On September 9, 2018, it seemed we were all fixated with any form of technology that was broadcasting up-to-date information and storm-related events throughout the state of North Carolina with reference to Hurricane Florence. The Governor of North Carolina urged all North Carolina residents and businesses to prepare for Hurricane Florence, issuing a State of Emergency management and emergency plan. Before the massive storm even hit, North Carolina emergency officials were preparing for what meteorologists have called the second “500-year storm” to hit the state since Hurricane Matthew in 2016. As reports grew with intensity during the week, Spartan Logistics’ Executive Management Team in Columbus, OH, maintained consistent communication with Maxton, NC Warehouse Manager, Bobby Morman. Prior to evacuating the building, all hands were on deck to board up glass windows and doors; the forklift propane tank cage was chained and secured while Spartan forklift operators brought in 10,000 contract customer pallets from the outdoor elements so they would not become projectiles when the storm arrived. Bobby Morman purchased a pallet of 76 cases of bottled water from a local Food Lion store to bring back to the warehouse to be distributed to all employees before evacuating the property—and then we waited.
The monster storm battered the North Carolina coast, trailing inland, leaving a path of destruction throughout eastern coastal regions. The warehouse sustained minor damage to overhangs, but the outdoor lighting was destroyed due to the strength of the wind. Local authorities created shelters for those not able to escape the wrath of the storm in time.
Shortly after, Bobby Moorman was contacted by the Cajun Navy—The Cajun Navy, founded in 2016, is a group of volunteers from around the United States who work tirelessly without pay (using their own personal equipment) to provide immediate rescue and relief during a natural disaster. Cajun Navy affiliates Former Boston Police Officer, David Vo of Boston and Jason Cannon of Colorado requested the use of 10,000-20,000 square feet of warehouse space to serve as a central command center to house non-perishable food items, baby diapers/wipes and bottled water, so that it could be distributed to fire stations/shelters within devastated regions once the storm had passed. Spartan contacted the contract customer who owns and occupies the building, to seek permission to utilize remaining available warehouse space for hurricane relief efforts. The response was an overwhelming yes.
The collaborative effort between the Cajun Navy volunteers and Spartan team members to unload, reload and manhandle palletized donations, served as proof that everyone stood ready to serve; even in the most catastrophic circumstances.
A week following the hurricane, water is starting to recede, but like a bad science fiction movie, the state is now dealing with very large, aggressive mosquitoes swarming in the hundreds of thousands. The only silver lining is that they aren’t transmitting many diseases.
Spartan Logistics can be contacted through the corporate office in Columbus, OH at (614) 497-1777 or through our website at www.spartanlogistics.com