Are you prepared?: Adjustments in Life Podcast (E 14)

In the wake of 2021's first hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season, Alan talks about how all adjusters can be better prepared for upcoming deployments. Check it out!


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Alan: Well, welcome back again. This is another episode of Adjustments in Life. Hey guys, before we get started into the program today, I really want to just say thank you to all of you that are listening, downloading the podcast, and becoming avid listeners. 

I am getting so excited. We did it; we finally reached our first thousand downloads. We have met a big mile stone in the podcasting world, and I couldn’t be more proud to be sitting here, continuing to put out good content, and give each and everyone of you what you want to hear. 

I am very, very tickled to be part of this and be able to give this to you guys; and I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you for just continuing to listen. 

If those of you that are listening want to give us feedback, please jump on there and give us a five star review—any comments that you want. We want to hear from you. We want to know how you guys like it, what you wanna hear. 

I continue to say that and again send us an email. Get on website. You can use the email that’s on there and let us know what you think and what you want; and we’ll do our best to accommodate each and everyone of you on any topic or anything you need in this business to help you get started in and be successful. 

Or for those of you that are involved and just haven’t been able to really get your grasp and find your way yet—it can be a tough business guys—that’s what we’re here for. That’s what we wanna do is help you. 

So again thank you so much for being listeners. I just can’t wait to keep giving you guys what you wanna hear and move this podcast forward. 

I’s no surprise, guys—hurricane season is here. Last week was kind of—and through the weekend—was kind of touch and go with the hurricane Elsa and then tropical storm Elsa and then back to hurricane Elsa. 

Florida got a little bit of a wakening; not too much of a crazy storm. A little bit of flooding as normal that we see in the hurricanes, a little bit of wind damage here and there—probably more so into the Georgia area—they got some tornadoes it looks like. 

It’s still not all the way gone guys. It’s working it’s way up through the East Coast. I wouldn’t expect to see a lot of deployments come out of this. If you live in those local areas, you’re probably going to see your daily volume increase.

There possibly could be with some carriers that have a pretty heavy presence in those areas where they did receive damage. You could see a few single to up to 2 to 5 person deployments just for specific carriers, and most likely there’s gonna be some flood damage that we know of. 

And the adjusters that work flood are going to be out there handling those claims. Unfortunately for most of you that are new, you’re not gonna get that opportunity. It takes a few years of being involved. 

I think if you want to get down to brass tacks, I think it’s five years you need to be an adjuster before most of them are going to give you an opportunity to work flood. 

Although certain situation certain storms are probably going to start pulling people that are less experienced just because they have an overwhelming amount and there’s always going to be flood on every hurricane. It just depends on how severe it is—will determine how many flood claims that you will see during that event. 

But Elsa was something that just got our eyes opened up and started getting us thinking. We don’t need to sit too long. Hail season was pretty short-lived. There hasn’t been a ton of big storms this year for hail. It’s been pretty quiet. 

I didn’t expect to see a whole lotta help with the winter storms that drug into the spring. I didn’t anticipate to see a lot of hail. We got a few pocket storms—one in Fort Worth, a few here and there up in the Dakotas—I think got a little bit of hail—Oklahoma—Norman, Oklahoma area—got a little bit of hail. 

But it kind of seemed like it quieted down and Elsa came along and looks like it had a potential of becoming something big for a moment and then it died down. And you know it was a hurricane, so we don’t want to discredit it. It was a storm that we needed to pay attention to. 

So now it’s moving on and it made me think of you guys. We need to get this on your mind. I need to start thinking about it, we need to start getting prepared for the hurricane season that we want to be working. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve had some pretty good years working hurricanes and I don’t wanna be the guy that’s sitting around not prepared when the time comes to get out there and go to work. 

So let’s talk about hurricane preparedness—and when I mean hurricane preparedness there’s a lot of things to keep in mind and a lot of things that we need to be thinking about and a lot of things that we need to be getting done during these periods where we don’t have a lot of claims to work so that when that big storm does roll in that the mass amount of deployments come from, we can be standing in line first. 

You don’t want to be the last person to get in line and have you know 200 guys ahead of you if you could help it. And the way to do that is to start now. Start reaching out to the firms—any firm, all of them. Reach out to every firm out there that you could possibly get on their roster and let them know “hey I want to work the hurricane season with you if the opportunity comes about.” 

They will get you set up with the things that they require for you to do or any certifications that they need you to do preseason if you want the opportunity to work Texas Wind Association—the TWIA claims. There is a learning experience requirement—believe it’s two years with TWIA—to be able to work their claims; but regardless of that, if you can find a firm that will invite you and let you get on the roster with them, you need to do that. 

