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The American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) supports disaster response efforts by engaging industry to address the unmet needs of relief organizations, communities, and people. ALAN has provided the following update on transportation systems in the area affected by Hurricane Sandy:
PRIORITY OPEN SUPPORT REQUESTS
ALAN as the following open requests and are entertaining donated offers only at this time. Only ALAN's highest priority needs are now listed in this report. Please check the ALAN portal as needs are frequently added and removed.
- Transportation of donated relief supplies from drop off locations to warehouse
- Fork lift for Salvation Army warehouse in Hempstead, NY
- 20k sq ft heated industrial space for sheltering owned pets
- Straight truck with lift gate for distribution of pet food supplies for Red Cross distribution with driver - 1 week need
- Transportation of boxes from MD to Brooklyn, NY
- Plastic zip top bags for pet food distribution
ALAN has the unique position of working with voluntary agencies, businesses and government emergency management groups with the goal of not just creating partnerships but encouraging activities that support the “whole community” or “one team” concept of disaster response . Occasionally, the network hears stories of unique and innovative collaborations. A few of their favorites from this event are below.
American Red Cross has partnered with the National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition to deliver pet food via Red Cross emergency response vehicles. Bulk donations of pet food will be repackaged to distribute to individual pet owners. The project is being made possible by donated food from PetSmart Charities, donated pallet jacks from Products for Industry and donated boxes from Atlas Container.
Verizon Wireless has their mobile disaster center set up for citizens in New York to get online and charge mobile phones and other devices. Many of the visitors are using the Internet access to complete FEMA requests for assistance. Verizon has gone a step further and is providing sandwiches, coffee, and water to those who visit, as well as first responders and FEMA staff. Verizon has also shared their facilities and resources with FEMA. These activities show how businesses can use private-public partnerships to the benefit of the community.
With the high demand and limited availability of donated warehouse space, many VOAD and government organizations are teaming up, sharing space to house items for their fellow organizations.
The Journal of Commerce recently ran an article on ALAN’s work and the logistics challenges being faced by many organizations due to donations of items from concerned citizens.
As a reminder:
The best way to help survivors in the states impacted by this disaster is to provide funds to a reputable disaster relief organization so that supplies can be purchased locally. Financial contributions allow local sourcing of supplies, stimulating the economy and saving transportation capacity for critical relief and long term recovery supplies. It also allows relief organizations and survivors to purchase exactly what they need, rather than what someone has chosen for them. Purchasing locally makes great economic sense. Statistics on business failures following disasters are staggering - though numbers are highly contested some state that as many as 80 percent of businesses that close due to disaster fail within 5 years. Making a financial contribution helps survivors AND the economy.
The following links are for an article and a PSA about the challenges faced by unsolicited donations. Please read the article and watch the video and figure out what makes sense to share with your organizations.