Hurricane Sandy, other storms disrupt supply chainsDestructive weather and natural disasters have the ability to hugely disrupt important company supply chains and wreak havoc on production schedules, profits and logistics operations. With Hurricane Sandy set to cause massive destruction along the East Coast, many local companies may be wondering how they'll survive, and those with operational facilities in the area may be looking to determine how their companies will take the hit.

Delays could cost companies
The high winds, downpours and flooding that the hurricane is scheduled to bring may cause severe damage to local communities. These elements can also damage structures, and some corporations with manufacturing capabilities on the East Coast may find their production processes delayed by days. Many residents of coastal towns have evacuated, and some may not be back for work until later in the week. Plenty of businesses have been temporarily shut down and employees are staying with their families. This means some companies could be out of luck - if they have no manufacturing facilities elsewhere, they could be stuck for several days and experience production delays and potential product shortages down the road.

Even after the storm is over, that doesn't mean manufacturing companies are in the clear. Widespread power outages are expected, and plants may not have the capability to power up for days until fallen lines are restored.

Delays aren't just limited to manufacturing - they may also apply to logistics operations, depending on how hard the storm hits. Flooded streets and roadblocks such as fallen trees or scattered debris could cause problems in the trucking process, and because most flights along the East Coast have been cancelled, those relying on air shipments may also experience delays. Companies that heavily rely on transit through this area could find that their products aren't being delivered on time. They may also experience problems obtaining raw materials that are stuck in holding areas while the storm passes.

Raw material shortages
Companies that rely on natural gas also may experience problems with the storm, as oil and gas refineries could see a huge hit from Hurricane Sandy. With their production impacted and shipping stalled, companies in need of fossil fuels could see procurement problems, and need to quickly implement new sourcing strategies to find new, affordable fuel suppliers. Because supplies may diminish, prices could rise in the next few days, meaning businesses will need to find ways to cut expenses to enjoy more cost savings, or bite the bullet and wait out the damage to return to their original suppliers.
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