On October 29, 2012, the Northeast region of the U.S. experienced one of the worst storms in history. Hurricane Sandy, a super-storm that wreaked havoc on the coastal sections of New York and New Jersey, left in her wake unthinkable and long-lasting devastation.
One of the first issues to contend with in New York as the storm pulled away from the area was how city officials would be able to handle the vast immediate emergency assistance needs of its residents. Plans were drawn up for the creation of one-stop restoration centers that could be used by people affected by the storm that were left without power, heat and shelter.
One of the main stumbling blocks in getting these restoration centers up and running quickly was that the city needed document management equipment that could print, fax, copy, scan and email in order to help process the huge volume of disaster-related information. Not only did the equipment have to be located, but even more difficult was the task of getting the needed equipment to the recovery centers since many city streets were damaged or flooded, power was out in most of the area, and the city was also facing an increasingly difficult fuel shortage.
When city officials contacted Xerox to supply the needed equipment, they still needed to find a way to get the equipment to the recovery center locations around the city. That’s where the dedicated team at GFD Courier stepped in. As a partner with the Xerox rental program, Gary Demsak, owner of GFD Courier, offered to take on the extremely difficult and dangerous task of getting the equipment to where it needed to go.
Nine multi-function Xerox systems were delivered by GFD to eight different sites around the city within days of the storm. GFDs’ team and drivers had to battle difficult transportation parameters, such as downed trees and wires, flooded roads, damaged buildings and structures, and the knowledge that incredibly low fuel supplies were a critical roadblock to getting deliveries completed. Despite all these hardships, however, the company was determined to do all it could to get the city’s recovery centers operational so that storm victims could get the assistance they needed as quickly as possible.
Thankfully, GFD was able to complete all deliveries and get the equipment without incident. One delivery made by GFD was in an area hit so hard by the storm that the equipment had to be delivered and in a parking lot. Within days, the recovery centers were up and running and were able to start helping residents get the emergency assistance they needed so they could begin to recover from the devastating storm.
“When Hurricane Sandy came to town, none of us were quite prepared for what she would inflict on us,” explained Gary Demsak, GFD’s owner. “But when we woke up on Tuesday morning and saw the devastation that had been left in her wake, I just knew that my company had to do whatever it could to help my neighbors and fellow New Yorkers get through the process of recovering and rebuilding. So, when I was contacted by Xerox about the need to transport and vital equipment at the city’s recovery centers, there was no question that I was going to do whatever possible to make that happen. I am proud of my team’s willingness to step up to handle such a difficult and critical task at a time when many were dealing with their own response to this storm. That dedication, determination and professionalism is a hallmark of our team and is one of the reasons why GFD has been serving residents of NY and NJ for over 30 years.”