June 1, 2023

Amazon doubles capacity of Disaster Relief Hub


Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) said Thursday that it has more than doubled the capacity of its Disaster Relief Hub outside of Atlanta by pre-positioning 2.4 million relief items ahead of the 2023 hurricane season.

The items will be distributed in the wake of natural disasters to nonprofits and other aid partners that quickly help impacted communities, Amazon said. 

The Disaster Relief Hub is a dedicated space within Amazon’s global logistics network to store and quickly pack items that are most needed following damaging storms and other emergencies.

“As natural disasters increase in frequency and severity, we’re expanding our Disaster Relief Hub in Atlanta, allowing us to deliver more items in less time during this year’s hurricane season,” said Abe Diaz, head of Amazon Disaster Relief, in a statement. “Since 2017, we’ve responded to more than 100 natural disasters and humanitarian crises in the U.S. and across the world. We’ve donated more than 23 million relief items, and we’ve mobilized our teams and used our logistics capabilities to help communities in need — from flying two cargo planes to Turkey after the recent earthquakes to setting up two humanitarian hubs in just 10 days to help Ukrainian refugees.”

The 2023 hurricane season officially got underway Thursday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts predict near-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic this year. NOAA’s outlook for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which goes from June 1 to Nov. 30, predicts a 40% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal season and a 30% chance of a below-normal season.

NOAA is forecasting a range of 12 to 17 total named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher). Of those, five to nine could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including one to four major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA has a 70% confidence in these ranges.

Amazon works year-round with national and international relief organizations — such as the American Red Cross, Save the Children and World Central Kitchen — to identify items that will most likely be needed after natural disasters. Data shows that more than 80% of the needed items are the same after each natural disaster.

Using such data and forecasts from relief organizations, Amazon said its teams are able to pack tens of thousands of relief items and have them ready to deploy as soon as it’s safe following a natural disaster. Some of the most frequently requested products include diapers, tarps, cots, blankets, heaters, tents, solar lights and chargers and cleaning supplies.

“We are extremely grateful for our collaboration with Amazon. During times of disaster, companies like Amazon enable the American Red Cross to carry out our mission and serve those in need. As we start another hurricane season, it is critical we have stocked warehouses and relief supplies to help at a moment’s notice,” said Dee Dixon, regional chief executive officer of the American Red Cross of Georgia, in the statement. “Amazon’s donation and commitment to disaster relief and preparedness help the Red Cross respond to communities and families in need across the country.”

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