We believe that a more connected nation is a more resilient nation. Therefore, everything we do starts with relationships. Indeed, disaster relief operations are proven to be more effective when the organizations working together trust one another and work toward shared goals. By our unique position in disaster response activities, ALAN is familiar with a wide variety of individuals and organizations and their capabilities. To increase connectedness between these organizations, ALAN facilitates relationships between and among businesses, non-profits, and government agencies that can be drawn upon during disaster preparation, response, and recovery. ALAN focuses on increasing the sharing of expertise between sectors by facilitating in person introductions and sharing information on events hosted by each sector that have relevance to other sectors.
Long term, lasting improvements in the coordination of disaster response and humanitarian logistics require changes in the way non-profits, businesses, and government perform these activities. To that end, ALAN has created an EDUCATION program to provide information and educational resources to improve government and non-profit logistics capabilities and encourage business preparedness and participation in humanitarian relief activities. Activities in this program include delivering to our government and non-profit partners free webinars conducted by logistics and supply chain experts, as well as two specially developed disaster simulation exercises. The first exercise is focused on the preservation and restoration of private sector supply chains, the second is an extensive cross-sector exercise aimed at educating the “whole community” in conducting a coordinated, collaborative disaster response. These simulations allow organizations to participate in a complex scenario, exercising their knowledge in a safe environment while challenging them to consider total system impact of their real-life activities. Educating all sectors for the improvement of disaster preparedness and response activities allows aid to more rapidly reach survivors, reduces waste, and expedites community recovery.
ALAN’s DISASTER RELIEF program aims to improve the coordination and sourcing of US based logistics solutions for organizations providing humanitarian relief. ALAN identifies and facilitates logistics solutions for non-profit organizations responding to disasters and humanitarian crises. Needs are met by connecting non-profits to businesses with the capacity and the interest in supporting response activities. ALAN helps these organizations to make the most of their logistics spending, thereby enabling them to use their savings towards delivering their core services.
Some 80 percent of disaster relief expenditures is spent on transporting, warehousing, and distributing goods and services to affected communities. But coordination is vital; in the past, relief organizations have found disaster staging areas clogged with donated items that they never requested. ALAN’s strategy is to match assistance to specific calls for support; our system allows relief agencies to post specific needs and contacts. In turn, companies can browse the needs list and determine where they can help.
We believe that a coordinated response during crisis can save lives, reduce suffering, decrease economic losses, and promote rapid recovery for individuals, businesses, communities, and the infrastructure that binds them together. Time and again, our work has shown that business can step in to fill gaps in emergency response, providing warehouse and staging facilities, transportation, and other critical services and equipment.