Working with the Government as part of a national effort to deal with the floods, leading businesses across the country are today setting out how they will be supporting people and communities that have been affected by the floods and severe weather.
Some of the pledges and action taken so far include:
Asda, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Waitrose/John Lewis are all taking steps to support those affected. Examples of what they are doing include:
The Asda Foundation has set up a £400,000 flood relief fund to assist those residents, farmers, businesses and community organisations affected by the recent severe weather. A donation of £14,000 has been provided from the Foundation to purchase, deliver and distribute over 2,000 pairs of waders.
Tesco have set up a free helpline number for farmers who need help from their delivery fleet. So far Tesco have transported hundreds of bales of hay to farms in the South West to help feed animals relocated because of farm flooding.
Sainsbury’s are providing emergency funds to those stores in areas that have been severely affected and they are distributing the necessary goods to their communities. This ranges from providing batteries, clothing, food provisions, torches, bottled water or whatever is of most use. In some cases this means hands-on support to deliver these goods.
Waitrose branches have donated food parcels in areas where people have been evacuated or stranded and will continue to do so. Following the floods, employees will be able to donate paid-for time to respond to local needs such as clean ups.
Morrisons is using its distribution vehicles to collect livestock in distress, and is also responding to requests to help move hay and silage. It has held in-store collections, and is offering priority abattoir slots to farmers in distress.
Marks and Spencers is providing food provisions to relief workers and those living in affected areas, and pledges to support its affected farmers. This package of cash and products for affected areas is worth around £150,000.
White goods and hardware
Currys are offering the government hundreds of essential electrical items – kettles, toasters and fridges – for relief centres in affected areas, where they can be used as required by victims and responders, or passed on to those that need them.
B&Q has already made 1,500 sandbags available in its Reading store: it is also delivering 100 tonnes of sand in the Thames area.
80,000 homes have lost power, and anyone who has been without power for 24-48 hours or more is entitled to mandatory compensation from the energy network companies. Ofgem has already announced increases to the level of compensation and reduced the time to qualify for it. As part of the review of Christmas blackouts the government is also looking at the compensation process.
Network operators have already restored power to over 414,000 customers since the storms hit on Wednesday, with 68,000 restored overnight thanks to engineers working round the clock.
Aggreko are deploying additional power generators to flooded areas especially care homes and hospitals. So far, Aggreko has already mobilised and dispatched 53 generators with a combined capacity of 8.5 MVA. In the longer term, Aggreko is readying dehumidification and heating equipment to restore public and private buildings.
And nPower has confirmed it is waiving standing charges for any homes left without power or gas.
BT, TalkTalk, EE, Vodafone and 02 have been working to sustain services, and will deploy additional engineers to ensure this.
Airbnb have agreed to waive all their fees on rooms offered to flood victims.
Many companies are organising volunteering from within their workforces, for example Thales and Airbus, and Taskhub have launched floodvolunteers.co.uk
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
Dealing with these floods will be a long haul, and it will require a stepped-up national effort with the whole country pulling together. The government is taking action across the board to deal with the clear-up, and we have been working with businesses to see what they can do to help those people affected. I welcome the support that they are offering and the role they are playing in helping to get parts of the country get back on their feet.
Notes to Editors
The information above has been provided by the companies involved and represents some examples of how businesses are helping people affected by the floods. For further details, please contact the relevant company.