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Empowering first responder organizations

During calamitous events such as earthquakes, flooding and wildfires, first responders provide critical human services, including food, water and shelter, to those in need. Microsoft Philanthropies supports first responder organizations through technology donations, financial support, and services. We work closely with experts in emergency response across local governments, UN agencies, and nonprofits to better prepare for and respond to natural disasters. Following are recent examples of our efforts and partnerships:

Microsoft mobilized employee donations to assist the responding nonprofits during the 2016 Hurricane Matthew.

Hurricane Matthew – 2016

In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew cut a path of destruction through Haiti and the eastern seaboard of the United States. Still recovering from a 9.0 earthquake six years earlier, Haiti was overwhelmed with crises ranging from food shortages to a cholera epidemic. In the U.S., in North Carolina alone, over 100,000 structures were flooded causing billions of dollars in damage. In total, there were over 1600 deaths across Central America, the Caribbean, and the US. To assist, Microsoft activated employee giving in the US to help responding organizations including International Medical Corps, CARE, and Mercy Corps. We also utilized the Bing search service to highlight aid agencies that consumers could choose to support through donations. Last, we donated technology to support relief efforts throughout Haiti and effected communities in the United States.

Louisiana Floods – 2016

Over the course of two days in August 2016, areas of northern Louisiana received over 18 inches of rain casing widespread flooding. More than 140,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, and over 250,000 people were impacted. In response, Microsoft donated technology and financial support, and activated employee giving to support the relief efforts. In addition, Microsoft provided an Azure grant to the Baton Rouge Food Bank, helping it to sustain operations after losing its entire IT infrastructure to the floods.

Kumamoto Earthquake – 2016

In April 2016, two consecutive earthquakes struck the area around Kumamoto, Japan. The earthquakes resulted in 49 deaths, approximately 30,000 injuries, and caused 44,000 people to evacuate their homes. Not long after the second earthquake, over 180,000 residents took refuge in shelters. To help people reach loved ones, Microsoft responded by making all domestic and international Skype calls to landlines and mobile phones in Japan free of charge for two days. We also provided the local government with a technical support team to assist in rebuilding its IT infrastructure and response operations. Last, Microsoft initiated an employee giving effort to support Save the Children, GlobalGiving, and International Medical Corps.

Nepal Earthquake – 2015

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on April 26, 2015, killing more than 3600 people and injuring more than 6500. Microsoft quickly responded in an effort to reconnect the communities, and mobilized 100+ local Microsoft Student Partners and staff. Equipped with Microsoft Lumia smartphones and Skype calling capabilities, they provided free international Skype calling to allow victims to connect with family and friends. Microsoft also provided charging stations, wi-fi hot spots, and TV White Space kits to restore connectivity for displaced people and responders, enabling them to communicate and access vital information. Information management and mobile technologies were also deployed to support recovery operations, and education services.

Microsoft Philanthropies' nonprofit offerings

Learn more about Microsoft’s nonprofit technology donations and discounts including Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Dynamics 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security Suite, and Power BI.

Learn more

See our other humanitarian response focus areas and key partners.