The Skies Are Clear, But Our Work Never Slows
If you’re part of our regular readership, you’ve likely heard the phrases “Dark Sky” and “Blue Sky” used among our regular verbiage. Dark Sky refers to periods when a disaster actively impacts a community. Blue Sky is reserved for stretches of time when disasters have abated and life resumes its “normal” activities.
A common misconception, however, is that ALAN experiences a lot of down time during Blue Sky periods. In reality, ALAN is hard at work readying ourselves, our partners, and communities for disaster preparedness, regardless of whether the sky is blue, gray, pink or every color in between. In order to clear the air (figuratively of course) I’d like to share some insider knowledge about what really happens behind the scenes when the skies are blue.
Let’s begin by taking a look at our caseload.
ALAN actually receives and executes requests for disaster recovery in the wake of and long after disasters have passed – and oftentimes we find ourselves as busy in January and February as we are during Hurricane Season. That’s certainly been the case for 2022. In the last three months alone, we’ve aided recovery efforts for the Boulder, Colorado, fires and the tornadoes that ravaged large parts of Tennessee and Kentucky. We’ve also supported ongoing relief efforts for COVID-19 (most recently facilitating the free transport of 500,000 donated N95 masks to North Carolina) and long-term recovery efforts for disasters like Haiti’s August 2021 earthquake (helping with the free transport of 35,000 pounds of donated peanut butter to residents of Dame-Marie, who are still experiencing high levels of food insecurity). And of course, we’re actively supporting humanitarian efforts that are related to the conflict in Ukraine.
So whether we are two years into a global pandemic or two weeks out of a wildfire, earthquake, hurricane or related disaster, ALAN is always working to provide critical logistics services necessary to the swift recovery of disaster survivors. Which means there’s almost always a way that you can be of help.
But fulfilling cases isn’t our only mission, which is another reason why we rarely get bored.
ALAN also consistently provides educational content to support disaster relief activities. In March we delivered four guest lectures at universities in the Southeast, Southwest and Midwest. In addition, we continued to actively partner with various universities, governmental organizations, non-profits, think tanks and logistics industry leaders to facilitate disaster management workshops, panel discussions and forums, including two that we just hosted at MODEX. And we capped off the month by joining the University of Tennessee and FEMA in a new pilot training course aimed at overcoming supply chain challenges during disasters.
Meanwhile, just in case people prefer to mix a little fun in with their learning, we’ve also created a Disaster Simulation Game, which we host multiple times throughout the calendar year (last month it was at Rutgers and the CSCMP Roundtables of New York and New Jersey).
Even when ALAN isn’t actively engaged in fulfilling a new case or piloting a workshop, we are constantly at work implementing disaster awareness and preparedness efforts. The most shining example of this is the creation of the Supply Chain Intelligence Center. This innovative technology, brought to you free of charge through our partnership with Everstream Analytics, provides an interactive map to monitor the real-time status of roads, ports and airports in disaster-impacted areas – and shares the latest policy changes at the national, state, local and county levels. You can quite literally watch the intended path of a hurricane!
Even in the midst of all this activity, the ALAN community still finds time to gather twice a month over Zoom in the form of our bi-weekly ALAN Board and Partner calls. Here we discuss the latest freight market updates, global and domestic supply chain news, and keep each other appraised of our upcoming initiatives. Often, we invite industry-leading guest speakers who facilitate cross-sector dialogue and provide fresh insight into policy changes, so if you’re an expert who would enjoy presenting on one of our calls, contact us today. We’d love to introduce you to the ALAN community.
ALAN may be tiny, but our network is mighty and our disaster relief efforts even mightier. Whether we are in the thralls of Hurricane Season or fulfilling caseloads under a blue sky, ALAN remains busier than ever. We are grateful to accomplish such meaningful work and humbled to make even the smallest positive impact on the well-being of disaster survivors.
Thank you to all who welcomed me into the ALAN team. It’s a thrill to help put our mission into action, in both Dark Sky and Blue Sky periods.