Hurricane Matthew: Communication & Community

With the arrival of Hurricane Matthew, the first major hurricane making landfall in Florida in more than 11 years, last week we dedicated Full Scale Fridays to the value of staying connected to employees, customers and key stakeholders in times of severe weather. In the span of just a few days, many of our clients experienced first hand the importance of keeping up-to-date on their crisis communications tactics — the tools they deploy to keep their employees safe, informed and up-to-date in the midst of a storm that can change lives in the blink of an eye. 

Many stories of selfless acts have come out of the aftermath of the storm. We’ve all seen posts about strangers helping people in need, moving fallen trees, taking people in to give them shelter, food or simply stopping to ask if there was anything at all they could do to help, even if it was just to listen. It’s the silver lining in every crisis — mankind’s ability to show unconditional compassion always comes through loud and clear.  

Knowing that in some towns, Food Lion stores are the only source of groceries, Delhaize America associates rallied together to support recovery efforts.  

For our client Tony Giampetruzzi, Interim Director of Internal Communications and Brand at Delhaize America, parent company of Food Lion and Hannaford, the storm will not soon be forgotten. 

As internal communicators, our key responsibility is connecting people to each other and to our business by keeping them informed and engaged. We are the communities that we serve at Food Lion as well as at Hannaford in the Northeast and across our parent company, Delhaize America. Hurricane Matthew swept across Food Lion's operating area, which resulted in significant impact in several Food Lion communities. As with any major storm, helping people mobilize by making clear and consistent communications available to them is critical. Sharing the stories about the heroic efforts of our associates, including those who traveled to keep our stores open and support the recovery efforts, is extremely important as it reinforces our values and the role our company serves in the community. It reminds us all that collaboration, compassion and determination are always at the heart of what we do, and that makes us proud to be associates at Food Lion and Delhaize America.

Communities throughout Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia witnessed flooding, strong winds and significant damage, leaving more than 94 of their stores closed, more than 60 without power and many communities without resources until temporary power could be restored and food restocked.

Mother Nature is a force to be revered and when weather becomes dangerous you need to follow your company’s emergency protocol. Do you know your company’s plan? Does your family have one? If so, tell us about it. Did you witness a selfless act of kindness? We want to hear about that too. In the mean time, talk to you next week, stay safe out there and remember to appreciate each other along with the little things, like electricity and potable water.