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It's oftentimes not easy to ask for help, even when you need it the most. But if you surround yourself with a great group of friends and partners, sometimes you don't even have to ask.
For Carl Mazzanti, president of eMazzanti, a Hoboken, N.J.-based solution provider, help was something he didn't think he would even need. And for several days after Hurricane Sandy swept through Hoboken, Mazzanti declined offers from several VARs to help through the recovery process.
As a proud businessman, eMazzanti had weathered many storms before. Mazzanti and his wife Jennifer Shine had opened the business just two weeks before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks of 2001.
"Even during Hurricane Irene, we responded very quickly. We got a communication out to customers. We had engineers on staff calling people to help with preparations and had people in the field with what we considered high-risk accounts. We had 100 percent of our customers up and running come Monday after the hurricane," Mazzanti told CRN in Sept. 2011. "I'm proud of what we've been able to accomplish.
eMazzanti's staff was doing the same thing as Sandy approached from the South, sucking up millions of gallons water from the Atlantic into her hurricane-force winds. As the storm hit land and continued inland, it deposited the water behind and left many coastal communities including Hoboken without power, heavily flooded or in ruins.
The VAR kept as normal a day as possible on Monday, Oct. 29, allowing some employees to work from home as the storm approached in the afternoon. About eight blocks away, the Mazzanti family rode out the storm in their home.
The following morning, Mazzanti walked to the office at 5 a.m. to survey the damage and get an assessment of what needed to be done.
"When I arrived and saw water significantly covering the floor in our office I moved to act quickly. But, more tragically all the blocks leading up to our office were totally underwater," Mazzanti said.
Meanwhile, several VARs from around the country had been calling and texting Mazzanti since the weekend, offering to fly in and help with whatever recovery was necessary. Mazzanti said no.
One of those VARs, John Motazedi, president of SNC Squared, Joplin, Mo., knew too well what Mazzanti might be facing. SNC Squared's headquarters was completely destroyed when a tornado tore through Joplin in May 2011. After that disaster, several VARs flew into Joplin to help and eMazzanti helped SNC get its email back within 90 minutes on its hosted platform. Motazedi was itching to return the favor.
"We were texting back and forth, and Tuesday it sounded like doom and gloom," Motazedi said. "There was two feet of water in the street, and it was pouring down like a river. A good portion of his clients were without power. [eMazzanti] was without power completely, and he was having problems getting in touch with engineers. And when he did, they couldn't get to New Jersey."