When the ARA Foundation board of trustees met recently at the American Rental Association (ARA) headquarters in Moline, Ill., it unanimously voted to donate a total of $6,000 — $3,000 each — to the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. These agencies are critical to the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts for residents in New York, New Jersey and the rest of the East Coast.
These agencies were chosen because “the trustees felt the immediate relief efforts of the American Red Cross and the longer-term assistance provided by the Salvation Army are vital to aiding residents impacted not only by the hurricane but also now the subsequent winter storm, or nor’easter,” said ARA Foundation Chairman Doron Broadfoot, president of The Rent-It Store, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
“The people in this region have suffered such devastating damage. We wanted to contribute to the relief efforts on a broad scale. We know that rental companies, which have a great deal of equipment in the area, are supporting the efforts of cities and municipalities. As the philanthropic arm of the equipment rental industry, we wanted to broaden that reach because we know that the recovery and rebuilding will take a considerable period of time,” he added.
Foundation Vice Chairman Catherine DeBusk, vice president of Party People Rentals, Phoenix, added, “The current weather conditions will only complicate the recovery. These agencies, as well as local organizations, are invaluable to the welfare of those living in the affected areas. We wanted to show our support for their efforts. A strong financial contribution to both the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army was our way of helping them assist those in need.”
This donation is just the latest disaster relief efforts offered by the ARA Foundation, noted Jenni Venema, ARA Foundation director of development. “Disaster relief and recovery efforts always have been a strong initiative of the ARA Foundation,” she said.
A signature piece of the ARA Foundation’s disaster relief and recovery efforts has been the creation of the Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Guide.
“This publication, created in conjunction with ARA, the ARA Foundation, ARA Insurance and Rental Management, is offered as a free download to those in the equipment rental industry. It is full of practical information, including specific checklists, that can help rental operators prepare and plan for what to do in the event of a disaster,” Venema said.
The guide emphasizes the need for every rental operation to have a disaster preparedness document to help everyone in the business know what to do in case of a disaster.
“As we have seen in this hurricane and other natural disasters, residents count on the rental businesses in their area to be there to supply generators, pumps and other equipment to get through these very challenging times. Rental is a service industry. But rental businesses need to know what to do to protect their own employees and their businesses so they can be there for their customers. The best way to do that is by having a disaster preparedness plan in place that everyone in the operation has been educated on and can enact,” Broadfoot said.
To download the Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Guide, go to ARAfoundation.com. For questions about disaster preparedness or to schedule a disaster preparedness presentation for your state, local or provincial association meeting call 800/334-2177, ext. 236.