Apple’s retail operations team is in high gear with the imminent arrival of Hurricane Sandy, closing down some stores in five states and the District of Columbia, while preparing for disruptions as far north as Canada. At least 35 stores are within the landfall prediction zone defined by the National Weather Service, and another 15 stores are just outside the zone, particularly New York City and the region north. New York City stores were closed and dark on Sunday evening, and sandbags were being stacked outside storefronts. The underground Fifth Avenue (NYC) store staff took further precautions for its underground retail space, cleverly wrapping all the display table products with white plastic, Apple draw-string shopping bags to provide water protection. The Upper West Side (NYC) store also has a below-grade retail floor, and its storefront has been surrounded with sandbags. Other stores in Maryland, Pennsylvania and DC have received similar protection against rising water, a particular threat to the stores’ maple wood display tables, and the floor-located electrical outlets. As of Sunday night, the storm prediction zone extends beyond the Canadian border, including several Toronto region Apple stores. Several stores closed early on Sunday to begin store preparations, but also to give employees time to protect their homes and families. The incoming storm is reminiscent of preparations ahead of Hurricane Irene in August 2011. That storm caused damage to an extensive stretch of the east coast, but caused even more damage inland long after landfall.
To view an interactive storm map on your own computer, download (kml) the last-issued Google Earth file of the three-day prediction zone (5 a.m. EDT October 30) and Apple store locations. If you have Google Earth installed on your Mac, double-click the file to open it and display the interactive map.
The map below depicts the three-day prediction zone as of 10 p.m. EDT on October 28, 2012, about 24 hours before Sandy’s landfall.
View Hurricane Sandy & Apple Stores in a larger map