A record cold snap paralyzed much of the nation this week as arctic air spread south as far as Texas’ gulf coast. The unprecedented cold weather hamstrung infrastructure in several areas and left state and local governments and residents scrambling. Many promotional products companies in the affected areas announced temporary closures and adjusted hours while they rode out the weather.

Starting Monday, several industry companies contacted PPAI with updates to their schedules due to the winter weather. The Association amplified their messaging across its social media platforms to reach potentially wider audiences. PPAI also faced difficulties from the rolling blackouts that affected much of the state of Texas, and the Association was closed on Tuesday but reopened Wednesday.

The effects of the storm have been severe, with some of the worst reports coming out of Texas, where up to four million residents have been without power. And while much of the power has now been restored, hundreds of thousands remain in the dark, as of this morning, and almost seven million Texans have been told to boil water before consumption due to disruptions at water treatment plants. On Sunday, as the winter weather moved in, President Biden approved an emergency declaration for the state of Texas, authorizing federal assistance to supplement state and local responses. Today, Oklahoma’s request of a disaster declaration from the federal government was also approved as the state suffered under nearly two weeks of record-breaking low temperatures, heavy snow and freezing rain.

Federal disaster declarations also activate the Promotional Products Disaster Recovery Foundation’s (PPDRF) Business Recovery Fund. PPAI, in conjunction with the Regional Association Council (RAC), is offering disaster relief to help promotional products industry members and nonmembers located in federally-declared natural disaster areas get back to business. Click here for information on applying for funds.

To support the fund, financial contributions should be directed to the Promotional Products Business Recovery Fund, care of PPAI RAC, 3125 Skyway Circle North, Irving, Texas 75038. This fund is a 501(c)(3) organization and all contributions will be tax-deductible. A tax-deductible receipt will be mailed to each donor.