Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT) has now committed to a total of $30 million to hurricane relief efforts in the U.S., including for the storms Harvey, Irma and Jose.
On Sunday, Sept. 10, the big-box retailer launched a new campaign with the American Red Cross, in which it will match customer donations two-to-one of up to $10 million in cash and products to support all hurricane relief efforts. Walmart previously committed up to $20 million after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas.
"This is about neighbors helping neighbors and we will continue to be there for the communities we serve as they recover," Kathleen McLaughlin, president of Walmart Foundation and the company's chief sustainability officer, said in a statement.
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More than 400 Walmart stores, including Sam's Club and Supercenter locations, were closed due to Irma and the retailer was working to recover and reopen them late Monday afternoon. Walmart said it has shipped more than 1,700 trucks loaded with "emergency merchandise and water" to hurricane-impacted areas. Emergency items include diapers, baby formula, pet food, first-aid supplies, propane and generators.
The other six companies assisting with Hurricane Irma relief are Airbnb Inc., Allergan Inc., Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) , Eli Lily and Co. (LLY) , Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) , according to the latest tally from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Comcast is opening nearly 10,000 free WiFi hotspots in hurricane-impacted areas and Norwegian and Royal Caribbean have sent ships carrying supplies and to conduct rescue missions to St. Thomas and St. Maarten, both of which were hit by Irma.
There have been 63 major companies to commit to Harvey relief efforts.
Walmart has been monitoring the spate of hurricanes from its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., around the clock since the end of August. Harvey first touched down near Corpus Christi, Texas, on Aug. 25 as a Category 4 storm. Some 42,000 displaced residents, mainly in and around Houston, are just starting to move back into their homes after floodwaters destroyed much of the state's Gulf Coast.
After Harvey, Irma then caused destruction in the Virgin Islands and Cuba as a Category 5 storm, making landfall in the lower Florida Keys on Sunday morning with top winds of 130 miles per hour. As of Monday, Sept. 11, the National Hurricane Center downgraded Irma to a tropical storm as it moved north towards Georgia late in the afternoon. Hurricane Jose, a category 2 storm with 105 mph winds, was looming in the Atlantic ocean on Monday.
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