The disaster recovery nonprofit group American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) is preparing efforts this week to help victims of those affected by raging wildfires on Hawaii’s island of Maui.
Firefighters on Thursday were still battling the region’s deadliest blaze in years, which has already claimed 36 lives, burned out homes, and obliterated communities, according to published reports.
The cause of the fire is unknown, but experts said it is being fueled by an exceptionally dry summer, parched growth on the surrounding hills, and strong winds from the nearby, Category 4 hurricane Dora, analysis from AccuWeather said. The result has been widespread devastation and unprecedented challenges. “Reports indicate that numerous homes, businesses, and cultural sites have been devastated by the flames, leaving behind a path of destruction and uncertainty for residents,” the AccuWeather report said.
Even as those fires on Maui and the Big Island continue to burn, ALAN said it is gearing up to provide support, and calling on members of the logistics community to be on long-term alert for opportunities to do the same. “We are heartbroken and devastated for the residents of both islands, especially those who have lost a loved one, a home or – in the case of Lahaina – most of their hometown,” ALAN Executive Director Kathy Fulton said in a release.
“Today we are officially channeling that heartbreak into action,” Fulton said. “Although the need for our supply chain assistance for post-fire relief efforts in Hawai’i hasn’t been extensive yet, the operative word is yet, because as Hawai’i’s Lieutenant Governor said, the full impact of the fires won’t be known for weeks or months. As assessments are made, we’ll undoubtedly be getting more requests, including many that could come in several weeks or months down the road.”
In response, Fulton urged members of the logistics community to check ALAN’s dedicated online disaster response page to view the latest lists of requests or consider making a pre-offer of any space, services, and equipment they’d be willing to donate.