Relief efforts are in place at electrical distributors, manufacturers and reps across North America. These efforts include:
• Bill Elliott, president of Elliott Electric Supply, Nacogdoches, Texas, is urging his company’s employees to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. He is matching their donations to the American Red Cross. Several of the company’s individual locations are also looking at ways they can help.
• 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 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).
• 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 USFilter 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.
• 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. Hughes Supply is collecting emergency supplies at its headquarters on Church Street in Parramore to send to its coworkers in the disaster area.
• Phelps Dodge Corp., Phoenix, is donating $1 million to the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster response effort.