That is a good certification to have. If the storm hits, you don’t want to be taking the certification while they’re sending people out for deployment. You want to already have that done so that when they call and say “are you TWIA certified? Can you take a step on it?” “Yes, I am.” 

And it doesn’t necessarily matter folks, if you took to do the certification for TWIA with a different firm then what calls you. Obviously, whatever firm you took that certification with, they want the opportunity to deploy you first. 

But if you have that certification with them; and you don’t get the opportunity to deploy with that particular firm and another firm calls you, as long as you have taken the certification, they can find you in the RMS and pull your name over to their company. 

So don’t think that you can only work one company with TWIA and that be the only company that you can work because that’s who you certified with. 

Obviously, yes, if you certified with them, again, I’m gonna back this up and confirm this two times—they want you to deploy with them or they wouldn’t of asked you to be on their roster for TWIA. 

But again, if they don’t have that opportunity for you, another firm might. So go ahead and have that—which ever firm will allow you to take that certification with them—go ahead and get it done. If there’s any other carriers—Tower Hill, Security First, any of the big Florida carriers—that need pre-storm certifications, you need to get those done. 

Again call every firm that you can possibly get a hold of that might have a contract with them. You’re not gonna know if they have a contract with these companies unless you call them and say “do you have these certifications? Do you have this? Do you work for these companies?” 

And if they say yes, you need to find out “how can I get the invite to take those certifications? I want if it all possible. I want the opportunity to work for those carriers to do that.” 

If you qualify, they will set you up to do that. They want you—everyone of them—they want you on their roster and that goes for every carrier that is going to be impacted or have the possibility of being impacted during this hurricane season. 

Every firm wants you on the roster, so you need to be reaching out to these companies; you need to be reaching out to all these firms and continuing to get set up. There may be hours, may be days, it may take you the next two weeks to get through all the certifications. 

Do it now. If you watch or follow Mike’s Weather Page—which I strongly recommend. I have hopes here in the future to get Mike on the show with me—if I can graciously get him to do so. 

He is fantastic. He is my go-to-guy to get up-to-date information. I do watch the Weather Channel just like anybody else. It’s real time. It’s live TV—that’s where I watch visually as the storms come in to keep up with what’s going on. 

But when it gets down to model runs and really wanting to understand the storm systems and how they work and what’s about to happen, I like to listen to Mike. And I like to watch his Facebook lives—they’re pretty detailed not to mention he’s a really funny guy—hilarious to watch. 

Just check him out if you’re not already watching him with you. I’m gonna bet that most of you that are listening to me right now probably have been listening to Mike a lot longer than you’ve been listening to me; but check him out, follow him, get on board with him. Good guy, like what he does, but he’s going to keep you updated. 

So that’s another thing. You need to be on top of that; but let’s get back to getting you set up with the firms because if you’re not set up, get set up. With all of them, get that out-of-the-way, get all the certifications done as many as you can now while you have time to do it. 

There’s going to be a lapse in the activity for the next few weeks. I would say you’re still safe to get all of your certifications done if you can get everything in before August 1st, that’s pretty much the time that you need to have everything ready to go. 

I think we probably are going to have some opportunities here. There may be some pop-up storms or may be some possibilities or something coming in, but generally August 1 till Halloween—that’s our prime time, that’s when we need to be 100% prepared and ready to go when the call comes in. 

So get that done. Don’t wait any longer. I still have stuff I need to do to be honest with you. I have a few of the certifications I need to get done that is on my list of things to do; but I promise you, they will be done probably within the next week. 

These are annual certifications for some of these companies. So again you’ll take them every year; but you need to have them done and prepared for before the prime part of the season hits. 

OK so licensing. If you have a Texas license—whether it’s you designated home state, it is your home state, whatever license you have—you need to make sure did you have the reciprocating license or you need to make sure you have gone to Florida taken the test and purchased Florida for sure. 

You always want to carry Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. If you don’t want to spend the money to get those, you need to make sure you have a reciprocating license that you can get online and get them done in a matter of minutes. 

If you don’t have a reciprocating license, then you need to be applying for those now. It’s gonna take you a little bit of time to get that done because you’ve got to go test for those states. Most of you that are listening, I’m gonna be 100% sure that you probably have a Texas license or you have some type of reciprocating license that you can buy those others online. 

But I don’t keep a lot of state licenses year after year after year—the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, and all the Gulf states—I keep consistently. I don’t ever let them lapse because you don’t know where those storms are going to hit. And I don’t want to have to wait in line to get my license. 

I don’t wanna have to deal with well “we’re not issuing licenses.” And we learned last year from Covid that sometimes some of these states do not issue temporary licenses no matter what the storm is and that can put some of us in a bind. 

