The NADA Foundation is mobilized and ready to help our fellow dealership families in the wake of massive Hurricane Florence. The hurricane ripped through the Carolinas with winds topping 73 mph and covering more than 15,000 miles—larger than the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. Now families affected need the strength of us and our dealer associations to aid in the long and painstaking process of rebuilding.
More than a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall, the National Weather Service on September 23 issued a new round of flood warnings for several counties in North Carolina and South Carolina. After the first surge of flooding, entire towns have been submerged and evacuated and hundreds of people have been displaced. Many dealership employees are struggling to get to work while simultaneously taking care of their homes and salvaging their belongings. Moments like this are when dealers are there to support their communities and neighbors, and NADA stands in solidarity with those rebuilding after the storm.
Dealership employees affected by any natural disaster can apply for financial assistance from the NADA Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund. The Relief Fund was established in 1992 to provide emergency financial assistance for those impacted by natural disasters—and we’ve seen many as a result of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes. Since the Relief Fund’s inception, over $7 million has been distributed to more than 10,000 dealership employees. The Foundation is currently reviewing more than 150 applications from dealership families in need, and we have distributed more than $50,000 in the past few days. Leaders of the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association tell me they estimate nearly 300 dealership employees have sustained some level of personal property damage from Florence. (Dealers can apply for aid on behalf of their employees.) NADA covers all administrative costs for this fund; all money donated to the ERF goes directly to dealership employees.
Just as after damage in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico from last year’s devastating hurricanes, NADA and our dealer network are here to help our families in their greatest time of need. We expect many more requests for aid in these coming weeks, and NADA is standing by to fulfill them quickly. I urge all dealers to support the NADA Emergency Relief Fund today.
Wes Lutz, 2018 NADA chairman, is president of Extreme Dodge Chrysler Jeep in Jackson, Mich.