Sunbelt Rentals last week sent 15 tractor-trailers loaded with equipment and supplies to areas affected by Hurricane Gustav, regional vice president Francis Hassis told RER. Hassis, who directed NationsRent’s lauded hurricane response efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, said Sunbelt was better prepared this time, although the impact of Gustav fell far short of the dramatic impact of Katrina.
Sunbelt Rentals’ staff worked in a similar fashion to NationsRent’s efforts in 2005, checking on the physical well-being of its staff and their homes, as well as the physical condition of the company’s facilities and needs of emergency management agencies and other customers.
“It’s hard to say what other impact there will be because they really haven’t started letting people back in yet,” Hassis told RER two days after the storm. “We put a temporary roof on an employee’s home last night in Baton Rouge, because the storm blew the roof off. For the most part, our facilities are fine. We had some damage in Baton Rouge, a few doors blown off and so on, but nothing as extensive as what Katrina did.”
Hassis said the company is preparing for possible relief efforts in response to upcoming storms Hanna and Ike.