CHICAGO — Grainger, North America's largest broad line supplier of MRO products serving businesses and institutions, marks the start of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season with tips on how businesses can prepare for a potential disaster. The hurricane season — which officially began June 1 and lasts through Nov. 30 — is predicted by Colorado State University hurricane researchers to be slightly above average, following an active 2017 season.
"Looking back at the diversity of devastation caused last year by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, it’s important to understand that every disaster – including every hurricane — is unique and needs to be treated differently," said Deb Oler, Grainger Senior Vice President and President, North American Sales and Services. "While we see a high demand for products like shelter supplies and sand bags for each storm, there are a variety of variables like location, warning time and scope of damage that can change how businesses respond to and recover from a disaster. For that reason, preparation is key. Since businesses can’t possibly stock everything they might need for all scenarios, we recommend having a plan in place to aid their efforts when the time comes."
To start building a plan, Grainger recommends considering the following actions:
- Know the resources available to help your business prepare, respond and recover. From weather services and emergency preparedness resource centers to disaster relief organizations and agencies, understanding where to go to find information in the event of an emergency can help save time before and after a hurricane hits.
- Identify what types of products could be needed. All disasters are unique, but there are materials available that list the most commonly purchased products in the event of a hurricane. Compiling an "essentials" list provides a starting point that can be added on to depending on the emergency scenario.
- Know where to find the products and how to order them quickly. Whether products are ordered through a supplier account manager, catalog, e-commerce website or brick-and-mortar store location, determine the quickest and most reliable route to get the appropriate supplies.
- When the time comes, don’t wait. If a weather service provides advanced notice that a hurricane could be coming, don’t wait until it makes landfall to place product orders. The biggest challenge any company or agency faces during a disaster is transportation. If there are power outages, road closures or flooding, transportation becomes more difficult, which could lead to delays in order deliveries.
"Our mission is to help our customers keep their operations running and their people safe, and we’re committed to doing our part in getting them what they need, when they need it," Oler said. "Through the disasters we have experienced over the years, we have learned that the more we can help our customers prepare before an emergency, the more successful we can be together."
For details about emergency services and additional resources, visit www.grainger.com/content/emergency-services.
For a hurricane-specific product list and a list of actions to take before, during and after a storm, visit www.grainger.com/hurricane.