Southern Ice Exchange "The world's oldest regional association in the packaged ice industry"


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If you have yet to experience a hurricane in the ice business, you're in for the busiest time of your ice man career. You'll have people lined up a block away trying to get the hottest item going - ice, as much as they can tote. Some are rude, most are understanding, but with a crowd comes problems, and you need to be prepared for them. The crowd's aren't your only problems though. The following is a guideline that we have come up with (we've had lot's of experience the last few years) that should help if you ever have to deal with the aftermath of a Hurricane as an ice man.

1 rope for securing property (crowd control, loading problems, etc.)
2 barracades (from local police, for blocking off streets, etc.)
3 check generaters (for running cash registers, phone systems, fuel pumps, etc.)
4 fill extra fuel cans for generators
5 fuel all vehicles & attempt to have a means of fueling without power
6 full inspection of all vehicles (don't need a breakdown now)
7 load all trucks (this will help increase inventory)
8 check bag inventory (you'll need lots of bags!)
9 check pallett inventory (will loose lots due to pallett drops)
10 inspect ice making & bagging equipment (again, don't need a breakdown now)
11 increase production well in advance (fill freezers & bins before storm arrives)
12 charge all pallet trucks and fork lifts
13 Shut down everything, compressors and all, if a storm does approach, power surges can be detrimental to equiment. You don't want to be running back & forth to the engine room all night every time the power flickers. Trust me, you will need the sleep!

You WILL loose power, so protect your saved data.
14 back up all computers
15 print hard copies and put in safe place
16 have standby power for computers (batteries)

Your employees are invaluable to you now. Make sure they are safe and are able to get to work. If you have some single employees they may want to stay at the ice plant, accomadate them!! Atleast you know they will be at work and safe, the added security is nice too. Make them feel at home and make sure they have adequate supplies there. This is one time I'm glad that we have a shower in the office!
17 batteries
18 water, food - a coleman stove & lantern is nice too
19 extra clothes, towels
20 rain coats, gloves, boots, spare shoes & socks (DRY!) -this is very important!! Wet feet can be painful, skin can rip off, keep your feet dry!!!
21 cots, blankets, pillows
22 personal hygiene
23 fan
24 T.V. (battery operated) and/or weather radio
25 a small generator if possible
26 CELL PHONES (fully charged) - these have proven to be reliable after storms
27 cash

Check your inventory!!! Prepare for the worst.
28 contact for extra dry ice (you'll sell lots of this)
29 contact for extra bagged ice (in case you sell more than you can make)
30 contact for shipping ice (trucking companies - important!)
31 order extra merchandisers and spare parts

Be sure to have an updated list of these important phone numbers. They will be invaluable to you now.
32 pertinent IPIA phone #'s
33 IAP Worldwide Services
34 Salvation Army
35 Red Cross
36 Corps of Engineers
37 CP&L (power company)
38 Bellsouth (phone cpmpany)
39 Local-State Emergency Management
41 Local police, fire, & rescue

Your phones will be ringing off the hook before & after the storm. Answer them!! Get as much done BEFORE the storm as possible. This will help tremendously if you do get a direct hit. Do not risk drivers safety though, make sure to pull your drivers in BEFORE conditions deteriorate to dangerous levels. Safety above all else, I don't care how loud that customer is screaming for a delivery. They CAN come pick it up! By the way, after the storm, if you are using bails, make as many deliveries as possible in the bail. This will save much needed time and the customers don't mind. Make sure that you have a competant person handeling the phone calls, and do not make any promises that you can not keep. If you have a merchandiser at a location that is sure to flood, try to remove it if you can, but you probally won't have the time or resourses to do much of this.

Finally, don't forget that you, as well as your employees, have families. We all have personal obligations to take care of during these times also. Don't get caught up in the excitement of the storm and forget this, it's easy to do. Make sure that you and you're employees are able to take care of their responsibilities.
42 children - ride home from school, day care
43 pets - safe, inside?, food
44 home - cover windows, secure garage, utility building, etc.
45 fuel vehicles
46 supplies at home (water, ice, batteries, food, etc.)
47 secure legal documents
48 cash
49 cell phone
50 chain saw
51 fill tub with water
52 is your boat secure?