NACS Launches Disaster Preparedness Resources

The tool kit is designed to help convenience retailers with emergency planning, preparation and recovery.

July 15, 2019

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—NACS has released new resources to help convenience retailers develop or enhance their disaster planning procedures for when an emergency strikes. 

The NACS Convenience Store Emergency Planning and Job Aids, available for download at convenience.org/disasterplan, is a result of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Infrastructure Protection Program Challenge, which was a project awarded to NACS in 2018 to identify and enhance how convenience stores can boost their resiliency as they plan, prepare and recover from a disaster, whether man-made or natural.

“These resources are designed to help convenience retailers quickly and efficiently determine the best course of action for their teams to plan for an emergency such as a hurricane or bring their stores back into operation after events that happen with little to no warning, like a tornado or earthquake,” said Carolyn Schnare, NACS director of strategic initiatives. “After curating emergency plans and insights from our convenience industry community, we have developed useful and practical resources that retailers can adapt for their own businesses.”

The NACS resources are customizable and include a plan evaluation document and 17 Job Aids of tasks and checklists for specific functions that store employees perform during disaster planning and recovery. The Job Aids can also be used as on-boarding training, refresher training or immediate training when emergency conditions approach.

“Communities and emergency response teams depend on their local convenience stores in times of need, especially for much-needed food, water and fuel,” said Schnare. “These new NACS resources can help retailers evaluate their internal processes for reopening quickly and returning to normalcy.”

NACS worked with more than 20 convenience retailers across the country—from one-store operators to retailers with more than 1,000 stores—to develop the NACS Convenience Store Emergency Planning and Job Aids, and incorporated information supplemented by government regulatory requirements and professional association recommendations.

There are more than 153,000 convenience stores in the United States, of which about 122,000 stores sell an estimated 80% of the fuel in the country. Convenience stores also operate one-third of all ATMs. In areas affected by disasters, convenience stores with generators may serve as the only source of electricity to recharge phones, as well as keep fueling dispensers operational for first responders to access. 

NACS Webinar

To help retailers implement the customizable planning tools in their stores, NACS is hosting a webinar, “Convenience Store Emergency Planning,” on Wednesday, July 31 at 1 to 2 p.m. ET, featuring former FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. Click here to learn more and reserve your spot

Hurricane Barry also raises awareness of the important role that first responders have when disaster strikes, and the NACS Foundation is gearing up to hold its inaugural 24/7 Day on July 24 with retail partners like RaceTrac, Sheetz and Wawa to honor first responders and local heroes who work around the clock to support communities when disasters happen. By working with the American Red Cross, 24/7 Day will also raise awareness of the important role that convenience stores play in helping communities prepare for and recover from disasters and in supporting first responders. Learn more at conveniencecares.org/24-7-Day.

Hours of Service Waivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Friday issued hours of service waivers for 14 states as Hurricane Barry approached. The regional declaration of emergency covers Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. A link to the declaration is here.

FMSCA issued a notice of enforcement discretion determination covering the affected states. A link to the notice is here.  

In addition, an emergency declaration covers Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin. A link to the declaration is here.  

The governor of Minnesota issued an executive order providing for relief from regulations to motor carriers and drivers operating in the state. A link to the EO is here.  

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