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Hurricane!@!!@ Help!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi, I just opened a new bakery 2weeks ago.. and now I am smack dab in the middle of Hurricane Issac's path.. I have about 16 orders for custom cakes.. how do I handle this? Do I offer refunds? reschedule??? hhelppp!!! icon_eek.gif
post #2 of 12
Take a deep breath.

Make your own personal preparations first. Remember to keep your cell phone charged.

Print your list of orders out and zip it into a plastic bag.

Call the customers and find out where they are, and what they are doing about their functions. Update your printed list as you hear from people.

Don't worry about refunds now. Focus on rescheduling because that's what the customers will probably try to do anyway.

At some point you may have to board up even your shop door (I figure the windows are already done?) and unplug all your equipment. That's what I had to do when we knew the direct hit was 2 hours away in New England.

All you can do is communicate, communicate, communicate. Last step would be to post an emergency contact on the door for those customers that you couldn't reach.

post #3 of 12
Contact each customer to find out what their plans are. Some may already be postponing their events, but if the venues are staying open you should be able to stay open as well.

Hopefully the contract you had your customers sign includes a clause indicating you are not responsible for natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, etc.
post #4 of 12
I am in NY so I don't know what you are hearing about it. Here they are saying that Isaac is expected to be much weaker than Katrina.


Contact each customer to find out what their plans are. Some may already be postponing their events, but if the venues are staying open you should be able to stay open as well.

I think that's good advice
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
I plan on being open and doing the cakes, however, if the power goes, which it does even in regular storms, my cakes will melt!!!! So do I go ahead and do them now.... or wait until after the worst has passed??
post #6 of 12
If you have time to wait until the worst is over that's what I would do, if not you really have no choice but to start on the cakes (assuming the events are still on and the venues will be open).

It may be tough to find now but in that part of the country a backup generator is important if you depend on electricity for your livelihood.
post #7 of 12
Good Luck and Be Safe. Keep in mind that everyone around you is also thinking about changing plans, making alternate arrangements as needed and getting themselves in order. Like those above have said, keeping calm and organized is the best we all can hope for. I'm not in your area but I know how it feels - we had to evacuate exactly a year ago ourselves!
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well, I survived the "hurricane" and only one cake was rescheduled...yay!!!!!!
post #9 of 12
Glad to hear you are safe and all is well for you.
post #10 of 12
I am so glad to hear that you are good to go.

Last year, my island was split in two by Hurricane Irene and it was shut down to tourist for 2 months. Many of the local business suffered and one bakery closed their doors forever.
Many people were left homeless due to the flooding.
I was one of the fortunate ones. The only loss I suffered was the loss of the 6 booked wedding cakes. (The island was under mandatory evacuation, so I never actually baked the cakes)
On the lighter side, I had one bride beg me to do her wedding cake.
The conversation wen't like this:
Bride: "Are you sure you can't do my wedding cake, even though I moved the venue?"
Me: "Ma'am, the road has been washed away, It is going to take two months to build a bridge where the ocean washed out the road."
Bride: "But are you sure you still can't do my cake?"
Me: "Ma'am, If I were to deliver your cake to where you are asking me to deliver it, It would require a 45 minute ride, to catch the 2 1/2 hour ferry, that is if they don't decide to stop running the ferry due to low tide. That would accumulate to a 7 hour round trip to deliver your 8" 5" two tier wedding cake. No ma'am, I am sorry, I am not able to do your wedding cake."
I think she was a blonde. icon_wink.gif
post #11 of 12
Congratulations on your new business.

How did your area do? Did your power stay on? TV reports show some areas were fine, while others went under water or were hit by tornados.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Our area only had brisk wind.. rain.. a few outages here and there.. but overall.. just like a regular thunderstorm w/o the thunder! Easiest hurricane I ever had to deal with!.. .Katrina and Gustav were horrible... I was 8mths pregnant and flooded in .. the power was out for weeks.. THis was a walk in the park!
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