East Coast Companies Prepare For Florence

September 12th, 2018 by Drew Vass

Hurricane Florence has disrupted business and construction projects before she even hits land. With mandatory evacuations in North and South Carolina, and Virginia and the Carolinas under a state of emergency, several companies are scrambling to make pre-hurricane preparations.

There is speculation of impending power outages, flooding, and damage to buildings. With all this in mind, Raleigh, N.C. based Designer Glass is trying to get ahead of the storm by completing jobs ahead of time.

“We are trying to get as many jobs done ahead of the storm to help alleviate any back log that will develop if we have flooding (or other damages),” says Troy Aldridge, owner of Designer Glass.

Zen Windows Carolina, based in Charlotte, N.C., is following a similar trend of preparations.

“We hope that the weather is far less severe than forecasted by the time it reaches our markets (Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem), but it isn’t something we are taking lightly. Today is our last day of installations for the week. We’ve rescheduled all other installations,” says Brian Zimmerman, owner of Zen Windows Carolina. “Although it isn’t raining yet, we want to ensure the safety of our customers and our installers. Additionally, we wouldn’t want to be doing installations where the sealants don’t have sufficient time to cure before heavy storms arrive.”

Aside from getting things done early, the looming storm has also delayed companies from receiving supplies or completing projects.

“My glass suppliers are not delivering glass after today, or are refusing to give me a date when I will receive the glass,” says Aldridge. “This is making it very difficult to schedule jobs and my customers are upset that I cannot give them dates. I fully understand the situation, but the customers are not as understanding.”

DWM editor Drew Vass is at the GlassBuild America Show and asked some of the glass companies how the impending weather may be affecting operations.

“The issue isn’t glass. We have that,” says Rob Struble, senior manager, brand communications for Vitro. “At the end of the day, it’s about trucks—can you get them and get them into where they need to be. It’s pure logistics.”

At the same time, Struble assures that his company is ready to meet those challenges.

“We go through this every fall,” he says. “For those customers who are affected, they have our cell numbers to use 24/7.”

Along with preparing their companies and having products available, companies want to make sure their customers and neighboring businesses are safe as well.

“Don’t procrastinate, or just hope for the best. Be prepared for the worst case scenario and safety first. If conditions are too windy to work safely, then reschedule the job. By all means leave no glass outside,” advises Aldridge.

“We’ve sent notice to all past customers advising them to ensure that all windows and doors are properly closed and locked in the event of extremely high winds and rain. Although we don’t sell hurricane rated windows, everything we sell has air/water/structural performance numbers that should easily exceed the weather we are forecasted to experience, but that only works if the window is properly closed and locked,” warns Zimmerman.

Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall late tonight and all day tomorrow. If you are in the path of the hurricane, or will be affected by the storm, make preparations as soon as possible.

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