GREENVILLE, S.C. (June 19, 2006) — Michelin North America Inc. (MNA) has unveiled a disaster response unit that will service tires during natural disasters such as last year's Hurricane Katrina.
The 53-foot trailer includes six air stations for mounting, dismounting, repairing and balancing tires as well as satellite communications and sleeping areas for up to six people to ensure 24-hour service. The unit will serve as a “command central” for a field service crew that will perform tire service from the self-contained tire inventory. The response unit also will dispatch tire service vehicles where needed.
The response unit would be able to service and repair tires for most commercial and construction vehicles as well as passenger tires, though its focus will be on keeping emergency crews mobile during emergency recovery.
“Michelin does not sit on the sidelines when our communities or our customers are in need,” said Jim Micali, chairman and president of MNA. “This dedicated Michelin Disaster Response Unit makes it easier for us to do what we do best—roll up our sleeves and put Michelin expertise to work to help solve the crisis at hand. Assuring the 24/7 mobility of critical response vehicles will speed recovery efforts and save lives.”
The disaster unit was also developed in conjunction with Michelin's wholly owned distribution subsidiary, Tire Centers L.L.C. (TCI). Several TCI locations in Louisiana lost power and suffered significant damage in last year's hurricanes, and they were unable to service utility companies trying to restore power.
“The Michelin Disaster Response Unit will ensure that utility company service and other emergency response vehicles are adequately supplied with tires in the case of another natural disaster like hurricanes Rita and Katrina,” said Joe Finney, CEO of TCI.
The response unit will be based at a TCI outlet in Atlanta and deployed as needed across the continental U.S.