Thousands of people have evacuated and others are hunkering down as the East Coast waits for Hurricane Florence to make landfall. Meanwhile, the world’s largest retailer is preparing its store to handle the potentially catastrophic storm.
Walmart has more than 700 stores either in Hurricane Florence’s path or just outside of it and the Emergency Operations Center is where the company is tracking and preparing for the storm.
“Human resources, logistics, merchandising, transportation, pretty much every aspect all in one spot so we can solve problems face to face,” Lucas McDonald, the director of emergency operations, explained.
All eyes in the EOC are on Hurricane Florence.
“We’ll very closely monitor with what the national hurricane center is doing, also looking at the forecast models, along with what the local meteorologists are reporting in those communities because our customers are reacting to what the local meteorologists are doing,” McDonald said.
McDonald said the EOC has already closed dozens of stores along the coast and is responsible for keeping the shelves stocked in those that remain.
“If it’s bottled water, flashlights, batteries, whatever those communities are going to need, making sure we’re ready with that,” McDonald said.
The EOC’s first priority is the safety of Walmart employees.
“They have what they need to take care of their families,” McDonald added.
McDonald said this isn’t the company’s first storm and it’s prepared for whatever Florence brings.
“All disasters are different and you’re never completely ready but we believe we have the knowledge and experience to do our best to support those communities,” McDonald said.
The Emergency Operations Center will stay open for several days after Florence makes landfall to help its associates and stores recover.
To find out which Walmart stores are still open, click here.