M. Holland Co.'s office and staff in Puerto Rico are safe after Hurricane Maria hit the islands with 165 mph winds on Sept. 19.
Commercial Manager Tracy Coifman confirmed Sept. 20 that his staff and the company's site were OK, according to a blog post on the website of Northbrook, Ill.-based M. Holland. But the site and most of the island remained without electricity and drinkable water five days later.
M. Holland is trying to book flights to temporarily evacuate some of staff and their families, officials said. The firm has opened its office to staff and their families as well. As of Sept. 25, the office had limited electricity but still had air conditioning.
In the blog, Coifman talked about the how the island looked the morning after Maria.
"Devastation just jaw dropping. No leaves on trees on mountains. It will grow back greener and lusher within a year [but] still shocking to see.
"Roads are impassible in most areas."
"Amazingly, the new church … spared by two hurricanes."
With no leaves to provide shade, it has been "unbelievably hot," Coifman noted.
The company also is coordinating with staff to make sure they understand disaster recovery operations and how to follow up for help for their homes.
"I hope to reach as many staff as possible ... and explain FEMA process who this may be first Hurricane whose home has been damaged and FEMA eligible, in addition to conveying option to leave Puerto Rico until dust settles," Coifman wrote.
In 2016, M. Holland bought two San Juan-based resin businesses — Able International Corp. and Tril Export Corp. — from the Coifman family. Tracy Coifman's parents had founded Able in 1977 and Tril in 1988.
M. Holland ranks as one of North America's largest resin distributors, selling more than 1.4 billion pounds of resin per year from more than 20 material suppliers.