Darren Richardson

Nov. 20, 2012

After Hurricane-turned-Superstorm Sandy smashed into the Eastern Seaboard just days before the presidential election, Americans heard a lot of discussion about how Mitt Romney – during one of the GOP presidential debates – had proposed abolishing the Federal Emergency Management Agency and privatizing disaster relief.

Romney may have meant well, but he seems to have been speaking without acknowledging the importance of a central coordinating organization to ensure that all relief efforts – public and private – lead to maximum positive impact.

When private firms working with government officials and agencies get involved in recovery efforts, residents in areas hit by disasters get the best of both worlds.

Such is the case with Sears, which has pledged to rebuild 100 homes in Sandy-affected areas of New York .

"I personally reached out to Sears and asked them to help our community and they eagerly came up with programs that would be of immediate assistance," said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "I am challenging other retailers to please step-up and get involved."

Cuomo, a Democrat, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, are no doubt appreciative of the help citizens in their states are getting from FEMA. But as any politician knows, government can’t do it all. That’s why is so encouraging to see an established company like Sears stepping up to help with the rebuilding efforts.

In addition to the company’s commitment to rebuilding houses, Sears has helped bring food, water, batteries and blankets to the greater New York area. Some affected residents also received bonus “Shop Your Way Reward” points, as well coupon offers to help people in storm-damaged areas.

"Immediately following the storm we sent truckloads of the most needed supplies and provided Shop Your Way Reward points to members impacted by the storm. It's clear people are hurting. Now Sears will help New York homeowners get back on their feet by helping them secure replacement appliances at great value," said Lou D'Ambrosio, Sears Holdings chief executive officer and president. "And our commitment with Rebuilding Together will help families regain a sense of normalcy in the upcoming months."

"An important step in overcoming a natural disaster's wrath is the rebuilding effort," said Gary Officer, CEO of Rebuilding Together. "We hope our commitment with Sears will inspire others to get involved with this very important process."

Just as the Sears Tower towers over Chicago, Sears is standing tall among private sector companies by pitching in to help New Yorkers recover from the damage wrought by Sandy.


Sears commits to help New York residents move from recovery to rebuilding during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, PR Newswire, Nov. 20, 2012

Cuomo: Superstorm could cost NY state $33 billion, Businessweek, Nov. 8, 2012


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