Sunday, December 09, 2007

Retailers faster than local governments

Retailers are acting quickly while local governments struggle to act. The large retailers move massive amounts of goods every day. So when a storm strikes they can adjust what they are doing and get needed supplies to the area of need. On the other hand, local governments are understandably slow to do what they seldom do - to move needed supplies to the area of need. Large retailers Wal-Mart and Home Depot have meteorologists who monitor the weather developments and strike teams that quickly move from their normal assignments to aid in special situations. Oregon Live reports:
Behind a computer in Bentonville, Ark., Lucas McDonald, meteorologist for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., tracked the weather and notified colleagues that Oregon and Washington stores could lose power and the retailer should consider alternative truck routes. McDonald's counterpart at Home Depot Inc. -- Jim Schortal, the retailer's director of crisis management -- coordinated more than a dozen recovery workers, from hazardous-material cleanup crews to structural safety assessors, to Portland. From his Atlanta office, he also summoned trucks as far as Nebraska and Texas to hightail it west with extra batteries, flashlights, heaters and generators.

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