Dear ALAN Friends:
By now you’ve undoubtedly seen the many news reports about the devastating fires that hit the island of Maui.
We mourn for those who’ve lost family members, friends and homes, not to mention most of their hometown. And we have already begun actively supporting relief efforts.
After a disasters hit, it’s not uncommon for there to be a lot of confusion and mixed feelings. And that’s certainly been the case with this one. While there’s been a huge outpouring of love from individuals and organizations who have offered their support, there’s also been a lot of frustration because they can’t seem to find anyone to take them up on their offers. Meanwhile, outrage has grown because some media stories have reported that Maui’s disaster survivors are still going without the things they need.
Thankfully, the current reality on the ground is different. Our non-profit partners have been out and about around the island of Maui, and they report that all of the points of distribution were well stocked. In fact, some of these points have been so overwhelmed that they’ve had to stop their distribution just to sort through what people have brought.
So please know that even though you may not have a chance to send direct assistance yet, the island’s fire survivors are currently getting the food, water, medical care and other assistance they need. And don’t be surprised if your opportunity to help comes many weeks, months or even years down the line – including many opportunities from ALAN, because supply chain services are often some of the most critical resources that disaster relief organizations need.
In the meantime, here are a few quick updates to keep you in the loop.
What ALAN Is Doing To Help Hawai’i Fire Survivors
Shortly after news of the fires hit, we reached out to our non-profit partners on the ground to get a handle on what types of logistics services and equipment they needed – and where. Thankfully all of their logistics and commodity needs have been met in the short-term (the community has been incredibly generous). However we know that this situation can and will change as disaster relief and recovery efforts continue. So please stay tuned, and check out our Disaster Micro-Site (https://www.alanaid.org/operations/) where we post open needs, frequently.
We also began contacting many of the businesses who have already had products on Maui or other nearby islands (and who were willing to share them) in order to try to match them with organizations who needed them.
In addition, we created a logistics workgroup for the Hawai’i VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active In Disasters). Our role as the leader of this group is to help identify short- and long term-needs and capabilities (and those willing to meet them) in order to reduce confusion, eliminate gaps and minimize duplication of effort. Because when the need is this great, no effort should go to waste.
Meanwhile, we have also been working directly with the state of Hawai’i’s donations task force to assist with two start-up warehousing operations (one on Oahu, the other in California) to help handle the mountains of unsolicited product donations it has received. These items need to be securely stored, sorted, and put to use at the right time, place, and location. And who better than ALAN to help?
(We’re able to do all of these things because of your generous financial support, so thank you.) Please consider making a donation today.
Finally, we have begun filling requests for donated logistics assistance – including coordinating air freight shipments of the communications gear that is serving shelters, feeding operations, and supply distribution areas – which is where you come in. . .
How You Can Help
If you have warehouse space, trucks, equipment, or supplies you’d be willing to donate to this cause go ahead and offer it now. We’ll need a lot of support on the both the islands and on the mainland.
And the more advance information we have about available resources, the more quickly we’ll be able to fulfill requests for assistance and get survivors the help they need.
In a similar vein, drop us a line to tell us what you and your company are doing to help with Hawai’ian relief efforts. We don’t need to manage and coordinate everything. But we want to take advantage of opportunities to share resources and reduce the burden on Maui.
Also, at the risk of sounding like a broken record – PLEASE don’t try to send things to Hawai’i right now. Relief organizations and disaster survivors have no place to store or keep them – and trying to handle the wave of incoming products has become a real challenge for our many non-profit and government partners at a time when they’re already hugely challenged.
Just as important, please make a donation to support our response activities. We rely on your financial support. And your gift will allow us to continue providing the logistics assistance that is so critical to helping communities like Maui recover.
On behalf of all of us at ALAN, thank you for being part of our support system.
American Logistics Aid Network