(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) July 16, 2010 - In preparation for the 2010 Hurricane Season, the American Red Cross has moved critical disaster relief stock to our Disaster Field Supply Centers (DFSCs) in the hurricane prone states. The DFSCs are strategically placed throughout TX, MS, AL, GA and FL to cover the Gulf of Mexico and in NC, VA, PA and NJ to provide coverage along the East Coast. While we have made strategic decisions to position stock in our DFSCs, we still have identified high risk areas where on-site (pre-positioned) support is needed.
For last year’s hurricane season, The UPS Foundation generously funded pre-positioning in vulnerable areas by moving and storing goods. The Foundation had also offered to help identify UPS buildings that could potentially be used as disaster relief operation (DRO) headquarters. We understand that The Foundation is willing to assist once again. Outlined below are basic needs for this season as well as the rationale behind our pre-positioning strategy including our recent experience. As in 2009, our respective logistics staff will work on the necessary details.
Rationale for Pre-positioning
Pre-positioned supplies ensure that American Red Cross chapters can immediately shelter and feed as needed before and after a hurricane has made landfall. For pre-positioning, we select areas that are at high risk for hurricanes, difficult to access even under non-disaster circumstances, and where chapters do not now have the likely needed capacity. Many storms do not provide ample lead time for deployment. By the time there is a known threat, evacuations may be underway and can impede the movement of supplies into the potentially affected areas. Post landfall, damage to infrastructure in affected areas can slow or prevent access entirely. After impact and based on disaster assessment information, national headquarters will send additional disaster relief supplies but these resources will likely not arrive for a few days.
2010 Hurricane Season
Based on our 2008 experience and in anticipation of an active 2010 hurricane season, our plan is to pre-position enough supplies to support sheltering of 32,000 people (40 shelter support trailers with 32,000 cots and comfort kits and 65,000 blankets). Shelter support trailers are 90-95% full and are designed to serve a shelter population of 800 clients. The product configuration is the maximum number of evenly distributed product. In the past, the excess trailer space has been used to add special needs cots which are not part of the normal configuration. We also plan to pre-position 120,000 shelf stable meals.
In addition, we will load 11 kitchen support trailers and hold them in Hattiesburg. We do this for two reasons: 1) Hattiesburg may be an impacted area and we may need to move the trailers to another location based on the storm track and 2) to be ready to move as soon as Southern Baptist kitchen locations are known (usually shortly after landfall). These trailers hold food and drink cambros, serving utensils, ice chests, cups and banquet kits (plastic forks, knives, spoons & napkins). The Red Cross cannot begin to serve meals until these support trailers arrive. Kitchen trailers are about 60% full as the excess space is used for storage of dry product and other food supplies once trailers reach their destinations.