As you know by now, Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas Gulf Coast late Friday night, bringing heavy rain to the entire region. Massive flooding in the Houston area has closed many businesses and caused the Houston Area Promotional Products Association (HPPA) to postpone its Hot Stuff Expo. The show was scheduled for Tuesday with 220 exhibitors and more than 700 distributors in attendance at the NRG Center in Houston. The rain continues to fall, and flood waters continue to rise, which means many months of cleanup and rebuilding ahead for impacted families and businesses.
So far, 18 counties have been declared a state of disaster by the federal government, and PPAI has activated the Regional Association Council Business Recovery Fund for businesses located in the designated counties. The fund can help replace lost equipment and supplies—computers, cell phones, office supplies, promotional products catalogs and samples—provide a work area, or give other assistance as needed to get a business up and running as soon as possible. Those in the designated counties that need assistance can fill out the assessment here: http://www.regionalassociation.org/business-recovery-fund/brf-assistance.
PPAI also issued a member alert on Friday to all businesses in the region notifying them that it was opening its headquarters in Irving, Texas, (about 400 miles north of Houston) to industry members displaced by the storm. In an email from PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, the Association offered its office space, phone, fax, wifi, copiers, restrooms and showers to allow industry members to continue business until their offices or home offices were available for occupancy. A special email address and phone extension have been set up to handle requests: MYPPAI@ppai.org or 888-I-AM-PPAI, extension 3280.
Some Houston area suppliers and distributors are reporting they are safe and dry, although many are closed due to flooded roads. A number of distributors in the Houston area are also closed because of flooded roads and to ensure the safety of employees. However, many are working from home and can respond to email at this point.
Check the PPAI Publications website for the status on member companies at http://pubs.ppai.org.
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted in any way by this storm and its aftermath.