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New Orleans, A Look Back

Posted by Lindsay Childs, AVP of Marketing on Fri, May 01, 2015 @ 08:40 AM

If you follow us on social media, you may have seen that our company just finished exhibiting at the RIMS Conference. RIMS is a Society for Risk Managers that has a large conference every year that travels around the country. As you can imagine, Risk Managers rely on companies like ours to provide service on a daily basis and for major disasters.

Most major companies have some sort of risk management department, these individuals and groups are responsible for identifying risks in their organization and taking steps to mitigate those risks. The risk managers we work with rely on Blackmon Mooring & BMS CAT for services like water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, reconstruction and microbial remediation. Their job can be complex, and the risks constantly change. This year’s conference was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, which brought back a lot of memories for many in attendance.

This fall will mark the ten-year anniversary that Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. New Orleans was certainly not the only community affected, but the images of the devastation in the city are embedded in our collective memories. While at the conference it was impossible for our team from Blackmon Mooring & BMS CAT not to reminisce about the events that took place nearly a decade ago.

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When Hurricane Katrina reached Category 5, Blackmon Mooring & BMS CAT were already responding to damage in other areas from the storm. But we knew this landfall would be much more severe than her previous brushes with land. So we continued to dispatch crews and equipment to safe areas near the projected impact points. While we were ready and waiting, there was nothing that could prepare us and the rest of the world for what we were about to see.

Once our teams were permitted entry to the impacted areas, we began to restore facilities that were overwhelmed by damage from wind, rain, flooding and looting. Our crews were working in conditions that the United States was shocked to see. Very few areas had running water or electricity, so most of our employees stayed one to two hours away bussing back and forth to work each day. From Florida to Texas, our customers relied on Blackmon Mooring & BMS CAT to bring them back from devastation.

To say our team told the “war stories” about Katrina with pride is an understatement. Everyone at the conference felt a connection to the storm and what it did to the communities affected. Some said New Orleans would never be the same, maybe there are right, but the city we witnessed was stronger and better than ever.

Tags: hurricane

Tornados: Devastating, Damaging

Posted by Maggie Hendrix on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 @ 08:00 AM

Tornado:  a mobile, destructive vortex of violently rotating winds having the appearance of a funnel-shaped cloud and advancing beneath a large storm system.  

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Blackmon Mooring & BMS CAT have responded to some of the most devastating natural disasters in the world. Tornados are often some of the most destructive occurrences in a community. Damage to property can often seem insurmountable and, if not attended to, can continue long after the storm has passed. That is why we offer emergency construction services as part of tornado damage restoration to protect a building from further damage caused by flooding or wind.

Tornados have been known to cause millions of dollars of damage in numerous cities; billions of dollars world-wide. This type of natural disaster can come with little to no warning and can leave a path of demolition, fast. Every year, there are about 1,000 tornados that touch down in the United States and most of them come from what’s called “Tornado Alley.” Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas are all part of this region. In 2013, Moore, Oklahoma was devastated by a tornado that had wind speeds up to 200 miles an hour, killing 51 people in a matter of minutes and causing an estimated $2 billion in damage. This specific F5 tornado remains on the list as one of the deadliest tornados in history. Here are some tips and tricks should you find yourself and your loved ones vulnerable to a tornado:  

Things NOT to do during a tornado:

  • Do not try and outrun a tornado
  • Do not stand near windows
  • Do not take cover under a bridge or overpass

Signs of a tornado:

  • Dark and/or greenish sky
  • Large hail
  • Large, dark, low laying cloud
  • Loud roar, sometimes sounding like a train

Prior to tornado - Keep a bag or place of storage for these items:

  • Batteries - for flashlights
  • Candles/lighters for backups (always have backups)
  • Water
  • Food that will not go old fast
  • Blankets
  • If you have a storm shelter, make sure it is registered because in the event of a tornado, authorities are notified and will check on you.

During a tornado:

  • Listen! Listen! Listen! There is such a thing as “The Calm After the Storm”
  • Do not leave your safe place/shelter

What to do after a tornado:

  • Check your surroundings. Make sure there are no power lines down around you.
  • Check all windows/roof. If your home or building has damage- contact your insurance agent to check coverage.
  • Call a professional restoration company to help board-up any busted windows/tarp-up roofs to keep out the rain that follows the storm.

