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When The Winds of Change are 175 mph
Fall is here. Leaves are changing colors and falling, BBQ grills are working overtime, football season is rolling along. For most paint stores around the country, the changing seasons mean that outdoor paint work that was impossible when the temps were sizzling is now being attacked with a vengeance in the cooler temperatures. Soon, that outdoor work will start to dry up as pro and DIY painters take the jobs or their Honey Do lists indoors.
What may be a normal fall in your neck of the woods has turned into an all-hands-on-deck season for those in southern Texas, the Gulf Coast, Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, and states along the lower East Coast. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have wreaked havoc on these states with crushing winds, unprecedented storm surges and more rain than the saturated grounds can handle.
The federal government response has been outstanding and fast for about 90% of those affected, but the recovery in many, many of these areas is going to take a very long time…six months, a year, two years, who knows yet and at what costs?
Since these major storms ravaged the US, we have been on the phones and sending emails to all of our clients and business partners in these affected areas. Thankfully, to date, we have not heard of anyone or any company we work with that was reduced to rubble or lost lives or property. We’ve heard from plenty that lost power or had huge limbs or trees down in their areas, some with torn up roofs, and some whose cars ended up submerged or flooded. We’ve spoken with those who rode out the storms in their homes, those who headed for evacuation shelters, and those who heeded the warnings and just got the heck out of Dodge. We even talked to one client whose home was heavily flooded by storm surge so he moved his family into the company warehouse which was powered and cooled by a huge generator. Not exactly great living conditions, but you do what you can do when Mother nature hands you lemons? We had one client send us some pictures from his phone showing his home and his neighbor’s homes on dry land, but access to those homes would require a boat for the time being.
From a supply side standpoint, paint store owners in these affected areas already know what they should be stocking to help their customers…mold remediation/removal/prevention products, waterproofing products for exteriors and substrates, plastic and leather work gloves, respirators, generators and extension cords, pressure washers, cleaning detergents, duct tapes, batteries and flashlights, plastic tarps, etc., those are the types of things needed to move beyond the muddy flood waters and the fast growing mold that takes hold in these humid areas. Now is the time to start looking towards what you need to have on your shelves once the clean-up has turned towards recovery and rebuilding.
To all of our affected clients, and those in our industry that don’t work with us specifically, we are praying and pulling for your speedy recovery, Godspeed! We are here to help you all in any way we can be of benefit to you! And if any of our readers would like to help financially or with clothing or product donations, the American Red Cross is taking financial donations by texting Harvey or Irma at 90999. We also have placed a banner ad for the Red Cross on both our web pages that have a donation button that once clicked, goes directly to the American Red Cross donation webpage. There you can also make arrangements to donate goods or services to those in affected areas.
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