Tornado outbreak, hurricane season sharpen focus on helping people
DEARBORN, Mich. – May has been a month of violent weather in much of the U.S. with relentless waves of tornadoes, heavy rains and flooding pounding central and southern states. More than 100 tornadoes were reported over the past week from Texas and Oklahoma to Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri.
Ford Fund and our disaster relief partners are monitoring the changing situation to determine the appropriate response when help is needed.
As a member of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program, Ford Fund pledges support in advance of major disasters, ensuring that the Red Cross is prepared to respond immediately to emergencies. The American Red Cross has mobilized damage assessment teams and disaster workers are on the ground providing shelter, food and comfort to people impacted by the storms.
"Our main focus will always be rebuilding and recovery," said Kyle Green, coordinator, Disaster Relief, Ford Fund. "Disaster scenes can be very dangerous places and we can play a larger role in helping people once the immediate danger has passed."
Ford Fund and Ford Motor Company are not first responders. Disaster scenes are unstable and often unsafe. The company's focus is to let trained emergency response personnel, such as police and firefighters, stabilize a situation before Ford Fund gets involved in rebuilding and recovery assistance.
With the Atlantic hurricane season set to begin on June 1, here's a look at the steps Ford Fund follows to determine how it can help following a natural disaster:
• Ford Fund connects with nonprofits to assess the latest on the situation and hear what's needed and where.
• Ford Fund engages local dealers, employees and community partners to help supply food and water, medical supplies and construction materials.
• Ford volunteers are often enlisted to help people recover in the storm's aftermath.
• Depending on the situation, Ford Fund sends financial assistance or targets vehicle donations to local nonprofits and community organizations.
• In some cases, Ford Fund will set up a program that matches donations from individual Ford employees and Ford dealers.
In 2018, Ford Fund contributed $1.6 million to various relief agencies around the world to support disaster response efforts following 13 natural disasters.
Here is how employees can donate following a natural disaster:
• In the US, go to redcross.org/ford-emp to make a donation to the American Red Cross
• Outside the US, visit globalgiving.org/ford-disaster-relief/ to contribute