Help After the Storm: Do the Right Thing


Hurricane Sandy came and left her mark on the east coast of the United States, leaving destruction in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. Homes were destroyed, businesses were underwater and trees occupied streets, leaving millions without power and without homes. Those affected thought there was no light at the end of the tunnel, but little did they know thousands of companies would step up to lend a helping hand.

The destruction caused by Sandy created an opportunity for small businesses and larger corporations alike to not only reach out to victims but also engage in corporate social responsibility. The message was clear: the victims needed help, and the brand should be there to help provide it. Those with smart phones or the lucky ones who had their power restored turned to social media to receive updates on transportation and power restoration. In a recent PRWeek article, it was said that before Sandy, Con Edison had 1,000 Twitter followers; now, the company has more than 22,000. New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority tripled its followers from 26,000 to more than 75,000. By having gained so many followers, the companies took the opportunity to explain, and even post pictures to commuters and customers on the extent of the damage caused by Sandy.

Verizon, one of the most used cell phone service, waived all fees for calls and text messages until November 16th as well as providing charging stations in New York and New Jersey. Anheuser-Busch produced more than a million cans of water for those in need. Duracell, along with many other companies, are providing charging stations for those to charge their devices and even receive free batteries for flashlights and other electronic appliances. Time Warner also waved their fees for those who needed repair for their cable boxes. Companies, such as Kohls, Ralph Lauren and Coach donated millions of dollars to the Red Cross. Even local businesses are donating part of their profit to the Red Cross as well.

Here at CIIC, we felt it was important to do our part to help rebuild our own community, which was also hugely affected by Sandy. CIIC collected clothes, toys and toiletries for a local organization, People to People and also for a family from Breezy Point who lost everything when the storm hit.

So what can we take away from this storm? Yes, maybe it is time to trim the trees around your house, but the bigger takeaway from this tragic event is this: As people come together to help, businesses need to step up as responsible corporate citizens as well. By doing their part, countless corporations have aided in the recovery effort which will help millions in the end. Whether these actions help improve the corporate image or not, the message is this: care for one another, and help out as best you can. It’s just the right thing to do.

If you would like to see a full list of company’s who are donating to Hurricane Sandy, please click here.