Snap looks back on the Queensland floods
It's hard to imagine having to start from scratch, but that is exactly what three Queensland Snap Centres were faced with after being flooded in January 2011.
Snap Milton, Rocklea and Sumner Park were devastated after high waters hit their Snap Centres, ruining most of their production equipment and stock.
While the three Centres were being repaired, print work was diverted through to unaffected Snap Centres throughout Brisbane. The Queensland hub was also damaged by flood waters, which meant there was no offset printing available, forcing Queensland Snap Centres to rely on the Sydney hub for a short time.
Over one year on from the floods, we have spoken with the three affected Snap Centres to reflect on their experiences, and to see how their Centres have progressed.
Snap Sumner Park had more than two metres of water flow through their Centre front and production area, causing all of their large digital production equipment, stock, finished goods and office equipment to be destroyed.
Doug Williams vividly recalls the initial shock of the mud throughout the Centre, and the huge clean-up effort by staff, family, friends, local business people and complete strangers who simply pitched in and helped on the day the water levels dropped.
It took six weeks to completely clean up the Sumner Park Centre, with Doug thankful for all the help received from so many people.
"I was so grateful to the clients who stuck by us, waiting until we were back on our feet," Doug said.
"The sense of community in the local area is still evident 12 months on. We were also so fortunate to be able to rely on our Snap network, as we could still continue to provide limited services to our clients even before our Snap Centre opened again."
Snap Rocklea had only been trading for three weeks under new owner Louise Dodd before the floods hit.
"Having recently bought the business and still not sure of what all the equipment actually did, I was on a fast learning curve when replacing everything as I quickly learnt its purpose and value", Louise said.
"You need to take from these experiences and we did learn a lot," she said. "Looking back, I now see the value of an evacuation plan and good staff communication and we have worked these into the way we run the business."
Louise added that her area was recently put on flood watch again and the evacuation plan was put into place.
"It worked very well despite the fact that no waters actually did come. The exercise was very valuable though and puts my mind at rest for future flood threats."
The water level at Snap Milton's single level Centre peaked at two metres. Aside from computers, which were removed when the water levels were still low, the rest of the Milton Snap Centre was destroyed.
Jack Tarry had to wait a tense four days for the flood waters to recede. It then took two days for Jack, along with his family, friends and former employees to perform the clean-up.
The Centre was then left open for weeks to completely dry out. While the Centre was under repair, all of the work was channelled through Jack's home office.
"We were pretty lucky because Snap looked after us provided office basics and sorted out insurance," Jack said.
"We wanted to be back as quickly as possible so we didn't bother to replace internal walls and we were back in by the second week of March which is pretty fast."
Jack said customers were overwhelmingly supportive and a year on, turnover has returned to normal.
The strong community spirit and Snap network was the driving force in bringing the Snap Centres back to a functioning level.