Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster response organization, began “Operation Hard Hustle” on Sept. 14 with equipment and on-site support personnel provided by Case Construction Equipment.
Initial heavy equipment operations included debris removal and home demolition near Rockport and Aransas Pass, Texas, which is where the eye of Hurricane Harvey made landfall in August.
California’s Sonsray Machinery, Inc. also shipped compact track loaders in for the operation, and Michelin North America, Inc. donated sets of Tweel airless radial tires to outfit skid steers working in demolition applications.
“This is the most severe disaster the heavy equipment operators at Team Rubicon have been deployed to since the inception of the equipment operation training program in 2015,” said Scott Harris, vice president — North America, Case Construction Equipment. “What Case staff saw in Rockport and surrounding areas were communities coming together to lift each other up and rebuild, and Team Rubicon is there at the forefront. It’s that sense of community and civic responsibility that drove us, and dealers like Sonsray, to step up and join them in Texas.”
“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,” says 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.”
Corpus Christi’s Nueces Power Equipment is providing on-ground equipment support to the operation in Rockport.
Since Hurricane Harvey first made landfall, Team Rubicon says it has deployed 768 volunteers to Texas in support of the ongoing relief efforts with debris removal, muck outs, expedient home repair, damage assessments and chainsaw operations. The group adds that strike teams on the ground conducted over 5,000 damage assessments and have serviced 135 homes to date.
Team Rubicon says that the group was created to train volunteers in the safe operation of equipment to support disaster response operations. Case said it has provided ongoing equipment and training support since the beginning of the heavy equipment program in November 2015.
As the state of Texas worked to get back on their feet after Hurricane Harvey, Kawasaki Motor Corp., U.S.A. donated 10 new Kawasaki Mule utility vehicles toward relief efforts in the region.
Kawasaki’s regional office in Dallas, Texas, took immediate action with individuals heading to Houston to volunteer. Additionally, the company initiated a donation-matching program for employees at all of its U.S. locations.
Now with the destruction of Hurricane Irma, Kawasaki has once again donated five new Kawasaki Mule utility vehicles toward relief efforts in the Southeast United States.
“With Hurricane Irma coming right on the heels of all of the destruction from Hurricane Harvey, everyone at Kawasaki is prepared to support those most recently impacted,” said Yoshi Tamura, Kawasaki president and CEO. “We have seen how the Kawasaki Mule vehicles are assisting support teams, families, and our dealers in repairing their homes and businesses in Texas and we will extend that assistance to those now affected in Florida and the rest of the Southeast U.S.”
Many Kawasaki dealers began loaning Mule utility vehicles to local relief organizations, and the company’s regional office in Atlanta, Georgia, said it was ready to assist their vast dealer network.
Kawasaki said it will continue its corporate donation-matching program for employees in all of its U.S. locations. The company said it will match all individual donations from $30 to $500 made to non-profit organizations. So far, Kawasaki said it has donated a combined total of more than $150,000 to hurricane relief efforts.
The Davey Tree Expert Company said that more than 1,000 of its employees are helping with recovery from Hurricane Irma, including hundreds who have traveled from Maine and California.
The company said that crews are now on the ground and working to help identify tree hazards and remove them to help power companies restore electricity more quickly.
The company says that many employees traveled in convoys to their locations last week to be ready and in place to respond after the storm subsided. While waiting for the storm to hit, the company says crews reviewed safety procedures, prepared the equipment and waited out the storm.
“We cannot fully express how proud we are of these employees who chose to help with storm recovery,” said Pat Covey, president and CEO. “We are grateful, our clients are grateful, and the public is grateful for their service. They will be working hard under difficult circumstances for many days, and, above all, our hope is that they come home safely.”