Enterprise Holdings executive vice president and chief strategy officer Greg Stubblefield gave a keynote speech on Tuesday at the second annual Building Resilience through Public-Private Partnerships conference. The event is hosted by Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security Private Sector Office and FEMA Private Sector Division.
Enterprise Holdings owns and operates the Alamo Rent a Car and National Car Rental brands, but Enterprise Rent-A-Car is its flagship. It operates a global network of over 7,700 neighbourhood and airport locations; and over 5,500 offices are located within 15 miles of 90% of the population in the US.
As he addressed the conference, Stubblefield explained how Enterprise Rent-A-Car operates as a key provider in the local transport infrastructure of many cities and towns, as well as helps communities in need when there are disasters. He gave examples of the flagship brand’s role – its response to Hurricane Irene and Colorado wildfires. Over the last 55 years, the Enterprise Rent-A-Car network has integrated into the local transport network throughout the US. They have a great and unique responsibility to help their communities, local customers and longtime partners when emergency-preparedness and disaster recovery efforts are top priority.
The executive also stressed that their staff are always willing, able and proud to help during such disasters any way they can. It may be tough on some of their operations, as it usually means reducing their bottom line. However, according to chairman and chief executive Andy Taylor, these are the times to make friends, rather than profits. For example, they have recently moved over 100 trucks from airports and other locations to aid the US Forest Service in battling the wildfires in Colorado. They are also assisting families displaced by the fires, providing them with vehicles as necessary.
Stubblefield said they know the two most important things are cooperation and communication, so they have prepared to quickly and seamlessly respond by moving cars around the country to affected areas. They have also prepared to support utility firms, catastrophe assistance teams and government agencies, so they can get the restoration and recovery process underway as fast as possible.
When Hurricane Irene brought chaos to the Eastern Seaboard last year, Stubblefield said several of Enterprise’s operating groups were impacted in a number of regions. The basic operating procedures were the same for all of them, and to facilitate such an emergency response, every location has an Emergency Action Plan. This includes a Business Continuity Plan, which includes: a life-safety guide to identify what to do in case of an emergency, disaster recovery guide for daily rental branches and a contact list for key personnel. They also focus on how each branch communicates with the other to ensure the right types and number of vehicles are available where they are most needed.
Additionally, Enterprise Rent-A-Car has a Mobile Emergency Response Vehicle (MERV) that operates as a portable and state-of-the-art office. This is a 32-foot bus that was initially a 22-passenger airport shuttle. It’s now equipped with a front counter, three workstations and five computers. The vehicle can operate for over 120 hours on a generator to provide on-site assistance, even if power hasn’t been locally restored.
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