NEBRASKA CITY – Mark Davis returned to Nebraska City Wednesday to update Rotarians on catastrophe recovery and his company Signal Restoration Services.
Davis started in the recovery business in Denver in 1996, just months before a hurricane hit North Carolina. He instinctively headed to the area and was later impressed to find that he could help in a disaster situation and build a company.
Davis: “That’s why I decided I was going to become a storm chaser. Not a storm chaser that wants things to happen. That isn’t the business we’re in. Dr. DeFreece, you don’t want people to get sick, but you’re there to help. It’s the same thing we are. We’re the doctors of disaster.”
Their list of commercial and hotel restoration jobs grew steadily from there, but they were soon thrust into high demand.
Davis: “2017 and you guys all know. You watch the news. Harvey, Irma, Maria – unbelievable. Never happened like this before with three major storms back to back.”
They were working in Key West, when Hurricane Maria brought up to 30 inches of rain and wind gusts up to 190 miles-per-hour to Puerto Rico.
They took on restoration of two more hotels in Puerto Rico, where Davis says their logistical experience was crucial. They acquired a ship with 270,000 gallons of diesel fuel and pumpers to move the fuel.
Electrical service to the entire commonwealth was knocked out, but, because Signal brought its own diesel fuel, it was able to provide electricity to the projects it was working on. That enabled the company to attract enough workers and establish food lines for hundreds of Puerto Ricans for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Davis, a graduate of Lourdes Central, was joined by a dozen family members including his parents Bill and Betty Davis.