Bethenny Frankel uses business wits for disaster relief initiative

By Best of BusinessFOXBusiness

Bethenny Frankel on rallying support for Hurricane Florence relief

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Bethenny Frankel on helping with relief efforts after a disaster such as Hurricane Florence.

“Real Housewives of New York” star Bethenny Frankel told FOX Business she is rallying support for Hurricane Florence relief after helping people impacted by natural disasters all over the world.

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Hurricane Florence slammed into the Carolinas early Friday morning, moving at a pace that could produce potentially catastrophic effects.

Frankel’s B Strong initiative, which aims to provide aid to people impacted by poverty and tragedy, according to their mission statement, gives out cash cards for people to buy what they need.

“It’s often tampons, hygiene, alcohol, Band-Aids, toothpaste … things that people don’t really think about,” Frankel told Maria Bartiromo on Friday.

Frankel, who describes herself as a “doer,” said her business knowledge was useful in creating the platform.

“Quickly you have to infuse money into their economy so they don’t really go under,” Frankel said. “It’s great for you to be giving awareness, but in five minutes it has to be, ‘OK, let’s travel there,’ the cash cards going into their communities.”

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But before that, she said, you have to assess what they need.

“Each disaster has different needs,” she said and she added that Atlanta will be a focal relief point for Florence.

“Here it seems like people will be trapped in their homes, which means they’ll be panicked, have anxiety. They might need dialysis. They might need oxygen. The power issues has so many other derivative issues.”

And she isn’t just raising money. Frankel herself quickly jumps into action. Last year she traveled to Houston and Puerto Rico to help people after devastation from Hurricanes Harvey and Maria. She also helped people impacted by a deadly earthquake in Mexico. She also expects to mobilize with Florence.

“Each time has its own anxiety because you’re not sure, ‘Am I chartering a plane to get there?’ like Puerto Rico when you couldn’t even get there,” she said. “And it always happens the night before that I just say ‘OK, I guess I’m getting on a plane.’ I’m not even sure what I’m walking or swimming into, but I have a great support team and we do just figure it out.”

According to Frankel, 100 percent of what is raised goes directly to the people.