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 CHICAGO, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Thanks to Chicago-based Grainger, hundreds of businesses and industries hurt by the disastrous Midwest flooding will be able to jump-start their recoveries. A leading nationwide distributor of industrial and commercial equipment, Grainger rushes supplies to branches in affected areas as soon as a disaster is expected.
 In fact, during seasons when storms and flooding are normal, Grainger stocks its branches with supplemental inventories of generators, pumps, tarpaulins, batteries, flashlights and similar emergency supplies in preparation for meeting customer needs. So, Grainger is generally among the first companies that people turn to for emergency equipment before and after a disaster.
 For weeks Grainger branches have been able to help area hospitals, essential government agencies, commercial businesses and agencies like the Red Cross serve victims of the floods without interruption. Since the flooding began, Grainger has rushed in more than 30 additional trailer loads of emergency and cleanup equipment. These carried some 20,000 batteries, 5,000 small pumps, 500 rain suits and boots, about a thousand gas power pumps and several hundred shop vacs.
 Following an emergency preparedness plan based on experience with recovery operations during past natural disasters like hurricanes Hugo and Andrew, Grainger acted swiftly in moving tons of materials long before most areas were struck by flood waters. Grainger employees from Chicago and other areas -- many of them veterans of the Hugo and Andrew emergency operations -- rushed to the area to keep materials flowing to various businesses and agencies.
 In Davenport, Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Topeka, Lenexa, Kansas City, and St. Louis, Mo., branches have offered special services and extended hours since the flooding began. When there are special needs, branches stay open as long as needed to serve customer needs. Inventories have remained high enough to answer most product demand.
 Mike Murray, spokesperson for the emergency plan, says that Grainger's training of local managers enables them to move in and take over any part of an emergency operation. "We carry almost 47,000 items," he notes, "and we know that thousands of them will be needed for the three phases of disaster service.
 "The first phase is the emergency phase, which requires power generators, pumps, flashlights, tarps and similar items. Gasoline cans are an important commodity and we have shipped thousands to the area.
 "The clean-up phase, which we are now entering, calls for boots, pressure washers, work gloves, mops and brooms and other cleaning equipment.
 "The area will then enter the repair and rebuilding phase, and we've already begun to ship in gas-power generators, air compressors, power nailers and saws, power drills and all kinds of hand tools."
 Murray says Grainger will be helping to provide equipment and technical support for months to come, but fast response is how Grainger always conducts business.
 "Our business was built on handling emergencies, working around the clock if necessary. A disaster like a flood or hurricane is a lot of individual emergencies at the same time."
 Grainger is a division of W.W. Grainger, Inc., a business-to- business distributor founded in 1927. The company distributes nearly 47,000 name brand products -- equipment, parts, components and supplies -- to commercial, industrial, institutional and contractor customers via 337 branches throughout the 50 states and Puerto Rico.
 -0- 8/4/93
 /CONTACT: Bill Fondren, in Chicago, 708-913-7203 or Gary Carter, regional branch operations manager, in Midwest, 314-569-2227 or Max Mielecki, vice president-advertising (emergencies), 708-825-7432 (home) or 614-463-5035 (weekend), all of Grainger; or Tom Masloski, 708-831-1136, or Dave Jacobson, 708-577-9144, both for Grainger/

CO: W.W. Grainger, Inc. ST: Illinois IN: SU:

WB -- NY081 -- 9513 08/04/93 16:13 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 4, 1993

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