October 7, 2022
TALLAHASSEE - Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) applauds Florida’s business community for recovery efforts made by Florida companies, both large and small, during the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, which devastated several counties across the state of Florida.
Below is a sample of some of the efforts that have been made by various businesses in Florida. This isn’t meant to be a complete list as there are dozens of companies that have contributed in different ways throughout this time.
Amazon has activated its Disaster Relief Hub, a special warehouse in Atlanta where the company prepositions over 1 million relief items most needed when a disaster strikes; loaded 10 trucks with over 360,000 bottles of water and strategically prepositioned the vehicles around Florida and in other southern U.S. states to quickly deliver clean water to impacted communities; and, reserved a parking lot at one of its Jacksonville, Florida, facilities to allow the American Red Cross to park up to 75 trailers to transport relief items as they’re needed. Amazon furthered their donations by sending 36 pallets of bottled water to Lee County Schools.
Amazon has coordinated with emergency responders throughout Florida in numerous ways, including the following, and we are coordinating with them again on further deployments of generous and needed resources throughout the state:
Anheuser-Busch has coordinated seven trucks – more than 360,000 cans – of emergency drinking water in response to Hurricane Ian.
AT&T is waiving talk, text, and data overage charges for AT&T Postpaid & PREPAID customers with billing addresses in 828 zip codes across Florida from September 28, 2022, through October 28, 2022, to keep customers connected.
Charter Communications opened Spectrum Out-of-Home WiFi access points in response to Hurricane Ian. Spectrum WiFi access points are typically found in public parks, marinas, city streets and other public areas. A map of access points is available at spectrum.com/internet/wifi-access-points.
Comcast NBCUniversal along with the Universal Orlando Foundation announced it will donate $2 million to support relief and recovery efforts in Florida following the catastrophic flooding and devastating effects of Hurricane Ian. The commitment includes $1 million in cash and in-kind contributions to the Florida Disaster Fund with the remainder distributed among the Comcast NBCUniversal Employee Assistance Fund, United Way, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, Team Rubicon, and American Red Cross.
View Comcast Press Release of October 3, 2022.
Three days after Hurricane Ian exited the state, @DukeEnergy FL wrapped up restoration. The company thanks our customers for their patience in the aftermath of the storm & appreciates the support of the 10,000 resources from across the country who rapidly responded to assist.
Florida Blue, the state’s Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, and its parent company GuideWell announced an initial $1 million donation to support relief and recovery efforts across the state of Florida to help communities impacted by the widespread destruction of Hurricane Ian.
“While we are only beginning to see a glimpse into the devastation left behind from this powerful hurricane, our hearts go out to everyone impacted along its path,” said Florida Blue and GuideWell President and CEO Pat Geraghty. “The communities that make up the fabric of our state are incredibly resilient, but many will need our support to recover and rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. The entire GuideWell and Florida Blue family, driven by our mission of helping people and communities achieve better health, stands ready to do our part.”
The $1 million in relief funds will be focused on areas of the state hardest hit by the storm, including southwest Florida. Donations will be provided to general funds of local, regional and statewide nonprofit organizations able to allocate funding where it is most needed once storm damage has been fully assessed. Florida Blue and GuideWell’s investments will be made with organizations such as the American Red Cross, local United Way affiliates and Volunteer Florida’s Disaster Fund.
Florida Power & Light
Having restored power to more than 2 million customers affected by Hurricane Ian, Florida Power & Light Company remains laser-focused on bringing power to remaining customers in Southwest Florida – ground zero for Hurricane Ian’s high-end Category 4 devastation, 150 mph winds, unprecedented storm surge and flooding. FPL has its entire workforce of 21,000 strong – including mutual assistance from 30 states – focused on the hardest-hit areas of Southwest Florida. The massive restoration effort is currently supported by 18 staging and parking sites strategically positioned for the rapid deployment of crews and equipment to help restore power faster. As is historically the case, the first few days of power restoration after Hurricane Ian resulted in large numbers of customers being restored quickly when FPL energized electrical substations and main power lines serving thousands of customers. In some of the hardest-hit areas, multiple specialized tree-trimming crews are needed to clear debris for every traditional line crew working to repair or, in some instances, rebuild infrastructure.
