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Supply Chains Face Logistic ‘Perfect Storm’ in Hurricane Irma

October 6, 2017 Leave a comment DRI Admin

Are you truly ready to face down a severe weather event? Even facilities that have coped with storms in the past and prepared for the future have found themselves fighting an uphill battle, as shown by Florida-based stores’ dealings with Hurricane Irma.

Regional grocery chain Publix, which had added generators to 98% of its stores in response to the storms of 2004, still found itself unprepared for the influx of customers tearing through its shelves, ultimately running out of products and then unable to restock as supply chains were directed away from the area as Hurricane Irma bore down. As it worked to restock its 800 locations in the days following, power outages also had a say in which groceries – including eggs, milk, and water – each store was initially able to maintain.

Home improvement stores like Home Depot and Ace Hardware, which generally increase hurricane supplies during storm season, still saw a significant increase in demand, in part as a response to Houston’s Hurricane Harvey. The result overwhelmed stores, distribution centers, and suppliers throughout the southeast, which were all dealing with their own loss of employees and truck deliveries due to regional evacuations – some to the Houston area, where sand and wood shipping palettes were in dire need in the aftermath of Harvey.

You can help areas hit by Harvey, Irma, and Maria, by giving to the DRI Foundation’s Recovery Funds – click here to donate.

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