Why We Are Here:
According to Emdat, International Disaster Base, in the year 2017 there were over 20 natural disasters in the United States alone. This includes extreme winter conditions, floods, storms, and earthquakes. As unfortunate as this statistic is, some experts considered 2017 to be a mild weathered year compared to other years. The devastating toll these statistics have in human interest is that the death count was over 288 people and the total lives affected are around 214,600.
Of these 20+ natural disasters across the United States, seven were weather and climate related, each with losses exceeding $186.1 billion. However, 2017 is the second most costly year on record, reflected in the impact of three hurricanes – Harvey (US$95 billion), Irma (US$66 billion) and Maria (US$69 billion), affecting the United States and the Caribbean. These included severe weather and tornado events, major flooding, and western drought / heat waved. Overall, these events have had devastating effects on the economic and humanitarian success of these areas.
Activation React is on a mission to provide ways for people of all ages to lend a helping hand during environmental disasters within the United States. We assist individuals young and old to be proactive in their own neighborhoods. Rather than feeling helpless and distant in times of need, they can use their talents as a source of creative fundraising for victims of tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and other natural disasters. Activation ReACT believes that, through the internet, we all are neighbors with a click of the mouse.
Activation ReACT started when 2 NJ residents wanted to help during Hurricane Sandy but kept getting turned away by other nonprofits that were responding to devastation. The reason? They were too young. Nolan and Jp Gray were devastated watching their Jersey Shore coastline and surrounding areas get pummeled by weather they had never seen before. They knew they needed to do something, anything, to help New Jersey residents out.
Elizabeth Gray, their Mom, was instrumental in the #JerseyLove movement which not only raised money but also drew attention across the U.S. and drove tourism to the Jersey Shore after Hurricane (Super Storm) Sandy. But still, Nolan and JP were too young to lend a helping hand.
Through that lesson, a team of inspired, heart-centered people joined Jp, Nolan, and Elizabeth to create a way to “activate a reaction” for people of all ages, near or far, to help their neighbors in distress from natural disaster in the United States. Through the growth of Activation ReACT the board has realized that the word “neighbors” is being redefined thanks to the social media revolution. Weather affects us all and now we can learn live, through our own interpretations without weather forecasters, the route of a storm and how it is impacting the people we have in our lives on and offline.
Activation ReACT Executive Board
President: Elizabeth Gray
Vice President : Jack Norton
Treasurer: Christopher Poponack
Secretary: Megan Crume
Historian: Lauren Wear