In 2005, Hurricanes Katrina ravaged the U.S. Gulf Coast, causing more than 1,800 deaths and $108 million in damage. This disaster prompted an outpouring of donations from people, businesses, and organizations across the country. But these donations couldn’t be distributed efficiently because there was no system in place to handle a relief effort of such magnitude.
What was missing? Coordination, access, and relationships. And who better to establish a system for improving disaster distribution capabilities than a network of supply chain professionals? So in the wake of the devastating 2005 hurricane season, a group of industry thought leaders teamed up to create ALAN, the American Logistics Aid Network.
Using technology provided by Aidmatrix, ALAN’s web portal—allowing communities and relief organizations post their needs, and businesses and individuals to see where their help is most needed—went live in 2008, just before Hurricane Gustav hit land. As a result, donations flooded in: bedding, wheelchairs, fans, water, warehouse space, transportation services, and more. And operations on the ground were ready and waiting for these donations because they’d asked for them.
Since that time, the many members of ALAN’s network have participated in numerous relief and disaster preparedness efforts. They’ve provided transportation for supplies to communities devastated by flooding in the Midwest; warehouse space and food for tornado relief in the South; office space and forklift training for hurricane preparedness operations in the Northeast; and water for food banks across the country. And they stand ready to act when the next disaster strikes.
You, too, can assist individuals and communities affected by a disaster. By joining the ALAN network, you can ensure that your good intentions have the maximum positive impact. Click here to see how you can help.