file to easily access to all of your roof’s information. This will help you keep up with routine maintenance, repair history, warranty information and all of the details of your roof. Don’t let your roof’s information retire along with your facility manager!
In addition to regular inspections, it’s a good idea to have one performed after severe weather...
October 22, 2018
The Cotton Team cannot express enough how deeply sorry we are for any losses and we recognize how hard the struggle will be to rebuild from Hurricane Michael. Many have lost their loved ones, homes, belongings, schools, businesses and their livelihood. After seeing the storm’s devastation first-hand, we know how hard the struggle will be to rebuild, but we want to extend a heartfelt message of hope.
Cotton is in the region and has mobilized a Command Center in Panama City Beach. We have supplied public and private sectors with temporary facilities, backup power generation, catering, and emergency food services, as well as other logistical support. Furthermore, we are providing the necessary support to our clients in the region by restoring, remediating and reconstructing roofs and structures quickly.
I speak for the entire Cotton Team when I say that we deeply care about the people and communities we serve, and we pride ourselves in these moments to help them piece back their lives. You have lost more than we can imagine, and we want you to know...more
National Fire Prevention Week is an annual awareness campaign to educate Americans about fire prevention. This year’s campaign focuses on three steps to take in order to reduce the risk of fire:
LOOK for places fires could start: Take a comprehensive look around your business. Identify potential fire hazards, particularly your heating system and any kitchen facilities, and make sure you have adequate fire extinguishing equipment. Furthermore, pay close attention to appliances that have heating elements and make sure their piping and connections are new and maintained.
LISTEN for the sound of a smoke alarm: You could have only seconds to escape safely once a smoke alarm sounds, so don’t waste any time. Your life is more important than the email you’re finishing or the phone you can’t find. Nothing related to work is more important than your safety. In preparation for fires, make sure that all employees are aware of the seriousness of this alert, and have fire drills once per quarter.
LEARN two ways out of every room: Make...more
It has been one year since Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on the lives of those living on the Gulf Coast, including the greater Houston area. While the region has shown its strength and resiliency, many are still in the process of healing, recovering and rebuilding following the devastation.
Education is a sector that was hit hard. Many school districts in the region were devastated by the storm, closing their doors and relocating for a period of time while also focusing on educating their students.
One such client was Bloomington ISD in Victoria County, Texas. Located just 40 miles from the coast, the district’s schools sustained massive damages resulting from the storm and had to undergo a large-scale remediation operation. Cotton was grateful to have the opportunity to help the school district through this tough time. What made the project the most rewarding was the response and gratitude we received from our client.
Misty Brasfield, CFO of Bloomington ISD, had some high praise for our Cotton men and women:
“These guys at Cotton have helped me get all...more
As Hurricane Florence’s destruction is far from over, please know that Cotton Global Disaster solutions have all who are in the path of the storm in our thoughts and prayers. While the full impact of the storm is uncertain, we hope all remain safe and can quickly recover. Cotton Global Disaster Solutions is on the ground in the Carolinas and providing critical services to help the region recover, reduce business interruption and assist clients with their business continuity plans.
The storm has been on the company’s radar for weeks through its 24/7 Emergency Watch Center, closely tracking its development and landfall while keeping clients alert of their safety and business continuity planning and implementation. While most were evacuating, Cotton deployed its full bandwidth of turnkey services - Disaster Recovery, Construction, Roofing, Logistics and Culinary along with strike and management teams to the region.
Florence made landfall on September 14th as a Category 1 Hurricane near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, with maximum sustained winds reaching nearly 90...more
When surfing the net, did you ever stop to think that someone may be staring back at you? As technology advances, more and more of our lives are intertwined with the internet through online shopping, banking, email communication, social media, and more. Being proactive provides the greatest protection against online threats.
Cotton wants to help you protect your privacy by providing a few online safety tips:
● Recognize that you are an attractive target to hackers.
● Practice good password management: 8 Character passwords are no longer sufficient. It’s best to use a long nonsensical mix of characters, numbers and symbols.
● Use a unique password for each of your accounts.
