Ooh La Logistics
Regular readers of this blog may know that I have roots in Louisiana, which is why my thoughts often turn to Mardi Gras around this time of year.
I love to ooh and aah over the social media posts of friends attending lavish balls or to laugh along with photos of many of the same friends, clad in ridiculously garish fringed costumes, chasing a chicken at a Courir de Mardi Gras. And even though I live far away, I’ll still probably celebrate the season by ordering King Cake or making homemade muffulettas.
But this year, my festive Mardi Gras mood is also laced with beads of sadness. Because even as this fun-filled season of parties, parades and celebrations unfolds, much of the state is still reeling from a long series of disasters.
The most notorious of these disasters were 2020’s Hurricane Laura, which shredded southwest Louisiana and caused an estimated $20.3 billion in damages, and 2021’s Hurricane Ida, which tore through the southeastern parishes in the state and caused at least $75 billion in damages across the country. Throw in a few more hurricanes, flooding, and a week-long winter freeze, and you begin to see just how much my beloved “Boot” has endured. And sadly, because most of the mainstream media has largely moved on to cover more salacious stories, you really don’t hear too much about it.
Thankfully as regular readers ALSO know, I always try to find the positive in any situation. And in this case I don’t have to look far.
Right now, there are many amazing organizations that are working so hard get Louisiana families back into their homes – and get life across the state back to a less chaotic normal. This includes groups who are part of the National and Louisiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster as well as various long-term recovery groups composed of local and community-based organizations from around the state. I’m grateful and proud to say it also includes ALAN.
Even though we’re probably best known for helping non-profits support communities right after a disaster, we’re actually here to assist communities with every phase of disaster recovery – including the important work of clean-up and rebuilding. In fact, these support activities are a big part of what we engage in during those wonderful “off” times when there’s no major hurricane, earthquake, fire or storm that’s wreaking havoc.
So instead of catching beads and moon pies, expect to see us spending our “Fat Tuesday” in the usual way – checking in on our non-profit partners, working to understand what their latest needs are in Louisiana and beyond, and continually reminding them that the logistics community hasn’t moved on and forgotten about them. But in true Louisiana style, we may be doing it with a beignet in hand.
Laissez les bons temps rouler!
American Logistics Aid Network
P.S. Yes, I know the first U.S. celebration of Mardi Gras was in Mobile, AL. But with apologies to my Alabama friends and family, no one does Mardi Gras quite like Louisiana.