Wal-Mart and its foundation on Friday (Sept. 8) committed to give at least $1 million to the relief efforts for Hurricane Irma, the second hurricane to hit the U.S. in the past two weeks.
“We are deeply concerned about the devastating impact Irma is expected to have on the families and communities we serve,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and chief sustainability officer for Wal-Mart Stores.
She said the retailer is committed to recovery efforts for its customers, associates and neighbors and will be there to help them through the difficult time. Wal-Mart is centralizing its preparedness efforts through the Walmart Emergency Operations Center which operates 24 hours a day, tracking storm impacts and supporting associates’ needs and well-being. The retailer is taking care of employees by communicating with store and club location management teams, reminding them of emergency protocol.
Wal-Mart activates emergency support teams to help stores and club locations during critical events, and provide subject matter experts in logistics and emergency management to assist local emergency operations centers.
As with Hurricane Harvey, the retailer is mobilizing truckloads of water into the potentially affected areas to help meet the growing demand and understanding that water is a need across the region. Other work includes supporting operators in the field and its own replenishment teams to help ensure that shelves remain appropriately stocked.
Wal-Mart said it is ensuring that stores and club locations remain open for customers as long as safe conditions prevail.
Walmart and Sam’s Club also continue to support Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery and is working with organizations like the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and Convoy of Hope to coordinate work with elected officials and governmental entities. The company will continue to monitor Hurricane Irma and all other active storms in the coming days.
Wal-Mart facilities sit in the path of Hurricane Irma with hundreds of stores in Florida. As of Friday morning it had already started shutting down some of its stores.