● Never leave your device unattended for any length of time – computer, phone, or tablet. Lock it up so no one can use it while you are gone. This includes USB flash drives...more
The heat this summer is inescapable, affecting almost every region of the United States. Whether you are walking to your car or performing a strenuous task at the job site, your body is always working to maintain a balance and sustain its core temperature. As the heat index rises above 103°F in some regions, there is a high risk of heat-related illness; therefore, additional measures to protect your body must be taken. Heat-related illnesses are a serious hazard especially for those who are working outdoors during summer months. Follow these hydration safety tips to ensure your health and well-being during these scorching months:
Don’t wait until you are thirsty
If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Instead, drink small amounts frequently at regular intervals: 8 ounces every 30-45 mins.
Carry a Drink Bottle
You are more inclined to drink when fluids are readily available. Aim to refill a 27 ounce drinking bottle at least once every hour.
Drink plenty of fluids in the hours...more
Soaking in the sun can mean being out by the pool, beach vacations, cookouts, and other outdoor activities. However, when having fun in the sun, it should also be second nature to take steps to protect yourself from UV radiation. Whether you’ve got a vacation coming up or you're just spending time outside, Cotton's Safety Team has some tips that could help protect you from UV damage.
- Cover up. Shield your skin from the sun’s UV rays by wearing long sleeves, wide-brimmed hats, and breathable pants. All fabrics block UV rays to some degree, but for the most effective protection invest in outdoor clothing that carries an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating. The UPF rating measures how well different fabrics block UV rays. The most effective UPF rating is from 15 to more than 50.
- Plan around the sun. It’s imperative to limit direct sun exposure during peak sun times (10 AM to 4 PM). Plan your outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day when the sun is lower in the sky. If you’re going to be outside during this time,...
June marks the official start of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts the outlook to be historically more active than years past. Cotton Global Disaster Solutions urges you to take steps to protect your employees and safeguard your business. It only takes one storm to change the course of your life and your company’s fate. Hurricanes are among nature’s most powerful and destructive phenomena. Emergency planning and preparedness for natural disasters is the key to a quick response and recovery when disaster strikes.
Cotton Global Disaster Solutions is here to help you weather through the storm. Start by downloading our Hurricane Business Continuity Planning and Recovery Guide.more
Before our Cotton Global Disaster Solutions teams initiate the response and recovery phases following a disaster, much activity happens behind the scenes in Cotton’s 24/7 Watch Department. Information and speed are key to efficiency in our line of work, and the Cotton Watch team is dedicated to being at the forefront when a disaster strikes. This department is a critical component of our overall disaster mitigation and recovery process and the attention to detail taken in their preparedness efforts are paramount to completing successful projects for our clients.
In disaster scenarios, the environment and conditions can change instantly. Because of this, up-to-the minute information is extremely valuable in planning and preparing your business and employees for disaster. Cotton Watch analyzes risk factors and criteria that have the potential to affect your facilities all around the globe. Through severe weather tracking, social media monitoring, geo plotting our clients’ complete property portfolio and utilizing proprietary techniques,...more
2017 saw unprecedented hurricane activity in the Western Hemisphere, wreaking havoc in the Southern Pacific, Caribbean, Gulf, and Atlantic. As Edmund Burke stated “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” In order to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, Cotton Global Disaster Solutions recommends taking a look back at our 2017 Hurricane Season In Review. The infographic not only gives an extensive breakdown of last year's storm activity, and devastation, but also highlights Cotton's turnkey solutions and our multi-divisional response to the seasons quadruple punch.
Of course, the best planning doesn’t always safeguard us from the full wrath of Mother Nature, but proper measures can be taken to mitigate costs for your business. The devastation from these storms was catastrophic, causing billions of dollars in capital losses, operational expenses, infrastructure, and sadly, human life. In August, Hurricane Harvey affected more than 6 million people across Texas...more
Learn more about four Spring weather hazards to be prepared for
Spring arrives with generally warmer temperatures and lush greenery, however, the season can also bring severe weather. As temperatures can swing back and forth, with sunny days being followed by stormy nights, Cotton wants you to be aware of the dangers that may occur in this coming season. Take these steps to stay safe if severe conditions are predicted for your area that may affect your business.
THUNDERSTORMS Thunderstorms can cause the most severe weather bringing tornadoes, flooding, hail, and especially lightning. According to American Red Cross, lightning kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes. Take thunderstorm watches and warnings seriously, as people may be harmed by either ignoring them or missing the signals.
