Will You Survive the Storm?

May 4, 2015

Yes, spring is a wonderful time of year. So much to look forward to such as the thaw of winter snow, warmer temperatures and storms. Storms that wreak havoc in small towns across the Midwest United States and the start of the hurricane season for those in South and East. Once again we can use “Mother Nature’s” fury to learn some new lessons and try not to commit the same mistakes as we have done before.

Be Prepared

As our business has grown over the years, we have begun to work closely with our suppliers whose plants are in the Midwest and the Gulf. Many of our suppliers have developed storm related backup plans where possible. We have also increased our inventories of certain products that are critical to some of our customers. While the cost of this extra inventory may be incurred, the amount of not having it and possibly shutting down a customer is much higher. We also keep a weather monitoring device on in our office.

Have Contingency Plans

Several of our suppliers have established shipping locations close to their facilities but out of the normal storm paths. With our multiple warehouse locations, we too can offer our customers alternative supply points.

After Storm Sandy hit our own office several years ago, we have put in place a number of plans ourselves. All of our data is backed up on and off sight. We have a written procedure and plan should the electricity be out for any prolonged length of time.

After The Storm

When my mother and her husband retired to Florida several years back, they decided to attend a hurricane survival class. My mother said the most interesting comment made by the police officer was that the storm itself was a lot of wind and could be damaging but would pass rather quickly. The real test, he said, was the next three to six days without water and electricity. Having water jugs available and your gas tank full was highly recommended. Also having some cash, since ATM’s might be out of service. My mother said it was an eye opener for her.

You Never Know When It Can Hit

While the above was mostly about Mother Nature, we must be prepared when any type of disaster will strike. Recently, we lost two business colleagues from one of our suppliers in last month’s German wings fatal crash. One of them, Hans-Peter Riester, was instrumental in bringing Kao Corporation to Sea-Land Chemical seven years ago. I can clearly recall the telephone conversation we had where he asked if we would handle their products in the States. There were many meetings and lunches where the relationship between our companies grew strong. He and his colleague, Josef Sau, whom I also had the chance to meet, will be missed. Our hearts go out to all their fellow workers and their families.

Please take a moment to say a prayer for them and remember that life is very fragile and can change in an instant.

All of our very best,

Joe Clayton

Sea-Land Chemical Company