DHL inaugurates Disaster Response Team on the eve of the 2006 hurricane season
DHL commits professional disaster relief resources to the Americas region in partnership with UN systemPlantation, 05/31/2006, 11:30 AM CEST
The DHL Disaster Response Team applies its professional knowledge of logistics and transportation to help governments organize the handling, warehousing and loading of relief goods for onward transportation in an efficient manner, ultimately reducing bottlenecks at the airport close to the scene of a major sudden-onset natural disaster.
"By setting up the DRT Americas we are making a significant contribution to preparing for the upcoming hurricane season and to support relief efforts in the case of a natural disaster anywhere in the region," said John Mullen, Chief Executive Officer for DHL Express Americas. "We are committed to sharing our core competence in logistics and transportation as well as our expert manpower to support disaster relief efforts, not only in our South Florida home but where we are needed most in the Americas."
DHL has considerable experience in direct disaster management worldwide. DHL employees were actively engaged in providing humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the United States in the summer of 2005, after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and in the aftermath of last year's South Asian earthquake in Pakistan and India.
The DHL DRT Americas has been established as part of a worldwide network of Disaster Response Teams to support the UN and the international community's humanitarian relief efforts. The DRTs are the first initiative to result from a strategic partnership between DHL and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the area of disaster management. In April, DHL inaugurated the DRT Asia Pacific which will provide coverage in disaster situations throughout that region.
"The DHL Disaster Response Teams show how valuable the support from companies can be for supplementing the existing disaster management system," said United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) representative Carlos Monteiro-Pereira.
The DRT Americas draws on a pool of approximately 80 trained DHL employees, who, in addition to their normal jobs at DHL, have volunteered to take part in humanitarian missions with the DRT. Disaster Response Teams include experts in cargo handling, warehouse management, inventory control, customs clearance, road operations, communications, safety, security and other areas. The teams will normally be deployed for a period of up to three weeks following a major sudden-onset natural disaster. By that point in time, the initial surge of international charter aircraft bringing aid supplies has normally decreased to a more manageable level.