ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Enterprise Rent-A-Car earlier this month announced its initiative to aid its employees, customers, emergency personnel and others involved in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
"The destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina is simply unprecedented," said Andy Taylor, chairman and CEO of Enterprise. "We are committed to help the many Enterprise employees who are being affected by this disaster, as well as the overall relief effort mounted to stabilize and rebuild the areas damaged by the storm."
Of its 70 New Orleans-area branches, Enterprise estimates that 20 to 30, as well as seven other Gulf Coast locations, have been damaged or destroyed, costing the company tens of millions of dollars in property and vehicle damage.
Ten locations have reopened, and five mobile units are being set up to assist customers temporarily and organize operations.
The displaced one-way rentals scattered across the Southeast after the storm are being dealt with on an individual basis.
To join the relief effort, Enterprise donated $1 million to the American Red Cross.
In addition, the company has shipped 15,000 vehicles to nearby branches to assist aid workers and stranded residents and travelers. Enterprise plans on maintaining pay and benefits for its employees left out of work because of the hurricane.
Some employees in surrounding areas have opened their homes to co-workers in need of shelter. However, three Enterprise employees are still unaccounted for.
"This is a tragedy of historic proportions," Taylor said. "We will continue to do everything we can do as a company and as individuals to help. I particularly want to thank those employees who have worked tirelessly to help others around them while facing their own personal issues caused by this storm."