Because of our location in the heart of “Tornado Alley”, the office in Oklahoma City has been on the front lines, providing disaster recovery services for victims of tornado damage and other severe weather. Already this year Moore, Oklahoma was hit again, thankfully this time the twister was significantly weaker. When widespread disasters occur, we have often felt the devastation first-hand. By providing disaster restoration including, reconstruction following wind damage, smoke damage clean-up, water damage restoration, earthquake disaster recovery, hurricane damage restoration and document recovery services, our teams have the unique responsibility of rebuilding their own communities. 

Tags: Tornados

The Insurance Factor

Posted by Jennifer Manz on Wed, Apr 01, 2015 @ 08:00 AM

When disaster strikes, large or small, there can be a number of players involved when it comes to restoring order. Blackmon Mooring and BMS CAT work directly with insurance carriers, third-party claims administrators, and property owners in order to find solutions. We minimize further damage and provide peace of mind to those who have suffered damage, regardless of the cause.

When you contact your insurance carrier, and they respond with a service provider or list of providers, you might wonder why those companies were recommended or how they are related to your insurance carrier.  Insurance carriers select contractors and service providers to be a part of their program based on experience, performance, integrity, and ability.  They want to ensure they recommend providers who can be trusted to complete a project with a high level of quality and in a timeframe that minimizes hardship to the policy-holder or property owner.  At Blackmon Mooring and BMS CAT, we work very hard to maintain the highest standards that meet or exceed the expectations of insurance carriers.  Some of the basic requirements virtually all insurance carriers require of their service providers are as follows:

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  • Consistently adhere to certain levels of performance with regard to metrics that govern the quality, timeliness and efficiency of the work we perform;
  • Maintain substantial insurance coverage in an effort to protect all parties involved with a claim;
  • Strict adherence to guidelines and best practices set forth by the carrier;
  • A solid financial standing;
  • Background screening of every employee to be involved in a project.
  • Proof of licensing and certification.

24-hour emergency response to water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, flood damage cleaning, smoke removal services, and board up services.

We at Blackmon Mooring and BMS CAT take these requirements and guidelines very seriously. We are in daily contact with our carrier partners in order to ensure that all projects are being handled professionally, efficiently and with the high level of quality our customers have come to expect. The details of each and every project are documented and communicated to the carrier, adjuster, project managers and technicians from start to finish, maintaining complete transparency. This keeps everyone involved and up-to-date on the progress of each stage of the project.

Blackmon Mooring and BMS CAT maintain our own very high standards when it comes to the work we perform and the satisfaction of our customers.  Meeting the needs and requirements of our carrier partners becomes second nature as we expect the very same elements on every job, every day.  

Tags: Insurance

Logistically Strong

Posted by Tom Snow on Mon, Mar 16, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

I believe the heart of our company is our people.   Our 67-years of technical expertise is the brains. The dedication and front line involvement of our leaders are the backbone. And, logistics is the muscle. In my view, a company’s growth and effectiveness is based on how “Logistically Strong” they are.  Just like athletes train to get bigger, faster and stronger, the Blackmon Mooring & BMS CAT Logistics Team does the same. Here is a small sample of our structured training drills:

  • We systematically evaluate our deployment process to make sure we are continually improving our response time to losses that range from fire damage restoration to area wide disasters.
  • Throughout the year we diligently inspect, inventory and test our fleet and equipment to ensure that we are ready for action. Allowing us to be ready to provide all types and sizes of emergency restoration services.
  • We work vigorously with our logistic venders to fully understand their capabilities, their strengths and weaknesses. This allows us to understand their role on our team or to know when to pull them off the bench.

There is no off-season because maintaining a "Logistically Strong" operation allows us to serve our customers day-in and day-out.  They count on us to restore calm and be there, prepared, to make the big plays when we are called off the bench.  Just check out the highlights from our response to Hurricane Odile in Cabo San Lucas Mexico. 

