Why Flood Detection is Necessary For Liquor Retailers and Warehouses

Alcohol and spirits distributors and retailers deal with high-value cargo on a regular basis. Wine, beer and liquor require very specific storage conditions… and if those conditions are altered, the product can be rendered useless.

This is why it’s extremely important for liquor distributors to have environmental monitoring equipment in their warehouses and/or stores. Process and environmental monitoring is crucial for maximum protection of sensitive materials. For example, some fine wines need to be stored at specific temperatures and prolonged exposure to the wrong temperature can ruin the wine. Or, if a warehouse were to flood and make the labels on bottles illegible, that too could ruin the product.

Why Flood Detection is Necessary For Liquor Retailers and Warehouses

In order to give liquor distributors and retailers more context into the situation, we have analyzed real-world examples of damage caused by flooding below.

Sandy Devastates New Jersey Liquor Distributor, Causes Liquor Drought

According to The New York Post, in 2012 the floodwaters from Super Storm Sandy devastated Fedway Associates Inc.’s Kearny-based liquor warehouse. Fedway Associates, one of New Jersey’s top liquor distributors, suffered millions of dollars worth of damage due to the floodwaters. The destruction left many in the New Jersey area drink-less as Fedway is the state’s executive distributor of Cristal and Svedka vodka.

Now, obviously Super Storm Sandy is a very extreme example of water damage, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to be learned from the situation. A storm doesn’t have to be severe in order to do damage. The facts are that warehouses near the shore in New Jersey are always vulnerable to water damage, and when it comes to warnings, every second matters. This is why we recommend installing flood detection technology in your warehouse that can alert you to flood levels immediately, giving you the opportunity to take action before it’s too late. In fact, in this specific case, Fedway decided to leave their national security provider after Sandy and hire Supreme to protect their inventory. Because of Supreme’s familiarity with the New Jersey area, the move simply made sense.

“We had significant issues during Sandy when it flooded,” Fedway’s Special Projects Manager David Kengere said. “Unfortunately, ______, (a well-known national security provider) wasn’t being very helpful at all.”

Since switching to Supreme, Fedway has experienced much better service. “The one thing I really like with Supreme is the fact that I signed up for the text messaging. So, every time the building is opened or closes, I get a text and I really like that.”

New York City Wine Cellar Floods, Many Bottles of Expensive Wine Ruined

Winecare, a high-security New York City wine cellar that stored, cataloged and cared for over 27,000 cases of wine in the basement of a Manhattan warehouse, also suffered severe damage from Super Storm Sandy. The cellar was just 100 yards from the Hudson River and when Sandy struck, the water came rushing into the basement. Centuries old bottles of wine were destroyed, and according to Decanter.com, a New York court judge ordered the wine storage facility to be liquidated under Chapter 7 of US bankruptcy law, following a legal petition filed against the firm by several of its 380 customers.

The flooding clearly devastated Winecare, and although they marketed themselves as a high-security storage facility, they were still vulnerable to flooding. This just goes to show how important it is to be alerted to flood conditions as early as possible. Sure, some of the damage was likely impossible to prevent, but if they were properly prepared, they could have likely avoided bankruptcy.

Missouri Liquor Store Ruined in Flood Waters

According to WMC Action News 5, a flash flood in July of 2015 devastated Fairmount Liquors in Independence, Missouri as they had to throw out large amounts of alcohol and inventory after the municipal health department ordered them to do so. This is something that’s important to keep in mind for liquor retailers. Fairmount Liquors’ owner, Thelma Jordan, told Action 5 News that “the health department just came by and said ‘you have to throw it all away, even the stuff that wasn’t touched by the flood waters.’”

Again, this is why it’s so crucial to be alerted as soon as flood waters are detected, if you can get the product off the shelves and into storage before real damage occurs, you could save your business large amounts of money. As we saw with Fairmount Liquors, even if the inventory isn’t physically damaged, you could still be required to get rid of it due to health concerns.

Supreme can help ensure that critical operations run smoothly at your building and enable off-site and after-hours monitoring. Supreme’s security solutions can be a lifesaver in times of emergency and can also help you increase operational efficiency and control costs.


Contact us to learn more about warehouse solutions.