While Hurricane Ida has passed, the devastation of the storm continues to be felt in many areas. The Wheels Donlen community is thinking about those affected by the storm and we are grateful for the people there to help those in need.
We have heard from many of our supplier partners who have confirmed both their safety and operational situations. Many have reopened and have shared they are ready for business.
Outreach continues to dealership to understand the potential impact. Of those we have reached so far, there has been no damage to vehicles. Overall, our new vehicle risk level was low – coming in at just over 80 vehicles in the affected areas.
For Florida, new vehicle registrations, plates and state changes remain on hold. Registration renewals for September and October have resumed. For South Carolina, DMV offices that were closed are reopening and regular operations have resumed as well.
No issues to report.
Driver Service Center
Service levels are strong and hurricane-related calls are relatively low. However, we expect to have more loss reports, roadside, and glass repair requests over time.
Area auction houses reported no damage.
The Wheels’ Hurricane Task Force, operational and account teams continue to monitor Ida’s impact to our vehicles, drivers, and supplier partners. If one of your drivers and / or vehicles is directly affected, a member of your Wheels Donlen account team will reach out to you.
A message from OnStar.
If you utilize the Crisis Assist service with OnStar, they are currently offering complimentary to Florida residents.
To help our customers in need, GM is offering complimentary OnStar Crisis Assist services to current, eligible owners impacted by Hurricane Ian for a limited time. By pushing the blue OnStar button, these vehicle owners can connect with a specially trained Advisors who can provide access to emergency services, special routing assistance and activate complimentary in-vehicle Wi-Fi® Hotspot for 30 days in properly equipped vehicles.
OnStar Advisors are ready to help 24/7 our customers in need with:
• Coordinating emergency rescue and evacuation services
• Routing away from danger
• Connecting callers with loved ones, family and friends
• Directing to resources like food, water, fuel, shelter and hotel rooms
• Handling “Good Samaritan” calls to help others impacted
• Adding data for the available in-vehicle Wi-Fi Hotspot*(data plans provided by AT&T)
Residents in the affected areas can push the blue OnStar button and ask for an advisor to receive assistance.
Visit OnStar Crisis Mode for more information.
After leaving Cuba in darkness, Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm. The aftereffects will continue to be felt in the days and weeks to come. Our thoughts go out to all those affected. While it is still early to know if any of our vehicles, drivers and supplier partners have been impacted, the Wheels Donlen Hurricane Task Force and operational teams are actively monitoring the situation and will communicate updates accordingly.
Hurricane Ian made landfall in western Cuba early Tuesday as a powerful Category 3 storm and is now moving toward Florida. According to media reports, Ian has weakened slightly as it continues its path. The forecast calls for Ian to become a weak Category 4 storm.
Florida is bracing for the storm as several counties are ordering residents to evacuate, while others are urging residents to prepare to evacuate if necessary.
Actions to Take Now
Before a storm hits, we have found that best thing to do is to remove any limits / restrictions on fueling and rental vehicle utilization. If you would like to temporarily remove or raise fueling restrictions on fuel cards as regular grade fuel supplies may be limited and drivers may want to fill up more frequently, please contact a member of your Wheels Donlen Account Team. If you have an approval restriction on rentals, we suggest temporarily removing those restrictions. A member of your account team can help you update that as well.
- Tolling. We received word from our tolling vendor partner that Florida is suspending tolls in several areas along the Gulf coast. The toll roads where drivers will not have to pay include Polk Parkway, Pinellas Bayway, Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Selmon Expressway, and the Interstate 4 connector. Outside the Tampa Bay area, tolls will be suspended at the Midway Bridge and Spence Parkway in Okaloosa County, Garcon Point Bridge in Santa Rosa County, and Alligator Alley. Additional toll roads may be suspended.
- Registration. We have opted to hold our October renewal mailings until Hurricane Ian has passed. We anticipate sending out early next week.
- Be advised that fuel shortages may occur, and prices may increase.
- Roadside assistance will be prioritized to help those in emergency situations.
- Rentals may be scarce or unavailable in certain areas.
- Visit the Hurricane Resource Hub for hurricane safety tips.
The Wheels Donlen Hurricane Task Force will continue to monitor the situation, take appropriate action and report back accordingly.