AUSTIN, Texas, May 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On Memorial Day weekend 2015, a series of torrential rains caused local rivers to rise, creating widespread flooding that damaged more than 1,000 homes and killed 11 people in and around Central Texas. Just five months later, on Halloween weekend, the same area experienced widespread flooding again.
To help the more than 750 families who remain displaced from their homes, Farmers Insurance ® --- on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the first of these two destructive floods ---announced a commitment of significant resources, knowledge and muscle that will accelerate Central Texas' recovery. Now through October, in collaboration with the St. Bernard Project, Farmers will dedicate more than $100,000 and more than 3,000 volunteer hours to the rebuilding efforts.
Today Farmers Head of Texas Jim Swope, joined St. Bernard Project National Director of Recovery Reese May, and a Central Texas family currently displaced from their home in Martindale to kick off the launch of a six-month recovery acceleration effort. The kickoff was followed by more than 25 Farmers employees and agents traveling to the greater San Marcos area to volunteer at a local build site.
"Farmers Insurance employees and agents from around the state are proud to call Texas home. As a company with deep local roots, we were compelled to take action and help our neighbors," said Swope. "I am extremely proud to share our company's commitment to the people of Central Texas today and am overwhelmed by the response from our more than 4,000 agents and employees in Texas."
Azenet and Benjamin Arellano and their children fled their home during the Memorial Day floods with just a few hours to gather their belongings. The damage to their home was again exacerbated by the flooding over Halloween; despite having flood insurance, they were still left without all of the resources they needed to rebuild. Once the home is accessible for volunteers, the Arellano's home will be the first family's home to benefit from the partnership. Farmers agents and employees will travel from all over the state of Texas and will be on the job every week for the next six months to accelerate the recovery of Central Texas and surrounding communities.
Central Texas is the third community recovery made possible through Farmers collaboration with the St. Bernard Project. Farmers Insurance and SBP, a non-profit organization dedicated to rebuilding communities after disaster, first partnered in 2013 to rebuild the city of Joplin, Missouri, following the 2011 EF-5 tornado that destroyed most of the town. The organizations teamed up again following Superstorm Sandy to help communities in New Jersey.
Together, they also developed a Disaster Recovery Playbook, a compilation of best practices that they used and improved upon following several recent disasters. This free resource enables communities that have suffered from disaster to stand on the shoulders of those who have recovered before them, dramatically reducing recovery time. In Central Texas, the Disaster Recovery Playbook is already in use.
"We are proud to call Farmers Insurance our partners," said May. "SBP's mission is to shorten the time between disaster and recovery – and we know from our experience working with Farmers volunteers, that we will be able to get the Arellano family and so many like them home faster than they thought possible. We are excited to have expanded our partnership with Farmers to include Texas."
About Farmers Insurance
"Farmers Insurance®" and "Farmers®" are trade names for a group of affiliated insurers providing insurance for automobiles, homes and small businesses and a wide range of other insurance and financial services and products. Farmers Insurance is proud to serve more than 10 million households with over 19 million individual policies, across all 50 states, through the efforts of more than 48,000 exclusive and independent agents and approximately 21,000 employees. Farmers Insurance Exchange, the largest of the three primary insurance insurers that make up Farmers Insurance, is recognized as one of the largest U.S. companies on the 2015 Fortune 500 list.
About the St. Bernard Project
SBP's mission is to shorten the time between disaster and recovery by ensuring that disaster-impacted citizens and communities recover in a prompt, efficient and predictable manner. Since its founding in 2006 in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, SBP has rebuilt homes for more than 1,050 families with the help of 100,000 volunteers in New Orleans; Joplin, MO; Staten Island, NY; Rockaway, NY; Monmouth and Ocean Counties, NJ; Central TX and Columbia, SC. SBP is deeply supported by AmeriCorps which provides 140 members annually to manage worksites and clients, and train the organization's volunteers nationally.
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SOURCE Farmers Insurance