Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced today the opening of its first Disaster Relief Hub, a facility near Atlanta storing emergency supplies to quickly help our front-line community partners respond to natural disasters across the southeastern U.S., the Caribbean, and Central America. The hub will stock over a half a million Amazon-donated relief supplies in 10,000 cubic feet of fulfillment center space—enough to fill an Amazon Air 767 cargo plane and immediately provide critical supplies when a disaster strikes.
Atlanta is located 310 miles from the Gulf Coast, 734 miles from the Bahamas, and within 1,535 miles of Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands—areas that experience the most active hurricane season. Atlanta’s close proximity to the Gulf Coast, the Caribbean region, and Central America will help Amazon’s community partners swiftly respond to hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters.
“Our disaster relief and response team is partnering with global humanitarian relief organizations to leverage Amazon’s scale to help improve response time to large-scale natural disasters around the world,” said Alicia Boler Davis, vice president of Global Customer Fulfillment at Amazon. “Our expertise in logistics and operations allows us to be nimble, fast, and effective. We’ve created the Disaster Relief Hub in metro Atlanta to provide rapid relief when it’s needed most by donating and delivering hundreds of thousands of emergency aid supplies, including shelter materials like tents and tarps, hygiene items, and medical equipment.”
When a natural disaster hits, emergency teams quickly assess what supplies they have, procure items they need, and then consolidate, pack, and ship supplies into disaster zones. The process can take multiple days. To quicken that crucial timeframe, Amazon analyzed its data across four years of disaster support and formed a pre-positioning strategy.
The strategy is tailored to the most common relief supplies needed by our community partners to do their lifesaving work. Those supplies include tarps, tents, water containers and filters, medical equipment, clothing items, and kitchen supplies. Once those critical relief items are on the first flight out, Amazon works with community partners to identify other needed supplies from Amazon’s vast selection of products and fills additional, unique critical needs.
“I am thankful to Amazon for using their resources and humanitarian aid network to respond to disasters in our state, nation, and world through the new Disaster Relief Hub,” said Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. “With Amazon recently announcing the opening of a fulfillment center in South Georgia, to now announcing the opening of the Disaster Relief Hub in Atlanta, it is clear Amazon sees the many benefits of establishing itself in the Peach State. I am grateful for their commitment to bettering the lives of countless Georgians.”
The Disaster Relief Hub will initially support six global humanitarian aid organizations: the American Red Cross, Direct Relief, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, International Medical Corps, Save the Children, and World Central Kitchen.
“When a large natural disaster happens, companies like Amazon play an important role in how the American Red Cross responds to help communities and families in immediate need,” said Trevor Riggen, senior vice president of Disaster Cycle Services at the American Red Cross. “Amazon’s commitment to disaster relief and preparedness aligns with our mission to help disaster survivors. In order to fulfill this mission, we must have stocked warehouses, trained volunteers, and state-of-the-art systems in place. Amazon’s donation of critical relief supplies and advance pre-positioning efforts allows the Red Cross to stand ready to help at a moment’s notice. We’re honored to count Amazon as one of our most valued partners and are grateful for their continued support to fulfill our mission.”
Since 2017, Amazon has donated more than $29 million in cash and in-kind products in response to 59 natural disasters around the world. Amazon’s 2021 disaster relief and response efforts so far include donating and sending critical medical equipment worth over $5 million to support hospitals and other COVID-19 care facilities across India. Additionally, Amazon donated and delivered over 1 million bottles of water and thousands of items such as tents, flashlights, and search and rescue equipment to communities impacted by severe storms earlier this year in Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama. In 2020, Amazon donated more than 1 million emergency aid items to communities in the U.S. and abroad hit by hurricanes and wildfires, including water, generators, air filters, food, KN95 masks, and cleaning supplies. The efforts helped community partners providing disaster relief to people affected by wildfires in California, Oregon, and Washington state; Hurricane Laura along the Gulf Coast; earthquakes in Puerto Rico; and Hurricanes Eta and Iota in Central America and the Caribbean.
Amazon’s disaster relief and response efforts leverage Amazon’s vast operational excellence, innovative technologies, and global 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 cash on Amazon.com, and helped organizations including governments and nonprofits expedite response efforts at scale through our Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud services.
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