Patterico's Pontifications


Disaster Preparedness, HEB-Style

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 8:01 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

South Texas HEB grocery stores are finding alternatives to FEMA that help people after hurricanes and similar disasters:

“In a battle of nature versus big business, H-E-B is fighting to win by adding power generation systems that will operate several stores immediately following hurricanes and other storms that knock out power.

The company, which has more than 315 stores in Texas and northern Mexico, began installing the system in its Rockport location Tuesday, H-E-B spokeswoman Shelley Parks said.”

Rockport is on the Gulf Coast and exposed to Gulf hurricanes.


20 Responses to “Disaster Preparedness, HEB-Style”

  1. I’ve always liked HEB ever since I moved to Texas. This sounds like a smart move.

    rudytbone (0bbb6b)

  2. Great forethought, and no federal regulation made them do it (but don’t count them out).

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  3. Good thinking.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  4. HEB is very America I miss it very much

    happyfeet (19c1da)

  5. Good idea – but if the disaster is bad enough, having the scanners work at your checkout stand is not the first thing I’d worry about – maybe securing a building full of life’s necessities from hungry, thirsty people with no money and their credit cards don’t work. Better invest in roll-down steel doors and “other” security measures.

    Californio (13df5f)

  6. Incidents of looting are in inverse ratio to the distance to a major population center.

    AD - RtR/OS! (a25bb4)

  7. What will the government do to screw this up?
    I remember that before Katrina an insurance company,knowing that they would have dozens of adjusters working under difficult conditions in an area with no power and therefore no access to fuel at gas stations, prepositioned two semi tankers of gasoline in northern Mississippi for their people. When the FEMA folks saw what they had done they said, “Hey that’s a really good idea. Maybe we should have done something like that also.” Then they requisitioned the two tankers and their contents for their own use citing the emergency as cause.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  8. Didn’t FEMA also confiscate shipments of ice that WalMart was sending into the area, and then parked the rigs until all the ice melted?

    AD - RtR/OS! (a25bb4)

  9. AD – At one point I believe they had diverted a shipment of ice to a storage facility in Maine so that it would not “go to waste.”

    They also repeatedly ordered a mobile MASH type medical facility to repeatedly move. Each time they started setting up, someone would decide that some other site was marginally better suited. IIRC the unit was ordered to move something like five times in seven days. In a week they had managed to treat one seriously injured casualty, they spent the rest of the time tearing down, packing, driving, unpacking, setting up, tearing down, and then packing again.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  10. I think someone wrote a book, or a very long magazine article, comparing and contrasting the response to Katrina by FEMA, and by WalMart and other private-sector/NGO organizations –
    The ending wasn’t pretty.

    AD - RtR/OS! (a25bb4)

  11. Protecting against looters is the job of the National Guard & local law-enforcement. Keeping the store operating — even if *gasp* the customers can only pay with cash — provides an invaluable service in a time of crisis.

    Icy Texan (2279de)

  12. In 2006 Jeb Bush signed into law, that gas station companies with 10 or more stations in a county must have generators at theose gas stations. After Losing $60 million in power outage spoilage, Publix, Floridas’ largest food retailer, implemented a plan to back-up power all it’s stores.
    Nice to see Texas being proactive as well.
    “The south will rise again, only because the North is too damned liberal to take of itself.”

    pitchforksntorches (888cb1)

  13. Many Village Pantry stores in Central Indiana installed permanent backup generators several years ago. It was after we recovered from an ice storm took out power for over a week. They used trailer mounted generators right after the storm but installed permanent units shortly after.

    Hazy (996c34)

  14. Not sure about the “local” grocery stores (nearest supermarket is 35 miles away), but people around here are either well prepared to deal without power or they have backup power on their own. Our power has been much better since some substations were upgraded, but the occasional ice storm or someone knocking down a power pole takes its toll.

    With respect to ordinary power outages, the power company is allowed to use an aggressive tree-trimming policy. The scenario of a tree falling over and taking out a power line is quite rare. (Complete contrast to California, where PGE takes days to repair lines after a major storm.) Makes for some ugly trees, but we’ve got plenty of ’em.

    OTOH, if we get the great Cascadia-zone quake (8.0+), we’re all screwed up here.

    Red County Pete (e5a1b1)

  15. Great to see businesses investing in portable power. The DoD has paid the design cost and there are some very capable off the shelf products.

    arch (24f4f2)

  16. Greetings:

    Great idea!!! Looters hate looting in the dark.

    11B40 (0d1acc)

  17. And liberals hate to think in the light of day.

    Icy Texan (74c331)

  18. #

    Incidents of looting are in inverse ratio to the distance to a major population center.

    Comment by AD – RtR/OS! — 7/10/2010 @ 10:41 pm

    The incidence of looting is also inversely proportional to the incidence of personal gun ownership.

    This is Texas we’re talking about, right?

    Dan S (b5ccb6)

  19. It must be great to live free in a state that considers that the protection of property rises to the level of allowing the use of deadly force, not like here in the People’s Republik of Kahleeforiah.

    AD - RtR/OS! (809c7f)

  20. most modern air conditioners are not guzzlers of electricity and are energy star certified .

    Wet Saw · (0e1d63)

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