Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas late last month and caused substantial damage and devastation over the course of a few days, leaving hundreds of thousands fighting to save their flooded homes, flattened communities and waterlogged possessions.
The strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. in more than a decade, the storm killed more than 60 people, dumped more than 50 inches of rain and caused damages estimated as high as $180 billion. In the days since, floodwaters have receded and many large Texas employers, universities and transit services have reopened or began their services. However, a significant percentage of the Houston area’s 6.6 million residents remain unable go back to work as they deal with the aftermath of the storm.
Thankfully, a wealth of large-scale relief efforts are under way to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey, and AEM and its member companies were compelled to support those efforts in a number of ways:
- Kubota Corp. headquartered in Osaka, Japan, announced that it will donate $1 million in relief funds to include monetary contributions and Kubota equipment to several national and local charitable organizations to aid in the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The company is also committed to helping in the cleanup and restoration efforts by utilizing Kubota construction and tractor equipment where needed in the affected areas.
- The Caterpillar Foundation has donated $300,000 to the American Red Cross to aid in immediate relief efforts.
- With so many people in need, the actions of the John Deere community will continue to assist those who are impacted by disasters. Each year the John Deere Foundation provides $500,000 to the American Red Cross to help with disaster relief efforts for events such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. John Deere has been supporting the Red Cross for 100 years and has contributed more than $4.5 million to the annual disaster giving program since 2009. In addition, John Deere employees have already contributed more than $100,000 to the Red Cross and other organizations to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey, with the John Deere Foundation providing a match to employee contributions.
- Mahindra North America, its employees and dealer network are coming together to help with the relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of Harvey’s widespread impact on much of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana. As a group, donations are going to support the Greater Houston Community Foundation and the American Red Cross. These two organizations are directing funds to benefit the areas that were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Additional tractors and utility vehicles have been made available to dealers for immediate use in the rebuilding efforts in their communities. Equipment is immediately available to government entities, companies and customers to ease the burden of access to a larger fleet for clean-up efforts. The combined donation of cash, services and equipment will be $1.5 million in relief for the impacted cities and counties.
- Komatsu America Corp., a leading global heavy equipment manufacturer, announced Sept. 1, plans to provide a $250,000 cash donation to the American Red Cross, to support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Komatsu America will also match, dollar-for-dollar, all contributions made by Komatsu America Corp. (KAC) and subsidiary-company employees.
- Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas, Inc. is supporting Hurricane Harvey relief efforts through an immediate $50,000 corporate donation to the United Way of Greater Houston. The company is calling on its construction equipment and forklift dealers throughout North America to join in this fundraising effort before the end of the month.
- The John Deere Classic will donate up to $10,000 to Hurricane Harvey Flood Relief via the American Red Cross, tournament officials announced. The announcement came in support of the tournament’s 2017 champion, Bryson DeChambeau, who said he will donate $250 for every birdie and $500 for every eagle he records for the remainder of the FedExCup Playoffs.
- Utility One Source has put together supplies, cases of water and food to send down to its Houston company, Custom Truck & Equipment, for them to help distribute. Utility One Source’s Houston-area office, located in Channelview, Texas, was fortunate enough to not have flooding at its location. In addition to supplies, the company sent three boats and four amphibious vehicles to help aid in the relief efforts.
- Wacker-Neuson, Generac, Briggs & Stratton and Kohler produced generators to send to the Hurricane Harvey flood zone.
- New Standard Corporation will match donations -- dollar for dollar -- to the American Red Cross.
- From September 1 to 8, Bonfiglioli USA is collecting donations from employees for victims of Hurricane Harvey. Bonfiglioli USA will match 100% of all monetary donations received from employees and the funds will be donated to the Red Cross. At the same time, we are collecting donations of supplies such as non-perishable food items, personal care products, cleaning supplies, paper products, baby and infant supplies, first aid kits and more. All items collected will be given to Matthew 25: Ministries.
- In support of the communities and families affected by Hurricane Harvey, Manitou Americas has announced a $10,000 donation to the American Red Cross and is challenging their suppliers to match their donation through The Manitou Challenge donation campaign.
- Wagner Smith Equipment Co. issued a statement to those affected by Hurricane Harvey: "No doubt Hurricane Harvey has left a wake of damage and destruction. The hearts and prayers of every Wagner-Smith employee go out to those effected by this catastrophic storm. As you have teams assessing and preparing to assist in the repairs from the damages of Harvey, please remember that Wagner Smith Equipment stands ready on call 24/7 to help you using all our resources possible. We have a full team with decades of experience to help and our inventories and equipment are ready to ship on demand. As need arises, please do not hesitate to contact anyone on our team. The Wagner-Smith team genuinely appreciates all of the dangerous and hard work of each great lineman and the working crews perform; and pray for their safety each day as they work so hard to restore power and bring our lives back to order."
- AEM has donated $5,000 to the American Red Cross to assist with relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey. In addition, AEM-owned trade show, ICUEE – the Demo Expo, the leading trade-show and education event for utility professionals and construction contractors, has set up a link to make it easy for attendees to donate to the Houston Red Cross on its registration page - http://icuee.com/visit/register/.
This article will be continually updated as additional information comes in from AEM member companies. In addition, AEM acknowledges other members may be supporting the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, and that their contributions are not included here.