Esab, Flateplate donate money and products to help regions devastated by hurricanes.

Welding and cutting equipment maker Esab has sent a $25,000 donation to the American Red Cross and transported bottled water to the battered Gulf Coast region.

Esab senior management is currently in the region to develop a long-term plan to help with the rebuilding efforts.

Throughout North America, Esab employees are collecting supplies and donating money. Esab is also matching employee donations and holding a fundraiser.

"The devastation caused by this event is incomprehensible," said Andy Blanchard, president and CEO of Esab North America. "Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this tragedy and we hope that our donations will help to bring necessary supplies and relief to those suffering as they rebuild their communities and their lives."

Many Esab customers and employees were in the path of the storm and sustained major damage to their homes and businesses, company officials said. In some cases, all their belongings were destroyed. Esab sent 4,500 gallons of bottled water to the Mississippi region from their Hanover, Pa., plant.

"I was scheduled to be in Germany, but this is too important. I really need to go there personally to see how Esab can help," said Jeff Hoffart, the company's senior vice president of equipment, cutting systems and steel industry products. "It is critical to get the right equipment and get it there fast. The only way to do this is by assessing the needs in the hardest hit areas firsthand."

After the initial needs assessment, Esab will partner with distributors in the region to help in the rebuilding effort.

Other manufacturers are also providing replacement parts and systems for those affected by the hurricane.

Flatplate, a manufacturer of brazed-plate heat exchangers, is providing emergency production of its heat exchanger components as part of national relief efforts. The company says that its employees are committed to providing a one-week production turnaround that will ship from stock toward any product that Flatplate's customers deem necessary for emergency support.

The company's heat exchangers are used in air-conditioning systems, cold-food storage, water purification systems, chillers for medical equipment, ice machines, process chillers, portable water chillers and other critical equipment.