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Business Partnership Proves Invaluable in Wildfire Response
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Sheri McGraw
November 7, 2007

Companies rush critical aid to fire-ravaged communities.
A partnership forged recently between the Business Roundtable and the American Red Cross has proven to be a critical asset to the wildfire relief efforts in Southern California.

Companies play a pivotal role in disaster response, and members of the Business Roundtable’s Partnership for Disaster Response are providing resources to aid in relief efforts in San Diego and San Bernardino, California. Warehouse space, fuel cards and freight transport are just some of the vast resources major U.S. businesses have contributed to the relief effort.

How Companies are Helping

The Red Cross received standing offers from Business Roundtable members for the following:

Warehousing and office space in California

  • The Home Depot Foundation
  • ITT Corporation
  • National Gypsum Company
  • W.W. Grainger, Inc.

Freight transportation between Midwest warehouses and facilities in California:

  • BSNF Railway
  • Archer Daniels Midland.

Financial support

  • Abbott
  • Alcoa, Inc.
  • Chevron Corporation
  • General Mills.

In addition to a $25,000 financial contribution, MasterCard Worldwide provided $25,000 in gasoline cards that are being used by Red Cross workers transporting supplies and personnel throughout Southern California.

The alliance between the American Red Cross and the Business Roundtable, a membership organization of 160 chief executives from leading companies, was announced in September as part of National Preparedness Month. It’s designed to best utilize the wide variety of resources the private sector can offer to a major disaster relief operation, such as the California wildfires.

The partnership helps match the unique needs of affected communities with the resources companies are able to provide during a disaster. This allows the Red Cross to move even more quickly during a large-scale response because the resources, such as storage space and transport, are already in place.

The partnership also focuses on training employees of Roundtable companies to serve as volunteers during a disaster and on developing resources to help individuals, families, and companies improve their disaster preparedness plans.

“Once again, the private sector has demonstrated how corporations can be a powerful resource in our nation’s response to disasters,” says Johanna Schneider, executive director of the Business Roundtable. “Our collaboration with the American Red Cross underscores the value of advance preparation and how the private sector can—and must—be a part of a coordinated solution to mitigate the suffering of people and communities when a disaster strikes.”

For more information on how the Business Roundtable’s Partnership for Disaster Response is assisting in relief and recovery efforts in Southern California, visit www.respondtodisaster.org.

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the California wildfires, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.

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