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Coating Maker: No Takers for Relief Aid

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

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You’d think that a densely populated region crushed by more than $50 billion in hurricane damage could use some paint—especially if it’s free, and comes with free labor.

But so far, no one has taken up Kevin Klotz on his offer of free commercial coating products.

Sandy - commercial damage Sandy repairs
Liz Roll / FEMA

Commercial structures in Long Beach Island, NJ (left), and throughout the Northeast felt Sandy's $50 billion wrath.

It turns out that giving away floor coatings is much harder than the president of Coatings For Industry (CFI) ever thought. The Souderton, PA-based company is a direct-to-contractor supplier of specialized, high-technology industrial, architectural, and aerospace coatings, including the ALSEAL, Siloxseal, Urethabond, and Wearcoat brands.

Doing their Part

After Sandy flattened swaths of New Jersey and New York at the end of October, Klotz decided that he wanted to do his part for the recovery effort by supplying coating products to townships or public buildings severely damaged by the storm.

But despite repeated calls to nearly a dozen affected municipalities along the New Jersey Shore, as well as Staten Island, NY, and several impacted facilities and nonprofit organizations, CFI says it has yet to receive a single response—let alone, a request for assistance.

CFI commercial
Coatings for Industry

CFI produces high-performance industrial, architectural and aerospace coatings.

Even ads on Craigslist in New York and New Jersey and posts on Twitter have yielded no takers, the company says.  Because CFI and its network of application contractors only work in the commercial arena, it’s seeking to assist a public or nonprofit institution, such as a school, community center, senior center, city hall, library, museum, or possibly even a boardwalk.

“I can only imagine they’re still a bit shell-shocked by all that they need to do, or were simply too overwhelmed to return a phone call,” says Klotz. 

Meshing Needs and Donors

Of course, Klotz’s company is not the only one to have offered help after Sandy, and coordinating disaster assistance is a daunting task.

Since Sandy received a Major Disaster Declaration on Oct. 30, the Federal Emergency Management Agency says it has deployed 4,135 personnel and processed nearly 523,000 assistance registrations. FEMA is also running 27 disaster recovery centers (14 in New York and 13 in New Jersey); the new registration deadline for disaster assistance is Feb. 27 in New York.

AtlanticCity Boardwalk - 10.31.13
Liz Roll / FEMA

Sandy demolished the historic boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ, in late October.

On Feb. 7, 100 days after the storm hit New Jersey, FEMA issued this Sandy assistance update:

  • More than $352 million was approved to help individuals repair damaged homes, find temporary housing and meet other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.
  • Nearly 58,000 individuals and households received help with housing, home repairs and other serious needs.
  • Nearly $360.3 million in Small Business Administration low-interest disaster home loans was approved.
  • More than $34 million in SBA low-interest disaster business loans was approved.
  • More than 5,500 survivors were sheltered in more than 430 hotels/motels in the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program.
  • More than 71,000 visits were made to FEMA disaster recovery centers.
  • Thirty-five federal agencies contributed to 349 mission assignments totaling nearly $169 million.
  • More than 480 volunteer groups helped Hurricane Sandy survivors. Of them, 44 groups contributed 766,000 hours of their time.
  • 160 New Jersey residents were hired by FEMA to assist with the recovery.
  • Nearly 3,800 FEMA employees worked on Hurricane Sandy recovery in New Jersey.
  • More than 49,000 people visiting New Jersey home improvement stores received information from FEMA specialists on building techniques to reduce the risk of property damage in future disasters.
CFI bridge coating project

Allegheny County, PA, "easily removed" more than a decade's worth of graffiti from CFI's 15-year-old coating system on the Homestead High-Level Bridge near Pittsburgh, a project official said.

Seeking Needy Facilities

FEMA is continuing to coordinate Sandy-related needs, donations and volunteers.

Even with all that assistance, Klotz says, his company is still ready to help. Any municipal administrator, construction manager, purchasing agent or facilities manager that needs to replace flooring as a result of Sandy and is in need of epoxy or urethane primers or sealants, epoxy or urethane topcoats, anti-wear coatings, decorative or anti-slip floor coatings or other industrial coatings may email CFI or call the company at 215-723-0919.

“It’s perplexing that an offer of free product and labor to apply it would go ignored,” says Klotz.  “Nonetheless, we’re still hoping to locate a facility in need.”


Tagged categories: Anti-graffiti coatings; Architectural coatings; Coatings for Industry Inc.; Commercial Construction; Commercial contractors; Disasters; Floor coatings

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