In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, The Dow Chemical Company is responding to the needs of those in the U.S. gulf coast region with a plan for the urgent assistance of employees in the affected region, as well as major contributions for the region as a whole.
With some 7000 employees at six sites throughout the state of Louisiana, the safety and welfare of employees is the company's highest priority. St. Charles operations, a Union Carbide facility situated alongside the Mississippi River on the outskirts of New Orleans, appears to be the most severely affected of the Louisiana sites. The facility employs nearly 1100 direct employees and more than 2000 contract employees, many of whom live in the surrounding towns and have been forced to evacuate their homes. Hotline numbers have been established, and efforts are underway to help employees who need immediate assistance.
Dow has also announced that it will contribute $3 million to the hurricane relief efforts. The donation will consist of:
- $1 million in an immediate cash donation to the American Red Cross.
- $1 million match to employee and retiree donations to the American Red Cross. The more than 1,100 Indianapolis-based employees of Dow AgroSciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical, will have the opportunity to contribute.
- $1 million in products and technology donations for the longer term reconstruction effort.
"As reports of the devastation from this storm continue to develop, we are all compelled to do whatever we can to help," commented Andrew Liveris, president and CEO. "Our immediate concern, of course, is for employees and their families in the region, but it quickly extends to all of those people who are suffering through this devastating event. Once again, we turn to the Red Cross as the primary agency to receive our monetary support to provide immediate, vital help to the people in need, and urge our employees to also direct their donations there.
"Dow people are known for their community outreach. Today, it's desperately needed here, in our own communities. Our thoughts are with the people of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. We are committed to helping make sure people get through the immediate disaster, and can go on to recover."
Additionally, retirees and employees are being asked to donate blood to replenish supplies lost in the region, and to give their time assisting their local relief agencies when they ask for volunteers.