August 10, 2023

ALAN mobilizes in response to Hawaii wildfires


The humanitarian logistics group American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) has begun mobilizing resources to support efforts to respond to devastating wildfires in Hawaii that have left 36 dead and destroyed hundreds of buildings, many of them historic.

Fueled in part by strong winds from Hurricane Dora hundreds of miles away, wildfires on Maui and the Big Island have claimed dozens of lives and destroyed more than 270 structures, many of which were in the historic town of Lahaina. ALAN has expanded its disaster microsite to include key details about the fires and related logistics needs. Late Wednesday the organization received its first request for logistics assistance — moving communications equipment to support shelter facilities near Lahaina. 

“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,” wrote ALAN Executive Director Kathy Fulton. 

“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,” she said.

Fulton advised members of the logistics community to visit the microsite frequently 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 to assist with fire relief efforts.

Fulton also urged people not to self-deploy to Maui or the Big Island and to refrain from participating in product collection drives. 

“Although the intention behind these efforts is good, they often create more challenges than they solve, including getting in the way of rescue efforts. Don’t add to an already difficult situation,” she said. 

Instead, Fulton advised those who want to help to send funds. “Cash donations allow non-profits to buy what they need, when and where they need it. And that will help survivors faster.”

Founded in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina, ALAN connects companies and individuals with logistics resources to nonprofits and first responders aiding with recovery efforts at the disaster sites.


The second annual F3: Future of Freight Festival will be held in Chattanooga, “The Scenic City,” this November. F3 combines innovation and entertainment — featuring live demos, industry experts discussing freight market trends for 2024, afternoon networking events, and Grammy Award-winning musicians performing in the evenings amidst the cool Appalachian fall weather.

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