Question and answer section
After the Dust Settles
As I write this in late November, it is raining cats and dogs. The smoky air from the disastrous Camp Fire in Paradise, which enveloped the Bay Area, thankfully has been washed away. We’ve gone from what we were calling “mask mania” to supplying urgent rain and flood protection products: umbrellas, dams to prevent flooding, roof cement, and more. As a business serving the community, we take our responsibility seriously to be here for you when crises, large or small, land on our doorstep.
We keep an extra-large inventory of many items that are critical in times of need: heaters to fend off the cold; fans and air conditioners to cool us in the heat; batteries, flashlights, and lanterns to keep us out of the dark during power outages; and much more. Back-to-back years of catastrophic fires that brought unbelievable pollution remind us to add air respirators, air filters, and air purifiers to our list of crisis-related products to stockpile for the next time our community needs them.
During the recent Camp Fire, we moved mountains to keep respirator masks in stock. In fact, we supplied over 26,000 masks at price points ranging from $1 up to $50. Procurement was a challenge because all Northern California distributors were depleted. A team of folks at Cole Hardware worked hard to source masks and get them shipped in. I even drove 100 miles to stuff my car with boxes of masks that a trucking company wasn’t able to deliver prior to the critical weekend they were needed. I am very proud of our staff, who worked tirelessly in the stores and behind the scenes.
And I am especially proud of you, our customers. As you checked out of our stores, you very generously donated over $15,000 to add to our own donation of $10,000. Caring Choices, a local nonprofit in Chico, was thrilled to receive our collective $28,341.18 donation to the Camp Fire victim recovery fund.
Here’s the big question for you: What will you do now to prepare for the ongoing challenges brought about by climate change? We’re living with a new reality, and as we can see from the experiences of our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico, Florida, North Carolina, California, and elsewhere, when crisis hits, chances are we will need to fend for ourselves. The City of San Francisco suggests preparing to sustain yourself for at least 36 hours. Whether it’s a container for water storage, a portable loo, first-aid supplies, or just about anything else you might need for your own 36-hour disaster kit, we can help advise and supply you and your family.
The earthquake will shake us, the smoke may be back, rains may cause flooding, and of course fire is always a danger. Be proactive. Be prepared.
Stay in the loop!
Sign up to receive our emails!