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Mon Sept 10 2018 21:28:59

Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?

By: Ina Steiner

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Hurricane preparedness is more than stocking up on food and water. For online sellers, there's an extra layer involved, complicated further for those under evacuation orders.

It's very worrisome that in stories about the hurricane now bearing down on the East Coast, there are comparisons to Hurricane Katrina. Anyone who saw the devastation unfold along the Gulf Coast in 2005 knows to take Florence seriously.

TaxGirl's column in Forbes today offers some advice for people with regard to protecting important documents - and of course she starts off with a link to Ready.gov on the most essential steps to take.

Here's a tip from FEMA you might not think about: "Debit cards won't work during a power outage. Include extra money in your emergency kit."

If you run an ecommerce business in the Carolinas and Virginia, you're probably looking at ways to protect your inventory and figure out if you should shut down your online store and listings. Don't forget to also protect your files - TaxGirl's advice on uploading files to the cloud may apply.

Power outages are a fact of life after storms of great magnitude. I use Jackery products to recharge our devices when we don't have access to a plug; in the case of prolonged outages, Biolite offers a range of products to help you recharge batteries off the grid, though I haven't tried them myself.

Lissa McGrath wrote a guide for readers in 2005 after she survived Hurricane Dennis (a month before Katrina) when she was living in Florida. Here's a link - let us know if you have any other tips you'd like to share with your colleagues about preparing for the storm and recovering afterwards. Good luck, everyone!



Comments (15) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?   Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 11 05:19:55 2018

Don't be a moron. GET OUT.......SHUT THE STORE YOUR NOT SELLER ANYTHING ANYWAYS. Your family is more important than the few dollars Ebay is throwing to you. GET OUT.

If you are dumb enough to try to ride it out and something happens to you, then don't whine, you were told to get out. No one wins against mother nature.

Perminate Link for Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?   Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?

by: exdwh This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 11 07:06:14 2018

When Irma came through Florida last year, I packed large garbage bags with inventory and a piece of paper with my name/address. I had visions of our roof blowing off and the bags carried down the street. Our family stayed elsewhere. In the end, some trees fell down and we lost some shingles off an old roof.

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 11 07:39:55 2018


Forget about sales, put all your venues in vacation mode, pack up the car with your family and get out of the path of this storm,

everything is replaceable, people are not

Perminate Link for Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?   Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?

by: extremetm This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 11 09:25:58 2018

Sales would be the last thing on my mind. Family and safety are everything.

Besides, ebay will probably tell sellers they should have picked a hurricane free state to live in and give them a defect anyway.  

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by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 11 11:40:08 2018

Yes and this is advice that should be shouted from the rooftops.

Plan to be without internet and power for an extended period of time. Even after the storm passes you will still need to make arrangements to be able to ship orders or put your store on vacation.

For those that can get a generator even a small one or vehicle power inverter get one immediately at whatever price. If you have an apple device you may want to get a "direct connect" air print printer that can print from your device WITHOUT a network using only the internet from your phone (not just airprint it must have direct connect). Or find a setup that works. Once your local postoffice zipcode is up and running you are no longer getting protection from ebay even if your power is not restored! If you are depending on ebay to make a living if you have mobile print capabilities then you can even drive to power if necessary (have a full tank of gas!).



STOCK UP ON GAS AND SUPPLIES NOW. Do not wait! If you don't use the stuff keep it new in the box and return it if you don't use it, but have it on hand!

Perminate Link for Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?   Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 11 12:07:08 2018

Forget about ebay they don't care about you so why should you stress yourself over a few dollars. The carrot jumpers will have ulcers before this is over. THE REST OF YOU JUST GET THE HELL OUT BEFORE ITS TO LATE.

Perminate Link for Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?   Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?

by: ThisGuy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 11 13:16:38 2018

We, too, are in Florida and went through Hurricane Irma last year.

Although the best thing to do is pack up and get out, for those of you that never went through a hurricane, that is easier said than done.

For one, some people just don't have the finances or other resources to get out.  No money, no car, no family to stay with, etc.  In a situation like that it's best to contact local government, charity organization or a church to find transportation to a shelter.

Secondly, resources dry up QUICK during these warnings.  Last year, the full week before Irma hit Florida, hotels in Central Florida started to fill fast and gas stations started running out of gasoline.  We thought about running from the East to West Coast towards the middle of the week, but didn't know for certain the hurricane's path, nor were we certain we could find a hotel room or have enough gas.

Also, highways I-4 out of Orlando and I-95 that runs the East Coast were completely jam packed for miles with cars for days on end with panicked people running from South Florida.  This really hampered important resources getting to their destinations, like trucks carrying plywood, building materials, and gasoline.

