At least 40 tornadoes have touched down in the Southeastern U.S. in 2019, with Alabama experiencing the deadliest and strongest in years. Historic flooding has devasted the Midwest since early March, and recent forecasts are predicting monstrous spring storms that will unleash heavy snow in the Central U.S.
With the increase of natural disasters happening throughout the U.S., a group of corporate, nonprofit and community organizations are working together to identify opportunities to work together and make a greater impact to help communities when they need it most.
As a follow-up to last year’s Inaugural Disaster Relief Forum hosted by Coca‑Cola, the group gathered again in March at Coca‑Cola headquarters to continue developing a collective disaster response plan. This group included attendees from the initial session and new representatives from other Atlanta-headquartered corporations, nonprofits and community organizations. Representatives from Coca‑Cola Bottling Company UNITED, The UPS Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, American Red Cross, WarnerMedia, Good360 and others had an inspiring and engaging session that led to many fruitful outcomes including selecting a name: the Disaster Action Alliance (DAA).
Recently, members from the newly established DAA collaborated to get water to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota which was devasted by recent flooding.
“The flooding has affected many families on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations in South Dakota, and the DASANI water donations from The Coca‑Cola Company and Good360 have been a huge help since people are still without drinking water and many daily life necessities,” said Tim Curns, director of operations, Native American Heritage Association.
In collaboration with Good360, the Coca‑Cola system donated more than 36,000 bottles of DASANI water to the Native American Heritage Association, The UPS Foundation transported the water and associates from Swire Coca‑Cola, the local Coca‑Cola bottler, provided volunteers to help distribute the water to residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation.
“The UPS Foundation is committed to collaborating with our non-profit partners and corporate friends to assist communities in need,” said, Joe Ruiz, director of humanitarian relief & resilience program and communications, The UPS Foundation.
“In good times and bad, Swire aims to be a part of the communities we serve,” said Travis Smith, Scottsbluff Sales Center Manager, Swire Coca‑Cola. “The Pine Ridge community has suffered greatly in the recent floods and it was important for us to be involved in bringing a small amount of relief to their situation since they are our neighbors.”
This collaboration is an impactful example of the mission and purpose of the DAA— to positively impact communities in the U.S. affected by disasters through cross-sector collaboration with the goal of leveraging respective disciplines and resources to strengthen communities year-round.
“Good360 is proud to collaborate with partners across private and nonprofit sectors to help those impacted by recent natural disasters,” said Jim Alvey, senior director, disaster recovery, Good360. “By working together and leveraging the unique strengths of each organization, we can expand our collective impact considerably.
The plan is to continually grow the DAA to include representatives from other Coca‑Cola bottlers, corporations, nonprofit and community organizations.