Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday afternoon emailed employees about Hurricane Harvey that is causing unprecedented and catastrophic flooding in southeastern Texas, revealing that users had so far raised more than $3 million in aid through iTunes, while the company has pledged $2 million.
“Because Texas is home to more than 8,700 of our coworkers, the storm’s impact is felt by all of us,” he wrote in the open letter to all Apple employees. According to the CEO, Apple has a global crisis management team on the ground that is helping to move some employees and their families.
The iPhone maker also has stores in the Houston area, some of which should open today.
“Though our stores in the Houston area are still closed today, we’re working hard to get as many as possible open tomorrow to serve people who have been impacted by the storm,” he wrote. “Our teams are eager to help with problems large and small, and they know there are lots of people in that area who need it.”
Here’s Cook’s message in full, as obtained by BuzzFeed:
As you know, Hurricane Harvey is having a devastating impact on Texas and Louisiana. Our thoughts are with our employees in the storm zone and the millions of people whose lives have been disrupted by rain, wind and floods. I want to update you on some of the things Apple has been doing to help, and ways that you can get involved.
On the ground, Apple’s global crisis management team is working to support our employees directly affected by the flooding in Texas. The team is in close contact with Apple employees in the Houston area, and they’re actively doing everything they can to assist, including moving some employees and their families to safety. Apple employees in the Houston area have generously been helping people displaced by the flooding by opening their homes to team members and their families, and in some cases, assisting in rescue operations. We’re also proud that the US Coast Guard is using Apple products in those efforts, with nearly two dozen USCG helicopters specially equipped with iPads to help coordinate search and rescue teams.
As Harvey was making landfall, we put in motion critical donation programs. Apple is making it easy for customers to donate directly to the American Red Cross through the App Store, iTunes and apple.com, and we’re matching employee donations two-for-one. Thanks to your generosity and that of our users, Apple has helped raise more than $1 million in just the past few days. That’s in addition to the $2 million Apple pledged to the Red Cross over the weekend.
Though our stores in the Houston area are still closed today, we’re working hard to get as many as possible open tomorrow to serve people who have been impacted by the storm. Our teams are eager to help with problems large and small, and they know there are lots of people in that area who need it.
I was in Austin the day before Harvey came ashore, and the team was already bracing for the storm and the long recovery. Today that work continues. At our Austin campuses, we are kicking off a donation drive in partnership with the Central Texas Food Bank and Caffè Macs to collect food, diapers and personal hygiene items — all things that are critical in the aftermath of a storm of this magnitude.
Because Texas is home to more than 8,700 of our coworkers, the storm’s impact is felt by all of us. There’s still much to do, and Apple is committed to help.
Cook visited Austin last week, a day before Harvey hit the Texas shore, to announce an expansion of the company’s Swift curriculum to more than two-dozen community colleges.