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How the Marine Industry Is Helping Disaster Aid

  • by: Conor McKeon
  • On: 11, Oct 2018
3 min read

As global warming increases, we’re beginning to see more natural disasters. As the ice caps melt, sea levels rise. The warmer weather also has an impact on the water cycle, increasing the volume of water in the air, leading to more frequent and intense hurricanes, which we’ve seen in America.

Natural disasters can damage or destroy infrastructure, making everyday life difficult. Getting aid to such places can be challenging. The physical delivery and distribution poses unique challenges at every turn. However, as the world suffers more devastating natural disasters, those impacted will require more aid, so finding creative ways to navigate the problem is of paramount importance.

The marine industry is equipped to deliver this, thanks to new technology, world-class design, and a new wave of engineers ready to start projects. This can be achieved quickly and cost-effectively thanks to collaboration between charities, private companies and logistics specialists.

Marine assets can be quickly loaded and dispatched to where they’re needed most. Remote coastal communities are often too difficult or small to be reached by traditional aircraft, whereas ships can leave from neighbouring ports and be there within hours. This applies to small and large vessels, whether they be private or part of a social enterprise, making a difference. LIFT is a great example of a company making a difference with sea-based transport.

YachtAid Global is a coalition charity that focuses on getting aid to those who need it. Recently a fleet of 44 vessels carried 325,000 lbs of aid, including meals, tools, hygiene kits, and water filters.

The YachtAid Global model was pioneered by Mark Drewelow, who realised that collaborative networking was the key to get multiple disparate marine operations working together towards a single goal. The needs of the community are assessed by trusted local participants, the logistics are worked out, mapped, and relayed to all those involved, and aid can be delivered faster and more efficiently. This system allows for volunteering and participation from anyone in the Marine industry, no matter what part they work in. The guiding principles for logistics deployed in disaster relief are similar to best practices in day-to-day supply chain management.

How the Marine Industry Can Efficiently Deliver Aid:

1. Having A Clear Chain of Command from One Centralised Base

A clear organisational structure is critical for making decisions such as where resources should be deployed first. Non-government organisations, or NGOs, must manage relationships with any number of donors. Having a central command point means you can effectively coordinate efforts and people know where to report to.

2. Reduce Complexity

A complicated system of aid delivery doesn’t help anyone. Streamlining things to make them as simple as possible means fewer mistakes further down the line. Making sure your systems link together is paramount to effective disaster relief.

3. Synchronise Supply and Demand

Dedicated managers at specific sites can request aid as and when they need it, updating requests on the fly as situations evolve. These can be put into easily understandable and trackable reports, so people can see where their donations went.

4. Proactively Manage Donations

Managing donations proactively means knowing what will be needed where and when. Understanding how needs will change based on what’s likely to happen is a vital skill, and one that is invaluable to the aid effort.

As the world changes, we’re likely to see more Marine aid efforts. Making sure they’re timely and efficient is the most important task at hand for those wanting to make a difference.

Learn more about sustainable development in the marine industry or the skills you’ll need to work in marine aid.

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