Superstorm Sandy Relief Efforts

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, NLC Corporate Partners have mobilized their resources, expertise and capabilities, to help the effected communities and their residents. They have given generously to relief organizations and their associates have logged thousands of volunteer hours to help the hardest hit. Others changed their business practice or enhanced service in order to lessen the burdens of recovery. Below are a few of the examples of how NLC Corporate Partners are making a difference and helping in the time of need.

In response to Superstorm Sandy, Black & Veatch has:
  • Made a $25,000 donation to the Red Cross from the Black & Veatch Building a World of Difference Foundation.
  • Mobilized staff from offices in the Northeast, who not only are doing their own building and system repairs but are donating hours to cities with which they work to help in the recovery effort. 
  • Prepared for the deployment of staff to respond to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency's request for assistance through Nationwide Infrastructure Support Technical Assistance Consultants. Current requests have included skilled electrical, mechanical and civil engineers, with the anticipated need for architects, environmental engineers and others. The company anticipates placements into 2013. 


Cigna and its employees committed more than $110,000 to the American Red Cross to aid in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, including an immediate $50,000 Cigna Foundation grant and a 1:1 special match of employee gifts.

Cigna extended a number of temporary policy changes to assist people in New Jersey and New York impacted by Hurricane Sandy, including:

  • Allowing its New Jersey and New York customers to refill prescriptions even if it would normally be too soon for a refill. 
  • Waiving all pre-certification, referral and hospital admission requirements. 
  • Paying claims for out-of-network services at in-network rates. 
  • Expanding its 24/7 telephone help line and online resources to provide assistance and support for all residents affected by the hurricane.

Like many businesses, Enterprise's own operations were also significantly impacted by the storm. At its peak, Sandy caused the company to close more than 400 of our branches along the Eastern seaboard and damaged nearly a thousand vehicles. In addition to bringing its own business back online, Enterprise has:
  • The Enterprise Holdings Foundation donated $1 million to the American Red Cross, with much of that donation targeted to the hardest-hit areas.
  • Provided hundreds of rental vehicles to FEMA, Department of Homeland Security, other federal agencies, as well as insurance companies and power company workers, to assist with the recovery.
  • Temporarily suspended "drop fees" for customers requesting one-way rentals.
  • Established fuel support for many of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car neighborhood locations/vehicles at our airports to accommodate rental customers' fueling needs. 
The Home Depot Foundation has made a commitment to donate $1 million to the immediate relief, recovery and long-term rebuilding efforts in the Northeast. The Foundation has provided the following financial support and donation of supplies:
  • $50,000 in gift cards and cash to Team Rubicon, the disaster relief organization that unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with medical professionals to rapidly deploy emergency response teams into crisis situations, to assist this existing Foundation partner with recovery efforts. 
  • $250,000 to the American Red Cross for immediate disaster relief supplies and activities. This donation is in addition to the Foundation's annual gift of $500,000 to the Red Cross' disaster giving program, bringing the company's total 2012 commitment to $750,000. 
  • 5,000 metal/garden/stone/bow rakes, 5,000 flat/transfer shovels, and 15,000 pairs of leather cowhide work gloves to the American Red Cross for cleanup activities in New York and New Jersey.
  • $150,000 to Operation Homefront's Emergency Relief Fund that provides food, clothing and temporary shelter to military service members and their dependents in in the affected areas.
  • $270,000 in supplies - five truckloads - to the States of New York and New Jersey for immediate clean-up and recovery, including buckets, shovels, trash bags, flashlights and batteries.
  • Nearly $100,000 in store donations to nonprofit organizations, including the Salvation Army, Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, Keep Islip Clean, Operation Hope and many other local organizations.

In addition, associates from The Home Depot will volunteer their time and talents through Team Depot, the company's associate-led volunteer force, to help with rebuilding initiatives. Team Depot is already hard at work in a couple of the hardest hit areas and will continue their volunteer efforts in the days to come.

IBWA member bottlers have worked in coordination with FEMA, the American Red Cross, and AmeriCares as well as state, county and municipal emergency management agencies to help supply clean and safe drinking water to hurricane victims in New Jersey, New York and other areas affected in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

