walmart CC Mike Mozart

In observance of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Walmart Foundation announced that they will be making a $25 million commitment over a five year span to support organizations that aid in disaster recovery and resiliency efforts.

In addition to the $25 million, the company and its foundation will also be awarding nearly $3 million in grants to several nonprofits, including Team Rubicon, which helps reintegrate veterans by putting them to work responding to disasters across the United States, cleaning up communities effected by tornados and flooding, for instance.

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As part of the commitment, the Walmart Foundation is making an initial investment of $500,000 in grants to select local nonprofits in the U.S. Gulf Coast region.

“Working hand in hand with the people of the Gulf Region at that difficult moment showed us there are times when we can make a real difference,” said Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon, who gathering with leaders in New Orleans this weekend to reflect on the progress made since the storm.

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“When Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, Walmart was on the front lines of the response. They opened make-shift stores, sent truckloads of supplies to our city, and activated associates on the ground to help those in need,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “In turn, they started to change the role of the private sector in disaster response.”

The company has also funded a study, conducted by Louisiana State University, that examines the past and future of disaster response since Hurricane Katrina.

The study utilizes insight from academics and first responders who have experienced disasters worldwide, and found that the lessons learned from Katrina and other large scale emergencies drove an increase in public-private partnerships, the use of technology, and innovations to create a better “preparedness culture.”

Photo by Mike Mozart, CC

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