Hurricane Florence is quickly approaching the Carolina coasts, and many auto glass shops have started preparing. North Carolina’s Governor, Roy Cooper, issued an executive order for a state of emergency late last week, following more news on the tropical storm. The reported category 4 storm is expected to hit land as early as tomorrow, but its effects could mean more work ahead for repair shops in the area.
Evacuations for North and South Carolina started as early as Monday for counties directly bordering the water. “When the governor called for our evacuation to begin on Tuesday, I’ll tell you our shop was boarded up Monday night, we just didn’t want to risk it,” Jeff Olive, Glass Pro training manager in South Carolina, said.
There are two things shop owners agree all should have in order to prepare for storms of this magnitude – communication and a plan ahead of time. “[Shops should] have a plan in place if they’re in a hurricane prone area before it hits,” Olive said. According to Olive, having supplies ahead of time is also a wise choice when preparing your business, items like:
- Duct tape,
- Backup generators,
- Written procedures, and
- Bags to cover electronics and equipment were suggested.
In addition to having supplies shop owners should also think about getting boards and materials to protect their business’s windows from the storm’s impact, and install them. Removing any items that are on any floors within your auto glass shop can help preserve materials and equipment from getting any possible damage to it if your business floods.
Communication is key for any business. “It’s not a bad idea to have a list of numbers and back up numbers for all of your employees just to make sure they’re ok and to relay any work related updates to them,” Olive said. Lines of communication can also be strengthened by having daily conference calls just for management team members of your business. Olive thinks this is a crucial step that should be taken before, during and after a storm comes to your area.
Some businesses aren’t too concerned with the potential effects of hurricane Florence. “We’re only expected to get rain here so there isn’t much prep,” a woman who only identified herself as Jessica for Infinity Glass and Mirror in Concord, said.
But once the storm is over glass shops should be prepared for a possible influx of work, glass transfers and slight changes for any of their mobile auto glass technicians. “I would say businesses should have a work vehicle available to pick up the glass parts you’ll need and think about keeping your mobile technicians in house. There will be more work after the storm and you’ll need all of your technicians available to service your customers,” Olive said. Your shop can also maximize its installs and work flow by having more technicians in versus going out to locations that might still have debris on the road.
“Everyone should expect a lot of work before, during and after a storm hits. It affects more than just local shops, the community has to go through it too,” Olive said.