IBMers doing their part to aid in China's disaster recovery
As officials were still assessing the extent of damage caused by the powerful earthquake that struck Western China, IBMers were already looking for ways they could contribute to the recovery effort. IBM was able to take stock and report all of its nearly 2,000 employees were safe even as aftershocks contributed to the suffering and the reports of those displaced, injured or killed continued to mount, with estimates ranging into the tens of thousands.
Within days of the disaster, individual IBMers raised a half million dollars for the relief effort and donations were continuing.
IBM contacted official organizations, such as the Red Cross Society of China (link resides outside of ibm.com), so that China employees could provide tax-free contributions, directly from salary, to the relief efforts. IBM colleagues in other countries may also contribute directly to the Red Cross Society of China. Contributions may also be sent to the China Charity Federation (link resides outside of ibm.com). In the United States, IBMers could also specify payroll deductions or contribute to the American Red Cross (link resides outside of ibm.com).
Experts in disaster relief from the US flew in to join more than a hundred of their IBM colleagues in deploying SAHANA, a comprehensive, open-source disaster response and coordination tool that enables crisis teams to coordinate relief efforts and track victims and their families.
IBM has also donated a portable Nomad wireless communications system and expects to donate more of them as the situation requires. In addition, as children and families are relocating, IBM is providing KidSmart units for facilities and schools. IBM volunteers are setting up the systems to help children get the maximum benefit from them.
In addition, IBM has donated several servers — along with software and services — to the Ministry of Civil Affairs to assist with rescue efforts. IBM's operations in China continue to provide services to clients. The company's account and services teams have offered additional support and assistance to clients in impacted areas.