Logistics, transportation, and multi-industry supply chain teams are marshaling preparations and supply chain disruption mitigation resources in preparation of Hurricane Florence which is expected to impact the U.S. East Coast region by Thursday of this week.

As we pen this Supply Chain Matters blog Hurricane Florence is barreling across the Atlantic and is expected to make landfall as a Category 4 hurricane somewhere along the mid-part of the U.S. East Coast, perhaps either the North or South Carolina coastline. Weather forecasters are warning that this storm could be catastrophic for coastal areas, perhaps the worst storm to hit the region in over 60 years.

Hurricane Florence Threatens US East Coast

Source: NASA

More than one and a half million people have now been ordered to evacuate their homes and properties across the potential impacted areas with States of Emergency declared among multiple regions.

Weather forecasters are predicting that the storm will likely slow to a crawl after making initial landfall, which could bring upwards of anywhere from 15-30 inches of rainfall in portions of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The National Hurricane Center has further warned of a life-threatening storm surge likely to impact coastal areas.

At initial glance, Florence has the hallmarks of Hurricane Harvey which came ashore between the Corpus Christi and Houston coastal region last year as a Category 5 storm and subsequently discharged upwards of 50 inches (127 centimeters) of rain in the impacted areas causing massive flooding and property damage. Shipping navigation and operations were further impacted for several days. We certainly hope and trust that this will not be case.

First and foremost, our thoughts are with the safety and well-being of all potentially impacted residents in the path of this storm.

Logistics and transportation professionals are no doubt, in full operational mode assuring that storm related emergency supplies and fuel make their way  to the impacted areas. Reports indicate that ports in the region, including the Ports of Charleston, Savannah and Virginia are undertaking contingency actions to keep Port infrastructure, navigation and shipping operationally safe.   Reports indicate that Boeing will soon suspend operations at its Charleston South Carolina production facilities to allow employees to prepare while various automakers with production facilities in the Southeast U.S. take actions to protect workers and inventory.

After this storm has passed, various industry supply chain teams will once again be initiating supply chain risk mitigation efforts to asses and respond to any business or operational impacts.

Indeed, the next few days and weeks will again be challenging.

Supply Chain Matters will be monitoring events and provide continuing commentary related to this event.


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