Strengthening Resiliency with the American Red Cross
When disaster strikes, AVANGRID and its employees always step up to help! This year, AVANGRID – through a partnership led by the Avangrid Foundation – is continuing to elevate its vitally important community-based disaster relief efforts.
Today, the Avangrid Foundation announced its commitment to a second year as a national Disaster Responder with the American Red Cross. This renewed commitment and total investment of $500,000 dovetails with National Red Cross Month, which also occurs in March. Additionally, Avangrid Foundation Board Director and Avangrid Networks Chief Executive Officer, Robert D. Kump, has also announced his appointment to the Red Cross Regional Advisory Board. The Avangrid Foundation is one of two Disaster Responder partners with headquarters in Connecticut.
The Red Cross is the premier organization in the U.S. and globally that ensures safety and life-sustaining efforts during crisis while helping communities around the world prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. Their mission is to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress. They operate in every community in the U.S., and across the globe. AVANGRID coordinates closely with the Red Cross in times of emergency, whether they affect one household or whole communities.
The Avangrid Foundation first partnered with the Red Cross as a national Disaster Responder in 2018, with a desire to make a national impact. The Red Cross Disaster Responder program is comprised of organizations providing the highest level of support toward Red Cross preparedness and relief efforts. Through this coordinated partnership, the Foundation is committed not only to disaster relief, but strengthening resiliency through proactive investment.
There is a long and storied history between first responders like the American Red Cross and the utilities that restore power after a disaster. The Networks arm of AVANGRID’s family of companies have partnered with the local Red Cross chapters for years, from local blood drives to regional emergency planning efforts and emergency response. In the past, the Foundation, AVANGRID and the subsidiary companies financially contributed to Red Cross local chapters through direct and match giving, volunteer events and other campaigns.
In 2017, the sheer number of emergencies – hurricanes, floods, wind, ice and firestorms - affecting places in which AVANGRID has a significant operating presence (from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine and everywhere in-between) – was a call-to-action. The hurricanes that struck Florida, the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean inspired a company-match program led by the Foundation which raised more than $50,000 to help those affected. It also left employees wanting to do more to ensure all communities and partners were prepared to respond in case of a disaster. This being especially true after AVANGRID power delivery experts traveled to Puerto Rico to help restore electricity and witnessed the Red Cross and partners in action. It was clear that the time is now to ensure that AVANGRID’s most important partners – our customers, our employees and our communities – are prepared for anything.
AVANGRID understands the value of tactical preparation and operational excellence when disaster strikes and restoring critical services is paramount. The Red Cross responds to an average of over 60,000 disasters each year in the U.S. with the help of partners like the Avangrid Foundation. Foundation support enables the Red Cross to train over 70,000 volunteers and to secure and maintain the shelters, vehicles and supplies necessary for rapid emergency response on all scales. These volunteers serve in all of the communities where AVANGRID has an operating presence and beyond. This support also enables Red Cross responders to remain on-hand to assist people as they recover, and to help them prepare for the next disaster with the same steadfast consistency that AVANGRID upholds in our commitments to our own communities.
Our support of the Red Cross and its mission goes beyond the financial backing we give as a Disaster Responder. AVANGRID and the Avangrid Foundation participate in national campaigns including “Sound the Alarm” fire safety campaign and blood drives. In 2018, AVANGRID employees in New Haven, Connecticut and Rochester, New York dedicated two days of service, and joined 28,000 volunteers nationwide to install over 100,000 free smoke detectors in high-risk communities between April and September. Since 2014, the “Sound the Alarm” effort has installed almost 1.6 million smoke detectors in over 650,000 homes as part of the Home Fire Campaign. With the majority of Red Cross emergencies being home fires, more than 500 lives have been saved across the U.S., working toward the goal of a 25% reduction in home fires nationally. Avangrid expects to continue and expand participation in these activities in 2019 and beyond.
AVANGRID understands what it means to be on the front lines of a crisis, and strongly values our relationship with the Red Cross as an investment in further success when addressing disasters. Through this partnership, the Foundation is empowering the Red Cross to prepare for disasters before they strike, and enabling the Red Cross to provide immediate aid to families and individuals at their moments of greatest need.
The Avangrid Foundation is dedicated to support of related U.N. Sustainable Development Goals including establishing public-private partnerships, encouraging sustainable communities, and promoting good health and well-being.