As you know, GearSource® is based in South Florida…Wellington to be exact…and although Irma’s impact was disruptive, it was not nearly as bad as originally predicted or as bad as the south and west side of Florida endured.
On Thursday the 7th of September, all the staff pitched in and put up the hurricane shutters to protect the office. Since all reports indicated the storm was well on its way to Florida and potentially catastrophic, by orders of the Boss, we closed up shop until further notice so everyone could prepare their own homes and shop for the necessities water and food that you can keep without the need for electricity.
Being my first Hurricane, I was the rookie from the office but I got a sense of what to do quickly as everybody was more than willing to help me with the preparations. One of our sales guys sent a preparedness list to help in knowing what to do during the storm. If you went out early enough on Friday the lines for food or gas were not that bad but as Friday evening came along the lines were long and it was common for fuel and water to be unavailable. If you were lucky to shop at a place that had deliveries on the way, you could wait for delivery trucks to come. My wife and I were able to secure a full tank of gas and enough water to sustain us if we were shut in for days so we stayed at home and waited… and watched the news as the hurricane got closer to us.
As the Hurricane reached us, it was really a slow build but became very constant. A friend of mine had a weather reader that had a gust of wind come by his house that read over 103 miles an hour… after that the meter broke. Luckily our Company is spread out… besides our Florida group, one of our owners and our our listings manager are in Canada, accounting is in Las Vegas, Marketing is in Atlanta and the Sales Team are spread around so the business was not all impacted by the storm or its effects at the same time, if at all. Everybody at GearSource® pitched in – especially if they were in locations unaffected – to help with customer inquiries and questions so as not to let any of our valued customers or vendors down.
The storm was fierce and quite scary, especially when you lose all communications – I was personally without power for 36 hours and no cell service for most of that time and our Lead Developer was without power and only had sporadic communications for 4 days – but we all made it through unharmed. Power is still flakey at some of our homes and others don’t have Internet but we are almost back to full speed.
The storm impacted Georgia and seems to have touched a lot of us in the east. As of today things like restaurants, grocery stores and gas stations are slowly opening back up around us but the west coast and the Keys were seriously impacted and may not have power for weeks.
The team came back to work Tuesday morning, removed the storm shutters and checked that we had power and Internet. We were pleased that everything booted up. We had backup plans even if the the situation required us to move but fortunately for us, it didn’t.
We appreciate all our Vendors and Customers for being patient with us as the storm rolled through but we’re here and ready to do what we can for all our clients now. Our thoughts and prayers are with those on the West Coast, in the Keys and across the Caribbean who were dealt the biggest punch and have potentially lost everything. This is when humanity shows its true colors – people stepping up to help in any way they can.