By Julia Boorstin

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Wal-Mart wasn't the only retailer who reopened swiftly. Here's how Home Depot's hurricane chief, Paul Raines, stays ahead of storms: •Know what to expect: Use forecasts of peak wind speeds to gauge when to close stores and what supplies to stock. •Sidestep: Have roofers and generators flank the storm's path; stores may be inaccessible from one side or the other. •Stock up early: Preload trucks at distribution centers and position trailers of merchandise at stores in the strike zone. •Send substitute staff: Local employees will be either evacuated or busy dealing with damage to their own homes.

-- Julia Boorstin