Pre-Game:

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In September of 2014, the Baja Peninsula of Mexico was struck by a strong Category 3 Hurricane. Our customers called us immediately asking for disaster recovery services. Their properties had been damaged by winds as high as 125 mph. Roofs and walls were ripped from homes and businesses throughout the community allowing water to enter the unprotected structures. Most areas did not have electricity and many had limited access.

The Offense:

The same secluded location that makes Cabo a wonderful vacation destination also makes it a challenge from a logistics standpoint.  In the best of conditions, you have limited traffic lanes in and out, one main road runs the length of the peninsula, one major ferry port and two regional airports.  


The Defense:

When the storm hit, major sections of the road were flooded, the ferry port and the airports were severely damaged and were under the control of the military. Adding to an already challenging situation, another hurricane was developing and heading toward Cabo, leaving a very tight window for response. Travel, in general, was at a standstill. Our customers were asking for major deployments of equipment, supplies and personnel.

Our training and preparedness ensured we had all essential equipment and supplies ready to ship. This allowed us to prepare and react quickly to the needs of our customers. The training and experience of our logistics team allowed each member to participate and communicate in developing out-of-the-box ideas used to tackle the obstacles in our path. These trained logistics professionals used their experience and expertise to deploy a massive amount of equipment, supplies and personnel to an area few people could access. We responded quickly and decisively leaving our customers paired with the right people and fortified with the right equipment and supplies in the most economical manner possible.  The result was a win for us and a win for a customer who desperately needed a disaster restoration provider.

The truth is, logistics is not a game but it is a team effort. Not like football where one player advances the ball to the goal line. It is more like rugby where the entire team moves the ball together. It takes some brains, some backbone and some heart to make the muscles move effectively.  Tom Peters (prominent writer on business management practices, best known for In Search of Excellence) wrote, “Leaders win through logistics. Vision, sure. Strategy, yes. But when you go to war, you need to have both toilet paper and bullets at the right place at the right time. In other words, you must win through superior logistics.” I cannot define “Logistically Strong” any better than that

Tags: hurricane

A History of Customer Service

Posted by Lindsay Childs, AVP of Marketing on Fri, Feb 27, 2015 @ 02:59 PM

Our founder, William Blackmon Jr. was a special man. Mr. Blackmon grew up in the Fort Worth area and was a standout basketball and football star in high school and college at Texas Christian University. It was at TCU that he met his wife Genevieve. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Navy and was sent to the Pacific Rim during World War II.  

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Not long after returning, Mr. Blackmon started this company in 1948 as a furniture and dye shop. His wife grew up in the industry so it seemed to be a good fit. But everything changed in May of 1949 when Fort Worth, Texas received over 11 inches of rain overnight. Mr. Blackmon and his team sprang into action providing the devastated community flood damage restoration. It was then, Blackmon Mooring was truly born.

When the flood waters receded, the company began building the business to offer homeowners affordable carpet cleaning, air duct cleaning and upholstery cleaning. One of the first jobs Blackmon Mooring had was upholstery cleaning at the Texas Christian University stadium. In addition to regular cleaning, Blackmon Mooring offered home restoration services following disasters such as fires and floods. Eventually, the company began offering commercial flood damage restoration and commercial fire damage restoration. The company continued to grow and expand, developing patented processes to provide customers with the most affective cleaning and restoration techniques available.

Fast forward to 1981 to when the Hilton in Las Vegas had a fire, damaging much of their facility. While other companies were estimating that it would take six months to restore the property from fire damage, we performed the project in 29 days.  It was then that the BMS CAT division was formed to focus on commercial fire damage cleanup, commercial flood damage cleanup and storm damage response. A few years later, BMS Global was formed to provide Transportation Disaster Services following transportation disasters.

Today, the company is still managed by the Blackmon Family. Mr. Blackmon founded this company on reliability, quality and superior customer service, and today, we all work to carry on his vision every day. 

