Tornadoes in South Kill 300, Shut Down Business
Severe weather devastated much of the American South and Southeast this week, with some reports estimating 274 tornadoes touching down between Tuesday and Thursday. More than half of those storms, at least 160, are reported to have occurred on Wednesday.
The series of storms, which include some of the strongest tornadoes ever recorded, affected communities across Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia. As many as 300 people are feared dead, with thousands more injured and countless displaced. President Obama visited Alabama today, which saw the greatest number of fatalities, currently reported at 213.
Manufacturing and industry in the region has been severely affected. As Promo Marketing reported yesterday, Hixson, Tennessee-based Gold Bond Inc. was forced to temporarily shut down their plant in the face of widespread power outages. Mercedes and Toyota have both idled their Alabama manufacturing plants due to power failures, and countless small businesses have been temporarily shut down or destroyed. The impact of storms on the promotional products industry and economy at large remains to be seen.
The Associated Press has assembled a list of options for people looking to help the tornado victims. Those affected can apply for FEMA assistance at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling (800) 621-3362. If your business has been impacted by the destruction, or if you have another way to help those in affected areas, please leave a comment below.
Kyle A. Richardson is the editorial director of Promo Marketing. He joined the company in 2006 brings more than a decade of publishing, marketing and media experience to the magazine. If you see him, buy him a drink.