CENTRALIA, Mo. — A company with a major plant in Missouri is playing a vital role in responding to the recent hurricanes in southeast Texas and Florida.
Centralia, Missouri is home to Hubbell Power System’s distribution center and several different manufacturing facilities. The firm manufactures a wide variety of products used by utilities that are desperately needed to return power to communities hit hard by the recent historical storms.
The company has one of the largest transmission and distribution inventories in its industry, and has shipped 900,000 lbs. of product to utilities affected by Hurricane Harvey as well 460,000 lbs. to date for those impacted by Hurricane Irma.
Hubbell Power System’s Director of Marketing Communications, Crystal Mistretta, says the firm manufactures the overwhelming majority of components used to transmit power.
“If you were to look at the distribution pole outside of your window, we manufacture about 90% of the components in the apparatus that are on that line,” says Mistretta. “Outside of the pole itself and the transformer, we make anchors, pole line hardware, cutouts, the arresters, the insulators and things that support the delivery of power.”
Hubbell Power Systems is based in Columbia, South Carolina and has 14 manufacturing plants across the country, with the Centralia location in mid-Missouri being one of the larger ones.
Inc. magazine has named Hubbell Power as one of the 25 companies the public should support because of its contribution to relief efforts from Hurricane Harvey. It’s included on the magazine’s list along with firms such as Walmart, Dow Chemical, Springfield-based Bass Pro Shops and Walgreens.
Inc. says “Hubbell’s team sees assisting after events like Harvey as a moral imperative”. The publication notes “(Hubbell) has sent hundreds of thousands of pounds of utility products to San Antonio, Houston, and all across the affected areas, along with its own teams of Storm Soldiers armed with emergency response kits to directly lend a helping hand”.
Mistretta says the company sent 1,000 care packages to electric utility linemen, who are the first responders who make repairs to utility lines in communities.
“It has a t-shirt, a little hand towel, bottled water, crackers and protein bars, and a hand written note thanking them for what they’re doing and that we hope they stay safe while they’re restoring the power. Because those linemen will work three days straight without taking a break to get the power back on.”
Prenger Foods in Centralia has donated 3,000 water bottles and Conagra Brands in Macon, Missouri has contributed 1,500 individual snacks to the storm kits which were assembled at the Centralia facility. The kits are packaged in a draw string, cinch sack.
Hubbell Power’s Digital Marketing Coordinator, Mary Hughey, says the company is staying in contact with utility companies affected by the hurricanes through heavy use of social media.
Thank you @ConagraBrands in #Missouri for donating snacks to our #StormSoldiers packs! We’ll ship the #Linemen storm kits this week. #Irma pic.twitter.com/2b7dFcahPh— HubbellPowerSystems (@HubbellPowerSys) September 11, 2017
“Utilities are using social media heavily to communicate with their consumers and overall everyone in the industry is following hurricane news through these channels,” says Hughey. “It’s a really, really good opportunity for us to communicate to them, what we are doing to support them, and to support their alignments in getting the products to them effectively so that they can get the power back on.”
The company also has a group of people specifically dedicated to storm focus called the Hubbell Emergency Action Team, or H.E.A.T. Hughey says it’s part of the customer service department which works to get products out to disaster locations as quickly as possible.
“It’s not uncommon for that group to work around the clock to get shipments and orders processed so that we can get the product to the affected areas.”
Hughey says the HEAT team at the Centralia plant is a key player in delivering the products.
In praising the company, Inc. magazine says “With Hubbell’s help, the most devastated communities will soon have renewed access to power grids, which should be a huge help in other relief efforts”.
Approximately 730 people are employed at Hubbell Power in Centralia.
(Jason Taylor, Missourinet)