"It seemed like every time we had any major storm, they lost power," said Brian Waugh, director of retail for Little General.
So far they have installed four generators in existing stores, and when new stores open they will install a generator.
"When you get customers that come into your store and you can't take care of them, that frustrates us greatly," Waugh said. "It was more of a panic mood, customers were looking for direction."
Waugh believes Little General Stores will be more prepared for business during the aftermath of severe weather but admits the derecho was a wake up call.
Janet Vineyard, president of West Virginia Oil Marketers and Grocers Association, sits down after every crisis to evaluate businesses' responses.
"Every time we go through some type of crisis we learn something," Vineyard said. "But this one was different than anything we've been through."
Derecho storms form rapidly, without much warning to allow businesses to prepare.
Many gas stations had gas during the derecho but the pumps wouldn't operate without electricity.
"The fact that we had fuel but couldn't get it out of the ground was the biggest problem," Vineyard said. "It certainly changed the way we do business."Reach Caitlin Cook at caitlin.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.