Imagine a day without getting your newspaper delivered at your doorstep. The day seems to have an inappropriate beginning; now imagine not getting your daily fruits and vegetables, that certainly will be a disaster. Therefore, to maintain a constant flow of goods to match the ever-changing demand is the role of logistics.
As demand for goods continues to be on the rise, the need for a better-managed logistics will also become more and more imperative. Especially during natural disasters or any other unforeseen event, the role of logistics becomes exceptionally crucial.
To carry out relief operations during natural or human-made disasters, logistics plays an essential part. The Covid-19 situation has taken the world by shock; as countries continue to remain under lockdown, the supply of food, medicines, and other everyday items are being supplied at people’s doorsteps. Not just that, the supply of safety kids also is maintained so that no healthcare worker is deprived of it. All this is a result of a well-managed Logistics system.
How are Disaster Logistics handled?
At first, the need is evaluated by the disaster management team. The relief items are procured from various vendors; next, these items are transported to the warehouse where it is packaged and sent to relief camps for distribution. This entire process is done at lightning speed so that the supply of relief commodities is constant.
What are the phases of Disaster Logistics?
Disaster logistics is divided into 3 phases –
1. Preparing for the disaster
It is extremely crucial to prepare for the situation. It involves a detailed analysis of the disaster, the creation of an extensive plan to meet the needs of reconstructing the loss, procuring and storing of the necessary aid are few activities involved under this stage is the most essential part of the disaster logistics activities.
2. Responding to the situation
Once the preparedness for the phase is covered, it’s time to respond to the crisis. Quick response to any disaster, be it an earthquake, flood, or an epidemic, is extremely important. The reaction involves distributing the prepared aid most efficiently, thus ensuring that the supply reaches the right place so that the casualties are minimized.
3. Restoring the situation to normalcy
The last activity in disaster logistics is restoration. This is the most difficult and timing taking phase. Restoration involves putting the situation under normalcy, like establishing an adequate provision for the creation of jobs and education, reconstruction of structures that have been affected by the disaster, and providing economic and psychological support to every victim.
How to make the most of the available logistics?
With the use of information systems, disaster logistics can be handled effectively. With the help of automated technology, logistics can be managed efficiently. Information technology, such as 3pl software, can be used to deal with inventory and logistics in a crisis situation.
- With the help of IT, the field team can check the real-time availability of the stock in the warehouse and accordingly plan a response strategy.
- IT facilitates the procurement of items at the best price.
- It gives the finance team a real picture of the funds utilized for each item, thus bringing in transparency.
Proper coordination and availability of information about disaster logistics, is the need of the hour. Putting life back to normalcy is not easy, but with the help of IT, this mammoth task can be handled efficiently. Technology, when used rightly, can be a game-changer, even in the most adverse circumstance.
Samantha Acuna is a writer based in San Francisco, CA. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Yahoo Small Business.