Tornado forces rebuild, rethink

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Friday, August 21, 2020

HERMITAGE, Tenn. – Provider Kevin Brown was hit with a double whammy in early March, when a deadly tornado struck the Nashville area, just as the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold. 

Brown, one of the owners of All Star Medical Supply, which has two locations in Tennessee, was attending Medtrade Spring in Las Vegas when he got word that a Category 3 tornado had damaged the Hermitage location. 

“I had to come back to deal with the rebuild of a store and COVID,” he said.  

While the building, which All Star owns, was structurally sound, the roof was damaged and the interior was destroyed, with floors, windows and inventory all affected, says Brown. 

“We were lucky, the building behind us was destroyed,” he said. “(The tornado) sucked a lot of stuff off of ours.” 

Fortunately, All Star was able to funnel most of its business to its Franklin location, while it rebuilt the damaged location, which was on track to re-open in August. 

“I’m just excited about having air conditioning again,” Brown said. 

Brown said he was looking at the whole ordeal as an opportunity to refocus the business, including reducing the size of the showroom and slimming down the inventory. 

“We’re focused on bigger-ticket items,” he said. “We want to try to focus on home modifications, ramps. A lot of people are not sending mom or dad to a facility, so they moved them home and home mods ticked up for us.”