Volume 2, Issue 1 – January 15, 2014
Since its founding following Hurricane Katrina, the member companies of the American Logistics Aid Network have responded to meet the logistics needs of both government agencies and nongovernmental organizations when disasters strike.
ALAN members have donated their warehouse services, transportation and material handling equipment.
What you might not be aware of is that ALAN is just as committed to joining with other organizations in helping to plan for those needs before an event occurs. It has pursued these planning partnerships since ALAN was founded by Jock Menzies, the late president of ACWI member Terminal Corporation.
ALAN continues to work with National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster – including the American Red Cross, Feeding America and the Salvation Army – as well as state and federal emergency agencies, along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
In mid-December ALAN held an interactive exercise simulating the challenges of maintaining functioning supply networks during a disaster. Employing a “bring your own device” approach, participants pretended to be trucking customers and providers making supply chain decisions before, during, and after a regional disruptive event.
Participants came from FEMA, local public utilities companies and a range of logistics providers, and included ACWI Advance Editor David Sparkman.
The real-time data collection showed how resource allocation decisions affect businesses and communities. Perhaps the most valuable outcome were the relationships forged during the exercise by participants who would need to work together during a future event. In this regard, facilitator Dr. Jamison Day quoted Dwight Eisenhower’s remark that “Plans are nothing; planning is everything.”