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Bethenny Frankel talks about B Strong’s disaster relief in Louisiana, how she navigates around bureaucracy

Bethenny Frankel talks about B Strong’s disaster relief in Louisiana, how she navigates around bureaucracy

When Bethenny Frankel knows that a major storm is approaching, she immediately embarks on over-planning so that her disaster relief initiative, B Strong, can reach people seeking relief and relief.

Currently, the entrepreneur is in the midst of helping Louisiana residents rebuild their lives after Hurricane Ida hit in late August. To date, Frankel’s initiative has brought $ 1.5 million in much-needed gift cards, bank cards and critical supplies to communities without electricity, water and shelter.

In partnership with the Global Empowerment Mission and the US Carrier, Frankels B Strong has helped disaster victims in the United States and around the world.

Frankel spoke with Fox News about how aid is prioritized, how she navigates around and through local, federal and foreign governments, and her future plans for B Strong, as major storms and disasters appear to be becoming more frequent.

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“It is very challenging to get assistance where it needs to go. The plan needs to be very well thought out and organized,” Frankel admitted. “We are already prepared before the disaster strikes. So we have a warehouse that looks like a Costco. The goods are all branded from medical equipment to pet supplies to hygiene to timber for generators.”

Bethenny Frankel spoke to Fox News about her B Strong: Disaster Relief initiative.
(John Lamparski / Getty Images)

Frankel said that when Ida hit, she organized a first-drive that helped over 2,000 people by providing survival kits and food made possible through donations from companies like Goya.

Then Frankel said she was handing out prepaid cards “which were given to people who have really lost everything.”

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“Many of the disasters happen in the Caribbean, in the Bahamas, in Florida or in Louisiana and Haiti, and we can easily get there. We also have a large warehouse in Miami, which is a good shipping port. Or use trucks depending on where the disaster is … if it’s a place we can really easily access, we can have a massive impact, ”she said.

Frankel further explained B Strong’s use of social media to get help directly into people’s hands. “People on social media are the ones who help lead us to what’s going on,” she said. “I’m not pretending I can save the world when I do not know what’s going on yet.”

She remembered how when Hurricane Harvey hit Puerto Rico in 2017, she was connected to nurses on Twitter and met local people on the tarmac at the airport, handing out life-saving supplies.

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“We just went in with chartered planes, and then we got respect from mayors, communities, government, officials because people were happy that we helped,” she explained. “We respect the government, and so can you [build] relationships. Now we go back to the same places and we know a lot of people who run the churches and the mayors. It’s like a puzzle every time. We are navigating. “

Frankel prefers to take an “unofficial role” in providing relief because she feels it is significantly harder to be “chained” by a lot of bureaucracy. “You can not take a step without asking everyone [and] then you can not function, “she reasoned, as disaster conditions require urgency.

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The producer says B Strong remains politically neutral, because when there is clutter “everyone should pick up a diet.”

“We get a lot of money from the Republicans. We get money and awareness from the Democrats,” she said. “That’s just the case.”

She recalled helping former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio procure PPE (personal protective equipment) when masks and other supplies were impossible to find in the first few months of the pandemic.

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“We literally sent over a million dollars in hazmat suits to Andrew Cuomo in Albany and sent three hundred thousand dollars in masks to de Blasio. So we are not working for them. We are unofficial. They worked with us. They trusted us. .. it happened.We got the money.We traded but we are not employed by them. I like [the process] to be unofficially official. I can not work in any form with links even in my company, “Frankel insisted.

The businesswoman is proud of B Strong’s growth over the last few years. She said, “I do what I’m passionate about and I try to accomplish. I try to do things well and I do not take on things that I cannot.”

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