When Disasters Hit, Few Things Are More Important Than Good Logistics. That’s What ALAN Is All About.
To understand who the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) is, think back to August of 2005, when Hurricane Katrina was pummeling the Gulf Coast.
Although contributions of food, water, medicine and other key necessities poured in, finding ways to get them into survivors’ hands was a transportation challenge unlike anything most disaster relief professionals had ever faced. In fact, it was a logistics nightmare.
However, out of that nightmare, something wonderful emerged: As the supply chain community watched events unfold, it collectively said, “You know what? We can do better than this.” Thus ALAN was born.
We’re an industry-wide organization that exists to provide supply chain assistance to humanitarian organizations whenever disasters hit, all with the help of numerous members of the logistics community who have agreed to make essential donations of transportation, warehousing, material equipment or expertise. That way help and hope can arrive sooner. And recovery can begin more quickly.
Just as important, we’re here to help disaster relief organizations and other non-profits make every logistics dollar count. After all, studies show that up to 80 percent of their crisis spending goes to logistics. And of that, as much as 40 percent may be wasted simply because these organizations don’t have the right supply chain equipment, knowledge or services at their disposal.
Ultimately, our goal is to help these groups accomplish far more, logistically, than they could on their own, so that they can multiply the good that their missions do. And more survivors can get the assistance they need.
In addition to connecting non-profits with donated supply chain services, ALAN is an active logistics disaster relief educator and integrator. Among other things, we provide free real-time disaster and logistics visibility via our advanced Supply Chain Intelligence Center, host numerous disaster simulations, and convene dozens of industry-wide disaster relief partnership events each year.
Over the years, ALAN has played a role in helping more than 100 humanitarian organizations provide disaster relief for more than 60 disasters, including the 2010 Haiti earthquake; Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria; the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.