Ford Vehicles Prove They’re Tough Enough to Help in Disaster Response
‘Ford Disaster Relief Mobility Challenge’ winners announced in Blue Oval’s commitment to nonprofits focused on disaster relief.
Ford Motor Company Fund is helping communities cope with increasingly destructive natural disasters by awarding grants for four specially equipped Ford Transit vans to nonprofit winners of the Ford Disaster Relief Mobility Challenge.
The challenge asks nonprofit organizations how they would customize a Ford Transit to fit a particular disaster response need in their community. The 2018 winners listed below cover critical disaster-prone areas. They were selected based on their unique utilization of the Transit for disaster relief work, ability to quickly deploy the vehicle across the country, and intended use for the van when not responding to a natural disaster.
Empact Northwest, Kingston, Washington – Transit will be outfitted with communications equipment, emergency lighting, swift water, flood and other rescue gear; and will allow Empact to transport a rescue boat as needed. When not on disaster duty, the van will be used for first responder training and community education.
Mercy Chefs, Portsmouth, Virginia – Transit will be used with the organization’s mobile kitchens as a food delivery and distribution van. The vehicle will double the organization’s current capacity and allow them to serve up to 20,000 people a day. With the ability to access hard-to-reach areas, the van will deliver meals from community kitchens when not deployed for disaster relief.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana – By customizing their Transit van with a kitchen, service window and awning, the nonprofit will be able to reheat and serve meals. It will also be equipped with communications tools, such as two-way radios, antenna and a satellite phone w/ outside speaker. When not deployed for a disaster, the vehicle will address food insecurity among children and senior citizens.
The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network, Kansas City, Missouri – Vehicle will support The Salvation Army disaster response operations with a variety of communications equipment. When not deployed for disaster relief, the Transit will provide communications support for other nonprofits.
“This challenge combines Ford’s strength as a mobility company with the courage and know-how of experienced disaster response professionals, whose modifications will enhance their ability to get critical supplies to where they’re needed most,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Natural disasters show nature at its worst, but thankfully, they bring out the best in our first responders, medical personnel, and even our neighbors who pitch in to help when danger is all around them.”
Ford will work with the selected organizations over the next few months to ensure the vehicles are ready to respond when natural disasters strike in 2019 and beyond. There are now seven challenge-winning Ford vehicles developed with input from first responders and nonprofit partners. The original three challenge winners were deployed in 2017 to assist disaster relief efforts in the wake of hurricanes and flooding across the southern United States.
Ford has a long history of responding to natural disasters with vehicles, volunteers and financial assistance. Over the past five years, Ford has donated more than 50 emergency response vehicles. Together with our dealers and employees, Ford and Ford Fund have mobilized thousands of volunteers and contributed more than $5 million to aid response and recovery in the U.S. and abroad.