Fort Wayne Do it Best employees work on Harvey and Irma response

Pallets of generators sit in Do it Best Corp.'s world headquarters in New Haven waiting to be shipped to a place in need.

FORT WANE, Ind. (WANE) As the remnants of Irma moved across the United States, employees at Do it Best Corp.’s world headquarters in Fort Wayne continued working on logistics to make sure storm victims have access to get what they need at Do it Best stores as well as making sure those stores stay operational.

“We’ve been impacted significantly by the storms,” Vice President of Logistics Tim Miller said Tuesday afternoon.

A map hangs in Do it Best Corp.’s world headquarters showing where every United States store and distribution center is located.

The work started before Harvey made it to Texas. The staff worked to make sure an influx of things like generators, extension cords and bottled water made their way to stores in the Lone Star State. After landfall, the focus shifted to things like cleaning supplies. The same process played out for Irma.

“We monitored the storm through the weekend as it hit,” Miller explained. “Retailers in Florida were there to service those communities. We were sending dozens of semis to the Florida region as well.”

Another responsibility for corporate employees was making sure stores have what they needed to operate. The team in Fort Wayne kept in contact with Eric Hall, the owner of Jeds Do it Best in Houston, who stayed at the store, keeping it open 24 hours.

Jeds Do it Best store owner stands with staff members in his Houston store after staying open 24 hours as Harvey traveled across Texas. (Courtesy: Do it Best Corp.)

“The owner of that store was afraid that if we left, the authorities wouldn’t allow him to come back,” Miller noted. “Serving his community was that important to him.”

The people in Fort Wayne were not caught off guard by the storms. In addition to adjusting the flow of products at the company, staff members in the Summit City are always tracking potential problems and finding solutions.

“Our merchandising teams and our supply chain teams are continually monitoring weather patterns, traffic patterns and supply chain challenges, whether that’s in Asia or China,” Miller said. “Our goal here in the Fort Wayne office is to equip our stores with all the supplies and services they need to support their communities.”

Several Do it Best stores saw flooding, but none were destroyed.  All of the stores reopened after the storms passed, including two locations in the heavily damaged Turks and Caicos Islands.