A tremendous outpouring of support throughout the electrical industry continues to flow into the Gulf Coast. Electrical Wholesaling will continue to publish information on these relief efforts. To submit information on your company’s donation program, foundation or relief efforts, please contact Jim Lucy, Chief Editor, Electrical Wholesaling at (913) 967-1743 or by e-mail at [email protected]
Along with asking its 103,000 employees in 100 countries to contribute to the company’s relief efforts, all of ABB’s power equipment manufacturing facilities are working around the clock, seven days a week to supply the utilities impacted by the storm with transformers and other electrical equipment needed to restore electricity to New Orleans and the other communities that lost power as a result of the storm.
The ABB North America Hurricane Katrina Task Force has established a special toll-free phone number exclusively for customers dealing with the storm’s aftermath. ABB customers should call 1-877-511-4222.
Acuity Brands, Atlanta, and its employees have established programs to provide over $250,000 of assistance to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Acuity Brands Lighting donated the use of an idle 160,000-square-foot facility in the metropolitan Atlanta area to serve as a relief services “mega-center” for dozens of organizations providing relief to victims of Hurricane Katrina, including the United Way, American Red Cross, Goodwill Industries, Traveler’s Aid, and various other federal, state, and DeKalb County agencies and departments. The facility is helping people to register children in local schools, locate long-term housing, forward mail, receive food, clothing, and financial assistance and find other needed relief services under one roof. During its first week of operation, the facility helped almost 5,000 families including placing 2,250 families in long-term housing.
Acuity Brands Lighting quickly responded to FEMA’s request for emergency lighting for a temporary housing site near New Orleans and shipped and installed 200 Lithonia Dusk-to-Dawn lighting fixtures.
At its annual meeting in Dallas in September, distributor and supplier members of Affiliated Distributors, King of Prussia, Pa., donated more than $38,000 in gift cards and checks for families that were living in Texas shelters and needed to rebuild their lives.
A fund has been set up to help Michael de la Houssaye, son of Jean Paul, principal, C&D Agency, Covington, La., afford replacement housing after losing his home in Hurricane Katrina.
Donations can be sent to: The Michael de la Houssaye Family Hurricane Relief Fund, C&D Agency, 70447 Riverside Drive, Covington, LA 70433. You can reach the agency by phone at (985) 892-7913 or by fax at (985) 893-7012. The e-mail is [email protected]
In an e-mail to friends in the industry who asked how they could help, Jean Paul de la Houssaye said, “I know from personal observation that my son’s family of five is in need. Their rental house suffered severe damage during Hurricane Katrina and they are now homeless. Most of their belongings were damaged and what was not, is now in storage. They are living with friends in Baton Rouge while looking for suitable replacement housing in the Covington area.”
With rent costs skyrocketing in the New Orleans area because of a shortage of livable housing, de la Houssaye and his wife want to lease a house that would only cost them several hundred dollars more a month than what they were paying for their previous rental house.
CLS, Hartford, is offering employees fully paid, two-week leave of absence to all eligible employees (those who meet Red Cross screening requirements) who volunteer to complete the necessary training become a Red Cross Disaster Services Human Resources (DSHR) volunteer and serve a two-week assignment in the disaster area. To date, 15 CLS employees have applied for the DSHR effort. The Red Cross expects to be involved in disaster relief in the area for many months. In addition, CLS is collecting employee donations to the American Red Cross’ Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief fund and will match all employee donations on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
CED, Westlake Village, Calif., has established a fund to assist employees in need. Contributions may be sent to: CED, Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund, 31356 Via Colinas #107, Westlake Village, Calif., 91362-6799.
Cooper Power Systems, Waukesha, Wis., increased production of all transformers to meet anticipated high demand associated with the Hurricane Katrina rebuild in the Gulf region.
Crescent Electric Supply Co., East Dubuque, Ill., is matching up to the first $100,000 donated to the American Red Cross - Hurricane Relief through Crescent Electric Supply Co. Checks can be made out too the “American Red Cross - Hurricane Relief” and sent to: John Miller, c/o Crescent Electric Supply Co., PO Box 500, East Dubuque, Ill. 61025-4420.
Eaton Electrical, Pittsburgh, has mobilized a dedicated team to support regional customers and partners affected by Hurricane Katrina. The Katrina Response Team located in Eaton’s customer care center has a team of employees that includes application engineers, project engineers, take-off and quotation engineers and project coordinators. They will handle technical and application questions, provide design/build assistance and focus on order entry, expediting, order status, shipping, logistics and emergency after-hour support. The team can also be reached via e-mail at [email protected]
Elliott Electric Supply, Nacogdoches, Texas, is matching employees’ donations to the American Red Cross. Several of the company’s individual locations are also looking at ways they can help.
In response to Hurricane Katrina, Federal Pacific, Bristol Va., shipped five truckloads of switchgear and transformers to the Gulf Coast region in five days.
FCI-Burndy, Manchester, N.H., matched employee donations to the American Red Cross, up to an additional contribution by the company of $10,000.
Teams from GE’s Lighting, GE Electrical Distribution, and GE Motors operations have been working together to establish 24/7 customer support and emergency response teams, coordinate customer communication, extend payment terms for distributors in FEMA-declared disaster areas, release damaged equipment safety warnings and help distributors bring in inventory to support relief efforts. In addition, at GE Consumer & Industrial’s appliances plant in Decatur, Ala., employees are working overtime to produce 35,000 16-cubic-foot refrigerators that FEMA has ordered for its onsite trailers. Federal relief authorities have also asked GE to provide medical devices, power generation equipment, and water purification systems. GE has already donated over $6 million to the Red Cross. GE employees donated approximately $1 million, which the GE Foundation matched at 100 percent. The company also donated $10 million in equipment and services.
