Exchanges Bracing for 11th Hurricane of the Season
Despite the official end of hurricane season rapidly approaching, Exchanges along the Gulf Coast are facing yet another major storm as Hurricane Zeta quickly moves toward shore.
The Keesler AFB Exchange shut down at 1 p.m. Wednesday. Maxwell AFB is expecting high winds and rain and a possible delayed opening Thursday, and Hurlburt Field will be mission essential beginning at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Teams across the Exchange enterprise have been continually engaged in planning to ensure stores traditionally in hurricanes’ paths have the necessary supplies such as water, batteries and generators to weather the storm. The Department of Defense’s largest retailer began planning well before the first storm—and is still prepared as the 11th named hurricane of the season approaches.
“Thanks in part to the regular meetings of the Disaster Support Group (DSG) and the well-oiled machine that it is, we are well-positioned heading into Zeta,” said Roger Neumann, Exchange vice president of contingency plans. “Leaders from the region, Human Resources, Merchandising, Logistics and Services and Food are all on the same page and, as a result, the merchandise is flowing well and the stores are prepared to provide service members and their families whatever they may need.”
In addition to preparation at the store level:
- The Services and Food Directorate’s team is monitoring fuel levels along the Gulf Coast.
- The Waco Distribution Center is standing by to support should additional shipments of emergency supplies be needed.
- Human Resources has accounted for all associates.
More information on closures or amended hours can be found on the local Exchange Facebook pages at https://publicaffairs-sme.com/Community/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Locations-Page.pdf.