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Emergency Managers: Think Supply Chain Management

Emergency personnel are perpetually overwhelmed when disaster strikes – and with the recent natural disasters, it becomes apparent that the trend of not being “prepared enough.” Blog author Mary Layne recently came across an article by deputy coordinator of emergency management for Arlington, VA Charlotte Franklin. Franklin believes the time has come emergency management professionals to stop waiting for something to go wrong. Instead, they should treat their jobs in much the same way as a supply chain would: top to bottom visibility with supplies, personnel, and emergency response efforts. Redundancy and real-time communication are the elements that can help handle a crisis situation, and as Layne notes, technology has reached a point where it can effectively allow for just such a level of redundancy and communication to occur: Modern technology enables both better government now and a 360-degree visibility when public safety is on the line, with quick access to accurate, real-time data that could mitigate loss of life or property. Systems give emergency managers – and also police, fire and other commanders – information on skills, training, organizational structures and resource availability. The data can be seamlessly integrated with finance, logistics, procurement and tasking functions. Essentially, a strong supply chain for an emergency could mean getting the right people with the right life-saving equipment and supplies to the right places as quickly as possible. Add to this the inherent communication level that comes with a strong supply chain system, and you can see how effective a supply chain mindset could be for emergencies.

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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