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Franchises on the Front Lines: Three of the Top Disaster Recovery Franchises

From crime scene clean-up to storm damage restoration, these franchises offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to provide absolutely crucial services in times of need.

Not all heroes wear capes; some are simply franchisees running their businesses and trying to provide something meaningful to their community. That’s often the case with those in the disaster recovery category — businesses that aim to help homeowners and business owners whose properties have been devastated by water, fire, mold, biohazard contamination, etc. 

Here are three of the top disaster recovery franchises out there that offer entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to become frontline saviors in their communities while building successful businesses.

SERVPRO

NUMBER OF LOCATIONS: 2,220

REPORTED COST TO GET IN: $236,270 to $296,775

Founded in 1967, SERVPRO offers a robust portfolio of cleanup and restoration services, focusing on fire, water, storm, disaster and mold damage. With 2,220 locations in the U.S. and Canada, SERVPRO is recognized as one of the largest emergency service franchises and has strong relationships with insurance companies, which helps streamline the claims process for clients?.

“SERVPRO franchise owners pride themselves on being ready for whatever happens. Our franchisees have a ‘never say no’ mentality, working together with other owners to make sure we are able to satisfy all of our customers’ and clients’ cleanup, remediation and restoration needs, which allows us to ‘Keep it Green,’ as we like to say,” Rick Isaacson, CEO of SERVPRO, told 1851. “Through this approach, coupled with our storm response teams, we learned how to provide solutions to a variety of challenging damage situations. We pride ourselves on rushing in when others are running out — whether that is in response to a natural disaster such as a hurricane, flood or tornado or cleaning up after a home or business water or fire loss.”

United Water Restoration Group (UWRG)

NUMBER OF LOCATIONS: 111

REPORTED COST TO GET IN: $154,776 to $582,127

UWRG is a franchise brand that has provided premier restoration and reconstruction services for nearly 15 years. The scope of the industry is large; water damage alone accounts for the second-most-filed type of insurance claim in the U.S., with 14,000 Americans experiencing water damage every day. 

The UWRG brand aims to “help homeowners and business owners recover from unforeseen events.” In September of 2023, for example, as Hurricane Ian came through Florida and caused massive damage, several UWRG locations stepped up and undertook massive commercial and residential water damage restoration services to help their communities return to a state of normalcy. 

“We assisted hundreds of property owners in the wake of hurricane Ian,” said Bob Moore, vice president of development and operations at UWRG. “Our teams were ready to answer the call and assist when travel advisories permitted.” 

Bio-One Inc.

NUMBER OF LOCATIONS: 100+

REPORTED COST TO GET IN: $110,695 to $164,195

Bio-One Inc. is a 24/7 crime-and-trauma, scene-cleaning franchise brand that provides services such as homicide cleanup, suicide and recovery cleanup, hoarding cleanup, junk removal, medical waste disposal, mold remediation, deceased animal recovery, rodent and pest droppings and undiscovered death cleanup.

"The thing that our franchisees often talk about is the fact that they are very tied to their community,” Danessa Itaya, president of Bio-One Inc., told 1851. “They're able to give back to their community and have an amazing business model that goes along with it. Our primary goal here is to get you back into your home as quickly as possible. That's why our motto is, ‘Help First, Business Second.’”

Bio-One’s clients include police, fire and victim advocates, funeral homes, hospitals and large corporations. The brand has been responsible for providing cleanup services for some of the nation’s most devastating tragedies, including the Mandalay Bay shooting in Las Vegas and the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida.

For those looking to venture into the disaster recovery industry, these franchises represent just a few of the opportunities available to make a difference in the lives of those affected by disasters while building a sustainable business.

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