People + Places

Colleagues support Baton Rouge flood victims

What characterizes a successful organization? Not only working together for mutual success but also standing together in the face of disaster.

The Dresser-Rand Business Award 2017 for Community Service honored the outstanding support of employees who organized help for colleagues that lost their homes and much more during the devastating 2016 flooding that occurred in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.

On August 11, 2016, a storm brought historic flood waters to areas in and around Baton Rouge. Considered the worst U.S. natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the prolonged rainfall brought catastrophic results to the southern parts of the state as thousands of homes and businesses became submerged in water.

More than 7.1 trillion gallons of water poured over the area. Eight nearby rivers reached record levels and one crested. While the company’s Baton Rouge service facility remained undamaged, 12 employees lost their homes. The entire town and surrounding areas experienced total devastation. During this one incident, more than 120,000 homes flooded and many people were rescued by boat.

In addition to fundraising efforts, employees at the Houston corporate office shipped containers with food, beverages and toiletries. Colleagues provided household appliances and building supplies, and the company reimbursed hotel expenses for employees forced from their homes.

The management team agreed to close the Baton Rouge facility for a week to give affected employees time to recover. Many employees helped with clean-up efforts in the days following the disaster, while Siemens Caring Hands provided affected employees with funds to assist with recovery efforts.

The bond of humanity here is clear in response to this disaster.

other articles from insights issue 06.2017