AWS helps set up communications infrastructure on the ground
Amazon Web Services (AWS) activated its Disaster Response team in the wake of the fires on Maui, Hawaii, to help set up temporary communications infrastructure to provide internet and phone connectivity across impacted sites. Working with the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC), an IT-focused nongovernmental organization (NGO), AWS Disaster Response is providing this essential service to help responders coordinate support and assist community members in contacting loved ones and requesting aid.
Relief items and financial support on the way
Disaster Relief by Amazon is actively responding to the Maui, Hawaii, disaster, donating needed supplies and offering financial support to organizations that are in the best position to offer immediate assistance. Amazon Air is supporting relief efforts by flying critical supplies to Hawaii.
Ensuring that first responders and residents affected by the fires are sheltered and fed is a top priority. That’s why we are donating and shipping 3,400 items, including tents, solar lights, and hygiene kits, to Feeding America, as well as sending 20,000 utensil kits from Operation BBQ Relief, a nonprofit that provides meals in the wake of natural disasters.
Amazon also made cash donations and provided gift cards to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA), an organization that focuses on enhancing the cultural, economic, political, and community development of Native Hawaiians. In addition, Amazon has contributed funds and gift cards to the Hawaii Chamber Foundation Business Relief Fund to support the many small businesses in Lahaina, Maui, that were destroyed by the fire, including historic Front Street, a major economic hub for the island. These funds can be used by individual small business owners to help rebuild the economy.
Individuals interested in donating to relief efforts to help people affected by the Hawaii wildfires can donate to the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to, and help people recover from these disasters.
What Amazon is doing to help Maui wildfire victims
At least 55 people have died as the result of wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui. The fires were fueled by winds from Hurricane Dora, a large storm far off the coast of Hawaii. The historic town of Lahaina was severely damaged.
Amazon is in close contact with our disaster aid partners as well as local emergency management authorities at the county and state levels. They are focusing on completion of search and rescue operations, family reunification, finding shelters for residents, and evacuation of tourists. Officials estimate that they will have a clearer picture of short-term relief needs and long-term recovery support in the next 72 hours and we are standing by to help.
The American Red Cross is already on the ground with prepositioned relief supplies, like items donated by Amazon such as tarps, totes, and coolers.
“Everyone at Amazon is eager to help, as the situation is truly heartbreaking,” said Abe Diaz, head of Amazon Disaster Relief. “We’re in contact with organizations on the ground to assess additional needs and determine how we can use our inventory, infrastructure, and connectivity technology to help communities as soon as possible—from item donation to helping reestablish internet.”
Amazon’s disaster relief program has donated more than 23 million items in response to more than 105 natural disasters in the United States and around the world. By using data and partnerships with relief organizations like the Red Cross, Save the Children, and World Central Kitchen, Amazon is able to ensure we’re meeting actual needs on the ground.
“Thanks to our vast logistics network and our global teams, we’re able to get the right goods to the right place at the right time,” continued Diaz. “We have the inventory and ability to respond quickly and ease suffering after a disaster like this, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
Learn more about Disaster Relief by Amazon.