Role of Business in Disaster Response

Degenkolb’s 70-Year Tradition of Earthquake Chasing


Learning from earthquakes through reconnaissance trips is a valued tradition at Degenkolb Engineers. Since our founding in 1940, our engineers have been observing damage after earthquakes through these trips and adjusting how we practice engineering as a result. Our experiences, combined with those of many others, ultimately lead to new design procedures and building code provisions. The learning continues with every earthquake—most recently those in Haiti, Chile, New Zealand, and Japan—and each is unique in its own regard.

200,000 Bags of Rice, 1 Million People Fed: Cargill's Story


Humanitarian organizations call it a crisis unlike any other. The worst drought in 60 years in Sub-Saharan Africa, coupled with conflict in Somali last year, left 13 million people at risk for starvation and malnutrition—a number greater than all the inhabitants of New York City and Los Angeles. In the face of this unprecedented disaster, Cargill donated 10,000 metric tons (more than 22 million pounds) of rice to support the World Food Program (WFP) USA’s efforts to fight starvation in the Horn of Africa.

How UPS Became a Disaster Response and Recovery Leader Through Their Business Expertise


There is an increasing focus on the issue of long-term recovery following disasters and urgent humanitarian crises. This is a good thing. The lessons of Katrina and other major disasters inform us that much work still needs to be done to coordinate effective strategies to help communities recover and thrive after a major humanitarian crisis.

Public-Private Collaboration: Six Years After Hurricane Katrina


By Mark Cooper, Senior Director of Global Emergency Management, Walmart Stores, Inc.

Hurricane Katrina changed everything in emergency management, especially the role of the private sector in disaster response. Walmart was singled out at the time for its leadership in helping communities respond. It’s a perspective I personally observed as a first responder to the disaster. Now, as head of the company’s emergency management department, that perspective helps shape our public-private collaboration at the state and federal levels every day.

Maryland Businesses Get Their Stake in Emergency Response


By: Kathy Snyder, President/CEO, Maryland Chamber of Commerce
Patrick Donoho, President, Maryland Retailers Association
Jock Menzies, President, American Logistics Aid Network
Oliver R. Davidson, Senior Advisor, Business Civic Leadership Center

Many heartwarming stories start with an urgent late night call asking for help. A personal connection combined with the ability and desire to help our neighbors can produce positive results even in unfortunate circumstances.

A Strategic Approach to Response and Recovery


By Frazier Wilson, Vice President Shell Oil Company Foundation, and Manager, Social Investment Shell Oil Company

Natural Disaster Financial Management: It’s All About Pre-crisis Preparation


By Jay Collins, Vice Chairman of Corporate and Investment Banking, Citi

Corporate Expertise in Disasters


Over the past decade, the Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) has issued a series of reports on the role of businesses in disaster response, primarily focusing on the philanthropic and social contributions that businesses make throughout the various stages of the disaster response process. This report looks at a different issue—what are businesses doing as innovators and developers of products and services to make communities more disaster resilient?

Talking About Preparedness: Leave No Stone Unturned


It’s perfectly understandable why disaster preparedness might not be a front-burner issue for most small business owners. There are customers to meet, employees to manage, bills to pay.  But time and time again, it’s been proven that pushing the subject to a back burner is a recipe for disaster.

As a company that is committed to helping small businesses succeed— and as a nonprofit organization for which disaster preparedness, relief, and recovery are strategic priorities — Office Depot and the Office Depot Foundation uses a variety of channels to communicate this message.

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