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Responding to Natural Disasters

We're helping communities recover from devastation no one should face alone.

Natural disasters leave communities locally and across the world reeling from the destruction caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, tsunamis, and other forces of nature. We have the resources and experience to work with our partners on the ground to help people rebuild their lives.

The Facts:

  • The 2018 hurricane season was one of the most active on record with 22 major hurricanes in the Northern Hemisphere in less than three months.
  • On average, between 2000 and 2014, 53,000 people died each year in earthquakes worldwide.

Our Impact:

  • When Hurricanes Florence and Michael hit the Carolinas and the Florida panhandle in the fall of 2018, we collaborated with the Afya Foundation, organizing collection sites for essential goods and a volunteer day to sort and package supplies.
  • When a deadly earthquake and tsunami struck Indonesia in fall 2018, our overseas partner, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, was on the ground providing emergency medical services, essential supplies, and psychosocial support.
  • When Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit Puerto Rico and the Caribbean in the fall of 2017, we led a substantial relief effort. We helped dispatch 29 flights and a cargo ship to Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, delivering more than 100,000 pounds of humanitarian and medical supplies worth more than $4 million.
  • When Hurricane Harvey in 2017 left a path of destruction in Texas, we sent senior staff members to Houston to share expertise gained during Hurricane Sandy. Our support, close to $1 million, provided cash assistance, relocation for a day school and early childhood center, trauma relief through the Israel Trauma Coalition, and other services. Learn more about our relief effort.
  • When Hurricane Sandy ravaged New York in 2012, we allocated more than $14 million to nonprofit partners, synagogues, and Jewish day schools. Our support provided cash assistance for more than 2,000 people, nonmedical supplies for 25,000 individuals, and 281,000 meals. We also enabled trauma counseling, legal services, financial counseling, and door-to-door outreach.
  • When Hurricane Katrina in 2005 took a terrible toll on thousands of lives and homes, UJA raised $5 million to support crisis intervention, health care, reconstruction, and recovery for the most vulnerable. We also contributed to the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast’s Jewish communities.

With many thanks to our generous donors and network of nonprofits for making all this possible.

Related Nonprofits and Programs

Afya Foundation
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)
Israel Trauma Coalition
Jewish Agency for Israel
(Among many others)