Katrina Relief Effort Under Way
Industry swiftly steps up to plate for employees, citizens
Published in CSP Daily News
OAK BROOK, Ill. -- Major oil companies and other firms have rapidly begun relief efforts in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast.
ExxonMobil, Chevron, CITGO, BP, Hess and others in the petroleum industry, as well as companies in the convenience store and related industries, have already contributed millions of dollars and additional resources to help in the affected area, a key zone for petroleum exploration, production, refining and transportation, as well as retailing.
Exxon Mobil Corp., Irving, Texas, said earlier this week that it was contributing $2 million to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to assist relief efforts arising from Katrina. Thursday, it committed an additional $5 million in direct contributions, bringing total contributions to more than $7 million.
The Disaster Relief Fund provides food, shelter, counseling and other assistance to the victims of this disaster and thousands of other disasters across the country each year.
This immediate assistance will support relief efforts in the most impacted areas. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those impacted by this and with the survivors as they begin putting their lives back in order, said Lee Raymond, chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil.
ExxonMobil, its affiliates and its joint venture, Chalmette Refining, have created an assistance line for employees who have been displaced from their homes due to the hurricane: (877) 294-8617. They are encouraging their employees to call this hotline so the companies can get a better understanding of employees' status, primary needs and concerns so as to provide resources for assistance.
Chevron Corp., San Ramon, Calif., said it is making a commitment of $5 million to support recovery efforts in the communities affected by Katrina. This includes a $3 million contribution to the American Red Cross in support of disaster relief efforts in Louisiana, Mississippi and other affected areas following further analysis of the devastation. The remaining $2 million will go to local charities and relief efforts near Chevron businesses in affected states, as determined by the company.
Our thoughts and prayers are with our employees and the communities affected by this disaster, said Dave O'Reilly, chairman and CEO of Chevron. We are pleased to partner with the American Red Cross to provide aid and we will be evaluating opportunities to expand relief efforts near our businesses as we learn more about local needs.
Chevron is asking that any affected employees in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the panhandle of Florida call the company at (800) 334-3963 to let the company know of their current situations.
Securing the health and well-being of our employees is our first and highest priority, said Peter Robertson, vice chairman of Chevron. We are taking every available means to reach our employees in the impacted areas, all of which are experiencing communications challenges due to the storm.
Chevron said it has about 3,000 employees in the hardest-hit areas. Earlier, the company reported that it had successfully evacuated all of its offshore employees and contractors from its facilities in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
Houston-based CITGO Petroleum Corp. has pledged a $1 million donation towards Katrina relief efforts, the company's president and CEO Flix Rodrguez said.
Our hearts go out to the victims of this terrible tragedy and CITGO stands prepared to offer its assistance, Rodrguez said. The funds will be directed to appropriate relief organizations in the affected areas.
He added that this donation had the full support of the company's parent organization, Venezuelan state oil corporation Petrleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), as well as Venezuelan President Hugo Chvez.
BP in Houston announced that the BP Foundation has donated $1 million to the Red Cross and will also match the contributions of BP employees to the disaster relief effort. The BP Foundation donation will be dedicated as follows: $500,000 for Louisiana, $250,000 for Mississippi, $100,000 for Alabama and $150,000 at the discretion of the American Red Cross.
The company will also conduct an employee appeal inviting BP employees in the United States to assist the Red Cross in responding to the hurricane. The BP Foundation will match employee contributions on a one-to-one basis.
Amerada Hess Corp., New York, said it is contributing $1 million to the Red Cross to assist the disaster relief efforts resulting from Katrina. Also, the company will match individual employee donations to the American Red Cross for its use in responding to this tragedy.
John Hess, chairman and CEO, said, The company and its employees are deeply saddened by the loss of life and extensive damage which resulted from Hurricane Katrina. We offer our sympathy to those impacted by this disaster and our appreciation for the extraordinary efforts being made by the relief organizations.
At presstime, discussions were underway between Houston-based Shell and national and state organizations including the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the Points of Light Foundation, to identify the needsfinancial resources, in-kind donations and volunteersin areas affected by Katrina.
Our first priority, of course, continues to be the safety and well being of our colleagues and their families, said John Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil Co. I'm pleased to say there have been no reported storm-related injuries to Shell or Motiva staff at this time. Now, in Katrina's wake, we must turn our attention to helping Shell employees and their families regain a sense of normalcy in their lives and restoring Shell's operations as quickly and safely as possible.
For employee assistance information and updates on plant status, Shell said employees can call (866) 745-5489. The company said an interest-free loan program will be provided to employees. Employees needing transportation, clothing and shelter can apply for an immediate loan of up to $2,500, with two years to repay this loan. Employees needing to make repairs to their homes or replace furniture or major appliances, which are not covered by insurance or FEMA benefits, can apply for an additional loan of up to $7,500. Reimbursement of the total loan (up to $10,000) may be over a five-year period. This $10,000 limit includes any outstanding interest-free loans an employee may already have.
Indianapolis-based Marsh Supermarkets has announced a program enabling anyone to contribute to relief efforts directed toward victims of the hurricane disaster.
All of the company's grocery stores and convenience stores will serve as collection points for financial contributions to assistance programs being carried out by the Red Cross; 100% of the contributions collected will be donated to the Red Cross for the Hurricane Relief Fund.
Marsh shoppers may add $1 or more to their grocery bill each time they visit the store until September 30th. The company also is donating supplies of nonperishable items to the Red Cross to assist with the relief efforts.
This is a collaborative effort with Peyton Manning, the Indianapolis Colts and the radio station Q-95. On Thursday, Sept. 8, 2005, a live auction will be held on Q-95's nationally syndicated Bob & Tom Show to raise funds for the Red Cross. This auction will include one-of-a-kind collectible items gathered and created specifically for this cause.
Also, donation canisters will be available at Village Pantry c-stores, LoBill Food Stores and O'Malia Food Markets, which are separate divisions of the Marsh supermarket chain.
"All Americans feel a deep sense of loss in the aftermath of this horrendous tragedy," said Don E. Marsh, chairman and CEO of Marsh Supermarkets. "While our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families and friends of the victims, we encourage our patrons to join in this tangible demonstration of our sympathy and desire to help. We also want to provide support for the hundreds of service workers and volunteers who are assisting in the rescue and cleanup efforts."
St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch responded to the Red Cross on Monday by shipping 12,600 cases, or 302,400 cans, of safe drinking water to victims of Katrina in Louisiana. The water was delivered to Mockler Beverage Co., Anheuser-Busch's independent wholesaler in Baton Rouge, La..
It's important for communities to pull together after events like Hurricane Katrina, said Mike Harding, vice president of operations for A-B. Anheuser-Busch and Mockler are an integral part of this community and we're proud to be able to help.
PepsiAmericas Inc., Minneapolis, said it will contribute $500,000 in financial aid and water to communities that fell victim to Katrina. Additionally, the beverage bottler has pledged financial support to assist employees as the extent of their need becomes known.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims who are struggling through the devastating effects of this storm," said Robert Pohlad, chairman and CEO. "With more than 500 employees directly affected by this disaster, we see our donation as our way of beginning to help family, friends and neighbors."
PepsiAmericas will be coordinating with national and local relief agencies to distribute the funds and water to those in need.