Increased Sourcing Reflects Hurricane Recovery Efforts


Hey @Thomasnet, what kind of impact has @hurricaneharvey had on recent sourcing activity?

Hey, I’m Shawn Fitzgerald, filling in for Tony Uphoff to bring you this week’s Thomas Index report.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, it’s no surprise we’re seeing substantial increases in the sourcing of products and services related to recovering from this disaster. While the trends I’ll talk about today are specific to the Houston area, our data is starting to show similar results in Florida after Hurricane Irma.

With so much damage to infrastructure and businesses in the area, sourcing trends in and around Houston changed drastically in the weeks following Harvey’s landfall, as the area looks to rebuild and recover.

Just to set a baseline, we looked at what our data showed within a 2,250-mile radius of Houston zip code 77001, for the two weeks prior to the storm’s landfall.

The top categories users were searching in during those two weeks pretty much include what you might expect from an area heavy in the oil and gas industry -- Machining… Metal Fabrication… Steel.. Pressure Vessels… Contract Manufacturing.

But when we take that two week data and compare it with the two weeks immediately following the storm, we get an idea of the sheer magnitude of what people and businesses are dealing with in the Houston area.

Sourcing for building materials such as Drywall… Plywood… Wall Panels… Doors… Hardwood Flooring… Concrete… Masonry and Stone was up anywhere from one-hundred- fifty to two-thousand percent in the two weeks following Harvey.

With so much infrastructure being compromised, we’re seeing sourcing spikes for such things as Two-Way Communication Systems, which was up over twenty-five-hundred percent. Diesel and Gas Generators were up eight hundred and five hundred percent, respectively. Our data showed an increase of over three hundred percent in sourcing for Uninterruptible Power Supplies, and a jump of over seventeen hundred percent in Transformers. We even saw a spike in sourcing for Hospital Beds that was over seven-thousand-percent.

Cleanup efforts contributed to an increase in sourcing for Pump Rental Services, which was up two hundred and fifty percent… Dehumidifiers were up twenty-four-hundred percent… and sourcing for Janitorial Equipment and Supplies was up forty-four-hundred percent.

Of course, sourcing for things like generators and building supplies following a hurricane doesn’t come as a real surprise, but looking at specific sourcing data like we have through the Thomas Index can help businesses and government agencies better prepare for future events.

At the end of the day, it’s all about people. Our thoughts are with all those affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

To that end, if you’re a supplier in a hurricane-affected area, and your facilities, machinery, or equipment have suffered from flooding or other damage, the Small Business Administration may be able to give you a low-interest disaster loan to help you get back up and running.

Visit to learn more.

Thanks for watching.

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