With ongoing wildfires blazing across California, Oregon, and Washington, and Hurricanes Laura and Sally recently tearing through the Gulf Coast, disasters have ushered in multi-layered crises like power outages, evacuations, and contaminated drinking water. These circumstances have created an overwhelming scale of devastation. Our thoughts are with those affected by the disasters.
Amazon is supporting nonprofits on the front lines of these disasters by donating nearly one million emergency aid items to help provide regional disaster relief. This follows more than 750,000 relief items donated earlier this year to help community partners respond to the Australian bushfire crisis, floods in Indonesia, earthquakes in Puerto Rico, and tornadoes in the Middle Tennessee region.
The West Coast wildfires
Since the start of wildfire season in August, dangerous fires have blazed in California, Oregon, and Washington, creating havoc along the U.S. West Coast. Millions of acres of land across the western region have burned and resulted in hundreds of thousands of people evacuating their homes for safer areas. Many of the people affected by the fires are also dealing with a sharp decline in air quality and damage to their property.
As the firefighters continue to work hard to contain the devastating and dangerous fires, Amazon has teamed up with Feeding America's network of regional California food banks to help provide relief to residents. Together, we have donated more than 170,000 bottles of water, 16,000 KN95 masks, and over 185,000 food items. In Oregon, Amazon has partnered with World Hope International to support on-the-ground wildfire relief efforts by donating more than 25,000 items—including commercial air purifiers, cases of diapers, clothing, and microwaves. We have also donated to the ongoing West Coast regional wildfire efforts of the American Red Cross and Fairgrounds Shelter by delivering in-demand relief supplies—including sleeping bags, large tents, gas camping stoves, and fuel cylinders.
Customers who wish to join Amazon in supporting the West Coast wildfires relief efforts can do so by donating funds to Save the Children and the American Red Cross. Customers can also say, "Alexa, make a donation to the western wildfires at the American Red Cross," to donate via Alexa-enabled devices.
"This year has been like no other—on top of a global pandemic—with multiple disasters happening in parallel across the globe," said Abe Diaz, Amazon's senior technical program manager for Disaster Relief by Amazon. "I’m incredibly impressed by all our community partners and the monumental efforts they are doing to support families in need. We're committed to helping the communities in which we serve, where we can leverage our scale and existing logistics and technological networks to help those enduring the consequences of these disastrous events."
On August 27, Hurricane Laura made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on the Louisiana coast, causing destruction across Lake Charles and the surrounding areas. More than 600,000 Americans were left without power or access to clean water, which could last for up to a month. Louisiana officials have called Hurricane Laura one of the strongest storms to hit the state.
In response, Amazon is partnering with Save the Children, American Red Cross, World Central Kitchen, and the state of Louisiana and Louisiana Economic Development's emergency management team to donate and deliver nearly 500,000 bottles of water as a first step in meeting residents' immediate needs. Amazon is also supporting World Hope International and United Way through the Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness by donating hundreds of thousands of requested items. Some of these items include generators, chainsaws, solar light chargers, cleaning supplies, cases of water and diapers, and baby formula to help local families get back on their feet.
"The aftermath of Hurricane Laura brought widespread destruction and devastation to communities across southern Louisiana. The hurricane’s damaging winds and heavy rainfall tore apart homes and businesses, caused dangerous flooding, and left tens of thousands of residents without power and access to clean water to meet their daily, basic needs. The road to recovery is just beginning and will be long as we work to heal communities and help Louisianians return to a sense of normalcy," said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. "We are grateful for Amazon’s continued support and partnership, as it allows us to get emergency aid and critical supplies directly to residents in need quickly and provide immediate relief."
“We are grateful for Amazon’s continued support and partnership, as it allows us to get emergency aid and critical supplies directly to residents in need quickly and provide immediate relief.”
On September 16, Hurricane Sally made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane hitting the Alabama coast and Florida panhandle causing widespread flooding and leaving hundreds of thousands of people without electricity. The Amazon disaster relief team is in constant communication with community partners on the front lines working to assess the aftermath damages, so we can help provide immediate resources to aid in relief efforts.
Amazon will continue to stand with communities as they begin to recover and help deliver relief where possible. Since 2017, Amazon has donated more than 10.7 million relief items for over 50 natural disasters around the world. Our support and commitment for communities in times of disaster is unwavering.
About Amazon's disaster relief and response
Amazon's disaster relief and response efforts leverage Amazon's vast operational excellence, innovative technologies, and worldwide logistics network to provide fast and effective support to worldwide operations fighting large-scale natural disasters. Amazon has filled cargo jets and shipped truckloads of Amazon-donated items for communities ravaged by hurricanes, sent solar-powered lights to people living without power after tsunamis, enabled customers to easily donate products and funds on Amazon.com, and helped governments and non-profits expedite response efforts at scale through our AWS cloud services.