Business Community Donates More Than $222 Million to Hurricane Relief Efforts

September 15, 2017

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© Photo credit: Official U.S. Navy Page from United States of America, via Wikimedia Commons

Like the rest of the country, our hearts and minds are with all of those impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Once storms like these pass, communities begin the long and daunting task of rebuilding their homes, businesses, and lives.

During times of disaster, the U.S. Chamber Foundation acts as the keeper of record for corporate giving through the Corporate Aid Tracker, which aims to help the public understand how the business community is responding as well as encourage others in the private sector to give.

From the scope of impact to the needs of the victims, every disaster is different, and the response efforts for Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma are different, as well. Companies are tailoring their responses to each disaster to ensure they are supporting the communities in need.

What remains true is that when disaster strikes, the business community steps up.  

As response efforts continue, corporations are coming together to do their part to help those in need through donations of resources, skills, funds, and more. Thus far, the corporate response to both disasters has been strong, providing much needed funds and resources to aid the victims of both storms.

To date, corporate contributions for Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma relief and recovery efforts have exceeded $222 million.

Cash donations are tremendously important during the initial rescue and relief periods, but companies are also putting their unique expertise and one-of-a-kind resources to work during the immediate recovery efforts.

For example, Airbnb is using its network of hosts to provide housing to those impacted. The company has activated their hosts across the state to open their homes for $0 for those evacuating or impacted by the hurricanes. To date, more than 1,000 hosts have listed their space.

Companies like IBM are giving a combination of monetary donations as well as donating the expertise of their employees. IBM is providing a comprehensive response package valued at $2 million made up of cash and in-kind technology and services. Support will include consulting to the American Red Cross for management of its main shelter locations and to small businesses for recovery efforts. IBM will also grant access to leading technologies for operations and data management related to volunteers, benefits programs, and situational awareness for our government and not-for-profit partners.

UPS is using their logistical expertise and resources to support organizations in the relief and recovery efforts. They’re partnering to launch a drone pilot program to assess damages, they’re supporting organizations like Toolbank Disaster Services and Hewlett Packard Connection Spot Trailer to transport emergency response resources, and they’re utilizing their logistics expertise to move essential relief supplies to areas of need. They are also dividing their cash donation so that half can be used for immediate response and the other half will be used for long-term recovery.

These are just a few of the hundreds of examples of the business communities’ commitment to helping communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. The Corporate Aid Trackers will continue to be updated regularly to effectively capture the private sector’s impact. Businesses that are giving to the response efforts are encouraged to fill out this form to be included on the tracker.