Hughes Supply Inc., Orlando, has donated $25,000 to The Red Cross and $25,000 to The Salvation Army for disaster relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The company has pledged an additional $70,000 in emergency supplies, which will be delivered via Hughes trucks. In addition, the executive leadership of Hughes Supply has contributed $21,500 to the Hughes Supply Family Fund, designed to assist employees in urgent distress. The money will match employee contributions to the fund.
Since the early days of the recovery efforts, the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), St. Louis. has had a Web blog at www.naed.org to update its members on the situation in the Gulf Coast.
The National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association (NEMRA), Tarrytown, N.Y., is asking for financial assistance to build a fund that will be used to assist NEMRA members impacted by the storm and its aftermath. The association’s goal is to establish a fund that can be used to provide loans to assist members as they take care of immediate needs, and recover and rebuild their businesses. The loans would be interest free for an extended period of time and then after that time a nominal interest may be affixed to the loan. In addition, NEMRA is taking several steps to assist NEMRA members in the affected areas. The association will make a section available on its Web site where messages can be posted to and from NEMRA members in the affected areas. Also, to enable communication, e-mail individual addresses and services are available to NEMRA members who have lost computer services and internet service providers (at no charge).
O.K. Electric Supply, Perth Amboy, N.J., and several major electrical manufacturers helped the City of Perth Amboy prepare temporary housing for 100 homeless Katrina evacuees. Through the Perth Amboy Gulf Coast Families Relief Fund, the city renovated a former public housing complex that was slated for demolition to make way for a new $100 million high school. The high school project had been put on hold in July, when the New Jersey School Construction Corp., which was providing funding, announced there was no money left in its budget to pay for the project. Since the buildings were scheduled to be demolished, lighting fixtures, wiring devices and smoke and C02 detectors had all been stripped out of the building.
O.K. Electric Supply was able to deliver over four truckloads of material to the jobsite in just two days. Westinghouse Lighting had over 300 light fixtures on a truck and delivered the next day. Cooper Wiring Devices and Lightolier also rushed material to O.K. Electric Supply. O.K. Electric Supply and their manufacturers provided over $25,000 in product at no charge to the city or the evacuees.
Phelps Dodge Corp., Phoenix, is donating $1 million to the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster response effort.
Royal Philips Electronics, parent of Philips Lighting, Somerset, N.J. is donating more than $1 million in cash and products to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. An allocation of $750,000 in products from the company’s Lighting, Medical Systems, Domestic Appliances and Personal Care and Consumer Electronics divisions will be directed to the rebuilding of the healthcare infrastructure in New Orleans. In addition, Philips will match donations to the Red Cross — dollar-for-dollar — from its 18,000 U.S. employees. As of Sept. 16, U.S. employees had donated $219,238.
Rexel USA, Dallas, has established a fund to assist its employees in need. Several of the company’s branches were seriously damaged in the storms, and employees were living in some of the areas of the Gulf Coast that got hit worst. Donations can be sent to the Rexel Employee Relief Fund: Rexel Inc., Attention: Leslie Bell-Finch, 6606 LBJ Freeway, Suite 200, Dallas, Texas, 75240.
Schneider North America, Palatine, Ill., pledged $1 million to support Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida’s Broward and Miami-Dade counties. In addition, the Square D Foundation will match donations to these efforts from its employees in the United States.
Siemens Energy & Automation, Alpharetta, Ga., announced initial deployment of critical infrastructure equipment needed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The company is sending power generators to hospitals in Houston and Louisiana and telecommunications equipment to emergency centers and key hubs. Siemens is preparing to send US Filter water treatment equipment to the Gulf Coast areas and heart monitors and imaging equipment to Houston area hospitals. In addition, the company has announced a 100 percent matching donation program for its 70,000 U.S. employees.
Donations will be made to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Siemens has more than 2,500 employees in the affected areas. The company initiated a hotline for affected employees to call in if they need housing, supplies, clothing and other essentials. In addition, Siemens is working with the Red Cross and FEMA to determine what other products, services and manpower is needed to assist with the relief efforts.
Summit Electric Supply, Albuquerque, N.M., is working to provide immediate assistance where possible as well as looking toward rebuilding its communities in the near future. Summit will be stocking up on specific items people may need, such as flashlights, power cords, and other items and will serve customers from its Louisiana locations. Summit’s Broussard and Gonzales, La., service centers were spared the destruction of the storm’s force and are intact. Summit is also making a donation to the American Red Cross, and encourages others to do the same. Summit’s Gulf Coast customers may contact the company’s Broussard, Gonzales or Houston, service centers for supplies, assistance and service.
W.W. Grainger, Lake Forest, Ill., has pledged more than $1 million in cash and emergency supplies such as tarps, gloves, flashlights and batteries to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to help communities and businesses recover following the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. The company also is encouraging its employees to contribute to the recovery efforts by providing a four-to-one match of employee gifts to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Grainger has teams working to get emergency supplies where they are needed most and teams traveling to the affected area to serve customers out of the local branches. Other employees in Denver and Chicago are participating in the American Red Cross’ Ready When the Time Comes volunteer program to help answer calls from people in the affected communities and guide them to assistance.
The WESCO International Charitable Foundation has been set up to accumulate contributions and distribute relief assistance directly to WESCO employees. Checks should be made payable to “WESCO International Charitable Foundation” and in the memo section at the bottom of your check please write, “Hurricane Relief.” Mail checks to: WESCO Distribution, Inc., 225 W. Station Square Drive, Suite 700, Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1122. For information on the WESCO International Charitable Foundation, check out http://wescodist.com