There’s been some big demand and a big need for adjusters on the West Coast this year and due to the Covid restrictions, they were not issuing temporary licenses for any of the events that were taking place. So if they couldn’t find anybody with licenses, it became a problem or if you wanted to go to work there was plenty of opportunity to work on the West Coast. 

But if you didn’t already have the licenses to go work out there, they weren’t going to issue them to you. So if you have the funds, I suggest right now go ahead and get at least the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, and the Gulf states. You can already have those done and ready to go. 

It’s not an incredibly large investment. I think you could probably get all of those states bought for five to $800. For some of you, five to $800 actually might be a large investment at this time. But buy whatever you can get—especially Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas. 

Make sure those are for sure in your caddy of licenses. You don’t wanna go without those. OK tools. If you don’t have your tools by now, you need to be collecting those. 

You cannot get deployed to a hurricane without the tools you need to go do the job. Your computer should already be set up. If you don’t have a computer set up, at least have a computer that is ready to have Xactimate installed on it—maybe even have a demo version on it and be working on your demo version until you get deployed. 

If you get deployed and you tell him “I don’t have Xactimate but I have a computer.” Nine times out of 10 they have somebody that can onboard your computer, get Xactimate set up and you can be ready to go to work before orientation is over. 

I think it’s probably—well I’m just gonna say all the big firms—Pilot, Alacrity, Renfro, Ebrals—if you go to work for one of these big well-known firms and they deploy you and you tell them right off the bat “I have my computer, but I do not have Xactimate but I’m ready to on board it and get going.” They will take your computer at orientation, they will install Xactimate get you all set up, you will be ready to accept a claim before you get done at orientation. 

I’ve been there. I’ve been through those orientations, and they are prepared. They know what you’re going to need—especially if you’re upfront and forward with them when they deploy you. Then they know coming in “John needs Xactimate installed on his computer.” 

As soon as you walk in orientation, they are gonna grab your computer and they’re gonna take care of you. That doesn’t mean wait till then. That means if you don’t have the means of getting a demo version on your computer and playing with it or actually activating Xactimate now, do that. 

If you can get that done, do that. Have it ready—have your own Xactimate ready. Not everybody can afford to do that; but if you can, again, do it. That’s one more step you are ahead of the person that doesn’t have it. If they call you to deploy you and you say “I have a live active version of Xactimate ready to go; I can except claims right now.” You might get deployed. 

They might send that other person that they’re trying to get a hold of to another location that won’t be as good as yours; and they may be a week behind you of getting claims—a week behind you of getting claims could be several thousand dollars if you’re good enough at out running claims. 

That’s just being prepared, being able to have everything you need ready to go before that phone call comes in.

And let’s back up a little bit. That was the training—having all the certifications done any pre-storm training that they offer take it. Having the licenses that you need in hand, that you need for any of the states that are a possibility that could be impacted, having all of your tools ready to go—everything. Maybe you don’t have a rope and harness or a goat or a hipplock. 

If you don’t have those types of tools fine; but you have your pitch gauge or shingle gauge, your laser tape measure, you have a ladder, you have your computer, you have your printer, you have all the basic tools needed in order to be able to show up, take the claims, and go to work? 

Now the next thing I wanna talk about is support. If you’re in this trade and you know other people in the trade or somebody got you into this, use them for support. You need support walking into a hurricane. I promise you. 

Hurricanes are good storms to work. You can learn so much on a hurricane; but I’m going to tell you right now walking into Ground Zero of a category four or category five—even a high-end category three hurricane—can be extremely overwhelming. 

You never know what you’re gonna walk into. You might walk into a house that has almost little to no damage; and the next claim you go to, you might walk in and the entire roofs going off the structure, two of the four walls are down on the ground, everything in the house is saturated. You’re not only sketching everything on the house, you’re sketching the roof, you’re going through all the contacts and now you’re talking about probably a 3 to 4 hour estimate to write. 

You need support for that. You need to know who your storm managers are. You need to know—if you have friends that have been through this before or you have buddies that have gotten you involved in doing this and becoming an adjuster—rely on them. Go to them for support. 

If you’re in this and you don’t have any support or you’re looking for support, let us know. I’m gonna put a little plug-in here because has a TAG private community. There’s a small fee involved in purchasing your way into the community, but that is what that communities are there for. 

It’s a Facebook community that you can join, and they are going to—myself and several other trained experts that have been in this industry for a long period of time—are going to have access to see what you guys need. By getting that support from us, we’re gonna be able to help answer questions for you. 

