In early November, most of Alterman's staff was still scattered, and he reports that "Every business has signs: Help Wanted. Help Wanted, Help Wanted."
Ross Olson, enterprise business continuity program manager for Best Buy, estimates that altogether, hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, probably impacted 30 to 40 stores. Also, the company's district distribution center in southern Florida was down for a week after Wilma.
Katrina alone affected 1,200 Best Buy employees, and the company established contact with all of them, thanks to a telephone hotline and a Web site, within 11 days. "The employees were quick to come back in Katrina if they could," Olson says. Employees displaced by the hurricanes were also guaranteed jobs at any Best Buy store in the country; about 50 took the company up on the offer.