Role of Ice in Disaster Relief


In today’s world it seems like the occurrence of natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires are becoming increasingly more frequent, some with little to no advance warning. These disasters are known to cause significant damage and, in certain cases, total devastation to communities. In the aftermath of such an event, ice becomes more of an essential disaster relief requirement than just a product of convenience.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) and other organizations including the Salvation Army, American Red Cross etc. have created a supply chain process for the procurement & delivery of supplies to affected areas when disaster strikes. Due to the unavailability and in some cases the contamination of clean water, packaged ice becomes a necessity. One of the main goals of these agencies is to ensure a continuous supply of essentials to victims until core infrastructure services are back up and running.

With as many as six hurricane storms expected to hit our eastern seaboard in the coming months, it becomes the responsibility of each individual to take the necessary steps to be ready in the event that a disaster does strike. With a global pandemic already wreaking havoc on our great nation, advanced preparation is going to be crucial.

Ice in Disaster Relief

According to FEMA, congregate shelters have ideally always served as the best possible solution to sustain affected families in the aftermath of a hurricane. But with COVID-19 looming large, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has released an official statement indicating that to be the last resort, as large groups in close proximity with each other make the spread of the virus extremely difficult to contain. For more information on Hurricane Season preparedness, please visit


With wildfires on the other hand, the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection, known simply as Cal Fire, has already responded to 2,700 fires this year which is almost a double of what they handled last year. With the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) climate prediction center forecasting the onset of drought-like conditions until September, this wildfire season is going to be a pretty intensive one. FEMA has strongly suggested that hotels or other spaces being used as shelters for citizens displaced from their homes by wildfires should implement strict social distancing protocols to keep case numbers in check.

Forestry & Fire Protection

Reddy Ice is certified by the International Packaged Ice Association (IPIA). This ensures that our hurricane or wildfire disaster ice is both pure and safe for use by residents of areas severely affected by these calamities. We are also part of the Electronic Emergency Ice System (E-ICE), which allows the IPIA to know our local inventory levels in real time (how much, where & whether trucking is available and how fast it can get loaded) via a centralized system connecting our network of production & distribution facilities.

Learn more about our Emergency Management program and how IPIA certified Reddy Ice packaged ice can be used to provide clean water to affected communities.