UPS dispatches Logistics Action Team to tornado-stricken areas

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UPS on Friday, May 6, activated its newly-created Logistics Action Teams to support the American Red Cross’s relief efforts for victims of the recent tornadoes in the southeastern United States. Additionally, the company pledged an additional $100,000 to its original $500,000 commitment to the American Red Cross and made a $50,000 contribution to the Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter of the Red Cross, also earmarked for emergency relief for tornado victims.

LATs were established in January to leverage UPS’s transportation network, logistics expertise and far-reaching employee volunteer base for the benefit of the Red Cross during natural disasters and emergencies. The LAT approach was modeled after the World Food Programme’s Logistics Emergency Teams, which utilize logistics experts from private companies like UPS in times of crisis. This is the first deployment of a UPS LAT team, one of four created so far and assigned to the Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter. In addition to Atlanta, UPS has trained LAT teams to work with the Red Cross in San Francisco, Houston and Louisiana.

In addition to the Atlanta team’s efforts, UPS also is managing emergency supply shipments to Alabama and Mississippi for the Red Cross’s national office. “The UPS Logistics Action Team has been invaluable to our tornado relief operation,” says Nancy Brockway, chief emergency services officer for Metro Atlanta Chapter of the American Red Cross. “Their expertise has helped us be more efficient in transporting meals and supplies to the families who so desperately need them.”

Mark Krause, a UPS operations division manager, is working directly with the Red Cross’s Logistics Command Center in Atlanta. His current assignment is working with the local Red Cross Bulk Distribution Manager to help coordinate relief efforts in Georgia. Projects under way include:
• Bulk distribution of clean-up supplies to the hardest hit areas;
• Pickup and delivery of hot meals to fixed feeding sites;
• Transportation of documents, equipment and supplies from warehouses to service delivery sites; and
• Operation of daily pickup-and-delivery routes between Red Cross warehouses and affected areas.

This week, UPS volunteers saw the benefits of recent donations of time and labor. On April 15 in Atlanta, the employees on their day off cut huge donated linoleum sheeting for use to protect school gymnasium floors used for shelters. That sheeting has been delivered to schools around the region. UPSers also got a “thank you” from the mayor of Geiger, Ala., who asked UPS to lend the town two 53-foot trailers to protect personal items that were retrieved after the storms.