We’re going to help you identify different products that you may not know what they are; it could be as simple as “hey I’ve got all these photos. I’ve sketched the house. Can you give me a brief explanation of how to start each room?” or “I’ve never seen this type of carpet before” or “you know I’ve never seen this type of shingle before” “Is this a concrete tile or is this a fiber cement tile?”

There’s 1000 things you could need to know and feel free to check us out. The TAG private community—we are there to help you. It’s a great resource for you to get information. We even jumped out there when we see things that are going to be out of the ordinary and throw pictures of things and information out to you guys. 

But we utilize that—very constructive information. We want you guys to get involved in that; and we want you to be able to come to us for questions; and we wanna be able to help you. 

So check it out, go to the website——and look up the TAG private community. That’s the support I’m talking about. If you have other means of support please go to those means of support. If you want to use us, we’re happy to help you; but you need somebody that can walk you through some of that stuff. 

If it’s simple claims—if you go to an area of the storm that’s not highly impacted—you may not need any help; but my guess is when you walk into some of these heavier hit areas, you’re always gonna need support. 

If you don’t want to go to to the TAG private community, find out where your managers are, find out where your help rooms are, go sit down with them, walk-through the estimate, walk-through the information, let them help you, lean on them for support. 

Support is everything in a hurricane situation. The managers support the adjusters. The adjuster support each other. Whatever it takes to get the claims completed in a proper time and in a proper manner is what needs to be done. 

Again, I can’t stress that enough. You got to have support. Don’t wait around and try to figure it out on your own. There’s too many resources out there to come to for information that can help you get through each one of the claims. 

So again check us out— and click on private community. Check us out. You won’t be sorry. I promise you, it’s a good group of guys; and we’re on there every day checking it out. 

Think about the things that I talked about today, think about getting those licenses, getting your certifications done, having your tools ready, and—if you’ve gone through all that—have your bag packed. Have it in the trunk of the car, have the ladder on the truck or whatever vehicle you drive, have it prepared to go so that when those calls come in “Hey where do I need to be and when?” 

And again you’ve heard me say this over and over and over again—when somebody calls and says “we want you with us for whatever hurricane is about to hit,” say yes. 

Some of you have been spending all your prepared for this day. Some of you certified earlier, some of you certified last year during 2020 and didn’t get a chance to work. Now is the time. Hurricane season as we are 99% of all adjusters get a chance to cut their teeth and get out there and go to work. Don’t pass up the opportunity. 

This is prime time for all adjusters—brand new, older, inexperienced, everybody. If we get a large massive category three or higher hurricane to impact a heavily populated area, everybody that wants to work will get a chance to work—everybody. I promise you, if you don’t get a phone call or you don’t get an opportunity to deploy, it’ll be because of one of these reasons that you did not do one of the things I’ve told you to do. 

You may not of talked to the firms—I could go on with a list of things of reasons why you would not of been deployed; but that’s only if you didn’t do the things that I’ve expressed in today’s podcast. 

So please, do what I say. I’m no magician. I’m not the only guy that thinks the stuff up. I’m just a guy sitting here broadcasting it out telling everybody what I think you need to do. And if you want to go to work, you’re gonna get an opportunity. 

I have full beliefs this year. I believe 100% that we will get a major impact of a hurricane. We will get a storm that is going to give everybody the opportunity to get it out. 

In my career, only a few years we did not get a major hurricane impact somewhere. We have had several of them hit and maybe not be as bad as what we anticipated, but I think maybe two years of my entire career I never worked a hurricane in the fall. 

And that’s pretty remarkable time; but guys be prepared—guys and gals be prepared. Don’t wait any longer. You got a little bit of a spell here to get everything wrapped up and be ready to go. Do it. You will not regret it. Take the time now. Take the time now and be prepared. 

Hey guys get on there give me a five star review if you would. Leave me comments of what you think about the show, things you want to hear, things you want me to speak on. 

Again I’m just here for you guys. I’m loving what I’m doing; and I wanna share my success and my stories and the things that I’ve been able to accomplish with you so that you guys could do what I have done. I feel like I’ve had a really good life. 

Adjusting‘s been really good to me. I wouldn’t have changed a thing about it if I could do it all over. And I want everybody to feel the same way. I want everybody to have and be able to enjoy it like I have enjoyed it. 

I hope that what I’m giving you is giving you the ambition to go and dig in and jump in with both feet and find your way. So anyway guys I appreciate it.

Be prepared, jump out there, lets go. Let’s have a good hurricane season. 

Everybody be safe. We’re going to have some guests coming up that are going to be on the next couple weeks that are going to be fun to have on the show. Jason Dyson will back again and looking forward to it. Looking forward to having all of you back. 

Thanks again and I’ll see y’all down the road. 

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