SEARS LP CRISIS TEAM FEATURED IN
Sears crisis center ready to react to Isaac
By Cheryl V. Jackson
August 29, 2012
As Hurricane Isaac hung over the New Orleans region
Wednesday morning, dozens of Sears Holdings managers
were holed up in a high-tech space on the retailer's
Hoffman Estates campus planning to react to the storm by
reopening its affected stores there and restocking
It's a war room of sorts, this Sears Crisis Command
Center, where the mission is to have high-demand items
in the stores as soon as possible.
Monitors show The Weather Channel, other cable news
channels and a local news channel. A map displays red
and green dots that represent Sears' and Kmart stores --
with the red noting downed stores. As of Wednesday
afternoon, about 40 stores have been closed with another
120 in danger of being affected by the storm.
"We're monitoring all these types of events, but we're
all reacting too," said Bill Titus, vice president of
loss prevention and safety. "And it's not just people.
We're taking advantage of all the technology."
Managers from logistics, transportation, human resources
and communications are all on hand for teleconferenced
updates from employees on the ground, as well as from
federal and state emergency management officials, which
have contracts with Sears to vend supplies.
A nominal staff, which is typically on guard, has been
watching Isaac for eight days. Wednesday morning, as
many as 45 people have been through the crisis room.
The company established the command center two years ago
to track and respond to any man-made or natural disaster
that threatens the operation of its stores across the
country. Such events have ranged from a fugitive running
through a Las Vegas store and into a standoff with
police nearby, to a bear wandering into an outlet in
On Wednesday, it was Isaac, which was lingering, and
delaying the team's ability to access damage.
Before the storm, Sears sent additional supplies to
stock store shelves after the storm. Trucks stocked with
water, generators and cleaning supplies, are stationed
just outside the affected areas waiting to follow
Isaac's path, Sears said.
"You have to kind of watch and see what's the final
impact," said James R. Waldrop, manager of corporate
crisis and emergency operations.
In regards to the above article Bill Titus, VP LP, Sears
Holdings had this to say:
"The need to have a robust Crisis Management plan and
team is critical in the protection of our customers,
associates and facilities at Sears Holdings we work hard
daily to ensure we have both."