By George Bullard
When natural or other types of disasters strike, disaster response organizations quickly send the first wave of relief workers to the disaster zone. They carry with them enough supplies to last from a few hours to a few days depending on the situation.
In a short time their response could end if behind them essential supply lines are not set up. These supply lines include—among other things—new rounds of workers staged to arrive every few days, food and water for those impacted by the disaster and those working in the disaster zone, specialized equipment and material, expertise in how to appropriately use these resources, security for the disaster workers, and financial backing for the disaster response.
These supply lines should not include truckloads of used clothing and other commodities people believe ought to be needed in the disaster zone, but are not. Yet these come anyway. Supply lines should also not include disaster tourists unless they are vetted, trained, and come ready to work.
Wise disaster response organizations prepare before a disaster to handle all of these situations so that supply lines with appropriate travel lanes are set up literally overnight. They either have the capacity to do this directly, or they have collaboration partnerships set up that populate their supply lines.