Over Labor Day weekend 2019, Category 5 Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas head on, devastating the islands and destroying homes, infrastructure, communications and power. Anixter’s customers -LLA, Cable Bahamas and BTC - who supply voice, video, data and wireless services to the Bahamas, reached out to Anixter for help in supporting relief efforts for their employees and customers, while helping them get the islands’ communications infrastructure back up and running quickly.
The Anixter team immediately dropped their Labor Day plans and got to work. On Monday, LLA sent a material list and, by Wednesday, Anixter had two cargo planes bound for the Bahamas stocked with the requested items, including food and supply kits for local families, blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, portable generators, flashlights, water, baby formula, diapers, medicine, large diesel generators to power cell sites, oil filters, fuel tanks, fusion sets and tools, batteries and more.
Supporting relief efforts
Chartering the planes and gathering the materials in two days meant the Anixter team was working 12- to 18-hour days. People across several departments and locations at Anixter, as well as LLA, all stepped up to support the relief efforts without complaint.
Initial efforts were focused on emergency humanitarian items and power equipment. Once those needs were addressed, the work of rebuilding the communications infrastructure began. Anixter is supplying LLA with fiber optic cable as well as cabinets with full power plants and backup batteries that were custom designed for LLA by the Anixter team.
Additionally, Anixter supplied BTC and Cable Bahamas with wireless systems and both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint radios, and are now sourcing mission critical network equipment to support BTC and Cable Bahamas with network rebuild projects.
Customer health and safety
“’People first’ is our motto at Anixter, so our top priority was helping our customers ensure the health and safety of their employees. Through our experience helping other customers in the wake of natural disasters, we have developed supplier contacts all over the world that are able to ship out emergency supplies at a moment’s notice. We are grateful for the dedication of our own team, as well as that of our customers and suppliers, who worked around the clock to bring relief to the Bahamas in this desperate time,” said Bill Galvin, president and CEO of Anixter.
Rebuild projects are still underway, but significant progress has been made in such a short time due to LLA, BTC and Cable Bahamas taking a proactive approach to storm preparedness as well as Anixter’s timely response, hurricane experience and dedicated team.