A Year Later: Business Dedicated to Long-Term Hurricane Sandy Relief
This is a repost from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Business Civic Leadership Center's Blog. Click here to view the original post and to learn more about BCLC.
The one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy is coming up next week, on October 29. On that day, you will be hearing many stories about the “Superstorm,” ranging from heartfelt stories of perseverance to tragic stories of loss to criticisms of a slower than expected recovery.
I have been working at BCLC for six years, and disasters have been a part (sometimes much more than a part) of my work for all of that time. One thing that I have learned is that they call them disasters for a reason. There has never been a perfect relief or recovery, and as long as humans are running things, there never will be. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do better. A few years ago, I wrote a whitepaper on what a successful disaster recovery looks like and I think that many of those same lessons still apply today.
One thing has changed a lot in the six years I have been at BCLC – businesses today are more sophisticated at helping communities in ways that they need to be helped. And sometimes even helping in ways that no one realized was needed. One example is UPS, who teamed up with the American Red Cross to transport over 70 truckloads of blankets, coats, and cleaning supplies to impacted communities. A dozen UPS logistics experts were deployed locally to assist.
Another great example comes from a video that I saw a few months ago from Toyota, which showed how they used Kaizen principles to help the NYC Food Bank. If you aren’t one of the million people who have seen it, I definitely encourage you to watch. The video shows how a company can make a huge difference with a little bit of creativity.
I know there are going to be a lot of stories next week about how things went wrong after Sandy. And these stories are important to tell. I toured the area with a group of companies after the storm, and I know there is real pain and hardship that still exists today. After every disaster, we need to catalog the wrongs, and figure out how to do it better next time. But we should also remember the good work that was done, and how far we have come.
I thought that instead of writing about some of the good stories, I would show you. So I collected videos, like the Toyota video, that showed how companies helped after Sandy. There are a lot of them, and I know you will probably not watch every single one, but I encourage you to check out some of the video stories. Each has an interesting and unique story, and maybe one will inspire you to do great work during the next disaster and help fix one of the issues we will be hearing about next week.