Just three days after the tornado tore through Joplin, Mo., Fabick CAT?was again open for business.
The devastation left behind by the tornado that tore through Joplin, Mo., on May 23 is almost too hard to put into any sort of perspective. More than 500 businesses and thousands of homes were destroyed or heavily damage. Vast areas of the town were virtually leveled in the tornado’s path that stretched for 13 miles long and three-quarter’s of a mile wide.
More than 140 people lost their lives in what the National Weather Service has called the deadliest tornado in 61 years.
While the town of Joplin may have been reeling from the incredible destruction, Fabick CAT almost immediately began the process of helping Joplin get back on its feet.
“This is the most devastation, we hope, ever to witness,” said Fabick CAT General Manager Mike Pospischil. “We are very grateful through it all — although two of our employees lost their homes — that none of our employees or their families lost their lives.”
The Fabick CAT facility in Joplin was one of the many businesses to be leveled by the tornado. To put the force of the tornado in some perspective, in addition to the building being destroyed Fabick CAT found one of its trucks had been thrown across the street.
Despite the destruction, the 25 Fabick CAT Joplin employees quickly set about the task of getting some version of their facility up, running and open for business.
As soon as an area was cleared on Fabick CAT’s Joplin facility site, the company CAT started the process of bringing in mobilized storage containers filled with racking containing many of the items and equipment one would have found in the store.
Just three days after the tornado hit, Fabick CAT had a makeshift version of its Joplin store available to help customers with rentals and parts.
While Fabick CAT was able to consider itself “open for business,” its primary focus was simple — working as a partner in Joplin’s recovery.
That isn’t limited to employees of the Joplin store. Fabick CAT has been sending technicians and employees from other locations to lend a hand. Fabick CAT President Douglas Fabick spent two weeks at the Joplin site, pitching in as well.
“There is a lot of compassion in this company,” said Pospischil. “There isn’t a question about that.”
By June 10, Fabick CAT will have a 96 by 131 ft. temporary structure for rentals, service and sales and a 24 by 60 ft. temporary office in place.
“We are in business today — renting equipment, providing parts and service. We are leaning on our company’s vast resources from all areas to support our customers,” said Pospischil.
“Fabick, who has a tradition of product support excellence for the last 90 years in Caterpillar products, will rebuild a larger and better-equipped facility, in the words of our founder, John A. Fabick, ’To Ever Serve Our Customers Better.’”
“In Joplin, as is our mission in all parts of our territory, we will continue to strive together to be the indispensable resource in our customer’s decision-making process.”
John Fabick Sr. founded the Fabick Company in 1917. Today, Fabick CAT has more than 600 employees including members of the Fabick family’s third, fourth, and fifth generations, working together under the active leadership of the founder’s great-grandson, Douglas Fabick, president, and his father, Harry Fabick, Chairman of the Board.
Fabick CAT has 13 locations in Missouri and Illinois.