Tags: Blackmon Mooring, BMS CAT, BMS Global

Earthquakes: Drop, cover and hold on

Posted by Amanda Schooler, Director of Advertising on Tue, Feb 17, 2015 @ 10:24 AM

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You can’t anticipate when an earthquake will happen, or where it will happen. The only thing you can do is plan ahead so you are prepared if this natural disaster occurs.

What is an earthquake exactly?

An earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the breaking and shifting of subterranean rock as it releases strain that has accumulated over a long time.

For hundreds of millions of years, the forces of plate tectonics have shaped the earth, as the huge plates that form the earth’s surface slowly move over, under and past each other. Sometimes, the movement is gradual. At other times, the plates are locked together, unable to release accumulated energy. When the accumulated energy grows strong enough, the plates break free. If the earthquake occurs in a populated area, it may cause many deaths and injuries, along with extensive property damage.

All 50 states and 5 U.S. territories are at some risk for earthquakes. Even scarier, earthquakes can happen at any time of the year, which is why being prepared is so important.

Here are a few things to do in order to be prepared for an earthquake:

  • Build an emergency kit and create a family communications plan.

  • Hold earthquake drills with your family members: Drop, cover and hold on.

  • Identify safe spots in each room (under a sturdy table or against an inside wall). Discuss these safe spots and move to them during family drills.

Ready is a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to get the public involved and ultimately to increase the level of basic preparedness across the nation. They have a dedicated section of their website for kids. In that section, you will find games and other resources to educate children. Be sure to check it out!

http://www.ready.gov/kids

Check out this website for more information about what to do before, during and after an earthquake:

http://www.ready.gov/earthquakes

 

Tags: Blackmon Mooring, BMS CAT

Managing Man's Best Friend

Posted by Blackmon Mooring on Fri, Jan 30, 2015 @ 04:49 PM

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We all love our furry friends, but as any pet owner knows, they are bound to make a mess at some point in time. At Blackmon Mooring, we are here to offer you an array of solutions to keep your home clean while living with man’s best friend.

For a short term fix, we recommend that you keep the pet hair to a minimum by implementing a proper grooming routine. Brushing your pet several times a week will help to eliminate shedding and keep your floors from looking like one giant hairball.

And what about all the dust and dander? Pets are known to accumulate rapid amounts of oil and dirt. Sometimes you just aren’t sure about what is lurking in their fluffy coats and on the surface of their paws. And where does it all end up? Piled on your freshly swept floors, ground into the weaving of your area rug, and smeared across the edges of your pristine furniture, of course!

Not only do our beloved pets cause problems for our surface areas, but their hair and dander can inhibit the flow of clean air coming from your HVAC system. Instead of letting this grime infiltrate your beautiful home, we recommend you check and clean your air filters every 3-4 weeks.

Here are a few Blackmon Mooring Pro Tips to keep your carpets clean after a “pet disaster”.

  • Hair: We recommend that you rake your carpet and upholstery with a rubber-bristled carpet rake or use a vacuum attachment with rubber rotors. These two options are much more effective than simply sweeping or vacuuming with regular bristles.
  • Urine: Accidents happen. Reacting quickly to the accident can drastically minimize the damage done to your carpet and upholstery. Blot the area with a dry paper towel or terry cloth. Try to absorb as much of the stain as possible. For best results, apply a bio-enzymatic cleaner like Nature’s Miracle Urine Destroyer from the pet store. Simple detergents and water can actually set the stain. Beware!
  • Stains: Cleaning and removing pet-created urine, feces, vomit and blood stains from your carpet or furniture is a significant challenge. Most solutions on the market can set the stains and do not address the odor they leave behind. If you have significant staining on your carpet or furniture, it's best if you turn to the professionals at Blackmon Mooring.

While these techniques are helpful in maintaining your home’s cleanliness, we know that time is not always on your side. We find it important that our customers know that sometimes the quick fix, is the most permanently damaging and time-consuming. It would be in your best interest to call the experts at Blackmon Mooring so that you and man’s best friend, remain best friends.

Tags: Blackmon Mooring, BMS CAT

What is BMS Global?

