Engineers Lend a Hand in Wake of Hurricane Katrina


Engineering firms and associations, along with their industry suppliers are offering various types of assistance to GulfCoast victims of Hurricane Katrina. Here are but a few of the recently announced offers of financial and technical assistance:

Washington Group International, an international engineering, construction and management-solutions company based in Boise, Idaho, has joined the effort by making a combined immediate donation of $500,000 to the American Red Cross in support of relief work. In addition, employee donations to the Red Cross made through the foundation’s hurricane relief fund will be matched dollar for dollar.

The National Society of Professional Engineers, which has received numerous requests from members asking how they can assist, has established a Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund with a seed contribution of $50,000 to assist state societies and their members in the affected region and is looking into opportunities for engineers to volunteer their services. To make a tax-deductible contribution, send checks to: NSPE Hurricane Relief Fund, P.O. Box Dept. 855, Alexandria, VA22334-000.

Electrical equipment manufacturer, Square D, Palatine, Ill., is on call to aid victims by providing a toll-free hotline for home and business owners with concerns about the operation and safety of electrical equipment and systems damaged by the hurricane. Call 1-888-778-2733 to speak with the Square D Customer Information Center (CIC). Service is available round-the-clock.

ABB North America , Norwalk, Conn., has established a special toll-free phone number exclusively for customers dealing with the storm's aftermath. ABB customers should call 1-877-511-4222. ABB Help Desk employees are available from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EDT to direct customers to the appropriate ABB function or contact for assistance. After-hour calls will be handled by an outside service, which will use the same contact sheet and call procedures as the Help Desk employees.

FlatPlate, York, Pa., will provide emergency production of its heat exchanger components as part of national relief efforts. or call 800-774-0474.

ASHRAE is encouraging its members to contact the American Red Cross or the Federal Emergency Management Agency to learn more about assisting in disaster areas, whether by donating or volunteering. As an immediate response to the needs of engineers and other ASHRAE members in the affected areas, ASHRAE's Region VII has created a Website where short- and long-term job positions, space for engineering firms to reassemble, and equipment and other support resources have been posted. To participate visit .

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