As wildfires rage in northern California, the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation — the philanthropic arm of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand — is pledging $250,000 in support of the American Red Cross’ efforts to help provide shelter, food, water, and supplies for residents in the fire-ravaged areas.
“We are glad to do what we can to support the communities, many of which include our employees, suffering from the damage caused by these fires,” Carolyn Kindle Betz, senior vice president and executive director of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation, said in a statement. “Every time there is a natural disaster, the Red Cross works tirelessly to help those in need.”
Enterprise has worked with the Red Cross globally for more than 30 years, including an annual multi-million-dollar commitment by the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation to the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP).
Contributions to ADGP provide a reliable funding base for disaster relief services, enabling the Red Cross to respond immediately to meet the needs of those affected by disasters of all sizes, at no cost and regardless of income. In fact, last year alone, Enterprise provided a total of more than $3 million in disaster recovery support during a very active hurricane season.
In addition to providing aid to nonprofits specializing in disaster relief, Enterprise Holdings Inc., which owns the Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand, as well as the National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands, serves a unique role in providing local transportation alternatives when hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, floods, hailstorms, and other natural disasters strike.
Strategic Local Support
Operating in more than 6,400 neighborhood and airport branch offices throughout the U.S. enables Enterprise to quickly and seamlessly help insurance companies, utility companies, and government agencies get the recovery and restoration process underway as quickly as possible.
For example, Enterprise currently has more than 450 vehicles out to firefighters and first responders throughout California as they help in the recovery effort. First responders work with a designated Enterprise point person in California who coordinates efforts in times of disaster to ensure vehicles are where they are needed most.
In addition, Enterprise works closely with its insurance and collision repair center partners to make sure their customers have replacement vehicles when their own cars are being repaired as a result of a natural disaster.
Delivering Emergency Aid to Impacted Neighborhoods
To facilitate this kind of immediate response, each Enterprise regional operation has an Emergency Action Plan that contains key information for each location, outlines a step-by-step plan for emergency response, and focuses on how Enterprise’s branch offices communicate with each other to ensure that the right number and types of vehicles are available where they are needed most.
In addition, Enterprise’s mobile technology gives employees another tool for communication during and after natural disasters. For example, employees can be sent home with Enterprise LaunchPad mobile tablets, which allow them to process rental transactions in virtually any location. As a result, employees can be quickly reassigned from inoperable branch offices to other facilities. The mobile technology also makes it easier to manage local demand when customer calls come into closed branch offices and are forwarded to other operational sites.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car also has a Mobile Emergency Response Vehicle (MERV) that operates as a portable, state-of-the-art branch office in the event of an emergency in the U.S. or Canada. MERV is equipped with three workstations, five computers and a front counter. It can operate on a generator for more than 120 hours, supporting relief efforts even before local power is restored.
Supporting Reforestation Efforts
In California, the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation has funded the planting of nearly 2.4 million trees as a part of the Enterprise 50 Million Tree Pledge, a philanthropic program established in honor of the company’s 50th anniversary through a unique public-private partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation. Started in 2006, one million trees will be planted annually through 2056 to support reforestation efforts around the world and help restore ecosystems after wildfires or other natural disasters strike.