Posted by Russell Goutierez on Wed, Jan 14, 2015 @ 04:47 PM

Remember when Captain “Sully” Sullenberger safely guided a crippled Airbus down into the Hudson River? Or when a 777 crashed on landing in San Francisco? Those two events, and dozens of other major transportation accidents, have something in common that might surprise you: BMS played a key role in the responses.

Aviation and transportation customers worldwide, including nearly 50 airlines, trust BMS Global to provide a wide range of emergency services. For example, we offer recovery and return of personal effects, assistance with planning and training, site cleanup, and support in the facilities where survivors and families gather after an accident.

The work is complex; we recovered and processed some 36,000 items from the “Miracle on the Hudson” alone. It’s also deeply meaningful to the people involved. I was honored to meet a couple recently whose daughter perished in an airline crash. BMS Global had recovered and returned numerous items from the accident site. “Thank you for this,” the gentleman said, pulling his daughter’s driver’s license from his wallet. He carries that special keepsake everywhere he goes.

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Accidents aside, our aviation and transportation customers also count on BMS to help with the same risks as our customers in other sectors. Staying prepared for fires, floods, storms or any other kind of emergency requires close cooperation, the kind BMS provides through our philosophy of building true partnerships.

A true partnership begins well before any loss. It starts with understanding our customers’ need for flexible budget-friendly options with no surprises. To that end, BMS charges no retainer, provides our pricing up front and operates under a straightforward, no-nonsense Response Service Agreement (RSA).

Once an RSA is in place, we work with each customer to help plan for whatever may come, again at no charge. For example, customer feedback led to the development of a training handout describing the process of recovering and returning personal effects.

And finally, if the worst happens - from one soaked box of critical documents to catastrophic facility damage to a large-scale accident - a true partnership means our talented and dedicated team will be there working beside you until the job is done.

BMS was founded on that kind of exceptional customer service in 1948 and we’re proud to say it’s the same way we do business today.

Tags: Blackmon Mooring, BMS CAT, Restoration, BMS Global

A Clean Start To 2015

Posted by Jordann Rawls on Thu, Jan 01, 2015 @ 07:30 AM

As kids, we cleaned for brownie points, cash allowances or to avoid being grounded. As adults, we basically clean for free and, this holiday season, it’d be nice if all this cleaning actually led to something or gave something back in return.

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We’re all grown-ups around here, but we’re still kids at heart. So, while a cash allowance for cleaning out hideous junked-out trunks or kitchen “everything” drawers would be nice, it’s not likely, even by Santa’s standards. But, cleaning out your closet (we promise) will not leave you empty-handed. We’ll prove it, and we challenge both our friends and family, as well as ourselves, to stop skipping over the world’s most important New Year’s resolution of all in 2015 - Cleanliness.

If you really want to impress friends at parties and, most importantly, knock your own socks off, by coming up with the most creative 2015 resolution of all, here’s some cold-hard facts about why being dirty is disgusting and still totally worth your time -- Even if your mother stopped checking under your bed and paying you for a clean room years ago.

  1. Out of sight, out of mind. Because what’s looming in the back of a storage closet can’t be seen, it’s probably one of the reasons Americans waste nine million hours a day searching for misplaced items (American Demographics Society). If time is money and money is time, by organizing and sorting through hidden grime, you’re paying yourself back in advance for time you could be losing in the future.
  2. More cleaning now equates to less cleaning the rest of the year. Getting rid of excess clutter eliminates 40 percent of the housework in an average home, according to the National Soap and Detergent Association. Give a little bit now, get your life back later.
  3. Even if it’s hiding behind there, it’s still in the air. Cleaning and disinfecting hidden storage areas, like HVAC ducts, can help prevent contaminants from becoming a health hazard to you and your family. Around 42,000 dust mites can live in one ounce of dust, expelling up to 20 fecal pellets a day into your home and the air you breathe. While carpet cleaning and air duct cleaning won’t get you brownie points, per say, it will prevent getting grounded by sickness. Schedule an Appointment
  4. Improved health. Notice a trend? Even when unseen, an out-of-control space does not promote good health. It does encourage sustained high levels of stress which have been proven to lead to a variety of health problems. Create capture points and dedicated places for commonly targeted items such as car keys, frequently used tools like scissors and daily accessories, like belts or scarves.

