Irma’s coming – time to learn from Harvey

[Note: In any large scale disaster such as Harvey and now Irma the key to recovery is to keep the food supply chain open. If the people manning and managing the grocery chains falter it is about three days, maximum, until the guns come out.]

The largest grocer in the state is H-E-B, with about 350 stores scattered throughout Texas and Mexico. At a time when retail watchers question the future of brick-and-mortar stores due to Amazon’s continued ascendance, the 112-year-old retailer is drawing widespread praise after managing to open 60 of its 83 stores in Houston last Sunday, hours after Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas as a Category 4 storm. (Now, 79 of the 83 stores are open.)

When employees couldn’t get to work, some stores still operated with as few as five people: one stationed at the door as crowd control and four working the registers, trying to get people out as quickly as possible.

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13 Responses to Irma’s coming – time to learn from Harvey

  1. I;mAfuckedrealgood! luis says:

    YEP!!!!! times 10…….I sure picked a REAL fine time to go back to Florida…………

    • Andrew says:

      But Florida has the Publix shopping chain. After the 2004 hurricane season, the chain installed huge-assed generators at all their stores (at their cost, no gov subsidies) in order to make sure that all stores will be up and running during natural disasters (and there will be no large-scale food loss from lack of freezer or refrigeration.)

      Publix is a damned good reason to live in Florida. Clean stores, well stocked, they demand their staff actually be well-informed and polite. Nice place to shop.

      And their pharmacy people are much better than any other that I have ever encountered.

      Still, storms suck. But we have Publix!

  2. Devil Tongue says:

    W.C., I am in the middle of Irma’s projected path, it’s cool, I’ve been here many times before. I find it frustrating to see people filling their gas cans today that I did Saturday but at least they are trying to prepare. I have plenty of food, water, propane and all the other basics that the stupid MSM tells you to get. I LOVE DARWIN, BTW! Shit happens and can be ne it you’re an idiot. I’ll repost updates as we go along. Love ya buddy, you and Mrs Lisa take care, it may be headed your way too!

  3. Tom W. says:

    Get gasbuddy app (free,) real time gas availability. And Zello. Turns your phone into a walkie talkie also free.

    Shit here in Broward ain’t gonna go downhill till late Friday. Got 20 gallons of gas for my gen from the Texaco that was out this morning.

    Waited in an hour line to get two sheets of plywood from Lowe’s to help my neighbor with a pretty Hyundai not suited for plywood transport. She’s kinda hot with big boobs soooo… Saw what real Americans do, a white NRA wearing t shirt f-250 owner help an old black man load his rationed 5 sheets into his beat up Clinton\paine bumper sticker Silverado.

    Helped a foreigner get some bungy cords and line to tie his patio furniture to his deck.

    It’s not what the media says. Folks actually are pretty tolerent and helping each other. Even in the So Flo swamps of Broward County where I’m at.

    Thanks Wirecutter. More checkin in as the shit gets kinda sporty after Friday.

  4. anonymous says:

    I think everybody should fill up their gas tanks, regardless of where they are in the country. Gas prices are likely to spike again due to need to send to Florida gas pumps. We live in Texas and there are still quite a few gas stations without gasoline to sell.

    Better safe than sorry later.

  5. Alex Lund says:

    May I ask the same question on a bigger scale?
    You all know that there are hurricanes etc. But if I look at the houses that are built they are all build with plywood so that the average storm just blows them away.
    So, if you know that you need houses with seven Inch walls of reinforced concrete (and a house built this way will survive a hurricane) why do you still built them from plywood?
    Do you like to rebuilt your homes every year?
    Yes, I know that plywood is cheaper but make the calculation over a dozen years or more. Then concrete is cheaper.
    Just asking.

    • Wirecutter says:

      I saw the same thing in the town I lived in when I was in California. There was a creek that ran through town and about once every 6 or 7 years when there was an overabundance of rain, it flooded out the houses along it. And they’d rebuild in the same spot, only bigger and fancier.
      It’s all about the insurance money.

    • Andrew says:

      Since Hurricane Andrew (hur-hur-hur) the Florida building codes pretty much required building to survive 150mph sustained winds. The plywood and 2×4 buildings are actually pretty darned safe. Cinder block buildings, unless really reinforced, are actually not that great. Weird, huh?

      Actually, building to stop wind damage isn’t that hard. Building to stop debris damage (flying chunks of wood, storm surge, the occasional airborne alligator..) is much more difficult.

      And a lot of commercial buildings were required to have 180mph rated glass, too. Made retrofitting expensive, but well worth it to watch some rioter bounce a cinderblock off a window.

      • Tom in NC says:

        “airborne alligator”
        but bet it could happen – did you see the video from Houston of the guy finding a 10 footer in his dining room when he was able to get back in after the storm had passed?
        Were the zoos’ building codes also upgraded? I remember a lot of animals and snakes got freed by Andrew…

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