Global Fastener News

2012 FIN – Fastener Companies Back to Work After Super Storm Sandy

February 28
00:00 2014

November 19, 2012 FIN – Fastener companies were disrupted by Hurricane Sandy, but returned to business within days.
The fastener industry lost one retired industry veteran – Joseph W. Godleski, 69, was killed on October 30, 2012, in Hackensack, NJ, when his car became stranded in floodwaters and was swept away (see obituary below).
“Tuesday we were basically ‘out of business’,” Ed Werner described the situation at EZ Sockets of Springfield, NJ. “No power, no heat, no phones, no Internet, no computers.”
By Wednesday Werner had two generators in operation to get back the use of phones, computers, Internet, lights and office operations.
Werner said he got 30% of the warehouse powered up, which would allow shipping, receiving and packaging.
“We were almost back to some semblance of normalcy but with wires all over the floors coming from the generators outside,” Werner said.
“Most employees don’t have power on their streets and some have trees down on their streets preventing them from driving to work,” Werner reported.
Werner feels personally lucky. “No damage to our building or my houses. Many, many, many others were not so lucky.”
Even cell phone service was limited, Werner said.
Power was restored to EZ Sockets on November 5.
By mid-November, EZ Sockets was “back to normal at home and at work.  All employees are present and accounted for,” Werner reported.  “Now we want the normal business volume to be restored.”
Getting gasoline for the generators or cars is a chore,” Werner told FIN.

• By Friday Steve Cellary reported “Ford Fasteners is up and running as of this morning.”
Wednesday he emailed that the Hackensack, NJ-based fastener manufacturer had no power.
• Pat Lang told FIN that Kanebridge Corp. escaped major damage. “For the most part we were very lucky compared to the devastation around us. We had no physical damage to the warehouse. Most of the office staff works from home and being scattered about between NJ, NY, PA and CA, we were able to remain in operation throughout the storm. We worked with a limited staff because so many were without power, but we were able to take orders and ship our customer’s orders from our Illinois and California warehouses.”
“By Wednesday we were shipping out of New Jersey although UPS picked up much earlier than usual and by Thursday the UPS pickups were back to normal,” Lang noted. “The majority of our employees had their power back by the weekend, but there are a few who are still in the dark and these past few nights have been extremely cold!”

• Both Star Stainless and Yellow Woods were in the path of the hurricane.
Bruce Wheeler said that after Sunday conversations with Star’s New Jersey manager, Bill Fivehouse, both locations were closed in anticipation of the storm.
“Monday afternoon the storm began showing its powerful forces and by late afternoon we had lost all power to the building along with our surrounding neighbors in the industrial park,” Wheeler reported.
“Some years back we installed a backup generator that runs on natural gas to carry our computer network in case of a catastrophe. The generator kicked on and began supplying the power needed for our computers. The mainframe in Jersey carries all 13 Star locations along with Yellow Woods.”
But after 48 hours, “we began wondering how long would the generator would run for,” Wheeler said. “Was it designed to run 24 hours a day? Our generator turned out to be a hero, it did not let us down. It supported Star and the fastener industry for five continuous days running 24 hours a day. After all she had done for us, we decided to give the generator a name, we now call her Jenny.”
Star has a second mirrored mainframe in Chicago that would have carried all locations, Wheeler pointed out.
Star’s phones were re-routed to Chicago where the employees performed double-duty.
“None of our employees were injured,” Wheeler remarked. “This has been a trying ordeal for many of our people. Still, as of today we have employees with no power or heat in their homes. One sales person said it was cold enough in her house when she got up this morning, that she could see her breath. Another warehouse employee had his car totaled when a tree fell on top of it. When you see the devastation that this storm has created, Star and its employees were very fortunate to come through this catastrophe without loss of life our major injury.”
Storm damage limited pickups and deliveries and finding trailers to replenish stock at branches is a challenge. enough trailers in a timely manner to replenish stock at our branches. Wheeler is glad Star carries enough inventory “to get through a disruption like we are facing due to this storm.”
Star’s New Jersey manager still has no power at his house and for the last nine days has been living out of his motor home parked in his driveway. Well it’s snowing now and his RV is about to run out of propane, so he told me he was going to try and find a hotel with power for tonight.
“Since we have power at Star’s warehouse, I suggested he should just go back to work and spend the night at Star where there is water and heat,” Wheeler said.

