As a third hurricane threatened to flatten an already storm-ravaged Florida last month, distribution centers in the area joined in the relief efforts. A distribution center for convenience store chain Kash N' Karry, for example, opened to distribute free goods, including two truckloads of bottled water, 5,000 loaves of bread and 22 pallets of ice.
Others have been hurriedly revamping operations to meet emergency demand. A Wal-Mart distribution center in Brundidge, Fla., for example, is serving an extra 34 stores in the state after hurricanes Charley and Frances damaged the retailer's other DCs. Wal-Mart's Brundidge DC sent 60 employees to its facility in Winter Haven to help keep up with the high demand at Wal-Mart stores in that part of the state.
The good works are by no means confined to DCs, however. TNT Logistics North America, a third-party service provider based in Jacksonville, has also committed itself to helping with the relief effort. Russ Dixon, spokesman for TNT Logistics North America, says his company is working with Home Depot and Florida Power & Light (FPL) to help storm-damaged communities rebuild and get their power back. Dixon notes that TNT's employees haven't let their own storm-related woes stop them. "When Charley struck, two of our employees lost their homes. Yet they're [still out there] delivering supplies. Even as they struggle to replace their own houses, they're helping others to do the same thing."