The devastation of Hurricane Sandy remains a major challenge for residents and businesses along the eastern U.S. Among those HVAC contractors who are making a difference in helping survivors is Bobby Ring, president of Meyer &Depew Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ.

Ring is one of many Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) contractors who are helping to administer donations through the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s (ACCA’s) Disaster Relief Fund. The fund was established to bring relief to victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Ring and ACCA president/CEO Paul Stalknecht recently distributed relief aid to ACCA member contractors whose businesses and employees were devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

“In some cases, these contractors lost all of their possessions. Some were businesses that were in areas that didn’t require flood insurance, but nonetheless lost their entire office and shop,” Ring explains.

The overall devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy is astounding.

“It’s unbelievable to see the number of homes that will need work,” Ring says. “Based upon FEMA data I’ve seen, I would say conservatively that 25,000 HVAC systems need to be replaced in New Jersey alone. It’s a huge undertaking and it’s already caused issues with material shortages in parts of the state.”

ACCA is asking its members to make a non-tax deductible, humanitarian donation of any size to help their fellow ACCA members. Donations can be made in one of three ways:
1. Visit this link to make a donation by credit card.
2. Mail a check payable to “ACCA Disaster Relief Fund” to Rosemary Graeme, ACCA, 2800 Shirlington Road Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22206.
3. Call Rosemary Graeme at 703-575-4477.

Bobby Ring recently wrote a personal letter to HVAC industry leaders, asking them to consider supporting ACCA’s efforts:

Dear HVAC Industry Leader,
As you’re well aware, Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New Jersey on October 30 and caused widespread devastation throughout New Jersey and New York, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in this area in quite some time.

Initial FEMA estimates indicate that nearly 72,000 homes and businesses were damaged by the storm just in New Jersey. Nearly 30,000 buildings in New Jersey suffered serious flooding and more than 500 were outright destroyed. Some of them were literally wiped off the face of the earth; the lot where a house once stood was reclaimed by the Atlantic Ocean and is now under water.

The good news for our industry is that many business opportunities will be present, with the likelihood that tens of thousands of HVAC systems will be replaced in the New Jersey – New York area in the coming months and years. Nature has a funny way of providing for those whose lives and businesses she so abruptly turns upside down.

In the interim, there are many charitable organizations that are supporting relief efforts to provide food, clothing and shelter to the tens of thousands of people affected by this disaster. In our industry the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s Disaster Relief Fund provides financial support to our members and their employees. Last week I visited several hard hit areas of New Jersey and New York and distributed financial assistance from the fund to members and their employees. Some of the businesses I visited had been flooded by up to eight feet of water and lost computer systems, plasma cutters and inventory. Several employees of our members lost everything they owned – homes, cars and personal possessions.

I am writing to ask that you consider making a contribution to ACCA’s Disaster Relief Fund so that ACCA can continue to provide financial assistance to ACCA members and their employees following Sandy’s devastation and that of future natural disasters.

Respectfully yours from New Jersey, MEYER & DEPEW CO., INC. Robert (Bobby) C. Ring President/CEO

To make a contribution, please make your check payable to ACCA Disaster Relief Fund and mail to: ACCA Disaster Relief Fund 2800 Shirlington Road #300 Arlington, VA 22206 If you would prefer to contribute via credit card, please contact me and I will email or fax you a form for that purpose.THANK YOU!