Enterprise Activates Emergency Response to Assist Victims of Hurricane Florence
Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation Donating Additional $500,000 to American Red Cross in Support of Disaster Relief Efforts
ST. LOUIS (Oct. 1, 2018) – Enterprise Holdings, the world’s largest car rental operator, is providing financial support to relief agencies and transporting rental cars and trucks to the southeastern coast to assist with recovery efforts following widespread damage left behind by Hurricane Florence.
“We know from Hurricane Harvey and other significant natural disasters that the devastation from this massive storm – coupled with mass evacuations from coastal areas – makes available transportation critical to the health, welfare and safety of those struggling to recover and rebuild,” said Steve Bradway, vice president and general manager for Enterprise Holdings in the U.S. Southeast Region.
“We had to close more than 85 car rental branches in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia while the storm passed through,” Bradway noted, “but we have just recently been able to reopen almost all of our locations as we work to deliver vehicles to the affected areas.”
Rapid Response & Technology Makes a Difference
As Hurricane Florence charged towards the United States, Enterprise shifted resources to meet spiking demand for local ground transportation in affected areas. The company is always prepared to respond and move vehicles into affected areas as quickly and as seamlessly as possible.
In fact, Enterprise is in the process of transporting several thousands of its vehicles from surrounding cities and states into the southeastern coastal region, moving them to critical areas to help meet demand and assist with disaster recovery and hurricane clean-up efforts.
Even before the storm hit, Enterprise Holdings was collaborating with catastrophe teams before they arrived in affected areas to assess damage and begin cleanup. These teams include insurance catastrophe teams and energy/power companies, as well as Federal Emergency Management (FEMA), General Services Administration (GSA), the National Guard, state emergency response officials in North Carolina and South Carolina, and others.
As part of the planning before and during the storm, employees were sent home, or to other operable locations, with mobile tablets allowing them to process rental transactions away from the counter in virtually any location. With Enterprise LaunchPad® tablets, employees can be re-assigned from flooded branch offices to assist at other facilities. This technology also makes it easier to manage local demand when customer calls to inoperable branch offices are automatically forwarded to other operational sites.
Supporting Red Cross Relief Teams
To aid the American Red Cross as it mobilizes staff and volunteers to set up disaster assistance centers in the wake of Hurricane Florence, the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation – the philanthropic arm of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand – is donating $500,000 to the Red Cross. The donation will provide shelter, food, water and supplies for residents in the affected areas.
This is in addition to the $1 million donated for the fourth consecutive year to the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP), which allows the Red Cross to draw from corporate donations at a moment’s notice when needs arise around the world.
“In the more than 30 years we’ve been working with the Red Cross, we’ve witnessed how much of a difference its services can make as disaster victims work to recover,” said Carolyn Kindle Betz, senior vice president and executive director of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation. “The victims of Hurricane Florence include our employees and customers, so we remain committed to supporting the organizations that help them rebuild their lives.”
Integrated Rental Car Network Aids Response Efforts
With a fleet of nearly 2 million vehicles, Enterprise Holdings is the world’s largest car rental operator based on revenue, fleet size and number of locations. In emergency situations like the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, Enterprise Holdings’ technology, expertise and network can make a critical difference.
“We have more than 400 rental car locations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, giving us the resources necessary to respond to local transportation needs in the damage zone like no other rental car company can,” Bradway said. “We’re expanding our operating hours at some of our neighborhood offices and airport locations. We’re adding staffing wherever we can and working closely with insurance companies to help prioritize vehicle replacement requests for their policyholders.”
Mobilizing and Communicating When Disasters Strike
Each regional Enterprise Holdings subsidiary has an Emergency Action Plan to ensure each branch office makes the right number and types of vehicles available during disaster recovery.
“No matter how much you plan, critical and overwhelming situations like these really test the effectiveness of our network, fleet and employees,” said Bradway. “However, understanding and anticipating the needs of consumers, business owners, insurance companies, government agencies and other key public-policy decision makers during times like these is in our DNA. For example, we are working closely with our insurance and collision repair partners to ensure vehicles are available in the affected areas in the coming days and weeks so their customers have replacement vehicles when they need them.”
Part of that transportation support extends beyond car rental service. “Many residents’ vehicles are considered a total loss after a flood, so they may need to be replaced long-term beyond a temporary rental,” Bradway explained. As a result, Enterprise Car Sales – a service of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand – is offering North Carolina residents who already have filed insurance claims a special $300 gift card with the purchase of a vehicle through Nov. 30, 2018. Enterprise Car Sales will work with these residents to help them locate the kind of vehicle they need to get to their jobs and take care of their families.