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Hurricane Ian’s devastating landfall in Florida Wednesday afternoon marked the second significant storm to hit the U.S. and territories in less than two weeks. But as is usually the case when catastrophe strikes, manufacturers are already among those leading the charge to help the communities affected.

Manufacturers mobilize: In Puerto Rico, where approximately one-third of all residents remain without power following Hurricane Fiona Sept. 18, manufacturers including Dow, UPS, Coca-Cola, Ecolab and Toyota are funding product donations across the island through NAM partners Good360 and SBP.

What’s happening: These NAM partner organizations are providing on-the-ground updates and working to get products where they’re needed most. Items of greatest need include:

  • Solar-powered power generators;
  • Nonperishable foods and ready-to-eat meals;
  • Mold remediation products;
  • Oxygen tanks;
  • Hygiene kits and supplies;
  • Drinking water;
  • New clothing; and
  • School supplies.

Meanwhile, the work is just beginning in Florida to respond to Hurricane Ian, with anticipated items including drinking water, nonperishable foods, hygiene kits, tarps, blankets and mold remediation products.

NAM in action: The NAM’s Emergency Response Committee is an employee-led, volunteer group that works year-round with nonprofit partners, including Good360, SBP and Project HOPE, to provide NAM members with disaster-preparedness resources and training.

  • These resources, which include e-learning modules, fact sheets and webinars, enable manufacturers to support their employees ahead of, during and in the aftermath of disasters.
  • The NAM’s ERC also helps manufacturers activate to aid their communities when disaster strikes—and it works to identify and highlight members that are leading this critical work.

Be prepared: In a webinar sponsored by the NAM’s ERC, Amanda Gallina, SBP community engagement manager, and Matt Woodruff, vice president of public and government affairs for Texas-based tank barge operator Kirby Corporation, gave their suggestions for hurricane preparation.

For businesses: Woodruff provided some commonsense advice for employers:

  • Have a plan: Have a hurricane-preparedness plan and ensure that all employees understand it—before hurricane season starts.
  • Make a list: Create a checklist of tasks that must be done during the season, starting with the first day.
  • Set up: Create and offer remote work sites for affected communities and employees.
  • Support: Provide support to the families of employees who live in disaster-hit areas.

The last word: “The NAM stands ready to provide resources and support for its manufacturing members and the communities in which they operate in all conditions,” said NAM Director of Member and Board Relations Isabelle Powell.

  • “We urge members to contact their membership directors with questions on how to better prepare their team or support people in their communities.”

For more information on manufacturer disaster preparedness or to be added to the NAM’s ERC mailing list, please email [email protected].

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