Johnson & Johnson has a century-long legacy of working with partners who specialize in responding to disasters by addressing short-term and longer-term needs. Immediate action typically includes distribution of disaster relief modules which contain essential Johnson & Johnson products that can help meet emergency medical needs. The Company’s disaster assistance also extends beyond immediate impact, focusing on long-term recovery for devastated communities, especially in restoring and advancing health care in the affected areas.
The Company’s first documented and coordinated disaster relief effort was in 1906, the year of the historic earthquake and fires that devastated San Francisco. Within hours, emergency medical and surgical supplies were loaded on trains bound for San Francisco. Johnson & Johnson provided gauze, sutures, bandages, and other necessities, making the Company the largest donor of medical provisions to the area. Additionally, Johnson & Johnson set up field hospitals to support relief efforts. These actions set into motion a legacy of disaster relief and philanthropic outreach that continues today on a global scale.
In the years following the Company’s initial disaster response in 1906, the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies has responded consistently to major natural and man-made disasters around the world. Our Credo, a one-page document written in 1943 by then Chairman General Robert Wood Johnson outlines the philosophy that guides the Company’s responsibilities to customers, employees, communities, and shareholders. The Company’s responsibility to the community serves as the foundation for its approach to philanthropy.
Johnson & Johnson embraces a mitigation approach to disaster response through preparation.
In the immediate aftermath of any major disaster, Johnson & Johnson works through its key international relief partners and local affiliates to assess and rapidly respond – in many cases within hours – to critical health needs with an array of consumer, pharmaceutical, and medical products. Johnson & Johnson routinely pre-positions disaster relief modules in key global “hot spots” prone to earthquakes, hurricanes, and other catastrophes, working through a network of long-time partners such as Direct Relief, AmeriCares and Heart to Heart. These modules include wound care and infection protection products, hygiene items, sutures, essential medicines, analgesic and orthopaedic products. Johnson & Johnson also supports other partners which provide food, water and health care to those affected by social and civil unrest.
Additionally, the Company offers volunteer leave for employees and supports employee charitable giving to more than 5,000 nonprofits. In the U.S. the match is 2:1 for every dollar an employee donates, and 1:1 for every dollar a retiree donates, up to $10,000 a year.
Johnson & Johnson embraces a mitigation approach to disaster response through preparation. Beyond pre-placing disaster relief modules, Johnson & Johnson has partnered with charitable and medical organizations to ensure that those who serve people at high-risk are better prepared for disasters, resulting in fewer injuries and deaths.
“Disasters inevitably disrupt health care in a community, both for those in need of critical care and those with chronic health conditions,” said Kim Keller of Johnson & Johnson. “It’s vital for communities to get their health care infrastructure back up and running as quickly as possible after a disaster to deal with injuries and to ensure continued care for those who need it. We are proud to have supported the
Disaster Philanthropy Playbook as a resource for philanthropy to help communities return to a healthy state.”