As businesses and neighborhoods scattered across five states are continuing to recover from last week’s flurry of devastating storms, aid has begun to flow in from logistics providers as emergency responders assess the worst damage.
Those donations follow a path of destruction caused by at least 30 tornadoes, including a single long-track tornado that crossed four separate states, according to the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN). The resulting impact caused tragic results like the near total destruction of Mayfield, Kentucky and reports of the deaths in an Amazon.com warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois.
The tornados also destroyed dozens of factories and warehouses across Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. In addition to causing multiple fatalities and damaging scores of businesses, the storms have triggered significant disruptions for supply chains through the region, according to supply chain risk analysis company Everstream Analytics.
Initial rounds of emergency aid are being conducted by ALAN, which is coordinating relief efforts from members of the professional logistics community. “The last few days have been filled with tragic reports. We mourn alongside those who’ve lost friends, family, and co-workers to these events,” Kathy Fulton, ALAN’s executive director, said in a release on Tuesday. “In response, ALAN has activated to support these communities via our network of non-profit partners.”
Fulton asked logistics providers to connect frequently with ALAN over the coming weeks, once humanitarian organizations can assess what is needed in the affected areas. At that time, local groups will request various forms of logistics assistance, including transportation, warehousing, and material handling, Fulton said. In the interim, ALAN is asking individual businesses not to self-deploy or to organize their own collection drives, saying it is critical to organize those activities with the non-profit groups that will be providing first response and relief efforts on the ground.
One group that has worked with local responders is the American Trucking Associations (ATA), which recently coordinated a delivery of bottled water to affected parts of Kentucky. The delivery was made by a driver for Yellow Corporation, using ATA’s Share the Road tractor-trailer, and will be followed by several more relief loads planned for next week, the groups said.
That aid was coordinated with the Mayfield-Graves County Regional Emergency Operations Center and the Kentucky Trucking Associations. ATA says it is now working further with those groups to collect the next supplies in greatest need, which include tarps, generators, power, and extension cords.
Another groups that has swung into action is Toys for Tots, which is teaming with the Virginia-based charitable organization Good360 to ensure that the children who lost so much will receive something tangible on Christmas morning, the groups said. The partners plan to distribute truckloads of toys, books, and other gifts to impacted families in areas where there is no Toys for Tots program coverage.
Logistics providers involved with the relief efforts say the work is highly rewarding. “It’s a real blessing to be in a job and to possess a skillset that enables us to make a meaningful difference in peoples’ lives after a disaster strikes our fellow citizens,” Herschel Evans, the Yellow Corp. driver who made the water delivery, said in a release. “These truckloads of relief symbolize the spirit of our nation, and the people of Kentucky should know that the cavalry is coming, and that we have their backs in this time of need. More is on the way.”
How can we help you? If you’re a member of the non-profit community and need donated logistics assistance to help with tornado relief efforts last weekend’s tornadoes, click here to request ALAN’s support. https://t.co/m2lzC4p2x8 pic.twitter.com/Zq2TXEn1CU— ALANAid (@ALANaid) December 14, 2021
Dozens of powerful #tornadoes touched down in five midwestern and southern #US states December 10 and December 11. The resulting fatalities and business damages will have far-reaching consequences. Are you prepared? #storms #stormseason #tornadohttps://t.co/eJsYwJH6bD— Everstream Analytics (@EverstreamAI) December 14, 2021