As the country prepares for a devastating 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, volunteers and staff at All Hands and Hearts (AHAH), a non-profit helping people and communities impacted by disasters, are getting essential support and supplies after logistical-powerhouse Amazon announced last month they would be doubling the size of their Global Disaster Relief Hub in Atlanta to assist more than 10 disaster response groups — including AHAH — helping communities impacted by disasters in the Southeast U.S.
In addition to doubling the size of storage space within the hub to 20,000 cubic feet, Amazon plans to donate 1 million items of critical relief supplies — twice the amount donated last year — and increase logistical support that will allow AHAH and other like-minded organizations to get more disaster-relief supplies to damaged communities faster. With 2022 slated to be a destructive year for hurricanes and other disasters, AHAH is working with Amazon now to pre-position necessary supplies so that they may be shipped and delivered at a moment’s notice.
“We launched Amazon’s Disaster Relief Hub in June of 2021 in Atlanta due to the city’s strategic position with regards to ground and air logistics. Atlanta is near the Gulf Coast, Atlantic Coast, and Caribbean, which typically bear the brunt of hurricane landfalls,” said Abe Diaz, Amazon’s Head of Disaster Relief. “Thanks to this hub, Amazon is able to utilize its existing infrastructure to deliver supplies quickly without being in the direct path of hurricanes. We’ve partnered with All Hands and Hearts since 2017 and admire their track record to deliver help when people need it most, and we want to support their efforts with our logistics scale as we support our other disaster relief partners.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is estimating an “above-normal” Atlantic hurricane season, including a 70 percent chance of three to six major hurricanes. This marks the seventh consecutive year of above-normal hurricane seasons for the U.S.
AHAH, whose nearly 64,000 volunteers have responded to disaster-stricken communities around the world, will be able to work with Amazon to preposition critical humanitarian supplies, including shelter materials, hygiene supplies, medical equipment, cleanup and repair materials, and other household items.
“When responding to disaster-stricken communities, timing is of the utmost importance. We need critical supplies delivered to these impacted areas as quickly as possible,” said Jess Thompson, CEO at AHAH, which specializes in community cleanup, home rebuilds and other disaster relief efforts. “When you’re waiting to see where disaster is going to hit next, you need a partner with national logistics already in place to act fast; what better partner can you ask for than Amazon, one of the nation’s largest delivery services?”
According to Amazon, the company has even made it easier for people and businesses to donate products included on AHAH’s Charity List through AmazonSmile, Amazon’s charitable shopping service. Amazon customers may also select a verified organization as their preferred non-profit through AmazonSmile, which gives 0.5 percent of eligible purchases to a customer’s charity of choice.
Additionally, AHAH will be working with Amazon to identify commonly requested items and procure disaster relief kits, which Amazon donates and distributes to disaster areas. These kits include non-edible items that are often sought after by displaced residents, including first aid supplies, towels, blankets and items for personal hygiene.
Amazon began organizing its disaster relief and response efforts in 2017, which saw Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, and Maria ravage the southern U.S. and Caribbean islands. To date, Amazon has provided more than 18.3 million items in response to 81 natural disasters and humanitarian aid crises around the world, with multiple disaster relief hubs established in Slovakia, Poland, Australia and India.
Amazon is proving to be an essential humanitarian partner for All Hands and Hearts, which has impacted more than 1.2 million people and mobilized over 63,000 volunteers to approximately 100 sites across the globe to help communities affected by catastrophic disasters, including wildfires in Butte County, California, hurricanes in Louisiana and Guatemala, tornadoes in Kentucky, earthquakes in Peru and Mexico, tsunamis in Japan and more. Find out more about their global disaster relief programs.