As Hurricane Florence nears the U.S. East Coast and several named storms threaten other U.S. states and interests, the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) is mobilizing for action – and encouraging industry businesses to do the same.
ALAN was founded in 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and is a philanthropic, industry-wide organization that provides free logistics assistance to disaster relief organizations before, during and after catastrophic events.
On Sept. 11, the group activated a hurricane micro-site that will allow organizations to monitor each storm’s path, view recent alerts and get updates on transportation and supply chain conditions in impacted areas.
“This site serves as the centerpiece of our efforts to keep people informed about key safety and supply chain developments in the days ahead,” said Kathy Fulton, ALAN’s Executive Director. “It’s also where ALAN will relay requests for hurricane-related logistics assistance.”
Fulton added that, while some of these requests may be immediate, most could take far longer to emerge, because it often takes several days or weeks after a storm hits in order for government and relief organizations to assess impacts and determine which goods and services are most needed.
In the meantime, logistics professionals can help ALAN pave the way for quicker post-hurricane recovery by staying safe (including giving employees in potentially impacted areas ample time to prepare and/or evacuate), steering clear of collection drives (which can clog disaster-impacted supply chains and inadvertently do more harm than good) and staying tuned, because significant opportunities to help will ultimately arise.
“Logistics challenges and costs are among the largest hurdles that most relief organizations face after a disaster,” Fulton said. “While we certainly hope that none of these storms will be as destructive as predicted, we’re glad to be part of an industry that can provide so many meaningful solutions – and grateful to the many companies that are already making it possible for us to help.”