Hurricane Sandy is a grim reminder of how lives can change drastically overnight. We have all seen the pictures of the destruction in Long Island and the Jersey Shore, but you probably haven’t seen or heard about the destruction to the good people in our industry. Because of my involvement in the ACCA Disaster Relief Committee, I have heard about several contractors whose businesses were damaged by the storm.

I have also heard about the personal tragedies of technicians and other employees who have lost their homes. Three employees of Joseph H. Roberts Inc. in Forked River, N.J., had their homes devastated. An apprentice technician’s helper for Tom Rostron Co. in Manasquan, N.J., lost his home and his truck. A service technician for Air Ideal Inc. in Mineola, N.Y., lost his home, all his belongings, and tools and had to swim to safety. There are several other examples with similar tragic stories of what occurred during this horrible storm.

Thankfully, ACCA sprang into action almost immediately to locate contractors that needed help. The Disaster Relief Committee authorized ACCA CEO Paul Stalknecht to use money from the ACCA Disaster Relief Fund for the principal of needy member companies, and to specifically provide aid to employees of ACCA members identified by the Disaster Relief Committee and Stalknecht as having been devastated by Hurricane Sandy. These funds have already been distributed.

If you would like to join with others to help those in our industry whose lives were upturned by Hurricane Sandy, please click here to donate and learn more about what you can do.