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Diageo Dispatches Hurricane Sandy Disaster Aid

NORWALK, Conn., Nov. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Diageo, the world's leading premium spirits, wine and beer company, in partnership with the Bridge Foundation, delivered two high-powered generators, one at the Geraldine Gigi Foushee retirement home, and the other at Engine Company 16 in Newark, NJ. In addition, Diageo also facilitated the delivery of 84,960 bottles of water – enough to fill two and a half semi-trucks – for distribution throughout New York and New Jersey.

One of the 280 kilowatt (kw) generators was delivered to a city-owned retirement home in the heart of Newark, where more than 900 residents were without power for more than three days. The generator is being used to power the HVAC system, lighting, important medical equipment, and the elevators for the 11-story building. 

The other generator was placed early Friday morning at a still-dark fire station, Engine Company 16 in Newark, where firefighters normally operate three fireboats to patrol the Passaic River.  Their role changed significantly over Sandy's duration as the boats were being used to extract residents from their flooded homes and other locations along the lower Hudson River, and to deliver emergency equipment to locations inaccessible by land.

"Diageo's generous donation of generators allowed the City of Newark to provide a basic human necessity - electric power - to the residents of the Foushee retirement home. The generators brought life-saving relief to dozens whose lives are dependent on critical medical equipment such as ventilators and oxygen concentrators," said Battalion Chief Mike Reed, of the Newark Fire Department. "All of us at the Newark Emergency Operations Center are tremendously impressed at the speed with which the generators were delivered."

Diageo also delivered bottled water to Hillside Food Bank in Hillside, NJ on Wednesday and to Floyd Bennett Field late Friday night where National Guard troops are staging provisions for storm victims. In addition, Diageo employees dispatched bottled water in six New Jersey towns, including Hoboken, West Caldwell, Little Ferry, Belmar, Trenton and Edison. 

Guy Smith, Executive Vice President of Diageo North America said: "Any time we can be there to provide the necessary relief for disaster victims is a great day for the people of Diageo. We will continue to work closely with city officials to ensure these resources are meeting the needs of the victims and first responders of Hurricane Sandy."

This relief effort is part of Diageo's Spirit of the Americas Humanitarian Aid program.  Established in the aftermath of the September 11 th attacks, the Spirit of the Americas program provides immediate relief and disaster aid around the world.

About Diageo's Spirit of the Americas Humanitarian Aid ProgramIn December 2001, Diageo brought the first corporate humanitarian airlift to war-torn Afghanistan by delivering more than 100,000 pounds of food and emergency supplies to 800 orphans in Kabul. In June of 2003, the company chartered a DC-8 cargo plane and delivered more than 150,000 pounds of food, medicine and school supplies to Baghdad, becoming the first American company to embark upon a humanitarian mission into Iraq. In the 11 years since the inception of Diageo's Spirit of the Americas foundation, Diageo has delivered humanitarian aid, often in the wake of horrific storms or intense conflict, to Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Mississippi, New Orleans, Texas, Florida, Alabama, Grenada, Jamaica, Sudan and Louisiana.

Diageo not only funds these missions, but, just as they have since 9/11, company executives and employees also accompany the relief supplies to the crisis zone and help distribute the aid, making sure we are there every step of the way. This is what makes Diageo's humanitarian aid projects unique. Whether it's in Afghanistan, Iraq, Grenada, Haiti, Indonesia or Diageo's home state of Connecticut, the Spirit of the Americas is there.

Diageo's Spirit of America Humanitarian Aid Missions is facilitated by the Bridge Foundation, a nonprofit humanitarian aid and development organization that provides humanitarian relief worldwide.

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