Protecting Against Supply Chain Disruption During Hurricane Florence

In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of our region who were severely impacted by this devastating storm.  At Kanban, we are fortunate to have the North Carolina Department of Emergency Management as one of our warehousing tenants.  They use Kanban’s Tarboro, NC warehouse as a staging area for relief help. 

In advance of Hurricane Florence, we expanded the group’s space by 10,000 square feet so that they could accommodate additional supplies of water, food, blankets, medical supplies, and cots for distribution by the National Guard once the storm arrived.

Hurricane Florence gives us an opportunity to discuss an important logistics topic – supply chain disruption – and the ways in which we work to prevent disruption before, during, and after a catastrophic weather event.

Before the storm

Preventing supply chain disruption begins with careful planning as soon as a major weather event is forecasted.  At Kanban, we start with a meeting of our executive team, which implements plans for our employees and facilities in accordance with our Hurricane Preparedness Checklist.

This Checklist was initially created as part of our ISO:9001 certification and includes a wide range of items including:

  • Preparing to secure all dock doors by placing loaded trailers up to the docks. If there aren’t enough trailers available for all doors, we will place clamps and lift trucks behind the doors in Warehouse to keep the doors from blowing in
  • Preparing to shut off propane and all unnecessary power
  • Preparing to shut down servers and electronic equipment, and move them to a safe location if necessary
  • Checking drains on building to be sure they are open

We also have a Business Continuity Plan in place which dictates that, before the storm arrives, we make advance personnel assignments for damage assessments, logistical support, contact with outside resources, and monitoring and documentation requirements.

From there, our primary concerns are keeping employees safe, protecting our facilities – including our leased facilities – protecting our customers’ products, and preventing supply chain disruption to the fullest extent possible.  To this end, we will maintain regular contact with employees and customers throughout the storm period to communicate our plans, including changes in service hours.

During and After the Storm

As the storm approaches, we hunker down and maintain contact with the NC Department of Emergency Management for important updates that we can communicate to employees and customers.

Once the storm passes, we operate in accordance with our Business Continuity Plan to identify any damage to our facilities, secure unsafe conditions, seek additional resources for these efforts and comply with state and local emergency efforts.  We then update our employees and customers as we make our way back to business as usual.

Hurricane Florence Relief

For Hurricane Florence, we at Kanban were fortunate to escape with relatively little disruption – supply chain or otherwise – and get back to business as usual quickly.  Many people in our region were not so fortunate and need assistance.   If you are looking to help, the American Red Cross and other reputable organizations have set up funding campaigns to help those affected by the storm.

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