ALAN and Aspen Help California Store Disaster Relief Supplies

Due to budget constraints, the California Department of Public Health announced that the state no longer has the funds to support the warehousing and storage requirements for its disaster relief supplies. The State is looking to the private sector for help—including The American Logistics Aid Network. ALAN, an organization of logistics professionals who have made it their mission to engage the supply chain community in support of humanitarian relief efforts.

The supplies will require an estimated 200,000 sq ft of storage space. The products consist of antiviral medication, 420 alternative care-site caches, thousands of m95 respirators, and about 2,400 ventilators that are grouped in hundreds of pallets.

California’s leases on their various storage facilities began to expire April 30th, so there is an immediate need for a solution. All of the products must reside within the state, creating a bigger challenge from a smaller pool of potential donors. Aspen, a third party logistics company (3PL), has joined ALAN in this effort.

The Japanese earthquake and tsunami have made access to a readily available supply of disaster relief items a top-of-mind issue for many state and local governments, however the recent economic downturn has damaged their ability to follow through. This is where the ALAN network fills-in the gaps.

Under Governor Schwarzenegger the state of California purchased a large surplus of disaster relief supplies to better prepare itself in the event of a catastrophe. This supply increased when disasters such as the H1N1 influenza pandemic hit. The Center for Disease Control made its recommendation to the state concerning a necessary level of preparedness in the quantity of flu preventative medicine.

California received a huge stock pile of the antiviral medications Tamiflu and Relenza. However, because of restrictions, the product can only be used when an influenza pandemic is issued. These supplies cannot be resold or redistributed to a non-government third party. With limitations like this, the challenges for the disaster relief supplies increase while the solutions become limited.

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