Retail giant Walmart and its ancillary business Sam’s Club, along with the Walmart Foundation, have committed $500,000 toward relief and recovery from the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian in North Carolina, South Carolina and the Bahamas. Walmart said the funds will include cash and in-kind donations to support organizations helping to meet the needs of those impacted.
Walmart is working with the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army through this process as well as local officials and government agencies.
“Our customers and associates in North and South Carolina have experienced the impacts of this storm, and our hearts go out to the people of the Bahamas and the devastation they are facing there,” Julie Gehrki, vice president, philanthropy at Walmart, said in a news release. “In times like these, the efforts of our local stores and distribution centers, as well as the nonprofits, first responders, local officials and government organizations to meet the needs of the affected communities have never been more important. We are grateful to all those providing relief and we want to do our part to help.”
In emergencies like a hurricane, the company’s first priority is the safety of its employees. Walmart and Sam’s Club work to take care of employees and their families by communicating with store and club location management teams, reminding them of emergency procedures and what to do during and after the storm. Other company efforts in response to the storm include:
- Providing support to employees who have been impacted with disaster-support assistance, setting up support centers in the impacted areas, and proactively calling employees to conduct wellness checks.
- Providing prescriptions and immunizations to customers during and after this emergency through Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies, which will be open as long as conditions are safe for customers and employees
- Working with suppliers to help stores and clubs stay in stock. Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs will be prepared to open up as soon as possible so they can support communities in the affected area. Company pharmacies will also work with patients who might be displaced or have previously received prescriptions from another pharmacy.
- Centralizing relief efforts through the Walmart Emergency Operations Center (EOC) which operates 24 hours a day tracking storm impacts and supporting associates’ needs and well-being. The EOC also facilitates store recovery and is supporting community relief efforts in the impacted regions.
- Activating emergency support teams dedicated to helping stores and club locations during critical events such as this one and providing subject-matter experts in logistics and
“While Walmart has always helped communities in times of disaster, the experience of Hurricane Katrina helped us realize how we best draw on our strengths to provide relief in the aftermath of disaster,” Gehrki said. “Since Katrina, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have formalized our disaster response program to quickly help those who have been hit hardest.
Walmart.org, which represents the combined philanthropic efforts of both Walmart and the Walmart Foundation, supports efforts to help communities build resiliency and respond more quickly and effectively when disaster strikes.”