Saturday, August 27, 2011

"The Evil Market" Comes To the Rescue: Hurricane Preparation is a Science for Walmart, Home Depot

A convoy of Walmart trucks waited to enter New Orleans in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina.

NPR -- "Forecasters don't expect Hurricane Irene to make landfall until Saturday. But for nearly a week now, big-box retailers like Walmart and Home Depot have been getting ready.

They've deployed hundreds of trucks carrying everything from plywood to Pop-Tarts to stores in the storm's path. It's all possible because these retailers have turned hurricane preparation into a science — one that government emergency agencies have begun to embrace.

At Home Depot's Hurricane Command Center in Atlanta, for example, about 100 associates have been trying to anticipate how Irene will affect its East Coast stores from the Carolinas to New York. At times like this, the Command Center looks much like NASA Mission Control during a shuttle launch, says Russ Householder, the company's emergency-response captain.

Walmart is able to anticipate surges in demand during emergencies by using a huge historical database of sales from each store as well as sophisticated predictive techniques, says Mike Cooper, Walmart's head of emergency management.

He says that with Irene on the way, that system is helping them allocate things like batteries, ready-to-eat foods and cleaning supplies to areas in the storm's path. Walmart also has the advantage of having a staff meteorologist, Cooper says."

HT: Don Boudreaux

60 Comments:

At 8/27/2011 9:08 AM, OpenID sethstorm said...

The problem with that is Wal-Mart is a buyer of political influence, a manufacturer of US perdition, and a betrayer of its founder.

The damage that Wal-Mart has caused far exceeds the damage any hurricane has in its existence. You can rebuild after an apolitical hurricane has passed; no such luck exists when their PR firm buys favor in your locality, or destroys suppliers that have nothing wrong with them.

They are their own perpetual Category 5 upon the US, and no contracted-out-for-disposability fleet of trucks is not going to change it.

--

I'll trust the folks not under the pay of these US-hostile firms. Or beholden to hostile foreign interests as a part of their charter.

 
At 8/27/2011 9:13 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Same for Target, Costco, McDonald's and Home Depot, or just Walmart?

 
At 8/27/2011 9:38 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Viva la Wal Mart.

 
At 8/27/2011 10:03 AM, Blogger liberal_slayer said...

sethstorm, please cut the hate WalMart crap. WalMart did not put local companies out of business their lack of customers did. WalMart did not end the local business its the local people that stopped shopping there. I suppose you can blame it on your idiot neighbors who want to get a better deal, save money and make there dollar go farther. Wow they are idiots, unlike you who wants to overpay for everything you buy because it's the "fair" think to do?

I do not know how people like you function and think. A company provides a low cost service betting there competitors and people like you trash them.

In terms of this story , here we have WalMart doing a great service to people in a disaster area and people like you just trash them. Moreover, WalMart did the same during Hurricane Katrina as well but the liberals ignored there good will due to hate and anger. WalMart and HD will respond in a timely manner while FEMA will still be studying the situation. I would much rather place my faith in companies and my fellow man than some bureaucracy to help me out.

WalMart is a great great company and we need more like them.

 
At 8/27/2011 10:05 AM, Blogger liberal_slayer said...

sethstorm, please cut the hate WalMart crap. WalMart did not put local companies out of business their lack of customers did. WalMart did not end the local business its the local people that stopped shopping there. I suppose you can blame it on your idiot neighbors who want to get a better deal, save money and make there dollar go farther. Wow they are idiots, unlike you who wants to overpay for everything you buy because it's the "fair" think to do.

I do not know how people like you function and think. A company provides a low cost service beating there competitors and people like you trash them.

In terms of this story , here we have WalMart doing a great service to people in a disaster area and people like you just trash them. Moreover, WalMart did the same during Hurricane Katrina as well but the liberals ignored there good will due to hate and anger. WalMart and HD will respond in a timely manner while FEMA will still be studying the situation. I would much rather place my faith in companies and my fellow man than some bureaucracy to help me out.

WalMart is a great great company and we need more like them.

 
At 8/27/2011 10:22 AM, Blogger juandos said...

The pseudo benny's evil twin says: "The damage that Wal-Mart has caused far exceeds the damage any hurricane has in its existence"...