Now, cleaning still isn’t fun. Not a whole lot has changed in that regard. What has changed (hopefully), is that we appreciate our time more. When we commit to clearing out the messy sludge that’s hidden behind walls, inside car trunks and closets, we make room for more of what we love by getting rid of what we don’t.

Sure, some chores we can still push off on spouses or perhaps bribe children of our own in exchange for lending a hand but, ultimately, like any New Year’s resolution, what YOU give is what you get. Clean up the hidden dirt and clutter in your home and reap rewards of a healthier environment to live in for a more fabulous 2015.

You’ll have less time stressing, hunting and worrying, more time with family and friends and be more productive at work. The best part of charging yourself with being clutter-free and clean?

No one but you can say, “I told you so.”

Schedule Online 

Tags: Blackmon Mooring, BMS CAT, Home Cleaning

Make a List and Check it Twice - Holiday Season Safety

Posted by Amanda Schooler, Director of Advertising on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 @ 06:30 AM

The holidays are upon us, and while you might be decorating your home or office with boughs of holly, you should also be making time for something else: keeping them safe and sound.

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Here are some reasons why:

  • Fires are more frequent during the holiday season. Allstate Insurance found that home fire insurance claims increase by 15 percent during the holiday season. The candles, Christmas trees and space heaters that fill your house or building during the winter make for very high fire risks.

    - Candles are one of the biggest culprits of home fires, and according to the U.S. Fire Administration, fires caused by candles are as much as four times more likely during the holiday season. 
    - While beautiful, your Christmas tree is another fire hazard, and damages can be costly. Allstate reports the median cost for a home fire claim caused by a Christmas tree is more than $100,000.
    - From 2007 to 2011, space heaters accounted for one-third of home heating fires. Half of all home fires caused by space heaters occurred between December and February.
  • Break-in’s increase during the holidays. According to the FBI, there were more than 2 million burglaries in 2012, or approximately one every 15 seconds. If that’s not already often enough, Allstate Insurance found that theft claims increase by 7 percent during the holidays.

  • Slip-and-falls account for more than 1 million emergency room visits each year. During a time when snow and ice track inside causing the floor to be slippery, it's more important than ever to keep your home and office free from such danger. 

Here are some safety tips:

Although safety tips differ between type of property (residential or commercial), here are some they have in common.

  • Hang decorations with care (never place staples or nails through any electrical cords) and make sure to turn off all decorative lights when you leave.
  • Be mindful of decoration placement, as they should not block high-traffic walkways or fire exits.
  • Put your lights on timers. If you are leaving for an extended time, place your lights on timers to deter would-be criminals.
  • The holiday season is also a perfect time to check your smoke detectors to ensure they are functioning properly.
  • Inform others nearby. Make sure the security staff at your building knows which offices will be unoccupied during the holiday season. Ask a trusted neighbor to watch your home while you are away.
  • Prepare for any weather. Protect your pipes from freezing; insulate exposed pipes and leave a tap trickling to avoid a burst pipe if the temperature suddenly drops while you’re away. There are even leak detection systems that can alert you in the event of a leak.
  • Advertise. Let potential crooks know your home or office isn’t one to mess with. Yard signs and door decals from your security company make a bigger difference than you think.

The holiday season is an exciting and joyous time of year! However, with the holidays comes increased time away from the home or office and heightened security threats to your property. So, while Santa is busy checking his list of who has been naughty or nice, make yourself a safety checklist to protect your belongings. Enjoy the holly days!

Check out these websites for more safety tips:

The Ultimate Guide to Preparing Your Home Before Vacation
http://www.safewise.com/blog/ultimate-guide-preparing-home-vacation/

Office Building Safety Tips
http://www.datawatchsystems.com/safety-tips

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For over 65 years Blackmon Mooring and BMS CAT have been the experts in cleaning, recovery, reconstruction, and restoration. From residential clean up to natural disasters, we’re trusted with some of the biggest jobs in the world, yours.

Tags: water damage, fire damage, Blackmon Mooring, BMS CAT, Restoration, Commercial

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