The Disaster Assistance and Recovery program is a mechanism for sharing the latest ideas on disaster assistance, practicing recovery plans, highlighting the good work of corporate citizens, and helping to rebuild the livelihoods of people affected by extreme events. Meet the network of companies working to improve disaster assistance and recovery in the U.S. and around the world.


Hurricane Sandy Update

Business-Nonprofit Disaster Portal



  • Business donations for emergency response efforts
  • Business expertise and innovations that improve the disaster management system
  • Skills based volunteering and in-kind donations
  • Business partnerships with NGOs and government agencies
  • Disaster response and recovery best practices
  • Preparedness and resilience initiatives
  • Case management of ongoing disaster recovery
  • Communication, coordination, and information-sharing mechanisms among public and private sector responders



  • Led a corporate delegation trip to Joplin, MO in January 2012 in partnership with the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce.  The trip brought companies from around the country to Joplin, MO to get a firsthand look at the tornado recovery, and find out ways to donate and invest in the community.  
  • Hosted a successful forum: Thinking About Earthquake Power Outage Challenges and Business Resumption, in San Diego, CA in March 2012.  The forum featured topics like coordination with government, energy challenges to business restoration after disasters, business continuity/risk management, how to pay for losses, etc.  More than 150 attendees from business, government, military, and academia actively participated.  
  • Brought together thirty businesses, government officials, and nonprofit organizations for a discussion forum entitled, Japan One Year Later, in April 2012.  Speakers from the U.S. Japan Council and Fluor Corporation led a discussion on Japan’s ongoing recovery and lessons learned from the terrible tragedy.  
  • Hosted a two day forum in Manila, Philippines in May 2012 in partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce and the Corporate Network for Disaster Response. The first day brought together 200 businesses from around the Philippines to learn business continuity concepts from established experts from around the world.  The second day was a groundbreaking facilitated discussion between the business community and the Philippines government on the topic of disaster resilience.
  • In May 2012, BCLC partnered with InterAction to host a discussion forum with businesses and NGOs on the topic of international disasters.  The discussion focused on how the two sectors can work together better in order to build better partnerships and improve the overall delivery of aid to people in disaster stricken areas around the world.  
  • As a follow up to BCLC’s forum with National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) in October 2011, BCLC created a new portal for domestic disasters.  The portal is a resource for finding out which national-level nonprofit is working in which phase and function after a disaster in the U.S.  The portal was made possible by Toyota.
  • Launched a new report entitled, The Role of Business in Disaster Response, in May 2012.  The report is a collection of 19 articles that detail how companies are using their expertise, innovations, and product developments to improve the way disasters are handled in the U.S. and around the world.  The report finds that there are many unique ways that companies are helping with disasters that far exceed traditional philanthropy.  It shows that companies are being a part of the solution simply by doing what they do best.
  • BCLC partnered with Good360 to host a webinar in June 2012 entitled, Best Practices for Donating Product for Disaster Recovery Efforts. The webinar highlighted how in-kind donations can play a major role in getting communities back on their feet, and how companies can determine what products are needed, when, so that donations meet critical needs at each stage.  
  • In partnership with the International Economic Development Council, BCLC hosted a workshop on improving disaster recovery in the United States.  The workshop brought together a very select group of economic recovery expters and representatives to identify best practices and lessons learned on preparedness and recovery efforts in disasters occurring since 2005.
  • In September 2012, BCLC brought together 25 public, private, and NGO leaders to discuss strategies for regional disaster and environmental resilience around the United States.
  • BCLC mobilized its disaster response mechanisms as a result of Hurricane Sandy.  We helped coordinate the business response to the disaster by taking the following steps:
    • Activated the corporate donations tracker, totaling over $113 million in corporate aid
    • Held multiple conference calls to help coordinate the business, nonprofit, and government responses.  Speakers on the calls included FEMA, SBA, EDA, Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Queens Chamber of Commerce, Target Corporation, etc.
    • Received and processed thousands of requests through the BCLC Help Desk supported by Office Depot Foundation.  BCLC staff coordinated donations between companies and NGOs all over the world. 
    • BCLC was published in news articles and interviews regarding Hurricane Sandy.  This included an interview on MSNBC’s Your Business, and media coverage in Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, Fox Business, Bloomberg, Reuters, Huffington Post, etc.