Well sethstorm I'm sure you have some credible source material for that libelous statement, right?

BTW what did you think of New Orleans Police looting Walmart?

How damaging was that?

 
At 8/27/2011 10:34 AM, OpenID sethstorm said...

My point was that all their actions don't make the consequences of their other deeds go away. Yet the only thing evil about them are their actions -

The rest of those examples didn't betray their founder as deeply as Wal-Mart has.

 
At 8/27/2011 10:42 AM, OpenID sethstorm said...


WalMart and HD will respond in a timely manner while FEMA will still be studying the situation. I would much rather place my faith in companies and my fellow man than some bureaucracy to help me out.


Yet it is easier and cheaper to make FEMA accountable to US citizens than it is to get anything of such from Bentonville.

 
At 8/27/2011 10:53 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"My point was that all their actions don't make the consequences of their other deeds go away"...

Actually the point is sethstorm is that you don't have a point, just your libelous rant which you've yet to back up with anything credible and substantial....

 
At 8/27/2011 10:56 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 8/27/2011 10:57 AM, OpenID sethstorm said...


Well sethstorm I'm sure you have some credible source material for that libelous statement, right?

Stack up the pre-Wal-Mart value of the companies that they have destroyed and lowered tax revenue from a net loss of competitors versus the amount of damage caused by hurricanes after Sam Walton died.

As they pump and dump suppliers, they will do the same to communities that accepted them.

--
Never mind that this is the same company that only trusts the government that it has bought.

 
At 8/27/2011 10:58 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

This is not a benovolence story, but instead an account of outstanding logistics/inventory systems.

 
At 8/27/2011 11:12 AM, Blogger D. Joseph Black said...

Can we call a spade a spade? Wal-Mart is not "coming to the rescue"; they are showing up to make a profit. They are a little selective, let's be honest, in whom they rescue, to wit, those people who can afford to pay for it. The "science" of preparation here is simply a more intelligent business able to anticipate sharp fluxes in demand and make money.

Wal-Mart is a destroyer of communities; they pursue profits over and above everything else. If the road forks, and the community's well-being goes to the left and profits go to the right, Wal-Mart dependably goes to the right. Furthermore this is a matter of capitalist doctrine; I don't understand why it's controversial to point to it. Sure, Wal-Mart toots its horn all the time about all the money it donates to local communities, education, and so on; that's profitable and that's why it does it. They wouldn't do it otherwise. The competing hypothesis here, the one opposed to mine, is the Wal-Mart, and yes, the other "big boxes", are orgies of benevolence and they're vibrant and wonderful complements to our community/society, and they make money because they are so good at being such good citizens. Please.

"liberal slayer"? Are you serious? You equate Wal-Mart with your common man and believe they are more aligned to your interests than a bureaucracy? I will grant that bureaucracies are not without their imperfections, but at least they are theoretically subject to public oversight and are accountable, not greatly but to some extent--a greater extent than is Wal-mart. A private company, though more efficient at making its buck than a public institution, will bleed you dry for the pennies you're worth. You are sad and hopeless, a willfully deactivated brain awaiting harvest by some tyrant that can profit off of it. Why don't you make them work a little harder?

 
At 8/27/2011 11:13 AM, OpenID sethstorm said...



This is not a benovolence story but an account of outstanding logistics/inventory systems.



Also a case where government isn't as incompetent as it supposedly was in Katrina.

Advance notice was given by the government, and people got the message to leave or accept the lack of help.

What happens afterwards, is a case of FEMA cooperating with these entities as equals - to deliver what is needed to where it is needed.

 
At 8/27/2011 11:15 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Stack up the pre-Wal-Mart value of the companies that they have destroyed and lowered tax revenue from a net loss of competitors versus the amount of damage caused by hurricanes after Sam Walton died"...

No sethstorm, you stack up this fantasy league of the lost and damned supposedly caused by Walmart since you're the one that made the libelous statement in the first place...

The fact of the matter is that individual buyers made their own choices of where to spend their money, Walmart didn't hold a gun to their heads...

I make the choice for instance to shop at the locally family owned and run hardware store and am more than willing to pay the extra seven to thirteen cents on a dollar since unlike Walmart I know what I'm getting there both as a product and as advice on how to use the product I'm buying...

