Amazon flies supplies to Bahamas

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

SEATTLE – In collaboration with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Mercy Corps, and the Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation, the Disaster Relief by Amazon team is mobilizing two Amazon Air flights, full of relief items such as tarps, buckets and water containers, for upcoming departures.

In addition, Amazon launched new wish list campaigns, specifically curated by its nonprofit partners, for customers to shop essentials by September 13 to go on the relief planes. Customers can also make cash donations, donate supplies directly to nonprofits for the Bahamas and Carolinas, or just say, “Alexa, donate to Hurricane Dorian relief at American Red Cross.”

Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane with winds reaching 185mph, which matched the highest ever recorded at landfall, and stayed over affected areas for two days. The Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama were particularly hard hit with video footage showing total obliteration of portions of the islands and large areas completely submerged by floodwater.

In the country of about 400,000 people, local officials estimate that more than 70,000 are homeless and in need of food, water and shelter. Relief organizations report a dire situation on the ground and have encountered serious challenges in delivering aid due to the devastation of local infrastructure.

Amazon is shipping relief items from fulfillment centres around the country to an Amazon fulfillment centre in Tampa where they will be packed, palletized and transported to the Tampa air gateway and loaded onto the Amazon Air planes for Nassau. Amazon’s nonprofit partners doing lifesaving work on the ground in the Bahamas will distribute the supplies to those in need.

“The Red Cross is proud to count Amazon as a partner to help provide much needed support to the Bahamas,” said Lesley Schaffer, International Response and Recovery Director, American Red Cross.

“This will be a long road to recovery but these generous donations will give hope in the days and weeks to come.”

“We are deeply saddened by the news that continues to come out of the Bahamas following this unprecedented hurricane,” said Dave Clark, Amazon SVP, Worldwide Operations.

“Amazon is committed to supporting communities impacted by natural disasters, and we hope our donation deliveries – both Amazon-donated items and items donated by our generous customers – provide needed relief to Bahamians most impacted by this storm and support the extremely difficult work of our trusted nonprofit partners. We are continuing to learn more about the disaster and areas where we can help.”

Amazon is committed to leveraging its operations and worldwide logistics network to provide fast and effective relief during natural disasters.  Previously, Amazon Air planes flew a full cargo load of humanitarian relief items to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands following Hurricane Maria. Working closely with the Red Cross, Amazon Air also flew donated items to Hawaii to help with disaster relief efforts after the Kilauea volcano erupted.

Through its Disaster Relief by Amazon team, Amazon has supported 10 natural disasters in 2019 so far. Since 2017, Amazon, its employees and customers donated an equivalent of more than $15 million in product and cash for 25 disasters around the world.

For Hurricane Dorian specifically, Amazon most recently fulfilled a request from the Florida State Emergency Response Team and sent products that provide sensory aid and support for displaced individuals who are in unfamiliar and uncomfortable environments. Amazon also provided 60,000 bottles of water to two Florida foodbanks. In addition, Amazon donated items like mosquito nets, sunscreen, and insect repellent to International Medical Corps to outfit their medical teams supporting communities affected by the storm.