2buy2 employees help with Hurricane Irma disaster

Published: Tuesday 6th August 2019 at 9:37

Andrew Thomas, Business Operations Manager, was asked in 2017 to go to the Caribbean Islands by 2buy2’s CEO Robert Kissick, who had previously worked with emergency response teams.
Andrew accepted and was deployed in September 2017 to the Dominican Republic to help with the disaster left behind by Hurricane Irma, one of the worst hurricanes the island’s history.
“When Rob called me, I was very surprised with the request. Of course, I wanted to help, but I didn’t think I would have to get all the logistics of the trip ready so quickly. But there I was, in the Dominican Republic two days after his call, ready to offer my support to the local authorities.”
Andrew worked in partnership with the UK Emergency Response Team to source and supply emergency equipment and goods to the island. Funds and logistics were limited, so he had to make sure that all purchases met the best value for money possible in this situation.
“Resources are limited, so you have to make the best of what you got. I had to pay close attention to everything that was coming onto the island, making sure that it respected our specifications.”
Truck in the Dominican Republic
A second 2buy2 team was deployed to Miami to help Andrew with the sourcing and shipment of various equipment needed such as pick-up trucks, a car crusher and generators.
“The team in Miami helped me greatly. I don’t know how they managed to source such odd requests like a car crusher, but they did it in time. The island was full of damaged cars that blocked the access to key areas. We needed to get them removed as soon as possible.”
Although Andrew struggled with the logistics on the island, he worked 16 hours days to get everything needed shipped safely. Applying good procurement practices, all equipment and goods were well administrated from sourcing to shipping.
He also had to discuss directly with the local authorities, who were keeping a close eye on everything that was going around on the island. He managed to communicate with them and facilitate the delivery of goods with the help of a local guide.
“It’s not easy to have everything running smoothly when you can’t communicate with the locals directly. You just need to have patience and try your best to make yourself understood. In my case, I was helped by someone local who could translate Spanish for me.”