A little over a week ago from today, Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys and moved its way up through the Southeast. As of last Friday, about 1.5 million homes and businesses in Florida and Georgia have been without power, according to Reuters.
The day after Irma swept through our area, we came to work like any other day. But Mother Nature had other plans. A couple of nearby trees had fallen, causing a power outage in our industrial park.
How were we going to operate without power? Reality set in as we spoke to major businesses that were in the same boat and were forced to shut down their plants. Electric crews were working overtime to restore power to thousands of homes and businesses in our area. We were told it could be the end of the week before we would have our power restored again.
So what did we do? We could have called it a day and notified our customers that their orders would be delayed. But instead, we did what we do best, and everyone pulled together as a team to continue serving our customers during this time.
Although our capabilities were limited, we became resourceful (what did we ever do before the age of cell phones?). We executed our emergency preparedness plan and were able to fulfill all existing and incoming orders. Without the dedication of our employees, our investment in keeping inventory stocked for customers, and the relationships developed with the logistics carriers we work with, it would not have been possible to continue shipping product to our customers.
We know how important it is to ensure our customers have product, especially in supporting those with just in time inventory. Many of our customers package food and beverages that would ultimately go to those in need. Our team understands the responsibility our customers have trusted us with and it was our deep desire to commit excellence even in the shadow of the storm.
What started out as an uncertain day quickly became one of everyone navigating and overcoming the challenges that came their way. Fortunately, it wasn’t long before our power was restored and we resumed business as usual. We are thankful to be on the other side of the storm; however, we know that this is not the case for many others.
We know how difficult these past few weeks have been with the recent hurricanes that have hit the U.S. and neighboring countries. Our hearts go out to all those who have been or continue to be impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Irma, and we extend our deepest thoughts and prayers during this time of recovery.