Anheuser-Busch Emergency Drinking Water for Wildland Firefighters
About the Program
Anheuser-Busch has a longstanding tradition of providing emergency drinking water and supplies for disaster relief efforts. Every year, Anheuser-Busch periodically pauses beer production to can emergency drinking water to be ready to lend a helping hand during natural disasters and other crises. Building on this commitment, the brewer teamed up with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) in 2019 to create the Emergency Drinking Water for Wildland Firefighters program.
Keeping firefighters hydrated during long incidents or disasters such as wildfires is a critical need for fire departments, yet many volunteer departments struggle with limited budget and resources. To help departments meet this need, Anheuser-Busch is continuing its commitment and will donate 2.5 million cans of clean drinking water in 2023 to help keep our wildfire responders hydrated as they protect and strengthen our communities. Since the program began, over nine million cans of water have been distributed to more than 2,500 departments across nearly all 50 states. That amount of water equals over one million dollars in cost savings for local departments.
The second 2023 application period is now closed. Departments that are actively fighting wildfire in a declared state of emergency can request water outside of the general application period through the Rapid Response Request. Refer to the FAQs for eligibility, can specifications, delivery details, and additional information.
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Questions? Contact Lori at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-888-ASK-NVFC (275-6832).
Click on the green flags on the map to see which departments have received a water drop. If you see a number, click to zoom in to the individual department flags. Department details will include a link to a photo or local news story if available.
Is my department eligible to receive the water?
To apply for the donated drinking water, departments must meet the following requirements:
- Responded to wildfires in 2022 and plans to respond to wildfires in 2023
- Be over 50% volunteer
- Serve a population of 25,000 or less
- Be located in the U.S. and be legally organized under state law
- Must be available to accept the water delivery, store requested amount, and utilize amount by ‘best by’ date on package (canned water has a shelf life of 365 days from the packaging date)
- Demonstrate a need for the water
- Departments are encouraged to submit one application per year. Subsequent applications received for that department will be subject to additional review.
- Departments that were approved to receive water through the first 2023 application period (March 15-31) are ineligible to apply in the second application period.
What classifies as a “wildfire?”
Wildfires are considered uncontrolled fire in a forest, prairie, grassland, brushland, or land sown to crops. If your department responds to any of these types of fires, you are eligible to apply for the canned drinking water.
Our volunteers are paid on-call. Does our department qualify for the program?
The NVFC considers paid on-call as volunteers for this donation program. Your department must be over 50 percent volunteer to be eligible.
How much water will my department receive?
If your application is approved, your department will receive one pallet of canned drinking water. Please be sure you can store the pallet and are able to utilize the water by the ‘best by’ date on the package. Canned water has a shelf life of 365 days from the packaging date.
See below for specifications. Primary package is standard sized 12 oz. can
- 1 case = 24 cans (4 x 6 packs in a cardboard tray)
- 1 pallet = 98 cases; 2,352 cans total
- Pallet Dimensions = 37″ W x 34″ D x 63″ H
- Pallet Weight = 1,960 lbs. (20 lbs./case)
Can I share the water with other departments in my area?
Approved departments will receive one pallet of canned water. You can share the water with other departments in your area and mutual aid partners.
When will the water be delivered?
Deliveries for departments that applied during the general application period can be expected in the summer and fall. If your department is in an area that is in a declared state of emergency due to wildfire, and you need water immediately, please fill out the Rapid Response Request form to expedite your request.
How will the water be delivered?
You will be notified once your application is approved. Water is shipped to Anheuser-Busch local wholesaler partners, who will reach out to you to coordinate delivery time and logistics. Water delivered by the local wholesaler will arrive in an Anheuser-Busch beer branded truck. In limited instances, your department may be asked to pick up the water depending on current local wholesaler capabilities and resources. If this is an issue, the department should communicate immediately to the wholesaler so alternative arrangements can be made if available.
Can the water only be utilized during wildfire response, or can it be utilized for any department response activity?
The water donation is intended to be utilized for wildfire response efforts but can be utilized to provide critical hydration when/where needed. It cannot be sold or redistributed for financial gain (e.g. fundraising).
Does my department have to currently be responding to a wildfire or in an area with a declared state of emergency to get the water donation?
Your department does NOT have to be in a declared state of emergency to request water during the general application period. Departments are encouraged to request water during the application period in preparation for your wildfire response efforts. Departments requesting water that are in a declared state of emergency due to wildfire will be processed immediately. Those not needing immediate attention will be fulfilled per the application cycle.
What if my department is in a declared emergency due to wildfire but the application period is not open?
If your department is actively fighting a wildfire in a declared state of emergency and needs immediate assistance outside of the general application period, fill out the Rapid Response Request form to receive a pallet of water. Your department must be over 50% volunteer, serve a population of 25,000 or less, be located in the U.S. and legally organized under state law, and be actively fighting wildfire in a declared state of emergency in order to be eligible. Proof of the declared wildfire emergency from your local, state, or national authority is required. Burn bans do not qualify as a declared emergency and are not considered eligible for Rapid Response Requests. Supply is limited and requests will be considered based on urgency of need along with eligibility.
Can I apply for additional water if my department utilizes the initial quantity?
Departments are encouraged to submit one application per application cycle. Subsequent applications received for that department will be subject to additional review.
What should I do if we won’t be able to utilize all the water we received before its expiration date?
30 days before your water is about to reach its ‘best by’ date, please notify the NVFC by emailing Lori at email@example.com with the subject line: CANNED DRINKING WATER EXPIRING FOR [DEPARTMENT NAME, CITY, STATE]. Anheuser-Busch will work to get your department fresh inventory. Following the best-by date, you can dispose of the water and recycle the cans.
My department is not tax exempt. Will that keep us from getting water?
If your department is NOT tax exempt, you are still eligible to receive the water. However, you must note on your application form whether your department is tax exempt or not in order to process the water donation. The NVFC and Anheuser-Busch will work with departments on an individual basis to receive the donation in accordance with state and federal regulations.
How do I publicize our water donation?
You can utilize the resources below to share your water donation with local media outlets and on social media. Please send any photos or media coverage to firstname.lastname@example.org to be linked to the water donation distribution map on the NVFC web site. *Note: be sure to coordinate any promotions with your local wholesaler.
At Anheuser-Busch, our purpose is to create a future with more cheers. We are always looking to serve up new ways to meet life’s moments, dream big to move our industry forward, and make a meaningful impact in the world. We hope to build a future that everyone can celebrate, and everyone can share. For more than 165 years, Anheuser-Busch has carried on a legacy of brewing great-tasting, high-quality beers that have satisfied beer drinkers for generations. Today, we own and operate more than 120 facilities, including breweries, wholesaler distribution centers, agricultural facilities and packaging plants, and have more than 18,000 colleagues across the United States. We are home to several of America’s most loved beer and beyond beer brands, including Michelob ULTRA, Cutwater Spirits, Stella Artois, Budweiser and Bud Light as well as a number of regional brands that provide beer drinkers with a choice of the best-tasting craft beers in the industry. From responsible drinking programs and emergency drinking water donations to industry-leading sustainability efforts, we are guided by our unwavering commitment to supporting the communities we call home. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com or follow Anheuser-Busch on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
About the NVFC
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides critical resources, programs, education, and advocacy for first responders across the nation. Learn more at www.nvfc.org.