When disaster strikes, Reddy Ice is prepared.
Ice is critical during a natural disaster because of its multiple uses. Packaged ice can store food and medicine, provide relief from heat or injuries, and offer hydration for people. Whether it’s keeping eggs cool on the grocery store shelf or insulin from spoiling, ice is an essential item that Reddy Ice works hard to make sure is accessible to those in need. And thanks to Reddy Ice’s International Packaged Ice Association (IPIA) certification, consumers and retailers know that our packaged ice is safe and pure.
Reddy Ice’s emergency management efforts are managed by the emergency operations team. These employees volunteer their time to participate in these efforts alongside their typical job responsibilities, with efforts ramping up during hurricane season and other natural disasters.
As soon as a storm begins to brew, the emergency operations team reaches out to those who will be central to providing ice during an emergency.
This includes responding to the surge in demand that typically occurs a few days before the storm as both retailers and consumers prepare. Reddy Ice reaches out to key retailers who may be impacted by the storm to help them prepare for demand to exceed normal distribution. Reddy Ice continues to monitor the storm and maintain communication to be prepared for any outcome.
If there is extensive damage and an urgent need for ice, Reddy Ice will partner with retailers to utilize their transportation means to have ice delivered to key points of distribution. It’s these kinds of third-party logistics that are a part of the emergency operations team’s responsibility.
Troy Johnson leads the emergency operations team and is Reddy Ice’s vice president of sales.
“We have people in the field on the operations side of our business that are working around the clock to keep our docks open so that people can get ice for the community,” Johnson says.
It was Hurricane Katrina, the Category 5 hurricane that hit in 2005, that caused Reddy Ice to centralize their emergency services to be better prepared for future catastrophes. So when Hurricane Ike hit Texas in 2008, Reddy Ice was primed to help.
“During Hurricane Ike, ice was considered such a valuable item for the entire state of Texas that we were actually in the bunker with other state officials,” Johnson says.
Now, the Reddy Ice team reaches out to state governments when a natural disaster seems imminent to verify that they can provide support. Reddy Ice has relations not only within the state, but also with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), the Salvation Army, and the American Red Cross.
For those who don’t have a standing arrangement with Reddy Ice when disaster strikes, they can still gain access to truckloads of ice. If a hospital has lost power and needs to keep emergency items cool, or a local municipality requires water and ice to keep volunteers hydrated, they can take advantage of the Emergency Ice Service Setup form. This form is available for those with a one-time, immediate request for assistance.
“It's really neat to see the collaborative efforts to make sure that we get ice into the impacted areas,” Johnson says. “At the end of the day, we have a devastating event that’s disrupted communities and we want to play our part to soften the challenges those folks go through.”