Impacting the well-being of people, nature and the economy, natural disasters have become a norm throughout the world. More frequently, the world is experiencing wildfires, floods and hurricanes -- most recently Hurricane Dorian, which tore apart the Bahamas and damaged states in the southeast.
As devastating as these events can be, we are at a disadvantage in avoiding their effects, because it is difficult to prepare for events that can occur without a moment’s notice. While they blow in quickly, they have a long-term impact on daily life.
One may wonder how the areas affected by a natural disaster begin to see relief from the damages they have experienced. The first concern is how will the victims of these events will find and procure basic necessities such as shelter, food, medicine and clothing.
The transportation industry, primarily the air and trucking sectors, play a vital role in helping communities rebuild and get back on their feet following a natural disaster. For immediate relief, helicopters and other aircraft deliver goods to places with the most urgent needs.
However, commercial trucks are also a critical, though less visible actor in disaster relief operations.
Consider the amount of emergency supplies that can fit into a helicopter vs. compared to a 53-foot trailer being pulled by a semi-truck. One of these trailers could haul hundreds of generators to provide power to people who may have lost it during a hurricane.
Another trailer could be hauling food so these people can eat for the next couple days or another could be supplying clothes for those who just lost everything.
Hundreds and thousands of people can be affected by a natural disaster. In order to supply victims with the quantity of goods necessary for survival, the trucking industry has to be utilized.
If your company wants to contribute to relief efforts during the aftermath of a natural disaster, it is important to have a plan prepared in advance. A supplier could be proactive and reach out to a third-party logistics (3PL) company such as Fleet Logistics to set up the ground transportation to move relief goods into the affected area.
Leveraging a 3PL provider gives you access to a number of carriers who are located adjacent to the disaster area, and will be able to provide those options without the limitation of the number of trucks owned by a carrier.
Even though natural disasters can dramatically alter life for those affected, the transportation industry can play a huge part in assisting them to get back to normal.