Global insurance provider Zurich Insurance Group announced its Z Zurich Foundation is giving a $3 million grant to St. Bernard Project (SBP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping disaster-impacted communities recover in a prompt, efficient and predictable way. The grant is a three-year commitment to create a Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lab that will share lessons learned in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to help others be better prepared for disasters.
“We are thrilled by Zurich’s investment in SBP,” said Zack Rosenburg, SBP’s co-founder and CEO. “Disasters are occurring more frequently and storms are getting stronger. This investment will enable us to share what we’ve learned since Hurricane Katrina in a way that will help at-risk communities across America better prepare for natural disasters.”
The Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lab is not intended to be a physical structure but rather a model for increasing the resilience of individuals, families and businesses that potentially face or are recovering from natural disasters. Before a disaster, SBP will work with community leaders, homeowners and small- to mid-sized businesses to mitigate risk and increase resilience. After a disaster, the charitable organization will be on-site to share its standardized recovery model, which incorporates skills-based volunteering to capitalize on each person’s professional skills and specialized talents.
“Our relationship with SBP began five years ago in New Orleans at our Zurich Classic golf tournament,” said Mike Foley, CEO North America Commercial and regional chairman of North America for Zurich Insurance Group. “Our enhanced relationship combines SBP’s proven recovery model with Zurich’s risk management expertise. It gives us great pride to play a key role in such meaningful efforts.”
In the past five years, more than 1,000 Zurich employees, customers, brokers and distributors have teamed up with SBP to rebuild homes in New Orleans, Staten Island and Joplin, where major storms have had devastating impacts. Best practices learned in New Orleans – where SBP was launched in 2006 following Hurricane Katrina – have been used in rebuilding other communities. SBP has helped hundreds of families return to their homes.
The Z Zurich Foundation, the community investment arm of Zurich Insurance Group, has a mission to build resilience by helping people understand and protect themselves from risk. By taking a long-term cooperative approach to global challenges, the Foundation makes valuable contributions to sustainable social and economic development. The Foundation combines Zurich’s global experience and risk management capabilities with non-profit organizations’ local knowledge and development expertise.