Apple moving Houston-area employees to safety, Tim Cook says

Along with fundraising efforts, Apple is helping its own employees affected by the deadly storm and flooding.

Steven Musil
Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Flooding in Houston From Hurricane Harvey

Residential neighborhoods near the Interstate 10 in Houston sit in floodwater in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times

Apple has sent its crisis management team to Houston to assist employees affected by the devastating flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, including relocating some employees and their families.

Soon after the deadly storm made landfall in Texas on Friday, Apple began accepting donations through iTunes to support the American Red Cross' relief efforts in the area. So far, it's helped raise more than $1 million and has also pledged another $2 million to the efforts. Now Apple is giving some insight into how it's working to assist its employees affected by the disaster.

"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 CEO Tim Cook wrote in a companywide email obtained by CNET.

At least 28 people have died since the Category 4 storm began whipping coastal communities throughout the region with rain and 130 mph winds. Thousands of rescues have been made in the region between Corpus Christi and Houston as epic flood waters continue to rise to dangerous levels.

Cook's email goes on to say that Apple employees in the Houston area have helped in the effort by opening their homes to members of the crisis management team and, in some cases, assisting in rescue operations. Apple products are playing at part as well, with iPads being used in US Coast Guard helicopters to coordinate search-and-rescue teams.

The company is also launching a donation drive at its Austin campuses in partnership with the Central Texas Food Bank and Caffè Macs to collect food, diapers and personal hygiene items.

"Because Texas is home to more than 8,700 of our coworkers, the storm's impact is felt by all of us," Cook said. "There's still much to do, and Apple is committed to help."

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