Willy Johnson and his wife, Julie, are pressure cookers.
Neutralizing overwrought emotions during a time of personal crisis is their specialty.
“Disaster restoration is hard work, but it’s so rewarding to restore hope to people in the midst of a crisis,” Julie said.
Alpha-Omega provides all-inclusive services to residential and commercial customers who have undergone water, fire or mold damage. And, as their moniker suggests, Alpha-Omega assists from the beginning of every disaster restoration project to the end.
“Say we’re talking about water damage,” Julie said. “Some disaster restoration businesses come in, pull up flooring, put down fans for it to dry out and are done.”
This sounds reasonable, until you consider all the work that needs attention after that.
“We assist in everything from cleanup to restoring and refurbishing lost items like pictures and paperwork to remodeling the damaged property,” Julie said.
Oftentimes, this means connecting customers to trusted and reliable subcontractors, but on a more personal level, their service also includes coordinating hotel stays if the customer was displaced and even providing clothing or hygiene items.
“Our service is comprehensive and includes just about anything the client needs to get them back to good,” Willy said.
And their newly-remodeled storefront at 204 E. Main Street in Laurel affords them even more space to serve those in need.
When disaster strikes
Norma Buchanan, co-owner of Buchanan Capital in Billings, knows just what it’s like to walk into a catastrophe and feel helpless.
About a year ago following torrential rains, Buchanan walked into their business at 201 N. Broadway in Billings and couldn’t believe her eyes.
“The carpet was soaked, water was seeping through the walls and leaked into our storage room where our files were stored,” she said. “Panic immediately set in.”
Because Buchanan Capital deals on daily deadlines with time-sensitive transactions, Norma and the team at Buchanan Capital knew they needed to act quickly to have the problem addressed.
“Alpha-Omega responded so quickly and professionally,” Buchanan said. “They immediately restored my sense of calm and quickly recognized the sensitive demands of our business.”
After addressing the immediate flood damage, Alpha-Omega partitioned off a portion of the building so staff could continue to work.
“Much of our business involves over-the-phone conversations, and Willy was so sensitive to this,” Buchanan said. “Noise and foot traffic were very well organized and contained.”
Business continued as usual for Buchanan Capital until all repairs were complete, a feat Buchanan wholly credits to Alpha-Omega’s dedicated and professional staff.
“You never expect something like this to happen to you,” Buchanan said. “It could have been a real mental disaster had it not been for Willy and his team. If anything like this happens again, I’ll never go anywhere else.”
Room to grow
The building that houses Alpha-Omega used to be an old gas station.
But contemporary add-ons and updates have repurposed the space into the perfect venue to house and store disaster restoration materials.
Julie and Willy Johnson have been in the disaster restoration business for nine years and at their current location for four.
“As our business grew, we needed additional space for administrative staff and for storage,” Julie said.
The business, which offers 24-hour service, features administrative offices, a spacious break room, expansive water bay storage area, refurbishing area, laundry room, ozone chamber, damaged material drop-off area and hardware storage.
“We really did the project in three phases, but it’s all come together so nicely,” Julie said.
These four walls
The front facade is accented by ironwork embellishments, perfectly complemented by rock accents and corrugated steel panels. Predominantly used as administrative space, this add-on nook improved functionality and efficiency in the office, Julie said.
“Before, we were all crammed into a tight-fitting space along one wall,” she said.
A rich color palette of tortoise, taupe and charcoal continues from the administrative space through the break/meeting area, which is equipped with a flat-screen TV.
To the right is the business’s water bay, where the company stores all the materials and tools they need to combat flooding and water damage. Five rows of shelves are neatly-stacked with blue and red fans.
In the facility’s back room, Alpha-Omega has an assembly line set up to treat and restore items damaged by either flood or fire. Special chemicals and precise processors strip these items of damage and odor.
Adjacent to this space is a laundry room, where Alpha-Omega staffs a person full-time to wash clothing that may have sustained smoke absorption or water damage.
“During a fire, even a small-scale one, all of the homeowner’s clothing needs to be thoroughly washed and treated to completely remove the smell,” Julie said.
To achieve this, items are placed in a special ozone room that deodorizes every last fiber of the clothing.
Just off the restoration room is a bay that houses all the damaged materials as they await treatment.
“We needed a buffer to store items so the odor and mess wouldn’t seep into the restoration room,” Julie said.
Here, items are safely housed and stored as they await treatment.
Around the back side of the property, Alpha-Omega added on an additional space intended to house hardware and building materials needed for restorations.
“This makes it handy to keep lumber and materials organized,” Julie said.
All told, the remodeling process went very smoothly, and the Johnsons are exceedingly happy with how well it turned out.
“We’ve increased efficiency and improved our ability to be there for customers when they need us most,” Willy said, “and that’s what it’s all about.”