• “For the most part we were spared the severe problems they had in the coastal areas,” Fastar CEO Doug Thonus said. “Our area had thousands of trees down, roads blocked and power was out at Fastar for two days.”
His own home was out for six days.
Faster, a master distributor of pins, is located in Tallman, NY, 30 miles northwest of New York City. The Fastar location was selected for access to Metropolitan New York, New Jersey, New England.
“The gas situation was not pretty either,” Thonas added in reference to long lines and rationing.
Fortunately for Fastar, “business returned to normal very fast.”

• Bryan Byrne of National Machinery was thankful to report “not much of a story.” There was no physical damage and “we only lost power for a couple days,” Byrne told FIN.
• “Guidon Corporation was extremely lucky during the storm,” Jack McGough said.  “We closed on Monday October 29th in preparation for the storm.  Employees were notified not to come into work on Tuesday until management was able to determine that we are safe and power was on.  Every employee showed up to work.  No one suffered any damage and power was on in everyone’s homes.”
Guidon is 15 minutes east of Philadelphia and “we did not suffer the devastation that other’s suffered in the state and region,” McGough observed.

• Other fastener companies used social media to inform employees and customers.
On Monday Brighton Best issued a “BBI Service Alert” that both New Jersey locations “are closed because of Hurricane Sandy today. To all those on the East Coast – be safe.”
• By November 6, Würth announced that the “power has been restored in our Ramsey, NJ, offices and our Northeast Distribution Center is fully operational and back to normal. We’d like to thank all of you for your support and our thoughts are with those of you who are still dealing with the effects of Hurricane Sandy.” ©2012/2014 Fastener Industry News.
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Obituary:  Joseph W. Godleski
The fastener industry did lose one retired. Industry veteran Joseph W. Godleski, 69, was killed on October 30, 2012, in Hackensack, NJ.
Authorities said Godleski’s car became stranded in floodwaters and he was “carried off by the current when he tried to leave the car,” the Record reports.
“Joe was a long time member of the fastener industry before he retired,” Pat Lang of Kanebridge Corp. told “He worked for several old fastener companies, including Bell Fasteners when they were Paramus, NJ, Afcom, and for 10 years he ran a division of New York Fasteners in Winter Springs, FL. “After returning to New Jersey, Joe worked for Accurate Precision Fasteners in Englewood before retiring.
His wife, Barbara Godleski, works for BE Aerospace.
Godleski was a brother-in-law to Kanebridge sales rep Michele Sinisi. For more information click on Obituaries at

Rosie the Riveter Rescued

MEDIA SPOTLIGHT – When the West Virginia National Guard was dispatched to help an elderly woman whose home had lost power in a blinding snow storm caused by Hurricane Sandy, they responded.

Navigating deep snow in a Humvee, soldiers transported Maggie Selman of Craigsville, WV, and her dog, Ginger, to shelters to ride out the storm.
But unknown to the National Guard unit on duty, the soldiers were rescuing a bit of history, according to DVIDS.
Under the headline “W.Va. National Guard members rescue a Rosie the Riveter after Sandy,” Sgt. Sara Yoke, a member of the Army’s 153rd Public Affairs Detachment, reports how the people at Selman’s Red Cross shelter learned about Selman’s involvement in U.S. history.
As Selman moved around the shelter with her walker, she told stories revealing her to be a “true Rosie the Riveter, a woman who helped in the war efforts while the majority of working-age men were gone during World War II.”
When her husband went to Europe in the middle of World War II, Selman left her home in West Virginia to build fighting planes for almost two years in Akron, OH.
“I went to work for Goodyear Aircraft. I was a jack of all trades. They trained me to be able to do anything they needed me to do including using a bucking hammer, an overhead drill, fastening rivets. I worked in the paint shop. I could do it all. While my husband was fighting the war, I was helping to make things to fight the war. I used my hands because my heart wasn’t there, he was in Europe.”
Selman said women are just now getting the credit they deserve for their efforts during World War II.
Now that power has been restored, Selman has been returned home, along with her dog.
“Neighbors helping neighbors – a silver lining in this whole mess of a storm,” said Air Guard Master Sgt. Jason Young with the CERFP medical team. “People in West Virginia know each other. We know the hardships. We can’t help but help each other.”??Editor’s Note: Articles in Media Spotlight are excerpts from publications or broadcasts, which show the industry what the public is reading or hearing about fasteners and fastener companies. ©2012/2014 Fastener Industry News.
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