October 23, 2018
A letter from American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) Executive Director Kathy Fulton:
Ordinarily I am a glass-half-full kind of person. But when I look at what’s happened to the residents of the Florida Panhandle this past week, I find myself at a loss.
The images of Hurricane Michael’s debris and devastation are heartbreaking, especially when they are combined with what we have already been seeing come out of the Carolinas as a result of Hurricane Florence. And there is no sugar-coating how long and difficult the path to recovery will be. In fact there’s so much to do that it’s difficult to know where to start.
Thankfully there are several great minds who can point us in the right direction, including St. Francis of Assisi, who reportedly once advised, “Start by doing what’s necessary, then by doing what’s possible.”
Here at ALAN, those words make a lot of sense to us.
If you look at our hurricane micro-site right now, you’ll find more than two dozen tangible examples of “what’s necessary,” in the form of the requests we’ve posted for donated logistics assistance. They (and one more bonus request) are listed at the end of this e-mail in hopes that you will either consider making it possible for us to fulfill one of them yourself - or that you will pass them along to any of your members, colleagues or co-workers who might willing to help.
While supply chain and logistics professionals may not have the medical skills of a first responder or the construction expertise of a rebuilding crew, there’s a lot that our trucks, warehouses, material handling equipment, expertise, hands and funding can do to pave the way for meaningful relief and recovery efforts. And aren’t we fortunate to be part of an industry that can play such a meaningful role?
In closing, allow me to circle back to the quote I used at the beginning, because there’s one part I left out: “Start by doing what’s necessary, then by doing what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
Things may indeed look like an impossible-to-solve mess right now. But with folks like you in our corner, I know that recovery and resilience will happen. Thank you for repeatedly demonstrating that you’re willing to step up and provide help and hope when needed – and for being one of the best and brightest parts of my job. My glass wouldn’t be nearly as full without you.
For the most up to date list of needs – or to get more information about any of these needs – visit the ALAN Hurricane Micro-site.