Kathy Fulton, a member of the AWESOME network, was Director of Technical Services at Saddle Creek Logistics when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005. Only weeks later, at the CSCMP Conference in San Diego, the disaster was on the minds of many supply chain professionals. They saw that in the aftermath of a disaster, many of the recovery challenges were really supply chain challenges.
In a true spirit of cooperation and collaboration, 14 supply chain associations and groups came together to develop a way for the supply chain to use knowledge, capabilities and technology to help manage the workflow of disaster logistics. By 2008, the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) was ready for action.
Kathy’s boss at Saddle Creek saw ALAN as a way for the company to give back and “loaned” Kathy’s time and expertise “for a year.” Seven years later, Kathy is still with ALAN and now serves as Executive Director.
From making sure a mother in a shelter has diapers for her young baby…to finding spare warehouse space to temporarily store supplies… to identifying sources of fuel so employees can get to work and restock store shelves, the logistics needs after a disaster are varied and immediate. Since Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, Kathy and her team at ALAN have worked with partners non-stop to match needs and requests for help with supply chain resources, equipment and services.
“Folks in logistics operations are used to interacting with constituencies up and down and all around and tying pieces together into a network, which is exactly what’s needed after a disaster,” explained Kathy. “What I love about this work is that companies who compete with each other all the time for a slice of the market are completely on board with coming together to respond to an emergency.”
Because the recovery after a disaster takes weeks and in some cases, months, ALAN’s work after Harvey and Irma has just begun. Learn how you can help.