Other people who don't think they need that sort of service go to the 'big box stores' and its good that those stores are there for them...

 
At 8/27/2011 11:20 AM, Blogger juandos said...

FEMA yet another waste of extorted tax dollars...

 
At 8/27/2011 11:25 AM, Blogger D. Joseph Black said...

you people going to bat for Wal-Mart and the other big boxes. Are you on their payroll? Why are you going to bat? Remember Ayn Rand's gospel of self-interest. Get them on the phone and get some money; all this pro-bono shilling is making me nauseous.

 
At 8/27/2011 11:32 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

Will FEMA provide food, water and clothing to you if you are a victim of a disaster?

No.

FEMA states that the Red Cross will do that job. The Red Cross is a private organization.

 
At 8/27/2011 11:55 AM, OpenID sethstorm said...


FEMA yet another waste of extorted tax dollars...


They only coordinate the response.

If you're so hung up on getting rid of middlemen, why is it OK for there to be middlemen in providing labor?

 
At 8/27/2011 12:00 PM, Blogger dick said...

Quality, value, guarantee from Walmart is unmatched. Sure some cannot compete but others open stores around the big box stores. However, I will never buy another moneygram to send to anyone. Have two of them they will not cash the money orders because of some crazy third party verification system and cannot get help from the 800 number or local store manager. Really strange situation and seems to be no recourse. Very disappointed after many years of being pleased. Someone is getting interest on the couple grand but not me.

 
At 8/27/2011 12:01 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"all this pro-bono shilling is making me nauseous"...

Oh dear! Poor D. Joseph Black is having a reality attack!!

So people shouldn't make their own choices on where to spend their own money D. Joseph Black?

Yet after looking at your blog site D. Joseph Black I'm now thinking you're suffering from Elijah Cummings syndrome...

 
At 8/27/2011 12:05 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"If you're so hung up on getting rid of middlemen, why is it OK for there to be middlemen in providing labor?"...

Well sethstorm I've been labor since 1960 and I've yet to see that elusive labor middleman...

What the heck is a 'labor middleman'?

BTW FEMA isn't about coordination, it about wasted tax dollars...

 
At 8/27/2011 12:34 PM, OpenID sethstorm said...


What the heck is a 'labor middleman'?


Another name to describe contractors, and staffing agencies by their function.

 
At 8/27/2011 12:55 PM, Blogger D. Joseph Black said...

juandos,

please reply with a comment that makes sense; what I wrote hasn't got a thing to do with Elijah Cummings. What gave you the sense that it does? What is a reality attack? I've lived in reality for ten years. You are the people who seem to be detached. When did I ever say that people should not be allowed to choose where to spend their money? What does any of this have to do with the effect Wal-Mart has on the communities it invades?

 
At 8/27/2011 1:00 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Watching these guys makes me want to privatize our military.

 
At 8/27/2011 1:12 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"please reply with a comment that makes sense; what I wrote hasn't got a thing to do with Elijah Cummings"...

ROFLMAO!

Who said it did? I said "Elijah Cummings" syndrome...

You know, lie in the face of reality like you did with your comment and do on your site as I noted...

The only NOT making sense is you...

"You are the people who seem to be detached. When did I ever say that people should not be allowed to choose where to spend their money?"...

Wow! You already forgot your whining rant?!?!

Amazing! Thanks Elijah... LMAO!

 
At 8/27/2011 1:16 PM, Blogger D. Joseph Black said...

look over your last comment; how can I even make sense of what you are trying to say. Is there are case to present? Or is this just pure, juvenile, hysterical ridicule. Why don't you describe "Elijah Cummings syndrome" so I can know what you are talking about, understand your point, and reply? That is the essence of conversation.

 
At 8/27/2011 1:31 PM, Blogger D. Joseph Black said...

Watching these guys makes me want to privatize our military.

can you explain what you mean by that?

 
At 8/27/2011 1:33 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"look over your last comment; how can I even make sense of what you are trying to say"...

Well I guess if English isn't YOUR first language then I can understand you might have a problem...

Nice try in trying to weasel out of your position though...

 
At 8/27/2011 1:37 PM, Blogger D. Joseph Black said...