- Identify trees that have weak branches that may be struck by lightning and cause damage to people, vehicles, or...
Give your business the ultimate gift and join Cotton's Preferred Client Program
February is a month where we show our love and affection to those who are special in our lives. Valentine's day is upon us and many have spent the last couple weeks thinking of creative ways to show how much they care. At Cottonwe think the same care, affection, and attention to detail that you put into planning your Valentine’s day should also be shown towards your business!
As with any great surprise, gift, or celebration, preparation is key. Prepare your business the same way by being prepared for possible disasters resulting in loss of work, capital, or your entire business altogether. Give your business the ultimate gift and become one of Cotton's “sweethearts” by pre-aligning your business continuity plan with Cotton's specialized recovery...more
Put a business continuity plan in place in 2018
After deadly hurricanes, wildfires, and severe storms, 2017 was a year of unparalleled natural disasters while also being the most costly year on record for weather-related disasters in the United States. As 2017 has come to a close, and businesses analyze and reflect on the the past year, a good opportunity exists to implement new processes based on lessons learned. Cotton invites all of our clients and prospective clients to not only continue to prepare for unforeseen events, but also enlist Cotton’s turn-key solutions in order to achieve cost-savings following a potential disaster event.
The total economic impact of hurricanes in 2017 is estimated to be $370 billion in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean. Not all these losses could have been prevented, but their magnitude could be much smaller. As an example, the economic loss is not only how much a commercial building was damaged, or how much it will cost to repair the structure, but...more
Despite facing major obstacles while being in a remote location, Cotton responds to the island of St. John.
While Cotton was responding to the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in our hometown of Houston, and other areas of Texas, two category 5 hurricanes hit the U.S. Virgin Island of St. John, in the Caribbean. Cotton quickly mobilized assets and personnel to respond to our clients in the affected area. Cotton is very proud to be involved in this project, and other ongoing efforts in Puerto Rico. The scale of the project combined with its geographic location has presented logistical challenges; however, Cotton has not compromised on our quality of work, and has learned considerably from this project.
Our client in the hospitality industry, tasked us to mitigate damage and restore 28 buildings, 33 pools, and the grounds of the 47 acre property and beachfront,...more
A South Texas University expresses gratitude after Cotton gets them back to class after incurring damages from Harvey
In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Cotton was heavily relied upon to help our clients in the Gulf Coast region recover. In the weeks since the cleanup and repairs, some have taken the time to personally thank us for a job well done through personal letters and emails. We know that it is our job to respond quickly and perform to the best of our ability, but hearing the support and appreciation from those who have had the Cotton service experience is always humbling.
As the season of giving thanks draws near, it is with pride that we share a quote from a University client in South Texas whose campus received an extensive amount of wind and water damage from Hurricane Harvey:
“With the storm approaching, I knew exactly who to call to put on standby. It was Cotton.”
After being put on notice pre-storm,...more
Precision and preparation are what set Cotton apart in emergency management
Getting a business or organization back online after a hurricane or other high-impact catastrophic event can be challenging, stressful, and costly. Consequently, after a disaster strikes, our clients receive expert attention to protect assets and determine a critical path of disaster recovery that will minimize their interruption to daily operations and their associated revenue loss.
Cotton Global Disaster Solutions is actively responding to the destruction from Hurricanes Harvey, Lidia, Irma, Nate, and Maria in areas across the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean. At the peak of operations, we were managing a workforce of nearly 3,000 people, all committed to providing our clients with comprehensive and speedy services to get them back to business.
Whether we are restoring a small storefront, a functioning hospital, or a multi-level commercial office tower, our clients will see Cotton GDS’s...more
September 12, 2017
As we continue to assess the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, it is with a heavy heart I write this memo. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Cotton Team are with all those affected by this storm.
The storm and its resulting damage has had a tremendous impact on Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast Region, and the cleanup effort in the affected areas will be formidable. The Cotton Team is already hard at work confronting this challenge.
The Texas gulf is our home. It is where Cotton began and where our home office and largest presence remains. Every day we see the impact of this storm on our neighbors, friends and family. We also appreciate the trust that you have placed with us over the years. Let me assure you, the Cotton Team is focused on responding to our clients’ needs in the fastest, most efficient way possible.
