"Our goal is to keep our stores open as long as we can as long as it's safe to do so," says Mark Cooper, the retailer's senior director of emergency management. "We're in constant contact, identifying what merchandise that they may need to make sure our store shelves are stocked with things like batteries and water."
The command center brings together support staff from all aspects of the business, allowing the retailer to quickly respond to the storm and its aftermath.
"We know that we are extremely important to community resiliency after a disaster," Cooper says. "We want to bring those Walmarts back on line because it helps those communities come back online."
Nearly one hundred and fifty stores were already closed by Monday afternoon, and many more lie in the storm's path.
"What makes this so unique is just the size of the storm and the number of states being impacted," Cooper says.
The employees at those stores will also be affected, says Elizabeth Carr, manager of the Associate Relations Support Center. More than four hundred home office employees have volunteered to take calls during the storm.
"We are thinking that this will affect more than 900 stores and a quarter of a million associates," she says. "If they're needing food or help with clothing and different things like that we're all trying to give them that information."
Cooper says he's hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.
'We deal with this every year, so we're prepared, and ready to go no matter what the size," he says. "They're calling this the storm of the century, we'll see if that plays out."