Last month’s historic outbreak of tornados in the Midwest and in the South should sound a call for disaster preparedness. You need to have a contingency plan in place in case the worst happens, whether following a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, fire, flooding, landslide, wildfire, winter storm or an untimely death of a key employee, owner or business partner. Planning ahead is essential for any and all of these types of disasters.

Sam Allman’s Art of Retail Management column covers What-If (Worst-Case) Scenario Planning, beginning on page 12. He discusses some of these topics and the importance of being prepared. The key to dealing with any crisis or disaster scenario is having a plan. All flooring retailers, distributors and manufacturers should practice these drills while hoping never to implement the plan.

Need help in preparing for disasters? Get more information about developing a communication plan, assembling an emergency supply kit, preparing a safe room and disaster planning from FEMA, A communication plan is vital when setting your plan into action. Other resources are available from your insurance agent or state agency. For California based businesses, the California Earthquake Authority offers preparedness materials,

Also this month, Commercial Possibilities columnist Dave Stafford discusses the critical element of becoming an expert when selling ceramic tile jobs, beginning on page 14. When he was first told by a customer that he needed to include a ceramic job as part of an overall installation, Stafford quickly learned the essentials, contacted key suppliers and found out how profitable ceramic tile can be to the bottom line when done correctly.

Focus on Resilient columnist Ray Thompson, Jr. answers some questions from the mailbag about installing resilient flooring over concrete slabs, beginning on page 20. Later this month, Ray will be presenting a free “Troubleshooting Installation over Concrete Subfloors” webinar, 2 p.m. EST on May 24. Go to http// sign up for the webinar sponsored by Custom Building Products, MP Global Products LLC and Wagner Electronics.

Additionally, our tile and stone editor Arpi Nalbandian presents a glimpse of the recently concluded Coverings show in Las Vegas. At the show, she saw manufacturers experimenting with their products’ colors, textures and even size. Check out her report on page 24.

2011 NFT Directory: Your Industry Information Source Online, in Print

No doubt about it – this month’sNational Floor Trends’2011 Trade Directory and Buying Guide, along with its online, fully searchable version, combines the industry’s most up-to-date information available with the immediacy of online updates.

The online edition is updated throughout the year – 365 days, 24/7 – and includes more manufacturer, distributor, sales agent, product, buying group, association/market, and cross-referenced technical training school listings. All the online section listings also include more robust data (the addition of branch offices and representatives in the manufacturer section, hotlinks) and offer additional listing enhancements like keyword search (for products or manufacturer listings) options, premium ranking and designation online, spec sheets, marketing messages, product photos, videos, and a request for proposal program.

Use the online version of the Trade Directory and Buying Guide ( while you’re on-site or in a client meeting to fill your information needs immediately.

Please contact me at if you would like to update your listing (with information such as a new distributor, new address, additional branch office, change in personnel, etc.) after you visit the online directory. Our password-protected system is very user friendly and allows all industry companies to update their listing information when changes are necessary.