The Federal Supply Service worked Tuesday to procure 100 vehicles for the recovery effort, Bennett said. The agency notified its Burlington, N.J. depot to go on a 24-hour work schedule to meet agencies' needs for furniture, office supplies and all the business necessities agencies take for granted. In addition, FSS contacted banks to increase the credit card limits for federal employees on travel who were left stranded by the complete shutdown of domestic air travel. The GSA schedules, a series of pre-arranged contracts all agencies can use to buy specific products, were used heavily, Bennett said. In some cases, procurements were made in the morning and products were delivered the same day, Perry said.
FSS also sent protective firefighting clothing from Stockton, Calif., to aid rescuers. Bennett said inventory managers monitored their supply stockpiles by the hour to ensure that they weren't depleted.
Perry sees the outlines of improved service emerging from GSA's experience. "We were doing in three days what it usually takes three months to do," he said.