As the frequency and intensity of natural disasters and wide-scale emergencies increases, and as government resources are stretched thin, communities are turning more and more to corporations to assist in immediate relief and long-term recovery efforts. Corporations possess high skilled talent, innovative resources, and cutting-edge technology that can help prepare their community to be more resilient and also save a community from a downward spiral post-disaster.
Important actions and strategies corporations have implemented include:
- Donations of goods and services that are in alignment with the company’s mission;
- Food and clean drinking water
- Medicine and medical supplies
- Logistics coordination and tracking
- Electric and Gas power
- Fuel for machinery
- Focus on restoring power, safety, communications, and transportation for first-responders and emergency management and relief personnel first; this enables those critical workers to assist the community at-large;
- Create initiatives that allow employees to put their best skills to use before, during and after a disaster;
- Establish and manage employee-giving campaigns;
- Establish and manage employee-volunteer programs;
- Offer training and workshops to small business and nonprofit community on disaster preparedness, business continuity planning, and disaster response and recovery.
In April 2014, when tornadoes struck Mayflower, Arkansas, Johnson & Johnson partnered with Heart to Heart International to distribute hygiene packs. Typically distributed within 24 hours post-disaster, the packs contain essential products including shampoo, lotion, Tylenol, toothbrush, toothpaste and sunscreen donated by Johnson & Johnson companies. The hygiene pack is one component of the larger Johnson & Johnson Corporate Contributions Disaster Relief program. Credit: Heart to Heart International