ALAN brings help to Haiti

By Modern Materials Handling Staff
February 01, 2010 - MMH Editorial

The American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN,, a non-profit humanitarian aid organization that engages the supply chain community in relief efforts at home and abroad, is helping the victims of the earthquake that recently hit Haiti.

Since the 7.0 earthquake hit in January, ALAN has been working with major humanitarian relief agencies, including the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOADs), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross to identify relief needs.

Immediately following the earthquake, ALAN president Jock Menzies told Modern that it was in the rescue and assessment stage. He said, “As we've seen in the past, it takes a few days for discreet needs to be defined.”

As specific needs are identified that can be met by the ALAN membership base, they are being posted at Needs. for supply chain expertise, products, equipment and services such as transportation, warehousing and materials handling are matched with available donations.

ALAN provides a primary point of contact for the U.S. logistics industry's donation activity and information. The organization works to ensure that donation needs are made visible to the logistics industry and creates an efficient process for providing the right goods and services at the right location, at the right time.

Menzies said he started receiving calls from industry colleagues within an hour after the earthquake was reported. “We heard from a lot of supply chain professionals who are ready to support the relief efforts with their available resources,” he said. “This is such a large scale disaster that there will be significant needs for a significant period of time, but we will be at the forefront of this effort for as long as it takes.”

“ALAN was founded by the associations that make the supply chain efficiently operate on a daily basis,” said John Nofsinger, CEO of Materials Handling Industry of America, (MHIA, “When a disaster like the Haiti earthquake strikes, we believe that it is our unique responsibility to utilize these same resources and expertise to help ensure that the necessary aid gets where it is needed as quickly as possible.”

MHIA is one of the founding member of ALAN, as is the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA,, which is also committed to the relief effort and will send information out to members as it becomes available.  “MHEDA members are very generous and have always wanted to help in relief efforts,” said Liz Anderson, MHEDA executive vice president. “Through ALAN, this will be a very concerted, well organized effort that gets materials and contributions of safety equipment, earth moving equipment, even cash donations to the right place.”

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