Emergency Supply Management During Disasters

Topics: Supply chain management, Logistics, Management Pages: 5 (1531 words) Published: August 12, 2013
This is a four-page paper on emergency supply management during disasters. The upward trend in natural disasters has led to increased attention in supply chain management. It is evident that the number of those affected can be reduced by having capable and effective response operations. Supply chain management consists of approximately 80% of relief efforts and therefore, much attention must be given to it. This paper relies on seven sources and is in APA format.

Emergency Supply Management during Disasters

The number of disasters, from super storm size hurricanes like Sandy too tsunamis in the pacific or even war stained areas like the middle east and the eastern med, weather it be, natural or man-made, these kind of disasters have increased significantly over the past decade and unfortunately, forecasters indicate an upward trend for this kind of activity. For example, more than 302 natural disasters were recorded in 2011 alone affecting more than 200 million people and killing close to 30,000 around the world. This upward trend in disasters has led to the increased attention in supply chain management systems around the globe. It is evident that the number of those affected can be reduced by having an efficient and effective response operation. Supply chain management consists of approximately 80% of relief efforts, hence much attention must be given to it (Wassenhove, 2006). According to Mentzer et al. (2001), supply management involves planning and controlling relief operations by ensuring there is coordination among the different organizations involved such as the donors, government, suppliers, NGOs, and military. New (1997) adds that emergency supply management focuses on the relationship between the different parties involved to ensure effective response is possible. Supply management involves preparing and responding immediately to disasters. However, the supply network is a very large and complicated system. It involves systematically brining, the right personnel, transportation, resources, and supplies, along with other items when a disaster occurs. There are highly motivated people who are ready to act and deliver goods and services such as food, medical equipment, personnel, money etc. The greatest challenge is to ensure there is coordination so as to get the resources to affected areas (Ergun, et al., 2009: Whybark et al., 2010). Challenges in Supply Management

When disasters occur, everybody needs to work together. This means both public and private sectors must work together to respond to the situation at hand. Since disaster relief is such a complicated process, there will always be unexpected challenges during the deployment of supplies during the disaster. The first challenge includes command and control issues. For Example, Who’s in charge and what assistants do they need. This kind of situation occurs when the government of the affected country isn’t as involved in the casualty as they should be; even though the UN has a leadership role in disaster management they still need information and guidance from the location that needs disaster supplies. If the government refuses to allow help from other sources and countries then they cannot force their support. An example of this happened in May of 2008 when Cyclone Nargis crossed the southern tip of Burma absolutely devastating the entire reign. The government refused support from the French and US ships; this caused a delay in relief. Other delays are caused by slow decision making because of miscommunication between all parties, the distance between relief supplies and the disaster, and lack of understanding between the government and the relief agencies (Whybark et al. 2010). The second challenge in emergency supply management depends on items donated. A-lot of supplies are donations from outside organizations so it is difficult to determine what will be received. The donors also...

References: da Costa, S.R., Campos, V.B. and Bandeira, A.M. (2012). “Supply chains in humanitarian operations: Cases and Analysis.” Compedium of Papers.
Ergun, O., Karakus G., Keskinocak, P. et al., (2009). Operations research to improve disaster supply chain management. http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-397133.html Wiley
Mentzer J.T, DeWitt, W., Keebler, J.S. et al. (2001). Defining supply chain management. Journal of Business Logistics, 22(2): 1-25
New, S.J. (1997). The scope of supply chain management research. Supply Chain Management, 2(1): 15-22
Pan American Health Organization (2001). Humanitarian Supply Management and Logistics in the Health Sector. Author.
Van Wassenhove, L.N. (2006). Blackett memorial lecture. Humanitarian aid logistics: Supply chain management in high gear. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 57(5): 475-489
Whybark, C., Melnyk, S.A. Day, J. and Davis E. (2010). Disaster relief supply chain management: New realities, management challenges, emerging opportunities. Decision Line, pg. 4-7
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