  • One member has supplied over 1,000 truckloads of bottled water to affected areas in new Jersey and New York.
  • Another member company has provided retailers and FEMA over 40 million bottles of water to those affected.
  • Through AmeriCares, bottled water has been distributed to the Salvation Army for Nassau County, the Food Bank for New York City and Vermont food banks.
  • Working through the Convoy of Hope, IBWA members have deployed a rapid response team to Long Beach, New York, distribution facility.
  • Another member company has also provided more than 4,000 cases of bottled water for utility, telephone, and power crews working to restore service along the Northeast corridor.
  • Bottled water plants from Indiana to North Carolina to Florida to Texas also ramped up production to meet the increased demand.
At Safeguard Properties' annual National Property Preservation conference held shortly after the storm, the company partnered with the Mortgage Bankers Association and designated the proceeds from an annual raffle to benefit the recovery effort. Approximately $4,000 was donated through the raffle and matched by a $10,000 contribution by Safeguard to assist a national non-profit.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and weeks after, Southwest Airlines stepped up to help with the relief effort. The company:
  • Donated $1 million to the American Red Cross Sandy relief effort.
  • Expanded its charitable online portal and expedited the review and approval process by activating a special online code that allowed non-profits to request airfare support related to the disaster.
  • Provided complimentary travel to rotate 200 relief workers/volunteers in and out of New York and New Jersey, working in tandem with the Corporation for National and Community Service, the designated federal agency that works with FEMA to deploy volunteers.
  • Also provided complimentary travel to 40 New Orleans firefighters to New York who have coordinated with the United Firefighters of New York, the Tunnel to Towers Organization, and the New York City Firefighters Brotherhood to help aide the relief efforts in Staten Island.
  • Partnered with SeaWorld to relocate 60 orphaned animals from the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. Dogs and cats from Long Island and Delaware County were flown across the country on a Southwest Airlines chartered flight to Rancho Santa Fe, California. The animal relocation was critical to make room for additional pets displaced by the storm.
  • UnitedHealthcare, with its partner Optum, donated $1 million to support relief efforts for New York and New Jersey communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The donation supported state government-led relief efforts in both states, including the New Jersey Relief Fund established by Governor Chris Christie and his wife Mary Pat Christie, as well as Governor Andrew Cuomo's relief efforts in New York. 
  • The company had previously launched an internal drive encouraging its 100,000 employees to donate to the American Red Cross relief fund for Hurricane Sandy and has pledged to match all employee donations through the end of November. 
  • In some of the hardest hit communities, registered nurses and licensed social workers from UnitedHealth Group's various businesses have been volunteering their time at area shelters to support people's health care needs.
To support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts:
  • Verizon and Verizon Wireless customers and the Verizon Foundation pledged more than $3.7 million to the American Red Cross and other organizations aiding in Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. In addition, Verizon employees have donated nearly $500,000 to the American Red Cross and Salvation Army through the Verizon Foundation's matching gifts program; the foundation matched those donations two-for-one.
  • Verizon's emergency fleet of vehicles and self-contained emergency inflatable air shelters assisted local government, public-safety and emergency management agencies at locations in Brooklyn, Long Beach, Queens and Staten Island in New York, and Hazlet, Hoboken and Ortley Beach in New Jersey. These mobile stations provided organizations with communications, Internet and video capabilities in particularly hard-hit areas where such services were not available.
  • Verizon worked closely with fuel suppliers and federal, state and local government officials to secure the fuel essential to keep generators and service vehicles running so Internet access and voice and data communications can continue to flow.
  • Verizon Wireless stores in the affected region offered charging stations to people who needed to charge their wireless devices. Several Verizon Wireless mobile stores-on-wheels moved into the hard-hit New Jersey and New York areas to provide charging services.
As part of its ongoing commitment to corporate social responsibility, Visa is supporting humanitarian efforts in the following ways:
  • Visa donated $300,000 to the American Red Cross 
  • Matched two-to-one the contributions made by employees to the American Red Cross

In addition, Visa waived interchange fees on U.S. domestic transactions through the end of November for a select group of U.S.-based charities providing support to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Eligible charities include: American Red Cross, AmeriCares, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children and World Vision.

To assist those in need after Hurricane Sandy, the tour bus for the Walgreens Way to Well Health Tour with National Urban League offered cell phone charging station and distributed needed supplies, including blankets, hand warmers, bottled water, first aid kits, paper products, and food, to residents in the hard-hit communities of Brooklyn and Long Beach, New York and Jersey City, New Jersey.
Wal-Mart disaster relief efforts include:
  • Facilitating response to numerous requests from several government officials in the impacted areas, such as Mayor Booker in Newark, Governor Christie of NJ and Mayor Bloomberg in NYC. Those requests have ranged from transporting generators to schools and to delivering over truckloads of food, household items and one million bottles of water throughout the Northeast. 
  • Donating products to the American Red Cross to support disaster shelter operations, including such essential items as water, food, personal care products, diapers and blankets. 
  • Pledging a donation of up to $1.8 million to Wal-Mart disaster relief partners - the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and Feeding America - to help with relief efforts in the hardest hit areas. 
  • Partnering with a number of suppliers to lend an extra hand to the areas that need our support. For example, Wal-Mart stores and their associates partnered with Johnsonville to served hot meals for those affected by or responding to the devastation and mass power outages of Hurricane Sandy. 
  • Additionally, Sam's Clubs in the Northeast are also offering cell phone recharging stations and temporarily waiving membership fees to those areas affected by the storm.
In response to the devastation of Superstorm Sandy, Wells Fargo:
  • Donated $1 million to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, including $250,000 for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and $750,000 to support nonprofits conducting grassroots relief and recovery efforts in affected areas. 
  • During a two week period post-Sandy, Wells Fargo customers donated more than $1 million to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund at Wells Fargo ATMs across the U.S.

To further aid customers impacted by the hurricane, Wells Fargo expanded its mobile deposit service beyond New York, Connecticut and Virginia to include customers in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. The company also waived the fees it normally charges its customers in the affected areas for using another bank's ATMs. In addition, Wells Fargo allowed customers with time accounts (CDs) to withdraw funds from these accounts without incurring an early withdrawal penalty and waived late fees on credit cards, certain small business and consumer loans, including auto and student loans in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

Prior, during and following Hurricane Sandy, Weston Solutions has been providing U.S. Postal Service with:
  • GIS Hurricane Event mapping covering anticipated wind, storm surge, rainfall and flooding levels that would impact facilities.
  • Standby generator technician crews and set up/startup/operation of large emergency generators for powering up mail processing plants.
  • Emergency fueling of generators and delivery of 80 small generators and light stands for local Post Offices that were out of power. 
  • Damage assessments and re-assessment upon cleanup of damaged buildings.
  • Warming center for employees.
  • Clearing of down trees and debris from postal property.

In addition, Weston also had approximately 100 people deployed as part of an U.S. Environmental Protections Agency Region II START Contract. START is an emergency response contracting vehicle that is used by EPA in emergencies that conducts damage assessments and clean up.

The NLC Corporate Partners Program was established to promote the exchange of ideas between corporate leaders and the leaders of America's cities in order to strengthen local government, encourage economic competitiveness and promote corporate civic engagement.  A core principle for participation is a demonstrated track record as a good corporate citizen.