The Private-Public Switch

When disaster strikes, business acts. From donating millions to support relief organizations, to activating countless employee volunteers, to providing in-kind products and services—communities recover quicker because the private sector mobilizes in times of need.

The 2017 disaster season illustrated that business is leading on disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. This is why the Chamber Foundation chose to highlight this leadership in the name of this year’s disaster resilience conference, Building Resilience through Private-Public Partnerships (PPP) Conference.  It’s not a typo that it says “private-public” instead of “public-private”—but an intentional switch to illustrate the private sector’s ability to take a leading role in community recovery and resilience efforts.

With our federal partners, we believe this year’s conference will illustrate not only how businesses lead in disaster resilience, but also how they innovate and collaborate across sectors. The PPP conference will feature examples of companies who are using their own resources, products, and services to lessen the impact of the 2017 disasters in the affected communities and mitigate future disasters. For example:

  • After a disaster strikes, Airbnb utilizes their response tool to identify hosts in the impacted areas that would be willing to accept displaced neighbors at no cost. Following Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria, Airbnb activated their hosts across the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean to open their homes for $0 for those evacuated or impacted by the storms.

  • As part of their “Delivering for Good” initiative, FedEx provided a total of $3 million in cash and services for hurricane and earthquake relief efforts following the 2017 disaster season. The company worked with organizations to deliver critical medical aid and supplies to help communities recover. FedEx’s shipments to impacted areas in Mexico included water treatment systems to supply clean drinking water to 30,000 people a day.

  • Following Hurricane Maria, UPS provided in-kind transportation services by flying UPS planes to Puerto Rico and Cuba, delivering meals and critical relief supplies, such as tarps, hygiene kits, mosquito nets, and shelter tool kits. The supplies helped thousands of families recover and rebuild their homes and communities. Following Hurricane Irma and the Mexico City Earthquake, UPS also provided in-kind technical expertise to provide support for long-term needs ranging from rebuilding to personal and financial recovery assistance.

These three examples just scratch the surface of business engagement in resilience. This year’s PPP Conference will include CEOs, federal officials, and nonprofit leaders that are improving disaster response efforts and helping communities become stronger and more resilient. Check out the featured speakers here.

There’s still time to join us on July 24 and 25 in DC! Click here to register and learn more.