Here's a bit of good news related to Hurricane Sandy: Chevrolet has donated 50 Silverado pickups and Express cargo vans to the American Red Cross. They'll be used in relief efforts across the Eastern seaboard and in other areas affected by the storm.
What's more: General Motors' OnStar unit is helping out by equipping each of those vehicles with hands-free calling, turn-by-turn navigation, and other key services. That should aid communication between relief workers and their headquarters, and help Red Cross agents find their way around unfamiliar towns and neighborhoods.
To expedite the vehicles' delivery, they're being pulled from existing inventory at dealerships close to the affected areas. That ought to help get those trucks and vans into service quickly.
This contribution of trucks and vans comes in addition to $250,000 that the nonprofit GM Foundation has donated to the Red Cross Disaster Responder Program. According to Neal Litvack at the American Red Cross, the vehicles and funds will be used to move supplies, shelter storm victims, feed emergency workers, and help residents recover from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson notes that "It is during disasters like this that we all need to pull together as a country and Chevrolet has a role in that." GM is also encouraging the public to contribute to the relief efforts by making a donation to the American Red Cross by visiting www.RedCross.org or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
It's still very early in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and we expect many other automakers to help with the relief efforts -- much as they did following the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010. We'll try to keep you up-to-date as these stories cross our desk.