New York City was one of the areas of the East coast most affected by Hurricane Sandy. The storm left many without power, heat, food, and water. Relief efforts are ramping up as people from across the country are donating time, money, and goods to those in need. Most people associate organizations like the Red Cross with the hurricane relief efforts, but it turns out Victoria’s Secret played a pretty significant role in assisting those affected by the storm.
So just what does a company best known for its bras and underwear have to do with Frankenstorm? Most of lower Manhattan lost power when the storm hit, including the New York Army National Guard’s 69th Infantry Regiment’s headquarters on Lexington Avenue, which left the 300 National Guardsmen at the location unable to provide emergency aid to anyone else. It was a fortunate coincidence that lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret was at the armory to start setting up for their annual fashion show. The company lent the eight generators they brought to the armory to the National Guard to get them back up and running.
It’s lucky that the Victoria’s Secret is known for being so flashy and over-the-top because their 500-kilowatt generators provided a lot of power. The generators first helped restore hot water so that the 69th Infantry could shower. Fashion show producers then focused on restoring power to the rest of the building. They managed to shut down the armory’s connection to Con Edison in order to use their generators instead to restore electricity, heat, and use of the elevators. Victoria’s Secret also managed to restore communications systems within the armory by placing two routers in the command center and allowing the armory use of their internet. Not only did the retailer come to the rescue with their generators, but they also provided a forklift for the troops and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to use to help distribute food. Capt. Brendan Gendron, the Regiment’s operations officer, said, “We were dead in the water until Victoria’s Secret showed up.”
There were reports soon after the armory was powered up that the hundreds of soldiers were displaced anyways in order to allow for show preparations. To make room for private celebrity dressing rooms, the men and women were moved to the Jacob Javits Center, the Harlem Armory, and several hotels throughout the city. The show must go on, right? Well, it turns out these reports were exaggerated and wrongfully accused Victoria’s Secret of selfishly taking over the armory for the sake of their show. The National Guard insists they’re grateful for the all help they received from Victoria’s Secret and that their relocation was planned ahead of time and is being executed as expected.
The National Guardsmen can’t claim they were rescued by the gorgeous scantily clad models we’ve come to know as “Angels,” but it seems like there were some guardian angels at work behind the famous faces of the brand.