How has Walmart Responded to Emergency Situations?
Here in the United States, the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season was one of the strongest we have ever faced. With only Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria's devastation, the country's faced with a bill of roughly $250 Billion (NOAA) worth of damage to our communities. Walmart was the leader among other corporations who stepped in and helped the American Red Cross and the National Guard take control of the aftermath to try to help the families in those communities get back on their feet.
Sadly, those are not the only types of disasters we ever face in this country, from Wild Fires to Massive Ice/Snow Storms to Tornados and Earthquakes. Families around the world face these disasters daily. In a joint report with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters recorded 3,062 natural flood disasters between 1995 and 2015. The second most frequently occurring disaster was storms, which accounted for 2,018 disasters with Earthquakes being third with 562 disasters. If this report has anything to show us, Walmart needs to be ready.
We at Walmart try to do our fair share of helping the community recover from emergency situations. We have seen examples such as the Flint, Michigan, Water Pipe issues which is ongoing since 2014 to the Joplin, Missouri, EF5 Tornado in 2011. To Walmart, our communities are not just numbers, they are family and friends.
According to the Clinton Global Initiative, “In 2015, Walmart and Walmart Foundation committed to formalize its support to communities before, during, and after tragedies by leveraging its local presence in communities around the world to invest in communities to become more prepared and resilient.” It then proceeds to say, “to do so, Walmart will 1) continue to provide cash and in-kind relief in the wake of disasters affecting communities, 2) convene the global and U.S. disaster relief sector to share sector best practices; and strengthen partners in the sector through capacity-building grants, 3) increase engagement of Walmart associates in relief and resiliency efforts, and 4) strengthen the preparedness and response capacity of local communities through local grants, engaging Walmart customers, and funding resilience initiatives in select cities. Over five years, Walmart and Walmart Foundation will provide $25 million of grants to support these efforts.”
Walmart has since released information pertaining to this commitment and said "Since FY2017, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have surpassed the $25 million commitment by providing over $44 million in preparedness and in response to disasters around the world. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation will continue to support communities through disaster response and preparedness activities, providing aid to those impacted when they need it most."
According to NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, in 2018 (as of April 6), there have been 3 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. These events included 1 severe storm event and 2 winter storm events. Overall, these events resulted in the deaths of 34 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted.
So how does Walmart handle these situations? Below we have Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Harvey, 12 Years of Progress and the joint report from The Centre for Research on the Epidemiology. Included in the Hurricane examples are links to outside articles pertaining information to Walmarts reaction along with Walmarts own blog about the storms.