HCA Healthcare donated $1 million to Florida’s Hurricane Disaster Fund, an effort to help patients, colleagues and communities recover from the devastating impacts of Hurricane Ian.
Many employees with HCA were personally impacted by the hurricane, some suffering substantial or total loss of property. Despite that strife, employees within the system have continued providing services to meet patient needs.
HCA employs more than 77,000 across Florida, including 11,000 physicians.
“In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian and unfortunate disasters like it, we tend to see such extraordinary stories of people reaching out to make a difference in all of our local communities,” said HCA Healthcare West Florida Division President Ravi Chari.
“And by being there for our HCA Florida Healthcare family, our caregivers know that we are taking care of them and their families so they are able to show up and provide outstanding care and emotional support to our patients.”
Along with monetary support, HCA is working to meet employees’ needs so they can remain focused on patient care. The system activated its HCA Hope Fund to provide grants to employees affected by Hurricane Ian. As of Friday, the fund has provided assistance to nearly 50,000 employees with emergency funds totaling more than $83 million.
HCA is also providing assistance to staff at other hospitals and sites across impacted areas. That includes cash, free gas, access to showers, food, clothing and laundry services.
The system is paying 100% of employees’ base rates and is placing dozens of employees who have lost their homes in hotels.
HCA’s efforts began even before Hurricane Ian made landfall. The group’s Enterprise Emergency Operations Center, including a 200-person incident response team, coordinated hospital preparation and response activities with HCA’s West Florida Division’s Emergency Operations Center. The company pre-positioned emergency supplies, equipment and personnel to be ready to deploy quickly to Southwest and Central Florida and the Tampa Bay region, and emergency support teams were on the ground less than 12 hours after Ian’s landfall.
JM Family Enterprises
JM Family Enterprises made a generous donation to the Florida Disaster fund which was spearheaded by First Lady Casey DeSantis to assist in the rebuild after hurricane Ian.
Publix has delivered more than 700 truckloads of water equal to almost a million cases, delivered more than 3 million pounds of ice, and is storing double inventory volumes. Prior to closing stores impacted by the storm, Publix donated perishable products to local police, firefighters, and emergency response teams, and also ensured that associates that work nearby and prepare these stores for the storm received donated products for themselves and their families. Publix associates have diligently taken care of their customers, communities, and each other.
Five days and five nights after Hurricane Ian’s winds blew through the Tampa Bay area, Tampa Electric had restored power to essentially all customers who are able to receive it. About 3,000 line workers, tree trimmers and other personnel – from as far away as Oklahoma, Texas and Indiana – worked around the clock in 16-hour shifts to restore power quickly and safely to 295,000 customers.
Private-sector partner, Uber, is offering round-trip rides to and from Southwest Florida shelter locations in Orange, Brevard, Seminole, Volusia, and Osceola counties listed at. Riders can enter promotional code IANRELIEF in the app to redeem a free round-trip up to $30 each way. Rides must be requested to or from any state-approved evacuation shelter in Florida.
Verizon residential and small business customers in affected ZIP codes impacted by Hurricane Ian will have access to unlimited domestic Talk, Text & Data through October 4, 2022. Verizon Wireless’ crisis response team will also provide free communications support to public safety agencies responding to the hurricane, setting up portable cell sites, Wi-Fi hotspots, free charging stations and other services.
As stated, this is just a small sample of all the outpouring of support from corporate Florida in the wake of this disaster. We are proud of all the companies that have contributed and assisted the citizens affected by the storm. Their efforts, along with first responders, community leaders, local churches and support drives have gone a long way in making the lives of these Florida citizens better.
Known as “The Voice of Florida Business” in the Sunshine State, Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) has represented the principles of prosperity and free enterprise before the three branches of state government since 1920. A voluntary association of diversified businesses, AIF was created to foster an economic climate in Florida conducive to the growth, development, and welfare of industry and business and the people of the state.
For more information on AIF, please visit AIF.com and follow @VoiceofFLBiz.
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