When natural disasters strike, clean drinking water is an essential and immediate need.
Nestlé Waters North America and Americares share a long history of partnership dating back to 1989. When the devastating hurricanes hit the US Gulf Coast in August and September 2005, Nestlé Waters donated 10 truckloads of water—as part of a larger 1.5 million bottle donation to all responding disaster agencies—to help AmeriCares bring vital relief to survivors in those areas.
“One of the greatest challenges organizations like ours face during emergencies is how to get supplies quickly to the people who need them,” said then Americares President and CEO Curt Welling. “Pre-staging large quantities of bottled water in areas in this country that are most at risk will greatly help us act more efficiently and effectively in emergency situations.”
Following their generous response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, Americares and Nestlé Waters created a one million bottle water reserve at the onset of the busiest part of the 2006 and 2007 hurricane seasons. This reserve was created specifically to enable rapid distribution of clean, potable water to those in need throughout the Gulf Coast after a disaster, and cover the cost of delivering the water directly to the regions most affected.
“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 donated our time, labor, and our bottled water to such a forward-thinking project. If disaster strikes, clean drinking water must be readily available to those in need.”
The bottled water reserve was stored in regions vulnerable to hurricanes and flooding, including Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Americares headquarters in Stamford, CT also maintains a storehouse of Nestlé bottled water for disaster relief. Following the success of this effort, Nestlé hopes to renew and expand the program in 2008 to provide disaster coverage for more even communities.