As temperatures plummeted to 40-below with the wind chill factor in Indiana, many businesses were closed Monday, and door and window companies across the Midwest are dealing with the frigid conditions. Much of Indiana was under a red travel emergency level today, meaning the only traffic permitted on the roads is emergency vehicles and residents who are seeking shelter. In other parts of the Midwest schools were closed due to the harsh temperatures but for the most part, door and window companies were prepared.

In Kansas, the temperature is ten-below zero in some areas and the wind chill is minus ten or 20- below in some parts of the state. The owner of a Kansas-based door and window manufacturing company, who preferred not to be identified, told DWM magazine that maintenance personnel had to come in this past weekend to address some issues. “A lot of extra work is required to keep the plant up and running in these temperatures,” he says. One of the issues is making sure the plant is at the right temperature so it can maintain its finishing operations.

“We got the plant up and running this morning at 9:30a.m. We worked tremendously on Saturday and Sunday to make this happen,” he says. “We also had a few trailers or semis that were having some trouble but that is fixed now.”

He adds that his Midwest counterparts are in worse shape with even colder conditions. “We do a lot of business in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, etc. and customers in these states are struggling with the weather as well.”

But in Wisconsin, where Kolbe Windows is based, the company’s high level of preparation meant things went rather smoothly.

“We are very fortunate to have team members who plan ahead and adjust their schedules for the weather. We only had a small percentage who could not make it to work (2 percent of our workforce) due to the cold temperatures, but the vast majority are here working,” says Ann Micholic, vice president of human resources. “For those team members who are at work, our truck and plant maintenance teams are prepared to help anyone who might have issues with their vehicle due to the cold weather. For us, it’s all about keeping people safe and making sure we are there to help anyone who might be in need.”

The weather has not affected plant operations there as is the case at Sunrise Windows based in Temperance, Mich.

“Despite the fact that our current wind chill is -25 degrees, we don’t expect the cold to have an impact on our operations,” says Joe Guarino, president and CEO. “However, the 10-plus inches of snow that has fallen over the last 24 hours has caused some interruption. The safety of our employees is our primary focus during these times, so we cancelled our last two production shifts and most of our office employees are working from home today. We expect to resume production later today. About half of the delivery trucks intended to depart our Temperance facility last night or today have been delayed, and our customer service team is advising our impacted customers. We expect these trucks to depart this evening or tomorrow. Based on the time of year and short duration of the delays, we don’t expect the situation to impact our customers significantly.”

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