Resilient Storage: How Communities Keep up With Logistics During Disasters

a warehouse filled with boxes

Disasters can happen anytime. This is a thought that every representative in a community has in their minds. Since 2010, there had been at least a hundred disasters that ravaged many US communities. All of these disasters cost the respective state and its people at least $1 billion in damage. One of these disasters is the well-known Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas. The disaster itself cost the entire state a staggering $130 billion in damage.

However, it wasn’t the initial damage of the hurricane that made survival in communities tough. It was keeping the supply lines open for relief goods to come in that made survival a challenge.

Floods are one of the worst-case scenarios when it comes to category four storms like Hurricane Harvey. Aside from the uprooting of trees and the downing of power poles, floods in category four storms can make the entire area within a community completely inhabitable. The damage caused by floods can destroy homes, ruin full residential zones, and even destroy power lines within the region. It can also lead to many residents trapped in their houses with no way out.

Floods can also make logistics an utter nightmare for the members of the community, especially for disaster relief operations. However, many communities all over the US have learned from this. With the use of technology and newly invented products such as corrugated and flat shipping boxes, communities have found critical solutions for logistics during disasters like a category four hurricane. Additionally, implementing these best practices made weathering through a disaster much feasible in many communities in the US. Here are some of the ways communities handle logistics during disasters.

Big Data

One of the biggest problems when it comes to logistics is the storage of data. Various relief goods and essential supplies must be logged into multiple channels to ensure they are being appropriately distributed among the populace. The last thing that various community members want in a disaster is the improper distribution of supplies. However, with the use of the internet and Big Data, data storage during disaster relief operations became easier than years before.

Many years ago, data for storage capacity, content, and routes were all in store in computers. These computers, which are likely to be found in city halls or relief centers, are prone to the disaster itself. Flooding and rain may damage the data stored within these computers and inevitably putting the whole operation to a grinding halt. However, with the use of Big Data and the internet, such problems may never happen again.

Big data plays a significant role in logistics. It’s even being used in the distribution of vaccines for the recent pandemic. This particular technology was primarily being used in businesses before. However, today, it is now a big part of the logistics of every community during disasters. Big data can handle a considerable amount of information, analyze it, and distribute it to the proper channels, all in real-time.

During disasters, big data helps first responders find vulnerable community members such as children and the elderly and evacuate them first. It also plays a big role in controlling and distributing relief goods after the disaster first hits the community. Without big data, many relief goods would be stuck during distribution, and many families within a community would starve.

Ultimately, Big Data plays many roles during disaster relief operations. It is one of the foundations of community preparedness against disasters. It is also one of the technologies used to rebuild communities after a disaster.

a small hard disk drive

Resilient boxes

As we all know, simple cardboard boxes wouldn’t survive disaster relief operations. They could barely survive a trip across states. This is why many industries in the US have developed resilient boxes that could weather any storm.

Boxes such as corrugated boxes are resilient enough to handle and sustain dangerous impacts. Additionally, depending on the layer and the materials used, the box can also sustain damage against moisture. These boxes are being used for transporting relief goods into a community without fear of losing them to harsh conditions that may happen during disasters. Big but versatile container boxes, also known as the Conex box, also make it possible to ship heavy supplies to a community by air. The current versatility of modern-day boxes makes it possible to transport supplies to an individual community, regardless of the harsh conditions.

Warning the Community

Before, warning the community was done through the television or radio. However, some of the information from these warnings can be outdated. But with the existence of the internet, warnings for disasters are done more efficiently.

The internet is at the forefront of warning members of the community regarding an impending disaster. Many platforms such as social media sites can warn citizens faster than any news show on television. Additionally, various networks can also individually message each of their subscribers regarding the disaster. Both of these can also inform the community when it comes to evacuations and disseminating information for relief good distribution and relief center sites.

Looking back, many states in the U.S. before the 2000s struggled when it comes to the logistics of relief goods and supplies to communities damaged by disasters. Backlogs happen all the time back then. This problem could lead to the death of many more community members during a disaster. However, in this modern age, we have found many ways to handle logistical problems during a disaster.

We have found a new way to survive and adapt against the worse things that the world can throw at us. Together, as one, we can survive as a community against these disasters by using these best practices.

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