Sign & Digital Graphics

October '17

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6 • October 2017 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S __________________________________________ Publisher James "Ruggs" Kochevar – Executive Editor Ken Mergentime – Managing Editor Matt Dixon – Digital Content Editor Tony Kindelspire – __________________________________________ Art Director Linda Cranston Graphic Artist Iveth Gomez Multimedia Producer Andrew Bennett __________________________________________ Advertising Account Executives Erin Geddis – Diane Gilbert – Sara Siauw – Sales Support Dana Korman – __________________________________________ Contributors in this Issue: Mike Burke; Matt Charboneau; Maureen Damato; Vince DiCecco; Scott Franko; Ryan Fugler; Paula Aven Gladych; Charity Jackson; Bob Ponzini; Stephen Romaniello; Bill Schiffner; Andy Stonehouse; Shelley Widhalm; Rick Williams ___________________________________________ Vice President/Events Sue Hueg CEM, CMP – Show Sales Damon Cincotta – Exhibitor Services Antoinette Vernon – ____________________________________________ National Business Media, Inc. President & CEO Robert H. Wieber Jr. Vice President/Integrated Media John Bennett Vice President/Finance Kori Gonzales, CPA Vice President/Publishing and Markets Dave Pomeroy Vice President/Audience Lori Farstad Director of IT Wolf Butler B Y K E N M E R G E N T I M E The Long View A s this edition of Sign & Digital Graphics was heading into pro- duction, news broke about Harvey—the massive Category 4 hurricane that spun into the Gulf of Mexico and devastated southern Texas in late August. As I write this column the storm had already devastated Galveston and made landfall where it then dumped huge amounts of water, flooding the city of Houston and large swaths of southern Texas. The storm then moved East along the gulf coast toward southern Louisiana—bringing more rain with it. Our hearts go out to the thousands of people who have been flooded and dis- placed by the storm, who may have lost loved ones, lost their homes and belongings, and who now find themselves in need of shelter and medical attention. I know there are many sign and graphics shops in the affected areas, distributors and product manufacturers serving our industry. At press time we were not able to get responses from the Houston-based businesses we tried to contact. However, we learned that the Texas Sign Association has already set up a Hurricane Relief Fund portal (, aimed at helping industry members. One silver lining I've noticed with these kinds of natural disasters—they tend to bring people together. We instinctively want to help those who have been dealt a blow by nature—regardless of religion, political beliefs, ethnicity or social strata. Yes, FEMA responded amazingly well (lessons learned after Katrina), as did the National Guard and all first responders. And of course the American Red Cross is now there in force. But it's the caring actions of the local citizenry that really impresses me—people pulling together, neighbors helping neighbors faced with catastrophic loss. Local businesses have stepped up with contributions of food, water, clothing and shelter. Gallery Furniture, a large, Houston-based chain store, opened two of its locations to residents seeking shelter. The company made food, restrooms and beds (its in-store stock of mattresses, couches and sofas) available to storm victims. The furniture store also used its largest moving trucks to help rescue and transport peo- ple displaced by the floods. Local churches have also opened their doors to stranded citizens. Disaster experts say it will likely take years for the state to recover. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said that damage from Harvey would likely reach $150 to $180 billion dollars. Federal assistance will soon follow for the estimated 450,000 people in need. And now that the initial shock has passed, the slowly receding waters pres- ent more perils—seriously contaminated floodwaters, disease-carrying mosqui- tos breeding in standing water, the spread of infectious diseases in overcrowded shelters, toxic mold in flooded houses and buildings. It's a disaster with long-term effects that will be remembered for decades. And now, along comes hurricane Irma—threatening Florida and... But it's the pulling together that we need to remember most. That's what is most important. Be safe out there. Okay, back to work. When Disaster Strikes Got something to say? Join the S&DG Discussion Group at:

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