Cotton is working with our clients to assess their property damage, mitigate any further damage, and provide clean up assistance in accordance with environmental protocols. Cotton is also preparing to provide construction...more
Cotton GDS recovery teams are actively working in locations across the U.S., Mexico, and The Caribbean
The 2017 Hurricane Season has been very dynamic, with its intense storms and wide reaching activity across the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Harvey left its devastating mark on the Texas Gulf Coast with three separate landfalls, while Lidia made landfall and caused significant impact to Mexico's Baja Peninsula in addition to flooding in the country's interior. The most recent hurricane, Irma, was equally damaging in the North Atlantic slamming multiple island nations as a Category 5 storm before moving onto Florida, bringing heavy destruction.
All of these storms have damaged the communities, people, and businesses for years to come. Cotton is proud to be a part of the recovery efforts in all of these areas with our turnkey solutions, and real time monitoring, tracking and response systems. Spanning the globe, our international services include:
- Flood & Water Damage Restoration
- Catastrophe Management
Cotton Global Disaster Solutions Website Gets A Facelift
Cotton Global Disaster Solutions has a new and improved website! To better serve our clients, the website features enhanced design with user friendly navigation, resources, and a wealth of information about services related to Cotton’s Disaster Restoration and Construction divisions. Our visitors will gain a better understanding of Cotton’s capabilities by:
- Reading up on all the services Cotton GDS provides -from disaster restoration to roofing, construction, and even catering
- Using our interactive map to learn about our vast coverage and strategically placed operations centers that allow us to respond to clients in a timely manner
- Reviewing the many industries Cotton GDS services, and how we specialize in your specific line of work
- Preparing your business and you in our “What To Do”...
Hurricane Matthew, a tropical cyclone that struck The Atlantic with full force in late September of 2016, brought widespread destruction and catastrophic loss of life. As this was a complex, multifaceted operation, it was necessary to utilize as many of Cotton’s capabilities as possible. Cotton International deployed our assets and team to the Bahamas soon after Matthew had passed to begin restoration support for our client. Over a course of three weeks, Cotton Culinary’s Emergency Food Service division provided approximately 20,000 meals for our client as well as to displaced families and local shelters. Cotton’s efforts effectively minimized the loss for our client and allowed them to return to normal business operations. It is a great honor to be called upon to deliver in times of crisis, and we believe that our turnkey, integrated solutions set us apart in the industry, while setting our clients up for success!more
June marks the beginning of The Atlantic Hurricane Season in the United States, a time when business owners who are geographically located in hurricane prone areas may suffer from “Hurricane Amnesia.” This phenomenon occurs when one is unprepared for the potential threat ahead due to previously inactive seasons that had no effect on their business. If a hurricane were to strike your city, can you ensure your business will survive? Follow these 5 ways to prepare your business for Hurricane Season:
1. Ensure your business’ roof can withstand the storm. Have the roof of your building evaluated to ensure it is structurally sound and best suited to endure heavy rains, hail and high winds that are characteristic of hurricanes.
2. Anchor large furniture and protect valuable equipment. Mount bookcases, filing cabinets and appliances to walls and floors to avoid further damage to your assets. Secure electronics such as computers and other office equipment with straps or velcro and cover with plastic. Remove...more
On Thursday June 22nd, Tropical Storm Cindy made landfall in the Northern Gulf Coast between Cameron, Louisiana and Port Arthur, Texas. According to the National Hurricane Center, Cindy had a real chance of doing serious damage to the Gulf Region. Thankfully however, these predictions didn’t come to fruition, and the storm resulted in only heavy rain and winds. Though Cindy didn’t cause major devastation, Cotton used the potential threat as a response training opportunity. Prior to Cindy’s landfall, Cotton exercised it's CAT deployment procedures by standing up an internal command, notifying on call staff and vendors, staging equipment, mobilizing first response staff, and staying in constant contact with clients who had exposure along the coast. “In these situations, we have many clients counting on us and it is our duty to be ready to respond and service their needs when the call comes in,” said James Scaife, President.
Cotton achieves success through strategic planning and execution on every project and event. While every successful job can be treated as practice while...more