Disaster relief pours into Florida hub

by Inside Logistics Online Staff
DHL employee volunteers unloading the first plane load of relief supplies.

MIAMA, Florida – DHL Disaster Response Team (DRT) employee volunteers were on hand Thursday, September 5, 2019, to receive and unload the first wide-body charter plane carrying Hurricane Dorian relief supplies into The Bahamas.

The first 34 tons of cargo delivered by the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) will be transported to a World Food Program (WFP) warehouse for onward distribution to Hurricane Dorian disaster victims in Freeport, Nassau & Abaco. Two additional cargo planes carrying a combined 76 tons of cargo were expected to arrive in Nassau on Friday, September 6, 2019.

The first wave of six DHL DRT employees arrived from Colombia, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Florida to provide assistance. They will be relieved by a second rotation of DHL employee volunteers next week, once an on-site assessment is done and the scale of the support required is understood.

When deployed, the DRT helps prevent bottlenecks at the airport closest to disaster-affected areas, ensuring essential supplies, such as food, medicine and hygiene kits keep moving – even under the most difficult circumstances.

“Following a natural disaster, it is imperative to respond quickly to ensure vital, life-saving relief supplies are available to people in need,” said Gilberto Castro, senior director operations Colombia and disaster response team director for the Americas, DHL.

“DHL’s DRT teams utilize their logistics expertise to provide practical, effective support at airports to ensure fast, well-organized handling of incoming aid supplies.”

As the number of natural disasters increase, governments, disaster relief organizations and businesses are called upon to provide quick and efficient help to disaster victims. Deutsche Post DHL Group’s partnership with the United Nations and other organizations enables the company to serve as an integrated part of an internationally established humanitarian relief system and to make an effective contribution to aid disaster

Deutsche Post DHL Group has partnered with the United Nations (UN) since 2005 to provide the UN and country-level disaster management organizations with pro bono assistance managing airport logistics and warehousing incoming relief aid during natural disaster recovery efforts. The Disaster Response Teams are part of DPDHL Group’s GoHelp disaster management program, provided in partnership with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

DHL provides the UN and disaster management organizations with its core logistics expertise, and the logistics skills of nearly 600 specially-trained Disaster Response Teams (DRT)employee volunteers worldwide, ready to be deployed within 72 hours after a natural disaster.

DHL DRTs are established in more than 20 countries and have been deployed more than 40 times since 2005, most recently to assist in Mozambique in April 2019. In addition to the DRT deployments, DHL’s Get Airports Ready for Disaster (GARD) initiative – also part of the GoHelp program – trains airport management in risk regions.