Meridian, Miss.-based Southern Pipe and Supply was one of many businesses affected by the recent flooding in parts of Louisiana. And the 2013 Supply House Times Supply House of the Year wasted no time in lending assistance to its family members (Southern Pipe employees) and customers that suffered loss due to the flooding.
Southern Pipe Director of Human Resources Ron Black told Supply House Times the distributor’s Denham Springs, La., branch was the only one severely impacted with 6 ft. of water coming into the building.
The Denham Springs location was slated to reopen mid-month, Black noted, after being closed for about a month. Black said all product on the floor was either damaged beyond repair or is in the process of being cleaned. All flooring and walls are being replaced at the branch and an extensive showroom renovation will have to be completely redone.
To help in the aid efforts, Southern Pipe sent a 40-ft. trailer from its central distribution center to its branch in Baton Rouge. That trailer contained water, generators, pressure washers, cleaning supplies, basic first-aid supplies and tools. Materials in the trailer were made available to Southern Pipe family members and customers. Southern Pipe family members also contacted customers impacted by the floods and offered assistant personally and for their businesses.
“Our overall philosophy from the moment the floods hit was to find a way to say YES to any impacted Southern Pipe family member,” Black said. “This includes company, people and financial resources.”
Black noted neighboring Southern Pipe branches in Baton Rouge, Hammond, LaPlace and Mandeville, La., have filled in to serve customers for branches impacted by the flooding. Numerous Southern Pipe family members from neighboring branches not impacted by the flood assisted with moving furniture and cleaning out flooded homes.
Black said 15 Southern Pipe family members “lost everything” in the flooding, including homes and their contents and automobiles.
Southern Pipe paid in full for a normal work week any family members who lost time at work due to the flooding and family members directly impacted were given immediate short-term financial assistance via direct-deposit into their personal accounts to provide immediate emergency cash, Black explained.
That type of financial assistance is made possible by the Southern Pipe Family for Family Fund, which was created 11 years ago in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to assist Southern Pipe family members who are impacted by natural disasters or other life-altering events.
“Over the 11 years of its existence, the fund has assisted countless family members thanks to the generosity of family members who donate money annually through payroll deduction and donations from many of our manufacturers and manufacturers rep partners,” Black said. “With the recent floods, numerous checks for thousands of dollars have been sent to impacted family members. Now that the water is gone, family members are in the process of accessing their situations and determining what assistance they will need from the Family for Family Fund.”