Weis Serves Emmaus in all Kinds of Weather
Systems keep stores open and food safe during storms, power outages.
It’s not just the postman who isn’t thwarted by rain, sleet, snow or dark of night. Fortunately for Emmaus residents, Weis Supermarkets is also similarly equipped to handle bad weather.
The Sunbury, Pa.-based chain, which has 163 stores in five states, has an inclement weather plan that kicks in as predications of severe weather mount, according to Dennis Curtin, director of public relations.
“With you hear the weather reports you know the kinds of things that people are going to be looking for – water, ice, batteries, milk – and we make sure that the stores are stocked with those things and when the supplies start to run low we have the ability to replenish them and make sure the stores get more,” Curtin says.
The chain is also ready for a power loss during and after the bad weather, Curtin says, such as what happened in Emmaus this weekend during Hurricane Irene.
Virtually all the Weis stores have back up generators that power things like secondary lights and the cash registers in front of the store, Curtain explains, allowing the store to remain open even if the power in the rest of the community is out.
There are also procedures in place, he says, to seal off dairy and frozen cases to keep the cold inside for as long as possible, and frozen food is typically okay for about 4-6 hours of power loss before the store has to move on to Plan B.
In Emmaus, due to the duration of the power outage from Saturday night into late Sunday afternoon, Plan B was executed. That included sending two refrigerator trucks to the store, as well as dry ice, to ensure that perishable food items were kept cold and remained safe to sell, Curtin says.
Health inspectors and Weis' own quality assurance team are involved with what's going on in the store during incidents like these, he says, as an added safety precaution.
A second generator was sent to Emmaus too, Curtin adds, because there was a problem with the original generator and the registers weren’t working.
“If the front-end isn’t operational, we can’t stay open,” he says. “Ultimately, one of the things we know is that in bad weather, whether it’s a snow storm or a hurricane, customers look to their supermarkets and expect them to be open.”