I stand by my original position and I repeat my last request: please explain what you are talking about. English is my first language, so I will understand, but I can only understand what is explicitly expressed. What is your argument? Present it.

 
At 8/27/2011 1:43 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"please explain what you are talking about"...

Please learn English...

" English is my first language, so I will understand, but I can only understand what is explicitly expressed"...

LOL! Not if this and the previous exchanges are anything to go by...

"What is your argument? Present it"...

Your inability to get a grip on reality...

I mean how else do you describe someone who attempts to present Huey Long and Barack Obama as sympathtic figures?

 
At 8/27/2011 1:48 PM, Blogger D. Joseph Black said...

Re-read that post, I was highly critical of Barack Obama.

That is not an inability to get a grip on reality; it is a point of view, and it would be great to have a dialogue about it.

Why don't you mute your boisterious ad hominem immaturity? Your own grasp of English is what is suspect, speaking in arcane acronyms and ellipses marks that go nowhere.

 
At 8/27/2011 2:16 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Re-read that post, I was highly critical of Barack Obama"...

Funny I don't remember reading about Obama's Marxist's tendencies in your posting...

Your quasi white-washing of Long's corruption though is quite evident...

 
At 8/27/2011 2:20 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Your own grasp of English is what is suspect, speaking in arcane acronyms and ellipses marks that go nowhere"...

Interesting, now you're copying my alledged inability to make a point... LMAO!

You're definitely entertaing D. Joseph Black, most definitely...

 
At 8/27/2011 2:32 PM, Blogger D. Joseph Black said...

Please describe Obama's "Marxist's Tendencies"; I don't know where this idea comes from. Seems to me like he is pretty accommodating to finance.

 
At 8/27/2011 2:42 PM, Blogger mike k said...

"I will grant that bureaucracies are not without their imperfections, but at least they are theoretically subject to public oversight and are accountable, not greatly but to some extent--a greater extent than is Wal-mart."

More accountable to the public than a large corporation is to its shareholders, customers and employees? How do you figure that?

"all this pro-bono shilling is making me nauseous."

I believe you meant nauseated. I mean if you're correcting others use of the English language and all.

 
At 8/27/2011 2:47 PM, Blogger D. Joseph Black said...

Corporations are not accountable to their customers and certainly not accountable to their employees. And what about everyone else? That is not democracy; it is plutocracy.

Let's not fuss over the English thing. Who cares?

 
At 8/27/2011 2:47 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Please describe Obama's "Marxist's Tendencies"; I don't know where this idea comes from"...

OMG! You're serious?!?!

Let me guess, you don't remember the 'Joe the Plumber' incident, right?

How about ObamaCare?

What do you remember?

Maybe Dr. Tim Groseclose wrote his book for folks like you...

 
At 8/27/2011 3:00 PM, Blogger D. Joseph Black said...

"Obamacare" is a generous gift to the insurance companies; there is palpably nothing "Marxist" about it. The "Marxist" thing to do with regard to healthcare would be to make it universally available, free to those who cannot afford it (what a horrible thing that would be).

I remember Joe the Plumber as some campaign strategy John McCain used to try to get elected in '08. What does that have to do with Obama being a Marxist? Is there more to it? Please explain.

 
At 8/27/2011 3:32 PM, Blogger juandos said...

""Obamacare" is a generous gift to the insurance companies..."...

Oh stop! You're killing me! ROFLMAO!!

Reality check...

Yet in one sense D. Joseph Black you're absolutely right...

There's always room for crony capitalism...

 
At 8/27/2011 3:41 PM, Blogger D. Joseph Black said...

according to the article linked to your "reality check", the primary complaint of these insurance companies was that they had to spend 80% of premiums in actual medical expenses. Maybe these are not the kind of people that we should be going to for medical care. Is the purpose of the health care system people's well being? Or is it to ensure private companies can get rich off people's illness?

 
At 8/27/2011 3:46 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Walmart has spread more good to the masses than Obama could ever hope for.

 
At 8/27/2011 3:56 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"the primary complaint of these insurance companies was that they had to spend 80% of premiums in actual medical expenses"...

Well I just knew sooner or later it would come out, you don't understand business...

The people in the health insurance business are NOT in the medical or health business, they're into making money for their shareholders...

