Strengthening Community

Disaster Preparedness and Response

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We aim to help people live better by helping communities more effectively prepare for and respond to disasters, ensuring they can recover and thrive even in challenging times.

While Walmart has a history of supporting communities in times of disaster, our response to Hurricane Katrina helped us realize how we best draw on our strengths to support relief efforts. In addition to responding in the moment, Walmart has a robust disaster planning and preparedness program aimed at helping our business and the communities we serve become more resilient. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s philanthropy aims to help communities prepare, build resilience and meet critical needs after disasters. See our Disaster Relief Timeline for a look at how we help communities in times of need.

Our Focus Areas

Our philanthropy is focused on two areas:

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We empower organizations and local governments in their efforts to prepare for the impacts of natural disasters. Our investments focus on scalable models that equip trusted organizations with capacity and technical assistance to build resilience in the most vulnerable communities. 

Grantee Spotlight

The Geos Institute

The Geos Institute has been a leader in supporting equitable and ecologically sound climate resilience across the U.S. since 2008.  The Walmart Foundation grant has created The Climate Ready America Southeast Navigator Network, which will assist 72 communities in four states that have received Community Disaster Resilience Zone designations from FEMA. This program aims to strengthen climate and disaster resilience by providing comprehensive assistance to access funding, identify capacity building opportunities, and secure technical support for developing resilience strategies.

St. Bernard Project (SBP)
SBP works to shrink the time between disaster and recovery. Through a recent Walmart Foundation investment, they are expanding their Disaster Recovery and Resilience Fellows program with six new fellows across five states to help empower vulnerable communities in the Southeastern United States to recover from natural disasters and strengthen their resilience to future climate threats. The Fellows program has already provided over $45 million in resilience funding to two communities in Louisiana. 

To see other grantees in this portfolio, click here.

We draw on our strengths as a retailer and our presence in 20 countries and thousands of communities in the U.S. to support relief efforts after disasters. Because each disaster is unique, Walmart.org and Walmart’s emergency management teams coordinate with response organizations to determine the level and nature of support needed, which can range from product donations to fast and flexible-use gift cards that enable local nonprofits to immediately procure critical supplies, to major grants to relief organizations and community foundations. We have invested in mobile units that allow nonprofits to deploy resources such as laundry, food and water distributions and charging and Wi-Fi stations in communities impacted by disasters. We also invest in organizations improving disaster management systems to help disaster survivors recover quickly.

When Hurricane Otis impacted Acapulco, Mexico in 2023, Walmart Inc., Walmart de México y Centroamérica, the Walmart Foundation and the Walmart Mexico Foundation committed 100 million pesos (~$5.9M USD) to support relief and recovery efforts, including Walmart de México y Centroamérica establishing four community kitchens in Acapulco, enabling in-kind donation centers at stores and a customer matching campaign with the Mexican Red Cross. We also collaborated with the Mexican Red Cross and healthcare partners to establish a health station.

Applications are by invitation only for 501(c)(3) organizations (or equivalent organizations outside the U.S.) whose work directly relates to the above focus areas. Unsolicited proposals will not be accepted.

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Reference and Research

Check out some great resources and collaborations on how organizations are helping communities respond and prepare more effectively for disasters.

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Working Together to Spark Change

Learn more about other ways we give