Hurricane Idalia Takes a Toll on Some Southeast Tint ShopsSeptember 6th, 2023 by Casey Flores
The first major hurricane of the 2023 season has impacted business operations across the Southeast United States, nearing $20 billion in damages. Some tint shops are feeling the effects.
Hurricane Idalia first hit in Florida’s “big bend” region, the area between the panhandle and Southern part of the state along the Gulf of Mexico. Ben Land’s Superior Window Tinting in Crawfordville, Fla., was among the shops in the area that was closest to a direct hit.
He says Florida’s used to this.
“We lost power for 12-15 hours,” Land says, but he was able to make up for it. “When storms come, nobody misses their appointments. It doesn’t slow us down much.”
Land did close shop for one day, but even that was a “day-before” decision.
“How it usually works around here is everything’s normal operations until virtually hours before,” he explains. “We worked a full day the day before and planned on being open the day [of the storm], but made the call at 4:30 p.m. the day before to close the next day. I still had one person that night who wanted to drop their car off to be tinted the next day.”
Fifty miles east in Lake City, Fla., Performance Window Tinting’s business took a minor hit.
“At least half the business we normally do in a week, we lost,” says owner Chris Kent. While that would normally be a hit during the busy summer season, Kent prepares all year for events like this.
“I don’t live summer rich,” he says. “I set money aside.”
Meanwhile, Pinnellas Park, Fla.-based film manufacturer Madico says its Tampa-area HQ experienced minimal disruption.
“Tampa Bay was not in the direct path of Idalia and we are in a well-built facility located on relatively high ground,” says marketing coordinator Nancy Trant.
The company did shut down operations the day the storm hit.
“We were able to get the majority of our Florida shipments out before the storm and quickly resumed shipping activities upon reopening,” Trant says. “Some shipments from our Florida Dealer Service Center were likely delayed after leaving our facility because common carriers such as UPS & FedEx paused operations while the storm passed.”
Given its location, the company has a “detailed, timeline-centric” schedule of activities that go in place during threats of storms including customer and nationwide staff communications, logistics planning, securing all equipment and supplies, backing up of computer servers, and securing the building itself.