WILKESBORO, N.C. -- From a small room here, Lowe's employees are tracking Hurricane Sandy, the mountain snow and the condition of company stores in the storm zone.
"We always have to react to the changing conditions," said Rik Absher, the command center supervisor.
The nation's second-largest home improvement chain sent an extra 600 trucks to the Northeast full of supplies customers need to weather and recover from the massive storm.
"Water, sump pumps, extension cords, flashlights, batteries,” said Mike Winesette, who runs the command center program. “A lot of those emergency type items people are trying to get their hands on as quickly as possible."
Now, as the hurricane comes ashore, Lowe's can direct those items to the areas that need them most.
"Once the highways open up, we have the assessment in place, know which stores are impacted the most, we'll send those supplies right to them as quickly as possible," Winesette said.
The company runs this command center for all major storms. A hurricane and a snow storm at the same time creates a new challenge.
"Frankly this storm is much larger than what we've seen typically in the past," said Winesette.
And that's why the company is asking customers to be patient.
"We are trying our best to get you the product you need as soon as we can," Absher said.