Over the last two years, U.S. communities have been hit by three category 4 hurricanes— Harvey, Florence and Michael; two category 5 hurricanes – Irma and Maria; and the deadliest wildfires in California’s history. These disasters, along with others, have disrupted thousands of lives and ravaged hundreds of neighborhoods.
On Oct. 30, the Coca-Cola system hosted its inaugural Disaster Relief Forum, inviting 16 corporations, nonprofit organizations and bottlers with operations in Atlanta. The purpose of the strategic planning forum was to uncover how to better partner together — before, during and after disaster strikes — to make an even more meaningful impact in local communities.
Community engagement professionals from organizations with best-in-class disaster relief efforts collaborated on lessons learned, best practices and more – with the ultimate goal of building a coalition and establishing a cohesive disaster relief plan that maximizes our collective impact.
“We know that we are only as strong as the communities we serve and our goal is to understand and respond to local needs,” says Yunice Emir, senior manager, corporate social responsibility,
This event was the first step in identifying opportunities for the
Alison Doerfler, senior vice president of capacity building for The
The forum included representation from The American Red Cross, CARE, Carter’s, City of Atlanta, Cox, Cox Enterprises, Corporate Volunteer Council of Atlanta, Delta Air Lines, Inc., Georgia Power Foundation, Good360, Habitat for Humanity, InterContinental Hotels Group, Mercedes-Benz, Points of Light, State Farm, The Home Depot, The Home Depot Foundation and the United Parcel Service, Inc. Foundation.
Given their unique role to service local customers and directly engage with our local communities,
“Having the opportunity to share with and learn from best practices by other organizations was the greatest value of the forum and it was particularly helpful to us as a bottler with territory along the Gulf and East Coasts,” said Linda Sewell, corporate director of community relations,
Mike Ryan, VP of development, Southeast & Caribbean, American Red Cross, added, "The forum was a success. I believe this is just the start of great collaboration between community partners.”