Before lava started consuming land and property on the Big Island, severe flooding left homes and property on Kauai and Oahu covered in water and mud.
Many individuals and companies came to the aid of those in need, but one local company played a huge role in the wake of the recent flooding.
Mark Harris and his company MD Restoration are still catching their breath from one of company’s busiest times in recent memory.
“I had more than 100 calls on Friday the 13th,” said Harris. “We were able to maybe get to 20 homes and work on them before we able to get to the waiting list even deal with the people were waiting for everybody to get there to come and help them.”
The torrential rains that left parts of Kauai and East Oahu underwater left his own office flooded with phone calls. And sent his teams of technicians scrambling to help people during their most difficult time.
“Everyone who is calling us, it’s for something that they didn’t really want to have happen,” said Harris. “It’s always an emergency or some sort of disaster.”
That’s why Harris says his golden rules are to first, inform them about their health and safety. And second go over all the possible scenarios.
“When we arrive at any type of emergency number one priority is making sure that we can at least give them some kind of peace of mind by explaining the process are going to do and obviously what they should be doing as well to protect themselves.”
It’s a far cry from the early days when the company was just Mark, a buddy from pre-school, and a couple rented vans.
His buddy worked for a moving company and Mark, who had left his job running a tech company, came up with an idea.
“I asked him, you see all these people who are going to be moving eventually whatever it’s with your company or another company i asked who cleans their house after they move out?”
He says it was quiet at first. But eventually people started calling for estimates. And a humble company was born.
“We would scrub toilets clean up floors and clean the windows and that was the extent of it.”
From there they started cleaning carpets, with rented machines and zero knowledge.
“But we learned how to do it and eventually that became one of our core services and that eventually evolved into water extraction which is more the restoration side of our business.”
Today, MD Resortaion has nearly three dozen vehicles and more than 50 employees. And they do everything from water, smoke fire, and mold mitigation to complete restoration and rebuild as a general contractor.
He points to a photo on his office wall as a picture of success
“I give most of the credit to the people in this picture. The company was started as a cleaning company but it’s growing because of the people that work here.”
And he says his secret to success is simple.
“Just making sure that we have a really good work environment and a culture that allows everybody offer input. And then making sure that they’re aware that it’s okay to fail, as long as we learn from those failures in order to grow the company.”