September 15, 2005 A PRIMEDIA Property Vol. IV, No. 17


CONTENTS
Dire Situations Caused by Hurricane Katrina Bring Out the Best in the Industry

Transmission & Distribution World Editor-in-Chief Blogs from Hurricane-Affected Areas

MEPatWORK.com Offers Free Online Job Posting

SullivanKreiss Assists in Job Searches

Electrical Distributors Assess Damage, Begin Recovery Operations

W.W. Grainger Pledges Donations

Hughes Supply Inc. Sends Donations

Manufacturers Donate Products, Personnel to Recovery Efforts

NEMRA Requests Financial Assistance

AGC Establishes Hurricane Katrina Construction Workers Fund

IEEE-USA Funds Local Volunteer Recovery Efforts

NEMA Offers Safety Advice About Water-Damaged Electrical Equipment

AGC Economist Predicts Higher Prices Due to Hurricane Katrina

Storm-Affected Utility Companies Work to Restore Service

Utility Companies Send Crews and Equipment to Restore Power


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    The Wake of the Hurricane
    Dire Situations Caused by Hurricane Katrina Bring Out the Best in the Industry
    In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the bad news still abounds. A report by the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) states that 200,000 homes in New Orleans may be permanently uninhabitable due to prolonged immersion in flood water. Economists for the NAHB and Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) predict rising prices and short supply for building materials, including steel, concrete, plywood, and OSB, at a time when these materials are needed most. And while electricity and phone service has been restored to areas where the infrastructure for those services was left mostly intact, many residents of the storm-ravaged area are still without light, A/C, or any means of communication. However, it's with pride that EC&M reports on the compassionate efforts of the staffing firms, distributors, manufacturers, associations, and utilities who have given generously to the relief and restoration efforts. Our thoughts are with the nearly 5,000 readers from Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana who may have been affected by this natural disaster.

    Transmission & Distribution World Editor-in-Chief Blogs from Hurricane-Affected Areas
    Transmission & Distrubution World's Editor-in-Chief Rick Bush travels down south to report on recovery efforts. First-hand accounts and images of the electrical restoration efforts are available through the magazine's Web site.


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    Manpower Support
    MEPatWORK.com Offers Free Online Job Posting
    In response to the demand from industry contractors and other related service providers that will need skilled HVAC, electrical, and plumbing trades people for the reconstruction effort, the Industry People Group (IPG) has opened its online job board. For employers seeking mechanical, electrical, and plumbing candidates, contact the board at (888) 482-2562. For anyone seeking work in those fields, you may post your resume on the Web site, fax your resume to (515) 278-6025, or mail it to Industry People Group, 6200 Aurora Ave., Ste. 405E, Des Moines, IA 50322.

    SullivanKreiss Assists in Job Searches
    Northborough, Mass.-based SullivanKreiss, Inc. is offering its placement services to professionals in the design and construction industry affected by Hurricane Katrina. Architects, engineers, landscape architects, and construction professionals in need of employment may call the firm at (508) 393-4933 or email info@sullivankreiss.com.


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    Distributor Support
    Electrical Distributors Assess Damage, Begin Recovery Operations
    According to a report on the Electrical Wholesaling Web site, several electrical distributors, manufacturers, and independent manufacturers' reps continue to assess the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. Relief efforts continue despite flooding and security and communications concerns.

    W.W. Grainger Pledges Donations
    Lake Forest, Ill.-based W.W. Grainger has pledged more than $1 million in cash and emergency supplies, including tarps, glove, flashlights, and batteries to the Red Cross's Disaster Relief Fund to help the recovery efforts. The company is also matching employee donations by four to one.

    Hughes Supply Inc. Sends Donations
    To the relief effort, Orlando's Hughes Supply, Inc. has pledged $70,000 in supplies, which will be delivered in Hughes trucks. In addition, the company is collecting emergency supplies at its headquarters on Church Street in the Parramore neighborhood in Orlando to send to its coworkers in the disaster area.


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    Manufacturer Support
    Manufacturers Donate Products, Personnel to Recovery Efforts
    The following list is a sampling of the generous efforts of manufacturers to provide supplies to the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

  • ABB America's Task Force team has sent parts, products, and personnel into the Gulf Coast region to aid in recovery efforts from transmission and distribution of power to commercial and industrial electrical automation control. In addition, ABB established a toll-free number for customers dealing with damage caused by the storm. ABB customers may call (877) 511-4222 for assistance.

  • Pittsburgh-based Eaton Corp. has put together a team to assist customers affected by the hurricane. Customers may call its support services number at (800) 356-1243 and select either option 5 to be directed to the response team or option 9 for after-hours emergency support. The team may also be reached by e-mail at avcncemergresp@eaton.com.

  • Teams from GE's Lighting, Electrical Distribution, and Motors departments have established a customer support team to coordinate customer communication, extend payment terms for distributors in FEMA-declared disaster areas, and release damaged equipment safety warnings. In addition, employees at the GE Consumer & Industrial Appliances plant in Decatur, Ala., are working overtime to produce 35,000 16-cubic-foot refrigerators ordered by FEMA for its onsite trailers. GE will also be providing medical devices, power generation equipment, and water purification systems.

  • Pullman, Wash.-based Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.(SEL) is providing discounts of 30% to 50% to customers affected by Hurricane Katrina. The company also donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross for the relief effort. For more information on the company's disaster recovery measures, visit SEL's Web site.


