Here are some thoughts from longtime roofer and roofing executive J.R. Emrich, president of Reroof America Contractors LLC and Metro Roofing Co. Inc. in Edmond:
Q: Massive hail, widespread, again. Is it a freak of nature or the new normal?
A: “I believe the hailstorms in Oklahoma City over the past five years are more of an aberration than a trend. Looking back over my last 33 years as a roofing contractor in Oklahoma City, I would say we have averaged hailstorms with large, damaging hail about once every three years. There is a hailstorm somewhere in the state every year, however, in the last five years, Oklahoma City has had damaging hail four out of the last five years, in 2008, 2009, 2010 and now 2012.”
Q: Is it hard to stick to a business plan?
A: “Roofing business can be a roller coaster, up and down every year. Our business model is flexible. We can ramp up for a big storm quickly by bringing in salesmen and roofers from some of our other office locations,” Emrich said. “However, in a slow year we respond by cutting overhead and staff to smaller scale. Over the long term, we do plan for periodic hailstorms by keeping extra equipment, sales literature and office supplies on ready standby, as well as maintaining office and warehouse space large enough to handle a big storm at any time.”