In the wake of Japan's massive 9.0 earthquake, the resulting 23-foot tsunami and ongoing uncertainty about the compromised nuclear reactors, many corporations - including numerous i4cp member companies - have pledged support to both general relief efforts and to their own employees affected by this series of disasters. Many are not only making outright donations, but are matching employee donations, and/or making in-kind donations of products and services to help with the recovery efforts.
Microsoft, for instance, activated their disaster response protocol early-on to determine exactly where their support could provide the greatest assistance. They have initially pledged $2 million, including $250 thousand in cash as well as other in-kind contributions. They are also sponsoring employee donation matching programs with Microsoft Asia Pacific and U.S. employees. Other Microsoft response efforts include:
- Reaching out to customers, local government, inter-government and nonprofit agencies to support relief efforts.
- Working with customers and partners to conduct impact assessments.
- Providing free incident support to help customers and partners impacted by the earthquake get their operations back up and running.
- Offering no-cost temporary software licenses to all affected customers and partners as well as lead governments, nonprofit partners and institutions involved in disaster response efforts.
- Making a cloud-based disaster response communications portal, based on Windows Azure, available to governments and nonprofits to enable them to communicate between agencies and directly with citizens.
- Providing Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Lync Online at no cost for 90 days to business customers in Japan whose communications and collaboration infrastructure may be affected.
A host of i4cp member companies, as well as other top brands, have also stepped up to help, including:
Amway Japan and parent company Amway will provide about $1.2 million in cash and product donations to support relief efforts.
Eli Lilly has committed up to 100 million yen ($1.2 million).
General Electric pledged $5 million in humanitarian aid; in addition to the cash, equipment and services, GE is matching employee donations 100%, with more than $100,000 already donated by staffers.
Kraft is donating $200,000 to the Japanese Red Cross, in addition to matching employee contributions and donating food.
McDonald's is donating $2 million to the Red Cross.
Merck made an initial contribution of $1.25 million: $750,000 to Save the Children and $500,000 to the American Red Cross.
Novellus Systems is donating $1 million in relief aid.
Qualcomm is donating $1 million to Japan relief efforts and are providing communication technology assistance in the country as needed.
Starbucks is donating $1.2 million to the Red Cross.
Osaka, Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceuticals is donating 300 million yen ($3.75 million) to the Red Cross in Japan and has pledged additional support in the form of much needed pharmaceutical supplies.
Toyota, Aichi Japan-based Toyota, which has been continuously updating employees and stakeholders through its website, is donating 300 million yen ($3.75 million) to relief efforts and is matching donations from U.S. employees.
These efforts are in addition to specific help being given to employees working in or near the affected areas. Organizations with operations in Japan - and in some cases headquarters -have been making efforts to determine their employees' levels of security and, when necessary, making arrangements for employees and their families to get out of Japan or at least into areas outside of radiation evacuation zones. On top of other immediate loans and advances to employees who may need to rebuild or relocate, various employee assistance programs (EAPs) are also being pledged to help with medical and psychological trauma that will continue for years to come.
Ways to help
Several organizations are offering support to help victims of the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami relief. Here are a few ways you can help:
- NetHope, a collaboration of the world's leading humanitarian response organizations is mobilizing efforts to support aid agencies responding in the region.
- The American Red Cross is accepting donations for Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami relief and is working closely with The Japanese Red Cross to help those most in need .
- World Vision is mobilizing in response to the earthquake and tsunami.
- Save the Children is responding to the needs of children and families affected by the earthquake and its aftermath. Donations can be made to Save the Children's Japan Earthquake Tsunami Children in Emergency Fund.
- International Medical Corps is responding to the health needs of the disaster's victims.
- Mercy Corps is working with its partner Charity Peace Winds Japan to accept donations.
- AidMatrix is working with its partners to connect resources and material for various response efforts.
Also, the World Health Organization currently has a site set up for Japan nuclear concerns, which offers general information, FAQs, situation reports, travel and evacuation recommendations and technical guidance on the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.
A comprehensive list of resources, services and information - including EAP providers in Japan - is available from the Global Health Benefits Institute as a PDF document.
Please share your own organizations contributions to the disaster relief effort with fellow i4cp members. Innovative and impactful ideas from responsible corporate citizens are essential in helping to alleviate human suffering and rebuild communities when disaster strikes.
Further information on disaster preparedness and a disaster rapid response checklist are also available from i4cp. Also, see our nine tips for disaster prepardness.