MOORESVILLE, N.C., Oct. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation today announced a $500,000 grant to the First Response Team of America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to working alongside local agencies to help save lives in the wake of destruction. Lowe's and the First Response Team are currently helping local families and communities recover from the recent flooding in Colorado. Volunteers are delivering critically needed cleaning supplies and assisting residents.
Founded in 2007 by Tad Agoglia, the First Response Team uses specialized trucks and equipment to provide immediate assistance after a disaster, when communities often must fend for themselves because the resources necessary for rescue and recovery are damaged, inaccessible or unavailable. The team has responded to more than 50 large-scale disasters, including Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the first year of Lowe's partnership.
This year, the team has responded to flooding in Illinois and tornadoes in Oklahoma with support services that include opening roadways, performing search and rescues, providing temporary power solutions, assisting critical service providers and clearing debris from homesites. Just two hours after a massive tornado hit Moore, Okla., the First Response Team was on the scene digging through rubble for survivors at Plaza Towers Elementary School.
"When an entire community loses everything they have in just the blink of an eye, it's difficult for residents to know where to start," Agoglia said. "In those crucial hours, days and weeks after a disaster, Lowe's Heroes and the First Response Team are there with a unique set of equipment and volunteers. With Lowe's support, we help communities take their first steps toward recovery and rebuilding."
In 2012, Lowe's Heroes employee volunteers supported projects from Louisiana to New York. Lowe's Heroes joined the First Response Team in Live Oak, Fla., to clean up after Tropical Storm Debby and jumpstart the recovery process for the community. Later in the year, Lowe's Heroes partnered with the team after Hurricane Isaac in Louisiana and tornadoes in Lancaster, Pa., and Elmira, N.Y.
"Responding to natural disasters and lending a helping hand in times of great need is a commitment Lowe's has made for many years," said Marshall Croom, chairman of the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation. "Our partnership with the First Response Team of America has helped make a larger and more impactful difference on the front lines in affected communities immediately after a disaster."
Lowe's works with its national nonprofit partners to provide immediate and long-term disaster assistance to communities in need. Lowe's and its customers have contributed more than $25 million to the American Red Cross since 1999 to support disaster relief efforts.
ABOUT FIRST RESPONSE TEAM OF AMERICA
First Response Team of America is a nonprofit organization that responds to communities, free of charge, in the immediate wake of disasters with a fleet of highly specialized trucks and equipment. By studying weather patterns and communicating with leading meteorologists at The Weather Channel, FRTA anticipates when and where a disaster may strike and positions its team near storm locations to immediately be on the scene. Upon arrival, the team opens critical roadways blocked by debris and power lines; helps restart and mobilize critical service centers such as emergency rooms, nursing homes, shelters and critical first responder centers; provides temporary power solutions using industrial generators; provides lighting and infrared cameras for search and rescue; performs water rescues with its fleet of hovercrafts; and supplies commercial water pumps to empty out low-lying areas of cities and critical buildings such as hospitals. Since May 2007, the team has responded to dozens of disasters in the United States and Haiti.
Lowe's supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. The company's signature education grant program, Lowe's Toolbox for Education®, has donated more than $36 million to 8,000 K-12 public schools, benefiting more than 4 million schoolchildren. Lowe's Heroes employee volunteers support local community projects and our national nonprofit partners such as Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together and the American Red Cross. In 2012, Lowe's and the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation together contributed more than $30 million to support communities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. To learn more, visit Lowes.com/SocialResponsibility.
Lowe's Social Responsibility
Video with caption: Lowe's Heroes joined the First Response Team in Peoria County, Ill., in April to help residents clean up after hundreds of homes were flooded. Video available at: http://origin-qps.onstreammedia.com/origin/multivu_archive/PRNA/ENR/FX-20131003-LOWES-1.mp4
Image with caption: Lowe's Heroes are partnering with the First Response Team of America to assist homeowners and clean up flooded communities in Colorado. Image available at: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131004/MM91931-a
Image with caption: In May, Lowe's donated truckloads of storage containers and nearly 1,000 relief buckets filled with cleanup supplies to help Oklahoma homeowners recover from deadly tornadoes. Image available at: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131004/MM91931-b