September 1, 2017
All Puffer-Sweiven Employees:
The last seven days have been a trying experience for all of us. First, with the hurricane winds in Corpus Christi, followed by the non-stop rain and subsequent flooding along the upper Texas Coast, this will be a week that none of us ever forget. Each of us has had challenges taking care of our families, our property, our neighbors, and our communities. Each of us knows someone who has been catastrophically impacted by the storm. It is humbling to consider such a disaster on such a scale.
I thought it important to share with you the general state of the Company, our employees and our plans going forward.
Our first priority has been the safety and security of our employees and their families. I am happy to report that all employees have been accounted for and are safe, however, the storm has had a significant impact. Over 200 Puffer-Sweiven employees and their families were directly affected by mandatory evacuations, hurricane force winds, tornadoes and/or water damage.
Through all of this, the generosity of our employees has been incredible. I have heard many stories of Puffer-Sweiven employees taking in displaced families; working boat crews to perform rescues; organizing donations of clothing, blankets, and pillows; and working Red Cross shelters. The PS-GIVE Team has been organizing work crews to help impacted employees with clean-up tasks. These crews will continue to organize and work as the waters recede and more needs are identified.
I have received numerous inquiries from outside the Company as to how assistance could be provided to our impacted employees including an email from the chairman of the network of Emerson Local Business Partners (LBPs). The LBPs have established a fund for their employees to contribute to help Puffer-Sweiven employees in need. The LBP Company’s themselves will also donate. This is an outstanding gesture of generosity from our fellow LBPs. More details to come on this program.
Puffer-Sweiven will do much the same and is currently raising money for employee assistance. The Company has established the Puffer-Sweiven Employee Disaster Relief Fund. The disaster relief funds will go directly to impacted employees and will be awarded through a grant application process.
The Company will work with each of the impacted employees to help stabilize his/her family and re-establish his/her family’s living situation. We will work to be as flexible as possible to allow impacted employees the time they need for the recovery. We are very sensitive to the stress created by the uncertainty of these situations. We will do all that we can to support our Puffer-Sweiven families in need.
As a Company, we have been very fortunate to not have damage to any of our facilities as a result of the storm. We have reopened our offices as it has been safe for employees to return. As of today, all offices are open for business.
During the storm, our Company continued to serve customers. Our 24/7 after-hours service remained up and running throughout the week. Last weekend during the peak of the storm we even had work crews in Corpus Christi and Houston repairing valves for customers.
Our shops at Houston Service Center, Stafford Distribution Center, and the Stafford Systems Integration Center will work over the weekend to serve customers in need. We expect to see increased demand from our customers in the coming weeks and want to make sure that our shops have the capacity to respond to this increased demand.
Our customers along the coast are returning to work, and they are just now assessing the condition of their plants. Our sales teams have been in contact with customers offering assistance in their evaluation of the plants. We expect to learn more in the coming days as to specific needs of customers.
We are anticipating an increased demand from customers for both products and services to support their recovery. To meet the increased demand we have been working very closely with Emerson to make sure that we are ready to serve our customers’ needs. We have been in close dialog with all Emerson business units discussing our anticipated needs for product and for service personnel. Emerson has put full shoulder to support our needs and the needs of our customers, and I am confident that we will be prepared to support our customers and have them back up and running as quickly as possible.
I will close by saying that I am very proud of the way that our Company has responded to this disaster. I am grateful for the overwhelming response that Puffer-Sweiven has shown in support of our communities and support of our own Puffer-Sweiven families. Even though the sun has started to shine, many of us will continue to be impacted by these events for months to come. Please keep in mind how you might help a fellow member of the Puffer-Sweiven Family. If you have a need for assistance do not hesitate to ask; if you can think of a way for us to provide assistance do not hesitate to suggest it.