Companies Step Up Support in Wake of Hurricane Florence

Warnings of Hurricane Florence’s strength were widespread last week as companies boarded buildings and individuals evacuated to safer ground. Although the storm was reduced to a Category One by the time it made landfall, Florence left a path of destruction in its wake in the form of catastrophic rain, storm surges and flooding that is still impeding return to some communities a week later. As reports of devastation came in, companies jumped to action. Here’s a roundup of companies that took a distinctive approach to relief:

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  • Helping Evacuees Make Timely Escapes: Cuebiq, a location intelligence and measurement company, provided its aggregated and anonymous data to Gasbuddy in order to provide government emergency agencies with up-to-date wait times at gas stations in affected areas to ensure evacuees could efficiently fuel up and hit the road.

  • Providing Emotional Support Systems: In advance of Florence’s landfall, Magellan Health, a healthcare company focused on behavioral health, opened up a 24-hour crisis line “for all individuals affected by the storm and its aftermath.” The line provides free, confidential support as individuals “work to cope with the feelings of fear, sadness, anger and hopelessness related to these kinds of natural disasters.”

  • Taking Hometowns to Heart: The PepsiCo Foundation donated $1 million to relief agencies and 350,000 meals to those in need in areas close to Pepsi’s roots: its birthplace in New Bern, North Carolina. On September 14, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi tweeted, “#NewBernNC is the birthplace of @Pepsi. We wouldn’t be here without you and we are here for you now and always. #NewBernStrong.”

  • Activating Tech to Make Giving Easier: Amazon is embedding disaster relief right into its technologies with a new Alexa donations feature. Alexa owners can simply say “Alexa, donate to Hurricane Florence disaster relief,” to trigger a donation. The online giant also equipped 40 of its warehouses in nearby locations with products to be donated by Amazon as needed.

  • Giving Beyond Landfall: Charter Communications provided relief for the long-term by making a $350,000 donation to Rebuilding Together. The contribution is aimed to “help kickstart the recovery process and ensure that the resilient communities impacted by this storm get back on their feet." To provide immediate and urgent support, Charter donated $1 million in public service announcements to assist organization with fundraising and awareness for relief efforts.

Although donations to disaster relief nonprofits can often be the easiest way to give immediate and much-needed relief, these companies took unique approaches to helping in the aftermath of Florence. Through leveraging core competencies like location intelligence and mental health support, companies created custom solutions that are helping individuals and organizations get back on their feet faster after a disaster.