National Preparedness Month: Expect the Unexpected in an Unpredictable Climate

This week, Americans watched with bated breath as Hurricane Dorian ravaged the Bahamas and skirted along the southeastern coast of the U.S. We’re no strangers to severe weather – on the contrary, more than a handful of storms have devastated coastal communities over the last several years and a study from ServiceMaster Restore* revealed that half of Americans (52%) think they are more at risk now for a severe storm now than in past years.

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September is National Preparedness Month, a great time to reassess your business contingency plan and refresh employees and family members on disaster protocols. The cost of not doing so? The latest insurance analysis estimates Hurricane Dorian caused up to $7 billion worth of damage.

Many companies are jumping in to lend a hand with rescue and recovery efforts in the wake of the storm. Here are a few leading the charge:

Sprint waived call, text and data overages for customers in areas of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina expected to be hit hardest by the storm and readied emergency response teams in case of any damage to mobile networks or satellites. Meanwhile, Verizon offered unlimited texts and calls from the U.S. to the Bahamas, as well as unlimited calling, texting and data for customers in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.

In partnership with Operation Blessing International, KOHLER deployed its Relief Trailer in Florida, offering seven showering stalls in addition to sinks, faucets, mobile charging stations and flat-panel televisions to provide relief volunteers with a place to refresh, recharge and stay up to date on news and other important updates.

Lowe’s Emergency Command Center sprang into action, working closely with regional and district managers in affected areas to secure additional inventory needed in retail stores. Similarly, Home Depot worked with suppliers and transportation partners to move necessary supplies to stores in the storm’s path.

Cruise companies and frequent visitors to the Bahamas, including Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, have begun delivering supplies like water, food and generators to victims affected by the storm. Several others including Disney Cruise Line (The Walt Disney Company) and Carnival Corporation have made monetary and in-kind donations to aid immediate relief and recovery efforts.

It is no longer an option for companies to stay idle – according to the 2018 Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study, 78% of Americans believe companies must do more than just make money; they must positively impact society as well.

To help those affected by Hurricane Dorian and other natural disasters, consider making a donation to the American Red Cross, Global Giving or World Central Kitchen, which provides food to those affected by natural disasters.