Since 2005, Walmart has played a part in responding to disasters across the U.S. and worldwide. Although Walmart will continue to respond in the moment, the business is taking steps to ensure that the most vulnerable communities are prepared and able to quickly respond to disasters.
“Lack of preparedness can have lasting economic and social impacts on communities — especially communities of color,” writes Brooks Nelson, senior manager of disaster preparedness and response at Walmart, in a company statement. “When communities are unable to quickly respond to disasters or access necessary resources, the impacts can increase inequality and hurt communities in the long-term.”
According to a new study by Berlin-based Climate Analytics, Atlantic tropical hurricane seasons are now twice as likely to occur as they were in the 1980s due to global warming, UPI News reported. Atlantic hurricane seasons in 2020 were made twice as likely because of ocean warming, per the data.
The Walmart Foundation has invested more than $3 million in a group of organizations helping local government leaders and community-led organizations in predominantly Black, Latinx and Indigenous communities in the Gulf Coast. These investments include funds targeting the St. Bernard Project, the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Disaster Management, and the Nature Conservancy and Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy at Tulane University.
“This focus on the Gulf Coast will help us learn how intentional investments in communities can strengthen the ability of local governments and organizations to better prepare,” Nelson claims.
“And by looking at the whole system of mitigation funding and planning, we hope these investments help other underserved communities access the funding and resources they need to move disaster preparedness forward,” he adds.
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