Perminate Link for Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?   Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?

by: ThisGuy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 11 13:27:24 2018

Regarding your eBay business during a hurricane, it's best to just shut it down completely.

Put it on vacation mode for 4 weeks and block all purchases.  Make sure you put a note stating you're going through the hurricane and once you're safe, power is back up, and all is clear, your store will go back live.

Last year during Irma, our power was thankfully only down for 4 days, but some in the Central Florida area, even in Orlando, were down 1-2 weeks!  Sometimes it's best to plan for the worst, because even though eBay says their on your side, it's not worth trying to fight them.

God bless everyone and be safe!

Perminate Link for Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?   Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 11 21:42:48 2018

Message to those in the Bull's Eye ?   Well, what made the difference for ME back when Hurricane Alicia had HOUSTON/Galveston in it's cross-hairs was a Business Owner on the Galveston Island Seashore Paingint a FINAL sign on his soon to be destroyed business, "Beam Me Up, Scotty".
NO transporter Beam appeared around ME, but LEAVING in a PACKED Car right then got me well AHEAD of the last minute, Oh, you mean it's a REAL Hurricane? people who waited TOO long.

Perminate Link for Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?   Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 12 10:14:41 2018

This storm is an absolute monster, i would do whatever i could to run away from it, no other option


We once tried to keep selling thru a bad winter storm, which was nothing compared to this monster hurricane,

when the power went out, I thought maybe a couple of days at worst, it turned into 2 weeks no power , driving an hour away for shipping, items and fuel for the generator, was fun for a few days, but that didn't last too long, never again, next time it's vacation time,

Perminate Link for Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?   Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?

by: b86fiero This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 12 15:53:05 2018

In addition to all of the above:

Go to the Post Office and STOP your mail delivery.  The post office will hold all mail and packages until you pick them up.

Don't lose bills, purchased items, documents, magazines, etc by having them delivered to an empty home.  If you are prevented from returning home for any reason piles of mail are a welcome mat for thieves.  Not to mention a red flag for burglars looking to benefit from other's misfortune.  

Perminate Link for Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?   Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Sep 13 06:25:51 2018

Don't wait for Trump to throw you a roll of paper towels.  Get out.

Perminate Link for Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?   Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?

by: simerivergun This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 13 07:28:01 2018

Hello!  I went through Irma last year.  Please heed this advice.  
Put your store on vacation for 3 weeks.  After the storm you can quickly take your store off vacation.
When Irma was not as disastrous as news media stated, I put my store back online too quickly. Wait until all the electric lines are fixed, wait until your Internet is back up and running so you don't have to serve your listings at the Public Library and wait until the Post Office is up and running so you don't get defects on late shipments.
Go on Vacation!
Good Luck!  

Perminate Link for Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?   Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 13 10:11:29 2018

Ebay didn't give defects the way they do now back in 2005. Ebay itself was of no concern to me when I couldn't go home for a month after Katrina and people who purchased were nice and very understanding. Of course, I didn't sell anything that anyone was desperate to have. Some cancelled, some waited, you can't do that now so I didn't read whatever guide that is linked to but I can tell you if it was published in 2005 I would hope it has been updated for today.
Looks like this hurricane is a 2 today, I would still leave. I made the dreadful mistake of staying in the last "1" we had. It was horrible. I got to listen to people calling the radio station begging for someone to save them, from a 1!. You see FEMA was nice enough to put up a flood gate for them, predictably everyone who was on the wrong side of the gate had to be saved, some died, because instead of street flooding or a foot of water in your house, you got to die. Don't wait for the government to save you, they do far more harm then good. Don't let them try to protect you with their stupid ideas either. They don't care if you die or not, common sense is not an issue for FEMA and if you do not accept their death walls and building on piers you cannot get insurance for your community, they dragged it out and fought it as much as they could. Also, if you have a serious hurricane and you were silly enough to rebuild your house on piers as required by the government, you know what you go home to? Piers. Your house is gone and you are dead if you stayed in it. I don't know about you but I would rather have a flooded house than nothing at all.
Right now, I am listening to some government guy tell people that the government will keep them safe in that shelter. Sure they will. The government cannot keep you safe from Mother Nature, just in case you don't know that. The government should be giving out free sharpies and telling them to write their names and socials on their body so they can be identified later.
Good luck and LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY!

Perminate Link for Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?   Any Advice for Sellers Facing Hurricane Florence?

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 13 10:31:26 2018

STUFF can be replaced.
SAVE yourself, your family, your pets.
IF you come back to little loss, HELP others.
May God Bless You all.



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