While it’s history, as far as national news is concerned, the August/September 2017 hurricane season and impacts are current issues in the areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The needs are still there; recovery will take months and even years.
Revered organizations are playing major roles in the relief and rebuilding, with support from our industry,
Veteran-led disaster response organization Team Rubicon’s heavy equipment cadre first arrived in southeast Texas on Sept. 14, and has continued operating throughout Texas and Florida in response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Since Hurricane Harvey made landfall, “Operation Hard Hustle” has deployed 768 volunteers to Texas in support of the ongoing relief efforts with debris removal, damage assessments, muck outs, expedient home repair and chainsaw operations. Strike teams on the ground have conducted more than 5,000 damage assessments and serviced 135 homes to date. It’s the most-severe natural disaster and largest response for the Team Rubicon heavy equipment group.
CASE Construction Equipment provided machines and on-site support personnel, and CASE dealerships also participated: Sonsray Machinery Inc. of California shipped compact track loaders in for the operation, and Michelin North America Inc. donated sets of its Tweel airless radial tires to outfit skid steers working in demolition applications.
“You can’t understand the devastation leveled by a hurricane until you’re standing at the point where the eye made landfall and see the damage. It disrupts basic services and infrastructure for weeks and potentially months,” said John Dotto, brand marketing manager with CASE, who was on the ground with Team Rubicon in Texas. “We’re inspired by the spirit and resiliency shown by Texans, and are committed to doing what we can in conjunction with Team Rubicon to start rebuilding the community.”
Team Rubicon, a nonprofit organization, unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. Its heavy equipment competency was created to train volunteers in the safe operation of equipment to support disaster response. CASE has provided ongoing equipment and training support since the beginning of the heavy equipment program in November 2015.
Deere & Company will make a $1 million cash donation to support Habitat Hammers Back, a long-term recovery initiative organized by Habitat for Humanity International to help repair and rebuild communities ravaged by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
The donation is another step in the response by Deere and its Foundation to the hurricane disasters, including:
An annual $500,000 contribution by the John Deere Foundation to the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program that helps the Red Cross pre-position supplies, secure shelters, maintain vehicles and train volunteers, so response can begin immediately.
Personal employee contributions of more than $100,000 to the Red Cross, local food banks, and other aid organizations – a total matched by the John Deere Foundation.
Deployment of heavy equipment by John Deere’s business divisions and dealers to help in the recovery efforts.