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Response Efforts

Our grantee, International Medical Corps, provided humanitarian aid in the wake of the Japan earthquake of April 2016.

Responding to disasters

The Microsoft Disaster Response program improves disaster preparedness and response through the delivery of technology and expertise for citizens, lead responders, and businesses.

Over the last few decades, Microsoft has provided support for more than 300 natural disasters. The following represent a few of our response efforts over the years.

2016 Ecuador Earthquake Response

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook the northwest Pacific coast of Ecuador late on Saturday. The death toll reached 235 on Sunday. More than 1,500 people were reported injured and an unknown number of people are trapped in the debris resulting from the country's biggest earthquake in decades. As it did with the Japan earthquakes, Microsoft responded by making all domestic and international Skype calls to landlines and mobiles in Ecuador free of charge for the next few days. To learn more, please click here.

Also, CARE, GlobalGiving, Save the Children, and World Vision have activated fundraising to help deliver critical humanitarian services right away to those impacted by this disaster.

If you are a Microsoft employee, you can click here to donate and get your gift matched by Microsoft.

2016 Kumamoto Japan Earthquake Response

Consecutive earthquakes have struck the area around Kumamoto, Japan causing widespread damage. A magnitude-7.3 earthquake struck Saturday at 1:25 a.m., just 28 hours after a magnitude-6.5 quake hit the same area destroying buildings, disrupting power, and requiring mass evacuations. Microsoft responded by making all domestic and international Skype calls to landlines and mobiles in Japan free of charge for the next few days. To learn more, click here.

Save the ChildrenInternational Medical Corp, and GlobalGiving have activated fundraising to help deliver critical humanitarian services right away to those impacted by this disaster.

If you are a Microsoft employee, you can click here to donate and get your gift matched by Microsoft.

2015 Nepal Earthquake

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on Saturday 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, all equipped with Microsoft Lumia smartphones with Skype call capabilities to provide free international Skype calling for earthquake victims. Microsoft also provided charging stations, Wi-Fi hot spots, and TV White Space equipment to restore connectivity for numerous displaced people & responders, enabling them to communicate with loved ones and access vital information. Information management and mobile technologies were developed and deployed to support services including: education, recovery operations planning, and debris removal & reconstruction. To date, Microsoft has provided $1.4+ million in relief assistance.

2013 Philippines Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda)

On November 8, 2013, one of the strongest storms to ever make landfall struck the Visayas region of the Philippines displacing over 4 million people. In response, Microsoft collaborated across the technology industry to deploy TV White Space radios in the Philippines to enable Internet connectivity for impacted citizens. Microsoft also played a key role in the deployment of 3 connectivity kits with Skype low bandwidth, enabling communications for 5,000 humanitarian aid workers. Altogether, between cash and in-kind donations, Microsoft provided $1.1 million in relief support.

2012 East Coast USA storms

Hurricane Sandy made landfall along the U.S. East Coast with heavy winds, driving rain, and a storm surge. This was followed by power outages and flooding. Microsoft provided support and services for first responders, nonprofit relief agencies, customers and partners, and citizens in the areas impacted by the East Coast USA storms, and committed cash and in-kind donations of software, hardware and services to support relief efforts, altogether totaling $2.5 million. In addition, Microsoft’s employees, including corporate match, donated more than $1.5 million to relief efforts.

2011 Japan Earthquake

After a massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan and caused a nuclear crisis in March 2011, disaster relief teams, government officials, and Japanese citizens struggled to share basic information and communicate with one another.

In response, Microsoft created and used cloud solutions to help connect relief organizations, governments, businesses, and the public during the aftermath. Windows Azure cloud services were used to create websites for disaster relief efforts, including the website for MEXT (the Japanese Government's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology), a major government information portal. Additionally, the MSN® East Japan Earthquake Information website conveyed crucial news and information for evacuees and volunteers, as well as useful safety information such as an interactive map of radioactivity levels and a map of planned blackouts.

2010 Pakistan Flooding

The devastating flooding in Pakistan impacted tens of millions of people and the monsoon rains had disastrous consequences throughout the country. Microsoft activated its disaster response protocol to monitor and respond to the situation to help provide technical support to lead response organizations, promote employee giving and volunteering, and assess where other resources could be most helpful for the impacted region and communities.

2010 Chile Earthquake

Large parts of Chile were devastated by an 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the coast of Chile on February 27, 2010, leaving people without basic services including water, electricity, gas and telephone access. Microsoft Chile, with the support of its partners Entel, Olidata and Fundación Vida Rural, initiated a project to provide infrastructure to reconnect the affected areas called “Conect@ Chile”. In collaboration with the Chilean government mobile information centers were delivered to the affected regions.

2010 Haiti Earthquake

On January 12, 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck near the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince. Microsoft worked closely with partners TM Software and IDV to support the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) through the deployment, support and hosting of OneResponse in Haiti — the collaboration portal for information exchange and situational awareness to coordinate the international relief efforts of the humanitarian community. Additionally, through Microsoft's support, nonprofit partner, NetHope, was able to set up an immediate response, with specific focus on establishing temporary telecommunications infrastructure to allow humanitarian agencies to communicate and provide relief to those affected.

2008 US Gulf Coast Hurricanes

In the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav and Hurricane Ike, Microsoft used and to raise public awareness and support for nonprofit organizations involved in the relief efforts. Many local Microsoft employees responded by volunteering their time and expertise at Internet access stations to help families access FEMA applications and register with the Red Cross "Safe and Well" site. At satellite relief locations throughout the area, Microsoft employees helped members of their community by serving meals for the Salvation Army. Employees throughout the U.S. also made donations to relief organizations, which were matched by Microsoft.

2008 China Earthquake

Within hours of the May 2008 earthquake in the Chan's Sichuan Province, Microsoft began working on relief and recovery efforts. The company and its employees collectively donated US$1.4 million over two years to help rebuild schools and restore education programs in affected communities. When the outpouring of online donations to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation caused its Web site to crash, engineers from the Microsoft China Technology Center helped launch a new site that could process more than 10,000 transactions per day. Microsoft employees in the region also helped provide technical assistance to affected customers and partners, restore local telecommunications service, and post online news reports from areas hit by the quake.

2005 Hurricane Katrina

Following the devastating impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Microsoft worked with the American Red Cross to create the Safe and Well Web site, and its employees committed more than $11 million (U.S.) in cash contributions and technology solutions to the Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita relief response. Several months after the initial crisis, Microsoft made additional investments of $1 million to organizations involved in rebuilding the region and assisting displaced families.