U.S. companies are preparing for hours and days of possible delays as Hurricane Ian bears down on the Florida coast.
Shipping giant Amazon has already paused operations at some facilities in the Tampa area and Orlando, on the other side of the state of Florida, as Ian barrels across the peninsula.
The hurricane hit southwestern Florida on Wednesday afternoon with a power just shy of Category 5 strength.
Richard Rocha, a spokesperson for Amazon, said, “We’re closely monitoring the path of Hurricane Ian and making adjustments to our operations in order to keep our employees and those delivering for us safe.”
Rocha said, “We’re in regular contact with our employees and delivery partners to ensure everyone is aware of any site closures or unsafe conditions and will continue to make adjustments as needed.”
With the quickly evolving weather situation, Amazon was not immediately willing to confirm which locations would be closed down for package processing, fulfillments, and shipments.
The industry publication American Shipper noted that manufacturing, agriculture, and distribution operations for various companies in Florida were all at risk of major interruptions as Hurricane Ian rapidly intensified across Florida.
Some major airports in Florida, including the strategically vital Orlando International, had totally halted operations as the storm hit.
FEMA began setting up "Logistical Staging" areas in areas around Florida to distribute food and water, and logistics operations appeared to be prioritizing those urgent needs.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued mandatory evacuation orders for a list of low-lying areas along Florida's coasts.