Charley Hammers Printers

ORLANDO, FL—Bob D’Angelo is one of the lucky ones, if you can call it that. The sales rep for Central Florida Press, part of the Quebecor World family, was starting his fifth day without electrical power. The good news, in the aftermath of Hurricane Charley—the worst storm to hit U.S. land in about a dozen years—was that power was to be restored as early as later in the day.

“I’m just doing a Cool Hand Luke…a lot of sweating,” D’Angelo jokes.

The storm, which lasted no longer than an hour in some parts of Florida, had its greatest effect on the west coast, where it ripped roofs off of buildings and tossed trailer homes around like empty soda cans. About 20 people had lost their lives at press time, and initial reports estimate damage to be in the $20 billion range.

Central Florida Press shut down at noon the day Charley struck, Friday August 13, and the company was left without power. No finished product was damaged, but the company took rapid action to ensure customer impacts were minimized by moving work to other facilities within the Quebecor World network and to other Printing Association of Florida (PAF) members.

Mike Streibig, president of the PAF affiliate of Printing Industries of America, spent a lot of time attempting to contact the 200 or so member printers in the affected areas and had been able to reach about 75 percent of them. He is eager to hear about the balance of printers, the 50 or so he has been unable to contact thus far. Communication, not surprisingly, is the biggest obstacle, with phone lines down and workers unable to get to their respective shops.

“Monday was very hectic for us—only a fourth of our staff was able to get into the office,” Streibig notes.

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