The Food Shippers of America Blog

When Disasters Hit, Logistics Isn’t Just a Game-Changer. It’s a Life-Changer

by American Logistics Aid Network | Contributed Content, on Jan 28, 2022 4:13:11 PM

ALAN-Burris-Logistics-Food-Distribution-VA-1200x628Photo: Food distribution at a church in Virginia coordinated with Burris Logistics to loan a refrigerated trailer

In order for first responders and humanitarian organizations to reach survivors with the help they need, someone has to reach them with the essential supplies they need – even if  hurdles like compromised roadways, downed power lines, and limited budgets stand in their way.

ALAN-logo-750x751That’s what the American Logistics Aid Network, also known as ALAN, is all about.

Formed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, this 17-year-old non-profit connects other non-profits with the free logistics space, services and equipment they require during the worst of times.

“To some organizations, we’re the trucks that deliver hand sanitizer, PPE and medical supplies in the midst of a pandemic. To others, we’re the boxes that help them distribute groceries to families in need, the warehouse that stores critical rescue supplies after a flood, or the pallet jacks that enable shelters to more efficiently serve thousands of displaced hurricane survivors,” said ALAN Executive Director Kathy Fulton. “It’s all about doing what we can to ensure help and hope arrive sooner – and providing meaningful ways for the logistics industry to make a difference simply by doing what it does best. “

In the past two years alone, ALAN has provided humanitarian logistics assistance for 14 different disasters, including the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous tornadoes, the California and Colorado fires and hurricanes Ida, Sally, Laura, Isaias and Delta. It’s also helped provide donated transportation services for previous years’ disasters such as Hurricane Florence.

“The timeline for disaster recovery is much longer than most people realize,” said Fulton, “so there’s no expiration date in terms of the disasters we’re willing to help with.”

ALAN-Culture-Aid-NOLA-Pallet-JackALAN maintains a page on its website where it posts the latest requests it has received for donated logistics assistance, and Fulton encourages companies who are interested in donating a piece of logistics equipment or logistics service to visit it often.  

“There’s almost always a list of needs we’re looking to fill, especially during times like now when we’re dealing with the aftermath of the December tornadoes and Colorado fires,” she said.

ALAN also accepts pre-offers of logistics help. And, like all non-profits, it accepts financial donations

“Each dollar ALAN receives receive enables us to have a hand in delivering approximately $70 worth of compassionate crisis support for disaster survivors,” said Fulton. “We’re really proud of that. Just as important, we’re thankful for the way the logistics industry has continuously stepped up year after year to help us make such a positive impact.”

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