New build­ing helps Belfor’s re­sponse

Com­pany’s Ex­ton-area hub re­cently un­der­went an up­grade

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Brian McCul­lough bm­c­cul­lough@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @wc­dai­ly­lo­cal on Twit­ter

WEST WHITELAND » The im­pact of Hur­ri­cane Matthew reached all the way up the East Coast to the Ex­ton area Thurs­day as work­ers at the Belfor oper­a­tion on Clover Mill Road pre­pared to join in the com­pany’s na­tional re­sponse.

It was all part of busi­ness as usual at Belfor, which cleans up af­ter nat­u­ral dis­as­ters such as hur­ri­canes and tor­na­does as well as man-made de­struc­tion and the re­sults of fires and wa­ter dam­age.

“All Belfor na­tional emer­gency re­sponse teams are mo­bi­lized through­out the ar­eas ex­pected to be hit by Hur­ri­cane Matthew,” the com­pany said in a state­ment. “This is in­clud­ing the Ex­ton team ... As soon as the hur­ri­cane hits, the teams will be ready to re­spond.”

Belfor re­sponds lo­cally, na­tion­ally and glob­ally, ex­plained Daryl R. Tunno, a gen­eral man­ager for the com­pany.

Based in Birm­ing­ham, Michi­gan, the com­pany has more than 100 of­fices na­tion­wide.

From the Ex­ton lo­ca­tion, Belfor re­sponds to the com­mu­ni­ties on the Main Line and in Chester, Mont­gomery and Berks coun­ties; it also is a tri-state hub for the prop­erty restoration busi­ness.

In Novem­ber, the com­pany moved into its new 78,000-square-foot build­ing where it em­ploys 120 peo­ple.

In ad­di­tion to act­ing as the head­quar­ters for lo­cal re­sponses, the build­ing is a dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ter for Belfor Hold­ings Inc., so when a big event takes place other Belfor

“All Belfor na­tional emer­gency re­sponse teams are mo­bi­lized through­out the ar­eas ex­pected to be hit by Hur­ri­cane Matthew. This is in­clud­ing the Ex­ton team ... As soon as the hur­ri­cane hits, the teams will be ready to re­spond.” – Belfor com­pany state­ment

of­fices reach out to Ex­ton for sup­plies.

“This week is a good ex­am­ple,” said Tunno dur­ing a tour of the new build­ing on Wed­nes­day as a tele­vi­sion in the lobby tuned to the Weather Chan­nel tracked the progress of Matthew. “We’re one of five hubs for the na­tional fleet from across the coun­try.”

The Ex­ton lo­ca­tion is also a train­ing cen­ter for em­ploy­ees, the na­tional billing cen­ter and holds the Belfor Store, an on­line store where em­ploy­ees na­tion­wide can buy equip­ment and cloth­ing on­line.

Parked out­side are two huge mo­bile cen­ters that are sent to the scenes of nat­u­ral dis­as­ters. When on a scene, 28 peo­ple can work out of the trail­ers that are equipped with satel­lite tech­nol­ogy.

In­side the ware­house are pods where cus­tomers can keep their be­long­ings while their work­places are be­ing re­con­structed, an in-plant wet clean­ing process and 300 vaults where valu­ables can be stored. The com­pany also has two cham­bers in Ex­ton where it can save valu­able pa­pers that have got­ten wet us­ing a freezedried method.

Hang­ing on one of the walls at Belfor are two panoramic pho­tos of a school cam­pus in Hen­ryville, In­di­ana. One shows schools that were re­duced to rub­ble af­ter a tor­nado hit on March 2, 2012. The other shows the schools af­ter Belfor re­stored them.

“If you had to take a pic­ture of what Belfor is all about, that’s the best view of what we do,” Tunno said.

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Belfor has a new home in the Ex­ton area.

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Ale­jan­dra Rosario of Belfor Prop­erty Restoration in Ex­ton uses a chem­sponge to re­move odors from prop­erty of a home dam­aged by fire.

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Daryl R. Tunno of Belfor Prop­erty Restoration in Ex­ton.

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Daryl R. Tunno of Belfor Prop­erty Restoration in Ex­ton points to prop­erty restoration needed at a school fol­low­ing a tor­nado in the Mid­west.

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

One of two Na­tional Dis­as­ter Team mo­bile cen­ter trucks kept at Belfor Prop­erty Restoration in Ex­ton.

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