Equipment rental group creates rebuilding fund

The American Rental Association has formed a relief fund for rental stores affected by Hurricane Katrina. The group says the fund will be used to help rebuild stores in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

ARA will work through its state and local associations, as well as its general and associate members, to identify rental stores that need assistance.

Other companies – including Home Depot, Lowe’s and United Rentals – involved in renting construction equipment are also making large monetary donations to those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

The Home Depot will make a direct donation of $400,000 to the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. In addition, it will contribute $600,000 to long-term building efforts in affected communities and has pledged $500,000 to non-profit organizations that produce and rehabilitate affordable housing for low- to moderate-income homeowners.

Lowe’s originally planned to match customer donations to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund up to $1 million, but changed that total to $2 million after receiving an overwhelming response from customers.

United Rentals established a 24-hour relief center to deploy resources to areas affected by the hurricane and will contribute up to $100,000 to the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Fund.