  • Libertyville, Ill.-based William Frick and Co. has provided warning, danger, and caution signs, as well as utility pole numbers and safety markers to the relief effort. Gas, utility, power, telecommunications, and electrical companies needing signage may call (847) 918-3700. In addition, the company is supplying "We Will Rebuild" stickers, available by calling Stephanie at (847) 918-3700

  • Siemens USA companies have provided service and material support to the hurricane-affected areas. US Filter has donated five water-clarification trailers, each with a 1,000-gallon/minute capacity. Siemens Building Technologies has shipped generators from Florida to support hospitals in the area. Siemens Communications, working with utility Southern Company, deployed 420 IP phones in emergency crew command trailers using satellite broadband back to Atlanta. Siemens Power Generation has airlifted engineers into the area to assist utilities with damage assessment and rebuilding efforts. Siemens Energy and Automation established a program to extend payment terms on exisiting counts receivable balances and replenishment stock order from distributors for its channel partners in the area.

  • Palatine, Ill.-based Schneider North America has pledged $1 million to relief efforts in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida's Broward and Miami-Dade counties.


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    Association Support
    NEMRA Requests Financial Assistance
    The National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association (NEMRA) is asking for financial assistance in starting a fund that will be used to assist NEMRA members affected by Hurricane Katrina. Through the fund, the association hopes to provide loans to assist members with their immediate needs and to recover and rebuild businesses. A section on the association's Web site has been made available to post messages to and from NEMRA members in the affected areas. In addition, e-mail addresses and services are available to NEMRA members who have lost Internet services.

    AGC Establishes Hurricane Katrina Construction Workers Fund
    The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) recently announced it has established the Hurricane Katrina Construction Workers Fund. The association seeks to provide financial assistance to the construction workers in states affected by the hurricane. AGC will work with chapters in those states to determine criteria for eligibility. Contributions may be sent to the AGC Education and Research Foundation at the AGC's Web site.

    IEEE-USA Funds Local Volunteer Recovery Efforts
    IEEE-USA has released its Professional Activities Committee project funds to organized groups of U.S. IEEE members in regions 3 (southeast United States) and 5 (southwestern United States) who want to support local volunteer recovery efforts. For more information on how to receive project funds, visit the IEEE Web site.

    NEMA Offers Safety Advice About Water-Damaged Electrical Equipment
    The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is warning inhabitants and recovery workers in the hurricane-affected areas about the dangers of water-damaged electrical equipment. NEMA's brochure, "Guidelines for Handling Water Damaged Electrical Equipment," may be downloaded as a PDF from the organization's Web site.

    AGC Economist Predicts Higher Prices Due to Hurricane Katrina
    Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), expects increases in the cost of cement, steel, copper, gypsum, and other petroleum-based products in the wake of the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. According to Simonson, the prices for these construction commodities have increased in recent months, but will be pushed even higher due to the hurricane.


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    Utility Support
    Storm-Affected Utility Companies Work to Restore Service
    For the latest updates on restoration efforts, please click on the link to the individual utility.

  • Cleco Corp.
  • Mississippi Power
  • Entergy Corp.
  • Coast Electric Power Association
  • The Electric Power Association of Mississippi
  • Florida Power & Light Company

    Utility Companies Send Crews and Equipment to Restore Power
    The following list is a sampling of the utility companies who have generously donated expertise, crews, and equipment in the interest of restoring electrical power to the hurricane-affected area.

  • Alliant Energy, in association with its line contractor Pieper Power, sent 55 crew members working in the Wisconsin Power and Light (WP&L) service territory to help with restoration efforts in Louisiana. The 55 crew members comprise the 15 crews WP&L uses for large, overhead utility construction, system rebuilds, and installation of new commercial and industrial electrical services. The crews will work on maintenance and restoration service, as well as construction projects. WP&L also released 20 contracted tree-trimming specialists who are now helping restoration efforts in Mississippi.

  • More than 60 employees of Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), a subsidiary of Constellation Energy, will assist with electric service restoration in Baton Rouge, La. BGE and its contractors have helped restore service to customers of Florida Power and Light Co., Mississippi Power Co., Cleco Power, and subsidiaries of Entergy Corp.

  • Cincinnati-based Cinergy sent 200 employees and contract personnel to the New Orleans area to assist Entergy in restoration of electric service. The personnel are from Cincinnati Gas & Electric, Union Light Heat & Power, and PSI Energy operating companies. Cinergy anticipates providing restoration service for six weeks. Because of the amount of the construction, Cinergy's crews are required to be self-contained, carrying their own tents, kitchen supplies, fuel, and restoration materials to the area.

  • Greensburg, Pa.-based Allegheny Energy has mobilized 400 employees and contractors to the hurricane-damaged areas of the United States.

  • PPL Electric Utilities has sent 110 employees to help restore electricity to the storm-damaged areas of the country. The company's personnel left Sept. 1 and included linemen, engineers, technicians, supervisors, and support personnel from eastern and central Pennsylvania.

  • The early response team from InfraSource Services, Inc. sent almost 300 personnel; 100 bucket trucks, pickup trucks, and diggers; nine trailers; and trade tools to help repair damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.

  • Repair crews from Pepco Holdings, Inc., Atlantic City Electric, Delmarva Power, and Pepco joined forces with utility workers to help Mississippi Power return electrical services to the state. The crews spent the Labor Day weekend in Meridian, Miss., before moving onto greater damaged areas 90 miles south in Hattiesburg, Miss.

  • FirstEnergy Corp. sent 131 employees, including 48 line crews, to the Jackson, Miss., area. They will relieve the 95 FirstEnergy employees who have been working on restoration efforts since Aug. 25.

  • Iron Mountain, Mich.-based M.J. Electric sent 151 linemen with 52 bucket trucks, 19 diggers, nine trailers, 40 pickup trucks, and various tools to aid in restoration efforts.

  • Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative released linemen crews to assist in electrical restoration in the south.

  • Among the first to see the storm damage around New Orleans, crews from Dominion Virginia Power helped restore electricity to a hospital, state trooper headquarters, and the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in Kenner, a suburb west of New Orleans.

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