In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in history, Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) instantly went into disaster relief mode and scaled-up assistance efforts to help thousands of Air Force families impacted in the Florida Panhandle. Our airmen and their families were mostly stationed at and around Tyndall Air Force Base, which was virtually destroyed by Hurricane Michael. Over the course of a few weeks, we provided $6.5 million in emergency stabilizing assistance grants ranging from $750 (for a single airman) to $1500 (for airmen with families) to help these Air Force families who lost everything recover following the immediate devastation of the storm.
Our objectives included the following:
Air Force Aid Society executed the following strategy:
Aligned with key stakeholders to activate quickly to disperse aid immediately. We were able to leverage our relationships and cross-servicing agreements to issue checks within days after the storm to the airmen and their families wherever they were globally located following their evacuation from Tyndall Air Force Base and the Florida Panhandle. We had a team of A&FRC staff who were "boots on the ground" set up in tents onsite at Tyndall and Eglin Air Force bases to assist Air Force families.
Utilized our digital channels, web, social media, video and Google ads to inform impacted airmen and build awareness locally, nationally and globally we created a web banner on our main page directing families in need and donors with key details regarding how to apply for assistance and where to donate to help with the Hurricane Michael Relief disaster relief effort. We leveraged our web site and social media to communicate immediate updates and boosted our social posts to increase our reach. We developed impact stories and created a video highlighting the impact of donations, the families impacted and the partners inolved in offering assistance and communicated extensively about the assistance we were offering. We also ran ads across Google's digital network.
Leveraged the power of media support to educate and engage locally and nationally with the community and expand our reach by securing interviews and media placements of our news releases that sent via newswire. We positioned our CEO, a well-respected, three-star retired general officer, as our key spokesperson for those interviews to disseminate information quickly. We also developed social videos featuring our CEO and posted those on social media.
Over the course of a few weeks, we rendered $6.5 million in assistance to help nearly 5,000 active duty, guard, reserve and retired airmen and their families who were displaced following Hurricane Michael. With our partners (USAF, A&FRCs, 85 Air Force installations, Military Relief Societies, and the American Red Cross), we leveraged word of mouth, but most importantly digital channels to boost our impact. Through our efforts, we collected over half a million dollars to aid in the Hurricane Michael disaster recovery effort and secured the following results during the month of October 2018:
In such a short timeframe, we were able to assist so many families who serve our country and provide essential support when they needed it most. The impact this single effort was amazing and could not have been possible without our dedicated staff and partners.
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