Enterprise Holdings has reported that it’s still relocating vehicles to its branch offices in New York and New Jersey due to unprecedented demand from individuals, insurance firms, local utilities, government agencies and catastrophe teams. This is because the clean-up following the devastation of Superstorm Sandy continues for some areas.
At the peak of the storm, Enterprise Holdings – which owns the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands – was forced to close over 400 of its branches on the East Coast, where almost one thousands vehicles were damaged. The company has been reopening these locations and relocating over 12,000 extra vehicles to the New York metro area alone. Some of the vehicles have travelled from as far away as Colorado, and an additional 5,000 are on their way. On top of this, Enterprise Holdings is diverting thousands of new vehicles to the region. These were supposed to be distributed elsewhere around the country. Overall, more than 27,000 vehicles have been added to the group’s New York and New Jersey fleet.
Since Enterprise Holdings runs over 6,000 branch offices in neighbourhoods and at airports across the country, the group plays a unique part in providing alternatives to local transportation. This is especially true when wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural disasters wreak havoc. Before Superstorm Sandy even hit the coast, the company began responding to calls from the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Urban Search and Rescue (USAR), local utility companies and other government bodies for vehicles. The first responders had the cars and trucks they needed after the storm calmed to immediately start recovery efforts.
In order to take on this kind of response, every regional operation of Enterprise Holdings has an Emergency Action Plan. This includes a Business Continuity Plan, which features a guide that identifies what to do in case of an emergency, disaster recovery guidelines and a contact list of key personnel. It also focuses on how the branch offices communicate with other offices to ensure the right types and numbers of vehicles are available where they are most needed. This has allowed the company to process over 26,000 insurance-related car hires over the last few weeks to serve the needs of consumers who lost their vehicles or had theirs damaged or destroyed during the storm.
Enterprise Holdings’ North American executive vice president of operations, Matt Darrah, said that, even though they are working to increase their local fleet as fast as possible, there are still long waiting queues in some communities where replacements are being requested for damaged vehicles. Despite doing their best to be prepared, the significance of the storm has overwhelmed their manpower and resources in some areas. They continue looking for ways to address major challenges at the core.
Darrah continued that they suspended ‘drop fees’ for one-way rentals during the first week after Sandy blew through to help accommodate customers who had been affected by the storm. They have also transferred emergency fuel to help as many neighbourhood locations as possible. Their employees are part of these communities and are dedicated to doing all they can to help their neighbours and local businesses get on their feet again. They have been working nearly around the clock, and he’s are very proud of their spirit and efforts in the face of such an overwhelming situation.