Hurrican prep: Plenty of Pop Tarts, but no D batteries … here’s why.

It was interesting shopping for hurricane supplies on Thursday & Friday.

First stop: RadioShack to buy a battery-powered portable AM-FM radio.

Sign: no D batteries.

Clerk acted like he’d never heard of AM or FM

Next stop, the local Giant food store.

Already out of water.

Out of water?

Next stop: the local Ace Hardware.

Chalked on the sidewalk: No D batteries, no propane, no water.

Translation: go away

Hmmm. A pattern?

Next stop: Home Depot.

Piled in “impulse alley”: generators, flashlights, first-aid kits … but, in fairness, no D batteries

Next stop: Battery Warehouse.

No Ds, but plenty of AA, AAA, and Cs.

I bought some Cs, hoping they’d fit in something useful if the power went out.

Punch line: Hat tip to HD – with whom I have a love-hate relationship – for emergency preparedness.

It’s not an accident …

Excerpted from NPR: “Stores’ Hurricane Prep Starts Early”

Hurricane Katrina taught big-box retailers that they need to be an integral part of hurricane preparation and relief efforts.

For nearly a week in advance Irene, big-box retailers like Walmart and Home Depot were  getting ready.

They’ve deployed hundreds of trucks carrying everything from plywood to Pop-Tarts to stores in the storm’s path.

It’s all possible because these retailers have turned hurricane preparation into a science.

At Home Depot’s Hurricane Command Center in Atlanta, for example, about 100 associates have been trying to anticipate how Irene will affect its East Coast stores from the Carolinas to New York.

They have been focusing on stocking a short list of items including generators, chain saws, water and tarps.

Those supplies were flowing to stores because of a process that began months ago, at the beginning of hurricane season.

“We take storm product, both pre- and post-strike product, we stage those in containers and we have them in our distribution centers, really ready for a driver to pull up and pick up and take them to our stores.”

Walmart is able to anticipate surges in demand during emergencies thanks to a team of meteorologists and a huge historical database of sales from each store as well as sophisticated predictive techniques.

That system is helping them allocate things like batteries, ready-to-eat foods and cleaning supplies to areas in the storm’s path.

“They know exactly what people want after a hurricane … for example,  the most popular food item after a major storm  is strawberry Pop-Tarts.”

OK, plenty of Pop Tarts … now, how about those D batteries?

My bet: all the lithium is going to Chevy Volts.

Stock up !

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One Response to “Hurrican prep: Plenty of Pop Tarts, but no D batteries … here’s why.”

  1. Andrew Buckley Says:

    Who needs batteries when you have pop tarts?…11 Reasons why Pop Tarts are Awesome! :) For lovers of the sugary/fake pastry treat it’s a must-read!!

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