Hurricane Harvey made its way across Texas over the weekend, killing at least five people and injuring many more, inundating Houston and leaving a trail of devastation and thousands of people with no food and no shelter. Red Cross vp of disaster operations and logistics Brad Kieserman told NPR today that he expects 20,000 to 30,000 people to be staying in shelters by tomorrow.
While many brands are using social media to encourage people to donate to the American Red Cross, some brands are taking that a step further, driving supplies to Texas, finding ways to provide shelter and helping families stay connected in the coming days.
Here’s a look at what some brands are doing to try and help:
Airbnb activated its disaster response program, “Urgent Accommodations.” Anyone without a place to stay can go on Airbnb.com and find a spot with all service fees waived. Those with rooms to spare can also use the platform to list vacancies.
“Through our program, those in need of temporary accommodations as a result—including emergency relief workers and volunteers—are able to connect with Airbnb hosts in the San Antonio, Austin and Dallas areas who are opening their homes free of charge from now through Sept. 1,” said Kellie Bentz, head of global disaster response and relief.
The new Amazon-Whole Foods duo is matching all donations made on Amazon’s website up to $1 million. All of the money will be donated to the American Red Cross’ Hurricane Harvey relief fund.
Wireless provider AT&T announced it will provide credits to customers in certain Texas communities affected by the storm who exceed their monthly data, voice or text charges.
Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya tweeted today that the brand is doing its part to support Texas communities by loading up trucks with Chobani products to distribute to those in need.
Starting today, Duracell will be in Texas handing out free batteries to anyone impacted by the storm.
PepsiCo, which includes brands like Pepsi, Tropicana and Gatorade, is pledging $1 million to the American Red Cross from its PepsiCo Foundation.
“PepsiCo’s focus is on helping those in need during this difficult time,” Indra K. Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, said in a statement. “I’m proud that our people and our partners are coming together to provide critical support to help those in Harvey’s path sustain themselves during the storm and rebuild in its aftermath.”
United is offering up miles to encourage its customers to donate to Hurricane Harvey relief. Any of the airline’s rewards members giving at least $50 will get 250 bonus miles. Those who donate more can get up to 1,000.
Verizon announced it will offer customers in qualifying Texas communities data relief between Aug. 26 and Sept. 8. Customers in those areas who go over their data limit for that time period will get the total amount credited back to their accounts.
“In the coming days, Verizon will be deploying its Wireless Emergency Communication Centers, which are generator-powered mobile units on tractor trailers that have device charging and computer workstations, and wireless phones, tablets and other devices to contact friends, family and other important contacts over the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network,” a spokesperson for the brand said.
Walmart sent 795 truckloads of supplies to Texas, per a tweet from the brand’s action account. Most of the trucks are filled with water.