The insurance game is very much like the casino game...

If customers don't like a particular health insurance company's business model they can always take their money somewhere else...

 
At 8/27/2011 4:13 PM, Blogger D. Joseph Black said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 8/27/2011 5:08 PM, Blogger D. Joseph Black said...

Why are politicians, whose job it is to serve the public interest (read: public health) concerned about the interests of private insurance corporations? Let them make money in sectors of the economy that don't necessitate the death of common people. And let politicians prioritize people's interests over those of business. That is, after all, the whole idea of our system of representative government.

And can we dispense of the constant insults? I understand how business works. Your tone is exceedingly arrogant.

 
At 8/27/2011 6:34 PM, Blogger mike k said...

"Corporations are not accountable to their customers and certainly not accountable to their employees."

Hmm...so Walmart would be able to raise prices 10-20% relative to Target and lose no market share.

Labor markets must also have no effect on Walmart.

 
At 8/27/2011 7:05 PM, Blogger D. Joseph Black said...

There is no legal accountability; Wal-Mart can do whatever it wants to reduce prices except steal. As the global marketplace for labor indisputably reveals, there is nothing wrong with slavery. And people are desperate; they are made so by Wal-Mart's and other retail giant's behavior that used to be illegal before anti-trust laws were smashed.

 
At 8/27/2011 8:51 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Joe Black-

Are you the former baseball pitcher?

Privatize the military yes!--We have a federal public agency, and all federal public agencies bloat, ossify and become coprolite.

The Department of Defense, Homeland Security and the VA pie-mouths eat 60 percent of our federal income taxes.

Some get lifetime pensions after just 20 years of service, and medical care. Base housing, and camp stores.

Obviously, go-getters do not become lifetime federal employees.

How can a military with 3 million employees say it is "stretched" when it fields a mere 250,000 troops to fields of light combat? Because it is bloated and ossified.

We are still fighting the Cold War, like we are still fighting the War on Poverty, like we are fighting the War on Drugs. With incredibly fat and lazy federal agencies.

Hire a Bain & Co. to devise a national defense for 10 cents on the dollar. It can be done, and true patriots want it to be done.

 
At 8/27/2011 9:34 PM, Blogger Scott A. Robinson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 8/27/2011 9:58 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 8/27/2011 10:09 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Clearly Juandos is an idiot, and likely a sociopath as well.

 
At 8/27/2011 10:12 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Try getting a 250 kW gender from walmart. FEMA has them pre-positioned, for real emergencies.

 
At 8/28/2011 2:27 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

The simultaneous rise of U.S. multinationals, e.g. Walmart, and the Third World:

Rise of the Third World

Whereas for the bulk of the world’s population economic stagnation has been the rule over millennia, today’s economic growth is unprecedented. More countries – and people – are achieving rapid income growth than ever before.

 
At 8/28/2011 3:06 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Try getting a 250 kW gender from walmart. FEMA has them pre-positioned, for real emergencies."

Try that again. Maybe get someone to type it for you.

 
At 8/28/2011 9:27 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

If you wanted hype you went to commercial news, if you wanted facts, you went to the nowadays websites. The data buoys tell the story. Of course, they are a huge bureaucratic waste.

 
At 8/28/2011 9:30 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Somebody did type it for me- Droid. After I spelled it correctly.

Does not change the intended point you chose to ignore.

 
At 8/28/2011 10:19 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Jeez, noaa got translated to nowadays. What a pia.

 
At 8/28/2011 3:00 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"And can we dispense of the constant insults? I understand how business works. Your tone is exceedingly arrogant"...

Funny you liberals consider a painfully obvious situation (ie your inability to get a grip on reality) commented on an insult...

Sorry dude, I'm just not PC compliant...

 
At 8/28/2011 3:01 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"There is no legal accountability; Wal-Mart can do whatever it wants to reduce prices except steal"...

LMAO!

Where is this alledgedly happening?

 
At 8/28/2011 3:05 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Typical pseudo benny still attempting to push the liberal fairy tale: "The Department of Defense, Homeland Security and the VA pie-mouths eat 60 percent of our federal income taxes"...

Again proving that regardless of the realities liberals like pseudo benny will continue to lie in the face of it...

 

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