Reliant Energy has helped organize and is participating in a number of hurricane assistance programs to help residents with hurricane preparation and recovery if a storm were to hit the Texas Gulf Coast this season.
“We want to help ensure that residents in the greater Houston area have what they need to prepare and recover from a hurricane,” said Reliant Energy President Jason Few. “We’ve learned from the devastation of Hurricane Ike what short term and long term assistance is needed to help communities pull through if disaster strikes.”
Reliant Energy has worked with the City of Houston, local charities and retailers, and federal agencies to provide direct assistance to Houston-area residents and train employees to offer even more help in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster. These plans include:
Working with the Houston Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 50 trained employee volunteers from Reliant Energy will be available to staff 18 City of Houston Multi-Service and health centers where, in the event of a disaster, residents will be able to find food, water and a place to sleep. Through Oct. 2, eight of the Multi-Service Centers are Reliant Energy Beat the Heat Centers where over the summer 9,000 Houstonians have been able to cool off and positively impact their electricity bills.
Reliant Energy employee volunteers are also trained to participate in the city’s Neighborhood Watch program to check on the safety of families and elderly or disabled persons in affected neighborhoods who cannot evacuate their homes. Volunteers will take needed supplies such as ice, water, food and medication to those in need. In addition, employee volunteers have been trained to help Houston Food Bank staff with the distribution of food to those in affected areas.
Reliant Energy also is working with Interfaith Ministries’ Meals on Wheels for Greater Houston to provide 4,000 home-bound senior citizens with an emergency supply of non-perishable food items. The deliveries are scheduled to begin this month.
Approximately 85 Reliant Energy employees are being trained to help the greater Houston community in the event of a hurricane or other disaster as part of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), a program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). CERT training prepares volunteers in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. Trained CERT volunteers step in to help when professional responders are not immediately available during an emergency.