By every meteorological measure, 2017 has been one of the worst hurricane seasons on record — and it's not over yet. As of mid-October, this year ranks as the 7th most active Atlantic hurricane season in recorded history.
In dollar terms, the damage has been staggering. Moody's Analytics predicts Hurricanes Harvey and Irma alone will cost between $150 and $200 billion in combined property damage, likely making 2017 the second costliest hurricane season after 2005 when Katrina devastated New Orleans.
While the storms dominated all media channels during the height of their activity, there is relatively little coverage now, just over 60 days after Hurricane Harvey first hit the southern coast of Texas. But the reality is that thousands of families lost everything they owned and are still displaced with their lives having changed completely over the course of a few days. The challenge is that once the media has cycled to the next breaking stories, the disaster-impacted regions are often forgotten. But those communities will be on a journey to recovery for months, if not years.
Good360 takes a holistic, long-term view of disaster recovery and, with its partners, is prepared to support impacted communities through every stage of a disaster, from early response to long-term rebuilding. The string of massively destructive storms led us to engage our network of private, public, and nonprofit partnerships like never before. Within a few short weeks, we reached out to numerous corporate partners and secured commitments for tens of millions of dollars in critically needed goods. From Houston to Miami to San Juan, Puerto Rico, we have met with dozens of nonprofit organizations to assess the immediate damage and to understand what will be needed for the long-term recovery.
As an organization, we have had to stay nimble and come up with creative and collaborative solutions to respond to ever-changing conditions on the ground. However, our core principle remains the same: to get the right goods to the right people at the right time.
A number of RILA members have already committed to help us with this goal by pledging support for the long-term recovery needs of hurricane-impacted regions through their partnerships with Good360. Throughout this tumultuous hurricane season, they have responded with a level of urgency, seriousness, and generosity that underscores their commitment to being leaders in corporate social responsibility.
- We collaborated with Rooms to Go to outfit 100 apartments for displaced hurricane survivors in Houston. The effort was part of the company's hurricane-related pledge to provide $2 million in funding and 2,000 rooms worth of furniture.
- American Eagle Outfitters announced it was donating $200,000 to Good360 for hurricane response efforts, tweeting that the "rain in Texas may have stopped, but the work is just beginning". The company also encouraged customers to make their own donations.
- Crate and Barrel committed furniture for the long-term recovery efforts and encouraged both employee and customer donations via a dedicated landing page.
- Nike pledged multiple truckloads of clothing to be made available to individuals in impacted areas over time as needs are identified.
- CVS Health donated two truckloads of water, snacks, and basic toiletries for survivors in Puerto Rico. They also shipped needed personal items to survivors in the Northern California wild fires.
- VF/Wrangler is working with Good360 and Cotton Inc. to direct insulation made from donated cotton apparel to long-term recovery projects in Texas. The program is part of the Blue Jeans Go Green initiative.
- Regis Corporation shipped over $100,000 in personal care products to survivors in Houston. These were used in shelters across the impacted area.
- The Home Depot shipped several truckloads of needed generators, tarps and other equipment and tools through Good360 to support efforts in Florida, USVI and Puerto Rico.
- Levi's committed 2 truckloads of highly needed socks and underwear; one to survivors of Irma and one in support of survivors of Harvey.
- Gap, Inc. committed 1 truckload of socks and underwear in support of survivors of Harvey.
- Target donated a significant amount of pillows to Good360 earlier in the year, some of which we pre-positioned for future disasters and have been able to distribute quickly when needs have been identified.
These corporate partnerships illustrate what's possible when we are able to creatively and collaboratively mobilize our private, public and nonprofit networks. Our unique position as an expert connector between corporations and nonprofits enables us to take the lead on disaster recovery efforts in ways that might not be possible for other nonprofits or even federal agencies. By working together to address needs in a thoughtful and purposeful way, we are collectively driving the long-term recovery of these communities.
This is a guest blog post by Good360