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Partnering in Disaster Preparedness

  • August 31, 2006

In a proactive move to be ready to respond more rapidly when hurricanes and other natural disasters hit the Gulf Coast, AmeriCares has teamed up with Nestlé Waters North America to create a one million water bottle reserve.   When disasters like Hurricane Katrina devastate a community, often the first thing people need is clean water.  With this partnership, AmeriCares partner America’s Second Harvest will have that water ready to hand out immediately. 

“Although we can’t prevent natural disasters, we can do our best to be prepared for them and to assist those who suffer after the fact,” says AmeriCares President & CEO Curt Welling.  “By collaborating with our partners on this new initiative, we will be better able to reach those in need quickly and efficiently.”

The donated water, the popular Nestlé Pure Life brand, is being stored at food banks run by America’s Second Harvest in regions vulnerable to hurricanes and flooding:  Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.  AmeriCares U.S. headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, will also maintain a storehouse of Nestlé bottled water for disaster relief.  Deliveries began arriving in late August and will continue throughout early September.  A portion of the water reserve will also be used to support ongoing recovery in New Orleans and other Gulf Coast communities.

“One of the great lessons of Hurricane Katrina is that preparation matters,” says Kim Jeffrey, president & chief executive officer, Nestlé Waters North America.  “That is why we are donating our time, labor, and our bottled water to such a forward-thinking project.  If disaster strikes, clean drinking water will be more readily available to those in need.”

AmeriCares and Nestlé Waters North America share a long history of partnership dating back to 1989.  When the devastating hurricanes hit the U.S. Gulf Coast last year, Nestlé Waters donated 1.5 million bottles to help AmeriCares bring vital relief to survivors in those areas.   More recently, this summer, Nestlé Waters provided two truckloads of bottled water to AmeriCares for distribution in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, when raging floodwaters contaminated the local drinking water.