Report: Role of Business in Disaster Response

The Role of Business in Disaster Response examines how businesses are utilizing their expertise to help improve community resilience, response and recovery in times of disaster. This report is the first in BCLC's year-long report series "The Role of Business." Read the report here, or watch the video here.



Webinar: Best Practices for Donating Product for Disaster Recovery Efforts

Listen to the webinar recording and download the PowerPoint presentation.







BCLC disaster LEAD

Gerald McSwiggan (email) works with companies to sharpen and clarify their role in disasters and help them be effective in their disaster preparedness, relief, and recovery giving and investing. During non disaster times, he leads forums, workshops, webinars, and publishes reports and whitepapers to improve the overall system.  In crisis time, he leads coordination conference calls, corporate delegation trips to disaster areas, tracks corporate donation information, and coordinates effective partnerships between the sectors. 



  • UPS: Ed Martinez, President, UPS Foundation
  • Office Depot Foundation: Mary Wong, President, Office Depot Foundation


Disaster Program Headlines:

What Corporate Citizens Should Know about Post-Tornado Joplin


FEMA has been to America’s most shell-shocked communities. In the critical hours and days following a presidentially declared natural disaster, roads are impassable, communications are down, residents aren’t sure what to do, and area business owners/operators feel unsure about what the future holds for them.

Helping Businesses Succeed will Help Joplin Succeed


BCLC’s recent business delegation trip to Joplin Mo. brought together business leaders, government officials and nonprofit organizations to assess the community recovery efforts post-tornado. As part of the trip, Gerald McSwiggan, the senior manager of BCLC's Disaster Assistance and Recovery Program, spoke with regional media on the role of businesses in post-disaster recovery efforts.

Disaster Assistance & Recovery Program

Disaster Assistance & Recovery Program: Working to build resilient communities before disasters, and helping them fully recover afterwards.
Program Underwriters: FedEx, Motorola Mobility Foundation, Office Depot Foundation, UPS

Disaster 2011 Accomplishments:

Disaster Assistance & Recovery: Thinking About Earthquake Power Outage Challenges and Business Resumption

The Business Civic Leadership Center and the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services invite you to participate in an important forum for business, nonprofit organizations, and local government.

Haiti Two Years Later: Businesses that Help Rebuild a Country

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) introduced an online portal, "Haiti: Two Years Later," to mark the two years that have passed since the country experienced the devastating earthquake.  The portal’s focus is on the entrepreneurial opportunities for rebuilding and social progress that exist today in Haiti, as well as the important role business investments, including CSR programs, are playing.

Haiti: A Bright Business Horizon


If you have ever traveled to Haiti, you know as well as I do there is one defining characteristic that you can’t miss: the entrepreneurial spirit that the Haitian people possess everywhere you go. In fact, business classes and managers around the world could learn a thing or two from entrepreneurs on the streets of Port au Prince, particularly around market adaptation.

Stanley Lucas, Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, Discusses Recovery Investments in Haiti

This video clip was created on Oct. 5, 2011, during BCLC's 2011 global CSR conference. Stanley Lucas, chief executive of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, outlined ways the fund is investing in Haiti's recovery present-day.

President Clinton Addresses Haiti Relief with BCLC Audience, April 8, 2010

During a conference session titled "Recovery Efforts in Haiti: Moving Beyond Emergency Relief," President Bill Clinton offered video remarks to the 150-person audience. His address was followed by a short presentation by Petra Nemcova and Phillip Caputo of the Happy Hearts Fund.

Conversations with Stephen: The 2012 CSR Outlook

Thanks for joining Stephen Jordan, Executive Director of the U.S. Chamber Business Civic Leadership Center and Aman Singh, Editorial Director of CSRWire, for an intimate conversation about what happened in corporate social responsibility (CSR) in 2011 and what the field has in store for 2012. The 2012 CSR Outlook was the first in a FREE six-part forum series with a tweetchat at #BCLConCSR.


Subscribe to RSS - Disaster