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App-Based Platforms | Preparing, Responding, and Recovering from Natural Disasters

From blizzards and extreme flooding to wildfires and tornadoes, natural disasters are increasing in frequency and severity, impacting communities across the U.S. As hurricane season approaches, we wanted to share how app-based platform companies prepare, respond, and help communities recover from these emergency situations.

During these events, access to transportation and key supplies like food and medicine are limited. With the scale of the app-based industry’s operations–4.3 billion rides and deliveries annually–Flex members are proud of their efforts to provide support to those impacted, from app-based workers and local businesses to consumers and communities. 

Preparing. Our industry’s commitment begins with preparation. App platforms have established protocols in place for weather-related disasters. These protocols include:

  • Communicating with Drivers and Customers. If a disaster is anticipated, app-based platforms highlight the importance of placing orders early, sharing operational updates from retail partners, and providing practical steps app-based workers can take to stay safe.
  • Making Operational Adjustments. App platforms also tap real-time weather data to adjust or suspend operations in areas facing natural disasters to help mitigate risks for app-based workers. 

Responding. Transportation and food access are crucial services as communities respond to natural disasters. 

  • Free/Discounted Rides. Rideshare platforms can activate their disaster response programs to provide free and discounted rides to help individuals move to shelters and other key resources. 
  • Technology Support. Delivery platforms offer crucial support to many, including the homebound, who may not be able to travel to a food bank or pantry. Some app-based platforms have donated technology to local food banks to help those in need after a disaster.

Recovering. App-based platforms recognize that communities need a variety of resources in the aftermath of a natural disaster. The app-based rideshare and delivery industry focuses on:

  • Partnerships. App platforms often partner with boots-on-the-ground non-profits like Feeding America and the American Red Cross. 
  • Driver Support. Some app platforms have offered financial support to active drivers in impacted areas to help provide support for immediate needs. 
  • Donations. These efforts can be from the company-level or via matching donation initiatives. Some app-based platforms leverage their scale and user base to enable rapid donations from customers through app platforms, and such efforts have generated millions of dollars in financial support to meet impacted communities’ needs in the wake of a natural disaster. 

Representative News Coverage

Tennessee tornadoes: How DoorDash is helping local restaurants recover

Lyft offering comped or discounted rides in wake of Hurricane Ian 

Hurricane Hilary: Uber offering evacuees rides to shelters

For more information: DoorDash | Grubhub | Instacart | Lyft | Shipt | Uber

Date: 05/31/2024
Category: Flex Insights