It’s been more than two months since Hurricane Sandy raged over the Atlantic Ocean, leaving tens of thousands homeless, families without loved ones and causing an estimated $63 billion in damage in the United States. The path to recovery will be a tough one, but luckily there’s help. Read on to see how organizations and companies in the utility construction industry are contributing to relief efforts and making a difference in the lives of those affected by the storm.
When the ARA Foundation board of trustees met in November at the American Rental Association (ARA) headquarters in Moline, Ill., it unanimously voted to donate a total of $6,000 — $3,000 each — to the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. These agencies are critical to the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts for residents in New York, New Jersey and the rest of the East Coast.
These agencies were chosen because “the trustees felt the immediate relief efforts of the American Red Cross and the longer-term assistance provided by the Salvation Army are vital to aiding residents impacted not only by the hurricane but also now the subsequent winter storm, or nor’easter,” said ARA Foundation Chairman Doron Broadfoot, President of The Rent-It Store in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
“The people in this region have suffered such devastating damage. We wanted to contribute to the relief efforts on a broad scale,” he added. “We know that rental companies, which have a great deal of equipment in the area, are supporting the efforts of cities and municipalities. As the philanthropic arm of the equipment rental industry, we wanted to broaden that reach because we know that the recovery and rebuilding will take a considerable period of time.”
Foundation Vice Chairman Catherine DeBusk, CERP, Vice President of Party People Rentals in Phoenix, agreed. “The current weather conditions will only complicate the recovery,” she said. “These agencies, as well as local organizations, are invaluable to the welfare of those living in the affected areas. We wanted to show our support for their efforts. A strong financial contribution to both the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army was our way of helping them assist those in need.”
This donation is just the latest disaster relief efforts offered by the ARA Foundation, noted Jenni Venema, ARA Foundation Director of Development. “Disaster relief and recovery efforts always have been a strong initiative of the ARA Foundation,” she said.
A signature piece of the ARA Foundation’s disaster relief and recovery efforts has been the creation of the Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Guide. “This publication, created in conjunction with ARA, the ARA Foundation, ARA Insurance and Rental Management, is offered as a free download to those in the equipment rental industry. It is full of practical information, including specific checklists, that can help rental operators prepare and plan for what to do in the event of a disaster,” Venema said.
The guide emphasizes the need for every rental operation to have a disaster preparedness document to help everyone in the business know what to do in case of a disaster. “As we have seen in this hurricane and other natural disasters, residents count on the rental businesses in their area to be there to supply generators, pumps and other equipment to get through these very challenging times,” said Broadfoot. “Rental is a service industry. But rental businesses need to know what to do to protect their own employees and their businesses so they can be there for their customers. The best way to do that is by having a disaster preparedness plan in place that everyone in the operation has been educated on and can enact.”
To download the Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Guide, go to www.ARAfoundation.com. For questions about disaster preparedness, contact Venema at 800.334.2177, ext. 236, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volvo Contributes $100,000 in Support of Relief Efforts
The Volvo Group has donated $50,000 to the American Red Cross, $25,000 to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and $25,000 to the City of Allentown, Pa.
“With several major facilities and thousands of employees in regions affected by the storm, we’re keenly aware of the lingering effects of this disaster,” said Dennis Slagle, Volvo Group Executive Vice President for Trucks Sales and Marketing Americas. “While the headlines are tapering off, the hard work of recovery is very much ongoing, and we want to do our part.”
The New York City donation will help meet immediate needs for food, water and supplies and support long-term relief and restoration projects. Allentown will use the donation to replace the severely damaged roof of the Mack South Fire Station. For more information, visit www.volvogroup.com.