National Preparedness Month: How Companies are Getting Involved

Between Hurricane Hermine tearing up the East Coast earlier this month and the major flooding in Louisiana, disaster preparedness and response has been on the minds of many recently. And with months to go in hurricane season, companies and consumers alike must stay alert. To provide solutions in the moment of disaster and ensure individuals keep safety top of mind throughout the year, companies are launching National Preparedness Month campaigns. Here’s a roundup of a few efforts we’ve seen this month:

  • During the month of September, Disney is launching The Pillowcase Project in partnership with the Red Cross. The initiative includes school curriculum centered on the core principles of "Learn, Practice and Share" and teaches students how to create their own emergency supply kits, packed in pillowcases for easy transport. So far, the program has reached 500,000 3rd – 5th graders in schools nationwide.
  • As part of its $25 million disaster commitment, Walmart has granted $1.5 million to the Red Cross to develop a data tracking tool to help relief organizations know where to focus efforts. The tool, named RC View, collects data in real time across organizations helping to alleviate the loss of precious time as multiple organizations try to collect and aggregate information manually.
  • In honor of National Preparedness Month, Boise Paper has launched "Pledge to Prepare" alongside the Red Cross. The initiative asks consumers to take three simple steps: Make a Pledge, Make a Plan and Make a Kit. Individuals can take the pledge on the Red Cross website and follow information on how to plan and pack for a disaster. Boise has also created a special edition carton of Multi-Use Copy Paper that can be repurposed as a preparedness kit.
  • Ford is launching the new Ford Disaster Relief Mobility Challenge this month. The program will award three grants of up to $70,000 each to purchase and modify a Ford Transit Van for disaster relief work. Applicants are charged with showing how they could use the van to solve their disaster relief needs to win the award.

When major disaster strikes, it’s up to everyone to play their part, including companies. In fact, nearly nine-in-10 (87%) global consumers expect companies to play a role in disaster response. But helping during a disaster is more than writing a check – 89 percent of consumers believe companies must leverage their unique assets to have the greatest impact on the ground, whether that’s teaching kids about disaster preparedness, awarding products – like Ford vans – to nonprofits in need of support or targeted grants to solve specific challenges.