Amazon has prepositioned the most-needed relief products in a special facility in Atlanta for quick deployment to disaster-affected communities in partnership with American Red Cross, Save the Children, World Central Kitchen, and other nonprofits
Amazon has used its inventory and logistics infrastructure to respond to more than 100 natural disasters and humanitarian crises, and donated more than 23 million relief items around the world
Amazon announced today that it has more than doubled the capacity of its Disaster Relief Hub in Atlanta by prepositioning 2.4 million relief items ahead of the 2023 hurricane season, which officially begins today. The items will be distributed in the wake of natural disasters to nonprofits and other aid partners that quickly help communities impacted by hurricanes or other disasters. The Disaster Relief Hub is a dedicated space within Amazon’s global logistics network to store and quickly pack items that are most-needed following damaging storms and other emergencies.
“As natural disasters increase in frequency and severity, we’re expanding our Disaster Relief Hub in Atlanta, allowing us to deliver more items in less time during this year’s hurricane season,” said Abe Diaz, head of Amazon Disaster Relief. “Since 2017, we’ve responded to more than 100 natural disasters and humanitarian crises in the U.S. and across the world. We’ve donated more than 23 million relief items, and we’ve mobilized our teams and used our logistics capabilities to help communities in need—from flying two cargo planes to Türkiye after the recent earthquakes to setting up two humanitarian hubs in just 10 days to help Ukrainian refugees.”
Amazon works year-round with national and international relief organizations—such as the American Red Cross, Save the Children, and World Central Kitchen—to identify items that will most likely be needed after natural disasters. Data shows that more than 80% of the needed items are the same after each natural event.
Using such data and forecasts from relief organizations, Amazon teams are able to pack tens of thousands of relief items and have them ready to deploy as soon as it’s safe following a natural disaster. Some of the most frequently requested products include diapers, tarps, cots, blankets, heaters, tents, solar lights and chargers, and cleaning supplies.
“We are extremely grateful for our collaboration with Amazon. During times of disaster, companies like Amazon enable the American Red Cross to carry out our mission and serve those in need. As we start another hurricane season, it is critical we have stocked warehouses and relief supplies to help at a moment’s notice,” said Dee Dixon, regional chief executive officer of the American Red Cross of Georgia. “Amazon’s donation and commitment to disaster relief and preparedness help the Red Cross respond to communities and families in need across the country.”
Improving disaster response through cloud technology
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is helping organizations use the power of cloud computing to improve disaster response. For example, AWS is working with the American Red Cross to better serve communities by innovating cloud computing-enabled solutions, including powering Alexa-enabled devices to receive hurricane alerts and to schedule blood donations.
AWS also has a dedicated Disaster Response team that helps standby partners—including relief organizations and nonprofits—prepare for and respond to disasters globally with the cloud. This includes testing proof-of-concepts and fine-tuning existing innovations under simulated disaster conditions, with support from AWS Disaster Response vehicles. These vehicles are enabled with technology like AWS Snowball Edge devices, which are powerful and portable cloud computing devices designed for rugged deployments in the harshest physical environments.
AWS has used cloud technology to help standby partners with mapping and damage assessment of hard-hit areas, re-establishing internet connectivity, and scaling call centers to handle increased requests after a disaster. The team also provides computing power for responding organizations in the field to process information on-site, enabling them to make faster decisions about where to focus response efforts.
In the past 18 months alone, Amazon has responded to major disasters and humanitarian crises across the world, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico and Hurricane Ian in Florida, the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria, as well as tornadoes, wildfires, and floods.
To learn more about Amazon disaster relief and response efforts, visit https://www.aboutamazon.com/impact/community/disaster-relief
Patrick Malone – firstname.lastname@example.org