Banks and Businesses Show Heart in Wake of Hurricane Sandy

Companies are doing their part to help victims of Hurricane Sandy

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People crowd into a Chase Bank ATM kiosk to charge phones and laptops at 40th Street and 3rd Avenue, one block north of where power has gone out, on October 31, 2012 in New York City.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many businesses are doing all they can to help those left disempowered by the storm, both literally and figuratively. Millions have been left without power, and others are stranded far from their homes and still more have been rendered homeless by the massive storm, which has led to flooding and fires across the northeast and mid-Atlantic. Naturally, the last thing people want to think about is paying bills.

Fortunately, big banks are doing their part to provide relief to those affected by the storm. JPMorgan Chase is waiving overdraft fees and late fees on credit cards and loans through this morning, according to Fast Company. Citibank waived its ATM fees for customers using non-Citibank machines and Bank of America offered to refund any fees incurred during Sandy.

(MORE: Sandy’s Destruction: Live Updates on the Superstorm’s Aftermath)

And for those seeking shelter, companies are helping with that, too. Airbnb, an accommodations and rentals website, is offering to waive all their fees for more than 20,000 Airbnb listings available in affected areas. Airbnb is also asking hosts to consider lowering their prices on their rentals and cites at least one user who is offering guest rooms to stranded travelers for free. According to their site, the fee-free traveling and hosting applies to both guests who book — and hosts who accept new bookings — starting yesterday and lasting through November 7 in affected areas including New York, the Hamptons, Providence, New Haven, and Atlantic City for a maximum of seven nights.

And for those safe and sound who just want to make an easy donation to help victims, Apple has just set up a special page in its iTunes Store to let users make charitable donations to the Red Cross.

These companies’ efforts will undoubtedly fair far better for the company, than American Apparel’s tone-deaf email to customers sent during the height of the storm on Monday night offering a discount on their clothing, appealing to those who were supposedly “bored” during the storm. It’s certainly not an adjective to describe the thousands left without homes and millions still lacking power after the storm.

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