Hurricane Ian rebuild causing building supply shortage

Reporter: Taylor Wirtz Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
Building supplies. (Credit: WINK News)

People are working around the clock to rebuild the things lost during Hurricane Ian. One of the main things people are waiting for is supplies. Items like drywall and adhesive products are hard to find.

Hurricane Ian did not discriminate. It wiped out homes big and small. Now, the people of Southwest Florida are looking to rebuild, but the building supply industry feels the effects like everybody else.

Building supplies. (Credit: WINK News)

“You also have to understand that 30 days ago, everybody was operating their businesses for this type of volume. In our case, without going into specific details, within the last 30 days, we saw a 40% increase from our normal,” said Barry Garwood, branch manager for Beacon Building Products. “Our supply chain material is available, but we have to put it in the system. So does everybody else in the entire west coast of Florida. And so there’s an immediate demand.”

Some suppliers said they’re seeing shortages of drywall, some types of reflective insulation,
and anything with latex, including paint, adhesive, glue, and tape.

Building supplies. (Credit: WINK News)

Garwood says he has seen some of this, but he also says we’re still better off than we were during the pandemic shortages.

“I don’t think it’s anything close to where we were two years ago, two and a half years ago with supply chain, and how that really, really got extended in every situation. This is more of, we got three weeks to re-invent our businesses. From a supply standpoint,” said Garwood. “It’s more of that than a manufacturing problem or supply chain problem. It’s just an increase in volume. It’s so quick and so fast, that everybody kind of has to readjust”

Garwood’s advice to anyone looking to rebuild is to have patience. “This is not a gloom and despair situation. It’s just, give us some time to rebuild it, give us some time to put it together, we’ll get there pretty quick. And then we’ll all be good. And we’ll be able to, you know, meet the needs of our community,” Garwood said.

Garwood also said that material manufacturers understand there’s a greater need down right now, and they do a good job of increasing product allocation to places that need it most.

He says the supplies are available, but it might take longer for them to get here.

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