By Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — They’re a favorite of flashlights, so after Hurricane Sandy, it’s not easy to find ‘D’ batteries in hardware stores. It’s the same story with other sizes and supplies people need to make it through a power outage:
(Automated phone system:) “Transferring to lighting and electrical. Please hold.”
It’s the chunkiest of common cells, but Ds had no problem finding a date to dance with Sandy:
(Hardware store employee:) “No D batteries at all.”
(Hardware store employee:) “To be honest with you, I don’t think they’ll come in until early next week.”
Not all flashlights run on D, of course, and Duracell global communications director Win Sakdinan says there was a giant effort to put plenty of all kinds on shelves before the storm.
“It’s all about preparation,” he says. “You should never be in a situation where you’re waiting for a store to stock up on batteries.”
Now, he says, they’re working to get more in stores.
“Shoppers are saying, ‘hey, we need some batteries.’ From there, we go into a reactive mode,” says Sakdinan. “We have a Duracell Command Center, which is staffed with multi-functional experts — people who work in supply-chain management, logistics, demand planning, and they help work with each of our retail partners to stock batteries as quickly as possible.”
Lou Muth at Do It Best Hardware in Wayne just got a shipment:
“The hurricane of August a year ago — the first thing that went out of here were D batteries and 6V batteries,” Muth says. “I’m learning my lesson to load up on D batteries, and we did.”